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Olympia Waldorf School

Private | PK-8 | 158 students


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41 reviews of this school

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Posted 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

Posted May 5, 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

Posted 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

Posted 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

Posted 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

Posted 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

Posted 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

Posted 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

Posted 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

Posted 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

Posted 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

Posted 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

Posted April 2, 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

Posted 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

Posted 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

Posted 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

Posted July 3, 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

Posted 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

Posted 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

Posted December 9, 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

Community ratings and reviews do not represent the views of GreatSchools nor does GreatSchools check their accuracy or verify the reviewers' identities. Use your discretion when evaluating these reviews.

About these ratings

The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.

We currently do not have any test score information for this school. Unlike public schools, private schools are not always required to report data about their schools or not required to take the same tests as public schools. Many private schools take different standardized tests; however, that information is often made available only to families of enrolled students. We strive to acquire additional private school data whenever available.

Student ethnicity

Ethnicity This school State average
White 78% 60%
Asian or Asian/Pacific Islander 10% 7%
Hispanic 6% 20%
Black 4% 5%
American Indian/Alaska Native 2% 2%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 0% 1%
Two or more races 0% 6%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

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Special education / special needs

Specialized programs for specific types of special education students
  • Specific learning disabilities

Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math (STEM)

School facilities
  • Computer lab
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School basics

School Leader's name
  • Marianne Guerin
  • Coed
  • Nonsectarian


Instructional and/or curriculum models used

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  • Waldorf
Specialized programs for specific types of special education students
  • Specific learning disabilities


School facilities
  • Computer lab
  • Library
School leaders can update this information here.



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Po Box 130
East Olympia, WA 98540
Website: Click here
Phone: (360) 493-0906


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