About Us

  • Hayward School District's newest school, Northern Waters Environmental School (NWES) is designed to take students beyond the four walls of the classroom through projects that explore our community and natural environment. 

  • The school is open to 6th through 12th grade students.

  • NWES is a full-time school, where students learn all academic subjects - reading, mathematics, science, and social studies- integrated through hands-on projects and field-based inquiry.

  • Students will develop the 21st century skills needed to be successful beyond their school years: collaboration, communication, creativity, and critical thinking. 

  • At NWES, we believe community partnerships are essential to the learning process.

  • NWES is a part of the Hayward School District who contracts with the Northern Waters Board of Directors, which is made up of community members and parents, to operate the school.


Click on the link for a list of frequently asked questions. 



"Each student is a piece of the puzzle. We don't want to trim any edges to make a student fit in, but rather create a space for them to fit in."
8th grade NWES student
“It's an engaging environment both in and outside of the classroom.”

6th grade NWES student

“The world is our textbook where a small question often leads to a large discussion.”

7th grade NWES student


"We expand our own vocabulary by building lists of words through daily readings."
7th grade NWES student
"It's exciting to see studentst excited to learn. Learning isn't seen as a chore anymore, but as an interesting endeavor."
NWES parent
"I really see the life skills they're picking up and practicing." 
NWES parent
"The school really helps develop student interests, as well as hands-on cooperation."
NWES parent
"In a contextualized learning environment like this, study offers increased opportunities for students to develop. Homework becomes something relevant and additional questions come from the vicinity of 'I want to know this' instead of 'I have to do this.'" 
NWES parent