The Willow School was founded 20 years ago with a mission of empowering students to better understand the world and how they can make a difference. At Willow, students are inspired to learn joyfully, to care for the natural world and to practice Aristotelian virtues, which inform every part of the school’s curriculum and community. What truly sets Willow apart is the interweaving of ethics into all aspects of student life for its preschool through eighth graders, as well as the school’s focus on sustainability. 

“Parents value our commitment to outdoor education with a focus on learning within and about the natural world, our student-centered, experiential learning and our virtues program that forms a shared language and ethos that helps us collectively raise deeply good and ethical children,” says Head of School Francisco Ayala. 

Students, parents and faculty all work closely together to execute on the school’s mission and foster a close and genuinely connected community. Morning Gatherings twice weekly allow the entire school community to reflect on the virtue of the month, while the Parent Association organizes events throughout the year like Harvest Soup, where everyone grows and harvests vegetables for a communal soup, bakes bread, churns butter and presses apple cider to enjoy a feast of gratitude together. 

“The Willow School’s mission is to graduate students who believe in themselves as positive change-makers based on a foundation of stewardship, creativity, integrity, curiosity and responsibility,” Ayala says. 

1150 Pottersville Rd., Gladstone

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