About

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 school has grown significantly since its early days as a one teacher school with a single classroom. There are currently 321 students (about half boys and half girls) enrolled at Co-op, representing diverse cultural and socio-economic backgrounds. The current ethnic/nationality makeup of the student body is very similar to what it was in the late 1990s. This is reflective of the fact that a consistently large number of Marshallese parents have chosen to send their children to Majuro Cooperative School because of its remarkable academic record.

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.

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