Three Cedars Waldorf School continues to evolve rapidly, with a new Executive Director at its helm since the spring of 2011, and a renewed team of faculty and staff members. The school is engaged in a joint accreditation process with the Pacific Northwest Association of Independent Schools (PNAIS) and the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America (AWSNA), attesting to its solid programs, faculty, and plans for future developments. Our school has moved beyond the challenges of its early years, and our team of trained and experienced teachers effectively meet the needs of today's children and families with enthusiasm!
August 30, 2012
This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
We have had our 2 children at Three Cedars now for 3 and 5 years and couldn't wish for a better environment for them to develop and thrive. After some initial skepticism I've been very happy with my kids academic progress. Both enjoy going to school here (well, most days :-) ).
The level of personal commitment from their teachers is stunning. It is great to see how much the teachers embrace the individual personalities of each individual student, while firm rules still make for a structured and productive learning environment.
The recent merger with Seattle Waldorf School created a medium-size school system that should offer a broad variety of opportunities.
I have had my children at this school for several years now. My attitude toward the school radically changed when I witnessed a teacher yelling at and shaming a child in front of the entire class. The teacher was unaware that I witnessed this incident and when I later initiated a meeting with the teacher and a mediator, the response from the school was to deny, justify and minimize the event. I will be removing my children from this school and I recommend that anyone considering this school find a different school for their children.
The teachers really focus on songs and handicrafts, which is quaint, but they clearly have no education (or interest) in age-appropriate cognitive development or academics.
I had heard rumors about the bullying that happened at some Waldorf schools, but seeing it in action was heartbreaking. After school, I frequently saw kids teasing other kids. One day, a boy was pushed down by his peers and they all dumped their water bottles on him. It was not a game, and they were not playing. The teacher stood right next to them and ignored it.
The culture among the parents is very cliquish, and the administration is very secretive. They have a great deal of turnover in staff, especially in early childhood, and the emails they send to parents about it are always vague.
Regarding academics, what I really appreciate about this school is that the focus is on teaching children how to learn. Here, they don't memorize facts, rather, they learn how to think, solve problems, collaborate and communicate. I think these are critical skills for not only their careers but for their lives. There is also a focus on other critical life skills, such as persistence and resilience by doing things such as having yearlong handwork projects starting in grade 1. Regarding administration and the health of the school, there has been increased rigor on teacher standards and administrative processes in recent years, which have all added, and continue to add, to the sustainability and well-being of the school and its students. We have been at the school for 5 years I feel really good about both the Waldorf approach and how this school embodies it. I think this school just gets better and better each year and I wholeheartedly recommend it.
Three Cedars Waldorf School is definitely a school that is going thru a processes of change, of maturation and along with that, having its share of growing pains. However, in our family view, this is a positive and necessary process. TCWS is simply a great place for students to receive the best of Waldorf education. The magic is there, the academics are there, the kids are happy learning and thriving. It is sad to see how some parents are totally oblivious to the fact that in TCWS their children had been exposed to the best set of teachers, specialists and staff they will probably be exposed to in their whole academic lives. The amount of dedication, love, commitment and the high standards these professionals hold are, without any doubt, heartwarming and rewarding for us parents to attest. They are the fundamental piece that hold the school together and I am absolutely grateful for having them there for my kids. With that said, an independent school does not grow or move forward based on complaints, politics or ego clash. It requires parents joining forces collaboratively to support the school. If you are reading this review and are looking for an exciting Waldorf school, delivering a high quality academic content that touches your kid’s heart, you will be in the right place. It is up to all of us to keep the legacy strong and moving forward.
I just came across this and as a current parent wanted to provide my own perspective of the school. In our family's experience the school has and continues to be a safe and magical place to learn. It interesting how this person could have such a different perspective on the school and learning environment that the school is providing. Our child has been blessed with great teachers a kind and supportive learning environment. Changes have happened in the last year but we see the school as being stronger than it ever has been and in the classroom, where the learning, growth, self-confidence and friendships happen, we couldn't be happier with the experience our child continues to have. This is just our perspective.