Hurry up and wait seems to be the mantra... Since June, our Future's Committee has plodded along this summer; let's chalk it up to the current heat wave for slowing things down.
August is a new month, and with it, we should start to see some movement. Our Preliminary Permit Meeting with the City of Seattle is scheduled for August 31st.
From there, we can solidify our blueprint and list of tenant improvements as well as complete the formal lease agreement with 7400 Woodlawn. We'd like to give a big shout out to both Daniel Bugbee and Jerry Buss for their expertise and legal advice.
In the meantime, TCS is looking forward to starting its 53rd year of operation. This will be our last school year the UCUCC building - our classes are full, teachers are prepared, and students and parents (in particular) are anxiously awaiting our first day of class September 5th.
We'll keep you posted of our progress and ways to be involved.
It is with great anticipation, excitement, and a gigantic sigh of relief we are writing to announce that The Children's School has found a new home! The Children’s School will be located at 7400 Woodlawn Ave NE in the east Green Lake neighborhood in the former Bethany Lutheran Church. (map)
Our search for TCS’ new home has been both enlightening and arduous. "Seattle on steroids" has made it especially challenging. We are extremely fortunate to have found a site that is so well-suited - it's charming, functional, centrally-located, community-focused, and affordable.
Now is when all the fun work begins! We hired architect Matt Wasse of Shurgart Wasse Wickwire (sww-ai.com) to develop plans and navigate the prickly city permitting process. He is hard at work drafting a preliminary design to transform the existing "Fellowship Hall" into a formal school setting.
In June, the TCS board will meet to establish our short- and long-term fundraising plans. We solicited the support of grant writer Rachel Bravmann, who already identified appropriate family foundations and funders matching our mission and capital requests.
We know our legacy and future success rests in the hands of you, our base. We are so grateful to the thousands of families - current and alumni - that have remained steadfast and loyal for more than 50 years. Stay tuned for details about how all of you can be involved in the transition into our new home and into the future!
Our entire team is thrilled with the opportunity to continue the TCS tradition of teaching and supporting young children and their families in the formative years, all while planting new roots in the community and discovering a fresh perspective to better inform our vocation.
For more information on our progress, please visit our website and blog for updates (tcs seattle.org).
Dr. Mary Lloyd, Executive Director
Wednesday, May 10, 2017 is a nation-wide day of philanthropy and giving.
This year, please include TCS on your list of organizations.
April 3, 2017
Dear TCS Families, Friends, and Supporters -
We are writing you to update you on The Children's School and our search for a new home. Our lease with UCUCC will come to an end June 2018 - and although that is a year out, our window of time and opportunity to secure a new viable location is quickly closing.
It has come to our attention that during the last two years, 12 different preschools and childcare facilities in northeast Seattle have been adversely impacted - and in many instances, closed - due to increasing real estate costs. We have not only met with the University Partnership and Representative Rob Johnson, but also enthusiastically explored potential partnerships and shared space options. Meetings with the UW, private elementary schools, like-minded preschools, co-working spaces, and other non-profit organizations unfortunately yielded no partnership opportunities and only served to reiterate the challenging reality of the current real estate market.
Since July 2016, our Future's Committee has held regular meetings, pursued any-and-all leads, as well as pounded the real estate pavement to find a new home for TCS. We wanted to take a moment to share with you the most essential specifics of our search:
- Magnuson Park ended up being too expensive (more than $1 million retrofit)
- New construction, although it seems to be everywhere we look, is also pricey and the timeline is either too soon (move in tomorrow) or too far out (move in 2021).
- Contacted every church (via email and snail mail) in the 98105 and 98115 zip codes - this resulted in six options - many churches are looking for innovative ways to generate revenue and others have lost their congregations.
November to Present:
- Of those six churches, we have been in negotiations with TWO church spaces, both of them have lost their congregations and plan to manage their buildings as rental properties.
1. Maple Leaf Evangelical Church (1059 NE 96th Street)
2. Green Lake New Start (7400 Woodlawn Ave NE)
- We submitted Letters of Intent and Lease Proposals to each of them. We also worked with an architect and contractors to draft plans for redeveloping the open-spaces into formal classrooms, an entrance, and storage.
- Because the city permitting process is time-consuming (6 months for a permit), and construction will take 2 to 4 months, along with physically moving our school and equipment, we set a deadline of May 15th for a lease agreement.
- We recently heard from Maple Leaf Evangelical Church and regrettably, after some deliberation, their leadership has declined our proposal. We feel that we have reached the end of our negotiations with them.
- We are still progressing with Green Lake New Start and remain hopeful that our proposal will be accepted - the final deadline is May 30, 2017. We will be in touch in the coming weeks to let you know what transpires with GLNS.
In closing, we know our TCS base is strong and deeply rooted in the community in which we live, so if ANY of you know of ANY other potential real estate possibilities, please contact me immediately, as our need is urgent, and time is of the essence.
Thank you, as always, for your steadfast loyalty, and support.
Mary Lloyd, Ed.D. and Members
Executive Director TCS Future's Committee
November 14, 2016
"Establishing lasting peace is the work of education;
all politics can do is keep us out of war." Maria Montessori
In the shadow of this unprecedented political campaign, election, and as we're continuing to experience, aftermath, I am even more committed to and grateful for The Children's School, our team, our families, and our community.
