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Minneapolis, MN
Students enrolled: 258
Before care: No

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2344 Nicollet Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55404

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(612) 767-1502
(612) 767-1551
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Map of City of Lakes Waldorf School address.
February 04, 2015
This school is amazing. It gives me such a great feeling to have my daughter in an environment that is so loving, creative and healthy. After spending 3 years in preschool and kindergarten, she has developed a tremendous will and determination for learning and life in general. Waldorf schools focus on developing the whole child--not just their brain. I have no doubt that City of Lakes will help my child become not just successful in the life she chooses, but also a great human being.

- submitted by a parent
January 23, 2015
Great building and convenient location, but that's probably the best thing about the school. Understaffed, overwhelmed and often feeble-minded teaching staff easily overlook children's injuries and rely on patental intervention to resolve even the smallest of behavioral outbursts. This is a weak Waldorf program compared to other options.

- submitted by a parent
November 09, 2014
This is a great Waldorf/Steiner school, and a very good school in general. There is a feeling of love and enthusiasm between all the students. The classes are very diverse for a private school in my experience.

- submitted by a parent
October 30, 2014
I love this school. My son attended Kindergarten after we had moved from a different country where my son had attended a Waldorf pre-school that he loved and this school turned out to be the best place for him. The teachers were so wonderful with the transition and it was so good to know that he was so loved and cared for.

- submitted by a parent
October 30, 2014
City of Lakes Waldorf School is a feast for the senses! The Early Childhood classes fill the school with the smells of their cooking and baking. Each of the classes produces wonderful watercolor paintings, and the quality of art in the grades is outstanding. Singing (often in multiple-part harmony!) echoes through the halls. The classes celebrate and explore many aspects of ALL the seasons outside in nature (no small feat here in Minnesota). Delightful people, intentional pedagogy, beauty, creativity, and imagination abound at City of Lakes!

- submitted by a community member
August 26, 2014
We moved here from WI last year for my fellowship and were very interested in enrolling our 4 year old at this school. He attended a 3 hour class before the final decision for admission and the admssions director informed me that my son was having trouble with playing with the other children and they could not admit him at this time until he had some " play therapy". I was shocked to hear this. My son has been going to a daycare / preschool setting ever since he was 8 months old and has never had any problems. The admissions director should have considered that he had just left his friends and his home and moved to a completely new place just days ago and was in a completely new place with people he did not know. I was very troubled , being a medical professional myself, that she would " prescribe " therapy for him after "evaluating" him for just 3 hours. I still keep thinking if it was really that or some other reason. The other thing I noticed was the lack of diversity at this school and I often wonder if my child was not accepted because he did not "look" like the other children. Anyways , my son did go to a wonderful preschool and will be starting Kindergarten tomorrow.

- submitted by a parent
April 08, 2014
City of Lakes Waldorf School truly is a refuge for my daughter who, outside of the school, is being asked to grow up way too quickly. She's thriving at school and able to be a child, playing outdoors, listening to fairy tales, and growing up with incredible role models all around her. I would choose this school again and again and again.

- submitted by a parent
April 08, 2014
Our school is a bastion of singing. Oh! the singing. In every classroom wings of melody carry our arithmetic, reading, writing and science. Our children are lucky people. They really do see each other, hear each other, and come together with such simple, timeless beauty.

- submitted by a parent
April 07, 2014
City of Lakes Waldorf School is a haven among schools, where the norm is high stakes testing and pressured learning, City of Lakes values the human connection, engages the children in a multi-disciplinary approach to learning, and calls forth their love of learning. I could not have asked for better role models for my children in the teachers and staff of this school. Their depth of caring and passion for learning is evident in all they do.

- submitted by a parent
February 02, 2014
Having so many bad experiences in the public education system, and now as an adult working with young students on how to navigate the education system, I understood the importance of finding the right place for my little girl from the beginning. City of Lakes is that right space. Being Spanish her first language, we looked at so many schools and charters, from dual language, to competitive ESL programs. The doubt was always the same. Which would be the safer space for our daughter to thrive? Then we found that City of Lakes. City of Lakes is the reason why our daughter looks forward to start her day. Teacher Susan greets her every morning with a warm welcoming smile; and when I picked her up, she is peaceful, pleasant, and calmed. Classrooms are beautiful and intentionally technology free, which allows integral growth and endless imagination possibilities. With a little girl, we also worry about oversexualizing images, violence, and unmeasured consumption messages in media; City of Lakes is the only space we found in Minneapolis that would pay special attention and enforce effective policy to media access. We see our daughter growing and thriving in City of Lakes.

