The History of Partnership

  •    Did you know our building is over 100 years old? In 1916, The Lewis School, named after school board member Dr. Richard H. Lewis, was constructed as a fireproof building (previous local schools burned down) and contained five large classrooms. The building was only a portion of what it is today and the entrance of the school was in a different position. If you look out the window of our current Counselor's room, you can still see the R.H. Lewis inscription above what was once the entrance of the school. 

    Lewis School

     history 1

     history 2


       Over the next few years, additional classrooms, a library, and a multipurpose room were added to the school building before closing in the 1950's. In the 1960's, the site became the Raleigh City Schools Central Office. After the Raleigh City and Wake County Schools merger in the 1970's, the building served as an administrative site. An addition was made to the building and years later in 1998, the building reopened as Partnership Elementary as the brainchild of Superintendent Dr. Jim Surratt as the Wake County Public School's System answer to charter schools.

      At the time, Partnership was the only school of "choice" available to all students in Wake County. Partnership’s name reflected its vision: the school was led by three “Senior Partners” who served as co-principals. Flexibility, collaboration and, yes – partnerships - among students, faculty, families and the community were the founding principles. The school fostered a strong sense of community right from the start. Families were required to perform an average of at least four hours of volunteer activities each month. Every child had a Personalized Education Plan which listed each student’s strengths and goals for improvement. Teachers and parents worked together to modify the plans throughout the school year as students progressed in meeting them.

       In fall 2017, Partnership Elementary was officially designated a magnet school with the addition of a new theme - Interactive Community. This theme was inspired by and began with the founding core principles of the school. Partnership Interactive Community Magnet Elementary School built on these core principles to increase its sense of community both within and outside of the school building. 

       In 2020, Partnership was awarded its first Magnet Schools of America School of Distinction Award. We look forward to continuing to develop our theme and more importantly, to having a big impact on our students and school community.