Students enrolled 486
School leader Mechelle Horning
Transportation options Yes
District Sacramento City Unified School District

Contact this school

6251 13th Street
Sacramento, CA 95831

(916) 433-5544
(916) 433-5589
Nearby homes for sale
Map of Alice Birney Waldorf-Inspired address.

3 stars
Based on 23 ratings

Let others know what you
think about this school

June 05, 2014
This school is fantastic in every way and I've loved sending both my of children through the entire K-8 run here. I particularly enjoy the work of Robert Berry, hosting the fundraising events and Strings concerts. His handsome and approachable demeanor make him a desirable yet admirable addition to the already great looking stable of Alice Birney dads.

- submitted by a parent
August 30, 2013
I dislike this school for the same reasons I like this school! I have had four children in Alice Birney --worked great for two and not so great for the other two. My main concern is that the children stay with the same teacher from first through eighth grade--good news if you get a decent teacher, not so great if you don't. Some teachers are more academically driven and able, others don't seem to know much about what they are teaching. Also, classes are required to sit together at lunch so there is little cross interaction within the classes....there is too much identification with whose class you are in. And asking the average elementary teacher to teach the tougher subjects, such as middle school math, is usually an abysmal failure. Both my older children left by middle school to attend traditional middle schools as they wanted real math instruction. Good enough school for lower grades, but I recommend keeping a close eye on how your child is faring (ie learning) at the middle school level. I have child left to start school in a couple of years and am not sure I will go this route again....I'm keeping a watchful eye on the development of the school.

- submitted by a parent
October 09, 2012
I have been at this school for twelve years now. My oldest is now in high school and doing A+ work. She thrived with the mostly Waldorf curriculum which emphasized hands on, age appropriate learning. Waldorf, in its truest sense, does involve some spiritual aspects; however, in a Waldorf 'inspired' public school this seems to translate into a reverence for nature, art and health. My son, while not a straight A student, began testing above or at grade level by 6th grade. Although, what I really care about is that, at age 13, he still has a passion for learning. I do believe mild learning disabilities often go undiagnosed. However, because it is a public school, there are protocols in place to investigate suspected problems once they are brought to the principals attention. We finally realized in 8th grade that my daughter was mildly dyslexic, but we had already worked out coping strategies that she still uses today. Currently the school community is working to resolve some 'growing' pains and find a happy middle ground between its Waldorf and Public School images. Alice Birney is a wonderful school where both parents and kids can get involved and make a difference.

- submitted by a parent
August 22, 2012
I have had 3 girls in this program from 2003 to 2012. The teachers are generally very nice with a few exceptions. I pulled my 3rd grader out of school in January because of what the Waldorf method teaching philosophy is and is not. The Waldorf method was developed by Rudolf Steiner who believed in an anthroposophical view of child development which forms the philosophical basis for the educational theory, methodology of teaching and curriculum. Anthroposophy includes the belief that humans possess an innate spirit which, having passed through previous lives, in the current life works to fulfill a chosen purpose in a karmically determined environment. Steiner bases his whole educational approach to teaching children on karma or magic and NOT proven science. It is shocking that a public school is allowed to have an educational approach such as this. Parents are very much unaware that karma or magic and NOT proven science is the philosophical basis for teaching their children at Alice Birney. Many teachers here place very little value on the Star Testing. Teachers avoid talking about the real basis on which the school is based. Do your own research before enrolling.

- submitted by a parent
August 19, 2012
Alice Birney illegally disqualifies students with special needs from their program to keep their test scores up and themselves looking good. They don't care about children, they care about their pocket books and their scores. Shame on you.

- submitted by a parent
May 23, 2010
In our experience, children with learning disabilities may not thrive at this school. There are many nice things about the school but the teachers in general resist the idea that a child may be struggling due to LD's. Some even reject the idea that there ARE LD's. We were told that our 4th grader couldn't read because she had watched an occasional TV show as a young child - not because of her severe auditory processing disorder. After 2 years of intensive speech therapy our daughter is thriving at a traditional middle school - making A's in language arts.

- submitted by a parent
November 07, 2009
It is a warm and welcoming community of caring adults and children. My children have received wonderful educations at John Morse. Most importantly they learn to respect others, themselves, the learning process and the world around them

- submitted by a parent
no rating November 05, 2009
Ilove the beauty of the gardens,trees, and classrooms.The staff is gentle, loving, and dedicated, full of song music, art, verse and poem, movement and learning in a joyful way. Gardening, cooking, handwork, woodwork, clay and service in the school and community are also part of this learning community. And many, many parents are volunteering in every aspect of the school. There is a diversity of students and families. There are many celebrations like the harvest festival, the winter festival, concerts, plays. Classes take many field trips to enhance their curriculum. We have spanish teachers first thru eight. Well, I could go on. We are an exceptional school.

