“We’re finally seeing the education industry embrace progressive ideals for learning,” says Head of School Neal Brown, Ed.D. “Research now confirms what teachers at Green Acres have known since 1934: that engaging work is almost always challenging—and that academic rigor and love of learning can go hand in hand.”
For almost 85 years, Green Acres has championed a progressive approach, which includes supporting children and their development, fostering in them a love of learning and a deep commitment to social justice, nurturing creativity and innovation, and inspiring students to be agents of change and creative thinkers.
“It’s not so much what you know,” says Brown. “It’s what you can do with what you know.” While developing as strong readers, writers, public speakers, mathematicians and scientists, Green Acres students become independent, critical thinkers capable of much more than memorizing facts and figures. Through engaging projects and multifaceted problems, the school challenges students academically, ethically and socially—and views these realms as intertwined. Projects regularly incorporate topics of diversity, fostering an inclusive learning community.
With small class sizes, teachers take a holistic approach to each child. There’s traditional classroom work, but also playing, planting, designing projects, acting, building, singing, inventing and service learning. “Learning is joyful,” says Brown. “As a result, our students move on to success and are regularly described as bright, confident, self-reliant, thoughtful, socially adept and highly engaged. Green Acres students graduate from their 8th grade year with a strong sense of who they are, both as learners and as members of society.”
Middle School Head Peter Klam agrees, noting how he frequently hears from high schools that Green Acres’ graduates are exceptionally enthusiastic, optimistic and academically engaged. “If a student makes it through school curious, determined, joyful and compassionate, what are their chances of being successful? More importantly, if they have these characteristics and apply them broadly, what are their chances of being happy?”