Colossal Disappointment. The curriculum is woefully deficient and inadequate and the parents appear to equate the Waldorf method with a non-rigorous curriculum. This school does not hold up when compared to other Waldorf programs, such as Waldorf School of the Peninsula. And I question if it s truly Waldorf as it infuses other alternative approaches, such as Montessori, yet claims the learning outcomes to be equivalent to an accredited Waldorf school.
Both my son and daughter attend Mariposa and are doing fabulously. This is their fourth year and, despite the lack of emphasis on testing, they both consistently score advanced on their standardized state tests. More than that, they are not subject to the intense pressure, stress, and discouragement of a school that focuses solely on test scores. They actually have time to enjoy life outside of school instead of spending hour after hour on mindless homework. The teachers are passionate and consistent, the philosophy is solid, and the children are happy. Couldn't ask for more.
My child 's been very happy since she's started this school. We are new to this school and so far we like every thing about it.
This school sounds good and 2 years ago I would have agreed. However, in the two years my child has attended Mariposa, it has had a name change; a revised curriculum; teachers left; and there became an unusually high focus on fundraising. There is a $500+ annual fee that is "encouraged" but almost 40% of the parents do not pay - and instead of being used in the classrooms, is spent on teacher waldorf education because they cannot hire qualified waldorf experienced teachers. When questioned about it, the parent organization stopped publishing their budget and does not provide it when asked. At one point there was a $75K reserve fund...So why do the teachers keep sending emails asking for money for classroom items?! Though parents are very active, a clique of a fewvcore families drive changes that they want to make in the curriculum continuously...It seems this school has such a problem deciding what it wants to be (montessori, waldorf, blended...which leaves our kids in a petri dish scrambling to meet state core standards...and sadly the potential that we saw when we enrolled seems to be squandered in the quest for control or money... A real shame.
Don't send your kid here. You can do better. It is not as advertised, and we regret our decision to send our child to this school. The cult of personality within the parent volunteer association is toxic. The politics are revolting. The curriculum is nonexistent. The latest principal, having been there only one year, is leaving, and they have managed to push out faculty that is dedicated to the montessori approach. They do not, in fact, treat each child as an individual. They treat each child, contrary to their sales pitch, like a robot.
My husband and I are highly educated people and do not take the education of our children lightly. We also know that the "race to nowhere" is a big problem in many mainstream schools right now, and it is making children all over the country stressed out and creating a hatred of going to school. Our son graduated Mariposa and went to a very academic prep-school and has gotten straight A's, there. Mariposa gave him all he needed academically, to succeed- including a LOVE of learning. My daughter is now in 5th grade. She is coming home, excitedly showing us her beautiful main lesson books she has created, illustrating the in depth world studies they are exploring. We asked for her to adjust her math and they give her some more challenging work and the teachers thoughtfully worked up a program for her. Mariposa is a community where the children can be themselves- no matter who they are. We believe that stressing children out and over-loading them with only the information for the standardized tests is doing them a disservice. The teachers and the past and present principal are such amazing people, that care about each individual child. There's a reason there's a waiting list!
I keep hearing that test scores don't matter at Mariposa. Good thing parents really believe this because it shows loud and clear. Wonder if any of these kids will ever be taking tests in the future say in High School or College (if they pass the entrance exam)? Year--API 2008- 851 2009-833 2010-826 2011-811 2012-806 Any one see a pattern?
Be very careful in considering this school. The parents are very friendly and welcoming and it's a warm environment for the kids. However, the academics are lacking in so many ways. It "feels good" to have your kids here, but they are so behind and are lacking basic foundational skills. One of the tenants is "social-emotional is just as important as academics", that sounds good and it's important, but it appears that this school actually values social-emotional MORE than academics, which is an odd balance for a school. It seems to work well for the younger grades, but sadly, the upper grades are lacking and these kids will pay the price when they enter high school.
This school has a great group of concerned, dedicated parents that want something different for their children. While Mariposa offers many great non-academic programs, the school is failing it's children academically. This becomes increasingly evident as the children move to the higher grades. Look at the test scores. There needs to be more of a balance between the whole-child-social-emotional and the academic. The emphasis on culture over academics and the loose structure in the classroom does a disservice to the children that will be felt by them and their parents for years as they struggle to "catch up." It doesn't matter how strong the "community" may appear to be, there are many parents that are nervous about the long-term effects on their childrens. A more balanced approach is possible. The well-meaning principal has become so blinded by his idealism and "alternative" approaches, he seems truly unable to react and respond to the lack of real learning taking place in the upper grades. A new principal is taking over in the fall and we can only hope that this Emperor Does Have Clothes.
We had high hopes for this Waldorf based school, sadly, it has fallen short. If you are easily led, blindly through the education system, if you do as you're told and don't make waves, if you believe that being "alternative" is more important than a solid education for your child, if you are naive enough to think that your child will succeed without a great education - that somehow through osmosis your child will become well-rounded - than this school might be perfect for you! The parents here are deluded into thinking that they are somehow doing better by their children. Those who are smart or experienced enough see the test scores and what's happening in the upper grades and silently worry that they made a bad decision, but it's too late for them. Unless you are committed to an alt education for the long haul, straight through high school, I would highly reconsider Mariposa. Lucikly for the children there, the unprofessional, crunchy Pied-Piper principal is on his way out and a new, seemingly more professional one will take his place. Perhaps then, the school will begin to live up to it's false reputation. I truly hope so, because the potential for a great school is there!
American elementary education at its best! The principal is awesome!!! "Ja wohl, mein Fuhrer!" - if you don't know what it means - Mariposa is right for you.
We are so fortunate to be a Mariposa family! If your child is suffering in the typical public school's "race to nowhere" - emphasizing standardized tests instead of focusing on children's authentic learning and development - please know that there is a public school that has its priorities straight, and is dedicated to providing children with a meaningful school experience. Thank you, Mariposa teachers, staff, and School Coordinator - you are a beacon of light for the future.
Whether it is the focus on healthy lunches, the commitment to keep commercial icons off of kids clothing at school, or just how the kids treat each other, Mariposa is committed to a strong, safe development environment. Mariposa can a little "crunchy" at times. There is a strong contingent of "progressive" values that sometimes border on being hippie like. That is good and bad. Some of the parents cannot talk about school lunches without getting emotional about the fact that they should be organic or raw. On the other hand, if came to the school to brag about who you know or what you have, your child would have an open play date calendar quickly. (Good) Another mixed bag is the entrepenuerial status of the school. Mariposa is taking on new education approaches (i.e. Singapore Math, Teachers with same class from 1st to 3rd grade). With that, there is uncertainty and risk. You have to be comfortable with that to be there, because if you wanted the standard approach there are plenty of functioning alternatives in the Las Virgenes School District already. Overall this is fun to be a part of. As a parent I am with my Mariposa child every step of the adventure.
This school provides a new approach to education. A more develomental alternative!. My kids are so happy with Mariposa Elementary School of Global Education!
My son thrives in this nurturing environment. It's not only a wonderful program, it's an inspiring one!
I love that the school is teaching my child about how to resolve conflicts peacefully.
I love that the children learn about nature, take nature hikes and meet with naturalists often. My daughter loves to come home and tell me all about what she learned on her field trips and lectures with naturalists. She learns more about nature and has an appreciation for the environment and its living things. The teachers at her school are amazing. They are kind, patient and take their time with children. I feel I found a real gem with this school. I'm grateful my child is thriving in this environment.
Because they support each child individually with respect and love. They teach a unique style and empower the children to global community thinking.
Mariposa nurtures my child's creativity, curiousity and sense of self.
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