The Northwest School

1415 Summit Avenue
Seattle, WA 98122
Tel: 206-682-7309
The Northwest School is a thriving and exciting place to learn.  Step into our historic main building and our new vibrant facilities in downtown Seattle, and you will see energy and enthusiasm emanating from every classroom, lab, and studio at all hours of the day.
The Northwest School is a thriving and exciting place to learn.  Step into our historic main building and our new vibrant facilities in downtown Seattle, and you will see energy and enthusiasm emanating from every classroom, lab, and studio at all hours of the day.
We believe that students who have been truly engaged by a community of scholars, artists, and international peers will graduate with an insatiable love of learning, a respect for diverse opinions and beliefs, the knowledge to navigate critical and complex ideas.
We are a school that fosters a love of and respect of ideas, and a place that teaches its students to think and synthesize.  This is most evident in our Humanities programs.  Using original source materials and works of classical and contemporary literature this series of courses connects history, literature, philosophy,  political science and history.
We challenge students to both think and pursue possibilities as if they were working scientists. Through open-ended lab work, our students discover multiple ways to explore and test concepts, and, most importantly, learn how to frame relevant and productive questions.
We provide a comprehensive math program with highly traditional curriculum and strong foundational elements. Students are encouraged to engage in a broad spectrum of mathematics classes, from Algebra to Advanced Calculus and Statistics.
We have always believed that incorporating art into every area of study deepens both learning and joy. This is the way students retain their creative essence as they venture into adult lives.
Northwest is known for hiring practicing artists as teachers. Our faculty exhibit in galleries and major art shows, publish poetry and photography books, direct professional theatre productions, and perform music at Tula's and Benaroya Hall.
Teamwork, dedication, discipline, and sportsmanship are at the core of our athletics program. We provide athletic opportunities for all with varsity and junior varsity teams in basketball, cross country, soccer, track and field, volleyball, and Ultimate Frisbee.
While we enjoy a well-earned reputation for fair play, we are equally proud of our significant achievements in interscholastic competition, including more than 40 tournament, league, state, and national championships.
The Outdoor Program offers a schedule of one-day and weekend-long trips throughout the year. These trips are designed to develop life-long recreational skills and habits that are safe and ecologically sound, with an emphasis on environmental ethics.
  • The Northwest School is a co-ed, middle and high school with a student population of about 500 students.
  • Located in downtown Seattle, The Northwest School offers a college preparatory experience grounded in vigorous study. Its challenging curriculum teaches students to discover the connections between historic, scientific, and artistic fields of knowledge. The school has a national reputation as a vibrant intellectual community and has been recognized by the US Department of Education as a Blue Ribbon School of Excellence. Spanish Russian Vietnamese Thai Korean Japanese.

Top 20 Placements

Listed among the top 20 boarding schools (out of 323 schools) for:

Definition of Terms 
2017 School Data
The Northwest SchoolBoarding School Avg.
School FocusCollege PrepCollege Preparatory
Grades Offered (Boarding)9-129-12
Grades Offered (Day)6-129-12
School TypeCo-edCo-ed
Supports Learning Differences (LD)YesYes
Religious AffiliationNon-denominationalNon-denominational
Year Founded19801910
Campus Size2 acres110 acres

Student Body

Enrollment508 students300 students
% Students of Color
% International Students
% Students Boarding
Average SAT Score1890* National Avg. »View
SAT range (25th-75th percentile)1760 - 2050-
Offers Post-Grad YearNoNo

Academics and Faculty

Saturday ClassesNoNo
Classroom Dress CodeCasualCasual
Average Class Size16 students12
*National School Avg. » 20
Teacher : Student Ratio1:61:7
ESL Courses OfferedYesYes
% Faculty with Advanced Degree
Summer Program OfferedYesYes


Endowment Size$4 million$17 million
Yearly Tuition
(Boarding Students)
Yearly Tuition
(Day Students)
(Includes tuition ($37,685), lunch ($1,360), health insurance ($575))
% Students on Financial Aid
Avg. Financial Aid Grant$27,000$22,730
Merit Scholarships OfferedNoNo


Application DeadlineDec. 3 / Jan. 14 / rollingJan. 15
Accepts Standardized ApplicationYesNo
SSAT RequiredYesYes
Average Percentile SSAT79%-
Acceptance Rate
Director of AdmissionsDouglas Leek
Associate Director of AdmissionsAlexis Ortega

AP / Advanced Courses

# of AP / Advanced Courses Offeredn/a17
CoursesAdvanced Calculus, Advanced Chemistry, Advanced English Composition, Advanced Spanish, Advanced Photography, Advanced Drawing


# Interscholastic Sports Offered614
SportsBasketball, Cross Country, Soccer, Track and Field, Ultimate Frisbee, Volleyball


Total Extracurricular Organizations1623
ExtracurricularsClub or Organization:
AIDS Aware, BIG News, Book Group, Checkmate!, Engineering Interest Group, Fashion, Freedom Fries, GLAM, Habitat for Humanity, Kibali, Math Club, Model UN, Opera Club, Outdoor Program, Save Capitol Hill, Screamin' Vegans

School Notes

  • The Northwest School campus is anchored in the historic Capitol Hill neighborhood of downtown Seattle. The school`s urban campus is surrounded by many art studios, museums, concert halls and theaters. The campus is just a few minutes` walk from the shore of the Pacific Ocean, famous Pike Place Market, the first Starbucks coffee shop, the Paramount Theater, the Pacific Science Center, the Space Needle and many other cultural landmarks and recreational activities.  
  • The Northwest School is the only school in Seattle with a co-ed international boarding program. The school`s dormitory located on campus offers a safe environment in which faculty and students work together to create a community that supports personal growth. The faculty help students gain communication, conflict resolution, and academic skills, while living together in a joyful, vibrant learning community.
  • The Northwest School`s unique interdisciplinary program of studies consist of an integrated humanities program, applied mathematics, science, language study, visual and performing arts experiences, and athletic competition.  The school offers 55 art courses in Dance, Music, Theatre, and Visual Arts taught by professional artists.  It fields 30 teams in Basketball, Soccer, Volleyball, Cross Country, Track and Field, and Ultimate Frisbee.
  • Graduates of The Northwest School attend some of the top universities in the nation and abroad. Every year representatives from more than 100 colleges and universities from across the United States visit the school to recruit NWS students.  All school`s graduates are admitted to universities and colleges.  
  • NWS students are actively engaged in sports, the arts, community projects, and outdoor activities.  The Northwest School provides many opportunities for students to experience the natural environment beyond the city, through sea kayaking, rock climbing, skiing, hiking, biking and camping. The Outdoor Program offers a schedule of day and weekend-long trips throughout the year. 
  • School accreditations: NWAIS, NAIS, TABS, NSLA, PBC, NBOA, DIEN, the National Summer Learning Association
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