Seattle school for boys

Educating boys to become compassionate and intellectual leaders

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Mobile learning in addition to four-walled classroom instruction

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Programs and curriculum prepare students for a variety of high school learning and social environments

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.

our values:

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 1716 23rd Avenue in Seattle. We are renting space at the Ebenezer A.M.E. Zion 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 Meredith Matthews YMCA right next door), ensures that lunchtime can be a time for fresh air and free play (like frisbee and skateboarding at Homer Harris pocket park just steps away), and encourages outdoor exploration practically in our own backyard (with the Washington Park Arboretum providing acres of natural space to explore). 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’s Mobile Education Laboratory shuttles 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.

ACCREDITATION

SSB is seeking Subscriber Member status with the Northwest Association of Independent Schools (NWAIS), which is the first step in SSB’s progression to NWAIS accreditation.

NWAIS Core Values

  • Healthy, Just, Diverse, and Inclusive Communities
  • Continuous Improvement
  • The Transformative Power of Leadership
  • The Positive Impact of Independent School Education

NWAIS Essential Characteristics of Member Schools

  • Commitment to the Public Good
  • Effective Governance and Operations
  • Physical Location or Place
  • Primary Focus of Academic Education
  • Commitment to the Best Interests of Children
  • NWAIS Non-discrimination Statement for Affiliated Schools

Our PROGRAM

Our program is based on the pillars of neural education, equitable and experiential learning, and engagement with the community.

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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.”
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Equitable Learning

  • 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.
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Experiential Learning

  • 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.
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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.

curriculum

Seattle School for Boys offers a balanced curriculum that prepares students for a variety of high school learning and social environments.

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Core Subjects

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.

b.me Series

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.

Integrated Learning

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!

GRADE SIX

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.

GRADE SEVEN

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.

GRADE EIGHT

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.

Assessments

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.

Perhaps if tearful little boys were comforted instead of shamed there wouldn’t be so many angry men struggling to express and empathize with emotions.”

Lelia Scholl

“Challenging the prevailing norms of masculinity is more important than giving boys a list of all the things they shouldn’t do.

Peter Glick

While society is chipping away at giving girls broader access to life’s possibilities, it isn’t presenting boys with a full continuum of how they can be in the world. That is not only about keeping individual boys from free self-expression. It is keeping women down, too.” 

Sarah Rich

student life

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. 

Keystone Projects

Building blocks that solidifies learner’s work.

Technology

Teaching boys to use technology to minimize distractions and maximize creativity and learning.

Daily schedule

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
Affinity Groups
Community Meetings

Adventure and innovation await you at Seattle School for Boys!

Admissions

Thank you for including Seattle School for Boys in your middle school search. We know that the process of finding the right school for your child can feel overwhelming, and Seattle has a dazzling array of academic options. But Seattle School for Boys is the only middle school that is exclusively focused on the needs of the adolescent boy.

Application Process

We hope that you’ll join us in this pioneering endeavor. We are confident that, together, we can build Seattle School for Boys into an incredible and enduring asset for our boys, our families, and our community.

Like many other local independent schools, Seattle School for Boys uses the online Ravenna platform to help streamline the admissions process. If you have applied to other schools using Ravenna, you’ll be able to leverage the work that you put into completing those applications. If SSB is the only Ravenna school to which you are applying, we hope that you’ll find the process to be efficient and easy to use. If you would prefer to complete our application materials by hand, simply email us at admission@seattleschoolforboys.org and we will send you PDFs or hard copies as requested.

Because SSB is a new school, it is critical to us (and surely to you as well) that you have the opportunity to get to know us and our program and that we have the opportunity to get to know you and your child. With this in mind, we invite you to attend our informational sessions, open houses, tours and other events and, once you have submitted your application materials, we will work with you to schedule time for us to have a conversation about what SSB can offer to your son and what your hopes and dreams are for your son’s middle school education.

Is your son a pioneer?

As a newly-opened school, we recognize that your commitment to join us requires a leap of faith. 

But we can assure you that we are dedicated to serving the needs of middle-school-aged boys, we are confident that SSB’s innovative curriculum will be academically enthralling and challenging, and we are ready to provide support and guidance for the social-emotional needs of SSB students.

By joining Seattle School for Boys, your son will join a cohort of pioneers embarking on an academic journey fueled by curiosity, engagement, and a joyful approach to learning.

Tuition based on a tiered approach depending on financial capacity

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 $0 to $15,000 for the 2020-2021 academic year. Tiers are assigned to students based on the review of a family’s financial data by 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.

Tuition tiers for students entering SSB for the the 2020-2021 academic year:

Tier I                            $15,000
Tier II                           $11,250
Tier III                          $7,500
Tier IV                          $3,750
Tier V                           < $3,750

If you would like to be considered for a tuition tier below Tier I, please let us know during the application process and we will put you in contact with the third-party service.

Become a part of our community, as together we encourage boys to grow into collaborative, creative and compassionate men.

  Giving

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.