February 27, 2023

New Green Wall Installed in Living Building Science Wing

When the Bertschi School Living Science Building was completed in February 2011, one of the primary features was a 165 square foot vertical green wall whose primary use was to treat gray water. The wall model was a beta, and served educational and environmental purposes. However, over the years it ran its course and newer designs for green walls became available.

In spring 2019, the fifth grade class raised funds to help the school renew the wall as well as honor retiring founding science teacher, Julie Blystad. After a delay due to the pandemic, we were thrilled to engage with some parent volunteers whose expertise led us to hire Variance Design to redesign, fabricate, install, and plant the living wall and integrate a new aquatic element.

Last week, the new green wall was installed!

Green Wall Specs

  • The wall includes about 1,000 assorted tropical plants of 10+ species that grow in custom mesh pockets
  • A "life support" system of controllers, sensors, and pumps irrigate, fertilize, and balance water quality
  • The ecosystem of the wall supports a healthy environment for a new addition of fish
  • Students can track live data from the wall via an app

Thank you to the staff and volunteers who helped us bring this project to fruition. Special thanks to the Class of 2019 families who made this project possible.

Coming soon: the Class of 2019 legacy project plaque will be installed nearby to honor the contributions of those families and students who helped make the renewal project possible.

November 08, 2022

Read Our Fall Newsletter & Annual Report 2022

Read our fall newsletter and annual report (July 1, 2021-June 30, 2022). Thank you to our community who are such strong supporters of our school!

View the newsletter and annual report.

September 15, 2022

Leadership honors for two Bertschi staff members

This year, Liz Karna (formerly Huehnergarth), Director of Learning Services, is participating in the NWAIS Emerging Leaders cohort. The NWAIS Emerging Leaders cohort is a year-long program designed to develop independent school leaders. Around 20 current and future school leaders from the northwest region (including Washington, Oregon, Idaho and more) were selected last spring to participate in this year's program. Liz, along with her leadership cohort, will deepen skills in educational leadership, build meaningful relationships with seasoned school leaders, and practice making leadership decisions through case studies and discussion. Liz will meet with her cohort monthly and participate in 2 conferences to support her learning this school year.

In addition, Ciera Young, Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, is participating in the Leadership Tomorrow Flagship Program. Participants explore important regional issues and how they are interconnected, develop and practice strategies and tools to become more effective leaders, and expand your personal and professional networks. Key aspects of the program are analyzing the history and current impacts of racism and understanding that working with others to advance racial equity is central to leadership in our region.

Congratulations, Liz and Ciera!

June 03, 2022

COVID-19 Health & Safety 2022-23

Click here for the latest protocols and policies for the 2022-23 school year>>

April 07, 2022

Bertschi and UW Offer a Fellowship for Aspiring Black Educators

Bertschi School offers a full-time teaching associate job and up to $10,000 each year toward tuition for an aspiring Black educator enrolled in a University of Washington teaching certification program.

As student teaching becomes part of the candidate’s program, Bertschi will work with the accrediting college to support student teaching at Bertschi School. The fellow will work with two classrooms and teachers at one grade level (1st-5th grade). Other opportunities include observations of other classrooms and mentoring and support throughout the program.

Learn more>>