This school is a good fit or a terrible one; there is no in between here. The grounds are breathtaking and peaceful. The early education classrooms are serene and inviting. The children play outdoors in every sort of weather and run freely and are fed wholesome foods. It is a unique environment and may suit quiet, artistic children very well. It took us many months to fully comprehend how poorly our child was doing in this environment. Our energetic and rambunctious preschooler was excluded routinely from class activities and began showing signs of anxiety and poor self esteem. By the end of preschool our child told us she did not want to go on to kindergarten because she couldn't sit still. If you have an extremely active child who doesn't fall in the average range this may not be the school for you. We witnessed other children not towing the line expelled mid-year on short notice. Also, there is no school principal so no solid administrative body to bring issues up to. This child is now happy, confident and thriving once again in a great public school classroom.
Both my children attended this school from nursery school through 8th grade. My daughter had the same great "main lesson" teacher from 1st through 8th grade, and my son had three mostly terrific teachers. My kids disliked school vacations when they were younger, and couldn't wait to go back to school. They never "hated" school like so many kids. They were taught with love and respect, and a spirit of collaboration and cooperation with others. A love of learning was cultivated in many different ways, and they became capable musicians, artists, and hand workers, along with being schooled in the most classical sense in the basics. Both my children went on to very competitive private high schools and were well prepared for them; one went to an ivy league college, the other to another excellent university. I feel as if this education really grounded them in life, which is a true gift in our complex and often stressful society.
This Waldorf School has given my child such confidence and a love of learning. The new location at Moraine Farm is spectacular and allows the teachers to use the beautiful outdoors for experiential, outdoor learning every day. The curriculum is well rounded and child centered.
The Waldorf philosophy of education is beautiful and inspiring paying close attention to the growth of the child emotionally as well as academically. Unfortunately this school is on a shoestring budget and parents are the teachers, administrators, fund raisers and groundskeepers. Teachers are spread too thin & not supported professionally. It is evident by the yearly turn over of teachers. In my child's 7 years there (recent) we saw at least that many teachers leave. Frequently parents would be notified of the teachers leaving by cryptic letters sent home just before school was to start or resume after a break. No explanations/ reasons were ever given. When we told our teacher that our child seemed bored or wanted to learn about subjects not being taught in school, were were told that our child was very busy in school & that she didn't need to learn this or that. We were also continually told that we had to "trust" the Waldorf way of educating. Finally we decided to trust our gut & our child. She enrolled elsewhere, got caught up & is now happy & loving school. She also says "I never knew school could be so good!" Sorry Cape Ann Waldorf but your school is awful.
The education at Cape Ann Waldorf is carefully planned to match the child s needs at every age. The children grow to be wonderful members of the community and go on to success in their chosen endeavors.
This school has a wonderful sense of community. The teachers are dedicated, and I feel my child is met on a very deep level - not just as a brain, to be filled with information, but as a whole person, with all sorts of capacities to be developed. We love the school - it has helped our whole family!
My daughter entered Waldorf after two years in public school. Every day in public school was filled with tears and refusal to go and statements about hating school. This is in one of the 'best' school systems around. We found Waldorf, and my child's experience is a 180 from before. She is thrilled to go to school, feels safe there and never complains about her classes. How many first grade children are telling people their favorite subject in school is German? Not many. This school nourishes creativity and thoughtful focus without imposing arbitrary and money-driven testing to assess success. We love it there and plan on sending her for all 8 years.
My kids enjoy going to school. My son started in 3rd grade out of public school and my daughter in nursery. What sold me was 1. the understanding the teachers have of how children learn, this gives waldorf kids such a sense of confidence and well being 2. the curriculum features experiential learning through art, music and performance for deep and complex understanding of subjects and finally 3. a group of parents and teachers who connect around the education of their children and build upon that connection to nurture a great community. The Cape Ann Waldorf School has enriched my experience of parenting and emboldened me to strive to be my best.
My kids love this school! They never ask to stay home from school, which is amazing to me. The teachers are focused on both the class and the individual student and there is regular communication about the student and class. I have found this to be a very supportive environment for my kids and love the fact that kids help each other instead of ridicule each other. When they say Educating Head, Heart & Hand they mean it. The mixing of disciplines and emphasis on creative, developmentally geared material is a breath of fresh air in this No Child Left Behind day. They teach music, art & foreign language every week starting in 1st grade through to 8th. If you want a well-rounded, positive child this school is great and a good value as well. After 4 years I still feel lucky to have found this wonderful place.