My son has attended this school for 3 years and we both couldn't be happier. Whoever commented that this school doesn't use textbooks or adhere to state/federal curriculum was either mistaken or uninformed. There are textbooks, AIMS review workbooks, spelling words, multiplication quizzes, etc. Some things do "look" different at this school as opposed to public schools, such as students work in Main Lesson books rather than worksheets that are sent home every day. So while all the extras offered (like hiking, woodworking, violin, Spanish, and handwork) are nice, it isn't done to take away from the academics of the student, its to ENHANCE the experience. If there were any downside (for some parents) its that its hard to be a sideline parent with no involvement in the school. If a parent is only wanting to drop off their child and let the school be solely responsible for the child's education then this likely isn't the school for you. The only complaint is that things can be disorganized at times although the school has made a concerted effort to help keep parents abreast of news with weekly emails and an updated website. Children are respected AND educated, what more could you want?
Desert Star has many pros and cons. If your main interest is knowing that school will be fun place for your kids. This is a good school. There does seem to be a lot of emphasis on extracurricular activities such as knitting, gardening, field trips, painting and drawing, mixed with a bit of music. However, it is lacking in the basic curriculum in regards to reading, writing, and math. There are no text books for each child and most of the work that is handed out is hand-printed. In two years, my child has not had one spelling test nor has spelling been taught as a class in and of itself. There also seems to be a lack of clear organization and direction. I would have to honestly say that if one's priority is in learning the basic educational curriculum, then this will not be the school for you. However, if one's priority is that your child thinks that school is fun and that people are nice and, if that is good enough for you, you will more than likely like this school very much.
This wonderful school utilizes experiental learning to inspire a great love of education in it's students.
Desert Star School has a community of people like no where else that I know of. We are a village, a family, a tribe that supports each other and our children in every way. D.S. teaches environmentalism & stewardship of the Earth, multiculturalism, non-violent communication, emotional intelligence, encompassing the needs of the whole child through creativity, music and academics. I am so proud of our little school. We've worked very hard to create something special that is unique and caters to the needs of children today. The faculty are people I completely trust and believe in. They come from their hearts, sincerely there for the children and the parents. I have made my best friends at Desert Star and so has my daughter. She loves going to school and learning....that is the joy of Desert Star!
The best teachers, administratrs, parents, kids and cirruculium in Cottonwood!!!
We are a dedicated and close staff who believe in each other and in Waldorf education. Our parent body is very involved and committed to each child and the school. And we have the most awesome view of the Sedona mountains
Waldorf education, small class size. Teachers who care about students and students who care about each other. Great arts focus! My sons love to go to school each day
Our sons love to go to school every day and are happy, what more could a Dad wish for? Their love of art and music helps balance them as human beings and the focus on caring for self, others and the environment is great!
Such a terrific Waldorf charter school!! I teach art classes to each grade, 2-5 weekly at this treasure of a school and I look forward to each day spent with this fine group of children and staff. These children love art, music, gardening, knitting and still have time and love for academics presented in a thoughtful and age-appropriate manner. I have taught at private Waldorf and some of the top private schools and this little school nestled in rural Cornville deserves some Kudos!!
It has the best focus on teaching children to become stewards of the environment and to be kind to each other. They also get to do music and art and take nature hikes which is so missing in the 'regular' schools!
Great perspective on the balance of academic and emotional intelligence.
It is wonderful to see how children are treated very nice and honored who they are.
The teaching methods are par excellence and my child loves!!!!!!! school. She never wants to miss a day.
The staff honors the children as individuals, and we strive to educate the whole child through an artistic and academic program.
Desert Star School has a beautiful rural setting for its campus and the staff and teachers really care about the whole student and creating a learning culture of trust, inspiration, and respect.
Love the Rudolph Steiner style of teaching. My daughter has a great teacher in Peter Wollheim.
The phylosophies for educating the children go beyond academics, the whole child is the focus. The school invites with open arms for the parents to be involved with their childs education. All of the children are reached by the use of the multiple inteligences in the classroom.
Born of the notion that parents, teachers, and especially children can shine to their individual full potentials and can help each other achieve that shining, Desert Star has passionately pursued that goal through the many trials of its beginning years. Now flourishing like the young gardens it planted in the desert, Desert Star continues to inspire the love of beauty within and without its participants --- the kind of beauty that creates confidence and a drive towards life-long enthusiastic learning.
Fantastic teachers, beautiful peaceful campus, a wonderful parent community, devoted board of directors, the best administrator in the world, Waldorf-Inspired, free. I could go on and on. My children are excelling. They can't wait to go to school. As a Mom, I don't have to worry. My kids are cared for, cared about, honored and respected. Their education is top-knotch. I know they will become creative thinkers and contribute to society when they are grown. Desert Star Community School is perfect for our family.
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The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.
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