To help prepare our students to become productive contributors in a changing world, we conduct our learning in a Culture of Performance where students demonstrate they can do what they have learned. This includes hands-on direct service with personal reflection. Our Core Values of Trust, Respect, Integrity, and Responsibility help to infuse our mission within our community.
- Action in support of either our local or global community to benefit the greater good of the said community.
- Direct hands-on service (serving food at a food bank) or service with organizations that provide direct services to individuals, groups and/or causes (helping a shelter with a mailing or their organization fundraising event), IS recognized as service that counts toward our graduation requirement. We recognize this as work the organization needs to be done to deliver direct services that will benefit the larger community in need.
- Service addressing an unmet need. Is an underserved disadvantaged population the beneficiary of the service? Or, is delivery of the service dependent on volunteer support?
We strive to instill three key principles we believe will encourage our students to become life-long contributors:
- The service of one individual CAN and DOES make a difference.
- As a team, together we can make a significant impact.
- Our approach to serving starts with seeking the community perspective regarding the need. We believe we can best serve by beginning with this show of honor and respect. We understand we cannot enter into a community believing we have all of the answers and know what that community needs. We believe we must listen and engage in a dialogue with community members about their needs to serve effectively.
At the middle school level, our goal is to contextualize service for our students. Through intentional and unique grade-level service activities, our students gain an understanding of the importance and value of giving back.
Seattle Challenge is a three-day urban retreat designed for Seattle Academy’s 8th-grade students. The program explores the realities of people who experience poverty and homelessness in the city of Seattle. Students are divided into small groups of seven or eight 8th graders and each group is accompanied by a faculty member. Their days are divided between supervised service projects with local social service agencies and walks through the city to visit agencies and organizations that support people who are experiencing poverty and homelessness. Evenings are devoted to speakers and to discussion and reflection on the events of the day. At night, students sleep on the floors of pre-arranged locations. Seattle Academy is committed to providing opportunities for our students to contribute to the larger community as they move through the school’s program towards adulthood.
As part of our Service Learning goals, we challenge Upper School students to put service into action, then reflect on the personal meaning of that service. We believe this helps students gain a better understanding and sense of the value of community service. Upper school students have a 160-hour graduation requirement. Some of these hours can be earned on our service learning trips.