Our Mission, Core Values and Core Practices


Spruce Street School is a nurturing educational community that instills in a broad range of children the social, emotional, and intellectual skills for lifelong participation in a diverse society.

We offer kindergarten through fifth grade students highly personalized instruction, supporting their social-emotional development as well as academic excellence. At Spruce Street School, we encourage students to anchor their learning in real-world applications, preparing them to be enthusiastic lifelong learners and able contributors to society.

Core Values

Community: Connections and relationships are at the heart of Spruce Street School. Our community is vibrant, inclusive, and connected. We are an intentionally small school: every student, family member and staff member is known, everyone belongs, and everyone matters.

Continuous Growth: Each member of the Spruce Street School community supports a culture of continuous growth and collaboration. We celebrate strengths, acknowledge challenges, take risks, work toward goals, learn from setbacks, lead, follow, and find ways to grow, both individually and as a community. Students leave Spruce Street School confident in who they are, and able to advocate for themselves and others.

Equity and Inclusion: Spruce Street School is a diverse community of students, families, and staff. At the core of this community are radical respect and deep care for every member. We work thoughtfully and intentionally to create a culture that fosters positive self-image, understanding of other perspectives, and a sense of belonging for all. We model and teach respect for each individual: who they are, where they are from, and what they bring to both the classroom and the community.

Joy: Learning and playing go hand in hand. In everything we do we strive to foster curiosity and wonder, find ways to celebrate discoveries, and make learning fun!

Core Practices

Civic Engagement: We teach students about their rights and responsibilities as citizens of their community and citizens of the world, challenging them to notice ways they can advocate and take action for what is right in their classroom, community, and world.

Community Connected Classroom: We use the dynamic urban community around us as an extension of our classroom. Connecting with local businesses and organizations expands learning opportunities and enriches our community.

Differentiated Integrated Instruction: We create opportunities for students to immerse themselves in topics and ideas as a learning community, with joyful, shared experiences and different entry points and opportunities for each individual child.

Intentionality: We make every decision with thought and purpose, from customizing a learning task for a particular child’s needs to updating a cherished community tradition. Our purpose with every decision is helping our students and families thrive.

Learning Through the Arts: We use visual and performing arts to explore the world, build opportunities for creative self-expression and growth, foster collaborative skills, and give each child a chance to shine.

Multi-age Classes: We design small, flexible groups in which students of different ages, skills and learning styles work and learn together.

Social Emotional Learning: We teach lessons in empathy, emotion management, and social problem solving, and we use conflicts and challenging moments purposefully as opportunities for reflection and growth.

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North Star Vision

By 2035, Spruce Street School will be the highest quality, most financially accessible K–5 independent school of its kind in the Seattle area – able to admit children who would thrive in our educational program and community, regardless of their families’ ability to pay. In addition, we will continue to be distinguished for our unique program and excellent teachers.