Spring Street Giving – A critical piece of the picture during these uncertain times
Investing in our Students
Spring Street focuses on serving our students and families first. Peg and Ted Hope founded our institution to meet the needs of island students craving a non-traditional learning experience. For years, students huddled on the first floor of Spring Street’s Nash House, separated by curtains as Peg taught algebra and Ted taught Theory of Knowledge. We have grown substantially since our inception – both in space and student enrollment. Now routinely at our enrollment cap of about 120 students, Spring Street is home to learners from San Juan Island, Orcas Island, Lopez Island, and across Washington, as well as from California, China, Rwanda, and elsewhere. Because our priority is still our students and their families, we are committed to being here for the students that need Spring Street. Each year, we offer an average of $400,000 in tuition assistance for local families and around 40% of our island families receive tuition assistance. This support means we need your support so we can continue to welcome those learners, regardless of their financial background.
Investing in our Teachers
Spring Street faculty and staff are the backbone of the school. Each year, they lead our students in dissecting essays and books exploring our world’s pressing issues, leading our learners to Percich Pond to test water quality, climbing around the rocky intertidal looking at sea creatures, painting portraits, tackling derivatives and integrals, and performing student/teacher-written plays that revolve around the human, social, and economic realities of pivotal historical events. Our teachers are not just educators; they are mentors, trip-leaders, wilderness first responders, and community members. As an independent, nonprofit school, 80% of our income, which predominantly comes from tuition, goes towards salaries, health insurance, and other benefits for our faculty. The remaining 20% primarily meets operating expenses. To maintain our dynamic, collaborative, and experiential program, we strive to meet the needs of our faculty and staff so that they can continue to educate, nurture, and enable our next generation of learners.
Investing in the Now and in Our Future
As a growing and maturing school that has filled an educational niche in our island community, Spring Street understands the responsibility of sustaining a thriving educational institution. The pandemic pushed us to face the fact that we need to build and maintain the financial depth that will let us serve our students and families, no matter the adversity that we face. During the fall of 2020, Spring Street was committed to opening in-person for our families. Planning for in-person instruction required constant flexibility, grit, and humor on the part of our faculty, staff, board members, parents, and students. Frequent Covid testing became the rule. Beach school tolerated rainy, cold, and windy weather on our local shoreline. Board members hung awnings and erected event tents in the quad for open-air learning and recreation. Classes in rented space at a local community center initially suffered from bad connectivity and malfunctioning technology. And some of the single-student desks that we built over the summer now have rickety legs. As an institution, we are not short of creativity or commitment; however, like all small nonprofits, we understand the importance of investing in our future by building financial resilience so we can continue to reach our students where they are – academically, socially, and physically — no matter the challenges we face.
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Help Us Build Our Multipurpose Space
Animal Farm, Metamorphoses, Good Kids, Anon(ymous) and The Wolves. Disorderly People, Side Show People, Tumbleweed People in No Man’s Land, Blood Kin, Burning Patience, and Glimpse. These are some of Spring Street’s recent theatre productions. In each of them, actors and audience alike gained a deeper understanding of the inherent conflict within our human condition and our capacity for transformation. Up to now, we have managed to stage these productions, as well as our Thanksgiving Gratitude Readings and our fall Reader’s Theatre in borrowed spaces. We have no facility for large gatherings, yet we have historically found spaces where we could squeeze ourselves in – with the generosity of the San Juan Community Theater and the Presbyterian Church. The time has now come for Spring Street to build its own Multipurpose space so that these programs can continue to grow and thrive. We need a space for theatre. We need a space for all school meetings and graduations. We need additional classroom space. This 2000 square foot Multipurpose building designed by David Waldron does just that. It allows us to rehearse. It allows us to gather weekly as a community, where we can sit together and have over 100 of us become one. It invites creativity, collaboration, and production. And, it fills a need that borrowed space cannot fill.
- Size: ~2000 sq. ft.
- Location: Between the dorm and the art studio
- Cost: ~$400,000
- $200 per sq. ft.