Program

Lower School: To Know and Be Known

Students in the Lower School delve into a highly personalized, inquiry-based program under the guidance and care of talented teachers who honor and cherish childhood. Students learn in an environment of inquisitiveness and connectedness. At Bush we believe that learning through  building, tinkering, creating, and playing opens a world of imagination and a passion for discovery that carries students through their entire lives.

“Bush Lower School teachers are explorers, collaborators, risk-takers, and thought partners, which mirror many of the qualities we ask our students to demonstrate in their own learning.”
— Aliya Virani, Lower School Director
“For me, I love Bush because you get to express who you are in all different ways, from math to art to library.”
— Dorothy Grey ‘28

What’s happening in Lower School?

Lower School students from Kindergarten to Fifth Grade have opted into on-campus or remote learning. 

Mrs. Metzger’s Second Grade class held their own presidential vote ahead of the national vote but the candidates looked a little different. Students voted between Piggie or Gerald the Elephant for Class President, and listened to endorsements from key members of the Bush community, including Head of School Percy L. Abram. 

Sean’s Kindergarten class took a walking field trip to a neighborhood landmark–the home of the miniature horses! Students practiced their observation and drawing skills to document the field trip. 

Middle School: An awakening to what is possible

The Bush Middle School program harnesses the growing capacity for critical thinking and self-awareness in young adolescents, meeting all students where they are and enabling them to find success in a progressive and demanding educational program.

Each student is provided a wide variety of opportunities in experiential learning that balances the pursuit of individual interests with risk-taking in new arenas. Learning extends beyond the classroom walls to encompass the collective goals of exploration, interaction, investigation, and service to the larger community.

Middle School faculty are expert guides on the journey from childhood to adolescence. During this time in life, the brain is more tuned to new experiences and more sensitive to change. At Bush, this is an opportunity to support student growth through positive challenges. Our Middle School faculty model trusting adult-student relationships, help students respond to stress, and create caring environments that support emotional and academic skill development.

“Bush faculty and staff care for and admire every single student. In just my first year at Bush, I made so many connections with faculty and staff from various departments. Bush is truly an amazing school, community, and family.”
— Neeyah ‘26

What’s happening in Middle School?

After a fall semester in remote learning, Middle School students and faculty returned to campus on January 25 to begin the hybrid learning model. Classrooms throughout the Middle and Upper School are in use to take advantage of larger spaces for socially distanced classwork. The energy and excitement was palpable as students connected with their classmates and teachers. Middle School students will alternate weeks on campus with Upper School as we continue to prioritize the safety and health needs of our community. 

Upper School: Charting a path towards a life of purpose

In the Bush Upper School, students are asked to participate actively in learning, communities, and the world because we believe deep learning takes place inside and outside the classroom. Students are called upon to consider the greater good and learn about themselves in relation to others. They take risks, have real responsibility, and engage in service learning. These experiences are powerful tools for developing values, building confidence, and charting a path toward a life of purpose.

“At Bush, you leave understanding your role in our world and your role in our society and how you interact with other people. All the teachers, all the students, all the clubs really advocate for that and help move towards that end goal.”
— Avery ‘21

The best learning results from genuine connections between faculty and students. Through these critical relationships, students learn the art of collaborative work, independent research, advocacy, and authentic leadership. Faculty are encouraged to bring their full selves to the job, teaching their passions inside and outside of the classroom to create a program that is balanced and academically fulfilling.

The Upper School prepares students exceptionally well for college and for life, inspiring involved, active citizens who want to make a difference in the world.

What’s happening in Upper School?

The week of January 19 marked the return of Upper School students to campus in the hybrid learning model. Faculty, staff, and administrators eagerly welcomed student back with new safety protocols in place, including physical distancing in classrooms, mandatory face coverings, and new technologies to facilitate connections for remote learners. Amidst the change, what remains constant is the dedication of our remarkable faculty, the thirst for learning amongst our students, and the strong bonds of community that hold us all through the challenges of the pandemic.

REMOTE LEARNING: A Community Connected

“The Bush School has resided in this great city for ninety-six years. Our community has weathered wars, social and political unrest, the Great Depression, and at least two major global recessions, the passing of our founder, and countless personal losses that gripped our school community and tested our mettle. Through each of these we emerged stronger, more united, and more convinced that educating students with sturdy hearts and minds can build a better future for us all. That is more true now than ever.”
— Percy L. Abram, Head of School

After two days of intense planning and professional development, Bush launched a remote schooling program on March 11, 2020 in the face of the COVID-19 health outbreak, following the recommendation of local and national health officials. Bush faculty demonstrated resilience, ingenuity, and flat out hard work. Together they created certainty and purpose for Bush students during a time of uncertainty through the power of education.

In a very short period of time, one campus became hundreds of campuses spread all over the city as students learned from home. Adjusting to virtual classrooms, testing out lesson plans, wondering if a new idea would sink or swim, and being mindful of student wellness through the pandemic defined Bush teachers’ work through the final months of the 2019-2020 school year.

Over the summer, the remote program was assessed and redesigned for the 2020-2021 school year with the four key goals of supportive pathways, predictable routines, well-being, and play.

  1. Supportive pathways: Students will have multiple ways to learn and demonstrate learning. Our classes will offer choice and opportunities to develop independence.
  2. Predictable routines: Students will be supported in their new ways of working with regular check-ins and updates, clear classroom rituals and routines, and established, organized way-finding.
  3. Well-being: We will offer students inclusive opportunities to build and sustain community, understand their own feelings, and empathize with others.
  4. Play: We believe in the power of play. Whether in-person or through technology, we will provide time for students to play with each other and with their teachers. We will communicate and find surprise and delight in many ways—through text, pictures, videos, and music.

 

Since March 2020, The Bush School has put into action best practices and adapted to this new platform for teaching and learning that has allowed our students and families to stay safe through the health crisis. In many ways it has been like building a new school from the ground up, and in other ways the relationships, curriculum, and conversations remain the same. The ability to adapt has allowed Bush teachers to continue to deliver our mission while our community stays safe during the pandemic.