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Students in huddle at The Willows Community School, a private school in Los Angeles

School Culture

The Willows is truly an exciting place. Vibrant student art graces the hallways. A constant hum of activity streams from classrooms and common spaces. The campus is alive with the love of learning and the “can-do” spirit.

The Willows is a family.

The key to our success as a strong community is the focus on building and sustaining meaningful relationships among students, between students and teachers, and between students, faculty, staff, parents and our extended community. Connections are vital.

Intellectually and architecturally open

At The Willows, we have constructed a climate of creativity and accessibility. Our open and spacious campus inspires listening and learning from all sides. This atmosphere nurtures self-expression and intellectual risk taking.

Our Credo

We want our students to live the credo: all things are possible. In order to do this, we strive to create a safe and nurturing atmosphere conducive to taking intellectual risks, independent thinking, experimenting, and dreaming.

What does it feel like to be part of The Willows’ community?

Teachers, administrators, students, and parents are committed to The Willows’ core values, which you can see in action every day:

The Willows fosters character by emphasizing the development of social and emotional skills hand-in-hand with academic skills. From the earliest grades, children participate in class meetings where they practice conflict resolution, learn how to be a good friend, and discover how to make healthy, well-informed choices as young adults. 

The Willows values an academically rigorous, innovative, and balanced curriculum that emphasizes experiential and thematic learning. A thought-provoking, annual school-wide theme is integrated into the curriculum as a springboard for collective thought and community spirit. In the Lower School, classes focus in depth on a particular theme, such as the oceans in second grade or Colonial history in fifth grade, which is integrated with the curriculum. In the Middle School, block scheduling provides extended time periods for teachers to “dig deep” with their curriculum and use hands-on projects to build key skills. Technology is integrated with every aspect of learning at The Willows, with a dynamic “one to one” laptop program starting in the third grade.

The Willows inspires engagement and creative inquiry throughout its program. Creativity is not the sole province of the arts but is fostered in each discipline so children may discover their own voice and realize their own potential.

The Willows nurtures community connections with an intimate, DK-8 program that focuses on the developmental needs of students. There is both a feeling of belonging and an individual sense of wellbeing. Teachers build long-term, collaborative partnerships with students and parents. Meaningful connections happen across grade levels, with programs like Book Buddies, which pairs older and younger students in yearlong mentoring relationships, and community service projects where students face the issues and problems in today’s world with an emphasis on designing solutions.

We wish we could give the world to The Willows! It’s been an amazing time for our kids, and we have learned so much as parents from this amazing community. 

Jent Carol Norton, Alumni Parent