"Our school is best known for our Waldorf Inspired Curriculum."
Students enrolled 303
School leader Holly Holt
Transportation options None
District San Juan Unified
Before school Yes
After school Yes

Contact this school

9601 Lake Natoma Drive
Orangevale, CA 95662

School website
(916) 987-6141
(916) 987-6741
Nearby homes for sale
Map of Golden Valley Charter School of Sacramento address.

4 stars
Based on 44 ratings

Let others know what you
think about this school

July 17, 2014
This school is horrible, if you don't like your teacher your screwed because you don't change throughout k-8, this school is full of overprotective parents and teachers , so if your jeans aren't above your stomach your a criminal. The curriculum is for kindergarten and once your in middle school it's hard to get through a class. When I left Gvcs and went to a public school it was the best decision in my life!!

- submitted by a community member
April 30, 2014
Never have I been associated with a school with such a feeling of community. Care, actual caring, love and nurturing is fostered here and children (wait, this will blow you away) learn by watching the adults involved here exhibit these. All else they need to learn comes from these. The curriculum springs from art and story, as is Waldorf, and the individual is SO CELEBRATED! In our schools system, the 1st grade teacher moves through the grades up to 8th with the same class, creating a family within which my oldest has learned how to appreciate, tolerate, and celebrate differences. He also has learned to communicate and share on very difficult topics and to debate in a courteous and honest way regarding all facets of being a Human being. I have had the good fortune to make the time to be really involved with the classes of my three children who attend, to work with amazing teachers, parents and staff, and our entire family is richer and more virtuous for being a part of GVCS. The staff continually trains in the methods that make them more talented and able to convey how art and science lend to each other to educate.

- submitted by a parent
November 01, 2013
GVCS is ok. My child has been there 5 yrs. She hated public school and likes GV ok. The classes are way too large (30) to do much more than manage behavior and my child appears to be falling behind her public school peers, we are supplementing her education so she can transition adequately to high school. It is not a Waldorf school but rather Waldorf "inspired". It is a hybrid between public and waldorf which I think is better as waldorf kids are wonderful but "weird" according to their public school peers much of the time when transitioning to public school. The sense of community is good but administration is cold and the rigid adherence to the over abundance of school rules is ridiculous and leaves parents feeling punatively punished frequently which is beyond annoying. I like that my child isnt stressed by too much homework like her public school peers and that we don't pay a fortune. Immersion spanish is a joke, after 5 years she hasnt learned much and there is a lot of turnover in teachers incl specialty teachers who are clearly frustrated and take it out on the kids. Great for K-2, maybe not for higher grades.

- submitted by a parent
September 27, 2013
My children have been attending this school for 4 years. They absolutely love school! They have teachers who really consider their well-being. They are gaining so much more than an education: compassion, cooperation and unity. GVCS has an incredible warm, inviting community of teachers, parents and staff who come together to celebrate the children on their educational journey.

- submitted by a parent
August 22, 2013
This is a great school. I am a parent here now and love that it offers a Waldorf education without the tuition.

- submitted by a parent
August 17, 2013
We love Golden Valley Charter School! Our daughter is just starting kindergarten, but we already feel so welcome and the teachers are so warm.

- submitted by a parent
August 15, 2013
Golden Valley Charter School is a Waldorf inspired elementary/middle school. The option to offer a Waldorf education through a public school is a privilege. We are so grateful for the specialty programs offered through Waldorf education, as well as the patient, creative, and dedicated teachers.

- submitted by a parent
August 13, 2013
Golden Valley is on top of the wave for charter schools in California. It has been on the cutting edge of charter development, with its synthesis of Waldorf methodology to public school delivery and quality of teaching staff and administration; I'm thankful to have had this option for my childrens' schooling. BEST FIELD TRIPS EVER!

- submitted by a parent
August 09, 2013
My son has attended GVCS since Kindergarten. Our family wanted a school that provides a well-rounded education and was not teaching to the standardized tests. As a previous public school teacher, I personally witnessed subjects being dropped (history, science, etc.) because they were not being assessed by the test. You're child will not be forced to complete monotonous assignments or take continuous quizzes/tests. Instead, children develop a deep understanding of everything they learn. There is plenty of research and personal experience to embrace this wonderful gift we can give to all our kids (i.e. play more outside and be creative at home). I do wish more parents at GVCS embraced this routine at home. My husband and I both come from traditional schools and are very grateful for our son to receive an education that nurtures his mind, heart, and soul. All teachers have a CA teaching credential and have either graduated or are in training to receive their Waldorf teacher credential. Kids get Spanish, music, handiwork, etc. Considering all the programs being cut at public schools, we are very lucky at GVCS! Parents work hard to make sure our kids get the best education possible.

