The South Shore School is a public pre-K to 8th grade school in southeast Seattle. The student population is 50 percent black, 29 percent Asian/Pacific Islander, 13 percent white, and 8 percent Hispanic. More than half of all students (56 percent) receive free or reduced-price lunches.

By starting earlier, addressing each student’s learning strengths and challenges, engaging families and fostering social and emotional development along with academics, the school gets strong results for all children. Strategies that have been tested, and proven to work, at the South Shore School include:

  • Small class sizes
  • Full-day pre-K and kindergarten
  • Active family engagement
  • A leading wellness program
  • Aligned curriculum across all grade levels
  • Common professional development for teachers

South Shore is part of a national pre-K–3rd grade movement of schools, districts, educators, and universities seeking to improve how children from ages 3 to 8 learn and develop in schools. While these different efforts use a variety of names, all are working to connect high-quality pre-K programs with high-quality elementary schools.

Published in 2013, an ECONorthwest study found that students who enrolled at South Shore in pre-K significantly outperformed demographically similar students attending other Seattle Public Schools in math and moderately outperformed them in reading.


Early Evidence of Learning Gains at Seattle’s South Shore School. ECONorthwest. (November 2013)