Excel At Willow

Middle school is a pivotal time in your child’s education and growth. The Willow School is intentionally designed for middle schoolers to excel and thrive. Students who enter our school for Grades 6-8 dive deeply into learning. Middle schoolers are immersed in an enriched curriculum that includes hands-on project-based learning, systems thinking, social-emotional learning and support, and a robust arts program. Our community’s commitment to Virtues, plus capstone courses like Skills for Tomorrow, instill confidence and character. Willow students are empowered to learn with purpose and lead with character.

See how your child will excel at Willow. Learn more about what makes our middle school different:

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Beyond the Basics

Middle school at Willow goes way beyond the basics. Through unique lessons you’ll find only at Willow, middle schoolers develop a deeper understanding of what they are learning and become highly capable communicators, innovators, and problem-solvers.

  • In English, middle schoolers are encouraged to be creative, take ownership in their topics and themes, and learn the writing process through thinking, planning, sharing, editing, and revising. Students choose their own independent reading books and host their own book club discussions, creating talking points, taking turns acting as the leader, and thinking deeply about what they’ve read and how it applies to their own lives. Our program places an emphasis on broadening students’ cultural literacy along with building critical reading comprehension and writing skills to prepare students for high school and beyond.
  • In Math, students apply the skills they learn to fun hands-on activities, learning about fractions by multiplying recipes and cooking together or creating integer timelines about their lives. Students learn about the real-world applications of math as they learn to express their mathematical thinking and try new ways to solve problems.
  • In Social Studies, students tackle big questions, honing their research and analytical skills as they practice civil discourse. In eighth grade, for example, students’ learning is anchored to the essential question, “What does it mean to be a citizen of the United States?” This inquiry guides student analysis of historical documents including the Constitution, discussions of rights, dissections of landmark Supreme Court cases, and more.
  • In Science, students develop keen observation skills and learn to collect and analyze data, make and test evidence-based claims, and practice skills such as collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity. Middle schoolers engage in year-long observations, like the seventh graders’ study of the changing plants on campus, and hands-on labs, like a stuning egg osmosis lab.
Experiential Learning

Middle schoolers learn by doing. There are so many experiential learning opportunities for Willow middle schoolers. Our 34-acre campus is a learning laboratory for scientific inquiry, mathematics, and project-based learning. Students explore their way to answers, whether they are writing reviews for a local bookseller’s display or creating pumpkin catapults to learn how to calcuate slope. Through these meaningful experiences, students learn research, writing, communication, and problem-solving skills they will use for the rest of their lives.

Systems Thinking

Students gain a broader worldview when they practice Systems Thinking, a discipline that helps us understand and navigate complex issues and subject matter. Encouraged to become systems thinkers, Willow students are consistently challenged to consider an issue fully, recognize the unintended consequences, and make thoughtful decisions that create positive change in the world. Request our ebook on Systems Thinking: The Essential Academic Skill Every Student Needs, Yet Few Schools Teach. We will email it to you immediately.


Students who start Willow in Grades 6-8 feel an immediate difference. The community is kind. People treat each other with respect, and virtues like compassion, courage, and responsibility are an intrinsic part of school life. In a healthy, supportive environment, students develop the confidence and mindset they need to set and achieve ambitious goals. Years after they graduate, many alumni attribute their success and values to the formative Virtues Program they experienced at Willow.

Ready to Learn More? Let’s Start a Conversation

Please submit the form below and our Director of Enrollment Management Lisa VanderVeen will connect with you.

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Request our Parent’s Guide to Executive Functioning in middle school. We will email it to you immediately.

Director of Admissions Lisa VanderVeen is here to help! Contact her at (908) 470-9500, ext. 1100 or via email.

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