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    Strategic Initiatives

    The School and Community Partnerships Department has a number of strategic initiatives. These initiatives are borne from strong, intentional partnerships with major strategic partners that are supporting Seattle Public Schools to improve outcomes for children.

    1. Seattle Housing Authority

    The goal of the partnership between Seattle Public SchoolsKids studying (SPS) and Seattle Housing Authority (SHA) is to improve educational outcomes for the over 6,000 school age students who are served by both Seattle Housing Authority and Seattle Public Schools. Currently, SHA serves over 12% of all Seattle Public Schools students, and these students attend schools across the district.

    We are partnering to address and end the pervasive cycle of multi-generational poverty in our community in an innovative way. Together, we will focus on improving the educational outcomes of low-income children and youth as a strategy to support family self-sufficiency (increasing economic and social mobility and building social capital) and to strengthen our broader community.

    To achieve our ambitious end goal requires taking a multi-year partnership approach that addresses achievement/opportunity gaps and promotes the implementation of policies that align each of our institution’s practices, removes barriers, and better supports students and families experiencing the challenges of poverty.

    Read more about the district housing partnerships.

    2The Creative Advantage

    Students who have the opportunity to participate in arts education do better academically, are more engaged in learning, are less likely to drop out of Kindergartnersschool and more likely to go on to college.

    The arts are simply a fundamental part of a great public education. The Creative Advantage, Seattle Public Schools’ Arts Plan with the vision of ensuring every student at every school learns through the arts, every year from kindergarten through 12th grade.

    To realize this vision, the Creative Advantage is a public-private partnership between the City of Seattle, Seattle Public Schools, the Seattle Foundation and community based partners. Through this collective, we work to ensure equitable implementation of the arts for all students in the District.

    By 2020, we will have visual arts and music instructors in all elementary schools, opportunities for students and teachers to collaborate with community-based artists every year, and more opportunities for students to make meaningful connections between the arts and other content areas through integrated arts instruction and to connect arts to careers in Creative industries through Media Arts Skills Centers.

    To see the great work of the Creative Advantage in action, watch this video created by the Seattle Channel.

    3. City of Seattle Families and Education Levy

    The overarching goals of the City of Seattle’s Families and Education Levy are to ensure all of Seattle's children will

    1. Enter kindergarten prepared to succeed
    2. Achieve academically
    3. Graduate from high school prepared for college or career, and that the achievement gap will be reduced

    The City’s Department of Education and Early Learning and Seattle Public Schools are working in partnership to realize these goals by implementing strategic investments in select elementary, middle and high schools during the school year, summer learning programs, physical and mental health supports, and community-based family support organizations. We are partnering to ensure that that staff serving our students have the skills and resources they need to provide the critical supports to students who are struggling academically.    

    4. Seattle University Youth Initiative

    In 2011 Seattle University launched the Seattle University Youth Initiative (SUYI), a long-term commitment which unites campus and the wider community to improve the academic achievement of low-income youth living in the greater Yesler Terrace/Bailey Gatzert neighborhood.

    The SUYI pursues three interconnected goals:

    1. To prepare children to graduate from high school and to succeed in higher education and in life
    2. To empower Seattle University students, faculty, staff and alumni as leaders for a just and humane world
    3. To advance the field of higher education and community engagement

    To ensure a pipeline of academic support for youth, SUYI strategy includes implementing programs and activities at the four public schools within the geographical zone: Bailey Gatzert Elementary School, Washington Middle School, Garfield High School, and the Middle College High school located on SU’s campus.

    Seattle U serves as the lead community partner at Bailey Gatzert Elementary School. A full-time Success Coordinator (SU employee), two AmeriCorps members, and dozens Seattle Students provide direct support in classrooms and help facilitate after school programming. For more information on how the partnership functions and lesson learned thus far, check out this report from Cohen Research and Evaluation.