My family is very grateful that we found the East Bay Waldorf School My daughter is in 4th grade and she has been attending East Bay Waldorf School since Kindergarten. I can't imagine sending her to any other school. The Waldorf philosophy is amazing. She is thriving, happy and excited about learning. Her teacher has been a Waldorf teacher for 20 years. He is kind, loving, and passionate about teaching. We have a great sense of community. I read the other reviews about bullying. These were isolated incidences that the school addressed swiftly and quickly. They are in no way representative of what the school is all about. I have complete confidence that when my daughter is at school she is safe, happy, respected for who she is, cared for and loved.
We are very happy with East Bay Waldorf School. The curriculum is inspiring. The teachers are dedicated, knowledgeable and loving. The community is very welcoming. My child couldn't wait for school to start! That's how you know that your child is at the right school!
I am sooo thankful that my parents got me outta there when they did. I'll warn people looking into this school that the teachers put on a nice face for visitors and parents and then yell or talk down to the students. Now that I'm in public high school I see all the science and history that they left out. And don't let anyone tell you that religion doesn't show up in the classroom because it does! Quiet kids do okay and so there are plenty of nice reviews but it's pretty creepy with some of the teachers and I saw plenty of bullying going on that didn't ever seem to get noticed. All the art stuff doesn't make up for the meanness.
There has been a shocking degree of bullying behavior at the school this year, and the administration has been slow to deal with it. This has caused a major rift within the school and many families have been leaving. There is a real problem with communication and follow-through.
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.