For those of you who are not familiar with our community, we thought it might be helpful if you had a little history lesson of Sequim Washington and the Dungeness Valley, and how its school system began and how it has grown to meet the needs of its community.
Sequim, WA (pronounced "squim") is today famous throughout the Pacific Northwest for its low rainfall and sunny skies (unusual for Western Washington). Known as "Sunny Sequim" or "The Blue Hole", Sequim WA lies in the rain shadow of the Olympic Mountains, and boasts an average annual rainfall of less than 17 inches, with somewhere near 300 days a year where the sun steps out into the forefront of the blue hole which encompasses the Sequim/Dungeness Valley.
Early history states that the Sequim Washington was originally developed as an agricultural community. It is said that this community provided for much of the agricultural needs (primarily diary), necessary to feed the early growth of Western Washington communities such as Seattle and Tacoma, Washington. In fact, many historians have recorded that without the Dairy products which came from the Sequim/Dungeness Valley, many Western Washington communities like Seattle WA could not have developed and grown in the boom fashion they did.
It was however this lack of annual rainfall that the residents of the Sequim/Dungeness Valley enjoy so much today, that made it difficult for early settlers. Early settlers soon discovered that the sunshine and lack of rain made the area
difficult to farm the whole valley, and most agricultural activities were successfully only along the banks of the Dungeness River. In 1896, a visionary pioneer proposed to irrigate the Sequim/Dungeness Valley utilizing water taken from
the Dungeness River. The residents were organized and dug irrigation ditches by
hand. These soon spread across the valley bringing life-giving water and
prosperity to the whole valley community. The Dungeness Valley Irrigation System was born, and the small communities of Dungeness and Sequim flourished and began to grow in population. As an important note; every year since, Sequim has honored
the memory of that first surge of water delivered to the thirsty Dungeness
Valley with the Irrigation Festival, the oldest continuous community festival in
the state of Washington.
To meet the growing educational needs of the now prosperous and growing communities, the Dungeness School opened February 27, 1893, with
one teacher and 73 pupils ranging in age from 5 to 20 years. The school was located near the Dungeness Spit, roughly about 5.5 miles from what is now the center of today's downtown Sequim WA. The Dungeness School House is preserved today at its original location, as an historical building, which the current address of 2781 Town Road, Sequim WA. In 1923 high school classes were discontinued at the Dungeness School House and older students went to school in Sequim. The Dungeness School officially closed in 1955 when
the Dungeness and Sequim School Districts were consolidated.
Today Sequim's public schools rest on two sites. One elementary school, a community school, and the middle and high schools occupy a 60-acre campus within the city limits. A second elementary school, Greywolf, sits on approximately 20-acres, three miles west of Sequim near Carlsborg. All our r schools have all been updated and/or replaced with modern educational facilities over the last 15 year, and are constantly being updated to keep our students up to speed with new educational technologies. The average class room size is today around 28 - 30 students, with a teachers aid in many of the lower grade class rooms. Our community is very proud of its schools system. We have a very pro active school board, school officials, and teachers. Parents and student representation within the educational community is strong. Additional information about Sequim WA and the Dungeness Valley can be found in the webpage titled About the North Olympic Peninsula.
Below is a list of the Schools District Number 323: It will be followed by a list of licensed private schools, licensed pre-schools, licensed home school programs, and licensed daycare facilities.