The Woolman Semester School: Progressive, Experiential Education

Woolman Students

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: We are currently accepting applications on a rolling basis for the Spring 2015 semester.  Interested applicants should begin an application as soon as possible in order to be considered. Fall 2015 applications may be started at any time; however, admissions decisions for the Fall 2015 semester will not be made until March 2015.

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 24

Baccalaureate and Graduation: May 22 and 23

View the 2014-15 Course Catalog

Check out daily updates and the most recent photos on our Facebook page!

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.


Now Enrolling For Upcoming Semesters:

Apply Now

We are a proud member of the Semester Schools Network