- submitted by a parent
no rating November 05, 2009
I think one of the most valuable lessons our students learn is compassion for each other. Instead of isolating the grades from each other, there is interaction between the higher grades and kindergarten and 1st graders, from working in the classroom to our graduating students welcoming the new incoming 1st graders. All the things parents wish were still in elementary education - art, music, movement are present in our school along with caring and respectful teachers.

- submitted by a parent
no rating November 05, 2009
In this era of standardized tests, dumbed-down curricula, and rote 'drill-and-kill' learning, John Morse is a breath of fresh air. I felt myself relax and breathe when I first visited, and it's stayed that way for me for the past 11 years!

- submitted by a parent
no rating November 04, 2009
John Morse is a wonderful school with so much to offer the students. We can't think of another single school that matches up to what our daughter is experiencing at this unique public Waldorf school. All public schools have much to learn from what happens here.

- submitted by a parent
no rating November 04, 2009
John Morse allows kids to be the kids they can truly be, while giving them all of the tools to succeed in any scholastic environment.

- submitted by a parent
no rating November 04, 2009
John Morse teaches kids to be critical thinkers, to solve problems in a creative way. Their teachers are wonderful, every single one of them. The school community is like extended family. There is lots of support and kindness that flows over into our children's education. I couldn't think of a better place for my kids to be.

- submitted by a parent
no rating November 04, 2009
We wouldn't put our son in any other school. We get the best of both worlds: public and Waldorf. The school helps kids to balance their right and left sides of their brains, using creative arts to enhance the teaching of academics. The parents choose this school and some drive very far to get there, so everyone is enthusiastic and supportive of the community. The teachers are quite talented in their own right and devoted to helping each kid reach their highest potential. We have cultural diversity and celebrate that with a Multicultural Festival each spring. The teachers and the school philosophy look at how a chld develops, physically, emotionally, mentally and bases the teaching curriculum and style on that, so that a child's success is maximized. Children leaving this environment succeed very well in any future school they decide on.

- submitted by a parent
no rating November 04, 2009
Amazing teachers, wholistic approach education, respect for the child, support of each child's uniqueness, developmentally appropriate, wonderful involved parents. A true community coming together to nurture and educate our children.

- submitted by a parent
no rating November 04, 2009
The amazing dedication of our faculty and staff, the strong sense os community, the way graduates return to visit and volunteer, the growth that is observable in our students and hearing students who have come from other schools express their surprise that now, they love school...Childhood is honored, the development of the child is nurtured and supported by all with respect for who they are as an individual.

- submitted by a parent
no rating November 04, 2009
It is a Waldorf methods public school - important to us who formerly had our son in a private Waldorf school and liked it a lot.

- submitted by a parent
no rating November 03, 2009
My son is excited everyday he comes home from school. On Sunday he asked 'Is tomorrow a school day?' When I told him that it was he began to dance around and said 'yay! I want to go back to school' What more can you ask for as a parent?

- submitted by a parent
November 03, 2009
The first time I visited the Kindergarten at John Morse I wanted to stay and start my own education all over again. The entire school is infused with thoughtful attention to all of the needs of the students, staff, and families. There are ample opportunities for family involvement that lead to an ownership of the school experience for both the parents and the children. My son loves to talk about his school and the garden that we helped to plant. I love to talk about the teachers and staff and I am thrilled with the gentleness and joy with which they have helped my son to transition into his first school experience.

- submitted by a parent
no rating November 03, 2009
An approach to teaching that incorporates everything a child needs in order to experience education in wonderfully diverse ways.

- submitted by a parent
no rating November 03, 2009
Our school has the best teachers who committ their lives to the same class from 1st thru 8th grade.

- submitted by a parent
no rating November 03, 2009
The way our community comes together 'for the kids' is magic.

- submitted by a parent
November 03, 2009
John F. Morse Waldorf School is not only a school, but a community. A community of giving and caring teachers, staff, students, and volunteers who help make this school an inspiring place for children to learn, grow, and become better human beings. Through wonderful, quality programs such as woodwork, handwork, art, music, and foreign language, John Morse not only prepares students for a successful academic future, but addresses social, cultural, and environmental aspects to shape every child there into a well-rounded person.

- submitted by a parent
no rating November 03, 2009
John Morse Waldorf take the best of Waldorf methods and applies them in a wonderful and diverse public school setting. The best of both worlds. What a great school community.

- submitted by a parent
no rating November 03, 2009
My daughters experience at John Morse has been completely positive. Watching her develop a love of learning makes me appreciate the faculty and the Waldorf approach. It is a wonderful place to learn without being forced.

