13 Aug

Summit Public Schools approved to open 6-12th grade public charter school in West Seattle next fall

West Seattle area students and families will now have another public school choice for middle and high school, after the Washington State Charter School Commission today unanimously approved a new charter for Summit Public Schools.

The West Seattle school will open to an inaugural sixth grade class and ninth grade class in August 2016, eventually rolling up to a full 6-12th grad school over the next four years.

“We are thrilled that West Seattle students and families will now have another public school option,” said Jen Wickens, Summit Washington Chief Regional Officer. “We’ve already seen a lot of interest from families and we look forward to working with the community to grow and develop our school, bringing our strong mentorship program and college-going culture to West Seattle.”

All Summit Public Schools are publicly funded and free to attend. Each Summit Public School’s mission is to ensure that every student has the opportunity to not only attend, but succeed in, a four-year college or university. The West Seattle school is Summit Public Schools’ third location in the Puget Sound. School starts next week for students at Summit Sierra, a 9-12th high school in Seattle’s Chinatown-International District, and for Summit Olympus, a 9-12th high school in Tacoma.

Summit has already secured a building for the new West Seattle school through Pacific Charter School Development, which acquired the property at the Southwest corner of 35th and Roxbury. And longtime Summit educator Greg Ponikvar plans to launch the new school and will serve as the principal. He is moving to the community this summer.

“We will spend the next year listening to and talking with West Seattle families and students about how we can best meet their needs,” Ponikvar said. “We will be getting our school ready and recruiting high-quality teachers who follow our philosophy that every student – through mentorship, personalized learning and rigorous academics – can succeed in college.”

For families interested in attending the new public charter school, visit www.summitps.org/apply.

30 Apr

Summit Public Schools Sets New Bar With Over 99 Percent Of Students Accepted To College

Summit Public Schools announced today that for the first time since its inception, at least 99 percent of its high school seniors across all four of Summit’s high schools that are graduating classes this year have been accepted to at least one four-year college.

100 percent of seniors at both of Summit’s San Jose high schools, Summit Rainier and Summit Tahoma, as well as Summit Everest in Redwood City have received acceptances to at least one four-year college. Summit Prep, also of Redwood City, now has 96 percent of its seniors accepted to a four-year college. The San Jose schools were the first to embrace Summit’s innovative personalized learning model that has now been adopted Summitwide. Through this model, students engage in deeper learning projects and are empowered to become self-directed learners, helping them to develop the habits and skills that lead to academic and personal success, including college acceptance.

Summit will celebrate these accomplishments this Friday morning in San Jose at Summit Rainier, and in Redwood City at Summit Everest as well as Summit Prep. Summit students will share their college acceptance as part of the White House’s National College Signing Day on May 1st. Part of the White House and First Lady’s Reach Higher Initiative, this day celebrates students getting accepted into college with live events at high schools across the country.

“Earning a four-year college acceptance is an incredibly important achievement that shows just how hard our students have worked to get here,” said Summit founder and CEO Diane Tavenner. “We are so proud of all of our students who have demonstrated that they are college and career ready.”

Many Summit students overcame strong obstacles to reach this point. Nearly half (over 45 percent) of Summit’s graduating seniors will be the first in their family to attend college, another Summit milestone. The majority of Summit students who were accepted into a four-year college also began ninth grade at a Summit school.

Sofia Canela Torres, who will graduate from Summit Tahoma, is bound for Mills College this fall as the first in her family to attend college. Sofia started at Summit Tahoma in ninth grade, quickly becoming involved in the Science Club, Student Council and now as the Senior Class President.

“Even though I will be the first in my family to go to college, I am confident that I will succeed because of all that I learned at Summit, and through everything my teachers at Summit did to prepare me for this next step,” said Torres. “Everyone in my family is so proud of me and we are all so excited for me to start college.”

This announcement comes just one week after two Summit schools were recognized by the Washington Post in their 2015 America’s Most Challenging High Schools ranking. Of all California high schools, Summit Prep came in 30th and Summit Everest came in 53rd overall.