Cedarwood has a beautiful facility and appeals to parents who want a meaningful alternative education. Our child attended Cedarwood for 9 years. There were many amazing experiences that children in public school would never get. The sense of community, the field trips, and the exposure to art are fantastic. However, our child was in tutoring from grades 5 to 8 to round out what was missing academically and ultimately left unprepared for school beyond. We have been disappointed for many reasons. 1. Despite 8 years of language our child could not speak either Japanese or Spanish and had to enter first year language in HS. 2. The math program was atrocious and again, our child was behind by HS. 3. The school is not accommodating to students with any kind of special needs. Our own child struggled and consequently found HS challenging. 4. There is a vast difference between teachers, some are great and others weaker. Remember your child will be with that teacher for 8 years. When we look at our child's experience and other students from that class there is a trend. Many are behind. Unless your child is fairly gifted and independent, it may not be the school for you.
There are many good things about Cedarwood, though regrettably, they are not enough to counterbalance the reality that the student body and faculty are overwhelmingly caucasian, and students are overwhelmingly from affluent families. I can't see how students can emerge from nine years at Cedarwood well- prepared for the world outside the cocoon of their campus, the world they will live in the rest of their lives.
My older child attended from kindergarten through 8th grade, my younger is in the grades now. Cedarwood strives to develop the whole child, by delivering the best education for the mental, physical and emotional life of the child. If you are a Waldorf parent, this needs little explanation. For those who are new to Waldorf, Cedarwood is different from other private schools because they do not focus on academics over other aspects of child development. The academics are excellent-- but the school also teaches emotional well-being, social skills and physical health. For Waldorf parents, the distinction here is that Cedarwood is trying to adapt the core Waldorf principles to 21st century education.
I recommend this school highly. My daughter attended 5th through 8th grade, transferring from another Waldorf School. She left as a confident, inquisitive and eager student. She excelled in her freshman year with outstanding skills to manage the HS work load, social dynamics and remain an enthusiastic learner. Cedarwood is young, fast growing school. They bring innovation and depth to an established philosophy and curriculum. They have high standards for their teachers and staff with clear expectations and accountability. My daughter excelled in the beautiful team work of the faculty and administration which is visible in every class. The parent community is wonderful and you feel the warmth of the whole school in every event.
This is an amazing group of dedicated teachers and staff. I feel blessed to have three children at this fine institution of learning. We recently moved from CA and a more conservative Waldorf School and felt instantly welcomed and accepted in this community. The festival life is heartfelt and the parent council leadership is dynamic. Anyone interested in helping their child become a life long learner and steward of our earth, should check out Cedarwood.
The school lacks soul and direction. I attended for several years and though the early education was good most of the teachers seem ill equipped later to deal with children at various stages of development. You become merely a number overall. If you pay full tuition and have several children enrolled, raise your paddle at auction night, donate for the many school fundraisers, you will receive warm embraces from the admin. If you stood with the in crowd in high school and vacationed at all the appropriate times, this is the school for you. There is a large teacher turnover here, no one has lasted through the 8 year journey in years. in the last four years there have been teacher changes in mid year in multiple grades. More than half of the current grades have undergone multiple teacher changes. The eight year journey with child and teacher is one of the most unique and simple aspects of waldorf education yet this school cannot get even that right. This school is ill equipped to deal with children with special needs, would not recommend it, Portland Waldorf has a much more comprehensive program and Portland Village School is free and a great waldorf alternative!
In the early childhood programs at Cedarwood Waldorf School we embrace the individual needs that each child brings to our classrooms. The Cedarwood Kindergarten is a therapeutic learning environment, employing the head heart and hands, we therefore always look at the whole child and how the child is developing, rather than just one aspect. Most learning challenges appear with clarity in the early grades, which is where academic learning begins in Waldorf education. For more questions regarding our early childhood program we encourage families to visit and speak with our faculty.
My children are thriving at Cedarwood Waldorf School. They are receiving a beautiful well-rounded education and are surrounded by people who truly know them and care about them. My seventh-grader reads well above grade level and is an enthusiastic math and science student. Her written work is well beyond anything I expect in middle school -- all this and art, music, and movement as well. They love to go to school and have developed a passion for learning.