- submitted by a parent
no rating November 03, 2009
First, I am passionate about Waldorf education. Both of my children started in Waldorf schools as preschoolers. We moved my son to John Morse Waldorf Methods from a private Waldorf school in the 5th grade. He has been at John Morse for 4 years now and we are very happy with the school and his continued Waldorf education. John Morse is a wonderful community of parents, teachers and students. He does woodworking, orchestra, handwork, Spanish, gardening, art and advanced math classes, as well as all of the standard classes. We love his teacher and think this is a wonderful school.

- submitted by a parent
no rating November 03, 2009
My daughter began at John Morse Waldorf in kindergarten and graduates from 8th grade this year. She has had the most wonderful teacher who has given her such rich experiences in and out of the classroom these past eight years. JMW has given my child a well rounded education with music, art, Spanish, handwork and service. It is amazing to see these 8th graders with an incredible ability to be kind and giving to the young grades. But most of all, I appreciate that the children have a love of learning.

- submitted by a parent
no rating November 03, 2009
John Morse is a place where my children have not only recieved a well rounded education and the ability to think outside the box, they have been nurtured and treated as an important part of the John Morse community.

- submitted by a parent
no rating November 03, 2009
There is so much to love about this school. The dedicated teachers, the parent group, and of course, the wonderful well-rounded Waldorf curriculum. My children have flourished at this school. They have retained their love of school and learning all through the 8th grade (1 so far, and another nearly through) and they have retained their confidence along the way. Quite a feat for young girls in schools today. The curriculum; integrated and rich - art, music, history, story-telling, Spanish, handwork, has given them such a well-rounded education and has inspired them to think about being a part of a greater whole, and challenged them to be creative, curious, and compassionate. The fact that this is a public Waldorf school is an added plus and has given them the opportunity to be part of a dynamic community full of economic and cultural diversity. Most importantly, they have been nurtured all through the years. What a blessing!

- submitted by a parent
no rating November 03, 2009
The close-knit community, the dedicated teachers, the socio-economic diversity, the emphasis on educating the whole child are just a few of the things I love about John Morse.

- submitted by a parent
no rating November 03, 2009
The students who attend John Morse are the luckiest kids ever! They are engaged in the love of learning with the back drop of a classical education. The students who graduate from John Morse K-8 program are prepared for the most rigorous college prep high school programs and they are not burnt out! They still love and enjoy learning! The school fosters a sense of community that is rare among public schools. It is not just life long friendships, it is also thoughtful, kind, compassionate and respectful citizens that are nurtured on our campus. We love John Morse!

- submitted by a parent
no rating October 30, 2009
John Morse has the best students, staff, and parent community. It is a wonderful place to be each day. Students are healthy, happy, and learning. The staff is dedicated and works tirelessly to provide the best experience possible for each individual student. John Morse has 100% parent involvement. It is the BEST school in America!

- submitted by a parent
no rating October 30, 2009
John Morse Waldorf Inspired School allows for the best of both worlds. Being a public school, we receive the support of our district along with a dedicated staff and community who foster the Waldorf philosophy. With an extremely high rate of community participation and passion, we are truly the best school in our nation.

- submitted by a parent
no rating October 30, 2009
John Morse Waldorf School teaches students to think critically, express themselves articulately, and consider complex issues with compassion and sensitivity. What John Morse School does best is what our world needs most.

- submitted by a parent
no rating October 30, 2009
John Morse is an amazing school that has shown my children how to be loving kind and thoughtful. I have received many compliments on how well my children are behaved. I think my 20 year old son, who graduated from John Morse is such a well balanced young man because of the education he received as a child there.

- submitted by a parent
no rating October 03, 2009
John Morse Waldorf Methods School provides my son with an environment that provides all the ingredients neccesary to nurture his love of learning and inspire his creativity and development of character every day. The parents and teachers work together to create a community that provides wholistsic education for the child and the child's family. I feel grateful to be a part of a school that provides my son with experiences that will support him to love learning for the rest of his life.

- submitted by a parent
no rating September 16, 2009
Waldorf Public School, you can't beat it! John Morse honors the children, art, music, teaching the children that learning is fun, and they can learn anything they put their minds to. Waldorf Methods honors the whole child and being a public school allows for diversity. The curriculum is hands on and the community of teachers, parents and staff are a wonderful team supporting our children.

- submitted by a parent
May 22, 2009
While John Morse trys to be a warm and loving school, it has grown too fast - and continues to grow. My child no longer gets the personal attention he once did because of the large class size.

- submitted by a parent
March 14, 2009
Although John Morse features itself as a Waldorf School, it simply does not provide the structure, the organization, and funding necessary to be as successful as a real Waldorf School.

