October 22, 2015
City of Lakes Waldorf School can feel like a breath of fresh air for parents reflecting on what they hear in the news about education as well as their own memories of schooling. City of Lakes’ kindergarten program was warm and enjoyable. The children got lots of time outdoors, enjoyed cooking, and making preparations for many seasonal festivals. We nearly maintained enrollment for the next school year but fortunately learned more about Waldorf education and why it's so different. Waldorf education, therefore, City of Lakes Waldorf, is founded on a spiritual belief system called anthroposophy. Not anthropology, but anthro-po-sophy. Developed by an Austrian, Rudolf Steiner, at the end of the 19th and into early 20th century, anthroposophy is concerned with the freedom of the human being through the lens of reincarnation, karma, christian mysticism and spiritual realities. These ideas inform the curriculum, teachers, and staff on a daily basis. The City of Lakes' handbook includes a section about anthroposophy and its investigation into "spiritual science" as a natural science. This is NOT a SECULAR school. It carries a New Age spiritualism with which we weren’t comfortable. The academic approach based on an anthroposophical understanding of child development, was also concerning as it guides instruction in all subjects taught. Also concerning and influential in our exit was discovering the lack of herd immunity within the school and learning about the racist evolution theory developed in anthroposophy. Low vaccination rates in an environment with newborns and toddlers too young to be vaccinated was unacceptable to us. And, unclear messaging regarding, and a reluctance to disown Steiner's racism gave us the final push out of the school. Much of what drew us to City of Lakes, art, singing, balancing academics with other skills, and spending time outdoors, we realized, all can be achieved at home.
- submitted by a parent