- submitted by a parent
August 09, 2013
Nothing is perfect, but GVCS is close. Certainly, it is more than just a school. Golden Valley is a community, parents, teachers, and staff working together to develop each student's best self. I cannot fully express how good the school has been for my daughter in the remaining 918 characters, but there's this--I cannot imagine a better place for her. The school challenges her mind while her teacher respects her as a person; it challenges her body while she is in the midst of loving friends; it nourishes her soul. I am so happy that we found Golden Valley Charter School.

- submitted by a parent
August 09, 2013
My daughter has been attending Golden Valley Charter School since kindergarten and we absolutely love the school! The teachers are amazing. The Waldorf learning methods are perfect for all children. The campus is beautiful. The administrators are friendly. I am so grateful for the school because it has been such an amazing blessing to my daughter and our family. We're always welcome on campus to work in the classroom and more. Thank you for all of the wonderful years, Golden Valley!

- submitted by a parent
August 08, 2013
This school has CARE down to a science...their mantra should be it takes a village and the community always always puts in 110%...The warmth from the staff is rare; always a hello to all always a smile, always there to help from the tiny problems to the Herculean one and non stopping till answers are found...the time and energy each teacher devotes to each student is a rare gift.

- submitted by a community member
August 08, 2013
I'm thrilled with my daughter's education at GVCS and at the community within. The teachers, students and parents care for and nourish each other. Students are seen as individuals and treated and taught as such which makes for beautiful, creative, imaginative learning. Not the place to go if you are looking for formulaic, test-driven teaching. But, it is the place to go if you want your child to be taught how to be a life-long learner.

- submitted by a parent
June 08, 2013
Golden Valley has many wonderful philosophies and ideas, but many are not carried out as promised. The teachers are not fully Waldorf trained and so many of the activities seem chaotic and not the way I would expect them to be. I imagined this school to be peaceful, but the classrooms seem pretty out of control. My child loves the art, music, Spanish, etc, but not how crazy the classroom always is. It looks like we will be returning to our local public school and will be doing the Waldorf activities we love at home instead. Perhaps things would be better if the administration had more time to really get into the classrooms to help teachers be great teachers. The class sizes are just about the same as public schools, too. Volunteering is much lower here than at local public schools, and many families do not follow the low/no media policy - and it would be really hard to enforce that I am sure. Great philosophy and intentions, but they are not being carried out well. I think if you got really lucky and got a phenomenal teacher, things may be alright - but otherwise I would look elsewhere.

- submitted by a parent
April 18, 2013
As a parent at this school for almost 12 years now, I have watched this school blossom from a small school of less than 75 students to a large campus with over 400 students. Both products of the public school system, my husband & I had our reservations about the relatively non-academic nature of the early grades. However, the proof is in the pudding: After 10 years in this school, my oldest daughter wanted to go to a public high school, where she is in honors classes. She often serves as a class/ project leader in her new school. My younger two daughters, in the 4th & 8th grades, continue to thrive at Golden Valley. Both eagerly complete their homework each night, since it is based on material that they see value in. Finally, as a Math teacher at a public middle school, I get to compare how the two groups of students are learning. Perhaps it is the small class size at GV, the well-established bonds that exist between classmates, or maybe it is the years of experience in 3D rendering that makes the difference, but whatever it is, GV 8th graders work at near college-level in their math; whereas, even the highest math classes in the main stream struggle. A dream school.

- submitted by a parent
March 10, 2013
My children have been attending Golden Valley for 3 years. My children are completely thriving in this school. They both have teachers who nurture them with love and structure. They are learning Spanish, how to play the flute, paint, sculpt, write, explore mathematics in a living way, garden, handwork, dance, sing and read with passion. Golden Valley has inspired us to be the best parents we can be.

- submitted by a parent
March 07, 2013
We love Golden Vallley and have had very positive experience for the 5 years that we have been here. We have moved all the way from another state so that the kids could attend this school!!! It is a very warm and nurturing environment.

