The Golden Tree Vision

What do we plan to do?

Students who are academically unchallenged, quirky, ostracized, outcast, bullied, unappreciated, don't fit in, or just ignored in traditional school settings can affect everything from grades to mental health. We seek to develop a small, safe, and caring junior boarding school which has a focus on social and emotional development for these and other students. A maximum of 32 fourth through eighth grade* students will ensure exceptional instruction, attention, and care are given to each student.

What type of student is best served by Golden Tree?

Our program should appeal to a wide variety of children of above average to gifted intelligence. While not a requisite, our small junior boarding school environment is especially beneficial for fourth through eighth graders that have struggled in traditional academic settings. These struggles may have been precipitated by, for example, negative feedback from peers or teachers, an inability to self-advocate, a high intelligence coupled with poor academic performance, a general feeling of not fitting in or being different than other students, unsupported LGBTQ identification, or social anxiety disorder. Some of these students may have been labeled as weak, nerdy, quirky, free-spirited, etc., experienced a lack of empathy from peers and teachers, or have experienced bullying in other environments. Students with mild ADD/ADHD, Asperger's Syndrome, or learning disabilities may also benefit from our small program. We are not appropriate for students with extreme behavioral or emotional issues, or who would otherwise benefit from a therapeutic setting.

How will we help our students?

As a school program, we will strive to provide a strong and challenging academic program that goes beyond what one will find in traditional programs. Social and emotional skills will be enhanced via interaction with peers and staff throughout the day, evening, and weekends, along with all-school activities and drama/video productions. Non-competitive, kinesthetic games and activities, such as those found in summer camp programs, will further enhance the child's confidence and social skills while also developing the child's physical skills.

As a junior boarding school, the community and culture of the school will play a large part of the child's growth. In the overall program, which has an enhanced focus on social and emotional development, children live and work along side other students that have similar social idiosyncrasies, personalities, and interests. It is hoped that through this environment, a loving and caring culture that allows all members of the community to be themselves, without fear of rejection, will form. In addition, the similarities amongst the students are likely to promote strong bonds and the formation of life-long friendships.

How do we plan to achieve our vision?

This is the million dollar question. We're still working on this one! We could go with the "If you build it, they will come" philosophy, but as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, we'd feel more secure with additional financial and personal resources that could guarantee success for the first few years of operation. Developing a network of individuals who share our vision and are willing to help us see it to fruition is required. If you would like to serve as a resource, or have contacts with individuals or organizations that would beneficial resources, please contact us via the form on our site home page. Learn more about our background and needs here.

*Grade levels may be adjusted based on interest.