our mission and vision:
Seattle School for Boys encourages and inspires boys to become collaborative learners, creative thinkers, and compassionate leaders who genuinely care about our diverse global community.
Seattle School for Boys provides experiential learning to a diverse community of middle-school-aged boys through a problem-based approach rooted in neural education. We celebrate creativity, invention, and holistic self-expression.
Through the use of evidence-based teaching methods, our learning platform advances the social, emotional, and cognitive growth of boys and inspires them to become active members in their community while championing social justice.
Bringing joy, curiosity and rigor to learning.
Open mindedness and thoughtful engagement with our community.
You. Me. Us. Them. Mutual respect and compassion.
Self-awareness, self-expression and collaborative work.
our learning space:
Our classrooms are currently located at 2800 S. Massachusetts Street in Seattle. We are renting space at the Our Lady at Mount Virgin Church, although SSB is not affiliated with it or any other religious organization. This location in central Seattle invites community partnering opportunities (such as with the Northwest African American Museum a few blocks away), ensures that lunchtime can be a time for fresh air and free play (like frisbee and climbing trees at parks), and encourages outdoor exploration practically in our own backyard (with a greenbelt stretching from our campus to Lake Washington). Public transportation options abound.
At Seattle School for Boys, we believe that adolescent boys learn best when they are allowed to move their bodies and when they are given the opportunity to actively engage in the curriculum.
So, when delving into many topics, the four walls of the typical classroom give way to trees and rivers and dirt paths. SSB dreams of a Mobile Education Laboratory to shuttle students from the indoor classroom to limitless outdoor spaces, utilizing the many public parks and spaces nearby. In addition to outdoor education opportunities, partnerships with community organizations allow our students to get hands-on experience and guidance from experts in areas such as engineering, construction, the arts, and more. At SSB, students spend a significant amount of their time thoughtfully engaged in experiential learning activities outside of the classroom.
Co-Founder. Chief Academic Officer, Humanities teacher
Director of Student Life, STEAM Teacher
Interim Head of School
Director of Admissions, STEAM teacher
Staff: Registrar and Administrative Assistant
Staff: Entrepreneur & Math Competition Creator
SSB is a Subscriber Member of the Northwest Association of Independent Schools (NWAIS), which is the first step in SSB’s progression to NWAIS accreditation.
Our program is based on the pillars of neural education, equitable and experiential learning, and engagement with the community.
Neural Education in Practice
- Students are taught about the function and anatomy of the brain.
- Based on a model developed by University of Washington researchers that applies important neuroscience theories, our students engage in an iterative learning process during problem-based activities and independent assignments.
- A focus on strengthening the working memory, and the transfer of knowledge from short-term to long-term memory, using established principles that promote sound reasoning, thoughtful behaviors, and logical decision making.
- Promote synaptic efficiency through academic stimulation. “Cells that wire together, fire together.”
- Social and emotional curricula woven with ethnic studies to foster empathy, compassion, and openness to prepare students for the rigors and challenges of learning.
- Support the development of identity by teaching healthy modes of communication, confidence, and contributions to their community.
- Eliminate labels and social stratification through a reflection of learning and a narrative grading process.
- A warm and inclusive 21st-century learning environment.
- Tools that provide boys time to invest in their interests and make decisions that are authentically their own.
- Building the foundation for knowledge transfer where collaborative skills become mutually rewarding between learning environments, cooperating businesses, and the public sector.
- Preparing our students for the next stage of their academic journey through experiential learning.
Engagement With Community
- Problem-based assignments directly connected with local organizations to give learners real-world experiences.
- Engage with a variety of environments to deepen interpersonal awareness.
Seattle School for Boys offers a balanced curriculum that prepares students for a variety of high school learning and social environments.
SSB’s full-time teachers ensure that our students are appropriately challenged in the standard core subjects of math, science, language arts and the humanities. Multi-dimensional Spanish language instruction will be brought to our students. Boys will also regularly engage in the arts, with music, visual art, dance, and contemporary creative endeavors.
Unique to Seattle School for Boys is our b.me series, which is the critical underpinning of our entire curriculum and which is woven into our institutional fabric. The b.me series incorporates our mission, values, and curricular pillars, and is our primary vehicle for genuinely and honestly speaking to, guiding, and educating our boys. b.me provides the common language used by all faculty and students to ensure consistency and transparency in our values.