- submitted by a parent
January 22, 2014
Re any negative or positive comment on this board. If you're looking for a great school that offers a nurturing, creative education, organize a visit. You'll see for yourself what the school is about. I'm a fan, but don't take my word for it. And don't take the negative comments either. For what it's worth, I chose the school specifically for its inclusive environment. My child is sensitive and creative. The match has been perfect. Here's some more helpful info: I was privy to a recent (2013) anonymous survey, where current parents were free to sound off on any issues. Out of hundreds of responses, not one mentioned bullying. That should put the negative comments below into some context. But a personal visit, preferably during school hours so you can see the students, will help you form your own opinion.

- submitted by a parent
January 08, 2014
This school must have the fewest bullying issues of any school in existence. So many of the children you meet who have transferred to City of Lakes Waldorf School, enroll to escape bullying situations at their previous schools and to experience a safe social environment. The children are taught to include everyone and to be kind. Children will make mistakes no matter what, but the way the school handles it is clear, consistent and successful. I can't imagine a safer social environment for my two girls. You can schedule a tour and see the healthy social environment when you step into the classrooms to observe.. I highly recommend the tour to anyone.

- submitted by a parent
December 11, 2013
City of Lakes Waldorf school has been a great choice for us. The curriculum is rich, deep and fosters critical thinking. The content is presented through stories, song and physical activities as a result of which children really understand the concepts deeply whether it be math or science or language arts. The teaching is not geared towards achieving high speed and scores on standardized tests but rather towards gaining significant breadth in each subject area. The administration is constantly working towards better organization and better communication with parents. They are always encouraging feedback and from our experience have always responded immediately and appropriately to concerns with any children. I would highly recommend this jewel in today's educational system.

- submitted by a parent
October 23, 2013
I agree with the comments that the Waldorf curriculum is wonderful, but this school is poorly managed and bullying is a big problem. Bullying is chronic and not addressed because the bullies are children of board members, administration staff, faculty or very influential parents. In the past several years I know of 8 families who have left the school because of the bulling problems not being addressed. The school is more concerned about image than doing what is best for the children. Problems like bullying, inappropriate behavior and unprofessional conduct by teachers, administrators and board members are hushed up and brushed under the rug. On the surface things look wonderful, but underneath the smiles is a very dysfunctional school.

- submitted by a parent
December 13, 2012
I was new to the Waldorf curriculum and ideals and I admit, I was very skeptical. Plus, financially, it is a commitment. I discovered the financial aid and started learning about the school, meeting the teachers and more importantly, the students. I had never met a more together, socially mature, and talented group of children. Now, as a parent, I really cannot imagine any other school options. The children are held in such an amazing way and the teachers are absolutely invested and great at communicating with the kids and parents. Perhaps the best review I could give would be to say that my first grader misses school on the weekends. There is no dragging him in, for sure!

- submitted by a parent
March 22, 2012
It is truly astounding to see how happy the middle schoolers are at this school. And they get admitted to the best schools in the city for high school. I am so excited that my elementary aged children will get to attend junior high here. A parent with an 8th and 6th grader here says that her 8th grade son has not once had a problem getting out of bed to go to school. Her 6th grade girl just told her that she likes school days more that the weekend! City of Lakes Waldorf School is an antidote for the popular image of checked out, disinterested in adolescents. I am just glad to know that possible!

- submitted by a parent
March 22, 2012
I have a graduate who attended PK through 8th grade and two students currently at CLWS. My 9th grader is excelling at a college prep private school, driven by a love of learning and self motivation that I believe came from her early learning experiences at CLWS. My other 2 love school, love to read, love to learn and are excelling academically. My mother is amazed when they come to her house after school that they both sit down and do their homework first thing and without any prompting. It is my opinion that Waldorf education, focused on the whole child - head, heart, and hands - in a curriculum that meets children at their developmental level, fosters a love of learning. Instead of teaching to a test, learning supports creative thinking. For example, in math the question isn't "what is 5+4?" It is "what makes 9?" This opens the student to think not about what the 'one right answer' is but what the possibilities are. I would highly recommend CLWS based on the results I see in my children. I would also note that the teachers and staff are incredible and make this a special place - as all Waldorf schools are, this school is teacher led.

