My son began K at a public school. He HATED IT. he turned into this child I didn't recognize, fighting about doing homework, going to school, telling me about school-everything was a fight with him. Dealing with the teacher wasn't any better. After observing him on a school field trip and how he interacted with others, including the teacher, we pulled him out of school. We had already begun the enrollment process with GVC, thankfully, but it was over a month before he was officially a student at GVC. BEST DECISION EVER! He talks to me again, he has made friends, he is engaged with the curriculum-he is HAPPY. he constantly tells me how much he loves his school-I recognize my son again! This holistic approach to education was exactly what my family needed to not be ripped apart-I can't even begin to tell anyone how the public school system was negatively impacting not only my relationship with my son, but also with my husband, and a childhood friend-GVC really saved us what could have been a lot if heartache.
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!!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!