Philosophy & Values

It’s not just what you learn but how

Real life is layered and complex, with intersecting experiences marking every day. We believe learning should be that way, too. Integrated, multi-dimensional, and sometimes a little messy. That’s the idea. At The Northwest School, students experience the exhilarating chemistry between academic disciplines and the arts. They learn to see the interdependence of all aspects of life in the real world. A bigger picture comes into focus. The school day becomes less about isolated subjects—and more about dynamic, interwoven concepts and ideas.

Our Philosophy

These values are foundational to The Northwest School and guide our behavior:

  • Excellence in education is determined by the quality of the faculty.
  • The Humanities, Sciences, and Performing and Fine Arts are the appropriate areas of concentration in secondary education.
  • Ethnic, racial, religious, gender, and economic diversity are essential for the highest quality of secondary education.
  • The development of a sense of responsibility for the immediate environment and concern for the larger community are fundamental to the education of responsible citizens.
  • All interactions in the School community can and should be directed toward the development of courtesy, common sense, mutual support, the creative spirit and independence.

Our Core Values

Respect
We expect and foster interactions within our community based on mutual respect. Valuing the diversity within our community, we are committed to dialogue that allows us to find common ground in developing a school culture based on the principles of courtesy and common sense.

Integrity
We are committed to honesty and authenticity in our words and actions as we seek to improve our community and our world. We believe that our community is strongest when individuals integrate their values into all their words and actions.

Safety
We take measures to protect the physical, emotional and intellectual safety of students and faculty. Recognizing that a good education involves a certain amount of risk, we are committed to teaching students the skills to assess and appropriately respond to those risks.

Object stories

Music in the Halls

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Our Goal Values

Continually striving towards these goals helps us accomplish our Mission:

Engagement
Our commitment to and participation in school life beyond the classroom and office promote individual and community growth.

Creativity
The vitality of human work depends upon invention. To see in new ways is fundamental to critical thinking, effective problem solving, and artistic expression.

Collaboration
Teamwork and collegiality are guiding principles of our work and are essential skills for responsible, engaged citizens.

Environmental Stewardship
We take responsibility for the immediate environment in order to foster active care for the planet.

Balance
The health of the community as a whole depends on individuals leading well-balanced lives. Physical, emotional and intellectual well-being, enhanced by self-reflection and evidenced in a sense of comfort in oneself and one's place in the world, are essential to developing each person's potential.

What I really love about The Northwest School is its philosophical heart. The school's academic standards and opportunities are extremely high, but its core is fundamentally about the growth of students into strong and integrated adulthood. I can't imagine a better place for my sons to have spent this important time in their lives.

Kathy Offner

Parent '09