- submitted by a parent
no rating March 05, 2009
i was a past student at john morse, i attended the school the first year they opened i was in the 3rd grade, i attended the school until the 7th grade, the staff is amazing, i got more attention at John Morse than i did at any other school, the Woldorf system is great tought me a new perspective on things. i am proud to say i attended John Morse

- submitted by a student
January 22, 2009
Very poor disorganized leadership, a serious lack of attention to student safety and a complete lack of adequate supervision on the playground and cafeteria. The cafeteria is over-crowded. Unfortunately, all the good teachers in the world can never excuse the principles negligent behavior towards basic student safety.

- submitted by a parent
July 22, 2008
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a community member
May 15, 2007
I have 2 children at this school and a 3rd to start this fall. The Waldorf method has been a wonderful experience for my children. I think every child can benefit from the 'love of learning' being taught here. Each child is given the opportunity to explore so many different aspects of art that they are bound to find something that moves their spirit and speaks to their hearts. I find Waldorf children to be confident, outspoken and very fluent. They never move their eyes down when you speak to them. They are treated with respect by their teachers and that shows in the way the children respond. They beam with the confidence that they can and will make the world a beautiful place.

- submitted by a parent
May 08, 2007
John Morse is a great school if your child is into the arts. The school is trying hard to balance of the ratio of special needs children per classroom. Many parents have sought out this school as a place for their child who did not fit into other schools, which became a challenge. Overall the school is a great cross-section of society. Very integrated and diverse. The children have great experiences while learning. Parent participation drops off as the children get older, but overall they try and keep up with fund raising and special events. The extra money raised by parents covers all the enriched curriculum (e.g. wood working, knitting, gardening, music, art, etc). Things that have been cut from most other schools.

- submitted by a parent
March 05, 2007
John Morse is a great school and a wonderful alternative offered by Sac City. It is small, safe, full of diversity and caring people dedicated to helping children meet their full potential - not just do well on tests. I have 2 gifted sons who have been challenged to learn and do things that they could not have imagined. Their teachers know them, and me, extremely well and work hard at finding ways to reach them every day. Waldorf is not for everyone, but for those who can appreciate it, this is a wonderful option.

- submitted by a parent
March 02, 2007
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
March 02, 2007
I am former student of John Morse .I feel students were not taught well. It is easy to fall behind and I did not feel prepared for Junior High. Some of the extra-activities are fun, they have many field trips. I did not feel safe.

- submitted by a former student
October 30, 2006
I used to be a student at john morse elementary school, I went there from my kindergarten year all the way through till 8th grade.I had the most amazing teacher and the staff knows me personally,the school is a great place for kids who want teachers who care about them.I really miss it there,but I made some friends there that I will never forget,and still talk to today.I now go to highschool,and waldorf has prepared me so much for the world.

- submitted by a former student
October 11, 2006
John Morse is a unique public waldorf school with a diverse community. Children are literal taught to love larning through a rich curriculm that includes handwork, woodwork, movement and music. A strong volunteer community with parents volunteers on hand each day. A great program that all parents should investigate when deciding on the best education for their child.

- submitted by a parent
no rating January 06, 2005
Waldorf methods school in Sacramento, CA. Attentnion is paid to nutrion and the esthetics of the surroundings. School is a public school, but fundraising is a major responsibility of all parents.

- submitted by a parent
no rating January 06, 2005
This is a waldorf methods public school in Sacramento, CA. Attention is paid to nutrition and the esthetics of the surroundings.

- submitted by a former student
May 10, 2004
Great School! Fabulous teacher! My son has improved dramatically since he has been at this school. I love it. It is such a warm environment to place your child for the day.

- submitted by a parent
November 20, 2003
The students at John Morse treat each other with respect. My daughter loves this school because of the emphasis on the arts and music. The teacher is really trying to prepare every single student for high school. It is a wonderful school

- submitted by a parent
no rating September 12, 2003
While I appreciate the concept of 'teaching the whole child', I do not believe that this school has been able to successfully merge the Waldorf philosophy with the state-mandated standards for public schools. I feel that my child was taught some life skills, but not exposed to some of the experiences of a traditional school. There was incredible resistance from the staff if a child's life experiences varied from the 'norm' for the age group. The learning environment was further jeopardized by the number of students who had apparently been sent there because they could not fit in at other schools, and continued to disrupt the classroom without significant intervention by the staff.

- submitted by a parent
July 22, 2003
this school is the funnest and safest place for a growing student and the teachers care more about thier students than themselfs. this school is full of cluture and wisdom that. It was the most memoral time of my life and I would recomend it to any parent who wants thier son or daughter to have a remarkable childhood

- submitted by a former student
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Alice Birney Waldorf-Inspired
6251 13th Street, Sacramento, CA  95831
(916) 433-5544
Last modified Alice Birney Waldorf-Inspired is a Public school that serves grades K-8. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 6 out of 10 based on academic quality.
Alice Birney Waldorf-Inspired Rating: 3 out of 5 based on 55 reviews. Top