Educational Philosophy

Rigorous Liberal Arts Approach

A well-rounded foundation is the hallmark of a liberal arts education. The Willows curriculum is built around our four core values.

  • Joy: Willows’ purposeful liberal arts curriculum is designed to help students cultivate intellectual curiosity, look beyond themselves, and gain a broad perspective. 
  • Integrity: The critical thinking skills we teach provide a rudder to navigate dangerous waters in their voyage through life, and the contemplative thinking we foster provides the sail to catch the winds and to steer them toward wisdom and their eternal harbor. 
  • Excellence: Our approach inspires students to desire not only to achieve more, but, more importantly, to become more, more fully human—to clarify convictions and to grow in virtue. Our graduates are equipped to lead and influences professional fields in every sector with excellence, creativity, and compassion.
  • Generosity: The integral development of character and intellect helps develop women who lead with virtue and practical wisdom who are inspired to care for the common good.

Rooted in the Classics

Our need for the classics is intense. Yet any defense of them in our time must come from a sense of their absolute necessity—not from a desire to inculcate “cultural literacy,” or to keep alive a pastime for an elite, but to preserve the full range of human sensibility. What is needed is to recapture their spirit of high nobility and magnanimity, of order and excellence … in a framework of democracy engendered by a Biblical culture of radical openness. The things worth preserving, the things we ought to be passing down, far transcend any single heritage: they partake of the fundamental structures of being itself.

Louise Cowan, Visionary in Education

Looking to the wisdom of the past prepares students to have a heart and mind prepared for the future.

Great books of the Western Intellectual Tradition, mostly in their entirety, provide the foundation at every level of the English Curriculum at Willows. These texts inspire our Middle and High School students to seek the True, the Good, and the Beautiful with determination in order to pursue right order in their own hearts and relationships, as well as in society and civilization itself. 

Small Class Sizes

Our small class sizes at both levels means that teachers are able to help students in a personalized way in and out of class.Teachers get to know their students’ strengths and areas for growth, allowing them to easily differentiate and best meet their needs, whether it means providing an extra challenge or facilitating extra support. In a small class, students have more opportunities to participate, gain confidence, and shine!  Our vibrant community comes to life in the classroom. The small setting allows students to get to know each other and form authentic friendships with their peers and develop mutual respect for their teachers. No student goes unnoticed since all students are actively included in the learning process.

Philosophy of Technology

At Willows, we believe technology is a tool to be directed towards the true good of humanity. 

We believe real books have value, and Willows is intentionally not a one-to-one school. Middle and high school girls face technology and social media that is intentionally designed to divert and distract their attention. Cell phones are off and put away throughout the school day so that girls have the opportunity to practice good habits of mind and build strong friendships with their peers.  

We want our graduates to be person-centered, principled users of technology who have real skills in the analog, face-to-face world.  At the same time, we want them to use technology and media as means of seeking the truth in all things and advancing it for the common good. Our high school curriculum provides students the opportunity to learn to use technology with confidence and professionalism while leveraging the power and innovation of digital tools.