Chief Leschi Schools
Chief Leschi is a State Tribal Education Compact school run by the Puyallup Tribe of Indians. The campus serves more than 700 students preschool through 12th grade. Two thirds of the students at Chief Leschi are members of the Puyallup Tribe, with the remaining students representing over 60 tribes from around North America.
The vision of Chief Leschi Schools is for strong native teachings to be infused in a rigorous academic program, preparing our students to walk successfully in “two worlds”. Our Career and Technical Education program developed from this goal. We offer five pathways, all of which connect to major tribal business entities. Our Natural Resources pathway is centered on salmon and environmental stewardship, and works closely with the Puyallup Tribal Hatchery. Students K-12 study the life cycle of the salmon, sustainable energy sources and how human decisions impact the planet.
Our campus provides students multiple opportunities to connect classroom learning to the world. A grant from College Spark supported the installation of an “instant hatchery” on campus, so students could participate in the raising of salmon from egg to release. The edge of campus contains a wetlands, fondly referred to as Lake Leschi, where we have an outdoor classroom. Students participate in ongoing restoration work, removing invasive species and planting and nurturing native plants. Water quality has improved enough that we were able to install a net pen for the newly hatched chum salmon once they became fry so students could feed them and watch them grow before releasing them to head to the sea.
Building an Environmental Classroom
ClimeTime funding has supported the restoration of Lake Leschi by removing invasive species and restoring native plants through on-hands classroom curriculum. In order to support student learning, a new dock was added for the net pen and a class set of microscopes was purchased for elementary water quality lessons.