The Vashon Green School’s mission
is to provide a learning environment where:
• children’s unique ways of knowing are honored
• connections to each other, humanity and the natural world deepen
• sustainable solutions grow
• engaged global citizens are inspired.
Following eight years of innovation exploring alternative learning environments, Dana Schuerholz is transforming Homestead School to Vashon Green School. The new name reflects her passion for sustainable, progressive, ground breaking educational opportunities. The VGS academic curriculum is rooted in the theory of multiple intelligences—an approach that recognizes each individual possesses a unique blend of different ways of thinking, learning, sensing and expressing. VGS engages each child’s unique gifts and seeks to identify and incorporate different learning modality strengths. When children feel empowered in their strengths they gain the courage and confidence to embrace challenges.
In 14 years of teaching a diverse population of students Dana discovered, not only do the more conventional learners, (those who excel at linguistic and logical intelligence,) thrive in a collaborative living classroom, students who excel primarily in other learning styles: visual, auditory, or tactile/kinesthetic learning can be empowered in ways that a conventional classroom is not able to meet their needs and creativity. This past year Amy Mercer came on board as a reading and writing specialist. A certified Dyslexia specialist, diagnostician and excellent resource for creative learning solutions, Amy incorporates multi-sensory activities in her teaching and one-on-one tutoring to support students to utilize the unique strengths of each individual to develop fluency in challenging areas.
As a multi-age, independent primary school for students ages 5–9 (K-3), Vashon Green School creates a vibrant, lively, forum for students to discover, invent, create, learn and teach. On 7 acres of farm and woodland, the multitude of learning environments inside around tables as well as outside “classrooms” include: math while seeding, planting, and harvesting in the field and greenhouse, science around wetlands with the ducks and macro-invertebrates, art and poetry in the pasture with chickens and sheep, anatomy and micro-biomes in the barn with the goats and perma-culture design projects with plants. A small teacher/student ratio and broad range of thematic activities integrates visual, auditory, kinesthetic, logical and linguistic learning modalities.
"Now I see the secret of the making of the best persons.
It is to grow in the open air and eat and sleep with the earth."
- Walt Whitman