Education | Northwood Children's Services


Merritt Creek Academy

The Merritt Creek Academy was built in 2002 and opened to students from Northwood programs. The 27,121 square foot facility was designed with great care to provide an optimal learning environment. The Academy is equipped with classrooms, a large multi-purpose room for school assemblies and drama productions, a science lab, library, music room, creative arts center, and an apartment for visiting families.


Chester Creek Academy

The Chester Creek Academy was built in 1982 as an expansion to the Northwood Main Campus. The educational staff is provided by the Duluth School District. Chester Creek Academy as well as Merritt Creek Academy provides a comprehensive curriculum that is individualized for each student.

Merritt Creek Academy and Chester Creek Academy provide educational programs for the students.  The educational staff is provided by the Duluth School District and individualized comprehensive curriculums are developed that are integrated, experiential and innovative. Both sites provide safe and encouraging environments where parents, teachers, staff, and students unite in a celebration of learning and discovery. These innovative schools enroll kindergarten through 12th grade and work with boys and girls of diverse races, creeds, and capacities. Each student will learn the skills of literacy, computation, technology, and life skills through an integrated, meaningful curriculum.

Both schools operate with the following core principles and features:

Individualized Learning: Each student will have an individualized learning plan that will be frequently evaluated and modified to ensure optimal opportunities for success.


Developmentally Based:

Comprehensive assessments drive the individualized plans and teaching methods are incorporated into the student’s learning style. The content of material will be geared toward developmental needs and the students will be grouped by their respective levels of developmental functioning.


Experiential Focus:

A seamless learning environment will provide creative opportunities for experiential learning, e.g., summer camp becomes a week-long field trip in environmental science and a poetry writers retreat.


Culture of Success:

A safe, structured and supportive learning environment will keep the students in the classroom and engaged in learning. The focus will be on achievement and building students’ confidence by creating opportunities for success.

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