Pre-Conference Visits

Visit a local organization and engage in initiatives that support educational access.

Registration for pre-conference visits is now closed.

  1. The Downtown School: A Lakeside School –
  2. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation –
  3. Seattle University’s Center for Community Engagement – 


The Downtown School: A Lakeside School, 8:45a.m.-11:45a.m.

The mission of The Downtown School is to develop in intellectually capable young people the creative minds, healthy bodies, and ethical spirits needed to contribute wisdom, compassion, and leadership to a global society.

We provide a rigorous and dynamic academic program through which effective educators lead students to take responsibility for learning.

We are committed to sustaining a school in which individuals representing diverse cultures and experiences instruct one another in the meaning and value of community and in the joy and importance of lifelong learning.

Lakeside’s new micro-school, The Downtown School, will be opening in fall 2018.   At full enrollment, The Downtown School will serve 160 students in grades 9-12. It will preserve the fundamental components of Lakeside School: a high-quality academic education, meaningful student-faculty relationships, and a diverse body of students and adults. The curriculum will combine some of the best aspects of Lakeside School’s high-quality academic program with special programs and features that are unique to the new school. The school will be separate from but affiliated with Lakeside, with a different educational model, admissions process, student-life program, and cost.  Hear from head of school, Sue Belcher, about the catalysts for the creation of a new school, the financial model, curriculum and how this project has created opportunities to check assumptions about every aspect of how schools operate.


Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, 10:00a.m.-12:00p.m. (*new time)

All lives have equal value: we are impatient optimists working to reduce inequity.

Tour the Foundation’s Discovery Center and Campus and sit down with deputy director on the K-12 Education team, Henry Hipps, to discuss the collective work on improving the availability, awareness, and implementation of high leverage solutions that support teachers and increase student achievement.


Seattle University, Center for Community Engagement, 1:00p.m.-4:00p.m.

Seattle University is dedicated to educating the whole person, to professional formation, and to empowering leaders for a just and humane world.

Examine the concept of “place-based community engagement” by exploring the Seattle University Youth Initiative with executive director Kent Koth. The workshop will include a presentation of the theory of place-based engagement on the Seattle University campus as well as a walking tour to visit local schools, neighborhoods and organizations immediately adjacent to the university. Institutions that think boldly, strategically and creatively about their public purpose can transform their educational programs and also their local communities.