The Bush School Programs
Statement of Educational Philosophy
Our students live in a world where the challenges are complex and multidimensional and which requires them to be talented problem solvers, clear and articulate thinkers, caring and skillful in engaging with people different from themselves, and capable of resisting conformity and self-interest.
- Critical, independent, and creative thinking
- Ethical judgment and action
- Global citizenship and cultural competence
These foundations of Bush School education are taught intentionally from Kindergarten through 12th Grade in all areas of the school program. Education based on these foundations prepares our students and graduates to make a meaningful difference in the world.
The quality of our educational program is founded on a culture of trust and respect between the adults and the students in the school community. The quality of our students’ educational experience depends upon the development of meaningful relationships with caring, talented, and skillful teachers and staff. These relationships nurture our student’s desire and ability to take responsibility for their learning. Faculty respect individual differences between students, and they engage students in a joyful curiosity about the world and how it works. They address all aspects of student development—intellectual, aesthetic, emotional, social, and physical.
We hold students to high expectations. We believe the process of education is as important as the products of it; we teach students how to think and how to learn. This prepares them for college, and more importantly, for a lifetime of learning.
Experiential education is a distinguishing element of the school’s educational philosophy. It promotes a complex, integrated understanding of the world, develops leadership, builds self-confidence, and empowers students. Students learn from direct experience with real issues and problems, taking risks and engaging actively in and holding authentic responsibility for their learning. Experiential learning takes place on campus, in the city and the outdoors, across the country, and internationally.
We emphasize collaborative learning to teach leadership and followership and to take advantage of the different backgrounds and talents of our students. We believe multiple perspectives and a range of world views enliven and promote learning, educating students to be empathetic, curious, and open-minded about others and the world.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
It is hard to cite only one recent success as we consider each graduating Bush senior an individual and collective success. To cite one success beyond this, Bush has recently begun to offer a Mandarin program in the Upper School. This is the first year Bush has offered Mandarin with two levels, one for beginning students and one for students with previous experience in the language. Eventually, Mandarin will be offered in the Upper School through the fourth year of study. The Bush Mandarin program was featured on KOMO-TV, the local ABC station, as part of a story it was doing on the popularity of Mandarin programs in local schools.The school’s highest priority need is for additional funds to support a socio-economically diverse school community through financial aid. Currently, 17% of the Bush student body is on financial aid and the school spends $1.8 million a year to support families who require aid. Bush seeks to make its education available to all interested families regardless of their ability to pay. Sustaining a diverse student body will be a challenge until the school can offer financial aid to more current and incoming families.
The school’s highest priority need is for additional funds to support a socio-economically diverse school community through financial aid.