Opal School closed in 2021. You can continue to access these resources for free at teachingpreschoolpartners.org/resource-library/.

What school should be like

What school should be like

Fourth-graders gave these cookies to the graduates

“to remind you to always find a third door and to not ignore that there are third doors all around you.”

Friday, another group of students said goodbye to Opal School, moving on to middle schools around the city.  I think the annual graduation ceremony is made beautiful by the songs sung, the teachers’ speeches about each student animated by photos taken throughout the child’s Opal School experience and, most of all, by the speeches the children offer.

What Angelina and Chloe said seems especially relevant to share with our blog readers:

There are so many things at Opal we take for granted, like learning the importance of community and understanding others.

There are so many students around the world that don’t have access to the type of learning experiences we have, like the adventures that take place in the arboretum.  Being outside gives us a feeling of exploration where we can grow our ideas with play and connect with others.  We believe that schools should have access to the natural world.

The gifts we bring to this classroom we bring into the world and we can collaborate with other people to create amazing ideas and inventions. Collaboration is the key to growing ideas and we believe all students should have access to an environment where they feel safe to collaborate.

School should be a place that welcomes you and accepts you.  We should all feel loved and accepted in a community, like you belong.  This is what Opal feels like.

At Opal, we expore our ideas through materials. The materials help inspire ideas and express them.  We believe that all schools should have access to materials.

At Opal, we learn through conflict and take experiences from the past and apply that to the future instead of trying to hide our mistakes.

Opal is a place where we can all come together to create a better future for each other.  At Opal, we learn to understand others and to teach others what we have learned.

This is what school should be like.

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