At Greenwood Community School, middle and high cchool-aged students share two days a week of academic study, engagement with the natural world, and exploration of local points of culture. With curriculum and activities selected through consensus-based democratic process, students experience healthy community practices while simultaneously developing close relationships with themselves, their peers and mentors, and the world around them.
Greenwood Community School is a space where young adults can learn on their own terms with the support of experienced educators, naturalists, artists, and community leaders. The connectivity of nature is woven together with the focus of classroom education and supported by diverse cultural elements to create a strong container for growth and learning that nurtures confident, capable, and engaged youth.
There is no “typical day” in a democratic school. On any given day we might be up to our chests in sphagnum moss, diligently studying algebra, sweating over the forge, or engaged in a lively debate over the ethics of Just War theory. Every semester the students craft a schedule that represents their current interests, and often that schedule changes over the semester as curiosity leads up down new and unexpected paths.
Here is the current daily schedule for the Spring session of 2018. Click on any block for details, and remember that the descriptions are just the initial instructor curriculum, and are very much subject to revision based on student interest!
|9am – 9:20||9 – 9:10am|
|9:20 – 9:45am||9:10 – 9:20am|
|9:45 – 9:55||9:20- 9:30|
|10am-11:50||9:35 – 10:55||||
|12pm – 12:55||11am – 12:15||||
|1pm – 2:45||12:15 – 12:55|
|2:50 – 3pm||1pm – 2:45|
|2:50 – 3pm|
Based on student interest, we also schedule regular off-site learning days. These could be trips to local craft spaces such as a blacksmith’s shop or a Luthier. We may go harvest seaweed and learn how to prepare it, or help tap trees and boil sap. These excursions will include meeting and learning from local people with unique and powerful skill sets, with opportunities to practice different skills and ask lots of questions. We will also go to local natural points of interest, such as Bald Mtn. or Sears Island for the day. We will also explore cultural points such as museums or performances. Some trips will be overnight, such as when we travel to the North Woods of Maine for experience in deeper wilderness or to Portland, Boston or New York for urban events and programming.
While Northwood staff (which include certified teachers, naturalists, professional musicians, artists, and more) can teach in a wide variety of content areas, we also look forward to weaving in guest instructors from the community for special classes, such as languages, advanced mathematics, astronomy, computer and technology skills, and formal First Aid trainings. For certain travel and transportation needs, we will also ask families to help out as they can.
As with all Northwood programs, tuition is calculated on a sliding scale. We will work with families to ensure that any student who wishes to participate is able to regardless of financial restraints. An offer has tentatively been made by a local family to host students from farther distances on Tuesday evenings if they want to commute for two days each week.
Some possible areas of study that students may choose to explore: