Watershed Learning Center's - The Birch School & Homeschool Resource Center:
The Watershed Learning Center is a learning alternative for youngsters in Orange County, New York and the Greater Hudson Valley. It is a nature-based educational program based on democratic principles. We serve students in Kindergarten through High School and Homeschoolers. We offer homeschooling support and assistance for families. We encourage child-led, child-centered, inquiry based and project based learning opportunities. We follow in the tradition of schooling which includes Waldorf, Montessori, Reggio Emilio. We are part of an international network of progressive schools, AERO, Alternative Education Resource Organization.
The curriculum is individualized, with a foundation in age-appropriate natural history, geography and history, science, technology, math, literature, writing, music and the arts.
Each child’s program is developed with the cooperation and partnership of each student’s parents. Frequent communication and readjustment of program and goals when necessary ensure that students are progressing on a desired path.
Led by educational coaches, students follow an individualized program. The school coach, student, and parents work together to build a program around the student’s needs and interests and the available classes at the center.
A variety of resources and learning methods are available to students, and teachers and educational coaches work with individual students to identify and pursue the most appropriate method for the student and topic. Group classes, independent study, on-line learning, audio classes, open university classes, games, research, group projects, field trips, special guests and instructors, virtual field trips and interviews are just some of the possible sources of learning that students can chose to engage with.
Our staff ensures that each student is engaged with a well-rounded curriculum with emphasis on the key academic areas: English language and literature; history and geography; mathematics and problem solving; earth science, natural history and ecology.
Our center staff have an extensive network of educational professionals as advisors. Specialists in Reading and Literacy, Autism, Gifted and Talented, Technology Education, History Education, Environmental Education, Elementary Education, Math and Living Math Education, Montessori Education, Music Learning, are available to our staff for consultation and advisement.
Students create projects and portfolios, and pursue goals developed by the parents, student and teacher together. Each student’s instruction will be individually designed and authentically assessed, including reporting to satisfy NYSED home school requirements. Students will also work on the creation of developmental portfolios and other authentic assessments. For part time students, Watershed Learning Center provides support to families and assistance with Homeschool Reporting forms and Home Instruction Plans.
We provide a context for student’s spontaneous growth and learning, as well as structure for organizing and understanding their journey.
We have a clearly defined Democratic process that we, as a school, consciously participate in. Students take responsibility for themselves, learn to keep their word and be accountable to others, and to communicate their ideas and feelings. We create a safe, caring community guided by knowledgeable, passionate adults in which our children can learn and grow. Yet academic learning makes up only part of the Birch School day.
Nature and outdoor awareness are part of each day with daily outdoor time. We recognize the importance of unstructured playtime, and provide plenty of time for play: indoors and outdoors, hiking, playing in the woods, and spontaneous games on the lawns. Our students engage in healthy large and small motor skill development, get the exercise they need, and have daily opportunities to express that boundless energy that is the very meaning of childhood. The program is supplemented with frequent field trips to local parks, trails, and other relevant community destinations.
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|Address: Circleville, NY, Orange County, New York , USA|
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