The Lotus School Of Liberal Arts Closing Statment 2020
The Lotus School began as an idea of a sustainable community to follow the closing of Tinicum Art and Science in 2016. We continued the tradition of combining mindfulness with academics in a community setting. Over the years mindfulness has spread as a method of empowering all of us to be more compassionate with our selves and others, and in giving us the tools we need to be our best selves. As pioneers of this work, we are pleased to see more and more schools embracing this work and hope that it will continue to grow.
In the current moment, the Covid 19 pandemic has made the work of small independent schools everywhere extremely difficult, and The Lotus School is no exception. Unfortunately the time has come to close our doors, and as of December 31st all students will be graduated or transferred, and we will be no more.
We want to thank all of you who have helped in our mission over the years, and have supported our faculty with funds, good cheer and hard work. You all know who you are.
The Leadership Team and Trustees of The Lotus School
The mission of The Lotus School of Liberal Arts is to cultivate a community of compassionate, mindful, lifelong learners who are able to meet life's challenges with the confidence and knowledge of how their efforts can help create a better world for themselves and others.
Stories they tell...
What alumni, parents, and educators say about our program:
Without this school, I wouldn’t be who I am today. I graduated years ago, yet these teachers continue to be my friends and my support system. As a student, I was able to express myself creatively in ways that I could’ve never done in public school, following my dreams to create art, write, and finally enter the publishing industry. They encouraged me and helped me find my path. Thank you!
The individualized approach and small classes helped me feel supported by my teachers and I stayed motivated. This prepared me for the next phase of my life. The mindfulness approach to teaching was therapeutic and gave me and my classmates a way to de-stress before absorbing the knowledge we needed to complete our courses. This school’s support was there when I needed it the most.
I could have gotten a “good” education anywhere—what I gained from this school goes beyond a traditional education. I have become a lifelong learner who can face all types of adversity without despair. I also believe I can contribute positively to my family and community due to the mindfulness practices that were instilled in me here. I never could have imagined making the dean’s list in college, living abroad, becoming a mother, having a career and running a business without this invaluable high school experience.
I learned everything from languages to critical thinking to physics and chemistry. My passion in science and math was nurtured and it put me on a path leading to college for chemical engineering. I ended up graduating with a degree in industrial engineering instead, but that broad foundation has been integral in my further education.
Through various forms of meditation, mindfulness practice, and trying to combine these two things to help me train Shim Gum Do, this wonderful institution not only helped show me how to truly control my emotions and use them productively, but also enabled me to realize that I have such a huge support system in my life, and that asking for help is more than okay. I don’t know what I would have done or where I would be now without the school, but I do know for sure that it has changed and bettered so many lives, and for that, I am forever grateful.
Before I went to TAS, I felt like I had no place in the world. Everywhere I went nothing seemed to work out. Then I found the school. For the first time in my life I had friends as well as teachers who cared. My teachers helped me get my life together and ready me for college. If I had not gone to that school, I would not have the appreciation for the arts that I have nor the friends for life that I made.
Felicia Ruth Holtz, M.A.
The Lotus School of Liberal Arts has all of the ingredients to allow a child’s innate potential to blossom. As an educator, I was blown away by the mindful curriculum and the obvious efforts to provide a healthy learning environment for adolescents. The faculty goes to great lengths to model kindness, discipline, and the joy of lifelong learning. It’s an uplifting environment to step into and a forward thinking educational model.
Tanya Storch, PhD
The Lotus School of Liberal Arts is among those very few schools in America which have the right vision and are capable of advancing education of our young generations in the right direction. Meaning, here, at The Lotus School, attention is paid to students’ hearts and minds, their active participation in the process of learning, personal responsibility for the community, and constant growth of their creativity.
Paul and Ulla Warchol
The welcoming and non-judgemental environment of the school impressed and reassured us immediately. After the first few weeks of Leo’s first year enrolled there, we noticed a remarkable improvement in his attitude toward himself and toward his responsibilities as a student.
Here, students take responsibility for their school and themselves. Their days are filled with reading, writing and arithmetic but more—so much more. They use yoga and martial arts for physical education. They have art for all, and students prep for and clean up after every fresh and healthy meal. Students speak and act like adults respecting each other. Mindfulness is part of the curriculum and restorative practices for conflicts are woven through everything they do.
I have never encountered an institution with a culture as inclusive, flexible, and fundamentally mature as at The Lotus School. Patience, humility, and an interest in the unknown rather than fear of the unknown are the ways I have come to know and recognize Lotus students.
One of the first things that hit me when arriving at the school and meeting several of the students was their independence. Of course they were polite and respectful as you would hope any student is to a guest, but it was the way they carried about their morning—preparing for classes, making their own breakfast, tidying the halls, interacting on a very adult level. This impressed me.
Dr. Gail Karafin
The Lotus School is an educational program that considers the whole student. It creates a warm and caring environment that meets a teen’s physical, intellectual, and emotional needs in an atmosphere of acceptance. Students are challenged with the classics; dialogue and inquiry are encouraged. Meditation and mindfulness are integral parts of a student’s day. Additionally, the Lotus School is one of the few secondary schools in the area that recognizes the adolescent needs for healthy sleep; they begin the day at 9:00 a.m.
Dr. Gail Karafin, former president of the Philadelphia Society of Clinical Psychologists
Finding passion in a sustainable fashion versus immediate fashion is relevant for today’s world. Not every school is the best school for every child. The Lotus School teaches academics while helping children grow skills of greater focus in the moment versus focus on other things that teenagers find rewarding. Teaching self-esteem and self-awareness while minimizing the needs that stimulate their appetite for loss of focus is such a valuable tool for teenagers who struggle with the traditional academic environment.
John Gannon MS, FPPR, Psychologist, Solebury PA
Anne Weller, M.Ed, MFT, Autism Family Services
The objective of The Lotus School of Liberal Arts is to provide a well-rounded education to students who have failed to thrive in their previous placements. Although much of the presenting problem might be rooted in learning differences, we have found that adolescent anxiety is a significant cause of program failure. The Lotus School is a unique and powerful agent of change, providing a calm and nurturing learning environment, limited enrollment and individualized interventions within a model which teaches techniques of self-monitoring and self-soothing skills as well as relationship building among peer mentors and adult allies.
Anne Weller, M.Ed, MFT, Autism Family Services