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PK-8
Private
East Olympia, WA

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Po Box 130
East Olympia, WA 98540

School website
(360) 493-0906
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Map of Olympia Waldorf School address.

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September 25, 2014
I would like to point out that most of the reviews from the last many years give the school 5 Stars! The low reviews are from 6-7 years ago. The administration structure has been modified in the last few years and it feels a lot more organized and efficient. I have been really happy about OWS; this will be my son's 7th year there. I love that there is such awareness of each child. 6 of the 8 grades teachers have already taken a class through the years and have returned to lead a new class. The kindergarten teachers have also been there for a long time. The Dean is wonderful. Obviously there is not one school that is a good fit for every family, and the ones who have a problem are the ones who go online and vent about it. Also I have heard a couple families complain about things, but they didn't try to communicate with the teacher or the school. I have had a couple concerns over the years, and by reaching out to teachers or staff, things always resolve quickly, gracefully and completely. It helps to learn about Waldorf education, to make sure it is a good fit for your family. Ask questions; read books. I find it really beautiful now that I understand it more.

- submitted by a parent
May 27, 2014
OWS is a great school for teaching the whole person. I have two boys and they have been attending school here since before first grade. Waldorf Schools are great for teaching kids through active play rather then training them to sit still in a desk and regergitate facts. I have been very pleased with both my children's teachers, they are very talented and caring.

- submitted by a parent
May 21, 2014
OWS is a wonderful loving school. They educate the whole child inside and out. The children are cared for and supported by everyone at the school. We have one child currently enrolled and have 2 more starting over the next 2 years. I couldn't find a better place for our children. They encourage active learning, love of learning and love of the world around them. Pretty cool to arrive on campus and see kindergarteners playing outside in the dirt mounds doing their 'work', grade schoolers learning to play the flute and reciting verse, and 8th graders singing in perfect harmony. Truly a special place to learn and grow.

- submitted by a parent
February 03, 2014
My son has been at OWS for 2 years now and our experience has been very positive. The teachers are skilled, caring and dedicated to the students. The parents care deeply about this school and work hard to create a healthy transparent community. I look forward to going to the school so I can connect and chat with the teachers and families. The families are so friendly and feel like family to me and my son leaves the play yard happy and with a deep sense of well-being.

- submitted by a parent
December 14, 2013
I love the school! I admit to being skeptical of the Waldorf method at first but am a believer now that I have seem my child blossom with time. Many of the mediocre or negative reviews do not reflect the current state of the school teachers, administration and staff. The new Dean of Students was recruited after a national search from Taos, New Mexico and is a wonderful person and teacher!

- submitted by a parent
November 25, 2013
A truly wonderful school in every way. Having evaluated several Waldorf schools throughout the country, we enrolled our child at OWS and have been extremely happy with the decision. The teachers are simply outstanding, very dedicated, and the governance of the school is transparent and equally excellent. The students are obviously very, very happy there and thriving. All private schools go through phases and I suspect that some of the less flattering comments here may reflect earlier problems, but those have been corrected. Overall we, and more importantly our child, could not be happier with Olympia Waldorf School.

- submitted by a parent
January 11, 2013
OWS has a beautiful campus and some dedicated staff and teachers. The school has historically gone through high teacher turn-over, and lack of administrative leadership. The parent association has no power (just to prepare events), the board lacks independent thinking because it is too cozy with the school administration, and the senior leadership makes their own decisions without involving others. Financial problems are common due to poor forecasting. Too much is expected from parents in financial turns though not their input. Some teachers are very inexperienced, and there is some unattended bullying. Overall, it is an environment that needs many changes, and most certainly, a good full time administrator to make marketing and finances work. Good luck, OWS.

- submitted by a parent
November 12, 2012
Amazing teachers, staff, & program. Imagine a school where the teachers-student ratio is >1:20, where the arts are a part of learning, where kids 5 -13 play and care about each other. Imagine YOUR child happy, singing in the halls at home, wanting to read and waking up EXCITED to go to school. This is Olympia Waldorf School. We have had 2 boys at OWS, both are kind, strong and creative and critical thinkers. We will forever be thankful to the school and its teachers for helping us raise good people.

- submitted by a parent
October 07, 2012
OWS is hands down the best school a child could attend. From pre-school to 8th grade, you are not only giving your child a quality education and invaluable life skills but also a truly priceless childhood. Our child has attended the Olympia Waldorf School since 2007. From the get go, my husband and I agreed that we would evaluate the school each year when deciding whether or not to renew our enrollment contract. The results have been (consistently, I might add): We LOVE the OWS and are very, very, very happy and pleased with our experience so far.

