Seattle Public Schools, 1862-2000: Nellie Goodhue School

  • Posted 9/07/2013
  • Essay 10514

This People's History of Nellie Goodhue School is taken from Building for Learning: Seattle Public School Histories, 1862-2000 by Nile Thompson and Carolyn J. Marr. That book, published in 2002 by Seattle Public Schools, compiled profiles of all the public school buildings that had been used by the school district since its formation around 1862. The profiles from the book are being made available as People's Histories on courtesy of Seattle Public Schools. It should be noted that these essays are from 2000. Some of the buildings profiled are historic, some of recent vintage, and many no longer exist (new names and buildings not included in these profiles from 2000 have been added), but each plays or has played an important role in the education of Seattle's youth.

Nellie Goodhue School

The Shoreline Health and Guidance Center was constructed in 1946 as an administrative building by the Shoreline School District. When the Seattle School District annexed this area in 1954, it decided to turn this building into a center for mentally handicapped children, at the same time closing nearby Woodhull Hay School. For two years, Woodhull Hay School had served this student population in the Shoreline School District in a residential-type building at 1st Avenue N and (N)E 128th Street.

Because the administrative building had been constructed with office-size rooms, it could accommodate smaller groups of children, but not larger classes. Therefore it was deemed suitable for special education classes, which were much needed in the north end of the city. In contradiction to Seattle School District policy, the new school was named for a living person, Nellie H. Goodhue, a retired Seattle Public Schools teacher as well as the first principal of Washington School, who had made pioneering contributions to the education of handicapped and exceptional children.

Nellie Goodhue School opened as an annex to Northgate in September 1954, with six classes serving about 40 pupils from the former Woodhull Hay School and 27 other students. Through the years, the number of classes dropped to four and in 1959 there were 57 students and four teachers. Transportation was furnished first by Shoreline buses, which continued to use garages at the rear of the building, and later by Seattle Transit buses, which served Broadview, Jane Addams, and Ingraham schools. In addition, parents formed numerous car pools. An energetic PTA, organized in 1955, actively worked to raise funds and provide services for the children.

Nellie Goodhue School was closed in June 1961, in line with the Seattle School District's general policy of integrating special education students into other classes whenever possible. The Goodhue pupils were sent to Northgate and Oak Lake schools, and the building returned to its original use as an administrative center for the north end, housing a guidance center with attendance personnel, school psychologists, and social workers. The Student Assessment/Appeals Office is moving from Goodhue to Wilson in the summer of 2000.


Name: Nellie Goodhue School
Location: 13720 Roosevelt Way N
Building: Brick veneer, masonry & wood frame
Architect: n.a.
Site: 3.01 acres
1946: Opened by Shoreline School District No. 412 as Shoreline Health and Guidance Center
1954: Annexed into Seattle School District on July 1; renamed Nellie Goodhue on August 13
1954-57: Operated as annex to Northgate School
1957-61: Operated as independent school
1961: Closed in June as a classroom facility
1961-: Used for North (Area) Guidance Center/North Region or Region I Student Services

Use of Nellie Goodhue School site in 2000
Northend Annex


Nile Thompson and Carolyn J. Marr, Building for Learning: Seattle Public School Histories, 1862-2000 (Seattle: Seattle Public Schools, 2002).

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