Seattle Public Schools

Northgate (now Baldwin)

School Design Advisory Team

Northgate Elementary SDAT

Seattle Public Schools created the School Design Advisory Team (SDAT) process to allow each school community to have input into renovation of or construction of their school building. This process provides a means of integrating a school’s vision and educational goals into the design within the structure of the district Educational Specifications (Ed Specs). The result is refinement of the Ed Specs to create school designs that support each school’s educational goals.

The SDAT is composed of members of the school and community who help guide the design process by advising how the building design can align with the culture and educational needs of Northgate Elementary School. This group worked closely with the district’s project manager, and the architects for the project. They participated in a series of workshops and tours.

The SDAT identifies the vision, philosophy, and objectives of the school and community, and provides a consistent and diverse voice for user groups in the pre-planning phase of project design. Information gathered in this process along with Technical Support Group Review information helped create the site-specific educational specification that informed the architectural design team.

Project Goals

These school specific goals were developed during the School Design Advisory Team (SDAT) process.

  • Non-institutional feel — a place the student and families feel like they belong
  • Strong sense of community — encourage close connections and overlapping of groups
  • Exceptional tapestry of spacial choices — variety of areas for different activities (not a hallway with doors). 
  • Encourages curiosity — curiosity is the starting point for interest in reading and engagement.
  • Connections to outdoors — garden spaces, nature, and movement.
  • A place that is restorative — areas for teachers to recharge, for students to feel safe and supported, and for families to feel supported.

SDAT Minutes