Caution about the Waldorf School of St. Louis - Mothering Forums
 
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#1 of 2 Old 11-05-2014, 02:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Caution about the Waldorf School of St. Louis

I have not posted much since my children have gotten older, but I wanted to pass on a word of advice to those who might be looking for alternative educational choices for their children in St. Louis. I heard about the Waldorf School of St. Louis (formerly Shining Rivers) on this board and had a good experience for a few years. We recently left and wanted to share my family's experience with others so that other families will not lose tens of thousands of dollars of income on a school that is not safe for children.


This school has dysfunctional leadership, administration, and faculty who blur the lines of friendship and professionalism with parents, creating an unsafe environment for children in the school. Bullies are not dealt with because it might offend teachers/parents, and the school is in favor of "letting the children figure it out", even when physical harm occurs. Teachers with poor teaching practices and unprofessional administrators are not sanctioned because people don't want to upset friendships. My family left after five years because of the rampant bullying, student favoritism, leadership dysfunction, shoestring budget, and other institutional problems that caused the school to lose 25% of its students last year. The past two board presidents have quit the board in the middle of their terms and removed their children due to their unhappiness with the school. The benefit of this alternative educational model is negated by the unsafe school environment and organizational instability.
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#2 of 2 Old 02-17-2015, 09:02 AM
 
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Reply from The Waldorf School of St. Louis

Waldorf education is grounded in the belief that children are complex and multifaceted. Consequently truly effective education must nurture not only the minds of each child, but their bodies and souls as well. This isn't merely a lofty ideal: it is the daily reality of our unique community, one facilitated by administrators and staff and embodied by teachers. Our teachers not only meet the rigorous standards established by the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America (AWSNA), but are also required to continue their training through summer intensive trainings and regional conferences. (See waldorfstl.org/faculty-and-staff for bios and credentials.)

Everyone would agree that an environment in which bullying is allowed to flourish hurts the child being bullied (and in fact the bully) and brings down the entire community. The same goes for an unsafe environment, or one that allows favoritism to grow unchecked. In fact, this is antithetical to the very ideal to which every member of The Waldorf School of St. Louis (WSSL) community is dedicated: to educate the whole child, every single one of them.

Conflict is an inevitable part of every daily life for children and adults alike. This is why our educators are trained to teach children conflict resolution, empowering them to work through disagreements that arise, and are there to facilitate discussions toward productive ends.

As witnessed by the abundance of positive reviews parents have posted of WSSL, this school is a wonderful fit for many families. But our progressive model does not work for every family, and that is to be expected; we believe all children have unique needs. Sometimes, however, the most productive solution is to bring things to an end. School enrollment is a personalized choice for each family. The Waldorf School of St. Louis is committed to providing a safe and nurturing environment for our students and a caring and open community for our families.
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