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About Cascadia

P1070636Children blossom at Cascadia, where our classrooms are designed specifically to engage your child’s curiosity.

Our small school environment means a great student–teacher ratio :  every staff member will know your child by name. Our highly qualified and experienced teachers will observe your child and meet his/her needs – lessons given to your child are based on your child’s specific abilities and readiness, not the average age of the class or minimum standards. Multiple learning materials are used for each lesson, not just textbooks and lectures, which gives a more practical and concrete meaning to each lesson.  Cascadia School also encourages students to appreciate the diversity of people of all backgrounds and cultures, and to develop a positive self-image within this broad framework. We address your whole child’s development, not just academics. We strive to provide a child-centered education for each child in a safe, supportive community that promotes self-discipline, confidence, collaboration, citizenship, and a lasting love of learning.

At Cascadia School, we support every child in working to their fullest potential. Our environments are designed to promote independent learning and the ability to ask questions and think outside of the box. Our students also learn how to work in collaboration with others, and, how to resolve conflicts when they arise. Our teachers model a conflict resolution model documented in our Parent Handbook along with concepts from Marshall Rosenburg’s model of Non-Violent Communication.

Cascadia School, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, is an approved independent school by the state of Washington and Cascadia elementary teachers are all AMI (Association Montessori International) certified. Cascadia is a member of Oregon Montessori Association (OMA).

Cascadia School provides equal opportunities in all its policies, programs and activities regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age, disability, marital status, familial status, parental status, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, political beliefs, or because all or part of an individual's income is derived from any public assistance program.

Programs

Elementary

The elementary years are a period of tremendous intellectual activity and interest. Students actively question every part of life and culture. The Montessori elementary curriculum accommodates this innate intellectual interest and serves to motivate students to pursue and express their interests in all subject areas. This curriculum encompasses introductory and in-depth work and exploration in language, mathematics, music, zoology, botany, geography, art, and drama.

Classroom Community
The elementary student is learning to be an individual yet an integral part of a larger group and has an emerging social consciousness. At Cascadia this awareness is addresses through small group lessons and projects; collaborative experiences between peers and teachers at every level; individual and group decision-making opportunities regarding class work and community issues; and through participation in conflict resolution activities. Encouraging students to participate in meaningful group decisions fosters a sense of belonging and fans a desire to participate in a larger community. This process is further developed through the multi-year tenure that students experience in each level. Each level, referred to as Lower Elementary and Upper Elementary, encompasses a three year span. Leadership and teambuilding skills develop naturally in a multi-grade environment where respect for all is modeled instead of the traditional grade level hierarchy.

Beyond the Classroom
The Montessori elementary classroom cannot contain within its four walls all that students need and desire to know. In-class activities motivate students to continue their learning and growth through small and large group experiences outside of school. These outside experiences, or “Going-Outs,” occur throughout the year and include nature studies and hiking excursions, cultural events, small group research excursions (library, museums, etc.) and an extended (2-4 day) Spring trip to a regional science field camp.

Middle School

Cascadia Middle School provides a supportive and personalized educational environment for seventh and eighth grade students by encouraging a strong sense of self in a community of peers and teachers. Adolescence is a period of transformation from childhood to adulthood. Maria Montessori compared the onset of adolescence to a rebirth. Just as a newborn child is dependent upon his or her parents to grow and thrive, the adolescent needs others to develop fully. Adolescence marks the beginning of a social mission in which adolescents develop the skills to establish and maintain a social community.

At Cascadia, a primary element of our middle school program is providing a safe and supportive environment in which each student can explore his or her unique talents and interests. We are strongly committed to maintaining a classroom environment that celebrates the inherent value of each child’s individuality and intelligence. Our vigorous academic program encourages students to challenge themselves intellectually in every subject area while improving their ability to communicate effectively, work cooperatively, trust others, and make and keep commitments.

Curriculum
At Cascadia, seventh and eighth grade students have unlimited opportunities to participate in meaningful work within the context of the classroom community. The middle school core program consists of Math, Science, Language Arts, Social Studies, Creative Expression and Physical Expression. Language Arts consists of Writing Workshop, Reading Workshop and Literature Workshop. Creative and Physical Expressions consist of thematic units that allow students to explore their physical and artistic talents. One aspect of this is our “J-Term” (January Term) performance. During this time, we devote our Humanities study to our annual theatrical performance. Students take roles as cast or crew and stage their performance at a local grange. They put on quite a show!

Our core classes include specific skill instruction, but emphasize project-oriented work. Lessons and activities are structured so that students have choices within the thematic units. Proficiency is measured in a variety of ways, such as quizzes, tests, individual and group projects, presentations, discussions and various writing assignments. Study skills such as collaboration, organization, self-evaluation, conflict resolution, and test taking are modeled and explicitly taught throughout the year.

Our curriculum content has been developed in conjunction with Washington State Standards (which had adopted the Common Core Standards) and Grade Level Expectations (GLE). We have a two-year looping curriculum in which the seventh and eighth grade students are integrated for most instruction periods. Some necessary grade-level divisions occur during preparations for testing and to support eighth grade students with their transition to high school. Standardized tests are given annually.

We strive to prepare each of our students for the new experiences they will face in high school. Contemporary research has shown that high school students achieve best when their rapidly changing sense of self has been nurtured within a small, supportive group of peers. Our experience has shown that Cascadia graduates readily form new friendships with peers and teachers in their new schools.

Before / After Care & Extracurriculars

Before/After Care
The Childcare staff offers a stimulating environment of organized arts, crafts, games, and play activities both indoor and outdoor, as well as free play choices (games, outdoor activities, etc.). Many of our students enjoy this free time with their classmates!

Extracurriculars
We are pleased to offer a variety of activities taught by professionals after school hours (3:30 – 6:00). Classes run throughout the year starting in October, in 4 to 10 week sessions on various days of the week. Fees are paid to the instructor. Extracurricular offerings depend on the interest of our student body and availability of instructors.

Our offerings have included:

Drama
Marimba
Piano
Guitar
Dance
Art
Yoga
Chess
Soccer


Note that students enrolled in an extracurricular class are able to stay in after care until their class starts at no additional cost.

The Cascadia Campus

cascadia-school-large The Cascadia Campus consists of just under two acres abutting the Tranquility green space next door. The main building houses two lower elementary classrooms for students in years 1 -3 (the Larkspur and Lupine classrooms), an upper elementary classroom for students in years 4-6 (the Willow classroom), and a middle school classroom for students in years 7 - 8. The school's large recreational field includes an undercover area allowing outdoor access even in inclement weather, and a newly renovated playstructure.

Cascadia Student Body

Cascadia-Middle-School-TetonsCascadia is a second home to 70+ students ages 6 to 14. The multi-age class groupings that are a hallmark of the Montessori method facilitate mentoring between older and younger students and let friendships blossom across age divisions.  The child's ability to move about the class at will and work collectively with other students to design projects of their own making also contributes to the formation of powerful, lasting connections, as do the class outings and special overnight field experiences that are a regular part of the Cascadia school year. Bonds forged at Cascadia continue long after graduation, and it is not unusual to see alumni returning to say hello and show their lasting school spirit.  

Cascadia Parent Community

kids_parkingCascadia embraces parents as participants in the learning process.  Organized programs help parents understand the Montessori philosophy and related child development research and concepts.  Teachers hold regularly scheduled one on one conferences to keep parents apprised of their children's progress and development. An online family portal provides access to essential information 24/7.  And regularly scheduled social events like game nights, family picnics, and coffee mornings on campus, are among the many avenues that unite the Cascadia school community as a diverse family, with members from all walks of life.