The jury is most definitely still out on this school academically. We're losing our trust in them to do right by our child, who has special needs, as they seem woefully unequipped to deal with any child who is different in any way. We're considering a change next year but worried that he will be horribly unprepared due to the education he's had here. Too bad, because we had high hopes for something close to a Waldorf education and this is far from it. An equally disturbing problem is the culture of the school and the parents. To put it bluntly, largely they're a group of self-righteous, self-aggrandizing followers, who will blindly put trust in this mixed-up - part Waldorf, part Montessori, part traditional, part we don't know what we are! --- way of teaching, concentrating more on winning the prize for who can be the crunchiest, most sugar-free parent on campus . The teachers are very dedicated, hard workers, but seem equally as lost. The best thing about the school is Ms. Nema. This very sensible woman may be the only hope to bring sense and order to this very confused school.
I have been very impressed with the new principal Nema Pierce. She has done a fine job this year. This is her first year as principal and she had big shoes to fill. The teachers are great and really care about the students and education in general. A lot of school wide family events throughout the year and the campus is always being renovated and improved in different ways. A great place to have my child attend.
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.
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.