MEAD Alternative High School

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MEAD Alternative: Empowering students to make a positive difference in our community.

Live The Change Today

We have no classrooms.

Our “classroom” is our community, our natural environment, and wherever we happen to be in a given moment. This freaks some very orderly people out. Frankly, we love it. We do not sit in rows, but in circles (that is, if we’re sitting, but we tend to move around).

We are an experiential, project-based learning school.

We learn doing, exploring, and experimenting. At MEAD Alternative, most subjects are integrated in project-based learning that is largely student-directed. When it comes to core subjects like science and social studies, we seek to involve our students in relevant, pressing global issues as much as possible. This said, we also believe in servant leadership, and are proud to say that on average, in a given semester, our core students collectively contribute over 1,000 hours of service learning to our community. In 2009, we won the Chase Youth Award for Community Involvement.

We educate the whole student.

Instead of treating students as recipients of data, we treat them as co-learners in a great experiment. Instead of handing students a textbook, we ask them “HOW do you want to learn this?” Every student has a personalized education plan that fits their unique needs and interests, while also meeting state content standards.

We are a relationship-based community.

We know young people are more than just a brain; they are a whole person, and need an emotional and social education just as much as they need to understand fractions and how to discuss the thematic elements of a novel. Every teacher knows everyone’s students. What’s more, students have the same advisor for their entire high school experience. They receive their advisor’s home phone number for questions and emergencies. We stress inclusion and acceptance, and value the uniqueness of each person.

We ask, “Are you willing to CHANGE?”

Change is key, for without a willingness to change and to be changed, no education is possible. We constantly nudge students out of their comfort zones and challenge them to reach out, lead healthier lives, and explore new learning experiences. We hold students to a higher standard, and won’t help them be unhealthy. In fact, we’re the first to call them on the carpet. This is what makes our program so successful.


We are accredited by both the State of Washington and Washington Association of Learning Alternatives (WALA). Graduates of MEAD Alternative earn a Mead School District diploma.

MEAD Alternative regularly supports service (volunteering) in the Spokane region and the Pacific Northwest. We have active ties with Mead and Spokane community resources, as well as the Mead School District, MEAD Alternative alumni, our students, and their families.