A new type of school brings Dynamic Education to the next generation

The face of education in the States has changed dramatically since the start of the pandemic, but some are seeing this altered landscape as an opportunity. Washington Square Academy, based in Brookline, MA, has launched a new Montessori-style school for kids in grades 6-8 that focuses on experiential, hands-on learning.

From small beginnings as an after school programme run out of a living room six years ago, Washington Square Academy has grown to offer small classes and curriculum from all over the globe. Unlike in most traditional schools, students learn from doing, and they get to apply what they’re learning in a real world context.

“We saw a need for children to get hands-on academic support in small groups, and we wanted to rise to that challenge,” explains Tami Gonzalez, one of the founders, and lead teachers of Washington Square Academy. “We push our students to actually apply what they know, because if they can, it means they actually understand a concept!”

Washington Square Academy has helped many kids spark their love of learning – especially during the pandemic, when in-person teaching all but disappeared. For many students, particularly those who have struggled in a traditional classroom setting, having one-on-one attention and support from teachers has proven to be invaluable for their education. One parent explains how transformational the school has been for their two middle schoolers.

“In elementary school, one of our kids was struggling and the other was bored. The teachers at Washington Square Academy have engaged them in ways we never expected,” she says. “They have grown to love learning and the process of learning, and not only that, but they are challenged and continue to grow every day.”

In addition to academic studies, there is a strong focus on helping kids strengthen their executive functioning and socio-emotional learning. Students are encouraged to talk about issues they’re facing in order to better apply their knowledge to the world around them and grow as people.

In the future, the goal is for Washington Square Academy to be a tuition-free school, dedicated to supporting kids who are hungry to learn in a way that isn’t catered for in the traditional education system.

“We want to change education by showing others that there is a better way,” explains Tami. “By offering kids different ways to learn and engage with curriculum in a real world context, we want to help them realise their potential and ultimately succeed.”

Washington Square Academy is enrolling students in grades 6-8 on an ongoing basis. To learn more or enroll please visit their contact page. – (Press Release by Nicole Schlichting Senior, Communications Advisor)

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