- submitted by a parent
December 09, 2011
I started my children in OWS' early childhood program, and we continued on into the grades, so now I've had seven years to see what the school has done for them. To say that I am amazed and grateful is an understatement. My children are intellectually curious, inquisitive, imaginative, and self-confident. They are excellent problem-solvers and critical thinkers. They question things, and they are engaged in the world around them. Other adults who come into contact with my children are always impressed with their creativity and how well they communicate with adults. They have made lasting friendships. And it's not just my kids - in talking with other parents at the school, they are seeing the same wonderful qualities in their own children. Waldorf is doing a great job of preparing my kids academically, but it has also instilled qualities in them that go beyond the three R's, and that will serve them well their entire lives. This school really sends amazing human beings out into the world.

- submitted by a parent
October 12, 2010
"Awakening minds. Enlivening hearts. Engaging hands." - They do all that and more! OWS is where children can be children. An example is that kids aren't forced to read in kindergarten (the cold war is over after all). The foundation is laid with song, verse and story, then then they are ready to learn letters and reading, they devour it. Children learn how to learn and ask questions rather then how to take tests. They are outside every day. Graduates are centered and self aware rather then just self centered.

- submitted by a parent
November 10, 2009
The Waldorf curriculum not only provides excellent academics it does so by taking into account the needs and developmental stage of each child, building a strong foundation so that the child will succeed at the next stage. Children are not expected to perform based on random set standards, but are taught with a deep understanding about how children learn physically, mentally and socially. My children perform above their grade level, have an emotional and social maturity I wish I had at their age and are thriving in the arts and music. They are reading, discussing and experiencing literature and scientific concepts that I wasn't exposed to until college. The Waldorf curriculum provides what is lacking in other schools. It is preparing our children on all levels to be productive, secure and successful adults, not just numbers that school boards can check off as 'done'.

- submitted by a parent
no rating October 03, 2009
OWS is a small reasonably priced inclusive school. The program focuses on educating the whole child. The educational curriculum is developmentally appropriate and addresses not only cognitive skills and academics but, biological, social, emotional, spiritual, and sensory developmental skills as well. Children can develop their full potential in a community and family focused environment.

- submitted by a parent
September 23, 2009
The incredibly caring staff and the developmentally appropriate and stimulating curriculum make this a great school along with parents committed to the best for their children!

- submitted by a parent
February 08, 2009
There is nothing like this school in the area. If you want a school with a holistic, arts based curriculum, a true understanding of child development, and with a strong sense of community, this is it. For seven years we have put our heart and soul in this place. We wish there was a Waldorf high school close by so we could continue the journey even longer.

- submitted by a parent
February 08, 2009
I am a parent whose daughter is getting ready to graduate from the Olympia Waldorf School this June. The overall quality of this school environment - faculty, staff and parent participation - has provided a fabulous education for her. She is a confident, polite, problem-solving young lady. Her classmates are equally capable individuals who have been uniquely grounded in a society where many young people at this age are self-centered, self-conscious and lemotionally ost. Our experience with Waldorf education has been very positive and we wish that there was a local Waldorf high school for her to attend. However, I know she is ready to join public education and known that she will shine in that environment as well.

- submitted by a parent
September 10, 2008
this school is the best thing that ever happened to my children. It teaches all the things you want and none that you don't!

- submitted by a parent
June 09, 2008
Choosing a school is about finding a good fit for you and your child. Waldorf education is not about 'keeping up', especially in the early grades. It is about treating the children as whole beings. I know some people have had unsatisfactory experiences at OW, but it has been a most nurturing place for my two girls. I am so happy that they are having this experience

- submitted by a parent
June 08, 2008
Proud parent of three OWS students for the past 5 years. We love the school and he community.

- submitted by a parent
May 29, 2008
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
May 28, 2008
OWS is an amazing place for the growing child. Like many parent-initiated Waldorf schools, OWS faces making the leap from 'survival' to 'sustainable' and is raising the bar on all aspects of the organization. The problem with small schools like OWS is that when someone leaves the school--for whatever reason--they are more apt to be reactive because of the emotional investment required in being a Waldorf parent. After reading the reviews on this site, I can't help but think that there must be an active campaign to tarnish the efforts of this organization to grow, serve and deepen its development. My children attend the school and we relocated in order to provide this education for them. It's lived up to our standards--and we are invested in doing the emotional work involved in living in community.

