Capitol Hill Historical Society | The mind boggling array of stairs and corridors connecting history at TOPS K-8

1905 Seward building in red, 1895 in b&w on the right (Paul Dorpat photo colorized by 7 year old)

Part 1: Jennie Lombard, Eastlake’s first principal
Part 2: 

TOPS is a K-8 school with an extensive history dating to the Klondike Gold Rush era. I recently met with a group of 1st to 3rd graders to share what I knew about Jennie Lombard, the very first principal of the first school at TOPS, and other details from the school’s history.

After we made collages, I took them on a tour of the many different parts of Eastlake’s K-8 school.

The oldest piece of TOPS opened in 1895 as the Denny-Fuhrman School and is on the state historic register. It was later expanded and moved, then moved again, then went through a few changes in use and is now the cafeteria. Continue reading

Capitol Hill Historical Society | Jennie Lombard, Eastlake’s first principal

I recently had the opportunity to lead a learning activity at TOPS K-8. The school is located at Boylston and Roanoke — some would call that Eastlake, others might say it’s on the side of Capitol Hill. Originally opened as Denny-Fuhrman School, it was renamed to Seward in the early 1900s and is today called The Option Program at Seward and is better known as TOPS K-8.

I named the session “Old School TOPS.” A handful of 1st to 3rd graders joined me to learn about the school’s history, make art projects with old photos, and explore the different sections of the school.

To serve or to marry

At the beginning of the event, I shared information with the students about the first school’s first principal, Jennie Lombard. Continue reading

Open House at Capitol Hill Cooperative Preschool

Interested in seeing our space and meeting parents and teachers?  Our Open House for 2016 will be on Saturday February 6, 2016 from 10am-noon.

You can attend with or without your child. No RSVP required for attending the Open house.  Just drop by and say hello!  If you have any questions, please email and we’d be happy to answer them.

We are located at 1200 10th Ave E, Seattle WA 98102.  We rent the basement level from the Trinity Lutheran Church (and are unaffiliated with them otherwise).  Enter the Coop from E Highland Drive (between 10th Ave E and Federal Ave E).

Enrollment for new families begins on March 1, 2016.  We also have a virtual tour in pictures online if you aren’t able to make the open house or can’t wait to take a peek!

Please visit our website at to learn more about our school and philosophy.

A new use for Capitol Hill parks: preschools

Outdoor preschool? In muddy public parks across rainy Seattle? It seems like that’s going to be a preschool option for local parents in 2016. Tiny Trees, a budding local start-up outdoor preschool, received a letter this fall from the Seattle Parks and Recreation Superintendent Jesús Aguirre confirming that the department would permit the nonprofit to run six outdoor preschool programs in city parks as a pilot project by September 2016.

Tiny Trees CEO Andrew Jay was, of course, thrilled at the news. After winning a $15,000 grant in 2014 through the Social Venture Partner’s Fast Pitch Competition for Best Non-Profit Start-Up and pitching the concept to superintendent Aguirre back in September, the Scandinavian model of outdoor preschool could soon come to city parks across Seattle. There is already one outdoor preschool operating out of the University of Washington Arboretum called Fiddleheads, which Jay says is one “inspiration” for Tiny Trees.

The touted upsides of outdoor preschool range from its cost savings — not having to pay for a facility saves a chunk of change — allowing for more investment in preschool teachers and discounts for middle and low income families, in addition to benefits of holding play and nature-based classes in stimulating outdoor green space. Continue reading

Family Diversity Workshop

Join Tracy Flynn from Welcoming Schools leading an interactive workshop about Family Diversity. “Family is the most basic element of self-identification for young children; it shapes and informs their sense of self and who they are in the world. It is important for students to see their families reflected in the world around them, while at the same time seeing the diversity of families that also exists in our communities.” Learn how to be prepared for the teachable moment, share ideas about talking with children about marriage and family structure, and learn from real life scenarios.

The House of Spirits

See the Northwest School’s first play in the new theater. The House of Spirits (La casa de los espiritus) is based on the novel by Isabel Allende, the story details the life of the Trueba family, tracing the post-colonial social and political upheavals of Chile. The story is told mainly from the perspective of two protagonists (Esteban and Alba) and incorporates elements of magical realism.
Online tickets are sold out, but some tickets are available at the door on a first come basis.

Brighton Beach Memoirs

Garfield Drama Club presents Brighton Beach Memoirs, a Neil Simon play, which follows the coming of age of a fifteen-year-old boy in the late 1930s and the challenges his family faces at the tail end of the Depression and the early rumblings of World War II. Despite the family’s struggles, their story remains poignant, funny, and ultimately uplifting. This Drama Club Production is directed by the Drama Club President Anika Grevstad and stars an amazing cast and crew of talented Garfield students. Performances are November 7-9 and November 14-16 at 7pm in the Quincy Jones Auditorium. Tickets for are $5 for students/ seniors/staff and are $10 for adults; buy now at ShowTix4U. Can’t wait to see you all there!