- submitted by a parent
March 07, 2013
As a teacher and parent I have been involved with a number of different schools, and I do not hesitate to call Golden Valley a great school. The social atmosphere is warm and supportive, the teachers are dedicated and loving as well as capable, and the school community is a real community - diverse, active, joyful, and cohesive. The school is based upon Waldorf Pedagogy. While the Waldorf education is very effective in developing moral, emotional, and intellectual excellence, it is not everybody's cup of tea. Parents who are primarily concerned with the kind of learning that is best measured by standardized, multiple choice tests may not understand or appreciate this approach, since it is geared to educating the whole child by supporting independent and creative thinking while attending to the education of the heart and will as well. I recommend that parents become aquainted with the Waldorf philosophy, visit the school, and think deeply about the meaning a purpose of education. Golden Valley will support your child's growth into the person he or she is meant to be.

- submitted by a teacher
March 07, 2013
Our family's involvement at GV has truly been life-changing. However, based on the reviews here, it is not for everyone. If you are opposed to providing a life for your child outside of school that is rich in literature, physical activity, communication, and positive discipline then you may have difficulty in this community. If, however, you are sincerely attempting to give your child an education (both in and out of school) that is rich in arts, media free, and focused on the growth of the whole child, then this is the place for you. Be prepared for positive change.

- submitted by a parent
August 29, 2012
This school is like a daycare... This school's teacher : Non-Talk to parents regularly about their children's progress. Non-Challenge students to learn. Non-Give students the attention they need to thrive in class This school's principal : Non-Reach out to parents. Non-Listen to and answer questions from parents and students. Non-Make efforts to improve the quality of the school. Staff : Rude.

- submitted by a parent
August 28, 2012
I do not think the review posted 1/21/12 is written by parent. It must be done by schools staff prior to the enrollment season. I do agree with the negative review dated 5/4. The teachers and atmosphere of the school are COLD. Seriously involved parents have noticed them and pulled their children out from the school. Fake smiles and empty curriculums by dreamers. The reality is NO homework because of lazy teacher. Very poor disorganized leadership in classes. Parents are very much unaware both of low academic achievement and teaching the philosophical basis by no-proven-science / songs / verses in this publicly funded school.

- submitted by a parent
January 21, 2012
My child went to this school from K through 8 and I would do it all over again in a heartbeat! I wish every child could have this experience. Those who have trouble with the admin staff probably do not know the constraints of state rules and regulations, nor do they understand the realities of budgets, and are likely demanding and unreasonable in other areas of their lives. If you truly care about your child(ren) please go to a parent meeting, meet the staff, and do a Walk through the Grades. Your child will be known for who the are, respected, guided, and loved.

- submitted by a parent
May 26, 2011
School is a good choice for the early grades (maybe K-3), as it allows the kids to have significant play time without excessive (any?) homework. After that the benefits diminish rapidly in my view and do not compare with what is offered in other traditional schools, as reflected in test scores, etc. I do believe the seriously negative comment a couple earlier than mine. The school does have tremendous parental involvement, but not all of it is positive.

- submitted by a parent
May 05, 2011
My child has attend Golden Valley for six years now. We have had a great experience here. I would highly recommend Golden Valley to any family that is seeking a holistic, parent involved, non-mainstream educational experience for their child.

- submitted by a parent
May 04, 2011
Our families 3 year experience has been awful.The school principal has been cold unapproachable and somewhat unattached from reality and the day to day running of the school.She has no idea what any of the names of the children are or who the families they belong to.The administration office constantly loses paperwork and does not seem to have any concept as to what public school professionalism is.The principal is rarely on campus and when she is her focus is driving parent volunteers and families away. The culture of the school is unfriendly and caustic.Volunteering at Golden Valley is like swimming in shark infested waters. The self imposed leaders of the volunteers are cruel hostile cyber&real time bullies who will destroy your childs educational experience as well as your volunteering opportunities thru intimidation and rejection. The parental behavior is modeled to their children who will bully the children of bullied parents. Teachers openly bullying children in class encouraging classmates to also reject vulnerable children.Parental pressure to write positive comments on this site overwhelming and stressful.If anyone ever voices concerns or questions they are forced out.

