Jefferson Community School’s fortunate location in vibrant downtown Port Townsend makes it possible to take advantage of all that our community has to offer. Our students also understand the value of making a personal contribution and giving back to the wider community. We believe that our students need a firm grounding in what is known as “Place-based Education. “They need to understand their home community and where they come from, before they can fully understand their place as global citizens.
Place-based education differs from conventional text and classroom-based education in that it understands students’ local community as one of the primary resources for learning. Thus, place-based education promotes learning that is rooted in what is local—the unique history, environment, culture, economy, literature, and art of a particular place–that is, in students’ own “place” or immediate schoolyard, neighborhood, town or community. This is not to say that international and domestic issues are peripheral to place-based education, but that students should first have a grounding in the history, culture and ecology of their surrounding environment before moving on to broader subjects.
The school has forged partnerships with numerous Port Townsend organizations.
Our current partners include the Northwest Maritime Center, the Port Townsend Film Institute, The Recyclery, North Olympic Salmon Coalition, SongwritingWorks, OlyCap, and Swan School. Through these partnership our students have the opportunity to both learn and to serve, in their local community.
- JCS students participate in community service on a regular basis.
- The school has a long-standing tradition of preparing Luncheons or Communiti-TEAS, and inviting interesting guest speakers in from the community to share ideas and discourse.
- Our Arts electives are taught by talented community members.
- Our older students have the opportunity to choose community internship experiences during their junior or senior years.
- Students have the opportunity during their years at JCS to explore the wilderness areas of the Olympic Peninsula, in all its glory, and to be full contributors to East Jefferson County.