Why Waldorf Works – Life after Highschool

 

When Waldorf educators speak of “education toward freedom,” they refer to the development of individuals who are, out of their own inner strength, able to forge their own destinies and find their rightful places in the world. For parents, one of the most important ways in which this “freedom” can be manifested is in their Waldorf-educated child having more, rather than fewer options in their post-Waldorf educational life.

In my work as a consultant to schools, I find this to be one of the most important issues about which parents need reassurance. “If I move, will my child be okay in a public school?” “After eighth grade, how will she do in a non-Waldorf environment?” are often-asked questions. And now, with more than twenty Waldorf high schools operating in North America, the question has become, “If my child goes to a Waldorf high school, will she be accepted into the college of her choice?”

For several years, AWSNA has collected information about “life after Waldorf high school” from the various high schools in North America. I would like to look at the information about college and university admissions for Waldorf students.

The information covers the years 1993-99. It is restricted to students from the United States. During this period, more than 1100 students graduated from Waldorf high schools. Of these, 78 percent immediately entered college after finishing high school. An additional 10 percent were planning to attend, but were delaying their entrance for a variety of reasons. Thus, almost 90 percent of all Waldorf high school graduates during this period continued their formal education after finishing Waldorf high school.

In this context the crucial question is not whether Waldorf graduates go to college, but, rather, “Where are they accepted and where do they go?”

The simple answer is, “Everywhere.” They go to schools from Amherst to Yale and from The University of Maine to the University of California at San Diego. They go to local community colleges and to elite Ivy League universities. The top students go wherever they want, and the ones who struggle go wherever they can. Some go to design school or to schools that concentrate on music or the visual/performance arts. Some even go to West Point. The California graduates are accepted at every campus of the university system and the students in other states attend public universities in their areas.

It is important to point out, though, that schools of a certain type actively seek out Waldorf graduates as potential students. These are some of the top strata “liberal arts” universities and colleges. They appreciate the cultivation of thinking and individual initiative that takes place in a Waldorf environment. Waldorf students consistently are accepted and attend schools such as Sarah Lawrence, Vassar, Bard, and Oberlin, as well as St. John’s College and the Claremont Colleges in southern California…

…The gifts that a Waldorf high school education can bring are of benefit to the individual and the community. It is gratifying that the value of this educational experience has been recognized by so many leading academic institutions. As the number of Waldorf high school graduates continues to increase, we are hopeful that these individuals will grow into positions of leadership and responsibility in which their education can play a role in their positive work in the community and the world.


Abraham Entin and his wife, Rachael Flug, have been parents at Highland Hall Waldorf School in Los Angeles since 1978. They have two children who graduated from that school’s high school. One has graduated from the University of California at Santa Cruz, and the other still attends the University of California at Berkeley. They also have a child still in lower school. Mr. Entin currently consults to Waldorf schools on enrollment issues and on strategic planning, and has conducted numerous AWSNA-sponsored workshops on enrollment.

Taos Waldorf School

Taos Mountain Charter School Tshirts

Taos Mountain Charter School Tshirts

This is the front of the free T-shirt that you can pick up at the Taos Waldorf School office and wear to the hearing tomorrow Morning to show your support for the Taos Mountain Charter School.

These shirts were graciously donated by a TWS parent who supports the new charter school. We have all sizes, so come on by, or call 575-751-7750.

Thanks for your support!

taos mtn charter shirt

Drop-Off and Pick-Up

Drop Off

Drop-off for all students: 7:45-8:00 am
Please ensure your child arrives at school no later than 8:00 am so that they have time to walk un-hurriedly along the garden pathway to get to their classroom or play yard.

If you arrive after First Bell, you must accompany your child to the office to get a late slip.

Bell Schedule

1st Bell: 8:10 am – All students should proceed directly to their classrooms to line up and be greeted by their teacher.
2nd Bell: 8:15 am – Classes begin for all Grades and Early Childhood.

Dismissal & Pickup

Early childhood children must be picked up at their classroom, preschoolers must be signed in and out every day. Grades students can be picked up at the pickup area under the shade structure next to the parking lot.

