Aki Kurose Middle School is a public secondary school in Seattle, Washington, part of the Seattle Public Schools. Located in the Rainier Valley in southeast Seattle, it serves students in grades 6-8. The school is one of the most racially diverse schools in Seattle, with 97% of its student body being of color. A high proportion of its students are also recent immigrants, and 42% of the students are non-English speakers. The school emphasizes development of relationships between the community and the school, and establishing respect between students and teachers.Mrs. Aki KuroseAki Kurose was a teacher who inspired many by advocating for peace. She taught in the Seattle Public Schools for 25 years, and helped bring Head Start programs to Seattle schools. Mrs. Kurose would often care for students who needed food or shelter or other kinds of help. She died in 1998. Aki Kurose Middle School was the first Seattle public school to be named after a teacher.HistoryAki Kurose is a relatively new middle school in an old building. It first opened as Casper W. Sharples Junior High School in 1952. The nearby South Shore Middle School opened in 1973, but afterward enrollment at both schools declined. In 1981 the district closed Sharples and re-opened it as Sharples Alternative Secondary School, to accommodate students who had dropped out or had been expelled and could not re-enter a regular high school. The middle school students moved to South Shore.In 1999, the alternative program moved to the South Shore building and became South Lake Alternative High School. South Shore's middle school students moved back into the Sharples building, which was renamed Aki Kurose Middle School.
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