I have been visiting local preschools with my son to get him used to the idea of going to school and to allow him to help choose a good school. He is 3 and a half and I have been very AP with him, never left him in daycare or any type of preschool. I did use a neighborhood teen to sit with him for 1-2 hrs a day infrequently. He is very attached and I am not going to let him cry it out at school after doing 3+ yrs of AP.
Anyway, the Waldorf school was high on my list because it is close to home and I like the gentle, earth-loving nature of the Waldorf philosophy. The visit to the school put me off and I found that to be validated after reading the post below about the abuse occuring and parents being expelled. The school has 3 preschool classrooms with 20 kids per 1 teacher and 1 aide per class with the age range of 3-6 yrs - seems like a high ratio. We had to wait in the office a few minutes for the person to take us on our tour. Meanwhile, one of the office employees was reading the newspaper at her desk and drinking coffee. I'm thinking, so this is what $520 per month (half day preschool) pays for? My main complaint was that they did not let us into any of the classes to see what was going on and no parents were present. All of the other schools we visited welcomed us to see what was happening and to pariticipate too. The person giving us the tour stressed that Waldorf ps is play-based no academic push, so what is the big deal if we walk into the room? They don't offer a 2 or 3 day a week program (they adjust much better if they are there 5 days a week she said) and they also don't allow parents to stay to help the child adjust. What is so gentle about that? Personally, I think it is an economic decision on the part of the preschool and not based upon what is best for the child. Of course, there is a CONTRACT and if you withdraw because the child may not be ready, you have to pay a secret penalty amount but she couldn't tell me what it is! She said that the teachers will help the child adjust if he is having a hard time, what do they do, tie them to chairs? She ended up our interview encouraging me to apply early and fork over the non-refundable $50 app fee for the priviledge of being placed on a wait list to possibly be interviewed to see if my child would fit into their school! The teachers make the decision based upon the sex, personality of the child because they know who will fit into their class. Ughhh!!!! By the way, when I telehoned last week, the person said they still had a few openings in the preschool for this year. Also, they do not have a school nurse despite having 320 students paying 6200 - 8000 per year tuition and a mandatory req. that parents participate in fund-raising. Does anyone have experience with this school?