My greatest hope is to create a nurturing and engaging academic environment in which all students can succeed and reach their highest potential.
Letter to Prospective Parents and Families
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 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or call (407) 677-8225.
Dr. Carol Mikulka
Founder and Director of Walden Community School
Come Visit and Take a Campus Tour!
Meet our Founder and Director in person and learn more about Walden's unique methodology and campus. Ask questions and visit our classrooms to experience the Walden experience first hand. Request a tour online below or call 407-677-8225 to speak with a Walden Community School staff member.
Meet Our Founder and 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.
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.