The Woolman Semester School: Progressive, Experiential Education
The Woolman Semester is currently suspended and undergoing program discernment by our Board of Directors. Please subscribe to our newsletter to receive updates and more information.
The Woolman Semester School is a progressive academic school for young people who want to make a difference in the world.
Students in their junior, senior, or gap year come for a "semester away" to take charge of their education and study the issues that matter most to them.
Woolman students earn transferable high school credits while taking an active role in their learning experience through community work, organic gardening and cooking, permaculture, art, wilderness exploration, service work, and by doing advocacy and activism work with real issues of peace, justice and sustainability in the world.
The academic foundation of the semester school consists of six core classes: Peace Studies, Environmental Science, and Global Thinking, Ceramics, Nonviolent Communication and Farm to Table. In addition, students who need Math or Spanish credits may enroll in online courses which are supported by their Woolman advisors.
Three times a semester, Woolman learning goes on the road. Our backpacking trip along the wild and scenic Yuba River orients students to the natural world that is Woolman’s backyard. During the Food Intensive, students and teachers travel to the San Francisco Bay area and California’s Central Valley for a week-long exploration of food systems as part of the Environmental Science curriculum. The Peace Studies-Global Thinking trip integrates peace with social and environmental justice by traveling to the Bay area to connect with and learn from activists living what they believe.
The Woolman Semester School experience is about finding your place within the context of our educational community, natural community, and local communities. Students at Woolman live and learn with their classmates and teachers exploring our 230 acres and the nearby Yuba River. They connect with environmental and peace organizations in the local communities of Grass Valley and Nevada City. Through their experience at The Woolman Semester School, students become engaged citizens with skills to begin addressing issues of peace, social justice, and sustainability on a local and global scale.
As a Friends school, The Woolman Semester School is part of a long tradition of progressive education. With their commitment to bringing out the best in each individual, Quaker schools are among the best in the world. Learn more about Quaker education.
We are a proud member of the Semester Schools Network.