Seattle Public Schools


Community Partnerships

Boys in class

SPS School and Community Partnerships

Mission and Vision

The mission of the School and Community Partnerships Department (SCP) is to build collaborative, cross-sector partnership systems that facilitate a consistent and student-centered ecosystem of supports and experiences for students.

SCP’s vision is that Seattle Public Schools and Community Partners build transformational, equity-driven, anti-racist partnerships that spark students’ curiosity, affirm their identities, and support them to thrive in school and in life.

Areas of Focus

Our department collaborates with partners representing our district, community-based organizations (CBOs) and public agencies. We seek to build new and improved ways of collaborating with partners across sectors so that we can find alignment in our shared work of serving our youth and work together to provide the right supports for partnerships to thrive.

Our department is committed to creating and offering supports that build the capacity of schools and community based organizations to effectively and authentically partner. We also work to create connections between Seattle Public Schools (SPS) departments and partners, especially to promote alignment with district priorities and key initiatives. To see the rich calendar of professional learning opportunities our department and partners have jointly organized for community-based organizations, visit our Professional Development page.

In order to support consistent, high-quality partnerships, our office is engaged in building and improving partnership onboarding processes, establishing key partnership tools and processes, and providing technical assistance. In addition, we will build systems to better match schools and partners, to support principals to effectively select partners that will meet their students’ needs, and to support both schools and community-based organizations to align services and work through challenges.

Our department seeks to create consistent and accessible systems for collecting feedback from CBOs that center students of color furthest from educational justice, as well as centering Black-led and culturally-responsive CBOs to inform partnership models, approaches and supports for schools and partnering organizations.

Strategic Initiatives

The SCP 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.

This initiative aims to address and end the pervasive cycle of multi-generational poverty in our community in an innovative way. Together, we focus on improving the educational outcomes of low-income children and youth as a strategy to support families and strengthen our broader community.

Read more about the district housing partnerships.

The Community Alignment Initiative is a framework that guides how schools and school-based before and after school licensed child care programs, community learning centers, and school-based health centers work collectively to support the academic pursuits, social and emotional development, and overall well-being of students. Visit our Aligned Partners page to learn more

Creative Advantage is a public-private partnership between the City of Seattle, Seattle Public Schools, the Seattle Foundation and community-based organizations. Through this partnership, we work to ensure equitable implementation of the arts for all students in the District. Visit the Creative Advantage website to learn more.

The City’s Department of Education and Early Learning and Seattle Public Schools are working in partnership to implement 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.    

In 2011 Seattle University launched the Seattle University Youth Initiative, 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. For more information on how the partnership functions and lesson learned thus far, check out this report from Cohen Research and Evaluation.

2023-24 Partnership Recognitions

Our community is enriched by the hundreds of community partnerships that celebrate, engage, and support the students and families of Seattle Public Schools. Strong partnerships between schools, our central office, and community-based organizations are key to ensuring that every student has the supports they need to thrive. Below is a selection of just a few of the amazing partnerships that positively impacted Seattle Public Schools students during the 2023-24 school year, nominated by members of our community.

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School Connect Washington was started in 2022, building on the foundation of the long time partnership between Seattle Chinese Alliance Church and Dearborn Park International Elementary School. This partnership currently focuses on after school programming, creating a safe space where students get 1:1 tutoring combined with a place to be kids and have fun. School Connect WA accommodate for learning at all levels and skills, and partners with Dearborn Park staff to develop specific learning plans for each student in the program. As a result, Dearborn Park staff celebrated student participants tremendous academic growth, but increases in confidence, engagement and love of learning.

School Connect WA has laid a strong foundation of partnership, and that wouldn’t be possible without the collaboration and support from school administrators and teachers. School Connect WA puts tremendous effort into aligning their programming with small intervention groups run by Dearborn Park staff during the school day. This includes regular planning conversations with school staff and weekly check ins. This intentional collaboration allowed their afterschool instruction to have a significant impact on student’s success in the classroom.

Wrote one parent of a student in the program: “She is now above her grade level and is thriving in school. She LOVES learning and her favorite subject is math. I can confidently say that School Connect WA has had a direct impact in closing academic gaps for BOTH of my children”.

Please visit School Connect Washington’s website to learn more!

