The Bridge Educational Society

The Bridge Educational Society establishes educational facilities and programs that focus on the whole person. We balance physical education, humanities, sciences, nature and the arts to meet the needs of each child at each stage of development. We focus on developmentally appropriate education on our campus which is surrounded and infused with nature. Our goal is to provide a physical and academic environment where each individual can thrive. 

The Bridge Educational Society is the steward for The Bridge Land for Learning, a 20+ acre campus dedicated to serving the North Okanagan community.  The Society established and operates the Okanagan Waldorf School, which serves students from kindergarten through grade 8, and The Early Years Centre, which provides child care from birth to school age.

Vision Statement

Enlivened education.

Mission Statement

We offer Waldorf education through purposeful experiences on The Bridge Land for Learning. We seek to uncover the full potential of each person so they may freely carry out their lives with courage and purpose. Together, we foster positive social and ecological growth.

Why Waldorf?

To learn more about why we work diligently to bring programs to the children and families of North Okanagan rooted in Waldorf Educational principles, read more.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

We are committed to creating a community that is inclusive for all students, families, staff, faculty, and community members, especially those that have been impacted by racism and oppression. We seek to acknowledge where we have fallen short and commit to changing our current systems and practices.

Our staff is committed to a continuous path of learning and the activities of an enlivened Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee.

Meet Our Team

Meet our incredible team!

Our History

2005
January 1

2005 – Our Beginning

2005 – Our Beginning
It all began with one inspired parent and farmer, Emily Hladych, who hosted a Waldorf-inspired Parent and Child group in her home.
2006
January 1

2006 – Officially a Registered Society

2006 – Officially a Registered Society

The first board was formed and The Bridge Educational Society was registered. Emily Hladych began the first Kindergarten program, with three children, in her home at Vale Farms.

Later that year, the founders ceremoniously broke ground at 730 Whitevale as the planning for the first school building began.

2008
January 1

2008 – Original School Building Constructed

2008 – Original School Building Constructed

The original school building was constructed. The land and capital for the construction of the first building was provided by Charlotte Ruechel and Don and Emily Hladych. The building was completed in summer 2008.

2009
January 1

2009 – First Students on Campus

2009 – First Students on Campus

Cedar Bridge School welcomed its first students to our current campus at 730 Whitevale Road.

2012
January 1

2012 – Community Garden Cooperative Formed

2012 – Community Garden Cooperative Formed

A co-operative community garden group began working on the school grounds, allowing the expansion of the gardening curriculum.

2014
January 1

2014 – Offered Licenced Preschool

2014 – Offered Licenced Preschool

We became a licensed preschool and added a 3-day, drop-off mixed-age preschool/kindergarten to our programming.

Elementary Students: 12 (1/2/3 and 4/5/6 class), plus our preschool
Staff: 2 full-time; 3 part-time

2015
January 1

2015 – Became a Ministry Certified Independent School

2015 – Became a Ministry Certified Independent School

In the Fall we became a group 2 independent school with the Ministry of Independent Schools and hired our first paid administrator (part-time).

Elementary K-6 Students: 24, plus our preschool

2016
January 1

2016 – Classroom Building Constructed

2016 – Classroom Building Constructed

We renewed our application for developing membership with WECAN and received Group 1 classification as an independent school.

We raised the required funds through our first capital campaign to build a second two-classroom building.

Elementary K-6 Students: 42, plus our preschool

2017
January 1

2017 – Continued Significant Growth

2017 – Continued Significant Growth

Growing enrollment required the purchase of a portable building to house more students.

We secured our Associate Membership with WECAN for our early childhood programs.

Elementary K-7 Students: 60, plus the preschool program
Staff: 11 full-time; 8 part-time

2018
January 1

2018 – Name Changed to Okanagan Waldorf School

2018 – Name Changed to Okanagan Waldorf School

The Society was successful in a grant application to the Ministry of Children and Family Development to build a child care centre on the campus.

The name Cedar Bridge School was changed to Okanagan Waldorf School as we secured our Associate Membership with AWSNA for our elementary grades.

2020
January 1

2020 – Opened the Early Years Centre

2020 – Opened the Early Years Centre

On March 2, 2020 we opened the Early Years Centre, serving children from birth to school age. March 17, 2020, COVID-19 closed the elementary school to in-person instruction and only allowed the children of essential workers to be cared for at the child care centre.

We installed the perimeter fence of our new on-campus Community Garden.

Elementary K-7 Students: 66, plus the preschool program
Staff: 20 full-time; 3 part-time

2021
January 1

2021 – First Year of Offering Grade 8 at Okanagan Waldorf School

2021 – First Year of Offering Grade 8 at Okanagan Waldorf School

We expanded our elementary grades to include grade 8 for the first time.

Elementary K-8 students: 62
Early Years Centre child care enrolment: 60+
Staff: 30 full-time; 4 part-time

Testimonial

“The Bridge Land for Learning will make Lumby, rural Lumby, and the North Okanagan as a whole, a more desirable place to live and work and will add to our area’s long-term success. The Society has been very active in working to address the child care shortage in our region through their Early Years Centre, which opened in March 2020. We have witnessed first-hand how the addition of this facility has both supported local families with child care, and also increased the economic development of our area by becoming a major employer.”

- Kevin Acton, Mayor of Lumby

Interested in a career with us?

If you welcome challenging and rewarding work, then consider developing your career with us!

    Book a Tour

    At this virtual tour you will see the classroom space, learn about Waldorf Education, have a chance to ask questions, and find out how to enrol if you think that Bridge Educational Society is the right choice for your child.

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