This is our third year at Desert Marigold. Our family is very pleased with the Waldorf curriculum and the warm and thoughtful approach to learning. My son leaves the school happy and excited about his daily lessons. He loves to retell stories he has heard and proudly shares his accomplishments. Faculty take their job seriously and are devoted to nurturing and respecting each child. They are friendly and approachable should you have a question or concern. DMS administration is very busy and at the same time they are open to listening to my concerns. They strive to make this community work as they too support the school-wide activities. Parents in the community also deserve credit for stepping up and volunteering, sometimes year after year, to make our community events so successful and memorable. This beautiful, natural campus is a hidden treasure in South Phoenix.
This is a Waldorf inspired school. It is so amazing in it's approach to education! Really innovative and interesting. Do yourself a favor and research the Waldorf Educational values.
My children attended DMS for many years. The campus is beautiful and the waldorf curriculum is fantastic. However, it seems to be filled with empty promises and lack of follow through. They preach alot of collaboration and community, however, the adults in the community, especially the administration and faculty have alot of growing up to do. They shirk away from any type of conflict, try to ignore it and as a result many families leave after years of trying to work in their 'collaborative community' model. They are not interested in what the parents want, they simply want to push their own personal agendas. I want a school that walks their own talk!!
My child has attend DMS since the 2nd grade. She has just graduated the 8th grade. She received a well rounded and wonderful education.
I admit it's been hard finding the right thing to do at Desert Marigold. So I've been spending more time studying the works of Rudolf Steiner. He believed that the children already have knowledge and that the work of the teacher and adults is to remove encumbrances. He said there is a curriculum that will really meet these children and in a way make their souls sing. I did not understand all this until I took a study course that my daughter's teacher taught. I know now that education starts with the feeling life and with the soul and I feel that I am a better parent for the education my daughter is receiving. If you have a chance, send your child. I heard they're all filled up for the next school year, but maybe you'll get lucky.
When I think public school I gag at the send them to the office for punishment, script teaching that 'meets the standards.' For getting any rambunctious boy into juve hall? I love this Waldorf charter school, love it! My boy would never do anything besides play the video games, he was just a couple of big thumbs, all of a sudden he wants to sing, and play recorder and knit. Then I go to a parent meeting and learn that knitting is like Thinking, that following that thread until you get yourself a sweater, well, it's like making an idea come true! This school has totally opened up horizons for my child. And it's been wonderful for me too. I am treated like an individual, and I honor my son's teacher who has had the stamina to stay with him all these years!
I was disgruntled for five years. For five years I thought those people at Desert Marigold were not meeting my children's needs. This past year a teacher reprimanded me for taking my child home early. What nerve. Now my children are at different schools. I feel they are conforming more, and meet the state standards for education. Still, I am beginning to wonder if there is more to life than meeting these standards and I wish I had found a way to work out my differences with the administration at Desert Marigold.
Okay. So I went to highschool and I was really happy to get out of that Waldorf school where we were always hearing stories about nature and stuff. I figured that my mom just wanted me to be nice and not be in a bad situation. But then I get to highschool and I know about 1,000 times more than anyone else. Like people know the answers to stuff but they never know why, and they never ask questions. There's a lot of times I'm bored and the teachers get mad at me but I think it's because they don't really know as much as they're pretending. At Desert Marigold, even if I felt bored, I knew that I was learning cool stuff.
If you are looking for a true Waldorf education, you will not find it here. There is a loose use of the Waldorf methods, when they are used at all. I found my children received more of a waldorf style of education by enrolling them in a traditional public school. The head administrator is also painfully absent from all of the daily activities. My advice would be to look elsewhere.
I had my children in DMS for 4 years and every year it became more and more disappointing. I tried to remain hopeful because I believe in the Waldorf philosophy of child development and education, but that is not what is being offered at DMS. My children made great friends while at DMS, but when we left and entered a more traditional school system I realized how ill equipped they were academically. When I think back on how situations concerning my children and myself were handled, I am angry at myself for keeping the children in such a dysfunctional environment. My advice is to proceed with caution.
During the time 5 years that my children attended DMS, the quality of education decreased drastically. There was an issue with one of my children and the teacher involved & administration where not very professional.
We placed our son into DMS 6 years ago as an alternative to public school. Though I do believe he thrived psychologically from the waldorf principles taught at DMS we felt the academics were sorely lacking. We placed our younger son in DMS 3 years ago and while his math skills seemed adequate he was not taught to read. The administrator at this school is rarely seen and obviously cares little about meeting the state standards in academics. The communication between teachers and parents is completely lacking except if the teachers need volunteers or fund raising.
I went to Desert Marigold for middle school. After graduating from 8th grade I went to a regular public high school. I felt really behind academically from the other kids. I made some great friends at Desert Marigold but I really wish I had gone to a regular middle school. Desert Marigold has good extracurricular activities such as sewing,gardening,and art but, they lack academics especially math. I wouldn't suggest sending your child to the middle school.
Desert Marigold School, has been a life saver for my daughter and for myself. The curriculum nurtures all aspects, the exposure to the Arts in all it's ramifications is what is so wonderful, Worlds apart from conventional public schools. Individuality is respected, as well as non tolerant for trends! a 100% healthy , educating, and nurturing environment! Drive by take a look!
This school needs to chose quality teachers that really care about the education they are trying to get across to the children. We have been at this school for 6 yrs. Its great for younger children the upper grades very disappointing.
We have attended DMS for the past 5 years and are leaving disappointmented in a program of education that we believe, when done right, offers the best education for a child. I urge anyone who is interested in this school to request the right to observe the teacher and classroom their child will be joining. Lack of discipline, educated teachers and classroom management skills is a problem in many of the grades. If you encounter problems do not expect a resolution, from administration or faculty, in a timely or satisfactory manner. I admire what this school is trying to offer but if they are to move forward and become a model for charter Waldorf schools they need to start taking decisive action towards removing administrative and faculty members that are not advancing the growth of the school. Unfortunately that means making difficult decisions that are not made entirely with the heart.
My daughter attended (K-8) and my son is attending (7th). As I understand it, Waldorf methods are designed to support children to become well-rounded (confident, capable, and balanced) while providing a solid academic foundation. I have seen firsthand the evidence that Waldorf's holistic methods are effective. I particularly appreciate the gentle approach to academic growth. I did have to supplement my children's reading education with a summer tutor when, after the third grade, each were still struggling with reading. Now they are both avid readers and never had to endure what would have been the inevitable embarrassment of being labeled 'slow learners'. The school is alive it continues to grow and strengthen its programs. Bravo
Instruction in the arts is varied and adequate, instruction in math, reading and writing is mediocre to poor. If you choose this school be prepared to supplement your child's core academics. In the 6 years that I have been associated with Desert Marigold I only remain hopeful, not convinced, that this school can provide sound educational opportunities for children. We will not return next year.
My son has attended Desert Marigold for almost 6 years now and has an amazing teacher who challenges the class. My daughter has been attending for 3 years and loves her teacher also. The school is 20 miles from my house and I make the drive because I believe in the Waldorf curriculum and philosophies. These children are growing up to be intelligent, well-rounded, kind human beings. It is a beatiful environment for them to grow up in as well-an experience you would be hardpressed to find elsewhere. No matter which school your child attends, there will be positives and negatives. This school's positives eclipse the negatives.
Beautiful School, Peaceful and Nurturing. Well rounded children I believe is the goal. All students learn musical instruments, Spanish, handwork, and art. Loving safe environment.
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