Excel Public Charter School in Kent is now a part of the Green Dot Public Schools network.
Excel – a public, tuition-free middle school focused on science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics programming (STEAM) – officially joined Green Dot on July 1 after the Washington State Board of Education and the Washington Charter School Commission approved the merger, according to a media release from Green Dot.
This fall, Excel will be in its third year of operation. The vote followed many conversations over the past year with parents, staff, school board members and other key stakeholders, which helped inform the Excel board’s decision to request to join Green Dot’s network of Washington schools, including Destiny Middle School in Tacoma and Rainier Valley Leadership Academy in Seattle.
Last year, Excel partnered with Green Dot Public Schools to receive additional academic and operational supports and professional development opportunities, when Excel’s founder Adel Sefrioui stepped down after the school’s first year of operation.
Through the partnership, Excel strengthened its programming by providing academic, operational and social-emotional support to its students and staff. In joining the Green Dot network and making this partnership permanent, Excel will continue to receive those supports and provide the highest quality of public education to all of its students, the release said.
“As Excel’s school leader, I am looking forward to the tremendous amount of resources that Excel will gain by joining a network of schools with aligned vision and mission,” Kristina Howard, Excel’s principal, said in the release.
Under Howard’s leadership last year, the school implemented a computational thinking curriculum for its seventh-, eighth- and ninth-grade students – a program that has garnered attention and interest from the Green Dot network.
“Excel’s students, families and staff are very supportive and excited about the transition to Green Dot,” Howard said. “Stakeholders are looking forward to Excel receiving support from Green Dot in several key areas such as determining a future permanent facility location, providing more curriculum resources and creating opportunities for learning between schools.”
Excel opened its doors on Aug. 18, 2015, as the first charter public school in Kent, serving sixth- and seventh-grade students. The school will add one grade each year until it serves students though 12th grade, but this fall will no longer offer sixth grade.
This fall, Excel will launch its high school program with the addition of its ninth-grade class and will focus on computer science, the arts and a new foreign language program.
In addition to its Washington schools, Green Dot has 25 schools in California and Tennessee, with nine high schools featured in U.S. News and World Report’s Best High Schools in the U.S.
Excel is housed in the New Beginnings Christian Fellowship, 19300 108th Ave. SE, and is open for seventh- eighth- and ninth-grade enrollment for the 2017-18 school year. For more information, visit excelwa.org/.