Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Who were the founders of Intergenerational Schools?
A. Intergenerational Schools were founded in 2000 by Catherine C. Whitehouse, Ph.D., an educator and developmental psychologist; Peter J. Whitehouse, M.D. and Ph.D., a physician and faculty member at Case Western Reserve University; and Stephanie Fall Creek, DSW, executive director of Fairhill Center for the Aging.
They created a new intergenerational model of education that challenges traditional age segregation and embraces learners of all ages within a lifespan learning community. Intergenerational Schools are intended to guide participants of all ages – students, parents and guardians, teachers, staff, volunteers, mentors, collaborating nonprofits and civic organizations – to acquire the tools and confidence needed to achieve their personal best as lifelong learners and spirited citizens.
The founders based their model on two mainstay ideas:
Learning is a developmental process.
Knowledge is constructed in the context of culture, experience and community.
Q. Is an Intergenerational School right for your child?
A. Enrollment is open to all students. Each family must decide if we are the right choice for their child. That’s one of the reasons it is so important to visit an Intergenerational School to see what we do and how we do it. Come and take a look. Set up a visit.
Q. Is there room for everyone who wants to enroll?
A. No. Many families want their student to attend an Intergenerational School. That’s why it is so important to get involved early in the process. It comes down to available space. We encourage every family to gain an understanding of our enrollment process as soon as possible. You can apply for enrollment here.
Q. Do we limit enrollment to students who live within the City of Cleveland?
A. No, but Cleveland children do receive preference during our January-February Early Enrollment period. After that, all students are enrolled on a first come-first served basis depending on available space.
Q. Are Intergenerational Schools part of the Cleveland Metropolitan School District?
A. No, but we do have a close working relationship with CMSD.
Q. Do Intergenerational Schools provide special education services?
A. Yes, we serve students with disabilities.
Q. Do we have mentors?
A. Yes. It is impossible to overstate the value mentors bring to our schools. They are highly trained and come back year-after-year. They tell us they learn as much from students as students learn from them. Volunteer mentors are at the heart of the intergenerational Schools experience.
Q. Can I follow Intergenerational Schools on social media?
A. Yes. We are on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Visit each school's page for more info.
Q. Do Intergenerational Schools students take state tests and adhere to the 3rd Grade Reading Guarantee?
A. Yes. Our students take all of the state’s required tests and adhere to the 3rd Grade Reading Guarantee Requirements each year.
Q. Are Intergenerational Schools teachers licensed in the State of Ohio?
A. Yes. Every Intergenerational Schools teacher is Highly Qualified under the State’s definition.
Q. Do our schools offer enrichment education like art, music and physical education?
A. Yes. All students have regular art, music and physical education. We also make time for all students to experience recess and unstructured large muscle movement.
Q. Do we provide foreign language instruction?
A. Yes, we provide instruction in Spanish at our Intergenerational Schools Buckeye and Ohio City campuses. Spanish will soon be added at the Lakeshore campus, our newest school.
Q. Do we provide school meals?
A. Yes. Our schools are part of the Federal Meal Program and provide a healthy breakfast and hot lunch for students every day. Near West and Lakeshore Intergenerational Schools are Community Eligibility Provision Schools (CEP), meaning that due to their high numbers of students documented as receiving food assistance meals are provided to ALL students every day free of charge. Students may also bring lunch from home. The Buckeye campus is not in the CEP program, so it must track every free, reduced and paid meal every day as part of its program.
Q. Does positive reinforcement really work for discipline?
A. Yes. Both independent research and our own experience at Intergenerational Schools show that children respond best when they are praised for the right behaviors. That is why we practice a nurtured heart approach to discipline. There are clear rules consistently enforced, but we always strive to recognize positive behaviors.
Q. Do students wear uniforms?
A. The expectation is that students will arrive each day with appropriate attire for a school environment.
Q. Do Intergenerational Schools provide transportation for students?
A. No. Each family is responsible for getting their child to school. Carpooling with other families is one of the best ways to share transportation duties. We will assist parents in receiving a transportation subsidy from their resident school district to help offset the price of gasoline if they travel more than two miles to school. We do rent transportation services as required for programming or field trips. We also contract for such services as nursing, speech therapy or psychology appointments. If there are several students with chronic health issues, the school may contract for full-time clinical aid services to administer medications, etc.
Q. Do Intergenerational Schools offer before and aftercare to students?
A. Yes, at the Buckeye and Ohio City campuses. Lakeshore is currently unable to do this due to lease restrictions on building access after school hours.