Education is a key component to student life at Woodward Academy and an area where they spend a lot of their time. When the Education Center was built in 2002, it marked only the beginning of an increasing department that now has 4 buildings, 25 classrooms, a computer lab, 3 conference rooms, and offices dedicated to schooling.
Today, 32 teachers and education staff provide a full range of core and elective classes, as well as special education services, to students in the residential and Day School programs. All teachers are highly qualified and licensed through the Iowa Department of Education and provide academic services year round. This allows students to remain engaged over the summer and the ability to earn additional credits toward graduation. This is particularly important for students who are below grade level in certain academic areas or who have missed credits before attending.
Receiving a quality education can be one of the most valuable components of a student’s adolescence. Woodward Academy teachers use a standards based curriculum in their classrooms to assess student learning. This is different than summative assessments, where “tests” are often administered at the end of the unit and a student’s grade is based on how well they do. With a classroom based on standards, students have a wide range of ways to demonstrate mastery of a concept and the class is generally more engaged in their learning.
Over the past several years, an increased emphasis on education has provided some great opportunities for students. Some of those include representing the Knights in the conference Academic Bowl, earning a superior rating at the Iowa High School Music Association Ensemble contest, and displaying works of art at one of the premier arts festivals in the nation: the Des Moines Arts Festival. Most importantly, students have been able to earn their high school diploma or equivalency (Hi-SET or GED) while attending Woodward Academy. Many students have expressed that they never thought getting this was realistic before attending WA and many have utilized it toward gainful employment, or even college as the next stage of their life.