I think this school is excellent. I have two children attending and my eldest has been there for 9 years (including 2 years of kindergarten). Our experience has been really good. My eldest has excellent skills in reading, math, writing, art, music, critical thinking and speaking. The whole Waldorf system of education is very nurturing and supports beauty and really meeting a child where they are developmentally, rather than pushing them to be at a place where they are not yet. So they get to play a lot when they're young, climb trees and explore the natural world and when they are older they really interact with the cirriculum, it's like a path of discovery. There have been many administrative and teacher changes in our 9 years there and each time has been for the better. I'm excited and happy about where the school is now, I think it's an excellent place for my children to go to school.
I am an advocate of Waldorf education and a trained Waldorf teacher. It is my opinion that the principles of Waldorf education are not present at EBWS. I have two children who attended the East Bay Waldorf school for a few years. The teachers are not well trained for classroom management and the children often felt fearful when any behavior issues came up. My son felt bullied both by students and teachers and every attempt to solve the issues failed. The educational environment was not conducive to learning. The "disappointments are too great to number" All and all it is not a healthy place for children.
The Waldorf curriculum is a beautiful one a fully experiential method, leading children to develop strong powers of observation. In a healthy Waldorf school, teachers strive to recognize each child s unique human growth and learning. In this way, a variety of learning styles (within a normal range) are respected and supported. This requires good collaboration and trust among the entire faculty, staff and community, and a faculty and staff that are stable and experienced. This school does not meet this Waldorf standard. We have experienced this in other Waldorf schools and it results in an environment where children thrive. Given that current (spring 2012) enrollment is around 130, not 269, as reported here, it seems many families have recognized this and have moved on, as we have.
Waldorf aims to surround children with three things: beauty, truth and love. After pouring my heart and soul for 6+ years at the school, both financially and as a very active volunteer, people ask why we left. With disappointments too many to number, I simply respond with "The school fell a little short on truth and love." My children never enjoyed EBWS, yet we believed so much in the Waldorf pedagogy, we stayed. Now that they are in places where they are cherished and treated with kindness and respect, they LOVE school and are thriving.
I have two children at this school, and we absolutely love it! Waldorf education educates children "from the inside out," educating head, heart, and hands. It's so wonderful to have art, music, foreign languages, and movement all built in to the curriculum (not as extras, but integral to the whole). We carpool 25 minutes (across a toll bridge) for this school, and we couldn't be happier. Our son is in 4th grade and has been there from the first of two years of Kindergarten. Our daughter started in the preschool program, and is now in 1st grade. Their teachers are well-trained, and hold the classes with strength and kindness. The school has become our community, as we enjoy not only what it does for our children, but the adult friendships we have gained. One of my favorite things about it is that the curriculum is determined by the Waldorf-trained faculty, not an elected school board without training in education and child development.
I have two kids in the school. It is wonderful. The only school in the area I would consider for them. They thrive on the great programs here that don't skip on art and music which are so important in a good education.
My 1st grade son is so very happy at EBWS! He is thrilled to go to school each day, and comes home full of joy, singing in Spanish and practicing his letters for fun. We carpool about 20 minutes to get to this school every day, and it is so very worth it. I know that every day he is met with delightful hands-on challenges in math, language arts, and foreign languages, warmth, imagination, movement and good food, adventures in nature on the beautiful 11 acre campus, and great friends. It is all so very integrated, my son doesn't have any sense of there being a difference between doing math and playing a great game. My son's neighborhood and preschool friends who are now in 1st and 2nd grade in other schools, both public and private, already say that recess is their favorite subject, which is so sad. This school is a gift to give your children.
We came from a great public school in the East Bay but felt that school was lacking in the well rounded education and philosophy that we were looking for. The Waldorf model teaches from the inside out, meaning the instruction is child focused and special care is taken for each child as an individual and unique learner. The parent community is welcoming and warm. The staff are fantastic and doing a spectacular job even with cuts to all departments. The teachers are dedicated and interested. Our children are again thriving at school. We couldn't be happier with our move to Waldorf education.
