OUR MISSION + VALUES
the woodlawn experience
To produce independent lifelong learners who are responsible contributing members of a diverse global society.
OUR GOAL FOR YOUR CHILD
INDEPENDENT LIFELONG LEARNERS
What does being an independent lifelong learner mean for your child?
- Woodlawn students master “learn how to learn” skills in Language Arts, Math, and Science.
- Our students learn to become critical thinkers, skilled in evaluating facts, analyzing data, understanding the heart of the issue, and making decisions for themselves.
- Our approach – hands-on, integrated, Project Based Learning – fosters team-building skills, social and emotional intelligence, and the growth mindset that sets the stage for success in a dynamic, ever-changing world.
What does being a responsible contributing member of a diverse global society mean for your child:
- Woodlawn students learn and appreciate that diversity is a source of strength.
- Woodlawn’s Life Skills curriculum teaches students how to thrive in group work. How to live and work in ways that bring out the best in others.
- Woodlawn’s Responsive Classroom, Honor System, and culture fosters self-discipline, integrity, and respect for others.
The benefit: Woodlawn students are joyful learners who choose a bright, optimistic, positive emotional response to change. They are unafraid to learn new things. They have a healthy understanding that failure is essential to success. They have the self-knowledge and confidence to effectively navigate a complex and turbulent world.
WHAT IS PROJECT BASED LEARNING?
What Is Project Based Learning? Why Is It So Different from Traditional Teaching? Why Is It So Effective?
Project Based Learning is a process that is driven by essential questions, real world problems, and integrates all facets of the curriculum into a hands-on, learner-driven project built on these seven pillars:
- A challenging question or problem directly connected to the real world.
- Sustained Inquiry. How and Why questions that go beyond getting an answer for a standardized test.
- Authenticity. Relevant, meaningful connections of curriculum to problem-solving, and to life.
- Student Voice and Choice. Learner-driven. Student-centered. Teachers who are coaches and partners, not the “sage on the stage” or taskmaster of traditional schools.
- Reflection. Learning how to step back and measure progress in mastering essential skills and in self-knowledge of personal growth and development.
- Critique and Revision. Learning how to think critically, give and receive constructive feedback and criticism in ways that are positive, productive, and improve teamwork.
- Public Product – Master the art of effective communication and presentation using a variety of media and methods. The culminating event of Project Based Learning, the Project Share, is centered on students teaching parents and teachers what they learned, how they learned it, and what it means to them. This leads to mastery beyond what any test can teach.
WHY DON'T ALL SCHOOLS USE PROJECT BASED LEARNING?
Why don’t all schools use Project Based Learning?
They should – it is the way we are naturally meant to learn, and the way the real world works! Very few schools can provide PBL’s essential ingredients:
- Specially trained, superior teachers. All Woodlawn teachers benefit from the school’s partnership with the Buck Institute for Education PBL Works at our Summer PBL Institute. Woodlawn teachers embrace and model lifelong, joyful learning and demonstrate strong, positive growth mindsets.
- Small class sizes. Average class sizes of 14 and a 7-to-1 student : teacher ratio enable teams of gifted, skilled, mentor teachers to know and value every child and partner with parents to help every child achieve their full potential.
- Empowered teachers who integrate curriculum. Teams of teachers plan every project to ensure that it supports every academic discipline and skill set. Our teachers meet at least once each week to ensure that every student is mastering the curriculum, the project is aligned and integrated with core academic standards, and each student’s social and emotional learning needs are being met
“I am grateful for various things, but Woodlawn’s ability to shape me into who I am today is what I am most thankful for. Woodlawn grew right alongside me for all of those years. In second grade, I was taking my math class in Stinson. When I graduated, I was finishing the 100m dash across our brand new track facility. The growth from both of us seemed so small at the time. When looking back, the evolution is outstanding.”
– Will H. ’18
Founder + CEO, Speek
20 YEARS AND COUNTING
Founded in 2002, Woodlawn first began with just seven students and two small buildings and opened its doors for the first time in the fall of that year. Just two years later, 70 students were enrolled and Woodlawn had already established a reputation as a place where high academic standards led to independent, lifelong learning.
WE WORK TOGETHER
Woodlawn School is home to an award-winning team of purpose driven and passionate individuals. Our faculty and staff have a passion for teaching and thinking outside of the box to provide our students with the best possible education and experience that will prepare them for their bright futures.