Classes End    Pickup Starts
Early Childhood    12:30 pm 12:30 pm
Grade 1    2:30 pm 2:35 pm
Grades 2-8    3:20 pm 3:25 pm
High School    3:00 pm (Fri 2:20 pm) 3:05 pm (Fri 2:25 pm)

Early Dismissal/Half-Days

Students may be dismissed early on certain days, for example during parent/teacher conferences. On these days, students will be dismissed at 12:40 pm unless otherwise announced.

Early Dismissal: 12:40 pm

Policies

Disciplinary Policies
At aos Waldorf School, we believe that children have a right to a quality education in a safe and caring environment. Our discipline policy starts with the adults of the school and our commitment to work on ourselves and to treat each other and the children in our care with respect. We want to provide children – and adults – with the opportunity to learn from our mistakes and to develop over time an inner-sense of what is right in the moment. Our goal is to create a healthy learning environment by fostering respect for self and others, by providing clear expectations and boundaries and by promoting problem-solving skills among our students. For more detailed information please click the following links:
      • General Discipline Policy

Dress Code
  aos Waldorf School recognizes that all students have intrinsic worth based on who they are and not on what they wear. We want to create an environment in which each student can develop those innate qualities, focus on learning, and contribute in a positive way to the school community. We also believe that pressures related to clothing choice can distract students and undermine the school environment. The dress code adopted by the school encourages self-discipline and is simple to manage. Styles must not interfere with the educational process nor present a safety hazard as determined by the faculty. Disregard for any of these standards will result in the student not being allowed into class and parents/guardian and/or emergency contacts being contacted to pick up student and/or bring an appropriate change of clothes. See the School Handbook for details.

Media & Screen Viewing Policy
The violence, consumerism and passive entertainment that are taken for granted in today‟s mass-media culture do not support the well being of children. The cumulative effect of repeated exposure to television, video games, movies, radio and computers can negatively impact a child’s development. At Desert Marigold, we strongly encourage parents to take full responsibility for determining the type and extent of screen viewing (video games, game-boy, x-box, computers, etc.), and media exposure (television and DVD) their children receive. Your child’s teachers will be providing information regarding media use and your child’s education and engaging you in a dialogue that we hope will be stimulating and rewarding. Our goal in doing so is to do our utmost to create a learning environment that is conducive to active, imaginative learning. See the School Handbook for details.

Our recommended guidelines regarding media use are as follows:
1. For children in preschool and kindergarten: None, or as little as possible.
2. For children in grades 1 – 3: No television, video games, computers or movies during the school week; minimal parent-directed media use on weekends and during vacations.
3. For students in grades 4 – 8: No television or video games or computers in the morning before school; minimal parent-directed media use during the school week; parental involvement in determining appropriate media and computer-use choices at all other times.
4. For high school students: Parental involvement in determining media and computer-use choices.

Articles
American Academy of Pediatrics
Mayo Clinic

Recommended Waldorf Reading List

School as a Journey. An experienced Waldorf class teacher describes his experience taking a class from Grade One to Grade Eight. By Torin Finser.

School Renewal. Describes the personal and organization challenges that often face people working together in the Waldorf school environment. By Torin Finser.

Waldorf Education – A Family Guide. A lively selection of many articles on
curriculum, festivals, parenting and much more.

Stop Teaching Our Kids to Kill: a Call to Action Against TV, Movies & Video
Game Violence.
The title says it all. By Lt. Col. Dave Grossman.

Vision in Action – Working with Soul & Spirit in Small Organizations. Offers
great insight into the stages of development of organizations like ours. By Christopher Schaefer and Tyno Voors.

Republican Academies – Rudolf Steiner on self-management, experiential study and self-education in the life of a college of teachers. A compelling look at Steiner’s perspective that how teachers work together in a school is as important as how they teach in the classroom. By Francis Gladstone.

