An Independent, Non Sectarian, Private School serving Central Florida- Orlando and Winter Park. Providing alternative education for elementary, middle, and high school students in the Orlando area
Walden featured in Playground Magazine: Dream School
This is my daughter’s first year at the Walden School. She is a high school student who has always attended traditional school. Walden offers her a broad experience, feeding her curiosity and motivating her to “learn how to learn.” She is truly happy. The community of the school is a family. The staff is deeply committed to helping each student reach their full potential in a non-competitive environment.
Since 1st grade my son James was falling further and further behind in reading. By the time he finished summer school after third grade I believe the public school system was unable to teach this bright and glorious little boy. His self esteem and confidence was very low. He was angry and absolutely hated school in general, reading specifically.I was confident a private school would be our next option, as a forced repeat of third grade with proven unsuccessful systems was absolutely not an option. Probably my exact words were, “over my dead body.” I started with schools near by. My youngest two attended a preschool next to Walden so I’d witnessed their growth over the years. After a quick read online about their philosophy I was intrigued. Very soon James and I met Dr. Mikulka and her team of teachers. We toured the school and it all felt really comfortable, genuine and deeply enriching. It’s truly not like any school I’ve ever experienced. I find that to be their strength.Fast-forward over two months later and James’ growth in confidence and academic abilities has us all amazed. We were promised James would be given a new solid footing in school and they delivered. His demeanor has shifted to that of a happy and confident child. We are so grateful he has this unique opportunity to attend Walden. I wish more families knew to look for alternatives to public school. There’s no telling how far his reading skills will strengthen by June. I am thoroughly enjoying my son enjoy school.
I was so impressed and moved by Walden’s middle school performance tonight. The students took such ownership and pride in their work. I loved the fact that the students created the entire show and collaborated on how to do what they decided to do. I think the students learned so much and gleaned far more than just how to perform and prepare a concert. Thank you for investing in the students and in my son. He has grown tremendously since being at Walden.
We are so thrilled to have WCS as an amazing educational opportunity. Our daughter is so happy, fully engaged and more confident in her education than ever before. She used to come home from school quiet, exhausted, and dreading the next school day. She now comes home and without prompting she enthusiastically and articulately tells us about what she learned and what unique activities they did in school that day. Not only do we feel like she is being academically challenged, but she has learned some very useful social skills we’ve seen her desire to learn has blossomed and we feel she is getting the proper building blocks that will help give her a great foundation for the future. We appreciate that she is able to learn and be challenged in a non-competitive and stress free manner. This has already allowed for her to really enjoy learning and more intrinsically push herself. We truly feel Walden Community School lives up to its mission statement and we love that our daughter is learning how to think not just what to think.
Before we found Walden, our daughter spent three weeks in first grade at what many would agree is one of the best schools in the area. However, after just a short amount of time it became obvious to my husband and me that our smart, creative, artistic daughter would not thrive in a setting that taught using meaningless, repetitive worksheets, in a class where the teacher had to spend much of her time assisting students who required more behavioral services than were available, in a school that had ten minutes of recess a day and art and music once every six days, and, in an institution that values test scores over the unique abilities of individuals.Our daughter has been thriving at Walden, where hands-on learning that is tailored to each child’s personality and developmental stage is utilized. And, each day on our drive home our daughter is as excited as she was when I dropped her off on her first morning: she talks about how she and her classmates role-played what it would be like on the Mayflower; she tells me about the “real” artist that came to talk about their puppet set; she reminds me that she needs gardening gloves because they counted out and graphed all their seeds and are getting the soil ready for their organic garden; or she gives me some history about soccer before telling me that they beat the teacher in a game. I feel joyous and comforted knowing that our daughter is not merely learning facts, but is also learning how to think, ask questions, and relate what she is learning to herself and the world around her. And, just like her, I look forward to seeing what each school day has in store.
My daughter has truly blossomed as both a person and a student as a result of the academically rigorous and warm social environment that Walden provides. They make sure that every incoming student is a good fit for the school and vice versa.I looked far and wide to find a school that did not provide a cookie cutter education.Dr. Milkulka’s visionary approach of addressing the whole child and truly caring for the academic and social development of every child is priceless. I could not be happier with the education my daughter is receiving, from the incredible teachers who mentor her and the great friends she has made at Walden!
Our family moved to Orlando from New England and my son had always attended small schools. When we first moved to Orlando, he attended a public school that had almost 3000 students. The classrooms were large and he did not get the individual attention he was used to. After seeing him struggle to succeed I moved him to Walden Community School. I have seen a 100% turn around in his attitude toward school. He enjoys going to school. The teachers are energetic and enjoy teaching the students. The classroom size is very small which means each student gets the attention they need and will never slip through the cracks. Everyone at the school has such a positive attitude and is willing to help in any way they can.
My experience with Walden School has been brief so far, but it has been enough to impress me both in the philosophy that guides the school, as well as in its implementation. I am amazed at the concept based education, how the teachers are able to take difficult concepts and apply them in an inter-disciplinary curriculum in a way that obviously excites the students. The individual attention to the students is rare in education, and the teamwork among the students is even rarer. As I watched this education in action, I kept wondering why such an education had not been available for my daughter.
Schools have one fundamental purpose: to educate our children. Many achieve that purpose through traditional classroom learning and simply stop there. Then there are schools like Walden Community School that break the mold and take the notion of education to a new level. Walden delivers traditional classroom instruction in a smaller, nurturing environment that encourages questions and ensures students can truly understand. But, that is just part of the recipe. Walden also challenges students by exposing them to a variety of topics, providing new ways to learn that stretches their critical thinking, and helps them view the world more broadly. A love for learning, bravery, objectivity, and a respect for alternative points-of-view are just some of the take-aways our daughter has gained from being in this environment the past two years. Walden has transformed her. She is thriving like never before, confident, and prepared to make a difference to the planet. That is how Walden Community School delivers on the purpose of educating our children.
Walden Community School | 4595 Howell Branch Rd. Winter Park, FL 32792 | Phone: 407-677-8225