Waldorf education can be an amazing thing, but Highland Hall is a very poor example of a Waldorf school. There are very real reasons this school is under-enrolled, has no waiting lists, and often turns over 20% of its children a year. There is no functioning leadership. Teacher quality is uneven. Most crucially, Highland Hall lacks integrity, their mission statement a hollow promise gutted by fear and money. Look elsewhere.
My 3 children did not feel they learned any basic curriculum. Knitting, art and woodworking are great, but math, science, english, history are weak. Many of their high school students don't get into college. We left because our children were bored.
I want to say that 'Waldorf isn't for everyone,' but truly it is, if they want it. So I guess what I should said is 'not everyone truly wants a Waldorf education for their child,' and if that is the case than this is not the school for you. We've found it to be a wonderful nuturing environment with a true community feel. As our eldest child entered the grades they became excited for every new lesson, adoring school and all it has to offer. I have to peel my child away in the afternoons to come home. My biggest hope is to see our children graduate from the 12th grade with that beautiful little bell tinkling from around their necks. A Wonderful School!
Outstanding!!! If you are into comparing your child to the status quo (is your child reading at the same level as everyone elses child) you should stay in the public system or find another school that teaches to the same. Highland Hall is not for everyone but it is for those who have the forsight to see the benefits of stepping out of the box and into a wonderful world. The students prosper in knowlege, self and worldly, have experiences we only dreamed about as children ourselves. To have a successful experience at Highland you must have stepped out of the box yourself and pass on the wonders of education to teachers who really know what counts in this world and what the kids really need. By the time you get to High School I would match up any student from Highland Hall to any Freshman or Sophomore college student
My daughter attended HH for a year and enjoyed what they had to offer at the preschool age. However, she would come home and need to run and jump all over the place. Some kids just need to run. I like the Waldorf philosophy but I also feel times are changing and in order to keep a realistic perspective on our world, the media is a huge part of it. And being a psych major, I have learned that children feel safe when they can understand parts of their environment. Not keeping them in a bubble right smack in the middle of a thriving city. Plus parents have an imperialistic attitude at HH. The love and respect for nature and life should be given to all, not just those who can afford it.
My son was there for a year and didn't learn a thing. We changed schools the following year to an more challenging academic setting. He had a lot of remedial work that he had to do the following year just to catch up to his peers. The teachers at Highland Hall are very nurturing and loving, however, the kids need more mental stimulation. I don't agree with their philosophy (actually Rudolf Steiner's) of delaying academics till the late elementary/jr. high years. My feeling is that either you're a Waldorf person or you're not, there's no middle ground. It turned out that my son had dyslexia, which had gone undetected as his class was not performing at grade level in reading or writing. He did benefit however, from having such a caring, wonderful teacher. The campus has an expansive park-like feel to it and is beautiful.
My child loved her kindergarten teachers but by 2nd grade became frustrated with the repetition of form drawing and the weirdness of the eurythmy class. She is now in a charter school that is equally relaxed (no grades, no tests, no homework) but is more academically stimulating and inspiring. At Waldorf, every child works at the same pace, which is usually dictated by the children who struggle the most.
More of a note than a review, addressed to perspective parents and also those who pulled their children out early (before high school). As with anything as important as your child's education, you should really do your homework before you commit to it. A very important thing to know about this and all Waldorf schools is that the Waldorf method of education is designed as a preschool to high school graduation process. If you take part in any less, you will not get the entire intended effect. Also, children don't just get an academic education there, they get guided development as as a person too. They do start 'slow' academically, but things pick up over the years and eventually, especially in high school, move beyond the vast majority of high schools academically. If you send a child to a Waldorf school K-12, the advantage in college and life is substantial.
If your child has any learning difficulties, this school is ideal for allowing them to work without enormous pressure. If your child is academically gifted, this school will not be a good fit. There is a strong anti-intellectualism from First thru 12th grade.
Adjusting to a traditional school revealed that my child was performing in every area below grade level. It took her a year to catch up, and we regret having not pulled her out before First grade. Although the campus appears serene and attractive, the lack of transparency in the curriculum is a serious problem.
I have two children at the school for over ten years and found it to be nurturing, challenging, enriching, . The children learn two languages as well as stringed and woodwind instruments, and through the curriculum gain an impressive knowledge of other cultures and histories. It is an education that prepares your child to step confidently into the world and find success
Excellent kindergarten with our particular teacher; however, we had the very opposite experience in middle school; and we were so unimpressed by the time our child reached 8th grade that our child begged us to allow her to switch to a more traditional high school.
Three children attended; the oldest had a great experience from k-8; our second child had a series of terrible teachers. The youngest child had a great kindergarten experience. The school has no ability to constructively address parents concerns
In spite of the beautifuyl appearance, it feels like a cult. There are no academics standards.
This is the best school I have researched. The teacher, community and atmosphere of this loving school help my son and daughter grow as whole and healthy human beings. Their philosophy is focused on teaching children from their whole being not just their brains. It makes such a difference for us as parents as well. Our family is in such unison since we have brought our children there.
Yes, this is a Waldorf school! This means that it is a brilliant and meaningful education. My son was a high-achieving student in an excellent public charter school from K-5th grade and transferred to Waldorf Education in 6th grade. While it took some adjusting in terms of relaxing into the curriculum, and overcoming my fears of not immediately being able to 'quantify' the quality of education as had been our custom in public school [standardized testing], I've seen a highly intelligent boy nurtured in ways I've not seen before in his prior education. This is an education that truly nurtures the whole person--academically, spiritually, physically and emotionally. These kids are learning who they truly are through this education and graduate with a confidence, passion and vision that I have rarely seen in other students. The teachers and administrators are excellent, available and know every child.
As the name states, this is a Waldorf school, which is a very definite thing. For some, it is perfect, for some not such a good fit. That is the first thing a prospective parent needs to research. One distinctive aspect of Waldorf schools is there is not a 'principal'. In the event of a problem, this can be an issue. We often felt we had no one to turn to for action on our concerns. Academically, we found Highland Hall on a very different page than other private schools in the area. Our children left with way above average vocabularies, and below level skills in concrete areas such as spelling and basic math facts.
Waldorf school is extraordinary on developing higher level thinking skills They graduate socially, environmentally and academically sound students. The music program is second to none. Parent involvment is good.
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