This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Shining Mountain Waldorf School5
Posted October 17, 2012
- a parent
We have two boys in High School and they have flourished at Shining Mountain for 11 years. The High School curriculum is challenging, engaging, and beautifully prepares the students for college. Our HS Senior will be accepted at top colleges with academic scholarships. The HS faculty is of amazing calibre and the ratio of students to teachers is something like 7:1. The whole package is here: challenging and engaging academics in arts, sciences, speaking, writing, movement (eurythmy), community service (critical on college apps), social health (HS students mentor younger students), vocal and instrumental music, drama, and sports teams. HS basketball team will contend for a state tournament bid this year. The athletic program teaches "dual role coaching" which teaches life long values as well as how to compete. We have already realized our dream of having our boys learn to love to learn! Priceless gift that we hope they will pass on to their children.
I have been part of 4 different Waldorf communities over the last 10 years and Shining Mountain is by far the best in terms of organization, resources for children and adult education. Not only do my children feel supported, cared for but as a parent I feel the same way. The curriculum supports each child as they grow into themselves and wake up into the world by using the arts, outdoor play and academics to challenge and inspire learning. The creativity, respect and love of learning is evident in my children and I look forward to seeing how they will help shift and change the world one day. Waldorf students have an opportunity to not only have an outstanding academic education, but a life education and learn who they are in our vast and fast paced society.
When it was time to choose a school for our son, we looked at almost every school in Boulder County. We wanted to find a school that knew how to work with active boys without labels or drugs. It was a big change for us as they asked us to change our son's bedtime, develop more routines, slow down, and stop all screens (TV, video, computer, etc.) His teacher promised us that we would see behavior changes and almost immediately he became calmer, his voice became higher and sweeter, he started singing as he played, and he became more independent. This sweet boy was the same rough boy that only 3 months previously had gotten in trouble for hitting other children in preschool. It was truly a miraculous turn around. Now, in high school, he shakes his advisor's hand every day and his teachers have known him since he was 5 yrs old. The children and the parents agree to a drug free teenage community and I know the families and young adults with whom my child is spending time. I also know that my child will have a good sense of what his gifts and talents are as he exits schools and how he wants to give those to the world.
I have attended various Waldorf Schools throughout my childhood as my parents moved quite a bit. I have been to Pine Hill in NH, T binger Freie Waldorfschule in Germany, and Shining Mountain Waldorf School here in Boulder. Moving from country to country can be very difficult, but the continuity of the daily routine was instrumental in helping me transition from culture to culture. When I had my son, it was very clear to me that Shinning Mountain was the school for us. I love the community, the teachers, and the philosophy. I graduated magna cum laude from Colorado State University, and attended CU Boulder for a while. When I mentioned that I had attended a Waldorf school to my professors, a number of them remarked that you can often pick out students from Waldorf schools since they are taught to think, not just to absorb information and regurgitate it on a test.
We chose Shining Mountain because of the deep commitment everyone has to the school and the children. We started at our local public school but could see the negative impact immediately on our daughter's creativity and sense of herself. Her first year at Shining Mountain she would come home singing every day - and in multiple languages - she's just so happy there. She has this belief in herself from having a Waldorf education that she can do anything - because she has done so much. She's never been made to feel like she isn't "performing" and as a result she's excelling. We are so happy we made the switch.
My son has been at Shining Mountain Waldorf School since he was in pres-school. He's now in 8th grade and will stay through high school graduation. He's at the top of his class with straight A's, speaks 2 languages, plays violin 2nd chair, is on the cross country & basketball team. He loves it and is thriving! Shining Mountain has a strong academic program, loving teachers and wonderful families.
Everything about SMWS is fantastic! I attended K-12 and always felt like I belonged. The teachers are all supportive, the curriculum is well-rounded, and the community is very loving. As a graduate of a Waldorf school I feel as though I am more grounded and accepting than many others I know, and I feel as though my education was so great that I can now excel in several areas. Having art as part of the Waldorf curriculum from day 1 made a difference in my education as well. Everyday I am grateful that I was able to attend SMWS and I hope than many others will do so in the future!
We just moved to Boulder and Shining Mountain from Austin and Austin Waldorf, and we are so happy with our choice of a new school. We have a five year old in her third year of kindergarten and because of the school grounds, teachers, communication, adult education, as well as the sincere passion that each faculty members shares in making sure that our daughter has the best experience, she is flourishing. The school exceeds expectations on so many levels and we are looking forward to having our children shine throughout their school experience at Shining Mountain.
The Waldorf Method is definitely different than what most people in the US know as schooling. In Waldorf, they kindle the fire, they light up the passion for learning. Waldorf lays a strong foundation in the child, awakens curiosity in the lower school, enlivens the child in middle school, and engages the teenagers in high school. Waldorf graduates around the world are people of various backgrounds, interests, skills, and jobs. They are people who are engaging, interested and overall impressive individuals that can engage with people smoothly in a variety of topics and situations. Shining Mountain in the last few years has experienced tremendous growth, and transformation. There is excitement in the community for plans going forward into building new facilities, with a special focus on the High School. There is a strong parent association that is very supportive. My children are thriving, I couldn't be happier. Suggestion to new families; visit the high school students and hear them present their projects. upon hearing these young adults, you'll see the end result of Waldorf method and won't regret it. My children are thriving!
My daughter has been attending SMWS for 2 years now and we've been totally happy with the experience. We switched from the Boulder Public school system to SMWS and the difference is pretty amazing. I've been impressed by every faculty member I've met.