Why Willow?

Willow’s Philosophy

Vero Beach’s Best School Curriculum

Developing a child’s self-esteem and confidence is as important as developing his or her academic skills. At The Willow School, we encourage this through creating a safe place for all children to succeed academically, a place where they can explore intellectually, socially and emotionally, building self-esteem, confidence and academic excellence.

At Willow rigorous academics are combined with projects and experiential activities to create the best school curriculum that is both challenging and fun. We believe it is very important to help each student find success; for success is the root of self-esteem.

Through the course of an education at Willow, our students gain confidence in their abilities in problem solving and critical thinking, as well as in conflict resolution and teamwork. Our students think we provide the best school program and curriculum they have ever experienced. We view intellectual growth and character development as mutually dependent and of equal importance.

The Willow School philosophy is based on the belief that schools can be informal and individualized, yet still educate well. We believe that a quality education acknowledges the innate curiosity of children and their desire to understand and master their environment. Because children have different interests and learning styles, and because they progress at different rates, we take considerable care to tailor our program to the talents and needs of each child. This is how we create the best school curriculum possible.

The Four Pillars of Learning Excellence

The Willow School’s highly acclaimed academic program is aligned with the rigorous the Common Core Curriculum Standards.

Our academic approach is based on four essential pillars of learning excellence, use the links provided to learn more.

Why Choose a K-8 School?

A Public and Charter School Alternative

Research by national education experts shows that young adolescents need a smaller, more personal learning community with close relationships to teachers, other adults and their peers.

Adolescents need opportunities for enriched, hands-on learning, creative projects, inventive explorations, and to be accountable as mentors to younger children. The same experts question whether these needs can be met at the large, impersonal middle schools where students often face anonymity, bullying and repetitive textbook assignments. Consider Willow, a public and charter school alternative.

Research also shows that eighth-graders in K-8 schools have higher self-esteem and higher test scores than their middle-school counterparts, even when adjusted for socio-economic disadvantages. These eighth-graders also transition well both academically and socially to larger high schools, according to studies.

The Willow School program, a private alternative to our local public and charter schools, strives to create hands-on learning activities and opportunities that:

  • build student motivation
  • promote individual responsibility
  • keep students enthusiastically engaged in the learning process.

Cross-age tutoring and parent volunteers also help to build a close community.

Our K-2 students eagerly look forward to sharing time each week with their older reading buddies or during one of our weekly “all school get togethers”. By having regular student interaction across the grade levels the incidence of teasing and bullying is dramatically reduced.

We all want our children to be in a safe, loving, supportive and dynamic school environment when we drop them off in the mornings – to know that they will academically challenged while supported as human beings.

At The Willow School, we strive to meet the needs of our students both young and adolescent by providing an enriched and stimulating educational environment for academic excellence and social well-being. Consider enrolling your child at Willow, an excellent alternative to public and charter schools.

There is a growing recognition that in order to educate children for an unknown future in the 21st century, we cannot simply dictate curriculum and “content” such as what math, language, and science skills children need to know or memorize.

We must address and teach children other kinds of skills: thinking, analyzing and communication.

People work in jobs today that simply did not exist five years ago. In order to prepare our students to meet these future demands and needs, it is imperative that they learn how to live and adapt in a global workplace.

One of the driving forces behind adding the 21st century skills to today’s education are colleges and universities who find that incoming students are not able to communicate articulately, analyze and synthesize data and information. Part of this can be attributed to the emphasis on high stakes testing which rewards rote learning and memorization instead of encouraging creativity, collaboration and critical thinking. Colleges often have to provide remedial courses for students in order to help them learn these skills.

Willow decided our students needed these skills incorporated into the curriculum. As a result, our graduates excel in high school and the competitive colleges in which they have been admitted.

Willow incorporates the list below into the school’s curriculum. It comes from the Partnership for 21st Century Skills, a non-profit organization advocating for the integration of these skills in education.

These skills include:

  • Civic, Health & Environmental Literacy
  • Creativity
  • Critical Thinking
  • Collaboration
  • Communication
  • Global Awareness
  • Information, Media and Technology Skills
  • Initiative & Self Direction
  • Leadership & Responsibility
  • Problem Solving

Learn more at p21.org

Creating a Caring Community

Developing a child’s self-esteem and confidence is as important as developing his or her academic skills.

At Willow, we encourage this by creating a safe community for all children to succeed academically, a place where they can explore intellectually, socially and emotionally, building self-esteem and confidence.

We are a small non-profit school and we embrace being small wholeheartedly. A small school:

  • encourages friendships across grade levels
  • fosters community
  • enables everyone to get to know each other in multiple ways

We consider ourselves a large family and are committed to creating a culture of kindness and respect for everyone at our school. To this end, we spend time as an entire school two to three times a week doing various activities, games, projects and community service.

Morning Meeting – Two mornings a week our school gathers as a whole community to share personal stories, make announcements and engage in team building activities. We put this time aside knowing the importance of getting to know each other outside of the classroom and providing opportunities for all our students to positively engage with one another.

Common Time – Once a month all students gather together in the afternoon for our “Common Time” activities. They are primarily organized and directed by our 7 – 8 grade group and consist of:

  • interactive games
  • activities
  • service projects

Reading Buddies – Once a week the 7 – 8 grade students spend an afternoon with the K – 2 group during reading time. These “reading buddies” will listen to and assist the younger children as they strive to become as proficient as their older friends.

Conflict Resolution – In the classroom and out on the playground, conflict resolution techniques are taught. With the guidance of one of our trained staff members children are encouraged to express themselves openly and honestly when a disagreement arises.

Students are taught and encouraged to settle their disputes peacefully using appropriate techniques which we model throughout the year.

 

Our Incredible Alumni

 

Our alumni continue to make Willow proud even after they have left our school.

Many of our alumni visit us often, volunteering in the office or classroom.

Willow has had students come to us from a public or private school. Some came as an alternative to being home-schooled. Willow gave all of them a solid academic base and now they continue to excel in school.

Willow’s staff recently surveyed the alumni to see just what they were up to at the high school or college of their choice.

What we found was that the majority of our graduates:

Rank in the top 10 percent at their high school

Excel in Honors, AP and Dual Enrollment College Classes

Are active members of the school community- participating in clubs & after school activities

Have received acceptances from top colleges including:

  • Brown University, Providence, RI
  • Eckerd College, St Petersburg, FL
  • Florida Atlantic University
  • Florida International University
  • Florida State University
  • Macalester College, St. Paul, MN
  • New College, Sarasota, FL
  • Savannah College of Art & Design, Savannah, GA
  • University of Central Florida
  • University of Florida
  • University of Montana
  • University of North Carolina at Asheville