Graham Hill Elementary School

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Graham Hill Elementary
GrahamHillElementary front.jpg
Graham Hill Elementary School
Seattle, Washington 98118
United States
Coordinates 47°32′45″N 122°16′06″W / 47.545884°N 122.268372°W / 47.545884; -122.268372Coordinates: 47°32′45″N 122°16′06″W / 47.545884°N 122.268372°W / 47.545884; -122.268372
Type Public
Established 1960
School district Seattle Public Schools
Principal Laurie Morrison, Ed.D.
Grades K-5
Enrollment 343 (October 2008)
 • Kindergarten 52
 • Grade 1 57
 • Grade 2 65
 • Grade 3 53
 • Grade 4 56
 • Grade 5 43
 • Pre-Kl 17
Slogan ONE school serving ALL
Mascot Whale
Information (206) 252-7140

Graham Hill Elementary School is an elementary school located in the Seward Park neighborhood of Seattle, Washington, USA. The school serves students from Pre-K (3+ yrs) through 5th grade as part of the Seattle Public Schools district.

History and physical plant[edit]

The first school at this location was opened in 1901 as BrightonSchool. Brighton operated here for four years before moving to the site of the current Brighton Elementary school a few blocks away. The original building was used intermittently over the next couple of decades as an annex to Brighton—it was referred to as Brighton Beach or Little Brighton. The old schoolhouse was removed in 1943 and the site became a public playfield.

By the mid-1950s, the post-war population boom in this area of south Seattle necessitated additional elementary school capacity. The school opened its doors as an annex of Brighton in 1957 in portable buildings set up at the site of the original Brighton school. That year it housed K-2 students and an additional grade was added each successive year until the school was a full K-6.

By 1960, the school had grown to the point where it could break the connection to Brighton and hire its own principal. Construction had also begun on a new brick building, which was completed in 1961. This newly independent school was named Graham Hill School. The name was chosen to honor Walter Graham, who originally settled this area in the mid-1850s, and as a nod to its location at the top of the ridge separating Lake Washington from the Rainier Valley. The school is not related in any way to the British racing driver of the same name.

The school became a K-5 school in 1988, when the school district moved 6th grade students to middle schools.

In 2004 work was completed on a $4.8 million expansion which added a new wing containing classroom space and a library expansion. This additional space was needed to replace portables, which had once more been employed. The current school encompasses 55,037 sq ft (5,113.1 m2) on a 4.51 acres (18,300 m2) site with a total of 22 classrooms.

Academic program[edit]

Graham Hill is one of only two schools (and the only elementary school) in its district not considered "racially imbalanced" by a recent Seattle Times study.[1] 73% of the school's population is non-white – about equal to the proportion in the school's ZIP code.

Special events[edit]

The PTA[edit]

The Graham Hill PTA meets the fourth Tuesday of every month of the school year, at 6:30 pm. A very active group, the PTA sponsors fundraisers throughout the year to support a variety of events. The PTA also supports ongoing programs and capital improvements. The Graham Hill PTA maintains a discussion list, has a blog, and regularly contributes to the school wiki.

Close-up of a mosaic image of an octopus on the grounds of Graham Hill Elementary


  1. ^ Linda Shaw; Katherine Long (2008-05-31). "Racial changes in Seattle's schools". Seattle Times. Retrieved 2009-03-09. 

External links[edit]