UVWS has been the best choice for our daugter. She has grown into a kind, loving and thoughful person who sees herself as able to make a difference in the world. She is not dictated by our American Scream of a culture. She does not tune herself out to the world with media, instead she takes interest the world face to face. She loved her teachers and they all loved her-thats when true learning can happen and a life long love of learning is the gift from UVWS.
The Upper Valley Waldorf School has been a dream come true for our son. The school both challenges and supports him,has brought him out of his shell and has broadened and deepened his understanding of himself and his place in the larger world. Waldorf holds him to high standards and his academic strides - after several years in a public school - have been dramatic. Waldorf faculty demonstrate care to a remarkable degree. After this - our first year at Waldorf - we highly recommend the school without reservation. We have been involved with education in many capacities and have visited many schools with our four children. Waldorf aims to educate the whole child and deeply believes in the importance of intellectual, spiritual, physical, moral, artistic and social development. It is remarkable that a small and unassuming place achieves such striking results. There is no question our son will be fully prepared for high school wherever he decides to go next.
Waste of money. Children bully each other and teachers allow it. The school is run by passive aggressive white women. Children have been allowed unsupervised in the woods. The Educational Support Coordinator aka a "special educator" is not a licensed special educator. The Educational Support Coordinator gives advice contrary to current educational research/best practices.
We have 3 children at the Upper Valley Waldorf School and have been part of the community for the last 2 years. It is by far the best school that my children have ever been too. The teachers are all incredibly qualified yet also bring with them rich talents and insights. The teachers do a great job at meeting the needs of each child and the mantra of the whole faculty is to truly know each student. This really adds to the great sense of security and community which my children definitely feel. The curriculum challenges my children yet also enriches them without all the pointless "time wasting" work that is forced on the children in the public curriculum. The effort and pride they take in their work is evident in the incredible and beautiful main lesson books and folders they bring back at the end of each year. This year they have also put on faculty a full time special ed teacher that can tutor children if they are needing help in a specific area which is awesome! I can see my children flourishing into well rounded and confident young people and am so grateful that they can be a part of this school. If you are moving to the area you should definitely check out this school!!
With two children enrolled at UVWS we could not be happier with our choice. It was a leap of faith transitioning from a Montessori school and a somewhat type-A perspective. The teachers and curriculum have supported and nourished our children's growth and love of learning with challenging and complex material that unfolds with a deliberate appreciation for the connections between disciplines. The best recommendation for the school is the maturity, independence and quiet confidence of the students. When I look at the students in the upper grades I see exactly the kind of young men and women that I hope my children will become. I wish I could have experienced grade school education this rich and meaningful. I wish more children and families could. I can't say enough about the dedication and commitment of the teachers.
OMG! I hated that place! High school teachers thought I was dumb and made me take basic classes. uvws didn't teach me much! boring knitting classes! I couldn't get into uvm and have to go to community college. my dad regrets wasting his money there!
I am a teacher at the Upper Valley Waldorf School in Quechee, VT. The UVWS, established in 1991, has a long history of serving the educational needs of children in the Upper Valley. We are one of over 900 Waldorf schools in North America, operated under the guidance of the Association for Waldorf Schools of North America (AWSNA). We require our teachers to have a college degree and be certified by a two-year intensive Waldorf teacher-training program or, in exceptional cases, be working toward that certification; many also hold Masters' degrees. Waldorf Schools are unique, faculty-led educational institutions that bring to children s learning and growth a developmentally-appropriate balance in the physical, emotional, and spiritual realms.
High dis-enrollment. At the end of 2011-2012, many families left. UVWS is mostly run by white women from their cultural perspective. Waldorf philosophy (100 years old!) dictates teacher autonomy. This lack of professional supervision leads to numerous problems. Unfortunately, many uvws teachers are unable to listen to feedback from families. Some teachers are inconsistent, biased, & rigid. Faculty are NOT licensed, are NOT held to professional standards, & are NOT familiar with researched based 21st century best practices. There is no school nurse, no guidance office, no special education, & no principal. The teachers are NOT held to the rigorous supervision schedule that public teachers are, which leads to lack of growth at the school. Some parents are the Board & Trustees (a conflict of interest). VT public schools are better at educating children. At the end of 2011-2012, many families dis-enrolled due to various un-addressed issues. Over 20 of the remaining students are actually children of the uvws faculty. 14 students are children of the Board. Parents of over 35 students run the school the way they want to, rather than being inclusive of more upper valley families.
Our 3 children have been enrolled at UVWS since 2005. The Waldorf School challenges our children to think creatively and critically. They are taught the value of working together and honoring the contributions of each individual. They love school - both the academic and social components. The faculty and staff know, love and care for our children like family. We are invited to participate in every aspect of our children's education. As with most Waldorf schools, communication and problem solving are accomplished with thoughtfulness and intention and we have found this school handles its challenges with grace and skill. Our kids are often complimented by the adults in their lives - family members, coaches, other teachers - on their poise and focus, intellectual curiosity, and leadership qualities. When they discover they're Waldorf kids, there's always an "aha" or "of course, that explains it" moment. We couldn't have imagined or hoped for a better education than what our children are engaging in at UVWS. Our children will move on to each new challenge - be it academic or otherwise - with confidence, enthusiasm and optimism.
I always thought I would home school since despite being a teacher, I had not found another school that I was satisfied with. Now, after 3 years at the school, I know I could not provide the rich education that this school provides, and it addresses so many of my concerns about other schools. Things I love... Here they actually TEACH children how to relate effectively with one another. Classroom time is active and engaging. The focus on developing curiosity and love of learning. The true balance between high expectations and support of each child's individual development. The encouragement for children to have limited media exposure, which is refreshing and allows for more innocent and authentic play. I have been so impressed with the accomplishments of both my own child and those of the older children. In addition to an impressive math and language arts curriculum, my first grader can knit (fine motor) AND correct mistakes, speak both French and German, and perform a 40 minute play! These children are confident, creative, resourceful, and supportive of one another. It's not perfect, but it's everything I could hope for in a school!