The School Based Health Center from Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic (OBCC) supports Lowell Elementary students and families in countless ways for medical, dental, mental health, and basic needs. Lowell administration and staff and OBCC collaborate closely across multiple support teams, including the Family Engagement Committee and Social Emotional Learning Team to ensure that all students have access to needed services at no cost to them and with minimal disruptions to learning. As a part of OBCC’s commitment to an integrated school partnership, the OBCC clinic is present at many school events to increase visibility and alignment, and to build meaningful family connections. Additionally, the OBCC health center provides services like telehealth, language interpretation, and vaccine clinics to further help remove barriers for families.

OBCC’s commitment to ensuring access to services for students and families and supports an increase in student health, wellness, and school engagement. Midway through the 2022-23 school year, the OBCC clinic had approximately 30 students enrolled in the clinic. This year, as a result the relentless outreach of OBCC staff and school partnership alignment, there are now 200 students enrolled. The OBCC staff have also played a pivotal role in helping make sure no student is excluded due to vaccination compliance requirements.

The clinic coordinator shared, “As I sit at my desk in the clinic, I get kids waving hello, and other students come into the clinic with a pass — they just need a break and have asked to go sit in the clinic for a few moments to decompress. Our custodian bestows upon me gifts of homemade baked goods. Our conference room is used by the nurse for hearing checks, the social worker for groups, and everything in between… All of this tells me that we are part of the community, the larger school community, and all the work we are doing is paying off.”

We are thankful for this powerful partnership. Thank you, Lowell Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic and School Based Health Center!

Providence Mount St. Vincent partners with the SPS BRIDGES program to provide valuable work experience in a community program, allowing our transition students to learn professional work skills that will help them find gainful employment upon graduation. This year Providence expanded the partnership to include into many more Providence departments, growing from 2 internship sites to 9, including Engineering, Building Operations, Providence Foundation, the Intergenerational Learning Center, and many more!

The partnership between Bridges and Providence has helped build a new community of inclusion for these young adults, allowing them to gain work experience and build upon life skills in a safe, caring environment where they are known and acknowledged for their contributions to the community. This allows the students to gain confidence and learn to self-advocate for their needs as they transition to the adult world.  Providence has proven to be an incredibly strong community partner, solidly focused on supporting the Bridges Program and its mission to empower young adults with disabilities.

Neighborhood House partnered this year with Hawthorne Elementary to provide a multi-part workshop for families called Guiding Good Choices. This workshop is an effective evidence-based parenting skills workshop developed by the University of Washington. It has been shown to increase parent and youth communication, supporting families with setting clear guidelines and rules, building strong relationships, and supporting healthy choices with their kids.

Hawthorne sought out this partnership in response to families asking for more tools to support their youth. The workshop consisted of 5 sessions, once a week for 5 weeks. Part of what made this workshop so successful was the coordination between multiple partners to help remove barriers to participation. Workshops were held in both English and Spanish, dinner was provided by Neighborhood House, and childcare was coordinated by the PTA and provided by another wonderful partner, Launch. This excellent collaboration ensured that family turnout was high, and the feedback from families was that they valued the supportive space to share challenges and talk about tools and strategies they can use to address those challenges.

This partnership is a great example of Hawthorne staff listening to family needs and partnering with a trusted organization like Neighborhood House to help address those needs. Thank you Neighborhood House! Visit to learn more about Guiding Good Choices.

The King County School to Work program partners with BRIDGES  to support students with developmental and intellectual disabilities in getting their first paid job before leaving high school. The School-to-Work program motto is ‘Jobs by June’ and they live up to that promise! Students receive job placement, job coaching/training, and job retention supports. This partnership thrives because of a shared desire to support students and families to make the transition from school to adult life as seamless as possible, as well as a core value that all students, regardless of their disability, have the right to employment and the opportunity to contribute to their communities. King County School to Work also demonstrates an ongoing commitment to serving diverse students and families and providing the language access support to help them navigate complex systems necessary for post-graduation supports. To learn more about the King County School to Work Program, please visit their website.

Seattle and King County Programs

To get an idea of the many programs and services available in Seattle and King County, please visit:

Email List for Partners

We periodically send out emails to our partners with updates and opportunities. If you would like to be added to this email list, email us at