Our Mission

The UCDS Mission

University Child Development School designs a culture of inquiry essential to meaningful learning. We cultivate reflective, collaborative, skillful thinkers who ignite positive change in their communities. We engage diverse perspectives in an ongoing effort to shape and share our innovative education model.

Philosophy in Action

At UCDS, we take a design-led approach to learning. We create a dynamic and inclusive culture for our students and community. Our teachers are activators that create purposeful connections among concepts, thoughts and actions in the classroom.

UCDS began as a UW lab school
Jan. 2019
Graduate School is authorized

UCDS has a long history as an educational hub for children and adults

UCDS was born as a lab school on the campus of the University of Washington in 1911. Since the inception of this school, our teachers have assumed the role of educational researchers as they designed, implemented and evaluated our programs. Today, as a professional practice school, UCDS is engaged in ongoing educational reform. Our school is a dynamic learning environment for teachers as we work together to understand and inspire each child that we serve. Like our students, teachers at UCDS collaborate with colleagues and support each other professionally. No one works in isolation. Everyone is called upon at one time or another to coach, to present, to consult, to conduct action research, and to network. Each faculty member brings different expertise and experience, enriching the learning environment for others.

Strategic Plan

Every 5 years, the UCDS Board goes through the process of creating a new strategic plan for the school. This is a living document that is consistently reviewed and used to guide the school’s educational and financial decisions. The current plan was drafted in 2020 and had three areas of focus:

  1. We will initiate a Capital Campaign to purchase our current leased space, acquire surrounding properties, and build a transformative campus that amplifies our curricular leadership, promotes love of learning and innovation, and bolsters the UCDS culture.
  2. We will elevate our programs with heightened attention to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and community/classroom representation. We will drive a culture of discourse, change, and innovation.
  3. We will actively address the mounting issues of affordability, longevity, and access. This will include deep dives on tuition, non-tuition revenue, and tuition assistance.

To learn more about the details associated with each area of focus, click the link below and see the 2020 strategic plan document.