“Waldorf education honors the developmental stages of life,” Mr. Simon says.
The emphasis on the arts and on age-appropriate education does not slow down or take away from the academic portion of the curriculum, Mrs. Sawers says.
In fact, Washington Waldorf School students perform well on the SATs, “above the national average,” she says.
Eleventh-grader Anabella Aspiras, 17, says she spent sixth grade in a public school for financial reasons — one year’s tuition at Washington Waldorf costs between $13,450 and $14,100 depending on the grade, although tuition assistance is available in certain cases — and found that in most subjects she wasn’t behind at all.
“I was ahead in science and social studies and a little behind in math,” Anabella says.
Switching schools was an adjustment not only academically, but also socially.
“I went from a class of 24 students to a class of 360,” she says.
The entire 13-level Washington Waldorf School has 330 students.
Also, as is the case with many Waldorf students, Anabella was not allowed to watch much television and sometimes had a hard time relating to teen pop culture.
“I had a radio, and that’s how I related to the other kids,” she says.
The smallness of the school — something generally lauded by teachers and parents — is a problem for some students.
“If you don’t like your class, you have nowhere to go,” Anabella says. Her older sister, Lena, wanted more racial diversity and left for a public school after 11th grade.
“Our dad is Filipino, and our mom is white, and Lena just ached for diversity,” she says.
The younger sister, however, calls herself a “Waldorfian advocate.” She loves her school. She is also a “lifetime Waldorfian,” having gone through kindergarten, referred to as the “children’s garden” in Waldorf schools.View Entire Story
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