28 Jul

Sneak peek at new Summit Atlas in West Seattle

Construction crews are finishing work on the new charter public school, which opens to students August 21

The building once housed a Safeway grocery store, and then a church. Now, it’s the home of Seattle’s newest charter public school: Summit Atlas.

On Friday, members of the media and a few families and students joined Summit leaders for a hard hat tour to see the changes to the building at the Southwest corner of 35th and Roxbury, which will open its doors Aug. 21 to students.

“I really like all the open spaces and the bright colors,” said Vega Rietberg, 13, who will be attending 9th grade at Summit Atlas.

Like Summit’s other schools in Puget Sound – Summit Sierra High School in the International District and Summit Olympus High School in Tacoma – the school is bright, cheery and has flexible space for students. Classrooms have rolling garage doors that allow them to open up into a larger common space, giving teachers flexibility when projects require collaboration.

Principal Katie Bubalo said the teaching staff is excited about the space, which complements the school’s focus on core academics, personalized learning and providing every student with an adult mentor. The school is close to fully enrolled, and its student population reflects the diversity of the West Seattle and White Center communities it serves.

“This is an incredible community with incredible kids who deserve an incredible education,” Bubalo said. “At Summit, 99% of our graduates were accepted into college this school year. I can’t wait to work in partnership with our families, students, and teachers to ensure the story is the same at Atlas. College success and service to others–that is what we will be working toward and working on every day in this awesome building.”

The new school starts with sixth grade and ninth grade, and will eventually serve students in 6-12th grades. Sado Awad, mother to 11-year-old Kadar Mahamud, said she is excited to have this new public school option in her neighborhood.

“It’s a new school with a lot of good opportunities,” she said.

The school will also focus on giving back to the community with time on Fridays set aside for community service opportunities for students. During the tour, Bubalo said the school will focus on the 3 C’s: college success, community service, and building character.

Construction is financed by the nonprofit Pacific Charter School Development. James Heugas, the regional director of the PCSD, said his team is proud of the work done to create a unique and modern building out of a former grocery store. As the school grows, the building will add another wing to accommodate students.

All Summit schools are tuition-free and open to all students. There are still a few seats left. Learn more about Summit Atlas at http://atlas.summitps.org/

Summit Atlas will hold its official ribbon cutting on Wednesday, Aug. 16 from 5-6:30 p.m.

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