Craig Frick, head of school of the private Jefferson Community School, said that the school listed the building for sale this spring but withdrew the offer when an anonymous donor made a financial gift that will allow the school to stay. (Jeannie McMacken/Peninsula Daily News)

Craig Frick, head of school of the private Jefferson Community School, said that the school listed the building for sale this spring but withdrew the offer when an anonymous donor made a financial gift that will allow the school to stay. (Jeannie McMacken/Peninsula Daily News)

Gift saves Jefferson Community School’s building

PORT TOWNSEND — Because of an anonymous gift, the Jefferson Community School’s building is no longer for sale.

The private school will continue to operate on Quincy Street, with a refocus on modular instruction, including STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) programs and special education.

“An anonymous friend of the school has given the money necessary to pay off its lenders, retain ownership of the building, restructure debt and drive the school forward,” announced Head of School Craig Frick.

Jefferson Community School has been located at 280 Quincy St. since its founding in 2005.

He said the gift was unexpected and the amount has not been made public.

“We recently had a meeting with people closely related to the school — students, teachers, administrators and community members — and we were talking about everything that we’ve been doing to make this program impactful, to make it challenge kids academically, and to make it rigorous and individualized,” Frick said.

“Everyone was so passionate about the direction the school was going, how positive it was, and how it is needed in the community. But we didn’t have a home.

“Our building is so closely associated with our program,” he continued. “We said it would be OK because we’re going to find a new place, and the program is the heart of the school.”

Frick said one of the people who had attended the meeting contacted him and said, “We are going to make this right and the school can keep the building. How much do you need?”

Jefferson Community School announced the sale of the building in the spring because of declining enrollment. It was listed at $1.2 million.

“The future is here in this building, now with the financial ability to drive our programming forward,” Frick said. “Experiential education, individualized instruction, expeditionary learning and more hands-on learning are what students want, and the school is re-inventing it’s programming to offer modular instruction. Families can choose all or parts of our instruction.”

Frick said there are many home-schooled families that would love science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) for their students at the high school level but they are not able to adequately provide the instruction. The school is offering the opportunity to take STEM programming without the need to enroll in the rest of the curriculum.

“Special education programming also is a new program that focuses on student’s learning needs,” he said.

“A learning deficiency or disability needs targeted skills and practice in those areas. We are going to address that with a program targeted directly at them. It’s a combination of in-class support and direct support.”

Enrollment for the school year is now underway. Jefferson Community School is an independent accredited school serving children from seventh through 12th grades.

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Jefferson County Editor/Reporter Jeannie McMacken can be reached at 360-385-2335 or a [email protected]

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