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209 East Mariposa Street
Altadena, CA 91001

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(626) 794-9564
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Map of Pasadena Waldorf School address.

June 13, 2015
An orthodox Waldorf school that is rigid and dogmatic in its adherence to anthroposophy. They hold children very tightly with a "spare the rod spoil the child" mentality towards discipline. There's only one acceptable way to learn and if that's not a fit for your child watch out. Even if it is a fit with your child, he/she will suffer through witnessing other children getting shamed and humiliated by teachers. An especially bad place for boys. Many of the older grades have 3:1 or greater ratios of girls to boys. The recently graduated eighth grade had only 4 boys out of 17 students in the class.

- submitted by a community member
Develops grit: Strongly disagree
May 22, 2015
This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad they yell at the kids

- submitted by a community member

May 07, 2015
We feel robbed of time and money by Pasadena Waldorf School. The volunteer demands are punishing and they seem like a distraction. The request for money is constant yet their financial transparency is non-existent. The parents are treated with no respect. There is so much mind control, time control and manipulation used at that school. The most frightening thing of all is that PWS has NO WRITTEN POLICY ON BULLYING. Beware!

- submitted by a parent

May 06, 2015
I can not say enough good things about this school. We have been there through early childhood to grade school and are so happy that we made the choice to have our kids here. Early childhood was a learning for us, the parents. We got to be in a very intimate environment with a highly trained teacher. We were there observing our children and having a master level conversation with our teacher. I got so much from this experience and it totally revolutionized how I parented. In a good way!! There are many opportunities to learn, they have a large amount of teacher parent meetings, which I personally found helpful. Children don't come with instructions. My children are so healthy and thriving. Frankly when I compare them to other children I am blown away at how different they are, and by that I mean different in a good way. They are present, and soooo creative and alive and awake. It blows my mind. The parent body is fantastic. The teachers are at such a high level. The community is filled with love respect understanding and joy. Which doesn't mean they aren't human, because they are. But I feel that my children are the very best of hands at this school.

- submitted by a parent

April 23, 2015
Here's what I wish I had known before I enrolled my children at PWS: as soon as you start feeling nervous or scared to speak out about a concern, as soon as a teacher starts to "wonder" about your child, as soon as you begin to feel slightly uncomfortable -- it's time to get out. It's hard to believe this is an actual school that purports to take care of children. It is an ideology taking care of itself. Be careful.

- submitted by a parent

November 24, 2014
I have two children who attended Pasadena Waldorf School from K-8. I didn't know much about the school when I attended the first look-in, but liked the arts and music, and liked that the pedagogy addressed age appropriate learning methods. As a new parent I was amazed that everything I liked at the look-in was just the tip of the iceberg. What my kids learned was solid no rote memorization. They could speak from the heart about ancient civilizations and scientific discoveries. They learned to play multiple instruments and composed music. Both were accepted to all the high schools they applied to, and chose a Catholic high school. PWS high school was not started at that time. They distinguished themselves in academics and arts, and went on to top universities. One graduated from a 5-year professional program and the other is a junior with college honors already. All of their educational experiences were good ones, but the early years at PWS were probably the most important in building the foundation. In addition to the solid education they received there, they left with a lifetime love of learning.

- submitted by a parent

October 19, 2014
Pasadena Waldorf and Waldorf philosophy has been and continues to be the best fit for my 8 year old daughter, now in second grade. We have been at the school for 4 years, since Kindergarten. Waldorf kinder is 2 years. I have learned so much about the pedagogy,and how best humans learn ,by being at this school,Ive learned about how to better parent my child, understand her temperament, parent with empathy but not permissive/passive and truly connect with my child and her learning style. Waldorf education is for the whole family and requires a certain knowledge and commitment by the parents. If you are looking for a place to drop off your kid, minimal involvement and have them become great test takers ,this is not the school for you. The staff and community are overwhelmingly supportive,our class teacher had paid home visits to see my daughter when she was struggling with some things.Continually follows up with me and her progress. I am thrilled that we now have added a high school. I best see the results when I meet and speak with the graduates of a Waldorf curricula. The proof is in the results of the Waldorf kid

- submitted by a parent

April 02, 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

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

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

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

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

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

January 09, 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

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

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

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

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

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

December 09, 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
no rating
December 06, 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
no rating
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

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

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

November 16, 2007
The intentions are good, but it falls far short of it's goals.

- submitted by a parent

May 04, 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

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

February 01, 2007
After having my daughter at this school for 5 years, I pulled her out. They have lost most of their good teachers and there is no oversight on poor performing teachers. We most definitely would not recommend it for a quality educaton.

- submitted by a parent

November 11, 2004
My daughter attended Pasadena Waldorf School from kindergarten through eighth grade. Students from her graduating eighth grade class were accepted into a variety of high schools, including Westridge, L.A. County High School for the Arts, LaSalle, Mayfield, Sacred Heart, Maranatha, Alverno, and St. Francis, and two decided to continue with their Waldorf education at Highland Hall's high school, even though it is located far from Pasadena in the San Fernando Valley. My daughter had a beautiful, positive experience at PWS that prepared her well for high school and for a happy life. She is a fine, thinking young woman with a clear sense of herself and compassion for others. These qualities were nurtured by PWS. The school community is loving, and our family has many wonderful memories of our time there. I highly recommend that parents investigate Waldorf education for their children.

- submitted by a parent

July 17, 2004
Pasadena Waldorf School is a competent and even excellent institution for the Waldorf education system. Children are eminently happy, deeply nurtured and profoundly educated. Much depends, however, on the individual teacher since the school, like all Waldorf schools, has no administration to hold teachers accountable. If one is concerned about competitiveness in the rat race of modern life, Waldorf is not the choice for you. If one is concerned with raising creative, confident and surprisingly calm young people, Waldorf is the choice for you.

- submitted by a parent

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About 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.

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Last modified: June 13, 2015

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Pasadena Waldorf School
209 East Mariposa Street, Altadena, CA  91001
(626) 794-9564
Last modified Pasadena Waldorf School is a Private school that serves grades K-10
Pasadena Waldorf School Rating: 3 out of 5 based on 30 reviews. Top