One of the best things about this school was the former principal, Ms. Nema, and now she is gone! That woman put her heart and soul into that school, day in and day out, and she was the epitome of what a caring principal is. Unfortunately, there is an elitist, radical group of hardcore Waldorf parents who aided in her removal. They seem to make all of the decisions (very dangerous) and if they don't like you, you are soon removed. Now they have Ms. Leslie running the school and we're just disgusted at this. Ms. Leslie has no idea what she is doing and has already made several huge administrative mistakes that have greatly hurt the school. All of the prior negative complaints are, unfortunately, true. Our family has seen it get even worse over the years. Ms. Nema and the teachers are wonderful but that's about it. There is teacher turnover every year and a new principal every couple of years. In addition to the inadequate curriculum, which is now a new curriculum authored by a man named Rainbow, that's right, Rainbow is authoring your child's curriculum, Ms. Leslie lacks the heart and soul that Ms. Nema had. In these past few months we have been disgusted by the manner in which she conducts herself with her "in crowd." We have heard Ms. Leslie make several derogatory comments about students with special needs, their parents, and even about some teachers. There is a very nasty group of parents who have a say in all decisions that are made. That, to us, is very dangerous. If you are a parent who does not abide by the strict tenets of Waldorf, you will be ignored and your child will not be included in any activities outside of school. There are a few very lovely families but the Waldorf radicals are the ones that make the decisions and heavily influence Ms. Leslie's decisions as well. We struggled with whether or not to write this review but we would be negligent to other parents if we didn't. It's so sad to us that something that should be so beautiful and loving is actually quite disingenuous. As much as we love the idea of teaching the whole child, this school is far from it. Perhaps Ms. Leslie and the "in crowd" parents should abide by the peaceful and loving behaviors they so strongly espouse.
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?