- submitted by a parent
May 24, 2008
My children are thriving at the Olympia Waldorf School. The curriculum is designed to meet the developmental needs of the children. The children experience the subjects they learn about. It is avery differnt way of educating children than public school where you read a subject, memorize it, and get tested on it; only to forget what you memorized. Last year's 8th grade class returned to speak at the school in January- these children now attend Olympia High School. Many are in the advanced placement classes at the High School. Their Waldorf Education gave them a brpad educational foundation and their curiousity and desire to learn were fostered and is still alive in them in high school. The teachers at Olympia Waldorf School are excellent; they are dedicated, caring, and work hard to provide the challenge each child needs and to hold the children accountable for their work. Lori Salo

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 05, 2008
This school will love you as long as you keep your pocketbook open and your questions to yourself. Or if you're on scholarship, then they can pat themselves on the back and believe that they are really 'making a difference' in the life of a child and the community. There is no accountibilty, many of the goings-on of the school are done in a secretive underhanded manner. The school has a sullied reputation and does not attract top applicants, mostly they have no choice in who they hire, they hire the only poor soul who applies. There are children there who's needs can't be met, educationaly and behaviorly, but rather than say so and loose the tuition, issues are swept under the rug. These children take time and effort away from the rest of the class. After years at OWS, my children are thriving in public school.

- submitted by a parent
no rating April 24, 2008
The 'pretty package' that first draws you in is very decieving. It's an easy place to fall in love with! The underlying dysfunction is overwhelming. There's a huge lack of supervision on the playground that leads to accidents and bullying. Some teachers seem disgruntled by the pay and despite their best efforts, it shows. Parents are asked and asked for money and it seems to go into the same black hole over and over. The best 'they' can do to keep you enrolled is to keep you in fear about what your children might face in the dreaded Public School System. Waldorf Education is lovely and it makes alot of sense.....this particular school just falls way short.

- submitted by a parent
February 22, 2008
I did not like this school, my child was subject to bullying by children and the teachers supported it. My child also got very far behind academically and has had to have a lot of tutoring ot catch up. What is really upsetting is that the 'Waldorf method' gets children behind and then they are sort of stuck there. I did not like the lack of accountability that the school did. A poor choice for our family and I wasted a lot of money and time thinking it was such a pretty education. I wish I had been more cautious. My experience is that the community is very clicky and it is very hard on adults and children. My child had a very disagreeable experience with the teacher and it was very sad to see the teacher degrade my child's self esteem. Also, the curriculum is very cultish.

- submitted by a parent
September 18, 2007
I choose this school because of the research I have done on education. Unfortunately, the school does not conform to the principles it portorts to hold. Many of the teachers do not have an actual teaching certificate or any university certificated education in child develop as it relates to education. My child's specific teacher had no accountability and was not even aware that my son was not doing any of the work. At the end of 2nd grade he still did not know any of his vowel sounds. Since he has left, his self esteem has rebounded and he is doing so much better.

- submitted by a parent
June 30, 2007
It is interesting to see that most of the reviews are extremely positive or extremely negative. Perhaps people with more extreme reactions to a school are more likely to post a response. No school is perfect. OWS does have a strong accademic curriculum, but the teaching is not always geared to different learning styles. The teachers are dedicated, and I would say that all of them are very gifted teachers. But because the students stay with the same teacher for eight years, it really depends on the teacher's fit for your child. You could have a great teacher who just isn't compatible for your child or your family. In another school, that's fine for one year, but it won't work for eight. However, if the teacher is a good fit, the multiple year experience is wonderful - the teacher REALLY understands your child's social, emotional and accademic needs.

- submitted by a parent
June 11, 2007
I am so honored and grateful to be a parent and member of this community. We recently celebrated an 8th Grade Graduation, and it was a refreshing, delightful representation of the depth of character imparted to our children by this rich curriculum, caring community, and dedicated faculty.

- submitted by a parent
May 25, 2007
Our two children are doing great at the Olympia Waldorf School. It has been a nurturing, diverse and caring environment where they are able to develop and learn based on their own personalities and talents. The curriculum is rich and varied as well as challenging. There is freedom of expression and the students are not forced to learn to a standardized test. The children, teachers and staff become like one big extended family. The Waldorf method is different from what most of us experienced as children and it takes time to learn and understand the methodology. I suspect that some of the negative reviews were from parents that had some misunderstandings about what the school could offer. If you are willing to live outside the box and provide the best for your child, you should learn about the Waldorf method and take a tour of the school and decide for yourself.