Arts

 

Though arts are beautiful they are also edifying. Scanning the research section of our charter will show that the benefits of art infused education have long existed. A recent article shows positive links between art and education from research conducted by the The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). The NEA followed lower socio economic, or at risk students, over a period of three to four years and evaluated the impact the arts had on their education. Their study shows the advantage students, particularly at-risk populations, have when they are “intensely involved” in the arts. Children have a greater ability to overcome their own life obstacles when the arts are built into their educational foundation. The article, “Arts Involvement Narrows Student Achievement Gap”, by Tom Jacobs from Miller-McCune, explains the research study and its findings (Click the link below to read this article).

Working Example of a Waldorf School

 

Students reinforce their bond with each other and their teacher throughout the day with hand and eye contact, song and interactive learning. There is a noticeable lack of distracting technology, both for students and teacher.  Outdoor play and physical exertion is again emphasized through non-traditional sports and group activities

Students also spend quiet time doing handwork and embroidery, project books, drawing and reading. Student projects can be seen throughout the classroom and the outdoor space.

Throughout the video, students and parents talk about the benefits of their Waldorf school and how a Waldorf education seamlessly transitions into home life.

View and be inspired with the full video of the Sanderling Waldorf School here.

http://www.waldorftoday.com/2012/03/world-of-waldorf-video-series-the-sanderling-waldorf-school/

Written by Mountain Sage Community School parent and volunteer Dessa Thompson

Enrollment Policies

• An enrollment lottery will be held in February 2013 for available positions in the upcoming school year. Families interested in having their child or children included in the lottery must have completed Intent to Enroll forms submitted by February 10, 2013.

• Parents/legal guardians whose children are selected in the lottery for available positions will be notified the same day by phone of their child/children’s selection. If the parents cannot be reached on the same day, MSCS will continue to attempt verbal notification for the next four (4) days. If parents/legal guardians are not reached during that time, they will forfeit their child/children’s position in the lottery and their child/children’s names will be placed at the bottom of the wait list. Notification in Spanish will be provided for those parents/ legal guardians who have indicated a Spanish language preference.

• Mountain Sage Community School must receive verbal confirmation of acceptance for each selected student no later than five (5) business days after the lottery and/or notification. Should a family fail to respond to the lottery notification after five (5) business days, their child’s name shall be withdrawn and that available spot will be offered to the child at the top of the school’s wait list. If the available position for a student is declined by the parents/legal gaurdians, the student will lose their position. Students may reapply for a position, however their names will be placed at the end of the compiled wait list.

• Within ten (10) days of  accepting an available position via verbal confirmation, parents/legal guardians must complete a School Enrollment Form for each child. This form will be mailed to the address provided on the Intent to Enroll form submitted to Mountain Sage. A letter of official enrollment confirmation will be sent to parents/legal gaurdians after the completed School Enrollment Form has been received by Mountain Sage.

• After available spots for each grade level have been filled by the lottery, remaining students will be placed on an “order drawn” wait list for openings that may arise in the upcoming school year.

• Should a position in the school become available from August 1st to September 25th, parents/legal guardians with children on the wait list will have two (2) days upon verbal notification to notify MSCS of acceptance of those positions. MSCS will attempt to contact parents/legal guardians for two (2) days only during this time period. It is the responsibility of the parents/ legal guardians of a potential student to maintain current contact information with the school.

Kindergarten Eligibility/Options 

• The school will enroll kindergarten students who will be 5 years old by September 15th the year they start kindergarten, in alignment with the Poudre School District enrollment guidelines. Based on the age requirements indicated by traditional Waldorf schools, parents are strongly encouraged to enroll their child in kindergarten only if they have turned 5 years old by June 1st, in the year they intend to begin Kindergarten. Waldorf schools utilize an age requirement that is based on current research for student success.

• MSCS will offer both full-day and half-day Kindergarten positions. The half-day positions will be offered free of charge due to public funding received by the school. Full-day tuition spots will require $310 monthly tuition to cover the portion of the school day not covered by public funds.

 

Non-Discrimination Policy

Mountain Sage Community School is an equal opportunity educational institution and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or handicap in its activities programs, or employment practices as required by Title VI, Title IX amd Section 504.