Mission and Values
Rainier Prep’s mission is to prepare all of our students to excel at four year colleges and to become leaders in their communities. We empower lifelong learners, changemakers, and advocates. We ensure that academic growth, student agency, and post-secondary success mutually reinforce each other. Advisors, educators, students, families, and partners work closely together to help all students achieve their academic goals while learning what they need to understand their local high school landscape, identify a best-fit school, and confidently navigate the application process.
Our community’s strength and our challenges
Rainier Prep is a 5th-8th grade, open-enrollment, full inclusion, public charter school. Our model was informed by our local community, who demanded an additional college-prep public middle school option in their neighborhood with the flexibility to innovate and meet the needs of their students.
Despite demonstrating their academic excellence, when our students consider college and post-secondary programs they face systemic inequities that make navigating this experience especially difficult. According to the RoadMap Project, we know that 81% of students in South King County say they want to earn a college degree. Yet, despite these aspirations, the reality is that only 30% of these students earn a college degree by their mid-twenties.
Our experience and understanding of structural educational inequities informs Rainier Prep’s mission as we welcome 96% families of color and 82% limited-income families.
Academic growth and student agency
We promote a cross-curricular approach to empower students’ in their identity formation, critical thinking, and literacy across content areas. We believe in counter narratives and upholding a commitment to counter oppression through our curriculum and pedagogy.
We leverage community partnerships, experts, and assets to bridge the resource gaps our students and families face. We create enrichment spaces to develop students’ passions and leadership skills through their interests in arts, athletics, STEM, and social justice.We create spaces to learn outside of the physical classroom through hands-on, lived experiences throughout our metro area.
These critical experiences challenge the status quo and expand student and staff perspectives in classes, in grade level and whole school events, and throughout our programs.
Post-secondary success programming
Systemic and institutional inequities are maintained and exacerbated when some families have the resources and know-how to navigate, support, supplement, and shape their children’s educational experiences and others do not. No one should be denied equitable opportunity in education simply due to their circumstances.
Rainier Prep’s Post-Secondary Success Program has two primary goals: first, to help families access a school that best fits their needs, and second, to leverage the 8th graders’ transition to high school as an opportunity for students and families to gain the necessary skills for navigating postsecondary and career opportunities in the future.
By introducing students to the application process early on and teaching them strategies to address challenges, the program aims to make future applications easier. Many students are academically ready for success in high school and aspire to attend schools that offer more access to college and family-wage jobs.
Rainier Prep’s GUIDES values support our collective vision of empowering learners, changemakers, and advocates in the pursuit of an enriching, fulfilling, and lifelong educational experience. Our GUIDES values also ground how students, families, staff, and partners work together. They inform the choices we make towards creating a community where all can thrive
|rowth: We believe in our ability to learn, change, and develop new skills. We grow through practice, collaboration, feedback, challenge, and perseverance.
|nity: We act in a way that honors and uplifts humanity in others. We understand that our own success and wellbeing are connected to the success and wellbeing of the entire community.
|ntegrity: We act in a way that is honest, just, and true to our values. We do the right thing, even when no one is watching.
|iscovery: We expand our world and open doors by approaching each situation with curiosity. We seek to deeply understand. We use our imagination to dream big and create new possibilities.
|ngagement: We actively participate in the community and our own education. We make meaningful connections with the classwork, culture, and members of the community. We contribute our own time and ideas to make the community stronger.
|tewardship: We understand that the actions we make now will impact our future selves and others. We take care of the community’s resources and relationships to support and inspire future generations.