top of page

Why AV-W?

We are Crew

Not Passengers


A group of students who meet together to support each other and push each other in school, and life.


a way of being. To be "Crew" means to pitch in to help each other, to step up and take responsibility for everyone's well being around you.

About US

AV-W is an independent school dedicated to helping our students develop the skills, knowledge, and drive to become the best versions of themselves. We focus on teaching our students the values of grit, craftsmanship, and integrity, and how to use those values to reach their full potential.

Our students are taught to think critically, to problem-solve, and to approach issues from multiple angles. We are dedicated to providing the best educational experience possible and encourage our students to be in control of their future.



  • We can be compassionate by showing others that we care.  We can be kind, helpful and understanding.

  • Muskies will show courage by taking positive risks and overcoming the fear of leaving their comfort zone.

  • I will show integrity by always doing the right thing, even when no one is watching or when the right thing is not popular.

  • I will show craftsmanship by always doing my best and working diligently to produce work I am proud of.

  • We will work to the best of our ability by participating in class, asking questions and studying hard. 

  • We are in control of our future.


What is E.L. Education?

EL (expeditionary learning) Education is a national nonprofit partnering with K-12 educators to transform public schools and districts into hubs of opportunity for all students to achieve excellent equitable outcomes and apply their unique genius to the world.  

With a focus on hands-on expeditionary learning, our students are encouraged to discover new ideas, information, and cultures.  EL Education nurtures an environment where students of all backgrounds and identities have the power to exceed the highest standards—as scholars and as community members. 

AV-W History

For those new to AV-W (Arbor Vitae - Woodruff School) we haven’t always had a clear vision of education. In 2006, only our middle school was an EL School and in 2009 we failed back-to-back operating referendums, as a result EL was cut from the budget.


For a couple of years, some of our grades used best practice ideas from EL but we never had a direction or commitment. 

Then in 2011/2012 the board agreed to reissue the MOU to EL and we again were back in the network. The goal now was to formulate a vision to become a high functioning EL School, creating solid frameworks, meaningful traditions, and universal importance that could withstand any financial crisis and/or board/administrative change → and so the journey began. 

  • In 2016, we became a credentialed EL School. 

  • In 2017, we became an EL Mentor School. 

  • In 2018, we were selected to host a nationwide site seminar that highlights AV-W and “building a spirit of Crew.”  


Again, the mission has been to create a climate, structure, and framework to withstand the unknown. AV-W has met the mark and continues to constantly improve and reflect. AV-W is an EL School. We no longer have to wonder and question the direction of our school. We have a vision and we have a framework.

bottom of page