What will you get from a Watershed education?

Our goal is for Watershed School students to graduate with a combination of personal qualities, skills, and knowledge that will help prepare them for college and for life.

Personal Qualities

Qualities cannot be taught or earned – instead they are discovered and developed within each person. A Watershed School education not only addresses this aspect of human development – it is designed specifically to draw out these innate abilities from each student and help them learn to live from their own wisdom, intelligence, innate health, integrity, compassion, and commitment. When students are functioning from a healthy state of mind, their learning curve is steep, their thinking clear, their leadership effective, and their perspective hopeful and visionary. The world is in dire need of inspiring people with vision, poise, faith, and the skills and knowledge necessary to tackle the challenges of the 21st century. While there are many important qualities, we have listed below many of those that are thoroughly explored and developed by the very nature of our curriculum and school culture.

  • Integrity – honesty, respect, and commitment
  • Vision – inspiration, perspective, faith, and responsiveness
  • Wisdom – wellness, self-esteem, and resilience
  • Service – compassion, responsibility, work ethic, and commitment


The skills you develop at Watershed School provide a basis for learning, living, leading, and being of service for the rest of your life. It is our responsibility to promote and develop skills which are truly of service to you, your family, community, and the world. These skills are applicable and necessary in all aspects of a person’s life. The skills we emphasize include:

  • Using your mind well: logic, analysis, synthesis, innovation, systems thinking, and insight
  • Communicating effectively through speaking, writing, reading, and a second or third language
  • Research including finding, analyzing, interpreting, and representing data
  • Managing projects, people, and resource
  • Decision making and problem solving
  • Technological expertise
  • Artistic expression
  • Creating positive change in the world through leadership and stewardship

Knowledge and Understanding

This is the realm of “content” or the essential concepts or information necessary for young people to be highly successful in their present and future educational, professional, and personal endeavors. Unlike many schools whose programs are “a mile wide and an inch deep” we seek to have students gain greater depth in their studies. Where principles in fields of knowledge exist we utilize these so students have the best grounding in their understanding of that field.

While education at Watershed School is interdisciplinary and the projects and expeditions lend themselves to understanding the interrelatedness between what is typically taught as separate disciplines, we have listed below the lenses through which content can be viewed, organized, and assessed. We have chosen to organize this content by systems as this better represents the way in which these subjects exist in the world. Our curriculum is designed to help students understand each of these systems.

  • Life Systems – Biology, Ecology, Anatomy, Physiology, Health
  • Physical Systems – Geological, Chemical, Physical
  • Numerical Systems – Statistical, Relational (Algebraic), Spacial (Geometric)
  • Social Systems – Cultural, Political, Organizational, Historical, Economic
  • Thought Systems – Spirituality, Philosophy, Psychology

When you graduate from Watershed School, you leave with a diploma and a Watershed School transcript that translates your experience for colleges and universities. You will also leave with an electronic portfolio that outlines the diversity of experiences you have had in high school including apprenticeships and your senior thesis as well as skills and trainings such as emergency medical certification. You will have been exposed to a broad spectrum of ideas, people, and places and will have had the opportunity to explore certain of these in great depth. You will move on from Watershed School ready for your next adventure and already making positive change in the world.