The RMSC Museum is open Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Plan your visit to the Museum or check out our Planetarium Show Schedule. Cumming Nature Center is open at normal hours.

Academics

"It would be better… for the students to lay the foundation themselves." -Henry David Thoreau

At the Walden Project, the lines between life, learning, and work are seamless. Students discuss philosophy around a campfire, grow their own food, engage with local ecology and history, and pursue areas of inquiry through self-directed research projects and service-learning placements.

 


 

Curriculum

The Walden Project curriculum is built around the three questions that guided Henry David Thoreau during his year-long sojourn to Walden Pond: What is my relationship to myself? What is my relationship to my culture? and What is my relationship to nature? All of the students’ experiences are connected back to these three essential questions.

Conventional education systems tend to teach students a variety of disconnected topics simultaneously. On any given day, a student goes from History to Math to Art to Science, and there is rarely any attempt to integrate these topics. The Walden Project operates on the principle of consilience -- an integrated approach to learning in which one topic is approached from a variety of perspectives, resulting in a deeper understanding that develops at the intersections of these viewpoints. Like a pebble that is tossed into still water and causes ripples, students are encouraged to chase after that which inspires them to want to learn more -- one experience that may ripple out into a much larger understanding of the world. Throughout the year, The Walden Project develops a culture of self-directed learners, where each student’s work strengthens the rest as it develops an intricate network of new ideas bridging a wide range of perspectives.

Walden Curriculum Map

 


 

Credits & Transcript

Because The Walden Project uses an integrated approach to learning and problem-solving, there is no formal division between academic disciplines; students are encouraged to approach a topic through a variety of different contexts (historical, scientific, logical, creative, etc.). Nevertheless, when a student completes a year at Walden, his or her transcript will verify that the student has completed 7 high school credits: English Language Arts, Math (Systems Thinking), Social Studies, Environmental Science, Health, Physical Education, and Applied Arts.

For detailed information on Walden’s curriculum and how it fulfills a year of high school, download The Walden Project-New York Curriculum Overview.

*The Walden Project - New York is in the process of becoming a regionally accredited program. Nevertheless, many schools in our area (both public and private) have agreed to accept our credits. We will gladly talk to your current school and discuss how your Walden Project experience will fit in to your pathway to graduation.

 


 

Outcomes

Over the past 17 years, students who completed The Walden Project in Vermont were much more likely to be accepted to college or post secondary education than general education students from the same high school. Students who are accepted to college or post secondary education from Vergennes Union High School 2000-2017: General Education = 53%, Walden Project Students = 80-100%

Additionally:

  • 100% of alumni surveyed said they would recommend Walden to their friends.
  • 98% of alumni surveyed say that their experience in Walden helped them learn theories, skills, and information that I would not have learned in the regular classroom.
  • 96% of alumni describe Walden as a caring and supportive community.
  • 98% of alumni surveyed say that Walden helped them develop a strong voice in writing.
  • 96% of alumni surveyed say that Walden helped them develop an environmental awareness that they would not have learned otherwise.
  • 98% of alumni surveyed say that Walden taught them essential life skills (such as public speaking, literacy, and working in groups)
  • 100% of alumni surveyed said that Walden informed them, or engaged them, in current events.
  • 100% of alumni surveyed said that they would send their kids -- real or hypothetical -- to a program like the Walden Project.

 


 

Student Spotlights

walden story elly

Walden - NY student, Elly Short, earns an academic scholarship to Sterling College in Vermont.

Read Story

walden story abhainn

Read about Abhainn Bajus's incredible journey from homeschooling to The Walden Project and on to public school neat year.

Read Story

walden story finn

Check out the incredible wood-canvas canoe Finn Ward built from scratch as an independent project at The Walden Project - NY.

View Photo

walden story abe

Walden's Service Learning inspired Abe Simmons to sign up for disaster relief in Florida next year with Hands & Hearts.

 


 

What Parents Say

"I just want to take a minute to say how thankful my family and I are for this program. I know our child is one who is saying she doesn't ever want the day to end, and is jumping out of bed to go to school every morning. This is a kid who had an anxiety-ridden school life; we went to hell & beyond with regular school… She has finally found her place, and is the happiest I've ever seen her. We can't begin to tell you how thrilled & grateful we are."

 

"He said it was the first time to come home from school and not be depressed!"

 

“This is the greatest school!! I cannot express into words how much Walden has done for my son this year!! He has really started to find himself, is excited about learning for the first time and has a new appreciation for what it means to give back. Andy and Janean are beautiful people, with wonderful energy, and have created a space that is safe, supportive and ideal for students to reach their full potential.”

What Students Say

"The Walden Project is good for students to learn what they want to learn but not try to force them into that mold that traditional schools usually do.""He said it was the first time to come home from school and not be depressed!"

 

"I learn better when I get to touch with my hands and use all my senses in my thinking process."

 

"I don't learn in a normal way and was being smothered by the regular system . . . Walden allowed me the space to figure out how to learn in a way that worked for me."

 

 

Apply Now   Attend An Open House


CNC Walden left

CNC Walden Right