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    Welcome to Pathfinder K-8

    Cougars TreeI have been honored over the past twenty years to serve as the principal at Pathfinder K-8 and look forward to continuing the work we are engaged in over the next several years.
    Our school was born in 1992 as AE 4 (Alternative Education School #4) as a result of the vision and dedicated focus of our Founding Mothers. We grew over the years and transformed our school from a K-5 program to a K-8 program in 1999; we worked diligently to create a program that is small, personalized, caring and high achieving. Our school's mission is to educate students to become passionate, lifelong learners, respecting themselves, others and the environment. We do this through expeditionary learning, a focus on the whole child, and a curriculum that weaves in outdoor education and field work. 

    We work hard to create a challenging academic and learning environment for all students.  We currently use the Collaborative Classroom Literacy program in our K-5 with high levels of supplemental resources to meet with varied needs we have in literacy.  We use the Bridge's K-5 Math and Envisions curricula and National Science Foundation kits for our science program. We have developed a strong intervention program for students not meeting Washington State standards. 

    'Expeditionary Learning' is a strong component of our program. This approach emphasizes learning by doing, with a particular focus on character growth, teamwork, reflection and literacy. Teachers connect high quality academic learning to adventure, service and character development through a variety of student experiences including interdisciplinary, project based learning expeditions often involving field work.

    Our K- 5 classrooms do what we call 'looping' where the students are in a straight grade (first) and then stay with the same teacher for the next year (second).   Our upper grade students (6-7-8) work within a team, each having a homeroom that strengthens a student's sense of belonging.  This framework enables us to build a strong sense of community and positive relationships with our students and families.

    Our school has a reputation for innovation, creativity, dedication and excellence. We have a highly qualified and progressive teaching staff that is committed to providing our students with culturally relevant and rigorous instruction using alternative curriculum and resources rather than commercial texts. We work hard to reach each child academically as well as socially and emotionally.
    Pathfinder K-8 School has a very supportive and involved parent community. We believe that a strong partnership between our school, each classroom and home is critical to student and school success. We encourage and invite you to participate and volunteer in our school. Without the support and involvement from parents and families we would not be able to achieve our dreams. Working together enhances the caring school environment that makes our school so special.
    Our website will give you up to date information about our wonderful school.  Please email me if you would like more information. 

    Pathfinder K-8 School is a vibrant and progressive school that works very hard to uphold the philosophies of our vision and belief statements.


    David Dockendorf
    Pathfinder K-8