Billings Middle School is a dynamic academic community intentionally focused on the unique complexities of early adolescents. Our students become public-minded, critical thinkers impelled to actively engage their world.
These deeply held driving forces are qualities that determine our priorities and how we operate and communicate with each other. These guiding principles will help us measure the appropriateness of our decisions.
Goals for sustainability must be guided by inquiry into sociocultural, environmental and economic perspectives; connected with respect for human identities, rights, needs and aspirations; and implemented through just, transparent and inclusive processes for decision-making.
- 2009 UNESCO Conference on Education for Sustainable Development
Billings Middle School has a unique opportunity to model a lifelong commitment to promoting global sustainability because our students are beginning to consciously reconcile their emerging self-image with a broader sense of the world and their purpose within it.
From its beginning, Billings has recognized the need for a school whose structure, values and rigor were wholly based on a deep understanding and appreciation for early adolescent development. The school was originally founded by educator Luanne Billings in 1979 as The Intermediate School serving grades 4-6 located in north Seattle. In 1996, it transformed into Billings Middle School. In 2001, the school moved into its current location near the shores of Green Lake with 36 students. In 2008, with just over 100 students, our size and exceptional faculty allow each student to find a powerful voice, develop mentor relationships, be challenged in personalized and meaningful ways, and learn to advocate for one’s self both as a student and as a citizen of the world.
As we have continued to grow to our current size, we also continue to believe that the development of one’s identity is intricately linked to an emerging sense of humanity and ethics. In teaching independent, critical thinking in a culture of public mindedness, it is our goal to go beyond “service learning” and into the arena of integration – a place where students intuitively consider power, perspective, bias, access, and sustainability as they carry out the work of their lives.