The Thaden School is a new independent middle and high school based in Bentonville, Arkansas. “A private school with a public purpose,” the school’s unique curriculum will combine academic excellence with learning by doing. The school will feature three signature programs: Wheels (where the fields of physics and mechanics come alive through the construction and use of bicycles and other wheeled machines), Meals (where biology, chemistry, and community come alive through the growing and preparation of food), and Reels (where narrative and visual communication come alive through the production of film and video). The school’s “whole student / whole body” pedagogy will feature learning opportunities both indoors and outdoors.
The school campus is a 26 acre site just a 10 minute walk from the Bentonville town square, adjacent to the emerging “Arts” and “Market” districts, where many of Thaden School’s community partners will operate. Integrating buildings and landscape, students are provided unique places to learn indoors and outdoors, developing mind and body—the whole student. The “feel” of the campus proposed in this master plan is modeled more on a small college campus than a monolithic middle or high school building. Students are expected to move between buildings over the course of the day, with many classrooms and work areas designed to be able to spill out onto adjacent outdoor areas. The campus brings together the historic home of Bentonville’s aviation pioneer Louise Thaden with state of the art classrooms, labs, landscapes and maker spaces; blending old and new into a rich landscape for learning to promote growth of the whole student.Location: Betonville, AR
Size: 26 acres
Year of Completion: