Mission /Philosophy/Core Values

The Willows Mission Statement
At The Willows, we believe each child brings our community an extraordinary gift: a curious mind, ready to explore and eager to learn. Our mission is to grow that gift by challenging our students to uncover meaning and significance in the world around them and to become capable, confident individuals who demonstrate character, engagement, and a joyful passion for creative inquiry across a lifetime.

Our Philosophy
The Willows is committed to a balanced yet demanding progressive curriculum rooted in experiential learning and social values. We teach and model a zest for learning and the courage to take risks. We challenge children to challenge themselves and set high standards for academic excellence, which they pursue with energy and joy. We nurture a sense of compassion and community that begins at home, reinforcing what it means to be a respectful, involved citizen-of-the-world. We believe that great minds grow in a near-infinite variety of ways. In the spirit of the willow tree itself, our “great minds” are flexible, resilient, and beautiful at every stage of development.

Core Values
Our core values provide a basis for all student-learning goals:
 
Creative Inquiry at Our Core
Creativity is essential to learning at The Willows. We are devoted to cultivating our students’ imagination and helping each child discover his or her unique talents in an atmosphere that embraces questioning and exploration. As students examine new ideas from multiple perspectives and generate innovative solutions to problems, they learn that every individual voice is important. Creativity is not restricted to the arts; it is an integral part of every discipline. The creative process is central to our teaching: we embrace curricular innovation that energizes our program, creates a dynamic campus climate, and lends new insights to learning.
 
Challenging Academics in Balance  
We believe passionately in developing students’ critical thinking and problem solving skills. We are committed to a rigorous academic program founded on the progressive principles of experiential learning and thematic instruction.The Willows takes a balanced approach to this process, placing equal emphasis on challenging academics and social-emotional wellbeing. Our developmentally structured curriculum allows each child to fulfill his or her intellectual, creative, physical, and social-emotional potential. Our integrated approach equips students to become lifelong learners who are able to question, discover, and make connections in an environment where it is safe to take intellectual and creative risks. Willows students come to understand the most important lesson of all: as a learner, anything is possible.
 
Character
The Willows prepares students to value empathy, accept responsibility, and practice ethical behavior. We foster character by emphasizing the development of social and emotional skills hand-in-hand with academic skills. Our program emphasizes the development of sound decision making skills, an appreciation of each individual’s impact on his or her community, a desire to contribute, and a commitment to engaging with the outside world. We guide our students out of the classroom and into the community to understand the issues faced in today’s world and to discover productive solutions.
 
Community
Interpersonal connections and a sense of community are essential to a child’s motivation, self-esteem, and academic success. Willows students grow through the years on a single DK-8 campus, in an intimate, cohesive environment that recognizes the needs of each developmental stage while fostering connection and continuity. We emphasize mutual respect, cooperation, and collaboration, as teachers and students build lasting and rewarding relationships. We are dedicated to continually enhancing our multicultural environment by promoting a culture of inclusion and nurturing equitable relationships at all levels across our campus. As a result, our students appreciate individual differences and experience themselves both as individuals and as part of a team. We extend our borders beyond our campus and embrace the world. The students, parents, faculty, and administration of The Willows are a community of dedicated, life-long learners. We build bridges culturally and educationally by seeking ways to partner with our neighbors and engage globally. The word “community” is indeed an intentional and integral part of our name.
The Willows  |  A DK-8 independent school serving greater Los Angeles.
8509 HIGUERA STREET
CULVER CITY, CALIFORNIA 90232
PHONE 310 815 0411 FAX 310 815 0425