Imagine a school day where students’ minds and senses are fully engaged, where subjects jump off the page in the context of the real world around them—learning to swim as part of kindergarten PE, watching math come alive through sail-making, studying salmon habitat restoration for science, or biology through growing an oyster. This is what is meant by place-based education, where the unique resources of our community are used systematically throughout a student’s academic career.

The impact on our school system is positive and profound.

Working with teachers, parents, and area business and non-profit partners, Port Townsend Schools have a 5-year plan to implement a central Maritime Framework throughout K-12 education and anchor all subjects and grade levels in experiences of our maritime community.

We call this effort the Maritime Discovery Schools initiative.


Port Townsend is exceptional. Our vibrant arts, rich maritime heritage, and stunning natural beauty combine to make Port Townsend a nearly bottomless reservoir of talent, knowledge and inspiration.

Let’s use all of that to unlock the potential of public education and make our schools truly exceptional.


Guiding principles

There is a direct correlation between a student's education and the health of a community.
 Learning is powerful when it is relevant and applicable.
Hands-on craftsmanship is a complement to intellect.
Our natural setting  is unique, and offers incredible opportunity for learning.