Change equals growth.

We believe that change is a natural and joyful part of life, if you have the capacity to adapt and evolve along with it.

Students at The Downtown School "learn how to learn" so they can prepare for a life in which rapid change is the norm. Through the process of working with inspirational teachers, motivated and curious peers, and a diverse range of community partners from across the Seattle area, students develop into critical and creative thinkers who can communicate and interact effectively in our global society. 

Read about how students at The Downtown School learn how to learn.

School doesn’t define you – you define the school.

The young people who attend The Downtown School form part a tight-knit community — but they aren’t defined wholly by their identity as students. Our academic program allows and encourages students to pursue their passions outside of school — for dance, for service, for sports, for technology — while also inviting them to bring those parts of their identity to school and enrich the learning environment.

Students here are deep thinkers, experimenting tinkerers, ardent activists, and loyal teammates. They are children, friends, siblings, and neighbors. They actively contribute to the world and want to make a difference. 

Learn about how our schedule creates room for students to follow their passions and interests.

Learning is joyful.

Above all, we embrace the joy of learning. The joy of discovery: learning about yourself and the world around you. The joy of curiosity: figuring out the who, what, where, when, and why. The joy of adventure: setting out with high expectations, encountering forward motion and setbacks, and designing new and original solutions.

Attending The Downtown School is not about receiving an acceptance letter from a specific college, and it’s about more than mastering content and answering questions on a test. It’s about learning from people who look, act, and think differently than you do but who share your curiosity and drive. It’s about building deep ties to a community that supports you because we all live in an interconnected world. It’s about being in the thick of the city and its fascinating and complicated reality. It’s about starting fresh and challenging yourself to discover all that you can do.

The Downtown School isn’t just a high school education. It’s an education for life.

Hear what our students say about The Downtown School! (mp3 download)

The mission of The Downtown School is to develop in intellectually capable young people the creative minds, healthy bodies, and ethical spirits needed to contribute wisdom, compassion, and leadership to a global society.

We provide a rigorous and dynamic academic program through which effective educators lead students to take responsibility for learning.

We are committed to sustaining a school in which individuals representing diverse cultures and experiences instruct one another in the meaning and value of community and in the joy and importance of lifelong learning.