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Education partnerships

Education partnerships

Seattle Housing Authority serves as a connector between families, schools and other systems of support for children, youth and families. SHA is working closely with education partners such as Seattle Public Schools, Seattle University, community-based organizations and others to improve educational outcomes for youth who are low-income in Seattle.

Seattle Public Schools

Seattle Housing Authority has a partnership with Seattle Public Schools (SPS) focused on supporting school age students and families. More than 5,600 SHA youth attend Seattle Public Schools, and these students attend schools across the school district. Many schools have programs and partnerships that help support the specific needs of students. Contact your child’s school to learn more, or the SPS Support Center at 206.252.0010 or  

Choice Neighborhood (Yesler)

In 2011, SHA was awarded a Choice Neighborhood Grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for the Yesler neighborhood. Motivated by the belief that success in education is the best pathway out of poverty for low-income children and youth, SHA is committed to improving the academic achievement of students living at Yesler and in the adjacent neighborhood. In order to achieve this goal, SHA is partnering with Seattle Public Schools, Seattle University, local nonprofits and others to create a cradle-through-college pipeline of learning resources for children and youth.

This is a coordinated approach to ensure low-income children in the Yesler neighborhood have access to early learning programs, tutoring, summer academic enrichment programs, college preparation mentoring and scholarships. It is based on the theory that through a coordinated, place-based pipeline of academic supports which complements classroom teaching, students will meet higher academic performance standards.  

Through the program, children living at Yesler have seen educational gains including:

  • Increased attendance rates in all grades at Bailey Gatzert Elementary, except second grade
  • Steady progress in attendance each year
  • An increase of 20 to 50 percent in students achieving kindergarten readiness
  • Twenty-five families completing Neighborhood House's Parent-Child Home Program

Higher Education Project

The Higher Education Project is an inter-agency community coalition providing youth and their families in Seattle Housing Authority's public housing and Housing Choice Voucher programs with services to help them pursue higher education.

The coalition was formed in 2002 to develop strategies to increase the chances of middle and high school students in these programs going onto higher education, including technical and vocational schools.

Race to the Top (Deep Dive 3)

Seattle Public Schools (SPS) selected SHA for a Race to the Top, Deep Dive 3 grant to support students in Southeast Seattle who live in SHA housing. This grant fund, managed by the Puget Sound Educational Service District, is designed to raise student achievement by investing in new models of regional community-school partnerships. SPS has partnered with SHA on five schools in South Seattle that serve high numbers of SHA students. The goal of the project is to improve Southeast Seattle student attendance and suspensions/expulsions rates by leveraging the expertise and resources of SHA, the five schools and community based partners located within the schools and at NewHolly, an SHA community.

Home from School pilot at Bailey Gatzert Elementary 

Homelessness and housing instability often lead to student turnover and absenteeism, which create challenges for both students and schools. To respond to the impact of homelessness on schools and kids, SHA, Seattle Public Schools and the City of Seattle are partnering on a pilot to find stable housing for homeless families that will provide the long-term affordable housing they need to enable continuity in their neighborhood school. SHA has initiated the Home from School pilot at Bailey Gatzert Elementary, which is adjacent to SHA's Yesler community and is the home school for most of the elementary age children living there. 

For more information on specific partnerships please contact SHA's Community Services Administrator, Rachael Steward, at or 206.615.3423.