Veronica Guzman was saddened when she realized there aren’t many elementary schools on the Eastside that teach both Spanish and English.
She never gave it much mind until now. She has a 5-year-old daughter who is about to enter kindergarten. Guzman is from Colombia and her husband is from Uruguay, and for their family, speaking Spanish and maintaining their home culture is important.
“I really want my daughter to have bilingual opportunities at her school, but there just aren’t very many around here. Most schools incorporate some Spanish, like saying ‘Hello, how are you?’ and counting to 10, but it doesn’t go much beyond that,” she said.
So Guzman decided to “stop complaining and start doing.”
She hopes to open a nonprofit, bilingual private elementary school in Kirkland this fall.
Guzman and her business partner, Maria Teresa Oneto, began planning to open Global Idea School last summer. The school will begin with kindergarten and first grade and will add an additional grade each year.
Guzman said there are benefits to learning another language. Students will spend about half of the day learning and speaking in Spanish and the other half in English.
“There’s a huge amount of research that shows the positive benefits of learning another language, especially as it bolsters brain functions,” she said. “This is why we focus on a bilingual education that is targeted for children who speak Spanish, English or another language at home.”
Global Idea School’s mission is to build an inclusive and supportive community in which learners participate in their emotional, social and intellectual development.
“The guiding principles of our school are founded on a global way of viewing ourselves and the world, ingrained in the idea of our school,” Guzman said.
The guiding principles include:
Global Intelligence: A comprehensive understanding of our place in the world that integrates ways of feeling, thinking and interacting responsibly.
Global Development: The continuous unraveling of the human potential for each unique person, in its integrity, to be and become who each wants to be within a community throughout a lifetime.
Global Exploration: Implies that learning ought to be a fun, hands-on, and on-going process.
Global Attitude: Indicates that our ways of feeling, thinking and behaving are not the only ones, that things are done differently both locally and worldwide, while also recognizing our connection and interdependence to each other, to nature, and to the environment where we live.
In addition to being a bilingual school, Global Idea School will also incorporate computer science and STEM into the curriculum through project-based learning. Guzman believes project-based learning is one of the most effective ways for students to learn. A lot of the curriculum is designed to be “very hands-on.”
“One thing I really want to highlight in this curriculum is learning through failure and that it’s ok to take risks,” she said.
Guzman has not secured a specific location for Global Idea School as of yet. She and Oneto are still in the process of getting it approved to be a nonprofit school. While there is a lot to still complete before opening, Guzman said it’s been rewarding to see how everything has been coming together in such a short time period. She said she is most looking forward to seeing her dream of a bilingual school provide students with a foundation in Spanish and English.
Enclosed is the non-discriminatory policy for Global Idea School.
“Global Idea School does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in its admission process or any of its activities or operations. These activities include, but are not limited to, hiring and firing of staff, selection of students, volunteers and vendors, scholarship and loan programs, and provision of services. We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our staff, students, parents, volunteers, subcontractors, and vendors.
Global Idea School is an equal opportunity employer. We will not discriminate and will take affirmative action measures to ensure against discrimination in employment, recruitment, advertisements for employment, compensation, termination, upgrading, promotions, and other conditions of employment against any employee or job applicant on the bases of race, color, gender, national origin, age, religion, creed, disability, veteran’s status, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.
Unlawful discrimination has no place at Global Idea School and offends the School’s core values which include a commitment to equal opportunity and inclusion. All Global Idea School employees, students, board members and families are expected to join with and uphold this commitment.”
The foregoing Non-Discrimination Policy was adopted by the Board of Directors on December 10, 2018.