The Northshore School District’s Family Partnership program has enrolled 95 students for the program’s inaugural year that starts in fall 2018. This alternative learning model was created for families in which a parent is the primary instructor for children from kindergarten through 5th grade.
In addition to providing classroom space for collaborative work at Bear Creek Elementary, certificated teachers will partner with parents to develop learning plans that meet district and state educational requirements.
Assistant Director of Curriculum and Instruction Christy Clausen and Northshore parent Julia Wales worked with other district staff and parents to develop a program that focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion.
At a recent School Board meeting, Wales told Board members that homeschooling can be a great experience for families, but it can sometimes feel isolating for children and parents.
“The program gives us a brick-and-mortar space where we can create a community that we have wanted for a long time,” said Wales. “It gives us a space where our children have the opportunity to learn collaboratively and socialize with each other.”
Wales added that the program allows parents to remain as their children’s primary educators, and the classroom gives them a place where they can collaborate on strategies and teaching techniques for their children.
“It's important to recognize that some families prefer a different pathway from the traditional public model for educating their children,” said Clausen. “As we state in our district strategic plan, ‘one size does not fit all.’ It's important we consider equitable opportunities for all children to succeed. We can’t wait to see the arrival of all these students and their families this fall!”
The program hired a veteran district teacher, Leslie Connor, as a head teacher, and she created course descriptions for all classes. The district will hire more teachers over the summer to prepare for the new school year.