Educating Children Facing Trauma and Homelessness

We specialize in educating children experiencing trauma and supporting families in achieving long-term stability.

The number one issue faced by our students is overcoming trauma. Trauma happens through an experience that is emotionally painful, distressful, or shocking, which often results in lasting mental and physical effects.

Children experience trauma due to homelessness, poverty, abuse, witnessing abuse, separation from a parent, and crises within the family. Due to trauma and additional obstacles, many children come to First Place up to three grade levels behind their peers.

Our staff is highly trained in recognizing the individual needs of children experiencing trauma and providing the support they need to continue learning and growing.

First Place has two main Education Programs:

  • Elementary Education, Kindergarten through 6th grade
  • Classroom Without Walls dropout prevention curriculum and consulting

Elementary Education:

Our goal in working with families is long-term stability. We know it takes more than an education and a place to live to make this a reality.

Our focus is on working with each individual child and family unit in their personal journey. Each part of our education program is designed to help students successfully transition into their next school and have the skills they need to graduate junior high, then high school, then college and become successful, productive adults.

Some of the features of First Place School:

  • Small class sizes (no more than 14 students per classroom)
  • Breakfast, lunch and a snack are provided each day
  • School bus transportation is provided to school and home for qualifying families
  • Field Studies take students out into the community to learn
  • Individual tutoring and mentoring provided during the school day
  • On-site Nurse Practitioner and School Psychologist
  • School library and computer lab
  • As needed: Special Education and Speech and Language Therapy
  • School supplies, clothing, shoes and hygiene supplies
  • Standardized Academic and Social Emotional Assessments. Each child attending First Place has their own individual learning plan. Learning plans are made by highly trained staff who assess the children both academically and emotionally. Learning plans help students and parents work together to stay on track and catch up in school.

About First Place Education Staff:

  • Certified classroom teachers who are highly trained in educating children experiencing trauma, behavioral issues, cultural competency and positive discipline techniques
  • Education staff and counselors sensitive to homelessness and poverty issues
  • Mental Health services include special education, family therapy, mentors and referrals as needed.

We are a private school certified by the State of Washington and located in the Central District of Seattle. First Place is not part of the public school system. However, First Place runs on an academic calendar similar to the Seattle Public Schools and follows the academic standards of the Seattle School District and State of Washington.