From my very first moment on campus, I was struck by the genuine love that students, parents, educators and Board members share for Watershed. Watershed is a remarkable place filled with educators, families, and young people who care deeply about each other and the process of learning.
The first time I ever visited campus, I was asked by a student in the “Body and Soul” expedition, “What does it mean to be human?” I answered that, as human beings, we are always poised between being and becoming – and simultaneously reflecting on that process of growth and change. Another way of putting it is: to be human is to learn. As an educator and as a dad, this is what motivates me to come to work every day.
Watershed recognizes this innate capacity for learning and growth. Young people learn by doing challenging, meaningful, real-world work on issues they’re passionate about. Before I came to work at Watershed, I spent four years flying around the country working with schools that are trying to embrace this truth as the future of education. I am excited to be part of Watershed School because we live the future of education every day.
By committing ourselves to educational best practices, Watershed School is redefining what education can look like, and we are doing so in manner that is being recognized by competitive colleges across the nation, a variety of external assessments, and The New York Times. To give one example, we have been administering the College and Work Readiness Assessment (CWRA) for five years. The CWRA measures the value that a school adds to the students’ ability to analyze real-world problems and write effectively about solutions – exactly the skills that young adults will need as they enter college and the workplace. Each year, Watershed students demonstrate more growth than 95% of schools taking the assessment.
Watershed develops students as critical thinkers and creative problem solvers able to do real work. It’s one reason we have a 100% college acceptance rate. Recent graduates have been accepted to Brown, Emerson, Reed, Colorado College, Smith, Mount Holyoke, and Lewis and Clark, among others.
When I think of my daughters, 5 and 8, I can’t imagine an environment that would do a better job of nurturing their passion for learning, cultivating their sense of adventure, and preparing them for the real world that is waiting for them in the 21st century.
I hope you’ll learn more about us.
Greg Bamford, M.Ed.
Head of School