- submitted by a parent
March 06, 2012
This is an amazing school and children who go through its program thrive. Teachers' salaries are meager compared to their public school counterparts, yet they are able to instill a sense of wonder and curiosity in their students that enables them to be lifelong learners. The negative comments in this post are from parents whose children had special needs that the school staff could not address. I just don't believe you can blame the school or its staff for their issues.

- submitted by a parent
December 14, 2011
When my son started in first grade at CLWS, he had come from a public charter school with traditional academics. He came to me one night and asked if he could call his previous teacher at the charter school. I asked why and his answer was that, "I like the way they teach me at this school better... At the old school we had just letter and black lines. At this school, I like the colorful letters!" Both of my children, K and first, are developing a strong, articulate vocabulary and listening aptitude, reverence for what is good and beautiful, physical development woven into learning, love of natural world, care and attention to detail, fine motor skills through crafts and games that they love, care for their classmates, ear for music, poetry and stories, ear for other languages, in a sense of safety and security. My first grader has never asked to stay home from school. Sometimes they want to stay longer. We have had babysitters from this school and met other grads and are always impressed with their poise and ability to connect with us, and they seem successful at their current school/work. We plan for our family to continue at this school for the full course through 8th grade.

- submitted by a parent
December 02, 2011
The Good: The Waldorf pedagogy requires a happy motivated way to master powers of observation & analysis. Its a child centered environment encouraging critical thinking through power of play, classic study in literature, history & celebration as they interpret the studies through visual & tactile creations. Teachers, parent community & admin know well & ACTIVELY encourage a child's gifts. Ours has been a dramatic positive increase in our child's academic, self confidence & inner grounding from public school & its teaching to the test. The Bad: Because children stay with their teacher as a journey, the expereince is dependent upon the skill/intelligence/openness of their teacher. Some are good- others marginal and unpredictable. CLWS lacks many typical facilities and student services. Home field, cafeteria, MDH classroom health standards, science lab, adequate gym, real school counselor. Math only 3x /week -highly depends on teacher. Orchestra & Admin. is loose (office geared to protecting Waldorf). CLWS is $ - relentlessly asks for $ & HEAVY parent involvement - incompatible with business hrs. Never saw anyone tell a misbehaved younger child to keep hands off others.

- submitted by a parent
September 21, 2011
Our child attended CLWS for three years. Preschool was a charming experience from start to finish. In Kindergarten, we started to have a lot of trouble. Our child started coming home with bruises and even a black eye. She was bullied on the play yard and the teacher did very little to address it. She told us that our child was tired and told our child to lay-low and not run away from her attackers. I have spoken with numerous parents that had the very same problem. I am speaking out because although Waldorf has its numerous charms they need to enforce their anti-bulling policy and listen to parent's concerns. We have switched our child to a charter school and she has never been happier. If your child is at CLWS and puts up a huge fight every morning when going to school ask about bulling. I wish I'd known sooner and had not made my child endure a full year there.

- submitted by a parent
June 26, 2011
We left a high functioning Minneapolis Public School for City of Lakes Waldorf School four years ago and have never looked back. Our two children have been challenged academically on every level and more importantly they have been challenged to be of the highest quality in their deeds and intentions toward others. They demonstrate a profound curiosity that their extended family members and others notice. We have found the staff and faculty to be high quality and open to any concerns or questions we may have. This school is one of the things in my top five list of what I'm most thankful.

- submitted by a parent
April 28, 2011
I moved my children from this school due to many issues with the administration. The Waldorf curriculum itself is very lovely, but this particular school is run very poorly. Poor personal behavior is hushed up and the school seems very involved with it's adult community needs at the expense of the children. This is said behind closed doors and privately, but in classic dysfunctional fashion, it is never addressed directly. I would not recommend this school.

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 13, 2010
All true learning comes as a result of experience. At CLWS, children experience their lessons in a myriad of ways - through music, movement, games, handwork, language, art, and more - which fosters a life-long love of learning. Integrating the arts with strong academics allows for human development, not simply cognitive development.

