Global Idea School is getting ready to celebrate the completion of its first school year.
Launched by two Eastside moms—Veronica Guzman and Maria Teresa Oneto—the full-day, nonprofit, bilingual private elementary school officially opened last September.
Guzman and Oneto both attended Spanish-English K-12 schools in Lima, Perú, and Bogotá, Colombia, respectively. Looking back, they recognized that bilingual education was a catalyst that opened many doors for them.
Now, raising their own children, Guzman and Oneto want their children to receive the same benefits of learning both languages.
Guzman said she was saddened when she realized there aren’t many elementary schools on the Eastside that teach both Spanish and English.
Guzman said most schools incorporate some Spanish, like saying “Hello, how are you?” and counting to 10, but it doesn’t seem to go much beyond that.
Thus, Global Idea School was born.
The school opened with just eight students in kindergarten and first grade. The plan is to add an additional grade each year, Guzman said.
Students spend about half the day learning in Spanish, and the second 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,” Guzman said. “This is why we focus on a bilingual education that is targeted for children who speak Spanish, English or another language at home.”
In addition to being a bilingual school, Global Idea School also incorporates 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.
Global Idea School covers several subjects including, physical education, art, social studies, computer science and music. The school has partnered with local athletic clubs to provide students with healthy exercise.
“The teachers are really passionate,” Guzman said. “With only eight students, the teachers can personalize the teaching to each student. They can challenge each student and support each student.”
Guzman said she’s enjoyed seeing the growth and curiosity of each student.
“It’s been wonderful seeing the students thrive. The families are happy,” she said. “It’s been really fulfilling.”
Global Idea School is preparing for next year’s enrollment. The school’s next open house is March 7 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. The school is located at 9833 NE 120th Place, Kirkland.
To learn more about Global Idea School, visit https://www.globalideaschool.org/.