- submitted by a parent
April 23, 2011
My experience of GVCS has been overall pretty great. Our kids have really come to love school; it has allowed for growth on many levels. They are excited to go to school each day and thrive on what is next. Although my experience has been pleasant on most accounts with the teachers and parents etc, I have had a few complications with admin-they mean well and try to follow rules to the max which can make things difficult at any school when trying to manage multi-household children. BUT again overall the community, the love, the friendships, and the learning at this school are building great students and one day exceptional people in our world. This is where it all starts; GVCS is supporting a well rounded student.

- submitted by a parent
April 22, 2011
We love Golden Valley and are so grateful that the school expanded its enrollment for 1st grade & invited us to join the community. We came from a Private Waldorf school & enjoy GV's waldorf-inspired curriculum without the hefty price tag. The community of parents and the teachers' dedication to our children are amazing. And, the administration of the school has effectively managed its finances during these extremely challenging times. We especially love that our son has learned how to knit & purl, paint with watercolors, play the pentatonic flute and so much more learning based on "head, heart & hands". How fortunate we are to have found Golden Valley.

- submitted by a parent
April 21, 2011
We are so happy that our child is at Golden Valley Charter School. The teachers, staff, and administration are caring professionals who maintain a warm, nurturing, balanced atmosphere. Our child is being prepared well for life, not just academically, but also socially and emotionally.

- submitted by a parent
April 21, 2011
Our grandchildren attend this school and we are very impressed with the quality of education they receive. Each child is respected and treated as a special human being. They enjoy weekly nature walks and learn math and reading skills while preparing recipes. Who says learning can't be fun. The teachers are dedicated and talented.

- submitted by a community member
April 21, 2011
If you are looking for a school that brilliantly bridges the public school and Waldorf methods while still being affordable and friendly, my children's school is here. Our community allows of diversity and is united in a common goal for excellence. Every teacher is chosen because of his/her commitment to the children's well-being (academically, socially, emotionally, and physically) and our school has managed to grow and weather the economic cuts based on a competent staff and dedicated parent volunteers. Read about Waldorf methods, think about your involvement in your child's education, check out a parent information meeting and see that vision and the desire for the best overall experience are waiting for your family at Golden Valley Charter School. My children are creating their own textbooks, have multidisciplinary subjects, and both have amazing teachers who truly love them.

- submitted by a parent
April 20, 2011
Golden Valley Charter School has been an excellent school for my 3 children to attend because of the dedication of the teachers, support staff and principle. The teachers are well prepared and have a passion to teach. I would highly recommend this school to parents who want to be involved with a school that has the sense of community. Our school has many areas a parent can contribute to enhance Golden Valley Charter School.

- submitted by a parent
April 20, 2011
Our child has attended Golden Valley since his first day of kindergarten. As with all schools, they have their issues which are caused by state budget cuts but just like all parents that are willing to get involved with their child's education, we understand what these issues are and see that regardless of the state imposed limitations, our child is getting an excellent education. Parents considering this type of education need to realize it's an "alternative" education and need to ask what that means to see if it's something they want. All I can say is that if you want a child to develop strong social skills while getting a great education, you should consider GVCS. To punctuate the development of strong social skills, I'll say that we just returned from a 5 day vacation and our child never once asked if he can play a video game or wanted to watch TV. I'll add that I love TV so it's not that he doesn't know what it is or what programs are available.

- submitted by a parent
April 20, 2011
I have two children at Golden Valley who previously attended a private school. I have been throughly delighted by the results I have seen in my children. #1) The focus is on educating the Head, Heart AND Hands. Both their creative AND critical thinking skills are blossoming. They are grounded and confident with their physical skills. And they have the compassion to understand others and the courage to stand up for what they believe in. They have the social skills to navigate any other social group they encounter (neighbor kids, family cousins, sports teams). They love school, even when they've experienced "positive discipline." #2) Golden Valley is an educational community with the most involved parents I've ever heard of at a school. There is wide open communication and collaboration with the teachers. #3) The leadership team has a clear vision for the future and while other schools are closing, ours is growing. The teachers are absolutely dedicated. There are no "dead weight, waiting to retire" slouchers on our team. #4) We have our challenges but we address them as a unified community. Highly recommend it to anyone looking to prepare a powerful generation of future citizens.

- submitted by a parent
April 20, 2011
Truthfully this is the best school any of my children have ever been involved in. I can imagine my daughter being in any other school besides the possibility of home schooling her. This is a true family environment where the parents are as involved as the teachers and everyone know each other. We are so happy that our daughter attend Golden Valley and I recommend it to anyone who cares about their children and their education.

