Both of my sons went from 1st through 8th grade at City of Lakes Waldorf School. One is in College studying engineering the other works for one of Minnesota's largest companies in logistics analysis. I feel the ability to think creatively and problem solve was an excellent outcome of their education at this school. They came out with a life long love of learning. What I am most proud of and thankful for is who they are as human beings and how they live in the world. I am so glad my wife talked me into sending my children to this school. I get a kick out of the fact that when my sons hang out their favorite activity is working calculus problems together.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.