I can't imagine sending my kids anywhere else. I love the community and the teachers. And now the campus is unified to hold nursery to 8th grade so all 3 of my kids are in one place. It's ideal for working parents with great aftercare programs and teachers. The curriculum is creative and unique and teaches critical thinking.
What a blessing Waldorf has been for our entire family! Our daughter suffered extreme experiences at Kalsa Montessori school with a horrendous teacher and bad administration. We tried a public school briefly but she didn't feel safe on the playground. She literally cried everyday to school. Now her Waldorf classmates are like family and she loves school. This is one of the only schools in the city that has regular PE! She is very involved in her academic activities and wants to go to school even when she's sick so she won't miss anything. We are not wealthy and receive a generous scholarship. However, the Waldorf community is very embracing and not elitist. It is a fun community.
We have attended the parent-child classes taught by Miss Kim, and recommend them for everyone. Even if you don't like the other-worldliness of the Waldorf approach, or the elitism which comes with every private school, Miss Kim's parent-child classes will probably inspire you and empower you to be a more patient, calmer and more reasonable parent. At least they did that for us. We will always be grateful to her.
This is excellence in education! All of the students from early childhood through 8th grade are truly engaged in the work -- which is interesting to them. They are also engaged in play -- the primary "job" of children -- which makes them happy and healthy. There is academic rigor through a classical education presented in beautiful ways -- it is never tedious for them. Our kids were in accelerated math and reading in their previous school and this curriculum meets them perfectly and deepens their skills. Never in our parenting or personal experience have we encountered faculty that are more dedicated to their students. There is a real connection there that makes the educational experience excel. There is an integrity to it all which is so refreshing. The faculty, administration and parents communicate very well. Tucsonans are fortunate to have a Waldorf School -- an educational model of interest given the recent high profile press (cover of NY Times and featured on NBC Nightly News). Our children are being given an outstanding education -- and we believe this is one of the best parenting decisions we've made.
This school has made a world of difference in my son's and my life. Small classes, nurturing teachers and community, creative instruction. Your child will be engaged and taught to think, notice, and take action here. Education at TWS is creatively engaging all the senses. We attended a highly praised local magnet school that totally destroyed my son's self-confidence and joy in life. Tucson Waldorf School replenished him and he loves going to school and learning. He has dyslexia and learning can be difficult but he is encouraged and helped on many levels here. The movement exercises that all children do at TWS are quite helpful and integrative for helping a child learn. The use of music, art, storytelling, drama, language instruction, outside activities along with regular academics really supports deep learning and connections with the world. I highly recommend this school for developing a balanced, skilled, and feeling child.
Many children thrive here, but beware, this school can be extremely damaging for some children and it took us almost a year to build our child s confidence back up after he attended. The school is beautiful and lively and full of amazing smells, music, and art and we did appreciate the holistic curriculum. However, there is absolutely nothing scientific about the guiding principles of the school, as one parent remarked, but rather the philosophical principals and spiritual path developed by Rudolph Steiner (Anthroposophy), which is very radical. Beware that children are placed into one of Steiners four categories by temperament early on and teachers base their interactions and attitudes with children on these temperaments, which are utterly arbitrary and completely lack social and cultural context. This was extremely damaging for our child, because our child did not fit perfectly in one of the boxes. If only he was slender, elegant, and well-balanced instead of big and fleshy he would have received the proper stimulation and attitude from the staff- -which is a ridiculous basis for interaction between teacher and student.
We have chosen the Tucson Waldorf School for our children for many reasons. The strong curriculum develops true understanding of natural law, language, mathematics and interpersonal relationships. While rooted in the science of human development, the use of beautiful music and art promote a sense of magic and delight all lost to most education models today. The practical skills of gardening, handiwork, construction and physical movement round out each child's ability to achieve. The Waldorf model supports our belief that primary education is only the threshold to a beginning of lifelong learning. The most important reason is that we believe somebody can be happy and successful in this world only if they learn to measure themselves by internally derived principles. With the guidance and commitment of incredibly talented and dedicated faculty, in full partnership with us as parents, our children are able to use their minds, hearts and will to develop at their unique and individual best!
I have three children enrolled at TWS since Fall 2010 and they are all thriving. The campus is amazingly beautiful. I love picking up my CSA Farm Share right there. The River Road Gardens is the unsung hero of the school, and I can't wait for this educational jewel to really be recognized. My family loves the rich grades curriuclum: 2 foreign languages, music, chorus, woodwork, handwork, movement, after school clay and drama, plus the artistic work these kids get to do is out of this world. I don't find any in the school dogmatic despite what others have posted here. I think as always, one's experience depends greatly on one's outlook and willingness to look inside oneself as a parent. If one is willing to be in community with others, you will not find a better school in Tucson.
My child has attended the Tucson Waldorf School since she was 3 and she is now 8. I love and appreciate many things about the school. It is an incredible community which I have found to be a great resource. Moreover, my child is getting a wonderful experience of learning. She reads well, does complex math, is learning to knit, paint, sing, play the flute, and speak both Spanish and German. Moreover, she loves going to school and feels challenged but not stressed. The faculty is incredibly dedicated, experienced and talented. My child has made long term friendships with some incredible kids. I feel she is in the best school and it is worth every penny.
The school has a great atmosphere, and really good teachers. It's a perfect fit for my daughter. Most kids don't want to go school--my daughter doesn't want to leave school at the end of the day (no exaggeration). It feeds her soul as well as educating her mind.