Ten Questions Parents Ask About Living Wisdom School

Helen Purcell, Director and Language Arts Teacher, Living Wisdom School, Palo Alto, California

Helen Purcell

LWS teachers answer parents’ questions about Living Wisdom School. To learn about research that supports LWS teaching methods and philosophy, continue to the Education Research section below. The questions were answered by Helen Purcell, school director, and Gary McSweeney, middle school teacher and Education for Life board member.

Gary McSweeney, Middle School teacher at Living Wisdom School in Palo Alto, California

Gary McSweeney

We’ll be happy to answer any other questions you may have. Please feel free to contact us one of three ways: (1) Call the school office at (650) 462-8150 to schedule a call-back from Helen or Gary; (2) call to schedule a guided tour of the school during which we’ll answer your questions; or (3) email us your question(s):

Thank you for your interest in Living Wisdom School!

10 Questions Parents Often Ask About LWS:

  1. When students graduate from Living Wisdom School, how well do they do in high school and college?
  2. In traditional elementary and junior high schools, most of the day is spent on academics. With so many other activities at Living Wisdom School – field trips, theater, music, art, etc. – how do you find time for academics?
  3. In the classroom, how much individual attention are you able to give each child?
  4. Is the student body at LWS skewed toward families from a wealthy, highly educated demographic?
  5. Do you give the students an education that will support them with a sense of meaning in later life?
  6. How well do the children make the adjustment from a school with fewer than 100 children, to a high school that might have 2000 students?
  7. You seem to emphasize helping children find their own energy and enthusiasm. How important is that for their academic success?
  8. Parents are concerned that their child get a good education in math and science. Does math strike more directly toward the intellect, and require different teaching methods?
  9. In big schools, with big classrooms, the teachers can find themselves teaching to the lowest common denominator, and spending more time with the students who are slow. How do you deal with students who are less talented, without holding back the gifted ones?
  10. What about the spiritual aspects of Living Wisdom School? Is the instruction truly nonsectarian?


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