Jen Wickens, cofounder and CEO of Impact Public Schools, greets future students during an event for Impact Puget Sound Elementary on Jan. 11. Impact Puget Sound Elementary, Tukwila’s first charter school, will begin serving kindergarten and first-grade students in August. Heidi Sanders, Tukwila Reporter

Jen Wickens, cofounder and CEO of Impact Public Schools, greets future students during an event for Impact Puget Sound Elementary on Jan. 11. Impact Puget Sound Elementary, Tukwila’s first charter school, will begin serving kindergarten and first-grade students in August. Heidi Sanders, Tukwila Reporter

First students enroll in Impact Puget Sound Elementary

Tukwila’s first charter school will begin serving kindergarteners and first-graders in August.

Kindergarten and first-grade students are enrolling to be a part of Impact Puget Sound Elementary’s founding class.

Tukwila’s first charter school, operated by Impact Public Schools, is slated to open in August in the former SGI-USA Seattle Buddhist Center building, 3438 S. 148th St.

As of Jan. 11, 146 students were in the process of enrolling for 168 spots in the school. Jen Wickens, co-founder and CEO of Impact, said there are still a few opening for both kindergarten and first grade.

About 30 percent of the applicants were from Tukwila, with the others coming from surrounding communities, including Renton, Skyway, Highline and South Seattle.

“That just shows the demand, the need,” Wickens said of the interest in the school.

Parents, students and the community had the opportunity to tour the school’s space during an enrollment event on Jan. 11.

The event also gave Impact staff a chance to get to know the students.

“We love every single child, and we believe this starts by knowing every single child’s name,” Wickens said.

Renovations on the building are expected to begin this spring.

A large auditorium on the first floor will be converted to 10 classrooms, which will be used for the lower grades.

The second and third floors will be remodeled later for the upper grades. One grade will be added to the school each year until it serves students in kindergarten through fifth grade.

Land adjacent to school will be turned into a park, which will be used by the school during the day and accessible to the community when school is not in session.

“We are also thrilled the community here gets access to a nice, new park,” Wickens said.

The school’s model is designed to help keep students from falling behind, Wickens said.

There will be three cohorts per grade and two teachers per class, Wickens said. Every child will have an adult mentor, who serves as liaison between school and home. The mentor will meet with the student on a weekly basis to discuss the students’ short-term, mid-range and long-term goals, Wickens said.

“We want to ensure there’s no way kids slip through the cracks,” she said.

For more information about Impact Public Schools or to apply, visit impactps.org.

Carissa Page, principal of Impact Puget Sound Elementary, reads a story to future students as they drink hot chocolate during an enrollment event on Jan. 11 for the new charter school, which opens in August.

Carissa Page, principal of Impact Puget Sound Elementary, reads a story to future students as they drink hot chocolate during an enrollment event on Jan. 11 for the new charter school, which opens in August.

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