At Seattle Amistad School, we foster community integrity through rigorous bilingual and bicultural education, developing our students’ academic strengths and cultural sensibilities, while nurturing compassionate and engaged citizens.
The whole child
We believe that children learn and grow best in an environment that respects and nurtures all aspects of their lives. From children’s cultural and linguistic contexts, to their different academic interests and strengths, to their roles as dynamic participants in their families and communities, we encourage children to grow and challenge themselves in every area. We believe that art, music, food, play, and movement are essential components of our lives and our cultures, and should not be separated from children’s education. In fact, we believe that all of these dimensions are essential for a meaningful, transformative academic experience.
Bilingualism, biliteracy, and biculturalism
We believe that children have a right to nurture and strengthen the cultural and linguistic connections to their families and communities, and to use those strengths as the foundation for a rigorous academic experience. We believe that all children need the linguistic and cultural skills to navigate and influence the complex global society of the future, in order to bring about greater peace and justice for our communities and our world.
We believe that real power comes from knowledge. Children need to have a solid, well-rounded academic base. Amistad School is designed to exceed the academic standards set out by the State of Washington, and to realize them in two languages. At Amistad, we are committed to 100% grade level proficiency in Spanish literacy, English literacy, math, science, and social studies.
Cooperation and collective empowerment
We believe that by working together and supporting all members of our community, we are all more successful. We believe that our own well-being depends on the well-being of others around us. From our classroom work to the larger global work of social change and progress, it is critical for students to recognize the importance of collaboration, and to have the real-world skills to carry out that work.
We believe that every member of our school community has the right and responsibility to have an equal voice in the life of the community. Within this dialogue, students, staff, and families challenge themselves to address and reject larger societal dynamics of oppression, ethnocentrism, and marginalization. We work together toward a space where different cultural perspectives cooperate and complement each other in order to support and nurture our children.
Centrality of family and community
We believe that healthy families and communities are both the ends and means to meaningful education for students. Particularly for students of color, culture and language are fundamental aspects of personal and community identity, and rather than being sacrificed through the educational process, should rather serve as the foundation for that process.
We believe that schools should provide students with the tools to forge their own paths in their own lives, and in that of their communities, big and small. This means a strong academic foundation, a deep connection to culture and community life, and strong cross-cultural skills to navigate the larger world. We believe that by becoming bilingual, biliterate, and bicultural, students are uniquely equipped to become agents for change and progress in both local and global communities.
At Seattle Amistad School, we envision a community where children don’t have to choose between connection to their cultural values and a good education. Indeed, we know that schools are most successful when they are grounded in and develop students’ cultural and linguistic assets. We envision a community where all students are able to navigate both their own cultural contexts, and those of others. We know that children who have the tools to bridge cultural and linguistic divides will be leaders in creating a more just, compassionate world.