1. What is Waldorf education?
Waldorf education was founded in 1919 and is based on the lectures and teachings of philosopher and educator, Rudolf Steiner. According to Steiner’s philosophy, the human being is a threefold being of spirit, soul, and body whose capacities unfold in three developmental stages on the path to adulthood: early childhood, middle childhood, and adolescence. The Waldorf curriculum is specifically designed to work with students through each phase of intellectual, physical, social and emotional development.
Ethical values and engagement with the larger community, both locally and globally, are integrated into the daily life and educational experience. The arts are not integrated with and separated from academic studies, with students creating their own textbooks full of maps, experiments, creative and research writings, illustrations and more. Phenomenological study approaches provide a context for students to learn intense observation and recording skills, experiencing their subjects of study and following the trail of information to their own conclusion rather than just reading about them in a book. Participation in a wide range of interests is encouraged, giving students a chance to try new things like sports or drama without having to already be masters of the material. This multidimensional approach results in students who are confident, capable and flexible in ways that prepare them to face whatever the future may bring. For more information please go to the website www.whywaldorfworks.org.
2. How do I apply to Cedarwood Waldorf School?
Contact Jonie Hurtt, our admissions director, at 503.245.1477 or go to our Admissions Page to apply and receive more information.
3. Do you offer financial assistance?
Cedarwood has a very generous tuition adjustment program that is based on financial need.
4. Do you have child care after school?
Yes we have a full and rich aftercare program for our preschool and a separate one for grades 1-8.
5. What is your media policy?
Waldorf education has long been grounded in the belief that media exposure is counterproductive to the development of imagination and memory and the ability to entertain oneself, especially in the younger grades. While we know that most families have some media as part of the home experience, we encourage families to significantly limit or discontinue exposure to television, movies, video games, computers and other entertainment media. At the very minimum, we expect families to maintain a no-media policy during the school week.
More and more education and human development research bears out the negative effects of large amounts of media on children, particularly in the preschool and grade school years.
We acknowledge that this can be a difficult transition, especially if the student has had a lot of media interaction prior to Waldorf school attendance. We are supportive of our families making this transition.
6. What is your grading system?
Teachers assess the children’s progress throughout the year through written evaluations, parent teacher conferences, parent group meetings and a full assessment of each student’s progress in all subject areas is provided in the form of a lengthy year-end evaluation.
7. How well do children outside of Waldorf schools transfer in?
Our experience is that the transition varies with the temperament of the child, how well he or she adjusts to changes, and the grade of the transfer. Generally, through grade 5, the transition goes smoothly with slight adjustments to a new learning environment, artistic activities, and foreign languages. In grades 6-8, sometimes extra tutoring in Spanish, Japanese and a musical instrument can help a student “catch up” to the level of the class.
8. What happens if my child and the Class Teacher do not get along?
It is rare that the child and the class teacher do not get along, because the Waldorf emphasis on honoring and supporting each child’s individual unfolding and life path allows for a concious embracing of differences. However, if the relationship hits a snag, frequent communication between teacher and parents ensures that any difficulties are resolved as quickly and as cooperatively as possible.
9. In what ways are parents involved at Cedarwood?
Parents are vitally important to the smooth functioning of Cedarwood. Our hope is that each parent will find a place at Cedarwood whether that is on the Board of Trustees, Finance Committee, governance and long range planning, Parent Council, festivals, fundraising, class trips, support for the teachers, or organizing parent education evenings. Opportunities abound for parents to contribute their unique skills and energy to the school community.