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Frequently Asked Questions

Image by Annie Spratt

Welcome to our FAQ page! Explore the sections for details that will build an understanding of our approach and how we can support your child's educational growth.

  • What grades do you serve?
    For 2024-25 we are enrolling those Kindergarten to 2nd grade age. Bright will grow with our community, adding 3rd grade the following academic year, up to 5th grade. We are considering requests made by pods of older grade children for 24-25. Our community size will not exceed 30.
  • Every kid’s question: What about Recess?
    We devote a full hour to outdoor recess at neighboring Robinwood Park. We believe that outdoor play is an integral part of Whole Child development. Our commitment to providing stimulating and enriching outdoor play experiences ensures that children have opportunities to connect with nature, engage in physical activity, unleash their imagination, and develop essential social and sensory skills. No child wants to limit recess to 15 minutes.
  • Who makes up Bright Students?
    Wonderful kids! At Bright Schoolhouse, we proudly cater to children in Kindergarten to 2nd Grade (growing as a school up to 5th grade), providing a nurturing and engaging learning environment for a total of 30 students. To ensure individualized attention and support we have a strong team comprising of two lead teachers and two assistant teachers staff, resulting in a favorable student-to-teacher ratio of 1:8. Our diverse student body includes those who seek an educational approach that celebrates childhood, students who may have felt disengaged in traditional school settings or experienced a sense of being overlooked or bored, and learners who thrive in active, hands-on learning experiences. Additionally, we warmly welcome children with sensitive spirits and those whose parents desire an educational setting distinct from the generalized public school format. Above all, our aim is to empower each student to flourish academically, emotionally, and socially, enabling them to become the best versions of themselves. To learn more head to our Bright Learners page.
  • In what other ways does is this setting unique?
    We are an alternative choice to larger elementary settings but we use consistent schedules, routines, and curriculum to support our success. This makes us an alternate to the alternatives: we are not homeschooling, you have out-of-home educators. We are not exclusively child led, we employ teacher instruction. We are adaptively traditional, community focused, and personal. We are a mixed age setting, we do not assign nightly generic homework, and we do not use letter grades. But when preparing for the transition to the next setting we will provide records and documentation in the school's preferred format which may include a more traditional progress report and we are confident that they will meet or exceed standardized grade level of their next learning space. We offer a cozy setting with diverse and flexible spaces for learning that are both independent and collaborative, where children can explore their interests and potential. We are what you wish your neighborhood public school could be--low teacher ratios, a warm welcoming design, appropriately challenging, and flexible to needs.
  • Who is a microschool for?
    Microschools, especially Bright Schoolhouse, are an excellent choice for parents who are looking for a small class environment, relationship-based teaching, and want these early school years to still include play and remain magical. Microschools are small learning communities made up of students working in mixed-age groups allowing children to learning individually and collaboratively. Small schools allow for strong academics and supportive individualized instruction.
  • What individual services can you provide?
    Bright Schoolhouse is a unique school choice for families looking for a small, intimate educational setting that focuses on individualized and project-based learning. The school welcomes students with a variety of learning styles and strengths and strives to meet each child where they are as individuals. As a small school with just three to four fulltime teachers, we are not able to offer special services for severe learning disabilities, behavioral challenges practically behaviors of an aggressive or destructive nature, or certain other student support needs. We will determine our ability to serve students on an individual basis. Please reach out rather than exclude yourself prior to a dialogue. Bright Schoolhouse differentiates itself from other schools by keeping a broad focus in their learning philosophies beyond any specific approach typical for this age group. The school's small size allows for individualized attention and tailored instruction, which helps students gain a solid academic foundation and transfer their learning into larger settings with independence and confidence. This approach also means that we can potentially be suitable for children with identified needs. During the application process, the school requests any relevant testing, evaluations, and information to build a complete picture of the child. In turn we work to share full details of your program to help parents identify that this is the right program match for their child. We want to set each child up for success and support the group as a whole and open communication facilities these goals.
  • What are your hours?
    8:00-3:00 We kindly yet firmly remind our families that drop off time is between 8:00-8:15am, and we encourage prompt arrival to ensure that our students are ready to start the day with their peers. Boundaries and routine are a comfort for all! As for pick-up time, we ask that families please plan to arrive by 3:00pm. This is a firm pick-up time as our teachers and staff have other responsibilities and commitments after school hours and planning and prep time must be prioritized. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation in helping us maintain a smooth and efficient daily schedule.
  • Where can I learn more about private school regulations in the State of Oregon?
    You can access this here.
  • What makes up a Bright Parent or Family?
    A Bright Parent is one who demonstrates respect for our teachers, school rules, and expectations. They are clear and effective communicators who support a consistent and fair approach to education, recognizing that individual needs are addressed within the framework of a larger community. Bright Parents see the value of traditional learning methodologies, including the use of textbooks, while also recognizing the benefits of incorporating a variety of other tools and approaches. We encourage open and honest communication during the application process and beyond. A Bright parent understands that they are joining a community and that there will be policies to support group learning.
  • What are your affiliations? Religion? Montessori? Progressive/Socratic?
    We are a secular program. We are not Montessori or Socratic. We are not corporate or part of a large chain. We are a local West Linn nonprofit program.
  • Is there a uniform or dress code at Bright Schoolhouse?
    No, we do not have a uniform or dress code. We believe that children should be comfortable and able to express themselves through their clothing choices with costumes remaining for costume days. We do ask that children wear clothes that are appropriate for active play and messy activities. Accessories may be asked to return to lockers or remain at home.
  • How do you define gifted?
    Families do not need to submit proof of giftedness. Children are gifted in many different ways and we draw from Howard Gardner's Multiple Intelligences. We want to celebrate your child's strengths and develop new ones!
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