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About Us

Contact Us!

1480 El Centro Ave.
Napa, CA 94558

(707) 253-3771 (phone)
(707) 259-8422 (fax)

School Office

 8:00 am - 4:00 pm


Welcome to WilloW Elementary!

Mission: Willow Elementary School is a community dedicated to academic excellence through the arts, while inspiring compassion, curiosity and joyful learning.

Visit Us!

According to state law and board policy, all parents and visitors must check in at the office when on campus during school hours. Check in involves coming to the office to sign our “visitor sign-in” binder and putting on a name tag.

Learning Environment

Artful Learning is the model for learning at our schools! This comprehensive school model is specially designed to engage students at a deeper level of inquiry and understanding than can be achieved with standard educational approaches. By providing educators with a unique framework to present academic content, Artful Learning links the arts and the artistic process to the daily classroom learning experience. Artful Learning employs an interdisciplinary approach that is anchored by a central Concept while posing a Significant Question that allow educators to teach a broad spectrum of rigorous academic content. Studying through the lens of the arts generates a measurably deeper level of comprehension and retention in students.

What do we really want our kids to learn at school?  Reading?  Math?  Science?  Yes, of course, but more important is to teach our kids to be critical thinkers and problem solvers.  We value inquiry, creativity, and the 21st century skills of communication and collaboration.  To meet these goals we are delivering academics through a unique framework called Artful Learning.  As one of six magnet schools in the Napa Valley Unified School District, the school program is designed to integrate the arts and the artistic process into the daily classroom experience.    This unique methodology employs an interdisciplinary approach that is anchored by a central Concept while posing a Significant Question that allow educators to teach a broad spectrum of rigorous academic content.  Studying through the arts generates deeper comprehension for students and high levels of student engagement.

Artful Learning, supported by the Leonard Bernstein Center, is working with staff to implement this school reform model based on Bernstein’s belief that that the process of experiencing the arts, provides a fundamental way to instill a lifelong love of learning in children.  The model; experience, inquire, create, reflect, starts with a Masterwork experience.  Students learn about a painting, photograph, song, or other art piece.  This immediate engagement leaves students curious to learn more.  The Significant Question guides the inquiry and students use a variety of research techniques to delve into the content.  As students inquire, new understandings develop and connections are made.  After the learning, students design and complete an Original Creation – a tangible, artistic manifestation that demonstrates their understanding of the new knowledge.  This final product is then ready for presentation.  Finally, students reflect on their learning.  This process is documented through narratives, maps and metaphors that enable students to make connections to their lives and the world around them.

The success of this program is dependent on artist partnerships to support students in their original creations.  Working with the teachers and offering master classes for students to perfect their artistic skills is a crucial role that artists play in this model of implementation.  Music, metal, watercolor, clay, etc. are all mediums that can be used to reflect student learning and expand their artistic repertoire.  Developing these partnerships within our community helps us sustain a program designed to develop students into creative, innovative, solution-driven individuals that we need for the future success of our economy. Current partners include: Magical Moonshine puppet theater, Opus One, Napa Valley Opera House (VOENA in the classroom) and NEOP.  If you’re interested in getting involved in this exciting project, please contact Ginger Dunne, Principal of Willow Elementary at .