The Healdsburg School

The Healdsburg School (THS) announced today that they have acquired a site just south of Healdsburg that will be the home of a permanent campus for the K-8 private school. The 11-acre parcel is situated just south of the City of Healdsburg at 11940 Old Redwood Highway.

“I have always believed that what happens inside and outside the classroom is far more important than the buildings. The magic is in the rapport among teachers and students, and the dedication of our educators to craft dynamic learning experiences,” the head of school, Andy Davies, said in a statement. “This is still true, yet I am thrilled that the school can now take programs to the next level with classrooms specifically designed for indoor/outdoor experiences.”

THS Board Chair Laura Kirk Lee said the new space will allow for an expanded garden program, outdoor learning labs and the construction of a multipurpose building including a gym and a performance space.

Additionally, “We will have arts and science spaces created to serve our student’s unique needs … and more room to play and explore outside,” Lee said in a statement.

Sandi Passalacqua founded the school in 2006 on the premise that children learn most effectively when they construct knowledge and understanding through an authentic inquiry-based curriculum designed for excellence.

In 2007, THS was opened and began with two classrooms at the Luther Burbank Center for the Arts with 16 students.

Longtime Healdsburg resident Oliver Max, who’s the landlord of the school’s current site on Healdsburg Avenue, worked with Passalacqua to establish the Healdsburg Avenue campus, which now serves 212 K-8 students.

“Our current site has been a wonderful incubator for THS in our formative years, and Oliver has been not only a landlord but also a thought partner as our school has grown, and we have deliberated options for a new home together,” Davies said.

In the same statement released by the school, Passalacqua said the school was able to secure the new site after receiving a generous gift from an anonymous donor.

“It has been my great honor and privilege to work in Sonoma County education for many years,” Passalacqua said in the statement. “We are very fortunate to have found and secured a campus site without incurring any debt through the generosity of an anonymous donor.”

For several years, the THS board of trustees has looked at various site options for a more permanent campus. Now that the Old Redwood Highway site has been secured, the board of trustees and school administrators will begin the multi-step processes of planning, designing, fundraising and building.

According to the press release, the board has pledged to seek insight and input on the design from their new neighbors on Old Redwood Highway and partnership with the county throughout these stages.

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