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Academic Philosophy and Approach to Education

The Northwood School academic philosophy builds on the school’s mission and serves as the foundation for all aspects of the curriculum.

Northwood School prepares students to shape the future. We engage students in the active pursuit of knowledge and believe that students learn best through exploration and inquiry. Students gain resilience, become independent thinkers, and challenge perspectives by forming relationships with their teachers and peers. The Northwood experience is rooted in the Adirondacks and creates confident, globally-minded students, ready to innovate and adapt to our ever-changing world.

At the core is a broad and challenging college-preparatory curriculum that includes a variety of Honors and AP courses.  Building on the Northwood academic experience, students explore areas of interest with academic programs designed to strengthen intellectual abilities, promote character development and advance interests in specific subject areas.

What differentiates Northwood School is: 

  • Its unique location in Lake Placid in the heart of the Adirondack Park providing opportunities for students to apply the knowledge they are learning using inquiry and place-based projects.  
  • A student-centered approach providing practical knowledge to help students find their passions.  
  • A personalized and flexible approach with each student to navigate opportunities and forge paths of distinction to stand out in the college admissions process.
  • Effective student-teacher ratios allow Northwood faculty to respond to different learner abilities, needs, and interests. 

For students who have already discovered their passions and interests, our academic program allows a learning path to be focused, strengthening the real-world application of their knowledge and skills. Simultaneously, our flexible curriculum also allows for a broad exploration of many subject areas and experiences for those students who are not yet ready to commit to a defined area of interest. 

The Northwood School curriculum supports budding artists, focused engineers, elite athletes, and others, providing a platform to pursue multiple interests and achieve excellence in academics, and ultimately, providing the skills, knowledge, and confidence to navigate the unique challenges of the twenty-first century.

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