Headwaters School was formed as a collection
of parents, students, and teachers in the early 1970s to provide a balanced educational
environment for rural students who were homeschooling. The group incorporated under the umbrella of Upper Fryely, a home-schooling newsletter written by Grace and Bill Harwood. A school bus served as the very first school "building," but eventually original school founders
and members were able to donate land in Pettigrew, AR. A one-room schoolhouse was built there in 1976.
This original structure was a board-and-batten building, with grid power and wood heat.
In 1995, Headwaters received a large donation and was able to buy 4.5 acres bordering the National Forest in Red Star. It is here that our current facilities were built. The "new" school was built using alternative architecture techniques. It has a timber frame support structure and strawbale walls covered with stucco. (This gives us an R-40+ insulation rating in the walls.) We have a radiant concrete-slab floor heating system, which uses a solar-power system to heat the entire building. (There is grid power as a back-up.)
Surrounding the building are a large field (formerly a local community baseball
field -- now an all-purpose play field); a wooded playground; and the National Forest.
Children are given free reign to play and explore all of these areas. (Outdoor time
normally surpasses indoor time when the weather is suitable.)
We were blessed to begin classes in this new structure in 1997. All of the wonderful features of the facility combine to create a learning environment that is unique and inspiring.
Our hope for the future is that the entire facility will eventually be powered completely by renewable energy sources, and employ sustainable waste management systems.