For months, I have respectfully tried to communicate with school staff and administrators about my daughter who lives with her mother. Repeatedly, my calls have gone unanswered or have been received in an unprofessional manner. And now, my daughter has left your school and is 'missing.' I have little to no idea where she or her mother are. I am greatly disappointed that the office staff (Sue) and administrators (Cheryl LeBlanc, Yvan Rich and Craig Imler) have done nothing to professionally support a child's relationship with both parents and have perpetuated the unwarranted estrangement of a child and her father. A Community school should support a child's entire community, not half of it. For the entire story: gofundme.com/findmydaugh
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.
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!
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
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!