Most of the administrators at the school do not display the tenants of Waldorf education. The attrition rate is quite high (which the school is likely to deny). To get a balanced perspective of the school, I would suggest seeking out parents who have left the school to learn more about their reasons for doing so. You will learn a wealth of information.
We have two children at Shining Mountain Waldorf School. Our daughter is a junior in the high school and our son is in 8th grade. Both of our children have attended the school since kindergarten. We love the school and the community and it has served our children and our family well. Waldorf education is different and families considering it should make sure they understand what it is and that it aligns with their own values. One of the things we most like about Waldorf is that it strives to teach a child not only who they are but who they are in the world. It teaches and educates the whole person and the result that we see is that Waldorf students are more confident and independent. Shining Mountain is one of the top Waldorf schools in the country and we feel very fortunate to have a school like this here in Boulder.
My family moved to Boulder from the Bay Area so our daughter could attend the 1-5 cycle with a wonderful teacher who was simply the perfect thing for her. Now she's in the 6th grade, with a new teacher who will be with her throughout her middle-school experience of 6-8. I couldn't be more pleased with the experience my daughter has had attending, and I've had as a parent and member of the community. Over the last 6 years I've been deeply moved by the community of parents, by the dedication of the faculty and staff, and by the amazing students I've seen graduate every year. Each year the depth of my commitment to Waldorf education and this school in particular grows, and I can't think of a better place for my daughter to grow into a whole, deep, and competent young woman.
We moved from Dallas to Boulder so our son could attend high school at Shining Mountain Waldorf School. I am a former school administrator and taught education at the university level. The school faculty is excellent and committed to the development of every student. The parents made us feel like we'd returned to our home. We've never regretted becoming part of SMWS. The school leadership is student centered and very responsive to parents. The school is constantly striving to discover new ways to meet the changing needs of students.
We moved from Los Angeles to Boulder to bring our 5th grader and 6th grader to the school because of their stand out middle school and high school. We have now been at the school for two years. It has been the best decision we have ever made. Our youngest daughter who has been a slow reader has in school tutoring and support. The school also an amazing councilor who supports the teachers in dealing with issues. The middle school at Shining Mountain is unique. Traditionally Waldorf School teachers take a child from 1st to 8th grade. Shining Mountain breaks this tradition by having a dedicated middle school team that takes the students from 6th through 8th grade. These are some of the best middle school teachers in all of Waldorf education who have focused their training and experience on this critical age. Our girls are both met with age appropriate academics and an environment that is sensitive to the changes that they are going through physically and socially. I can't imagine a better place for our girls to be. I highly recommend this school to anyone who is looking for a deeper education wrapped in healthy active community life.
I have two children enrolled in Shining Mountain Waldorf School, both in the younger grades. My children come home happy and exhausted every afternoon. I couldn't be happier for them or feel better about the community that has been created around this school, which is in a gorgeous corner of Boulder, right up against the mountains. My girls are eating up the thoughtful, art-infused curriculum, learning life skills, and impressing me with everything they tell me about class. I highly recommend Shining Mountain.
Sending our son to SMWS is by far our greatest regret as parents. Do not be fooled by your tour of the school. It's two years our son wasted learning to knit and draw, all while being bullied to the point it turned physical. The school doesn't have a leader, but yet a group of teachers who oversee the school so if there is a problem, and there are many at SMWS, they are never addressed. Send your child to any other school in Boulder, but no SMWS.