Our Story

Elements of Education began in 1999 with an idea from Jon Ketler, who was teaching ceramics at Stadium High School. He wanted to start a school that utilized the resources of the museums in downtown Tacoma, which were largely empty during the day. Thanks to a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, The Tacoma School of the Arts (SOTA) was able to open it's doors to 150 10th graders in the fall of 2001.

Since then, Elements of Education has grown with the Science and Math Institute (SAMi) opening in 2009 and Industrial Design Engineering and Art (iDEA) welcomed their first 9th grade class in 2016.

We've served students through our three partner schools: the Xplore summer program for students entering 3rd-5th grade and 7th-8th grade, and the Next Move Internship program, which operates in all high schools in Tacoma Public Schools.