Welcome to our online Parent Handbook. This is where you will find the answers to most of your questions!
Please note: we are working on getting the entire handbook loaded up. Until then, please understand that it is an incomplete document.
Every year we are honored to welcome hopeful children and their parents to our school and into the Waldorf educational community. In selecting Cedarwood you have placed a significant portion of your child’s development into our hands. We thank you for your trust. As you have discovered, a Waldorf school differs from other institutions in the methods by which our children are educated in head, heart, and hands to move confidently through the grades and into life.
To ensure the success of our educational mission, we urge our parents to make a significant commitment to involvement in their children’s education at home and in school, and to become active members of the Cedarwood community. As a parent, your understanding of our educational philosophy and your participation in the building of an educational community directly supports your child’s learning and growth while modeling a responsible community spirit.
We recognize that at the beginning of your child’s journey through Waldorf education – or even if your child is a returning student – there is a lot to learn about our school, our policies and our philosophy. We have prepared this handbook to guide you through the regulations, procedures and expectations of daily school life at Cedarwood. Should you require further clarification on any subject, we welcome you to speak with your teacher or other members of the Cedarwood team.
Cedarwood’s history has been one of remarkable growth, but our most notable milestone is an ever-growing body of inquisitive, well-rounded students and their remarkable parents.
Our Educational Philosophy
Waldorf educational philosophy is based upon the belief that an evolving free and human spirit is the greatest goal of knowledge. It’s stated goal is: “to produce individuals who are able, in and of themselves, to impart meaning to their lives.”
Lying at the heart of Waldorf curriculum is the philosophy of Anthroposophy – the knowledge of a human being’s true nature and the consequent recognition of the distinct stages children pass through as they develop. At each stage, psychological and spiritual changes occur and are reflected in a physical change. Accordingly, the Waldorf curriculum corresponds directly in content and presentation to the stages of the growing child. Subjects and skills are introduced when the child is most receptive to learning them. Subjects are learned holistically, not is isolation. Applying an interdisciplinary approach, Waldorf curriculum carefully integrates academic subjects with artistic and practical activities by teaching to the “head, heart and hands.”
Healthy emotional development is nurtured by conveying knowledge through direct experience and social interaction. An internal motivation to learn is developed within the student through the use of arts and activities in the support of academics. In order not to disturb the development of that crucial attribute, information technology is not utilized from kindergarten through grade seven.
Learning at a Waldorf School is a vital and dynamic process, permeated with the power of imagination and positive role modeling. The curriculum and the culture of caring created in our schools empowers the child to meet not only the challenges of school, but those of life. a
Guided by an understanding of Rudolf Steiner’s philosophy and insight into the developing human being, we seek to nurture children's spirituality, cultivate their ability to think imaginatively and express themselves artistically. We choose to patiently encourage their sense of wonder at the natural world and inspire them to seek the truth. In creating an educational community to support these efforts we pledge to honor diversity, kindness, civility and mutual respect. Through our rich curriculum and a deep understanding of the adult emerging from the child, it is our desire and our mission that each student should go forth into adulthood, a person of confidence, integrity and honor, with a high regard for humanity and our precious planet.
Cedarwood welcomes students of all races, creeds and national or ethnic origin in its admission policy and conduct of its educational programs. Our school is nonsectarian and nondenominational, and is committed to providing Waldorf education to all families without economic, social, religious or racial prejudice.
In keeping with Waldorf Education’s aim of teaching children to influence and lead within a society composed across a spectrum of social, cultural and financial differences, Cedarwood has traditionally striven to be supportive and reflective of the demographic characteristics of the Portland metro area. We define diversity as a range of racial identifications, ancestries, nationalities, native languages, socioeconomic backgrounds, family structures, ages, belief systems, gender and sexual identities, abilities, appearances, occupations, and political affiliations.
At Cedarwood, we are proud of our ongoing commitment to inclusivity and diversity. The many different ways that members of our school community may look, sound, worship or love are integral to the school's mission. Our children thrive within a healthy diverse group of teachers, families, fellow students and friends.
Cedarwood honors the multiple perspectives that exist in our increasingly diverse community with a commitment to ongoing conversation, education and partnership. Our goals for the next three to five years include:
- Increasing enrollment in under-represented groups within our community.
- Building a school community that will better represent the community in which we are located and within the greater Portland area.
- Programming for local service learning initiatives as part of our broader commitment to social justice.
- Strengthening our connections to diverse communities in our area.
Cedarwood Waldorf School is an independent, private school. Since January of 2016, we have had the honor and distinction of being the first and only dually accredited K-8 Waldorf school on the West Coast. We are accredited as a Full Member School by American Waldorf School of North America (AWSNA), an association that strengthens and supports Waldorf schools and informs the public of the benefits of Waldorf education. Cedarwood hosted the AWSNA 2017 summer conference.
Cedarwood is also an accredited member of the Northwest Association of Independent Schools (NWAIS), a voluntary association of more than 114 independent schools in the Pacific Northwest. All NWAIS schools are nonprofit institutions chartered by the board of regents, individually governed by elected boards of trustees, and privately financed by tuition, fees and contributions.
Cedarwood’s early childhood program is accredited by the Waldorf Early Childhood Association of North America (WECAN) and has hosted the national WECAN conference for the past two years.