Implemented in four phases throughout the school year, with each year’s program building upon the prior, the b.me series is part of daily life at SSB.
A key to the Seattle School for Boys curriculum is integrated learning. Beyond simply tying various lesson plans together, our teachers creatively develop thematic work that integrates various subjects, helping our students to understand and tangibly grasp core concepts while discovering new applications for their developing skills and knowledge. A deep level of collaboration and adaptability is required of both teachers and students as the integrated projects unfold and evolve. Not only are our students gaining a solid foundation in core competencies, but they are developing skills that will make them both strong leaders and trusted team members. And all the while, our students will be engaged in interesting and joyful learning!
In four phases over the academic year, our 6th graders learn how the brain works, how it changes during the learning process, and how it is impacted by nutrition, exercise, sleep, environment, and stress. The Challenge Cycle is introduced. Boys explore concepts of self-awareness and self-expression, with opportunities for personal reflections, realizations, and revised thoughts. Understanding of self evolves into thoughts and feelings around interpersonal awareness, and the study of various cultures and communities, with time for making connections. The year culminates with each student developing his story, allowing each to narratively share his experiences and aspirations with a diverse audience.
Our 7th graders begin the year learning to move beyond stereotypes and societal messages around toxic masculinity, instead focusing on positive character development and an understanding of respect and empathy. The next phase helps our students practice resiliency, manage stress, and overcome adversity, while teaching them appropriate language when met with unfavorable outcomes and allowing them to move away from stratifying labels. The study covers our own and others’ culture and history, broadening students’ perspectives and helping to strengthen their intrinsic motivation and a sense of invested interest in the environment around them. Connecting character, resilience, and culture, our 7th graders close out the year by collectively setting goals to address the global challenges we face.
Growing from the seeds well planted and nourished in 6th and 7th grades, the 8th grade year has a strong outward focus. Boys grasp the importance of wellbeing through a sense of belonging, fostered by empathy and compassion, helping our students to become adept at building healthy interpersonal relationships. They tackle serious societal issues, designing solutions and partnering with community groups. Our students strengthen their understanding of positive social circles, comparing and contrasting real-world versus virtual relationships. The year culminates with the concept of choice and decision making. Students reflect on their middle school learning and, collectively, create a legacy, fostering collaboration, use of mental models, positive social circles, and mentorship to younger students.
Core subjects involve lots of binary, factual information, so SSB students take plenty of quizzes and tests to provide teachers with checkpoints on learning. For the benefit of our students, however, our teachers go beyond the quantifiable, carefully articulating in narrative form the skills mastered, concepts understood, and outcomes achieved for each student. The assessments incorporate not only the student’s binary and linear competency, but also his effort, fluency, and mastery of relevant skills and subjects. These narrative assessments are generated four times during the school year, following the culmination of each phase of the b.me series, with two full assessments and two updates.
In connection with the two full assessments per year, each student leads his parents and advisor through a personalized Student-Led Assessment Meeting. Each student prepares in advance for his SLAM, addressing his proudest achievements for the term, tangible and intangible progress, and details around his near-term and longer-term goals. Instead of sitting on the sidelines of their education, each SSB student takes an active role in his academic life.
Mobile Education Lab
The classroom and campus cannot provide all of the resources, tools, and experiences needed for all learning. When a more hands-on, place-based environment is called for, the four walls of the classroom dissolve and our Mobile Education Lab brings students to the learning. These academic adventures include days on the farm, studies of water systems, working with policymakers in their offices, testing hypotheses in a working laboratory, and growing food. The Mobile Ed Lab allows our students to go far beyond simply accumulating knowledge. By experiencing the realities related to familiar academic concepts, SSB students not only understand the concepts more deeply, they also get to apply their energy and curiosity in a positive, helpful, and joyful way.
Diverse learning opportunities
Students at Seattle School for Boys engage in a project-based curriculum that accommodates individual learners, small groups, and large groups in collaborative inquiry.
Building blocks that solidifies learner’s work.
Teaching boys to use technology to minimize distractions and maximize creativity and learning.