The quality of education is superior. They treat the child as a whole human being, mind, body, spirit. The campus is amazing, at the foot of Wildcat Canyon, so lots and lots of outdoor play and hikes. I have a kindergarten son and a grade one daughter and they are both happy and learning so so much. I am amazed on their maturity, confidence and growing at this age. My son went to the nursery before entering kindergarten and I highly recommend the nursery program. There is so much room for the young child to explore, learn and grow and the nursery teacher is like a 'Mary Poppins' for Waldorf. I love this school.
My husband and I were looking for a middle school for our son. We toured Prospect Sierra, Windrush, and Manzanita, and thought about the East Bay School for Boys, but decided that the East Bay Waldorf School was the best fit for our family. We love our son's teacher (our son entered the East Bay Waldorf School in the 6th grade). Home work is kept to a reasonable level, the kids are well-behaved, classes are small (my son's 6th grade class has 17 students), the school is beautiful, all kids play in the orchestra, and both Spanish and German are taught. Tuition is 30% less than Prospect Sierra and Windrush. Parents who don't live near the school arrange carpools. We are very happy there. Most importantly, our son is happy as well. I can't speak for the younger grades, as we didn't attend those, but the East Bay Waldorf School is a wonderful place for a child to attend middle school!
I have a seven year old son in first grade at EBWS. Though a long time supporter of Waldorf philosophy, I have been truly uplifted and amazed with the Waldorf process in action. My son is thriving in this environment. In public school, he would probably be branded with ADHD, and struggle with the rigidity of sitting still in a classroom with 30 kids. Waldorf education encourages movement of the body as a means to educate the mind. As Homo Sapiens, we developed higher mental capacities by using our hands to acquire the things we needed from our environment. We did not 'Study' our environment from a safe perch in the trees. We engaged our environment with our bodies, and learned from our successes and our mistakes. Though a simple metaphor, I believe Waldorf education builds upon this idea of "The body teaches the mind." The campus at EBWS is truly enchanting. An eleven acre campus opens up to Wildcat Canyon and inspires the children to commune with nature. Outdoor hikes encourage the children to investigate the natural world and all its wonders. This is simply not an option in most public schools, bound by chain link fences and asphalt, amidst the backdrop of an urban landscape.
All three of our children went to EBWS K-8, one continuing through her senior year of high school, when HS was part of the program. The school cultivates a thirst for learning, a sense service to humanity, and excellence in academics. Our daughters went on to thrive in top-tier Universities (including Ivy League). The setting is beautiful and rich. Perhaps most of all, the school fosters a rich sense of spirit, with aspects in both the individual, the land and in social life. the proof is in the pudding, and our children have grown up powerfully.
My teen who graduated from 8th grade two years ago is getting all A's at his current high school, a private parochial school. This school, and educational philosophy, really prepares kids to think and get the job done!
It's a wonderful Waldorf education connected to a beautiful regional park in the hills.
Excellent environment. Great teachers. Acceptance of all types of backgrounds and beliefs. Yearly comping trips are very fun. Only problem is a sfew snotty students and parents in each class slow things down. HIgh school is also somewhat small.
Waldorf is a wondersful school that I attended for 4 years in responce to my distaste for the public school system. Although there were times when I found the philosopy too abstract, I see now that my patience has paid off and that the Waldorf teaching strategy is by far one of the most infulential and positive expiereiences in my life. To any parent or student that is interested in Waldorf, I would suggest that you give it a try. The philosopy is truly all-encompasing and for that reason best experienced in it's entirety.
I have 2 boys who attended EBWS from K-8. They are opposite personality types yet both have benefited greatly from the Waldorf experience. It helps be lucky in your child's teacher, but it is the general approach that is responsible for the extraordinary results. Graduates are more mature, balanced and thoughtful than their peers. They are overly prepared for public high school even if they don't do that well acedemically in Waldorf school. If you want your child to make the most of his/her individual talents, Waldorf school is for you.
We did not have a good fit there. It might have been my daughters teacher, but we found that if the child worked outside of their fairly specific norms, the became quite agitated. Its probably ok for kids that fit a specific mold. Just make sure your kid does before you go there. The school is fairly rigid and not always in touch with the 'real world'.
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