The Wesley School
The Wesley School serves students in kindergarten through eighth grade and is celebrating its 20th year in the Valley. The school’s motto is: “Academic Excellence and Character Development Within the Circle of Family.”
What makes your school stand out?
“We emphasize social and emotional learning. We provide a rigorous core academic program, but kindness is a part of the curriculum as well. We are a diverse community, and what makes our students and families different from each other also creates an environment in which we can teach the importance of inclusivity firsthand. Our students advocate for themselves but also for each other. We strive to develop moral leaders, not bystanders, and we provide professional development for faculty and staff to meet this objective. We tackle complex, often difficult issues—racial profiling, gender expression, bullying—in age-appropriate ways, empowering children to understand that kindness really is a virtue worth teaching alongside algebra and the American Revolution.”
Tell us about the recent developments in your extracurricular program.
“We revamped our middle school electives and enrichment program to better serve the wide range of interests and talents among students. In sixth grade, students take the same enrichment courses—two per trimester—including performing and visual arts, technology, music and engineering. This helps develop a foundation of creativity for seventh and eighth grade, when students choose two of four different electives each term.
Some students might elect all technology-based courses, while others might choose to explore the full range of offerings. We’re proud to graduate young creatives who contribute to the artistic landscape in high school and beyond.”
Describe your learning environment.
“When guests visit our campus, often the big notice is that our kids are happy, engaged and independent learners. How is this accomplished? It begins in kindergarten, where children are recognized for the individuals they are and given the space necessary to become active learners. We identify the ways in which each child learns best. Instruction is differentiated to meet the needs of our students so that they can thrive. Children learn to collaborate and appreciate one another. Teachers not only teach content but also the tools to meet individual needs, including mindfulness practices to help children focus on ‘being present.’ All of this contributes to a warm and supportive learning environment.”