Our organizational values - to respect, support, and contribute - set TCS apart from other early learning environments. In our classrooms we demonstrate respect through comprehensive inclusion of all children in every aspect of learning and play. We support our school’s children and families by providing a challenging, inspiring, and safe environment in which our children are immersed in an unparalleled preschool/prekindergarten experience. We also take great pride in supporting the well-being of our staff and their families, as they are directly linked to the spirit and tradition of the TCS community.
TCS teaches our children to contribute through local philanthropy. Our students gain great satisfaction from being a “recycling school” and demonstrating their honoring of the environment. In addition, our annual Harvest Canned Food Drive to benefit the University Food Bank, kicks-off this week!
In this ever changing and challenging world, I am extremely proud to be a part of a community where EVERY child receives the tools and opportunities to succeed as they move into kindergarten and beyond.
In closing, education is a life-long process, and these values we espouse each day at TCS not only have the capacity to help shape our future leaders, but we believe they too are the underpinning to advance our on-going participation and engagement as citizens.
Here's to courage and strength as we all move forward together...
Mary Lloyd, Executive Director
P.S., attached is our November 2016 Newsletter, happy reading.
Please help raise funds for our program & our future
Value Village will match our donations
with a cash contribution to TCS.
Bring your "junk"
Sunday, December 4th
9:00 am to 12:00 pm
Cowen Park Grocery Store
1217 NE Ravenna Blvd. Seattle, WA 98105
TCS Future's Update 10/19/16 - With school starting and all...we've been a bit quiet on the future's front. Here's what's going on:
Our committee has been busy; it's still scouring the northeast neighborhoods for a new home!!! We've been talking to churches, and inquiring with both existing and new commercial spaces. Still nothing solidified - so PLEASE feel free to pass along ANY potential leads (2000 to 2500 sq ft - 98105/98115 zip codes).
We're also actively soliciting PARTNERSHIPS with like-minded organizations to expand our program, applying for capital GRANTS to support our relocation, and planning FUNDRAISING efforts to further grow our reserves.
We're hopeful that a new opportunity will soon come our way. We are ever-committed to continue working with our community's youngest learners to fulfill their human potential, and ensure their success in preparing for future academic and social endeavors.
We so value your help and support, Team TCS
LunchBunch (LB) is one of our favorite times of the school day because we all come together to interact and socialize - the morning students return from the playground and overlap with our afternoon PreK students. It also makes for yet another teachable moment – the big kids modeling and assisting our little friends!
Empowering your children to be self-sufficient and responsible is one of our goals at TCS. We support the building’s Greening Initiative to reduce the amount of garbage generated, so compostable and non-recyclable items will go back home.
Here are some simple LunchBunch tips to keep in mind as you pack your child’s meal:
- Please pack lunches in a separate container (i.e., a Lunchbox or Lunchbag), not loosely in their backpack.
- Please pack items in reusable containers or Rubbermaid when possible.
- Please pack reusable utensils when needed. Using cloth napkins is a smart alternative.
- Please pack a beverage in a recyclable or reusable container. Use a Thermos, water bottle, or sippy cup for water, milk, or juice.
- PreK Drop-off is 11:15 am on the playground - NO early arrivals please!
We appreciate the extra effort on your part; it will benefit both your children and the planet!
A book by Laurie David, The Family Dinner: Great Ways to Connect with your Kid, One Meal at a Time (2010) talks about the importance of family meals and steps for making it happen, also fun recipes and healthy choices for young eaters.
For more simple suggestions packing a lunch, check out www.wastefreelunches.org.
Dear friends, alumni, and supporters of TCS,
We want to begin by thanking you for your on-going contributions - in June, we proudly surpassed our SpringFling Campaign goal of $15K!!! This was a huge achievement for us; TCS teachers and program will directly benefit from your generous financial support.
Today, however, we are reaching out for a different, and critical reason:
TCS has just learned that UCUCC will be terminating our lease in June 2018. Members of the congregation have made specific programmatic recommendations, and sadly, housing our school is no longer a suitable priority for the church.
As you know, TCS has been operating in the same location for 53 years. This news concerning our building was unexpected, but it truly reflects the growth that Seattle as a whole is currently experiencing. We are optimistic that this city-wide development boom will prove to be a positive force driving the future of our highly valued school and community.
This is where YOU, our long-standing constituents, stakeholders, and alumni, come in...
In order for us to deftly and expediently identify potential leads and contacts, we know it's imperative to reach out to our base for support.
Two areas in need of your immediate attention include Facilities and Funding:
1. Locating prospective facilities - we've narrowed it down to 98105 and 98115 zip codes. With your help, the following are the questions to which we hope to find answers.
§ Do you know any property owners/managers/contractors/builders?
§ Are you in real estate? Do you have city/county/private development or planning contacts?
§ Do you have experience with commercial leases?
§ Are you familiar with "public benefit space" and exemptions for nonprofits?
§ Are you involved with other organizations/entities that may want to partner, share space, or combine services?
2. Site-based research, moving, and setting up future operations is costly - We want to ensure that our model going forward is fiscally sound and sustainable.
§ Do you have development experience - fundraising, endowments, grants, or capital campaigns?
§ Are you passionate about early learning, children, community programming, and/or advocacy?
§ Are you involved with other organizations/institutions/entities that may want to partner, share resources, or combine services?
We'd love to tap into any knowledge, connections, and/or capital you may have in helping us as we move forward to locate and secure a new and dynamic space. If you would like to be involved with the Future's Committee, or share with us your advice/expertise, we would greatly appreciate it. This is a formative and exciting opportunity to help steer the future of TCS.
Here's to new adventures and continued learning...
TCS Board of Directors and TCS Future's Committee