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Pasadena Waldorf School

Private | K-10 | 241 students

An inspired, arts-integrated, academic Waldorf curriculum.

 

Living in Altadena

Situated in an urban neighborhood. The median home value is $412,000. The average monthly rent for a 2 bedroom apartment is $1,530.

Source: Sperling's Best Places
 
Last modified
Community Rating

3 stars

Community Rating by Year
2014:
Based on 2 ratings
2013:
Based on 5 ratings
2012:
Based on 5 ratings
2011:
No new ratings

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23 reviews of this school


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Posted April 2, 2014

I was highly disappointed with this school. I was seduced by the beautiful grounds healthy vegan snacks and gorgeous gift shop. But beyond the exterior I experienced an extraordinary rigidity. My daughter was told not to do yoga (unhealthy - do Steiner exercises instead) not to do family bed (encourages too much dependence - she was a toddler ) and to play with silk scarves instead of write letters or read (frowned upon before the age of 7). I also felt the practice of having only one class teacher for all the grades was fundamentally limiting. Most importantly I felt our teacher didn't have the skills to cope with either conflict resolution or bullying (which happened). I ended up taking my daughter out of the school.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 13, 2014

My daughter has attended PWS since 3rd grade and is in 6th grade. I think Waldorf is extraordinary. Her class teacher loves and nurtures her students. They are family to her. This was clear to me when I visited before enrolling her in 3rd grade. The students had just put on a Greek play and ran up to their teacher enthusiastically hugging and kissing her. They adore her. And I was blown away by what the 3rd graders were capable of! They all memorized every line in the play and it was about 30-40 minutes long. This is something I have come to see is an exceptional quality of Waldorf students: their attention span and enthusiasm. My daughter's teacher ensures the students are on or above grade level standards and my daughter is performing very well academically. But her biggest learning has been in becoming a happy, well-rounded person who knows how to learn. She is surrounded by beauty and adults (teachers and parents) who "walk the walk," who demonstrate through their way of being integrity, hard work, passion and creative problem solving. I can see the gifts of PWS in my daughter's loving attitude, demeanor, confidence and enthusiasm for learning and life.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 22, 2013

After much research and experience, and two kids at PWS, our family has found that there is nothing like a Waldorf education and we believe that Pasadena Waldorf School is committed to providing the very best Waldorf education. By 8th grade, my older child had an incredible depth of knowledge about a wide variety of subjects. He has a strong sense of self fostered by this education, he knows how to work with others understanding the importance of this, and his critical thinking skills are off the charts. My younger child is clearly on the same path. This school had a positive, life-changing impact on our children and on our family.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 30, 2013

While Waldorf education is something I believe in the Pasadena school is a place I cannot recommend in good conscience. My child went to the school from pre through 2nd grade. Everything was great until we got a specific teacher in 1st who was terrible. When our child was singled out for mistreatment by the teacher we asked the administration for help. Big mistake! They were both clueless and had "it's the parent's fault" attitude. Our opinion didn't matter, the teacher is always right and if we didn't blindly trust the school then there must be something wrong with us. Thus began the shunning and systematic undermining of our child's trust and confidence in class. Yes, it's that bad. There are only two types in the eyes of the school. You are either one of the chosen few in the inner circle or you have not embraced the dogma as presented by the dysfunctional administration, teachers and college of teachers. Unless something drastically changes at this campus my advice is to look elsewhere for your child.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 30, 2013

We were unaware that the Steiner model placed the needs of one needy child above the safety and education of the rest of the students. My child learned to fear school based on the behavior of a child who hit, pushed, and interfered with my child's work and play at school daily in the PRE-preK class. PWS claims a "safe schools policy" but uses no specific strategy or culture to encourage or implement it. The teacher appeared ill-equipped to manage the misbehaving child, and neither of the 2 strategies she tried with him worked. It did not seem that she was even seeking other solutions to resolve the situation via mentors, books, other resources. We left PWS mid-year. The Sweet Pea program is developmentally inadequate for 3yo's, despite enthusiastic Waldorf rhetoric claiming to "meet the needs of the whole child." The materials are not engaging to 3yo's interests [even for non-TV/media kids like ours], and student behavior reflects it. 3yo's should be offered a preschool environment, with Sweet Pea concluding at age 2.5 in its current structure. This school seems more interested in "appearing Waldorf" than in meeting student needs. Ask for specifics on their bullying policies.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 11, 2013

