The school accepts students ages 16 to 20, many of whom are at risk of not graduating or who already may have dropped out of the traditional school setting.
“Rather than giving up on graduating,” said Brunton, shown at right, “we help them catch up – catch up on graduating, catch up on life.Although the space is available to the alternative public school for free through a partnership with the mall’s Simon Youth Foundation, budget cuts throughout the Seattle School District are taking a toll on the school, which has seen its teaching staff reduced from five to two teachers since it opened 10 years ago.
Senior Delaney Grieve, the mind behind this weekend’s bake sale, speaks with pride about the school in a way that’s rare in many high school students: “It’s small and the teachers are so helpful,” she said. “They get you on track to graduate if you’re not going to, and the school has great scholarships.”
That’s where the Simon Youth Foundation comes back into the picture. Not only do Simon malls across the nation house schools similar to Northgate MCHS, but the Simon Youth Foundation also offers scholarships to those students.Nearby North Seattle Community College is also a part of this unique public-private partnership, which helps prepare students for college by allowing them to work independently.
They will be having a silent auction on March 3 from 5-7 (more details to come).
This is one of those outreach programs that is important even though it serves a small number of students. If we are serious about trying multiple ways to reach and graduate every student, it is important to keep programs like this alive. (I will gently say that Kay Smith-Blum made it clear that the Board is going to protect sports. Okay but don't do that at the expense of programs like this one.)