This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
City of Lakes Waldorf School1
Posted August 26, 2014
- a parent
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Our mission is to inspire and support families to champion their children's education - at
school, at home and in their community. We are a national non-profit with offices and programs
in Oakland, Milwaukee, Washington D.C. and Indianapolis.