- submitted by a parent
May 13, 2007
We have just recently placed our second child into Waldorf care. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to have both our children in such a caring and effective school. My wife is a former public school principal and I am a former school board director. The ethos and atmosphere of the Olympia Waldorf meets all our firmest desires for a school that centers on kids. In reading some of the comments it occurs to me that Waldorf is not for everyone. The pacing of curriculum does not parallel the public school model. Testing is not the focus of this program, yet our middle school took a standardized evaluative test and the class that took it averaged a higher score than the middle schools in our area. I can not speak highly enough of this Waldorf program. Again, it s not for everyone.

- submitted by a parent
April 23, 2007
As a former student, I have to say that I will never have my child attend this school when I have a child. When I left the school to attend public high school, I was shocked. I had never had my teacher give me consequences for not handing in my work and suddenly the teachers expected me to do the work and do it on time. I was so lost and behind the other kids. I had alot to learn once I left OWS. I will never make my child go through that!

- submitted by a former student
April 19, 2007
My child attended Olympia Waldorf School for 5 years. In that time we had some good experiences but also many poor experiences. There seemed to be very little communication between teachers and parents except ways to give time or money to the school. The kindergarten is very nuturing and gentle which is why we chose this school.

- submitted by a parent
April 19, 2007
We tried and tried to make this school work as we had vision of what a Waldorf school could be. But after 5 years, we could not take anymore. There are serious issues with accountability. Now my son is struggling to make up all that he should have gotten in those first years. I really feel that I let him down as a mother by having him go to this school.

- submitted by a parent
April 02, 2007
A horrible place that seems to promote the status quo. I am so sorry we restructured our lives and moved, bought a house, left good jobs to have our son go to a school that seemed better than it is.

- submitted by a parent
March 27, 2007
Olympia Waldorf School is the ultimate academic, artistic and social environment for our child. The curriculum is perfectly designed to meet her at every developmental level. At the moment, her school days are full of learning about Norse mythology, Native American history, study of the animal kingdom, mathematics and fractions, form drawing, German, Spanish, strings, painting, physical education, and more. This education truly develops the whole child--mind, body and spirit. Our child is happy and healthy and a large part of her wholeness comes from her schooling. The teachers are phenomenal individuals who are truly dedicated to the students and strengthening the functions of the school. The staff is warm, friendly and welcoming. My only concern is that there is not yet a Waldorf High School in Olympia, but I also know that our child will be so well-equipped socially and academically that she will do fine anywhere. An excellent school!

- submitted by a parent
December 23, 2006
Found that there was some catering to those who had more money, there was some problem with one of the teachers and it seemed that it was not really dealt with. Feel that that teacher dragged down the whole school, Many children dropped out of his class and left the school. Felt that there are too many cliques in the school that get in the way of what a Waldorf school should be. Certain teacher should practice what he preaches in the school. Other teachers did very well only wished my child could have had them for teachers because of their positive attitude.

- submitted by a parent
August 20, 2006
The academics for the children are behind for even basic success in a 'school' environment, security of the children while in school and on the playground was seriously dismissed, and we found that 'the community' has a hard time excepting and communicating with the new parents and students...

- submitted by a former student
July 03, 2006
I would say it is a waste of money and seriously lacking in accountability and respect for children and adults. I do not recommend this school and suggest you find a real Waldorf school somewhere else as they are not a real Waldorf school.

- submitted by a parent
June 28, 2006
I have been consistently disappointed by the lack of accountability for academics and the way the teacher's are allowed to be emotionally and verbally abrasive. A disappointing and expensive experience. The administration was not effective in managing any conflict and there was not any accountability about teacher conduct or lack of.

- submitted by a parent
May 29, 2006
My child regressed while attending school here. When I brought it up with the teacher he did not address it. Disipline is rather old school. There is little supervision on the playground. Lastly, the parent community is rather exclusive in many ways. I found that it was neccessary for new parents to prove themselves in some way to attain the status of 'part of the community.'

- submitted by a parent
October 25, 2005
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
December 09, 2004
What a fantastic school! I have two daughters that attend this school, and are now in grades 7th and 3rd. They are thriving at all levels, academically, artistically, and socially. I can't speak more highly of the quality of the faculty and administrative staff...kind, considerate, caring people. This is definitely a school you will want to visit.

- submitted by a parent
September 30, 2004
This school is a joke. Can I give 0's. They are rude to parents do not communicate and my son says he isn't learning anything and wants to go to a different school so he can learn. What more do I have to say.

- submitted by a parent
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Olympia Waldorf School
Po Box 130, East Olympia, WA  98540
(360) 493-0906
Last modified Olympia Waldorf School is a Private school that serves grades PK-8
Olympia Waldorf School Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 43 reviews. Top