It was our experience that the Steiner model, while it might be adequate for Gr.K-1, showed its lack of relevance by Gr.2, and was clearly deleterious to our child's educational and emotional growth by Gr.4. PWS compounded those failings with stultifying teachers and a cliquey administration which refused to address classroom issues (inc. bullying, and the increasing presence of technology in the classroom), apparently because the offending students were the children of the wealthier parents; in a word: useless, the lot of them. The quality of education PWS was very shiny and showy, but surprisingly poor, with an appalling lack of focus on basics. We have a child who tests near the top of every graph, but whose years at PWS left gaping holes in his apprehension of the basics. The year we withdrew our child from PWS, a quarter of his class left at the same time...and the conversations had with those parents in the ensuing months were amazingly similar in tone with many of the same complaints. I think it's time for the Steiner adherents to get their heads out of the sand and reevaluate both the model and PWS execution of it; meanwhile, our child is flourishing in another school.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 9, 2013

Pasadena Waldorf has been an incredible experience for not just our child, but our family. The focus on creativity, the arts, and mechanical skills has been very beneficial for our child. The teachers are caring and clearly want to be there, and all of the parents with whom we have interacted are very engaged. The impact of the school has gone beyond the classroom. We have simpler, more fulfilling lives now, as we stopped being consumers and instead started to make our own things and cook our own food. I attribute this value directly to the culture of the school. Our decision to stay at Waldorf hasn't been about private versus public school. It's been about staying with the very unique and satisfying curriculum at this school, which is admittedly, not for everyone.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 20, 2012

Our child is in the first freshman class at the new Pasadena Waldorf High School, and we are more than delighted with the quality of education she is receiving so far. All of the teachers appear to be highly qualified educators, who are very attuned to the developmental needs of adolescents. The students LOVE learning, which says a great deal about the quality of instruction. The curriculum itself is academically challenging, using original sources (such as reading Sophocles & Shakespeare) rather than textbooks in the humanities. This is an education that will prepare students expertly for college and beyond.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 20, 2012

Wow, I am amazed at how one teacher can dominate the school and cause massive trouble for our family! The school is run by the College of Teachers, with no administrative check or balance. Literally, one teacher has caused us so much trouble, and no other teacher or administrator has had the courage to say its not right. We are *very* disappointed, and feel this school does not "walk the talk" of Rudolf Steiner's values or vision.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 11, 2012

Ultimately, as a parent, it is our responsibility to protect our children from all forms of misconduct, whether by their peers or by those in authority (i.e. teachers). It is unfortunate that it only takes 1 or 2 people to spoil the whole idea of a safe and nurturing environment for our children. After 5 years we are happily away from Pasadena Waldorf, and the insidious and ridiculous system called the College of Teachers.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted July 27, 2012

Its true that your Waldorf experience depends deeply on the teacher your child has for 8 years. We liked our teacher, but ultimately, the College of Teachers Leadership Group is the body that runs the school, and we found them horribly self-serving, political, secretive, and unprofessional. They care more about their authoritarian grip on power than about the students. Problem teachers are protected, and its the kids who are forced out. Sad and frustrating.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 21, 2012

I would not trade my children's Waldorf education for anything. The thing about Waldorf is that it truly honors the individual child and does not seek to make them fit into a box or teach to the test. These kids come out confident, engaged and engaging individuals. Some parents talk about the need to hire tutors...I have two kids who have gone through and do not need tutors...you can be in public school or other private schools and need tutors. Is PWS the perfect school? No of course not. Like any school, some teachers are better than others and there are things that need to be addressed. But overall this is a unique approach to education where the emphasis is on deep engagement and creative thinking to enable each child to reach their full capabilities and be forces of social change not just be taught to the test.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted December 9, 2010

What am amazing school. My children were valued and learned more about *everything* there than can be imagined. Music, art, literature, poetry, singing, math, science, handwork, neighborhood games, foreign languages - my children are interested in it *all*!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted December 6, 2009

PWS was a wonderful experience for our family. I am the parent of two graduates, both attended from kindergarten through eighth grade, and I am so impressed with who they are, now, as teenagers. They know themselves more than I knew myself at their ages, and they appear to be moving through adolescence gracefully. Academically they have different strengths and weaknesses (don't we all?) and each is doing well in high school - I regret we didn't send them to a Waldorf high school though, I really believe Waldorf offers a deeper education. When we started at PWS I didn't realize how important the school community would be for our family...it was a busy eleven years filled with interesting activities and we still enjoy participating when we can, we're Elves' Faire lifers!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 30, 2009

Pasadena Waldorf School has a fairy tale approach to life and does not prepare children for the real world. The school's administration has no oversight and teachers are free to instruct and discipline children any way they see fit. My children had to be tutored after leaving Waldorf just to catch up with mainstream society. The campus is beautiful and the ideals are romantic. The story telling and performances are fun but do not begin to educate children in today's complex world. There are some valuable lessons being taught, but negated by the fact that a child cannot write correctly or spell. There is no test taking and no monitoring of the educational process. Waldorf creates it's own rules and changes them on a whim. I would not recommend this school to anyone who takes their child's education seriously.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted July 14, 2008