An interactive academic schedule with structured time for boys to foster social and emotional growth
Transition Time and Organizational Support
Athletics and After School Activities
After school athletics programs rotating in fall (soccer), winter (basketball), and spring (ultimate). Physical education programs and movement with outside vendors throughout the school year, addressing both physical and psychological components.
The Admission Committee at SSB wants to get to know you: your interests, your ideas, and your family. We invite you to attend our information sessions and open houses. Once you have begun your application, we will work with you to schedule time for us to have a conversation about what SSB can offer to your child and what your hopes and dreams are for your child’s middle school education.
If you have any questions, click to email Buck McKenna, Director of Admission.
Like many other local independent schools, Seattle School for Boys uses the online Ravenna platform to help streamline the admissions process.
To begin the application process, you will need to create an account in Ravenna. Through Ravenna you can manage your application online as well as receive admission decisions. Ravenna allows you to manage and submit your application online, register for Information Sessions and Open Houses, and request records/transcripts and teacher evaluations.
A $50 non-refundable application fee will be charged through Ravenna. If the application fee presents a barrier to applying, please contact the Admissions Office for a fee waiver. If you have any questions or concerns creating your account or logging in, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Standard application deadline is January 14, 2021
Post-deadline applications – We may continue to accept applications for specific grades on a rolling basis. Email BMcKenna@SeattleSchoolforBoys.org for more information.
Tiered Tuition: Making SSB Affordable
Core to the mission of Seattle School for Boys is the accessibility of our programs to a diverse range of students, regardless of family income level. With that in mind, we have structured SSB’s tuition in tiers ranging from full tuition ($15,000 in 2020-2021) to 5% of tuition. Tiers are assigned to students based on the review of a family’s financial data by SSS, a third-party service that has been engaged by SSB. The goal is to assign a tuition level that is within reach for each family, thus ensuring equitable access to our programs.
Tier I Full tuition
Tier II 75% of full tuition
Tier III 50% of full tuition
Tier IV 25% of full tuition
Tier V between 5% and 20% of full tuition
About Tiered Tuition
In order to create a foundation of understanding for dialogue with the school, families requesting Tier II through Tier V are required to submit salary and asset information (the “Parent Financial Statement”) via SSS, a service provided by the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) to help schools make informed decisions regarding tuition fees. Families requesting Tiers II through V must also submit complete income tax returns (including schedules) for each of the past two years. Families requesting Tier I are not required to submit any financial information.
The school’s Tier Committee makes a determination of what a family’s tier will be, taking into account the Parent Financial Statement, the related NAIS report and the family’s tax returns, other financial and personal information, and any special circumstances that may be brought to its attention. The Tier Committee then assigns Tiers within the school’s budget.
To request either Tiers II through V, please submit information via SSS [link]
Notification of Tier Level
If your child is accepted into Seattle School for Boys, the admissions office will send you written notification of acceptance and of the Tier level determination.
For more information about Financial Aid in independent schools visit the NWAIS website.
Serving the needs of boys
We are dedicated to serving the needs of middle-school-aged boys. SSB’s innovative curriculum is academically enthralling and challenging, and we provide support and guidance for the social-emotional needs of SSB students.
By joining Seattle School for Boys, your son will embark on an academic journey fueled by curiosity, engagement, and a joyful approach to learning.
While we can’t host visitors in person right now, we’re available to connect with you remotely and share a virtual window into the SSB community. We invite you to explore this website and follow us on Instagram to get acquainted with SSB, but the best way to learn if our school is the right fit for your family is to contact us.
To join us for an Information Session, a Virtual Open House, or speak with our admissions director, please register at Ravenna or email BMcKenna@SeattleSchoolforBoys.org.
- January 14, 2021 – Admission applications due
- February 12, 2021 – Financial Aid applications for Tiered Tuition due
- March 19, 2021 – Admission notification is posted on Ravenna at 12:00 p.m., and Tiered Tuition decisions are emailed at 12:00 p.m.
- March 26, 2021 – Family response deadline by 12:00 p.m.
SSB is not requiring testing as a component of the 2020-2021 admission process.
Become a part of our community, as together we encourage boys to grow into collaborative, creative and compassionate men.
Thank you for considering your gift to Seattle School for Boys. Whether you’re a donor, a volunteer or mentor, your support will make an immediate impact as we bring open minded, joyful and rigorous learning to our boys.