There are a lot of advantages to a school where classroom sizes are small, parents are involved and charge tuition. This insures that there is little diversity at the school which is the primary reason people are here.
The school has strong community, but academics are suspect. This is another example of an 11-year old that could not read AT ALL. Be prepared to shell out additional dollars for private tutoring if you want your child to stay anywhere close to state grade level standards in reading, math or science. They refuse to adopt any use of technology at school, kids will leave middle school without being taught to type or use technology for anything other than Minecraft.
Our family has been very pleased with the curriculum, teachers and community at Olympia Waldorf School. Our children have been attending for the past eight years, and I am continually impressed with the quality of work the children produce, the true hands-on learning that takes place, the beautiful music and art that is infused in almost every lesson, the dedication and passion of the teachers, and the joy that my children express each day. I would urge anyone considering Waldorf to visit the school to see first-hand the holistic, engaging and beautiful curriculum that is offered. I can wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone looking for this type of education for their child.
This is the worst school I have ever seen. They are more concerned with their program than the students. Our 11 year old grandchild can barely read or write and for the past four years the school has done nothing about it. No plan, no action. Their program believes that a child will learn to read when they are ready. Well, not in all cases. Our other 9 year old grandchild has been suspended three times for shockingly minor offenses: two boys pushing in line - suspension, playing an imagination game and naming a character a "luddite" - suspension, answering out of turn in class - suspension. The teacher has no classroom management skills. They may be caring but for these two boys they aren't nurturing. From an angry grandparent.
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.