Local Parents Join Together To Create ‘The Bridge School’ In Burien

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The Bridge School, a new independent, cooperative school serving grades K-2, will be opening this coming Fall in Burien.

A grassroots group of parents from the Highline area has been meeting since late 2009 to create an educational option for families wanting high parental involvement in their child’s education. The school will be located at the Burien Community Center Annex on SW 146th Street and 4th Avenue SW.

Cooperative schools have been around for many years and are becoming popular all over the country. Schools that use “cooperative” models support strong teacher-family partnerships. Teachers plan and implement the curriculum while parents work regularly in the classroom and run the business of the school. The Seattle area is home to a number of successful co-op schools including University Cooperative School, KapKa Cooperative School and public cooperative schools in the Edmonds, Northshore, Marysville and Puyallup school districts.

The organizers of The Bridge School include stay-at-home and working parents with a variety of backgrounds, all of whom were inspired by the experiences at cooperative preschools. The Bridge School offers a progressive curriculum emphasizing multiple learning styles, emergent curriculum, community development and connecting to the outdoors.

The Bridge School is the most extensive project of the Burien Cooperative Education Project (BCEP), a new local non-profit with the mission “to build a stronger community by creating and promoting cooperative learning programs for children and families in Burien and surrounding areas.” Other programs offered by BCEP include the 2010-11 Bridge School pilot program, summer Family Garden Camp (meeting weekly), Spanish Camp for ages 5-8 in August and an Outdoor Gear and Tool Swap scheduled for late June.

BCEP is open to reviewing proposals for any new cooperative project that supports the community and families.

Learn more about The Bridge School at bridgeschoolcoop.org or BCEP at buriencoopeducation.org. Membership to BCEP is free and open to the community.

Direct inquiries to Anne York (BCEP Chair) or Chris Yeargin (BCEP Co-Chair) at [email protected].

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