Grow With Us! Creating Community Together

Blog Home  |  May 27, 2019 by Willowstone Academy  |  no comments  |  From the Office

At Willowstone Academy, our calling is to cultivate curiosity, explore relentlessly, seek truth, and change the world for good both as individuals and in community. Our students are changemakers, growing and reaching new heights!

Our students have been leading the growth in our community. We welcome their leadership and contributions as co-creators in the expansion of our school. Their bold and innovative ideas inspire us to design new opportunities and forge new ground in education, all for the sake of every child at Willowstone Academy.

“Designing a Thriving Community” is such an example. It is an ongoing growth and development initiative led by school administration that, for the 2019-20 school year, encompasses three substantive projects:

  1. Middle Years Lane
  2. Learning Garden
  3. Early Childhood Education Expansion

With the unanimous support received in January, 2019 from our First Lutheran Church family, we have moved into a season of growth on our property for the 2019-20 school year!

Growth does not happen outside of a healthy life cycle. It is wise to normalize the contraction and expansion of life in order to embrace the depth and breadth of healthy growth.

Nature is a prime example. Consider the perennial cycle of a deciduous tree. As winter approaches, the tree’s growth slows. Its leaves drop and it becomes bare. Production ceases and winter comes. It’s life stalls, dormant in a season of cold and darkness. Under the surface, the tree, in fact, uses this time of dormancy to hold energy in order to come back to life in the spring.

New spring buds signal the return of new life and light. As the leaves expand, the process of photosynthesis nourishes the tree through the summer and back into the impending transition of loss into dormancy.

The wisdom of nature teaches us that cycling through seasons of rest and growth are necessary to reach new heights. It is one thing to consider this as an individual or in your family unit. It becomes so much more complex to navigate and embrace organic growth in a diverse and inclusive community.

How do we move forward through life and create community together when we have diverse and unique opinions, priorities and needs?

We come to the table and focus on what matters most.

At Willowstone Academy, it is the journey toward becoming a thriving changemaker that we hold dearly, hopefully, and tenderly for every child and family in our school. This journey is not without it’s ups, downs, twists, and turns that we can’t foresee. It is not without compromise and it requires the willingness to reach and expand out of your comfort zone. Healthy growth is an imperfect practice of intentionally creating community together – in our school, in our little corner of the globe.

Our Chief Learning Officer, Mrs. V describes ways to cultivate a culture of changemaking, in her latest blog post. As she says, “Classrooms [and homes] are microcosms of creating community”.

We invite you to “Grow With Us” into our 25th anniversary year at Willowstone Academy this fall. Stay informed by subscribing to our bi-weekly project update emails. Your feedback and questions are always welcome.

We couldn’t do it without you! We are in this together!


Making Learning Visible,

Heather Sandager, Community Developer