I have attended Denver Waldorf since I was six. I love the curriculum and the artistic ways the students are taught, but your experience all depends on the class teacher and classmates you get. If you get stuck with a teacher who is mean, or doesn't like you, then your learning is put at risk. I have been bullied before, and the teachers don't step in. If I could go back to first grade, I would not go to Denver Waldorf. Some people have really good experiences with Denver Waldorf, and others don't.
Denver Waldorf School certainly is a kind and loving place. However, it is also a SCHOOL. It needs to shift a lot of focus to academic rigor so that it balances out the social/emotional/spiritual curriculum. Any private (and well compensated) school faced with a student clamoring for more learning and more engagement academically should meet that kid, should stretch to push her and give her the expansion she seeks. Waldorf did the exact opposite with our kid, so much so that she concluded on her own that it couldn't possibly be serious (in high school or otherwise) about academic excellence or even academics generally. If a child begs for challenge or rigor or higher standards from 6th, 7th, and 8th grade, and the school ignores her, then there is something terribly wrong. The school is run by committee and is nearly paralyzed from the start of every decision of consequence. The "head of school" is solely a figure head and has little power to make any significant or important policy (or frankly otherwise) decisions. I love the Waldorf education. This version of it at the Denver Waldorf, however, sadly leaves a lot to be desired.
This is a great school where the teachers and administration really care about the children. They show great respect and understanding for each child and create the type of environment needed so that children can learn and become happy, well adjusted, caring, educated, conscious human beings.
Both of my children have attended DWS since they were preschool age (one currently in first grade, the other in fifth). It has been a wonderful choice for our family, with nurturing community and a focus on creative and artistic expression in learning. Both of my kids have tested gifted and have thrived without any sort of "special program" here at Waldorf. The teachers, which stay with the kids from 1st to 8th, are the reason for their excellence. Their love for the children and for teaching really shines through.
We love this school. I feel like my daughter is getting a superb education, not just in academia but as a human (polite, working together, nature). The faculty is like family to us, we speak openly on many topics both in the school and at home. My daughter is a kinetic learner that requires interaction, she loves the movement, art and storyline based approach to learning. Another great advantage Waldorf has is having the older kids (3-6, aftercare) mixed with the younger kids. The older students are fine role models and very caring. The entire approach to learning is very unique, with a mix of tradition and progressive methodologies. 100% happy with Denver Waldorf, it's worth every cent.
Both of my daughters have been at DWS since kindergarten. They are now going into the 4th and 6th grades and I couldn t be happier with their development both academically and spiritually. I have no doubt they are both on the road to becoming strong, smart, confident and loving young women. The schools staff are truly inspiring and dedicated to your child s positive growth. And the community of parent support and involvement is refreshing. I see how we are struggling as a country to provide a sound education with moral values to our children, and am thankful I can send my kids to The Denver Waldorf...
My son is 3.5 and started in the Woodrose Kindergarten this fall. I was a Waldorf skeptic but am quickly seeing the wisdom in the educational philosophy. I would encourage parents who are interested to take a tour and see it for themselves. Application process was a bit tedious with poor follow through by admin staff but teachers and classroom setting are extremely impressive. My $.02
My daughter has gone to the Waldorf School for the past three years, and it has been a wonderful experience. She started as a 2.5 year old and is now in the pre-K class. Her teachers have been warm and nurturing, and have supported my daughter's growth and development. I can't say enough about the staff and the school as a whole. It offers a unique and interesting learning experience!