South Shore School

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South Shore PK-8 School
South Shore School 01.JPG
4800 S. Henderson Street
Seattle WA 98118 United States
Type Pre-kindergarten to 8
Established 2002, 2009 (new facility)
Principal Keisha Scarlett
Enrollment Approx. 612[1]
Information 206-252-7600
Sea Dragons

The South Shore School is a Pre-k to 8 public school in the Seattle Public Schools system. It is located in the Rainier Beach area in the southeastern part of the city of Seattle, Washington, United States. The school was founded in 2002 as a public-private partnership between the school district and the Seattle-based New School Foundation.


In 2010 the student population was identified as 42.6% African American, 30% Asian, and 9.1% White, 64% qualified for free or reduced-priced meals, and 13.4% were classified as transitional bilingual.[2] The 2000 Census reported that of children under 17 in this neighborhood 44% spoke a language other than English.[3]

History and facility[edit]

The school originally opened in 2002 as a pre-school and kindergarten in the former South Shore Middle School building, which first opened in 1973.[4] It has since grown by adding one grade per year.[5]

The new South Shore K-8 School is located in a densely populated urban neighborhood on a site shared with the district’s South Lake Alternative High School, the Rainier Beach Family Center, Committee for Children, University Preparatory Academy and the Seattle Academy of Arts and Science. The Rainier Beach Community Center, owned and operated by the city, occupies part of the former middle school building to which the new school is physically connected.[6] The new school was constructed adjoining the former middle school building which remains occupied by the Rainier Beach Community Center. The community center closed in 2011 and is scheduled to re-open in 2013 after completion of the new community center and swimming pool.[7]

The new facility is designed with a central commons area called "the Rotunda", with three radiating two-story wings containing classrooms clustered in seven, grade-based small learning communities.[8]

School closure[edit]

The new school opened in September 2009. In January 2010 some occupants complained of symptoms such as itchy eyes, nausea, rashes and headaches which were believed to be caused by indoor-air quality problems. The school's ventilation system was adjusted to run continuously without recycling any of the indoor air and portions of the building were sealed off. The problems re-emerged three months later after the system was shut off for a weekend.[9] The school was closed for a week and the occupants were relocated to three other schools for the remainder of the academic year.[10] The source of the problem was determined to be a chemical reaction between flooring materials and the concrete slab. After remedial action was taken the school moved back into the new facility in August 2010.[11] The ventilation system continued to be run "24/7" and indoor air quality tested on a regular basis through May 2011.[12] The School District incurred construction costs of $476,029 to replace the flooring (not including added relocation, management, or operating costs).[13]

The Rotunda


South Shore School has a focus on early childhood education, in particular pre-kindergarten to grade three. Strategies employed include small class sizes, full-day Pre-K and Kindergarten, active family engagement, a wellness program, an aligned curriculum across all grade levels, and common professional development for teachers. The school's early education program is supported financially by a public-private partnership through the New School Foundation and the League of Education Voters Foundation, which combined in 2011.[14][15]

Specific programs offered at the school include:[16]

  • All School Silence - 3 minutes of silence observed every morning in the Rotunda
  • Spirit Assemblies - for students and families, to showcase learning through performing arts, in the Rotunda
  • Counseling
  • English Language Learners (ELL)
  • Garden
  • General Music K-5
  • Powerful Readers


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 47°31′27″N 122°16′19″W / 47.52417°N 122.27194°W / 47.52417; -122.27194