Students have the opportunity for hands-on learning in various areas, including wood shop.

Students have the opportunity for hands-on learning in various areas, including wood shop.

In spite of the global pandemic, The Greenwood School is still doing what it does best! Tucked away on 100 wooded acres in Putney, Vt., the campus is bustling with activity.

Vermont’s low COVID-19 rate and a curriculum that has always involved outdoor classroom experiences paved the way for Greenwood to welcome students back to campus in September. A well thought out safety plan as well as masks, COVID-19 testing and distancing protocol support what has already been in place since 1978: a curriculum developed to allow all learning styles to blossom.

For over 40 years, Greenwood — a college preparatory boarding and day school for students in grades 6 through 12 — has empowered talented boys who face dyslexia and related language-based learning, attentional and executive function challenges. Additionally, the Greenwood community teaches the skills necessary to bridge the gap between a student’s outstanding promise and their current skills.

“We view the Greenwood experience as a stepping stone,” said Head of School Anne Swayze. “Each student is on their own path of development, and we work tirelessly to respond not only to the individual needs of each student, but also to the changing dynamics of the world in which we live.”

Located in Southern Vermont, the school is bordered by rivers and mountains, making a perfect locale for students to thrive in experiential learning. Hands-on learners embrace the rural, outdoor setting and discover great respect for the natural world.

The Greenwood School: Helping Students Thrive

This bicycle repair tutorial allows students to develop their problem-solving and mechanical skills.

Greenwood invites students to dive into the joy that learning can bring.

In addition to the signature outdoor programs, the school has set up supplemental outdoor classrooms in response to COVID-19 and the need to socially distance

Our students are exposed to a wide range of visual and audio arts, hands-on math and science projects and a structured academic program. The language literacy specialists at Greenwood are certified in prescriptive, diagnostic, multisensory language programs and follow recommendations governed by the National Reading Panel.

The campus wood shop, Nature Immersion Program and Independent Study Program allow for the experiential learning process to develop.

Greenwood’s interdisciplinary STEAM projects combine science, technology, engineering, art and math. The projects are often student inspired, serving as ramps for deeper study in areas of personal interest.

The Greenwood School: Helping Students Thrive

STEAM and wood shop team up to design and construct a scale model of a suspension bridge.

Interdisciplinary expansion

The STEAM Lab was instrumental in having Vernier Logger Pro software installed on all student computers. This platform accepts input from hundreds of sensors and is now used in all physics and many other science classes. This instrumentation is also vital to the year-long “Watershed” water quality study conducted by the Science Department. Greenwood’s science program teaches more than content — students learn to think critically, be methodical, organize and problem solve using a systematic and scientific approach. At Greenwood, short- and long-term inquiry-based science and math projects feed into innate human curiosity across remedial and more advanced college preparatory courses. In small, hands-on indoor and outdoor classes, we delve into Earth and environmental sciences, biology, chemistry, physics, geometry, data analysis and various electives.

Launching an interest in studio art, inquisitive students are asked to identify the colors used in early cave drawings — the first evidence of human expression. It becomes a chemistry class as students replicate the pigments using raw materials, before applying the paint to their own canvases.

The Greenwood School: Helping Students Thrive

Students take a break from apple picking amid some outdoor exploration.

Learning about the Bronze Age, students have worked in Greenwood’s outdoor forge, melting metal to create everything from coins to a variety of embellished and useful objects.

When a Greenwood student shows an affinity for printmaking, sculpture, painting, music, woodworking, videography or any academic pursuit, they are provided opportunities to delve deeper into study on campus as well as through outside internships. Students have worked with a local glass blowing studio, assisted musicians with their sound stage, and contributed video and photography to Greenwood’s digital marketing efforts. In recognition of the limitations COVID-19 has created, the school has also modified the Internship Program to include opportunities that meet campus safety regulations.

Greenwood strives to foster students’ natural sense of inquiry and wonder, with strong support from all faculty and staff in evolving their academic and critical thinking skills to develop their sense of being informed, educated, productive members of society. The school also fosters a strong sense of community engagement, responsibility and empowerment.

The Greenwood School’s warm and inviting atmosphere is a home away from home. Parents are encouraged to visit to discover more about a school where their son will not only succeed, but also thrive!

The Greenwood School: Helping Students Thrive

Students work together on building projects, which has included construction of a tiny house.

Learn more about The Greenwood School online at greenwood.org. Find them on social media too… on Instagram: @thegreenwoodschool; Twitter: @greenwoodvt; and Facebook: @greenwoodschool.