Majuro Cooperative School was founded in 1975 by a small group of concerned parents who wanted to provide their children with a high-quality education. Co-op was first accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges in March 1994. In April 1997, the school was awarded a 3-year extension of its term of accreditation. It was revisited again in March of 2000, obtaining another 3-year term of accreditation, which was subsequently extended for an additional two years through 2005, and then again through 2007. In July of 2007 the school was accredited for three years through to the summer of 2010. In 2010 the school was given a 6 year accreditation by WASC.
Our Little United Nations
The large percentage of Marshallese attending Co-op means that English is a second language for the majority of students. For the vast majority of Co-op students, even those who have one parent who is a first language English speaker, the language that they use with their family and friends is Marshallese, and English is used only at school. The need for strong English skills underlies the school’s policy of starting English language instruction from the earliest grades in an effort to develop fluency in written and oral English among the students.
A significant challenge for the Marshall Islands is its transition from a rural, largely subsistence way of life to a highly urban, cash economy. Today, with more than 2/3 of the population living in the two major urban centers, cultural norms through the extended family system that governed the society for generations are breaking down.