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?
Will Living Wisdom High School be accredited?
“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.