In 2021/22, smaller will become better at Wildwood. Smaller (as in our class sizes). We're going down from a maximum of 24 students in a class to a maximum of 14. Our intermediate and advanced level math classes will have an educator to student ratio of 7 to 1. Our arts and sciences classes will have a teacher to student ratio of no more than 12 to 1.
We're moving away from the mixed grade model and creating classes based more upon age and emotional placement. So, 8th graders will be entirely together with some of the more advanced 7th graders. We've simply found that lumping in all grades, and trying to teach to them, takes an inordinate amount of time and effort.
English: If there is one subject that we want Wildwood Academy to be known for - it's our writing program. Holly Walsh will be leading the English department. This is where we're throwing down the gauntlet and will really challenge students to excel and learn as writing is a lifelong skill and more and more universities are basing admissions on essays rather than standardized tests. In addition to our classes, we'll continue to publish Wildwood Writes (our annual periodical featuring the best writing of the year from our students) as well as entering Battle of the Books and even starting a school newspaper.
Math: Our intermediate and advanced level math classes will have (2) educators for no more than 14 students. This will provide older students an opportunity to get their math skills sharp before entering high school. We're going to utilize Beast Academy for the Beginner math classes as it's a very visual program that allows students to work at their own pace and focus on skills that require more time.
Social Studies: Our social studies program will be awesome! Our students will learn about the East Indian Trading Company and the Spice Routes. They'll be transported back to Mesopotamia, Egypt, Rome, Arabia, and India. They'll learn about the Ottoman Empire and the ancient Aztecs. They'll study American civil rights through jazz, the blues, and rock and roll. Famous explorers and inventors will be front and center. (and maybe even an intensive on TinTin.) They'll learn through reading, writing, music, models, comics, films, theater, role-playing, and even food.
Cultural Integration: Each Friday, students will spend some time learning about a culture through language, cooking, sports, film, current affairs, reading, and history.
Science (Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons): Our science program will be almost completely outdoors. It will be immersive and taught on Tuesday or Wednesday afternoons. We believe in a thematic trimester model that focuses on renewable energies and other sciences that will continue to become more prominent in the 21st century. Examples will include solar; wind; trees and forests; perma-culture; alternative medicine; water; plant based foods; electric energy, and other subjects that will will become more prevalent in our student's lives. We'll also include science in adventure and artisan Mondays and our art program.
Art and Humanities (Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons): Our art program will also be thematic and trimester based. Examples of themes may include water; birds; wind; tribal art; trail decoration; trees; urban art; fashion and sneaker art; insects, and other subjects that inspire our students. Most, but not all, art programs will take place outside and in nature and mix in a bit of history and science.
Drama: Each Thursday afternoon, students will have the option of choosing leadership/games or drama. Our drama program will give students the option of acting; writing; directing; designing props; designing costumes; music; lighting, and stage creation. Drama is a great way for collaboration, communication, and creativity. Each trimester, the drama group will put on a performance at our Celebration of Learning!