We were so hopeful when we found this school. It seemed so cute and friendly. There are some good teachers (although almost all of them left at the end of this school year due to hemorrhaging enrollment and chronic financial instability) and many well-meaning people. There are also significant problems that prospective families have a right to know about. In looking for specific criticisms I could say that they don't understand that their families are their customers. The school is always in crisis and they look continuously to the families to bail them out with money and time. It wears everyone down. Communication is poor, in part because they are always short staffed but also because in their chronic crisis state they seem to feel that information should only be given on a need-to-know basis. There is no principal or key leader and this is a critical problem. The school is led by the teachers and the ones who have been there longest are There is a failure to deal with bullying in any effective way. In fact, when any of the teachers or staff perceive criticism or resistance to their authority, they become a bully pack themselves. Parents admit to being afraid to speak out for fear of becoming targeted. The students are frequently unsupervised which allows student-to-student bullying to take place. All of this is of course my personal opinion.
My child is in this amazing school, its such a special education and its really great if you can stay the course. This education is worth waiting for as far as the way they teach some things later. It all comes together and you realize how un important hurrying your child really is in the grand scheme of this long life. Its the best school in the area. Money is an issue for the school and thats really the only thing that makes it hard on the community. We seem to be turning it around and I believe it will stand strong for years to come.
I have three children at this school and have been here for several years. I have always found the teachers to be extremely dedicated to the children and to the school. My children always love going to school and have exceeded my expectations in learning (compared to my own education as a child). The approach is loving and caring with a wonderful school community of parents. In addition to the academic focus, my children are also learning music, Spanish and art. This is a well rounded education that is worth every single penny.
I would never want to send my children anywhere else! We have been attending this school for 8 years now (beginning in preschool) and could not be happier with our children's education. Not only are they excelling academically, they are being taught to solve problems, how to work with their peers, and to show respect and reverence for the world around them. I have never meet a more dedicated group of teachers than those that work at this school, they genuinely care about my children. Our teachers know our children well, and are able to work with them (and us) on an individual level to help them with any issues that they might be having. My children are excited to go to school everyday and are engaged and challenged in the classroom. I have confidence that the education my children are receiving will help them to grow into well rounded, intelligent, and caring adults. This school is well worth the money, I would even go as far to say we are getting far more out of it then we are paying. I feel blessed every day that my children are able to attend this amazing school!
There are some very positive things about this school, but the Waldorf method of teaching reading (at least at this school) leaves about 35% of kids confused and struggling. The children's confusion and failure to learn is excused with statements like "The child isn't developmentally ready to read yet. When s/he's ready, s/he will just BLOOM into reading." So the learning problems caused by poor teaching go unrecognized and neglected, and genuine learning disabilities go unrecognized and untreated as well. If you want to send your child to this school, do the child a favor and teach him/her to read at home.
If your child has any learning disability at all, keep them away from this school. The teacher wasn't really sure what dyslexia was, much less able to help with it. A complete waste of time. It all sounds very light and wonderful; in practice I found bullying on the playground and a rather terrifying allegiance to a cultish philosophy of education that is outdated and out of step with modern learning.
Not what I expected at all. Loved the loving care of the children and the focus on the soul of the child but my child just wasn't taught the 3 R's and when we moved we had a very difficult time integrating into a public school because the other children were so very , very far ahead. Not worth the money if you want your child to get a quality education.
I wish all children had the opportunity to experience a Waldorf Education! We would move back to Mendocino County if this school was a K-12. Such a loving, creative and supportive community. I wouldn't want our daughters to go anywhere else. Our friends daughters go to this school and they are bright, kind, creative and talented young girls. This school is a treasure! I've never met a person who has had a Waldorf education that hasn't been successful and so incredibly bright.
This is the best system of education I have ever experienced. I have been involved with the school for 25 years and witnessed the quality of students the school produces. When this students go on to high school or university they are always in the top 10% or graduates. If you talk to a former student you will know way you want your children to have this experience.