Forest Trees
Protecting young trees in the Refuge Food Forest
Protecting young trees in the Refuge Food Forest

Art engagement at University Galleries of ISU
Art engagement at University Galleries of ISU

Creating props for a class play
Creating props for a class play

Protecting young trees in the Refuge Food Forest
Protecting young trees in the Refuge Food Forest


Bloom Community School is a progressive, independent, private school serving families with children in kindergarten through eighth grade in the Bloomington-Normal (IL) area. 

Innovation and collaboration are driving our changing world, and children need learning experiences that help them expand and integrate their intellectual, social, and emotional growth to meet the challenges of the 21st century. Bloom’s exceptional teaching staff adapts and innovates alongside the needs of children, thoughtfully guiding and supporting their growth through inquiry-based practices within a structured daily schedule that includes plenty of outdoor activity. Students develop confidence as they learn to take responsibility for their environment, to take care of their physical needs throughout the day, and to connect with peers of all ages. 

Bloom community school is truly a 21st-century education laboratory that integrates research-based practices in teaching and learning with community engagement in learning opportunities. This approach prepares children to become empowered change agents in our communities, understanding the interconnectedness of our lives, economies, cultures, and futures. 


Bloom’ s unique, responsive educational approach is supported by our immediate environment as a "third teacher." Located in historic Normandy Village, our welcoming building - originally designed for children - is surrounded by green space and adjoining a community playground, offering scalable space for exploration, inquiry, and play. Students climb trees, bring sleds to school in winter, and study or eat lunch in the gazebo in fair weather. Classes regularly visit The Refuge Food Forest, Normal Public Library, and the ISU campus, and ride with Connect Transit busses to navigate Bloomington-Normal during typical years (clearly, 2020 is not a typical year - and for the beginning of this academic year our skilled teachers are shifting their inquiry-based approach to offer daily class sessions outdoors!). 

Walking into Bloom Community School, you will see that it is organized to honor how children learn - with their whole selves. Bloom’s learning environment is designed to enhance both independent navigation and collaboration with its inviting, integrative, and dynamic learning spaces. As the parent of two current students said when she first visited the school, “It was like walking into my child’s brain.” 


Bloom's experienced, thoughtful teachers bring diverse backgrounds to their classrooms, united by a commitment to creating a unique school environment that respects each individual's strengths and needs. Our teachers also offer caring guidance and work with families to provide frameworks of understanding for how they address learner goals through personalized learning.


Bloom is joyfully expanding the longstanding investment that Bloomington-Normal has made in education by extending true innovation into K-8 learning. With support from Illinois State University and Illinois Wesleyan University educators as well as a long list of community collaborators that includes area organizations, businesses, and individuals, Bloom teachers help connect student interests, questions, learning needs, and developing sense of identity to ever-widening circles of family, school, community, and world.


Building a brighter community of learning

for the 21st century!

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"As we searched local school options, Bloom stood out as a shining exception. Rather than drills and busywork, the school guides students in exploring and learning in ways other schools regrettably cannot. The school is suited for how he, and most children, learn within an environment that feels more like a (very smart and nurturing) family of teachers and students."


"Our son enjoys talking about his inquiry-based learning projects, his many educational field trips in the community, and simply taking advantage of the little, yet powerful, freedoms in the way he can exercise his critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Small, class sizes allow for an unprecedented opportunity for his teacher to know him as a person and focus on helping him reach his greatest potential."


"When our son participates in extracurricular activities outside of school, I quickly realize the impact Bloom has had on our son’s thinking, speaking, and behavior. It’s incredible."


"We knew we wanted our son’s elementary school experience to help him – and us! – discover strengths and interests in a holistic way. We chose Bloom because of the way the school holds space for and prioritizes the 

fundamentals of lifelong learning." 



"Our daughter's self-confidence and love of learning have been revitalized! She is now passionate about math, science, social issues, art, politics, business, and reading in a way that is mind-blowing to me." 



"We have been very impressed with the inquiry process and how much the students learn not only about their inquiry topic, but about planning their project, breaking it down into tasks, prioritization, research, collaboration, writing, and presentation." 


"The Bloom values of empathy, respect, and community extend far beyond the classroom. Every Bloom student is seen and understood as an individual learner and member of the community, and it's a beautiful thing to witness." 



"If you are looking for an exceptional alternative schooling option for your child, consider Bloom. There is no better place that we have found locally for education that incorporates social-emotional learning, inquiry based learning, and development of executive functioning skills."

"You can have the best teacher, curriculums, and interventions, but if the child is not ENGAGED in the learning process then it is not likely benefiting them. A focus on engagement through inquiry based learning, social emotional understanding, and executive functioning skills is our priority for our children -  that is the foundation upon which the rest of the academic knowledge will follow."



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