Seattle Academy of Arts and Sciences

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Seattle Academy
Seattle Academy Logo.png
Seattle, Washington
United States
Type Private
Established 1983
Locale Urban
Faculty 150
Grades 6–12
Number of students 890
School color(s) Red, black, white
Mascot Cardinal
Religious affiliation None

Seattle Academy of Arts and Sciences (commonly referred to as Seattle Academy or SAAS) is a coed independent middle and high school located on Seattle, Washington's urban Capitol Hill. The school was founded in 1983.

Seattle Academy has 890 students. Annual tuition is $34,236 for the middle school and $35,364 for the upper school during the 2018–2019 school year. The school consists of grades 6–12 and describes itself as a preparatory school whose mission is to "prepare students to participate effectively in a modern society".[1]

In 2017, the institution broke ground on a $48 million, five-story middle school building located at the intersection of 13th Avenue and Union Street.[2][3]

SAAS consists of six main buildings: the Temple building (the school still shares the same building with the Temple De Hirsch-Sinai), which houses the Upper School Humanities Department; the Vanderbilt Building, the Arts Center, which houses math and art classes; the Gym, complete with a weight room, multiple exercise machines, and a basketball court (SAAS's gym is one of the largest school-owned gyms in the Seattle area); the STREAM Building, a Gold LEED certified facility dedicated to the Upper School Science curriculum; and the Middle School Building, a five-story middle school building which opened in Fall 2018.


Seattle Academy was founded by Jean Orvis in 1983, who served as head of school until the 2008-2009 school year. From 2009 to June 2018 the head of school was Joe Puggelli, who previously had a long and varied career, including US Army service,[4] publishing, education, and coaching. In July 2018 long-tenured faculty, staff, and coach Rob Phillips became Seattle Academy's Head of School.

The school has a 21 member board, which consists of current parents, alumni parents and alumni of the school. The current chair is Donna Bellew.


Seattle Academy has an extensive technology program, which includes full-time tech support staff, a fully wireless campus, and mandatory laptops for all Upper School students. The middle school has a full computer lab and a number of laptop banks.

The school has converted its former Moodle-based academic software to a customized, Schoology-based education software client.

Student Life[edit]

SAAS Club Fair

Seattle Academy has many student-run clubs facilitated by faculty members. A sampling includes


  • Arts Center
Seattle Academy Arts Center

The Arts Center, or AC, is one of the six main buildings currently used by Seattle Academy. The building was opened in 2001. The Arts Center holds the high school's arts programs, which include theater, music, studio arts, and photography. It is a requirement for all students to take every arts course at least once.

Art Center facilities include a darkroom, a video production studio, visual art studios, a metallurgy balcony, music classrooms, the 250-seat Orvis Theater, a smaller black box theater, dressing rooms, and a green room.

  • Middle School Building

The Middle School Building, is a five-story middle school building currently under construction at the corner of 13th Avenue and Union Street. Completed in 2018, it added a second gym, rooftop playfield, lunchroom, and common spaces to the existing SAAS campus.

  • Gym
Future Seattle Academy CUB Building

The Gym was completed in 2003. This two-story building houses a dance studio, a weight-training room, and a regulation basketball court with bleachers, among its other facilities.

  • Temple

The Temple Building, which Seattle Academy shares with historical synagogue Temple De Hirsch Sinai, houses the Upper School Humanities Program. In addition, the school will often use the Temple's Sanctuary for all-school meetings.

Upper School students are accustomed to walking to the Temple Building for their Upper School Humanities classes.

  • Theaters
Seattle Academy Orvis Theater

The Orvis Theater (named for previous head of School Jean Orvis) is Seattle Academy's primary theater and is located in the Arts Center. The theater holds 250 seats and is equipped with advanced sound and lighting technologies. Each year, the Upper School holds three major high school productions: a comedy, a musical, and a drama.

An intimate black box theater is used to perform smaller shows, including Middle School productions.

  • Vanderbilt

Acquired in 1998, the Vanderbilt is the second oldest of Seattle Academy's five buildings. The Vanderbilt Building houses Seattle Academy's English, History, and Science departments. The school's library and offices can be found on the second floor.

  • STREAM Building
Seattle Academy STREAM Building

Completed in the summer of 2015, The SAAS STREAM Building is a facility dedicated to the Upper School Science curriculum and project-based integration of Science, Technology, Robotics, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics.

The STREAM building includes 7 purpose-built science lab and studio spaces that have been designed to maximize both space and flexibility to meet current and future course needs. The building also features another important new space for SAAS - a Learning Commons. The Commons are dedicated to student collaboration, study, and research, as well as a place to spend free time and lunch.

  • 12th Avenue Conference Room

The 12th Avenue Conference Room is a small facility located between the Vanderbilt and Arts Center buildings. It is a multi-purpose space, commonly used for meetings and classes.


  1. ^ "Mission - Seattle Academy". Retrieved 2018-09-13. 
  2. ^ "SAAS starts $48M middle school". Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce. March 8, 2017. Retrieved March 8, 2017. (Subscription required (help)). 
  3. ^ Cohen, Bryan (January 17, 2016). "Seattle Academy plans new $48 million middle school at 13th and E Union". Capitol Hill Seattle Blog. Retrieved March 8, 2017. 
  4. ^ "Joe Puggelli: A Story of Chance, Challenge, and Change". The Cardinal. Retrieved 2018-09-13. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 47°36′50″N 122°18′45″W / 47.61389°N 122.31250°W / 47.61389; -122.31250