Redefining the Norms of Independent School Education

Dear Bush Upper School Community,

 

We are on the verge of something great happening this year. With an engaged and active student community in the Upper School, a strong faculty and staff team, and a commitment to our educational foundations, the Bush Upper School is aiming to redefine the norms of independent school education in a number ways. With the founding of the school in 1924, Helen Bush redefined the norms of education by starting a school grounded in progressive education, with a keen focus on experiential education. Ninety-three years later, we continue to be committed to progressive and experiential education. Given our current societal landscape, we are called upon to engage in ways that make a difference in the lives of our students, families, and within our local and global communities.

 

Bush provides excellent academic preparation for its students in ways that are creative, student-centered, and purposeful. The faculty bring the curriculum to life through service learning, collaborative projects, and real-life experiences. New discoveries made in educational and brain research will help to deepen our commitment to both progressive and experiential education.

 

Learning by doing has been a primary approach that has guided age-appropriate curriculum development since the founding of the school. As we look ahead, the Upper School, through its relationship with Challenge Success, will reimagine a learning environment where academic preparation will continue to be a mainstay with a focus on maintaining a healthy relationship between academic growth and personal growth. We expect students to be fully prepared to be confident in their pursuits after Bush. This confidence is achieved through skill development— both academic and interpersonal.

 

As we forge ahead, the academic program will provide opportunities for study across disciplines. Students will engage with rigorous and meaningful assignments in an environment that fosters collaboration. They will discover their best selves and develop strategies for how to navigate the complexities of external expectations. Through this work, students will also cultivate a deeper awareness and understanding of people from varying backgrounds and beliefs.

 

Bush Upper School students have a range of views on a wide variety of issues that have significant societal impact. The individiual expression of ideas and points of view is a critical component of student development and the learning process at Bush. Student voice has been instrumental throughout the history of the school, and in today’s societal arena, we need their voice more than ever. I anticipate an awakening of the student body in ways that harken back to the early years of Bush.

 

So, when I say we are on the verge of something great happening this year, I mean something great is going to happen. We are going to hear ideas, solutions, insights, demands, expectations, and most importantly, optimism from the Upper School students, faculty, and staff. We need parents and guardians to lean into these discussions when the opportunities present themselves throughout the year. I look forward to genuine dialogue that will help sharpen our focus as we move forward.

 

See you around campus,

 

Ray Wilson

Upper School Director

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