I decided to write this review so that maybe other kids who were looking at this high school because it looks neat and has art could know what it is really like. Some of my teachers are nice and I think they try but it really seems like no one knows what they are doing. I have so much work to try and catch up to my friends in other schools, even other charter schools. Most of what I did this year they did in 6th grade!!!Most of the kids who go here don't care at all about learning and maybe that is why the school just lets them go through without doing any work. A lot of kids I knew were absent all the time to. I am really upset at the time I wasted here and wish that my parents would have come to observe in the classrooms or something so they would know how bad the academic part really is.
Some of them are ok and I think they try but I don't know how to write for English or to do basic mathematics that my friends in other schools are doing. I have gotten pretty good in art. I really have not learned much in science and was really lost at my new school. I don't know if I will be able to graduate on time. I think if you are really smart and you come into this high school to have a break or a lazy time because you already can do all the academics, then maybe you will be ok.
Most of the time the only homework we have to do is drawing in a main lesson book which actually takes a long time but there is never anything academic in it. We have to draw borders and stuff on the pages and draw pictures of plants for chemistry. For our geometry the teacher never even showed us how to do anything, she just says to work in a book and ask a classmate how to do it. For our geometry final all we had to do was make a mosaic tile. I don't have a clue how to do geometry or algebra from that teacher.
I have had a hard time in my new school because I did not learn anything while I was at this high school. Now I am having to learn how to really have grit in order to just make it in basic classes. I am upset because I was in gifted classes when I was in elementary and now I feel so behind. I wish I did not go to middle and high school at Desert Marigold because now I am so behind. It would have been easier to stay and just graduate from this school but I knew I would not even be ready for community college, especially since they do not even get us ready for SAT or ACT. None of the kids I have known in the years I have been going here even take those tests. Since it really doesn't matter if you do any work I don't think we are learning perseverance.
Students vandalize the property, hardly any of my classmates ever did any of the homework which was hardly anything and they use bad language and are rude to their teachers. I can't really say the school is teaching us how to be respectful because no one ever gets in any kind of trouble for their behaviors. In fact, they still get to do all the fun stuff like go on trips and stuff even if they did not do any work. Teachers might tell us we will not pass but we always do.
I think some of my teachers tried to do this but it seems like the good teachers get squashed by the administrator and other teachers who don't really do much in the way of teaching. They seem to gang up on certain teachers. My math teacher also talked badly about some of my teachers and often tried to get us to gang up on her so she would get fired. I think this made the students act that way too instead of being compassionate or fair.
Desert Marigold school looks beautiful, enchanting and ideal for those seeking a relaxed and nurturing environment. They also give a very persuasive talk about their curriculum. However, spending one day in the classroom environment, looking at the abilities of the children academically, and observing their behaviour will surely convince any parent with common sense that this is the last place to send ones child if there is any desire for even minimal academic learning. Because of this lack of academic instruction there tends to be a large number of behaviourally challenged students as well as low achieving students. Students are not help accountable for work and are still given an A grade, particularly in the high school. The skill level and instruction in the high school is shockingly below grade level. Test scores are of course far below the standard in part because there is no instruction. The bulk of student work is merely drawing and other forms of art. Student fail courses but are passed anyway. Test course do not measure everything of course; one need only look at the majority of student work in any subject to see that the students are failing in education on the whole.
Consider these things before exposing your family. Ask questions and research the way financials are handled. Inquire about policies, grievances, family turn over,accountability and follow through, and anthroposophy. Look at the relationship between the members of the collegium and the operations of administration and board. These people are winging it. No way to run a business especially a school. Many unhappy people have left and the ones who really suffer are the children. The waiting list is long and that is why they can keep doing business this way. Do not be fooled.
Take your time and research waldorf education carefully before you embark on this path. It is very difficult to turn back when things go wrong. From my experience and that of many friends (more than 40+ of 300 who withdrew in one recent year) things will go wrong! There is very little academic learning happening here and safety and bullying are serious issues. Don't let the sweet farm like atmosphere fool you.
regarding the below comment on teacher rollover, our teacher DID roll over. the following teacher didn't rollover but did stay at the school as from what I understand she preferred to work with the high school. the next teacher is considering retiring rather than take an 8 year commitment. so the below person got caught in a down phase. People leave and go teach elsewhere, it happens. And every school has its issues. I am very involved with the school and enjoy the many opportunities to be with my children and share in the rich environment. It is a wonderful community, and we have the best teacher in the world so my experience is a little skewed, I guess.