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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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