What makes Woodlands unique?
We are the only private, selective, non-sectarian, intermediate school in Castle Rock. Woodlands Academy was founded by experienced educators and parents who wanted to offer an exciting, stimulating educational alternative to our community. We teach for mastery, which means we work hard to ensure your student is able to apply what he or she learns. Using the Core Knowledge scope and sequence, we offer an experiential learning environment that goes beyond the classroom and into the world. Our experiential program includes community outreach and educational field trips to enhance the learning experience. We are committed to small class sizes of 12 students or less. All core staff members have teaching experience in public and/or charter schools. Many also have experience in fields other than education. This brings a higher level of expertise in other areas to enrich the learning environment of the students.
What kinds of students is Woodlands ideal for?
Are your children lost in the crowd? Perhaps because they are so advanced that they are not being challenged in the typical classroom of the public school system? Or, perhaps they struggle academically or socially in some way and need a more specialized attention. At Woodlands Academy your children will be exposed to in-depth studies in all core curriculum classes in an intimate, secure environment tailored exactly to their specific needs and challenging them for maximum growth and learning. Designed to serve the independently motivated student, Woodlands Academy strives to encourage life-long learning skills and develop a love for learning. This results in students' attainment of high expectations in preparation for private or public high schools, the International Baccalaureate Program, and Advanced Placement classes.
What value will I see in an independent school for my child?
Parents often consider independent schools as they would consider any other “investment,” expecting a “return” and “value.” Research shows that the choice of a child’s peer group may be the single most important factor in determining educational success. Parents choose a peer group largely by the school they choose for their child.
Our data show that virtually all independent school graduates succeed by completing college (as opposed to about 40 percent of the general population). This “persistence factor” is largely attributable to attending a school with high expectations for all students and with a culture that reinforces achievement. The value system of independent schools contributes to this equation, since “everybody” is expected to work hard and succeed academically and since “everybody” is expected to be a “player.” Choosing an independent school, and the right independent school for your child, can be one of life’s more important and rewarding investments.
Which are the “highest ranking” or “best” independent schools?
Independent schools are as individual as your child. Each has a unique mission, ethos, culture, and personality. Among independent schools, there are different shapes and sizes. There are day schools, boarding schools, or combination day-boarding. Some independent schools have a few dozen students; others have several thousand. Some are coed; others are single-sex. Some independent schools have a religious affiliation; some are nonsectarian. Most serve students of average to exceptional academic ability, but some serve exclusively those with learning differences, and others serve exclusively the gifted. Virtually all independent schools are “college prep.” Because independent schools have different missions and different student populations, NAIS discourages ranking, since no single set of objective criteria could apply.
Are independent schools "elitist"?
It is important to note that, contrary to popular belief and their portrayal in the media, independent schools are not “elitist” in any way except in terms of academic expectations. The typical independent school chooses to commit to diversity (racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic). Socioeconomic diversity, for example, is supported by a significant commitment to financial aid: Independent school students come from all family income levels, and approximately 20 percent of them typically are supported by financial aid. On average nationally, 17 percent of independent school students are non-caucasian.
What kind of relationship does an independent school have with parents?
Independent schools seek a solid partnership with parents. Independent schools seek to speak with a unified voice about a common set of goals and values. It is this coalescing of parental and school voices that points students, like a beacon, toward achievement, decent behaviors, and good citizenship. In the final analysis, children prosper when the key adults in their lives reinforce a common set of values and speak with a common voice. The great achievement of American education is that it offers parents many choices of schooling so that they can find a school with a voice and vision to match their own.
What is your Academic Calendar year?
Late August marks the beginning of each school year. Late May marks the end of each school year. Holiday closures coincide with that of Douglas County traditional public schools so as to make it easier for families with children attending multiple schools to schedule vacations, travel, and summer schedules.
What is your curriculum?
Our Primary Program (1st-3rd grade) and our Academy Program (4th-8th grade) follow an adaptation of the proven Core Knowledge scope and sequence for History, Science, Literature, Art and Music, with support from other accredited resources in Math, Language Arts, and foreign languages.
What is the criterion for admission?
Woodlands Academy is a private, selective, non-sectarian school for qualified students in grades 1 through 8. Students should score at or above grade level in Math, Reading, Grammar and Writing, or demonstrate the potential to do so with appropriate instruction. We will not rule out a student based on low test scores alone, but will use these results as a guideline to plan the student's program. Our staff will administer grade level testing after receiving the Admissions Application. Woodlands Academy does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, or national or ethnic origin.
What is your tuition? Is financial aid available?
Where do your graduates go after Woodlands?
Our graduates have gone to both public and private high schools. Those that have attended the public schools have enrolled in their AP or Honors classes, often skipping a grade or two in math or science. Many of our previous graduates are currently attending Regis Jesuit High School. One of them received a full academic scholarship and four were accepted with honors, and into honors classes, during one of Regis Jesuitʼs most competitive years.