When we say we go “Beyond the Desk,” we mean it literally. Unique among Seattle schools, our spectacular 31 acre campus
expands the learning experience. But it’s also a metaphor for how we continually grow and evolve in offering the best
possible education for our students. There’s beyond 10 things to love about Villa, so we hope this is just the start of your
Outdoor Learning is not about taking what happens indoors, outside. Our campus is a 31-acre Learning Lab that goes beyond the four walls of the classroom for hands-on and experiential learning. Villa students immediately connect to the natural world for meaningful discovery, experimentation, and environmental study.
At Villa Academy, one size doesn't fit all. We believe that every child deserves to be known as an individual—heart, mind, body, and spirit. Through deep and authentic learning experiences wrapped in a culture of support, we meet students where they are and challenge them to be their best—as scholars, citizens, and young people of character.
Villa has a wonderful history, but we couldn’t look more different today. Small class sizes ensure individual attention, and while some children are more active than others, movement helps all kids learn. That’s why our spacious classrooms are flexible: students can sit on exercise balls instead of chairs, spread out for quiet reading, or work together in specially designed spaces for collaborative learning.
Three year olds who can tell you about the importance of Douglas firs and cedars; fourth grade architects in passionate discussion over whether the budget for their model home will allow a bigger kitchen; a seventh grader producing a 100 page novella focused on a global conflict. Villa teachers and our challenging curriculum go beyond to ensure learning that is purposeful and deep.
Podcasting as part of literacy? It’s just one example of how we transform the learning experience through educational technology. Second graders write and edit their scripts, rehearse with peers, and co-engineer their recording sessions—practicing a host of English Language Arts skills in the process. Is learning supposed to be this fun? Absolutely.
Ever have clammy hands and a sense of panic at the thought of presenting in public? Fortunately, Villa kids are in front of audiences early and often. So whether it’s in the classroom, through theater productions, speech team, spelling bees, or one of nine musical performance groups, students have had years of practice “being upfront,” developing poise, polish and confidence for the years beyond Villa.
How do Villa students show they’ve mastered a topic beyond test-taking? After weeks or months of in-depth study, they demonstrate their expertise through special events and open houses for the school community as they formally share their knowledge, explain their thinking, and answer challenging questions from visitors.
In our MakerSpaces, kids tinker and design working with common materials like cardboard, tape and glue in solving a challenge or building a solution. Engineering concepts may not look dazzling in completion, but process often matters over product as they analyze, evaluate and create. And when something doesn't work, kids build resilience as they collaborate and solve conflicts in trying alternatives.
Does your school have a treehouse for learning, a fairy crossing in the woods, trails to the lake where eagles nest, or an orchard where forts are built from fallen tree limbs? Villa doubles as a magical world for kids to be kids—for delight, daydreaming, and play.
As school communities go, Villa specializes in belonging: As kids walk the halls they are greeted by name, not only by teachers, but by administrators, and staff. Even the most unusual acts at the Villa talent show receive thunderous applause from classmates. And Villa parents? As one mom said, “We’re all one big team. We’re really supporting each other’s children and not just our own.”