Frequently Asked Questions
What about their social life and friendships?
At Living Wisdom High School, no one is lost. Everyone is recognized and heard. We have a strict no-bullying policy, something that is hard to achieve in a larger high school. Also, being a small school gives us the flexibility to take adventure-filled field trips and to perform service projects together. These bonding experiences help build deep connections and trust among teens. We find that our students form deep friendships that last long into adulthood.
Do students really perform well in a high-stress college after attending a school like yours?
Is that true of your high school experience?
Small class sizes enable us to give each student a personalized education. It gives us the ability, the time, and the energy to devote to every student. Learning is centered around personal interests and goals so that the student is challenged and engaged. How much more we learn when we are interested in the subject matter. How much do you remember of what you learned in high school? Our students find the experience unforgettable.
What is your homework policy?
Is Living Wisdom High School accredited?
The WASC visiting committee of our most recent accreditation cycle noted the following areas of strength in the LWHS program:
· LWHS has a strong sense of community and unique structure of organized mentorship among faculty, staff, and students.
· LWHS has an extensive network of advisors and off-campus partners which leads to a wealth of opportunities for Living Wisdom students.
· LWHS students are empowered to take ownership of their learning and have a strong voice in the development of their personalized learning plans.
· LWHS is a member of the Mastery Transcript Consortium and is moving towards greater incorporation of mastery learning and the use of portfolio-based mastery transcripts.
· LWHS creates a highly collaborative and interdisciplinary culture with an ability to approach problems from different perspectives and with a wide array of resources.
· The Living Wisdom School Board of Directors is deeply dedicated to our philosophy of learning which goes above and beyond the school’s mission and vision.
The Accrediting Commission for Schools, Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), a world-renowned accrediting association and one of the six regional accrediting agencies in the United States, works closely with the Office of Overseas Schools under the U.S. Department of State. WASC provides assistance to schools worldwide, especially in California, Hawaii, Guam, Asia, the Pacific Region, the Middle East, Africa, and Europe. Accreditation is a collaborative self-reflection and evaluation of all aspects of the school’s program and its impact on student learning and well-being based on the WASC research-based criteria. Furthermore, accreditation is a certification to the public that the school is a trustworthy institution of learning and well-being that is committed to continuous improvement.
WASC accreditation demonstrates:
· the school is substantially accomplishing its stated purposes and functions identified as appropriate for an institution of its type, and
· the school is meeting an acceptable level of quality in accordance with the WASC criteria adopted by the Accrediting Commission.
Through the ongoing WASC accreditation cycle, our high school conducts an in-depth self-study, normally every five or six years; hosts an accreditation visit by fellow educators; and engages all community members in a follow-up process of implementing, monitoring, and refining the resulting school-wide action plan. The visiting committee’s report and recommendations are submitted to the WASC Commission for review and action on accreditation.
What is particularly of note about our partnership with WASC is their commitment to support each school in manifesting its unique vision and mission. As such, we are able to hold the principles of Education for Life in the central light of this educational partnership! If you would like to learn more about WASC, here is their contact information:
Accrediting Commission for Schools, Western Association of Schools and Colleges
533 Airport Blvd., Suite 200
Burlingame, Ca 94010
These are a few of statements made by the officials supervising the accreditation process for LWHS, Nevada County:
“If you could put what you are doing in the public schools, it would change the world.”
—School Superintendent at initial accreditation visit
“This school is the best-kept secret in Northern California.”
—WASC official at renewal visit
What is the relationship between Living Wisdom School and Ananda?
No religious dogma is taught at Living Wisdom Schools. Instead, universal principles and practices are shared with the students.
Students are encouraged to relate to others with kindness, to strive for one’s personal best rather than to compete with others, and to discover the potentials that reside within each of us. They learn meditation, yoga and breathing exercises to develop emotional and mental self-mastery skills (these techniques are commonly taught in corporate America today). Over the years, we have found that when these principles inform a school culture, academic excellence and happiness are deeply realized by the students.
What is the history of Living Wisdom School?
In the early 1970s, during a time of educational innovation in the US, the first Education for Life school began at Ananda Village, a community of people who were students of Yogananda's teachings. The school and Ananda were founded by a direct disciple of Yogananda, Swami Kriyananda (James Donald Walters).
In 1986, Walters wrote Education for Life, which expanded greatly on Yogananda's brief writings, providing a model for the development of more schools of this type. There are many teachers throughout the world now who are teaching by these principles in their classrooms, whether in public or private schools. In 1992, Living Wisdom School of Palo Alto (K-8) began for young children and has become one of the most highly rated and regarded private schools in the Bay Area. There are a number of Living Wisdom Schools now on the West Coast, and a sister high school at Ananda Village near Nevada City, CA.
At any Living Wisdom School, there is no expectation that any child, parent or teacher be involved with Ananda. For example, out of 72 children currently enrolled in Living Wisdom School of Palo Alto, only two or three families have an ongoing connection with Ananda. LWS, like most schools, public or private, has families and teachers from many different religions, nationalities and spiritual traditions.