- submitted by a parent
October 05, 2010
Our family has been waiting 3 years for my daughter to start kindergarten at Golden Valley. Ever since we first visited the school, we fell in love with the philosophy and developmental appropriateness. I am also anti-TV and anti-commercialization, which this school advocates.

- submitted by a parent
May 05, 2010
Posted April 22, 2010Golden Valley Charter School is a great place to educate your children. The Waldorf-based curriculum is brought to life by conscientious, warm teachers, and the administration is focused, forward-thinking, proactive, and trustworthy. The culture of involvement brings entire families together through participation in the classroom and life of the school, and the wonderful seasonal festivals allow us to celebrate together many times a year.

- submitted by a parent
April 20, 2010
My two children have been at GVCS for almost 4 years. I have blossomed as a parent just as much as my children have as students! The environment and philosophy is unique - and it works! Its not perfect -- but they keep working to improve. They teach a love of learning through a rich real-life interactive experience with nature, science, cooking, gardening, building, music and art, knitting/sewing and have extraordinary field trips. The 8th grade is going backpacking for 5 days as their year-end trip (professionally guided, but no parents). What a way to transition to high school with an 'I can do this' attitude. I love my children, and am truly inspired by them and also blessed that they are in a safe protected environment free to explore and express themselves.

- submitted by a parent
April 07, 2010
This schools promises alternative Waldorf education, but only 3 out of 45 teaching staff have actually graduated from a Waldorf College. There is not a gardening program or any foreign language as promised in the PIM.

- submitted by a parent
April 07, 2010
My child has been at Golden Valley School for 6 years and we are leaving because he can barely read and is well below grade level. They promised a foreign language and then cut it for the upper grades.They spend more money on office staff than on teachers.

- submitted by a parent
April 07, 2010
Not only is this school a nurturing place for every child, it is also a place where our children can recieve what I consider a classical education. Children learn about many societies and cultures, they learn to write in cursive (quickly becoming a lost art due to computers), they experience science in a real way, and they sing, dance, move, and create art everyday. My son will graduate this year with life-long friends and a life-long love of learning. Every child should have the gift of this school and this education.

- submitted by a parent
February 08, 2010
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
November 20, 2009
My child is in her fourth year at GVCS. I am so grateful for this alternative to the standardized-test driven educational programs in our local public schools. At GVCS, children are treated as whole, unique individuals, not machines. They are nurtured and taught to think in abstract, creative, and critical ways, not just to bubble circles and fill in ditto after ditto of rote learning. They experience the natural world, music, art, other cultures, and learn practical skills such as knitting, gardening and woodworking that add depth to their understanding of the world. Curriculum is thematically integrated and thoughtfully planned based on the development of the child. Childhood is protected by policies that prohibit media-infludenced consumerism. Students participate in community service and learn respect for other people and for nature. I cannot say enough about how grateful I am for this alternative for my child.

- submitted by a parent
October 27, 2009
Golden Vally Charter school has a afterschool Tennis program, Strings (Music)program and a Basketball team. Our homework assigned is to be sure our children have a regular rythym at home, to be in bed early, to eat wholesome foods and eat a hot breakfast every morning before school, and pack a wholesome lunch. They want the children to have free Play outdoors everyday sun, rain or snow and take nature walks. Read or tell made up stories or tell stories of our childhood to our children everynight. We have speakers come to our school and educate us, guide us, advise us on the challenges we face with each developmental stage the children face in this modern fast paced world. My children and I play fun game boards, knit, write in our journal, work on art projects, and know all our neighbors. We have homework but its not on ditto paper.

- submitted by a parent
no rating March 08, 2009
A simply fabulous school. Great community and dedicated staff. My two children are blossoming at Golden Valley. They truly educate the whole child.

- submitted by a parent
no rating February 09, 2009
Terrible school! No homework no afterschool activities.. This is a gloraffied daycare..

- submitted by a parent
no rating January 04, 2009
Great school, intgrated arts and academics Teacher student relationships strong Strong parent involvement Organized and personable

- submitted by a community member
August 02, 2008
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a community member
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Golden Valley Charter School of Sacramento
9601 Lake Natoma Drive, Orangevale, CA  95662
(916) 987-6141
Last modified Golden Valley Charter School of Sacramento is a Charter school that serves grades PK-8. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 6 out of 10 based on academic quality.
Golden Valley Charter School of Sacramento Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 47 reviews. Top