The Waldorf School of Cape Cod has been a wonderful experience so far for my 2 children. They actually enjoy school and are making close friendships. They are learning skills in grade school that I didn't learn until college, but all presented in a child friendly & accessible way. A peaceful school with a close knit community.
This school is great in a lot of ways but for some reason the school has been a disaster at handling bullying and behavior problems. By disaster I mean other kids hurting other kids right in front of other teachers and not following the school's own policies to make it stop.
If you think this Waldorf School is like other successful Waldorf Schools, PLEASE THINK AGAIN. The grades are a GAMBLE depending on the TEACHER your child will have for 8 YEARS. There is little to no accountability for poor quality and inconsistent standards of education and behavior. The admin and faculty dogma is closely held in secrecy which is part and parcel to the Rudolph Steiner s teachings and if questioned you will receive patent answers with little thought to your child s specific needs. If you find a faculty member that is willing to listen without prejudice to your concerns, good luck. Even the faculty who are known amongst their colleagues for poor performance have job safety. Many families have left this school after investing many years in it because their concerns have been systematically swept under the rug. Mum's the word here. I for one fell under the spell of this school. I found that my child and the majority of classmates that stayed were left with such deficits in academics that intense interventions were needed for most. Our class started with 14 or more and ended with 4. Be aware of retention rates at this school. They differ among the faculty greatly.
My son has been at the Waldorf School of Cape Cod for six years, and we are so happy that we found it. The teachers are OUTSTANDING, and the education so embracing - solid humanities, art, music, drama, hand-works, woodworking, foreign language (French and Latin) and sportsmanship through games and outdoor activity. Learning also takes place during recess (remember RECESS?!?), festivals, and extra curricular courses like gardening and building rockets. But best of all, my son LOVES SCHOOL and LEARNING. He looks forward to going to school. How special is THAT in today's world?!? Class sizes are small. He gets the full attention of the teachers, and his best friends are his classmates. Children are taught HOW to respect each other and grownups alike. And as Parents, we feel a kinship with each other. Everyone is asked to help with festivals and school activities. Together we make the school a more meaningful place. The Waldorf School is not driven top-down by a head master. It offers more than just an education - it's a whole community of families working with teachers that value children, learning, and the journey that is parenthood.
There is no boss at a Waldorf School which means there is no one accountable. Faculty hold the position of authority and the members change yearly. Issues are continually deferred for lengthy amounts of times and conclusions are rarely met or shared. In the past several years the administration staff has changed every couple of years for a total of approximately six changes to the Administrator position, six to the Administration Assistant position and several more to the bookkeeper position. There has also been many staff hired and let go in positions such as Director of Admissions and Director of Outreach. In short there is little consistency in the Administration staff. Some faculty will cover their colleagues backs at great lengths even when evidence of unacceptable behaviors are present or educational needs of the students are not being met.There is enormous amounts of indifference directed towards any parent who may question the Waldorf School or challenge them in any way.Children are not held in reverence here at the Waldorf School of Cape Cod as is the Rudolph Steiner teaching. In fact most issues are viewed as the child's and not the adults in charge. Take a good look
My daughter attended Waldorf schools, 4 years in Florida and 5th -8th grade here on Cape Cod and is now a successful freshman in collage in Florence, Italy. I found the Waldorf education to be an exceptional balance of academics, nature, arts and music unlike any other grade school experience. Allowing young children to have their childhood including fantasy and play while academic rigor takes a back seat works. She was slow to read but was not pushed and did so when she was ready. She had no problem transferring to Sturgis Charter after Waldorf graduation and is now doing very well as a college freshman in a foreign country. I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to choose a Waldorf school for my daughter and wish more parents had such a wholesome educational choice.
We enrolled our son and daughter at Waldorf last year. It was the best choice we could have ever made. My son had attended 1st grade in the public school in Sandwich. His class had 23 children and all they did was fill out worksheets. At Waldorf he has blossomed. They learn through movement and creativity. He is so happy and loves to learn now. It is such a nurturing environment. My daughter is in preschool there and she has had an equally amazing experience. If we had had the opportunity we would have sent our children sooner. There is nothing like this learning environment out there.
My daughter attended this school for 11 years. The school was instrumental in developing her love of learning, her artistic capacities and her strong self confidence. Her high school teachers were amazed at her general knowledge and, in particular, her grasp of history. In the early years of her education I had concerens about the developmental approach to learning that means some children learn to read later than they would have at some other schools. I was relieved when I saw the curriculum become more challenging each year and I was highly impressed by the level of expectations for acheivement by middle school. Ultimately, I saw that the gentle aproach to teaching young children is what helps them develop a great sense of comfort in school and ultimately supports the eagerness for learning I saw in my daughter and her classmates.
On the positive side, this school has some of the best and most dedicated teachers I've ever seen. My son could not find a better teacher. He regularly runs up and hugs his teacher after school. His peer group in his class is well-integrated. I've seen little hostile interactions among the peers, contrary to my own experience in public schools. I did wonder about my child not reading in first grade, but now he's reading adult books in grade 4. The non-punitive approach seems to support the growth of the child's natural interests in learning. I'm confident that my son's positive experiences will support a lifelong interest in education and exploration. On the negative side, tuition keeps going up. Its hard to justify ten grand a year when there are excellent public schools in the Boston metro area. The school is anti-father and the previous administration and billing was incompetent.