Brighton Schools has a charming if not truly interesting history. Born out of true passion and commitment to education and childcare, we are proud to tell this story of our evolution.
Over 24 years ago, real estate developers, partners and friends, Norm Frewin and Greg Nichols founded Granite Bay Learning Center. In 1989 they built the Granite Bay building for a childcare tenant who operated the business unsuccessfully. With the second tenant, over a year and a half later, both men became more involved, gaining an understanding of the center’s management relative to finances and operations. Unfortunately, this tenant also failed, closing the doors and leaving both staff as well as customers to flounder one Thursday morning at 6:30 am.
Over the course of three years and two child care operators, many loyal families came to know Norm and Greg. Throughout daily interactions and observations, they came to trust the businessmen who supported their school. With the closing of the second school, parents were left without childcare for their families.They immediately turned to Norm. One evening in a small pizza parlor across the street from the school, a large group of parents asked Norm to take over the school, not only its administration but also its operations, curriculum and all that came with it. Although he had a strong desire to help, Norm admitted his lack of knowledge in early childhood education, staffing and curriculum.
The parents kept pushing and Norm relented. Over the course of the next three months, Norm did due diligence and prepared to reopen the school, new license and all. While hiring, he surrounded himself with educated and highly experienced teachers and management. Three months after the second tenant closed the doors, the building was once again a school. In 1992 Granite Bay Learning Center was official.
Working closely with their administrative and teaching staff, Norm and Greg came to understand and in turn love their new profession. Quality early childhood education became a singular mission and one by one other endeavors took second place. In June of 1995 Folsom Learning Center was born. Both schools serviced the needs of families for infants through school age. Granite Bay also hosted a very successful, private Kindergarten program which Folsom would soon duplicate.
In 1997 a wonderful and unique opportunity was presented to the partners and their already established management staff. The City of Folsom opened an opportunity to childcare providers, locally, regionally and nationally. Their goal was to share the Ernie Sheldon Youth Sports complex with a provider, giving the city revenue as well as extra rooms to hold city programs. The provider would benefit from the sports complex in the park, with full use of the sand park, baseball diamonds, soccer fields, roller hockey courts, tennis and basketball courts. After a public bidding process, The Learning Centers won the contract over one of the world’s largest, publicly traded providers. Natoma Station Learning Center was founded in November of 1998. It provided service for two-year-old toddlers through preschool as well as a fantastic program for approximately 100 school age children. Natoma Station also provided a home for a private kindergarten and in 2003 a first grade program was established.
The most current chapter in Learning Center history is that of our name change. After a successful 10 years of business, we decided to make a strategic change to our image so we could better describe our educational mission and verify our name. Through a parent survey, we discovered that many of our families did not realize that we were a family of three schools. The Learning Center’s name was too general; it was a location descriptor that could not be service marked. Additionally, our goals in recent years have expanded to opening a private elementary school and the Learning Center name did not reflect this growth. The name Brighton Schools accomplished our goals by giving the public a recognizable name and logo as well as confirmation of our educational mission. Our schools, their programs, policies, goals, philosophies, management and ownership have remained the same, just better positioned for growth and development.
We love our history and all we are very proud of our beginnings. We look forward to many years to come.