We've been here for almost six years (since Kinder and now in 5th & 6th grades). It is very community oriented- promotes parent involvement and you meet other families with similar values. I like it because, unlike other Waldorf schools in L.A.- it's socio-economically diverse.
I am a current parent of a kindergartener, and I feel very fortunate to be able to be part of this school. The kindergarten teacher Kayti Henry is extraordinary with the kids. She leads the class with respect and compassion towards the children and truly makes the best out of the Waldorf educational principles. I have no experience of the upper grades, but judging by the older kids I see and interact with in the yard, I'm amazed by how thoughtful they are towards adults, younger kids and each other. It is a tight-knit and welcoming community of parents, most of whom are very regular people (not "Waldorf extremists") wanting more wholesome education than what other schools have to offer, and there are many ways to be actively involved. Compared to other Waldorf or like-minded schools in the area this school is actually affordable to a middle/working class family. So far we're very happy to have found this hidden gem.
We sent our child here for several months. It's a very positive community because of the parental involvement and caring teachers. With this in mind, you have to be really pro-waldorf and have the money to enjoy this school. Their financial aid process is secretive and harrowing. What they don't tell you, until you have put down a deposit and a hefty materials fee is that they actually scrutinize your spending habits as part of the financial aid process, not just look at your income, which is how it normally goes. Further, their attention to math and reading are dismal during the early years, as if these weren't the most important subject. A student who attends this school and then has to transfer over to a public school will be behind his peers in both math and reading. This is a HORRIBLE school for low-income people.
The City School, A Waldorf Initiative in the San Fernando Valley is a school run by dedicated, hard working teachers, who strive to work with children, parents and colleagues out of an active understanding of Rudolf Steiner's world view. Parents at the City School are a dynamic, creative and intelligent group of people on the path of discovery. Students, ages 4 to 14, of all color, temperament and ability are learning together to be citizens of the world. I love The City School.
I feel so lucky to have found this school! Both of my children attend, and they love school, their friends and their teachers. My 5 year old spends her days doing puppet shows, baking ,stories, music, art, and free play. She does not have the stress of homework, and that is exactly what I want for her! But don't think this school is light on academics, because it is not. The kids are learning everything, and they create their own textbooks so that they retain it forever. Kids start speaking and writing in two languages in first grade. The 8th graders graduate to be top of their classes when they enter high school. I really can't say enough about this school... Take a tour and you will see for yourself.
This is a wonderful little school! The best I've ever come across and I checked out what seemed like 100s before I enrolled my son. My son graduated from Valley Waldorf and had a wonderful experience, knew math better than other kids going into high school from other private schools too! At VW the teachers just somehow make learning so great that the kids are happy to do homework, love to learn to read, etc. They make learning alive for their students. You have to experience it to really understand how nurturing and great this school is. They have a great tuition program too. It is called 'available to all' so that almost no one is turned away for not being able to pay the whole tuition.
We found Valley Waldorf after an extremely negative experience at our local public school. At first our son was nervous about school, but after just a few days, he was so excited to get up an go to school. He has blossomed in the year that he attended Valley Waldorf. His wide-ranging interests are engaged by the diverse curriculum; he loves his teacher and his friends. Yes, last year there was some drama, but I can honestly say that it did not affect my child's educational experience. In fact, he asks me several times a week when school will start again. He can't wait to see his beloved friends and teacher again.
This is a little gem of a school. Class sizes are small which I love. Theachers are truely dedicated to the children. The parent community is amazing. We have been at the school for 4 years and it has had its ups and downs but I know from parents at other schools, all schools go through difficult times. Bottom line my child thrives here. Its true the school has some financial problems but theachers pull through together and do what needs to be done due to their dedication. I think this school is a great little school!
As a parent at this school over many years time, I can attest to the disgraceful behavior demonstrated by the administration and majority of teachers at this school. It is not a Waldorf school. It is a shameful imitation using the Waldorf name (in fact giving Waldorf a bad name). I was lucky enough to pull my child out before too much damage was done (but he got his fair share - some of it requiring therapy to recover from), but it is a sad sight to see so many families swindled into believing they are bringing their children to a loving institution. The 70- some percent of families that have left can attest otherwise, not to mention the tremendous amount of good teachers that have been bullied and harassed out, or have down right quit. If this is not enough to prevent you from bringing your innocent child to this place, perhaps the fact that the school is on the verge of bankruptcy and total shut down, will.
This is a good place to be if you want to be involved in your child's school; there are ample opportunities to serve and participate. Unfortunately, we recently experienced the departure of two faculty members and several families, who have decided to pursue the creation of their own home-school and this accounts for some recent negative postings. Those who are genuinely interested in our school would do best to visit the school personally . We've been at Valley for several years, in fact, we applied and we're accepted, along with a generous financial aid allotment, to Pasadena Waldorf but chose to remain at Valley due to their authenticity towards diversification and the outstanding individual attention that our children have experienced here.
We have been at this school for 3 years. We absolutely love it and more importantly, our daughter loves it. She is thriving - happy and engaged, and besides learning to read and write, history and math, she is learning 2 languages and 2 instruments, she has art each day and is learning handwork too. Have there been ups and downs at our school? Yes. But find a school where there aren't any. Our community is a group of parents and teachers that deeply care about the children and their development and education. It is small and intimate and each child receives the attention they need. The teachers are loving and involved - it is an amazing, warm and unique school and anyone looking for something different for their child is strongly encouraged to come and see for themselves what our school has to offer. You are doing your child a GREAT disservice if you don't visit and make a decision for yourself. Come and take a tour - talk to the teachers and the parents - many like myself who have been there for several years. Watch and observe our children play - see for yourself what a magical place the Valley Waldorf City School is.
I loved this school for so long. But the more and more time we spent at this school, the more the dysfunctions of how it operates became exposed. Waldorf education is so wonderful and Valley Waldorf seems to embody the best of Waldorf, but that was just a facade and unfortunately, very few families have stayed throughout the years because of how poorly run it is. The school is over ten years old and continues to barely make it year after year, as attrition is so high. And if you ask why that is the case, you will probably be given many excuses, but at a certain point, you have to wonder "what keeps going on when there are only 30+ students over ten years after it was founded. I gave two stars for teachers because some are wonderful, but over the years, many have come and gone (and some still there) that have been terribly inconsistent. And parent involvement also two stars because many parents become involved. But the ones who become most involved almost always leave disgusted, never to come back to this site to update the realities of what they have come to see.
I believe strongly in the Waldorf philosophy of holistic education. There is a huge need for this type of education and the current demand is greater than can be provided. This school of any needs the support of the community as it is relatively new.
My own children have gone though Waldorf schools are are extraordinary human beings because of it. I always say the greatest give you can give you child, besides unconditional love, is a Waldorf Education.
We love Valley Waldorf for reasons too many to list here, but, most importantly, because it instills in our children the joy of learning and life. Our children hate to miss a day!
I'm a teacher there; and I love teaching all the lovely students enrolled in our friendly, cozy, artistic school.
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The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.
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