I feel so fortunate that we could be part of this community for the past two years. Our daughter has received tender and attentive care of the most authentic and inspired quality. Consciousness, depth, purposefulness and goodness abound. Our world needs more of this. May Waldorf schools flourish so that all those who want to take part in this great movement in education are able to.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 23, 2008

I have 3 children at Pasadena Waldorf School and their experiences, love of learning, appreciation for others and the world around them is a treasure to behold. I have spent 32 years in public education as a teacher and administrator and not a day goes by that I don't wish we could do more of the Waldorf approaches to education in the public school setting. The Waldorf approach is one that helps create individuals that will be prepared for an unkown future. Be prepared for continual parental involvement because it is the union of school and community that makes the Waldorf system work for students.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted November 16, 2007

The intentions are good, but it falls far short of it's goals.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 4, 2007

This is a great school. We have 3 children at the school and are amazed everyday that they want to go to school. My 5th grader has missed maybe 3 days in 5 years. I hope you can say that for your kids. Unless you have to be on the fast track, why not give yourself a break and check out our greast school.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 25, 2007

I am not sure the Waldorf model works in today's multicultural environment. Having the same teacher from K-8 sounds romantic but it is rare to find an individual with a skill set that can meet a child's needs over 9 years of education. Parental involvement is very high and the atmosphere is nurturing. I would not recommend a Waldorf Education unless you are prepared to supplement your child's education w/ tutors and other outlets for both academic and sporting activities.
—Submitted by a parent


Community ratings and reviews do not represent the views of GreatSchools nor does GreatSchools check their accuracy or verify the reviewers' identities. Use your discretion when evaluating these reviews.

About these ratings

The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.

We currently do not have any test score information for this school. Unlike public schools, private schools are not always required to report data about their schools or not required to take the same tests as public schools. Many private schools take different standardized tests; however, that information is often made available only to families of enrolled students. We strive to acquire additional private school data whenever available.

Student ethnicity

Ethnicity This school State average
White 75% 26%
Two or more races 12% 3%
Hispanic 6% 52%
Asian or Asian/Pacific Islander 3% 11%
Black 2% 6%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 2% 1%
American Indian/Alaska Native 1% 1%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

Teacher resources

Special staff resources available to students Art teacher(s)
College counselor(s)
Computer specialist(s)
Cooking/Nutrition teacher(s)
Dance teacher(s)
Gardening teacher(s)
Instructional aide(s)/coach(es)
Math specialist(s)
Music teacher(s)
PE instructor(s)
Poetry/Creative writing teacher(s)
Reading specialist(s)
Teacher aid/assistant teacher
Foreign languages spoken by school staff Chinese (Mandarin)
German
Japanese
Spanish
Read more about programs at this school
Source: Provided by a school official.

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Special education / special needs

Level of special education programming offered
  • Basic - the school offers or partners to provide services based on the needs of individual students

Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math (STEM)

Staff resources available to students
  • Computer specialist(s)
  • Gardening teacher(s)
  • Math specialist(s)
School facilities
  • Access to farm or natural area
  • Computer lab
  • Garden/Greenhouse
  • Outdoor learning lab
  • Science lab

Arts & music

Staff resources available to students
  • Art teacher(s)
  • Dance teacher(s)
  • Music teacher(s)
  • Poetry/Creative writing teacher(s)
School facilities
  • Art room
  • Music room
Visual arts
  • Ceramics
  • Design
  • Drawing / sketching
  • Painting
  • Photography
  • Printmaking
  • Sculpture
  • Textile design
Music
  • Band
  • Bell / Handbell choir
  • Chamber music
  • Choir / Chorus
  • Instrumental music lessons
  • Orchestra
  • Theory
  • Vocal lessons / coaching
Performing and written arts
  • Creative writing
  • Dance
  • Drama
  • Improv
  • Poetry
Clubs
  • Yearbook

Language learning

Foreign languages taught
  • Chinese (Mandarin)
  • Japanese
  • Spanish
Foreign languages spoken by staff
  • Chinese (Mandarin)
  • German
  • Japanese
  • Spanish

Health & athletics

Staff resources available to students
  • Cooking/Nutrition teacher(s)
  • Dance teacher(s)
  • Gardening teacher(s)
  • Instructional aide(s)/coach(es)
  • PE instructor(s)
School facilities
  • Access to farm or natural area
  • Access to sports fields
  • Garden/Greenhouse
  • Kitchen
  • Multi-purpose room ("cafegymatorium")

Gifted & talented

College preparation / awareness resources offered
  • College prep programs/courses during the year
  • College presentations or information sessions
  • Visiting teachers or lecturers from colleges
School leaders can update this information here.

