The Program | Service

“Seattle Academy uses its urban environment to enrich the curriculum, to develop students’ independence, and to build their understanding and respect for the diversity of people and cultures. The school offers a myriad of opportunities for students to participate in the world as responsible citizens.”
–from Seattle Academy Philosophy Statement

We extend our classrooms, and our students extend themselves. Upper School students complete 160 hours of community service, and both Middle and Upper Schools sponsor several service days and club activities. Our vibrant urban location allows us to foster opportunities for service and partnerships, and it supports our dynamic participation in a diverse society. Service is a meaningful and active way to grow responsibility, respect, and integrity.

Our community service activities are chosen by students and faculty alike and developed in conjunction with real needs. Our goal is to expose students to something new while asking them to use their skills and instincts and to have a lasting effect on those we serve. Faculty expertise and connections ensure that we provide quality service that students can be proud of; Seattle Academy staff has created strong multi-year partnerships with other organizations to this effect. Many of our students work with faculty to cultivate long-term projects based on their initial community service experience and learn how to work with an organization to design their own projects.

All seniors end their year with a six-week, full-time Senior Project, working off campus in businesses and non-profit agencies. Students put their education into practice, Taking Risks and Integrating Skills in Daily Action. We believe that a diverse and inclusive school community is essential to education, and engaging with one’s communities brings learning to life.

W49 Service OVW49 Service OV2 Rv2

The Program | Service
Service Opportunities

W50 Serv OppsStudents can meet the service requirement internally, externally, or through a combination of both. Our Service Coordinator is available with various resources to help match students to their interests.




One way students can earn service credits internally is through various clubs. There is a student-driven Community Service Organization that participates in various service drives throughout the year. In the past, these drives have included collecting holiday presents for families in need, preparing food for homeless teenagers, and visiting families of service men and women who are currently serving overseas.

Another internal opportunity at the school is to serve as a tour guide for our Open Houses. After going through a training program, on the night of our Open Houses students tour prospective families around the school and answer questions about admission, our program, and other offerings. Other internal opportunities include our Environmental Club, which helps the Facilities Department ensure we are composting and recycling as much as possible, and our Zambia Club, which helps raise funds and goods for our partner schools in Lusaka, Zambia.

The Community Service Coordinator has a database of service agencies throughout the city who need great volunteers. The experiences range from packing food at the local food banks, to maintaining trails in our local parks. Wherever students’ interests might be there is a service opportunity for them.

The Program | Service
Service Trips

Community Service is an important part of Seattle Academy curriculum. In addition to the service opportunities available to students in our community, we offer several trips each year which include a significant service component such as teaching technology skills to children in Africa, providing relief services to areas experiencing disasters, and building homes for those who cannot afford them. These trips help further our goal of instilling our students with a lifetime commitment to helping others.

Past Trips have included: Costa Rica, New Orleans, New Mexico, Vietnam, Zambia

W51 Serv Trips C

The Program | Service

Seattle Challenge is a three-day urban experience designed for Seattle Academy’s 8th grade students. The program simulates the experiences of both the urban residential poor and the homeless. Students experience some of the feelings of frustration and hopelessness that some members of our urban community cope with on a regular basis, and they also learn some of the resources available to the homeless and the poor. The students’ days are divided between supervised work projects with local social service agencies and walks through the city to visit the agencies and organizations that support the poor and homeless. Evenings are devoted to speakers and to discussion and processing of the events of the day. During the three days, students experience food lines. At night, they sleep in simulated shelters that have been specially arranged for the retreat.

Seattle Academy is committed to providing opportunities for our students to contribute to the larger community as they move through the school’s program toward adulthood. Seattle Challenge supports our students’ development as members of our school community and the larger community of which we are a part. The experience encourages students to respond creatively and concretely to the demands of citizenship in a diverse and changing society. We feel the experience helps foster in each individual a sense of independence as well as an awareness of our community and our mutual dependence on one another.

W52 SeaChall Rv2Seattle Challenge is:

  • A three-day urban retreat in downtown Seattle for all 8th graders
  • Groups of eight or nine students, with a teacher as leader for each group.
  • Each day = supervised work projects at social service agencies & trips around the city to visit the many (30+) agencies that support the poor and homeless.