About Walden Community School

Walden Community School is a non-profit, non-sectarian, private, independent school established in 2001. When policy is set or reviewed, "What is best for the student?" is always our primary focus. Walden is accredited by Advanced Education Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). Walden is also a designated Project Learning Tree (PLT) Educational Center and is committed to instilling within students responsible action on behalf of the environment. 
 

Come Visit and Take a Campus Tour!

Our campus is open Monday through Friday 9am to 12pm for prospective parents, families, and community members.  See our students and teachers in action and find out why students love to work and play at Walden Community School! Meet our Founder and Director and learn more about Walden's unique methodology and campus. Request a tour online below or call 407-677-8225 to speak with a Walden Community School staff member. 
 

 

Our ultimate goal is accomplished when our students invest in and take ownership of their education and their futures.


 
 
 


At Walden Community School

Students Are Empowered, Independent Thinkers

We build our curriculum for our students -- not for a test. Each child’s unique style and personality become part of their learning process, and our classes allow students to explore and master how to learn and think originally, while trusting their intuition. Teachers and parents witness and encourage the process of discovery, abstract thinking, and insight as our students become empowered, independent thinkers. The result is the evolution of highly competent individuals able to analyze, interpret, and communicate their ideas confidently and effectively.

 

Students Are Invested and Engaged

Walden offers a flexible and unique educational program that focuses on the development of each student's artistic, intellectual, emotional, and physical growth, building upon children’s intrinsic desire to know about the world.  Led by excited, passionate teachers, who utilize hands-on activities and big-picture thinking, Walden students are motivated and eager learners, who take pride in their work and who take responsibility for their actions. Walden's high academic standards require students to produce original ideas and work to the best of their ability. 

 

Students Realize Academic & Personal Potential

Academics are only the beginning of Walden's commitment to educating its students. We understand that in order to reach their potential, our students must develop not only academically, but emotionally, physically, and socially as well.  Our whole-person focus requires individual planning, care, and methodologies to accommodate the varying needs of our students.  Because of this, our commitment to building better students -- and better individuals -- is uncompromising and is the reason our students achieve both professionally and personally. A Walden education enables individuals to realize their potential.  

 

Academic 

In a world where academic performance holds such great value, Walden strives to ensure that each student reaches his or her greatest potential.  We understand that no two students are alike and that students learn very differently from one another. Our child-centered approach to teaching upholds that one size does not fit all. Because of this, our faculty effectively adapts the curriculum to create a motivating academic experience best suited to each of our student's personal strengths and interests, as well as developmental stage. The result: students at Walden are extremely engaged and receptive to learning -- and better able to achieve their academic potential. 

Social and Emotional 

Social and emotional growth are as important as academic success at Walden. We understand that a psychologically healthy environment enhances a student’s ability to absorb, understand, and retain information. Walden's small class sizes, emphasis on collaborative versus competitive learning, and test-free methodology create a safe, stress-free place for students to develop.  Students are encouraged to share their ideas, express their feelings, and be respectful of their classmates. Walden ensures that each student’s self-esteem improves along with his or her academics. 

 

Physical 

Walden also understands how important physical activity and movement are for children. Students participate in physical education classes daily, where they learn a variety of developmentally appropriate sports, skills, exercises, and activities. This "Physical Literacy" not only enhances their personal fitness levels, but increases their ability to concentrate in class. Additionally, students are not confined to desks. Our hands-on approach to learning encourages movement throughout the day, allowing students to study and learn where they are most comfortable, be it at a table, on the floor, or outside on the patio. Outdoor science experiments, music, dance, art, and drama keep our students moving -- and engaged. 


When basic and emotional needs are met, students have a sense of belonging. Walden is a place where students are respected and have a voice.


 

A Letter From Our Founder

 

 

To Prospective Parents and Families,

Walden Community School was established in 2002 as a multi-age elementary program. My greatest hope is to reduce stress during the early formative years, teach appropriate conflict resolution, and create a nurturing and engaging academic environment in which all students can succeed and reach their highest potential.

Our philosophy and methodology are child-centered and are steered by Brain-Based Learning and Multiple Intelligence Theory, where each student's way of processing information is embraced and enhanced. Our classes are discussion-based, test-free, and focus on cooperative instead of competitive learning, and our curriculum provides a structure for exploring and mastering how to learn and think instead of what to learn and think. We . We are acutely aware of children's intrinsic desire to know about their world and thus use flexible and developmentally appropriate curriculum to address their interests and academic needs. We also encourage our students to think originally, to trust their intuitive responses, and to work to the best of their abilities at all times.

Walden Community School is inspired by Finland, which has the best educational system worldwide. In essence, they believe that students need short days, long holidays, plenty of recess, outdoor activities, and little homework. And its balanced approach to education equally embraces both the creative arts and academics, as does Walden. (For more information on Finland's educational system please watch Morgan Spurlock's in-depth documentary available via Netflix).  

As we approach the time to make decisions, we realize that transition and change are exciting, but also require thought and deliberation. I would like to extend an invitation to meet with you at Walden Community School. Please email me at admin@waldencommunityschool.com or call (407) 677-8225.

Best regards,
Dr. Carol Mikulka
Founder and Director of Walden Community School

 

Meet Our Founder 

Dr. Carol Mikulka- Founder & director

Dr. Carol Mikulka- Founder & director

Dr. Carol Mikulka, M.D., is a board-certified psychiatrist currently practicing at her own facility in Winter Park, Florida. Despite her primary focus on psychiatry, she has always had a unique interest in education 

and the mental health of adolescent growth, including the effects of negative self concept on learning and behavior. This led her to participate in various teaching roles, including the Unit Director of an adolescent unit and Medical Director of an eating disorder program.

These paths allowed her to gain a wide breadth of knowledge before getting married and having children. From being raised in Latin and South America, to becoming a psychiatrist and mother in North America, Dr. Mikulka incorporated all her experiences to form a strong basis for her life's philosophy. She believes in having a multicultural approach to life, continuously observing and learning from many perspectives.  

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After earning her undergraduate degree in biology and secondary education, Dr. Mikulka became a psychiatrist and completed a fellowship in Administrative and Community Psychiatry. By 2001, with two children about to leave elementary school, she performed extensive research in an attempt to find an education system that could provide a complete education. Although each program's philosophy had its own merit, Dr. Mikulka felt that sending her daughters to any one of them would mean sacrificing her own beliefs, since all the programs failed to provide all of the elements she considered necessary. She believed that children needed an all-inclusive education in order to grow and develop into well-adjusted and socially conscious adults. From her research, Dr. Mikulka knew that independence and self-esteem were built in safe environments. They need a place in which students have a voice and are respected by peers and staff. When children are home schooled however, they are likely to miss out on many fundamental learning experiences. In the pursuit of ensuring the very best education for her own children, Dr. Mikulka founded Walden Community School, a not-for-profit hybrid school in Winter Park, Florida. She wanted to share her beliefs with others offering other enlightened parents an opportunity to offer the same opportunities to their children. When basic needs and emotional needs are met, students will also have safety and a sense of belonging. When this occurs, a child's self-actualization and ability to reach his or her highest potential are now enabled and more likely than in any other educational environment. Encompassing all these factors in a child's education reduces learning obstacles and ensures strong and healthy development. Her life's work led her to accomplish her dream of sharing her unique philosophy and providing all students at Walden Community School the opportunity for a positive and complete educational experience.

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Meet our Community Advisory Board

Walden's Community Advisory Board consists of local education professionals who share a passion for learning and for student-centered education.  

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