Learning through non-traditional means
The Reggio-Emilia Approach began in the Municipal Infant-Toddler Centers and Preschools of Reggio Emilia, Italy, and has inspired other schools all over the world. It is based on the principles of respect, responsibility and community. It emphasizes exploration and discovery in a supportive enriching environment based on the interests of children. In this approach children provide the direction of their learning and have many ways and opportunities to express themselves. Parents are also a key component and are viewed as important partners and collaborators.
At Journey School Lynnwood we believe that quality education includes daily opportunities to connect with nature. Hands-on experiences in nature offer unique experiences to support young children's creativity and problem-solving skills, as well as enhancing children's cognitive abilities, social relations and self-control, which helps build happy, healthy children.
Compassion and Acceptance
Use your voice for kindness, your ears for compassion, your hands for charity, your mind for truth, and your heart for love.
Conscious Discipline by Dr. Becky Bailey is our holistic classroom management philosophy based on up-to-date research and developmentally appropriate care. Self-management isn't just for children, it's for their important grown-ups as well! To read more about the CD approach, click here.
Meet the Owner
Andrea Kolacz is the Owner and Head of School at Journey School Lynnwood.
Here she works with the Children, Families, Educators and Volunteers to build a connected and supportive community, where each child is valued for who they are, quirks and all! Andrea’s passion is connecting with the kids and families. Her goal is to build a supportive, diverse, exciting environment that allows kids to flourish, grow and learn about the world around them. Whether that be through regular and relevant communication and feedback, open-door listening or hands-on participation.
Andrea believes that by building strong, competent and capable children and families now, JSL is setting the stage for any possibility for their future. This is not only a personal passion of hers, but it is also the focus of her educational background and professional training.
Andrea has a long history in the social work field. Through her work doing community development and planning around homelessness, mental health, chemical dependency and poverty related services, she saw the challenges and struggles children and families face on a regular basis across all walks of life. From assisting clients secure basic services and address needs such as food, housing, transportation and education to working at the local, state and national level on policy and funding-related issues for services. Most notably, she and a colleague conducted a research study, looking at the local needs within Snohomish County for families living in poverty working toward self-sufficiency. This work helped drive a public-private partnership with Building Changes and the Gate’s Foundation to create significant changes in the way social services were provided to better meet the individual or family’s needs.
It is from this work and these experiences, that gives her the drive and motivation as well as desire, to create an inclusive, supportive environment that helps set the foundation for children to develop their natural skills to cope with life’s demands, no matter what comes their way.
Andrea is a Master’s level clinical social work, with an emphasis on individual, family and systems work. Andrea holds a Bachelor's degree in social work with a minor in psychology from the University of Portland as well as a Master of Social Work from the University of Washington.
As a parent of three JSL students herself, Andrea’s dedication to creating a meaningful foundation is not only a professional focus, but also a very personal motivation.