- submitted by a parent
November 19, 2009
I have had two boys go k-8, I could not imagine a better place for them to grow and shine

- submitted by a parent
April 25, 2008
This is a wonderful, happy school where my daughter is excelling socially and academically.

- submitted by a parent
April 24, 2008
a wonderful place for preschoolers to be preschoolers and learn through playing.

- submitted by a parent
November 15, 2007
This review submitted without content.

- submitted by a parent
October 15, 2007
Our first foray into Waldorf education was with a shy, creative kindergartener in 1996. She is now a calm, confident, self-respecting teenager with many friends who is an artist and musician, an athlete, a capable leader and on her high school honor roll. Our second child, a personality completely different than our first, is now a 7th grader who loves CLWS, also has many friends, a fierce sense of compassion and justice, a keen mind that loves to learn -- not having been stuffed with data and stressed with mindless testing -- and looks forward to a challenging high school experience. CLWS knows how to educate children for a healthier life, a more peaceful humanity and a sustainable planet. There is so much here for both parents and children. Come see for yourself!

- submitted by a parent
September 14, 2007
My children are thriving at CLWS. They both learned to read at age 7 without any struggle and are now avid readers. They are challenged academically, but are not worried about grades or tests. Their whole beings are nourished on a daily basis as they are met with love and respect by their teachers and the other staff members. The school community has become like an extended family. We feel extremely blessed to have found CLWS for our children.

- submitted by a parent
April 11, 2005
I am one of the privileged parents of two Waldorf students, our son enjoys first grade and our daughter loves going to preschool everyday. I say privileged because it truly is an honor to be a part of this school, to have my children enjoy this golden path of Waldorf education and for our family to be surrounded by such an incredible community. This building, which is so much more than the walls, holds a magic that is sensed as soon as one walks through the door. The teachers that give so much to honor and enrich each child s life. We enjoy the magical festivals, the access to Waldorf worthy toys at the school store, and the building and grounds that are so beautiful. There is so much to appreciate and so many ways to give back. I know there is no price tag to put on the education, experience and love my children receive here.

- submitted by a parent
April 07, 2005
I stopped by the school one dreary winter day when my son Max was in Kindergarten to drop off something in the office. I was in my efficient, take care of business mode but decided to pop my head into Miss Rene's room to get a momentary glimpse of Max before heading back to work. When I opened the door, I was hit with a blast of exuberance. Max and several other children were wrapped in brightly colored silks, wearing crowns and flowered wreaths on thier heads. Sun was streaming through the large windows. The floor was strewn with pilows and blankets. The children were running and laughing. Max's cheeks were particularly rosy as he stopped laughing long enough to say, panting all the while, 'Mama, we're playing hyenas and I am king of the hyenas!' After this announcement he immediately folded back into the game and was off. I went back to work feeling immensely cheered, partially because I had caught the children's energy but mostly because of what that moment told me about Max. In that brief interaction I could tell that Max was fully engaged, that he was deeply happy and that he was in a place that celebrated his spirit. I knew at that moment that City of Lakes was the right fit for Max. Now, three years later, when I think about what Max is doing at any moment in the day, the image of the king of the hyenas pops into my head and makes me smile to myself as I go on about my work.

- submitted by a parent
February 06, 2004
My 9 year old has attended CLWS since he was in preschool. He is excelling academically, play violin, is creative, artistic, compassionate and loves school! I attribute this to the unique philosophy of Waldorf education, and would recommend it highly.

- submitted by a parent

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City of Lakes Waldorf school is part of a global community of Waldorf teachers and child development professionals who have come together for the purpose of educating, supporting and inspiring children. With 90 years of proven curriculum experience, Waldorf has nearly 2500 schools and kindergartens in over 60 countries. Over 94% of North American Waldorf graduates gain admission to a post-secondary school of their choice; 50% go on to a Masters Degree or PhD.


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Last modified: February 04, 2015

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City of Lakes Waldorf School
2344 Nicollet Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN  55404
(612) 767-1502
Last modified City of Lakes Waldorf School is a Private school that serves grades PK-8
City of Lakes Waldorf School Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 33 reviews. Top