The Woolman Semester School: Progressive, Experiential Education
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.
We recently won The Green Voice Bay Area Award (Acknowledging Youth & Organizations Leading the Way in Eco-Awareness, Social Justice, Sustainability, and Peace).
ADMISSIONS UPDATE 5/28/14: We are currently accepting applications on a rolling basis for the Fall 2014 semester at The Woolman Semester School. Interested applicants should begin an application as soon as possible in order to be considered for the few remaining spots in the fall semester. Spring 2015 applications are open and may be started at any time; however, admissions decisions for the Spring 2015 semester will not be made until this fall.
Important Dates for Fall 2014 Semester
Arrival Day: August 16
Thanksgiving Break (campus closed): November 22 to November 30
Baccalaureate and Graduation: December 12 and 13
Important Dates for Spring 2015 Semester
Arrival Day: January 31
Baccalaureate and Graduation: May 29 and 30
The academic foundation of the semester school consists of three core academic classes: Peace Studies, Environmental Science, and Global Issues as well as academic electives, such as Math (Algebra II and Pre-Calculus) and Conversational Spanish. All students take Art, Nonviolent Communication and Farm to Table classes. In addition, students who do not need Math or Spanish may choose from a variety of non-academic electives which are offered each semester. In the past, these courses have included Art as Activism, Wilderness Training, Woolman Wild, Permaculture, the History of American Music and others.
Four 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 Issues Great Turning 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 activists 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 groundbreaking 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.
Now Enrolling For Upcoming Semesters:
We are a proud member of the Semester Schools Network.