This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Coastal Grove Charter School3
Posted September 17, 2014
- a parent
Feels like the Waldorf Dogma actually hurts more than helps at this school. Instead of creating a gateway to a more natural life, the "natural principle" is like a set of blinders over the teachers eyes, and a small picket shrub that defines a boundary that the families would like to stay within. Also, like previous reviews mentioned, this school should be called "Coastal Growers" If you aren't part of the grow scene then good luck fitting in. As if you wanted to.
Coastal Grove is nowhere near the quality of a true Waldorf educational experience. Bettina, the school director, a self professed 'fun sponge,' has a poor demeanor, frightens the children, and seems only concerned with the money coming into her school. The classrooms are a study in over stimulation (which is ok in the school's eyes since the stimulation doesn't come from a tv screen), chaos, and inconsistency. The school tries to do too much, consequently, it does nothing well. The specialty teachers are all right, but in the end they just add to the chaos. The resource program is there in name only. If you have a child that has any special needs at all, you had better be prepared to fight tooth and nail for them. There are lots of grow families there, to each their own, I guess. It does add a seediness to the culture of the school.
Coastal Grove presents a mediocre interpretation of Waldorf methods. It is the only Waldorf choice in Humboldt County so you get what you get I guess. My kids (and I have 3 so I have a good sample pool) previously attended another Waldorf methods Charter School before moving here that was much truer to the Waldorf methods. At Coastal Grove the rooms aren't painted to reflect the Waldorf colors, they don't have the high level art supplies typically used in Waldorf (seriously where's the beeswax???) and the teachers do not stay with their classes as they age up. You'll have 1 teacher for K, another for 1st-3rd, another for 4th & 5th and then another for 6th-8th. Fine if that's what you want, but Coastal Grove is definitely a watered down expression of Waldorf methods. And don't forget all the grow families here...there's a lot! Be mindful who your kids are hanging with. On the bright side my kids like their teachers and they have many of the same songs and stories, but the richness and depth of Waldorf is lost at this school. More is the pity, Waldorf is an amazing, all encompassing, and magical educational experience when done correctly.
Coastal Grove is probably one of the best schools in the nation. The school is heavily focused on the well being and nurturance of the child as well as academic rigor through Waldorf Methodology The students are learning to use their full brain potential through the gentle and academically balanced programs. The handwork, music, movement, PE, and Spanish classes are a huge bonus. Not only do the students get exposure to all these extra-curricular classes several times a week all year- their teachers get a break and are assisted by the extra staff who teach the classes. Bettina is an outstanding, thorough and caring director. After having my children at a very public, outdated school with a horrible principal/superintendent here in Northern Humboldt I am so relieved to know they are being well taken care of by Bettina and her outstanding staff. Ms. Katie Smith-Caggiano is absolutely amazing. She is so kind, stern and academically thorough. Thank you to this incredible school. Everyone in the world would be so lucky to grow up with an education like this.
We have a wonderful program that includes specialties like handwork, Spanish and violin. Our children do lots of beautiful artwork while learning the essentials. We also have a wonderful (nearly) organic snack and lunch program, all cooked fresh each day on site.