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Families Find Alternatives To School At Workspace Education In Bethel

Workspace Academy opened this month in Bethel. The educational facility support parent guided education
Workspace Academy opened this month in Bethel. The educational facility support parent guided education Photo Credit: Workspace Education on Facebook
The business occupies the former headquarters of Cannondale Bicycle Corp.
The business occupies the former headquarters of Cannondale Bicycle Corp. Photo Credit: Workspace Education on Facebook

BETHEL, Conn. —The executive director of a new educational facility in Bethel says she would have thrived had something similar been offered to her growing up in Australia.

"I didn't have a great experience in high school," said Catherine Fraise, talking to Daily Voice by phone on Tuesday, the official opening day of Workspace Education in Bethel.

She opened the nonprofit educational facility to support parent-guided education because she saw a growing need for this alternative to school, a model she believes will be what school looks like in the future.

Workspace Education took over the 32,000 square-foot, red, barn-sided, two-story building that's been empty since Cannondale Bicycle Corp. moved out to Wilton in 2013.

Families can become members and have access to a collaborative network of other families and professionals. Workspace Education also has a state-of-the-art space with everything a student needs to become self-directed learners, from an audio-visual performance space, to entrepreneurial station.

“Like a library, everything is here for kids to learn and grow, to explore their own, individual, unique passions. It's also for the adults to learn. There is everything here and when a child shows an interest in a different area, professionals can be brought to help the parents.”

Tuesday’s ribbon-cutting was followed by a day of learning for the first 25 families that became members.

The group is a prototype for the learning community, Fraise also describes as a hybrid between project-based homeschooling for families of school-aged children.

"We're trying to create a new model for education where parents can connect incredibly with other parents. We’ve been well-received. This is what education in the future will be like,” she said

Workspace Academy is located at 16 Trowbridge Drive, Bethel. Click here for the Facebook page.

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