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School basics

School start time
  • 8:15 am
School end time
  • 3:30 pm
Before school or after school care / program onsite
  • Before school: starts at 7:30 a.m.
  • After school: ends at 6:00 p.m.
School Leader's name
  • Mr. Daniel Hindes
Best ways for parents to contact the school
  • Phone
Age at which early childhood or Pre-K program begins
  • Infant
Gender
  • Coed
Special schedule
  • Block scheduling
Boarding options
  • Day school
Is there an application process?
  • Yes
Affiliation
  • Waldorf
Associations
  • AWSNA

Programs

Instructional and/or curriculum models used

Don't understand these terms?
  • Waldorf
Bi-lingual or language immersion programs offered

Don't understand these terms?
  • No
Level of special education programming offered
  • Basic - the school offers or partners to provide services based on the needs of individual students
Foreign languages taught
  • Chinese (Mandarin)
  • Japanese
  • Spanish
Level of ESL/ELL programming offered
  • None
Vocational or skills-based training offered
  • None

Resources

Staff resources available to students
  • Art teacher(s)
  • College counselor(s)
  • Computer specialist(s)
  • Cooking/Nutrition teacher(s)
  • Dance teacher(s)
  • Gardening teacher(s)
  • Instructional aide(s)/coach(es)
  • Math specialist(s)
  • Music teacher(s)
  • PE instructor(s)
  • Poetry/Creative writing teacher(s)
  • Reading specialist(s)
  • Teacher aid/assistant teacher
Foreign languages spoken by staff
  • Chinese (Mandarin)
  • German
  • Japanese
  • Spanish
Extra learning resources offered
  • Career/college counseling
  • Program Modifications
College preparation / awareness resources offered
  • College prep programs/courses during the year
  • College presentations or information sessions
  • Visiting teachers or lecturers from colleges
Transportation options
  • None
School facilities
  • Access to farm or natural area
  • Access to sports fields
  • Art room
  • Audiovisual aids
  • Auditorium
  • Computer lab
  • Garden/Greenhouse
  • Internet access
  • Kitchen
  • Learning lab
  • Multi-purpose room ("cafegymatorium")
  • Music room
  • Outdoor learning lab
  • Playground
  • Science lab
School leaders can update this information here.

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School leaders: Help your school shine on GreatSchools
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Sports

Boys sports
  • Basketball
  • Flag football
  • Track
  • Volleyball
Girls sports
  • Basketball
  • Track
  • Volleyball

Arts & music

Visual arts
  • Ceramics
  • Design
  • Drawing / sketching
  • Painting
  • Photography
  • Printmaking
  • Sculpture
  • Textile design
Music
  • Band
  • Bell / Handbell choir
  • Chamber music
  • Choir / Chorus
  • Instrumental music lessons
  • Orchestra
  • Theory
  • Vocal lessons / coaching
Performing arts
  • Creative writing
  • Dance
  • Drama
  • Improv
  • Poetry

Student clubs

Clubs (distinct from courses)
  • Yearbook
School leaders can update this information here.

Upcoming Events

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School culture

Dress Code
  • Dress code
Bullying policy
  • This school has a bullying and/or cyber bullying policy in place.
Parent involvement
  • Attend parent nights
  • Chaperone school trips
  • Coach sports teams or extracurricular activities
  • Join PTO/PTA
  • Organize cultural events
  • Organize fundraising events (school auction, bake sales, etc.)
  • Present special topics during curricular units
  • Serve on school improvement team or governance council
  • Volunteer in the classroom
More from this school
  • Waldorf schools prepare students to be creative thinkers, problem solvers, and active, socially-conscious citizens. With over 90 years of experience and 1,000 schools internationally, Waldorf schools develop young people’s minds and hearts to ask questions and explore answers in a broad, inter-disciplinary way. The Waldorf approach recognizes the simple but profound insight that children learn in distinctly different ways at different stages of their development.
School leaders can update this information here.

Apply

 

This school accepts applications on a

rolling basis

 
Apply now
 

What are your chances?


4 out of 10students were accepted for the 2012-2013 school year.


Students accepted for the 2012-2013 school year
50
Applications received for the 2012-2013 school year
120

What does it cost?

Tuition range for the 2012-2013 school year
$10000 - $20000
Vouchers accepted
No
Financial aid offered
Yes.
School-based aid

Planning ahead

College preparation / awareness offered
College prep programs/courses during the year
College presentations or information sessions
Visiting teachers or lecturers from colleges
Notice an inaccuracy? Let us know!

209 East Mariposa Street
Altadena, CA 91001
Website: Click here
Phone: (626) 794-9564

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