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Philosophy and Practice  

Learning at Wellsprings begins with the safe and supportive environment that greets students every day at school. Teachers and students work together as partners to provide each student with the educational experience that meets their individual needs. Each person is treated with caring and empathy, developing mutually respectful relationships in a community of learners.

Our approach to education taps the young person’s natural curiosity and eagerness to learn – without fear of punishment or promise of reward. Attention is focused on the feelings and needs of each young person and the actions that will best serve them (at no one else’s expense).

Students learn how to work together in community, take responsibility for their behavior, and resolve conflicts peacefully. They embrace their inner capacity for caring and empathy -- for others and themselves -- and experience the joy of learning!

Wellsprings prepares young people to learn throughout their lives, to be creative, venturesome and flexible, to live in community with others, and contribute to their own and others’ well-being. Their experience at school is life-affirming, life-enriching, and life-changing.

“Everyday, I learn the basic knowledge needed for life, like math and literature, while at the same time enjoying myself. Everyday, I am learning important life lessons. How to treat others and how saying something jokingly can be offensive to someone else.

I also learn new things about myself all the time. I have learned that when I accept myself, others will be more respectful of me… So Wellsprings draws me back everyday, offering me a safe-haven from stress and new things for me to learn.”

-- Geoffrey

Wellsprings is accredited by the Northwest Accreditation Commission (NWAC). After their 2009 site visit to the school, they commented:

“Instructors are extremely effective in developing meaningful relationships with their students, while maintaining high academic rigor and making the instruction relevant to their students. Traditional educational programs would benefit from the Wellsprings Friends example.”