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).
The academic foundation of the semester school consists of three core academic classes: Peace Studies, Environmental Science, and Global Issues as well as two academic electives, math (Algebra II and Pre-Calculus) and Spanish II and III. All students take Art, Nonviolent Communication and Farm to Table classes. In addition, students who do not need Math or Spanish may choose from non-acdemic electives which are offered each semester. In the past these courses have included Art as Activism, Wilderness Training, 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 trip explores different forms of story-telling in the Bay area and empowers the students to tell their own stories that will contribute to a culture of peace. Finally, the 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 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 Woolman, students become activists that engage 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: