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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
"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.
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'.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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
Proud parent of three OWS students for the past 5 years. We love the school and he community.
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.
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.
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.
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