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I come to this forum hoping for some reassurance, but really seeking honesty.<br><br>
My DD (2 yrs) and I have been in our school's parent-child class since August, and we absolutely love it. I also voluteer quite a bit with the Parent Association.<br><br>
Over the past few months, I have really notice the lack of unified vision, leadership, and cohesion among the parents and board of our school. We are now at a point of fiscal crisis, and people are having extremely emotional reactions - mainly negative. We are going to lose a lot of families as we go through this period of financial reorganization, and the school is relatively small to begin with (P/C through 5th grade).<br><br>
I really feel disillusioned by the lack of organization and planning, and I'm wondering if this is a symptom of all Waldorf schools, which run by consensus rather than having any type of hierarchy. As an educational environment, it's wonderful (and I don't even know where we'd go if Waldorf weren't an option). But as a business, it's failing miserably.<br><br>
There is a good chance that our family will relocate within the next 3-5 years, and I'd like to choose a location that has a *healthy* and viable K-12 program. Right now it's most likely that we'll choose to move to Austin, but given the fact that their director of admissions forgot to arrange a guide for our scheduled visit to their campus (from out of state, I might add), I am now wondering if all Waldorf schools are just flaky.<br><br>
Help! Anyone? Are all Waldorf programs in such disarray?
 

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I can't speak for all schools and I am not even in the same country but your post could have been made by me a couple of years ago.<br><br>
Our school has been though ups and downs and serious transitions. It always comes through them usually with some insight. But, expect that they will happen regularly.<br><br>
At the moment our school seems to be getting it's act together somewhat and is getting a bit more organized. I hate to say it but you kind of get used to the disorganization, not that it makes it easy.<br><br>
I really don't have an alternative and homeschooling isn't an option for us. So, I have had to figure out the best way to work within this system that sometimes breaks down.<br>
I did figure out early on that in order to make it work for us was to get as involved as possible and that way, hopefully help steer a system rather than just be taken along by it. I also have made a point of asking whatever I want to know rather than waiting for the information to come to me.<br><br>
So, I guess I am saying that yes, our school has issues-major at times minor at the moment. I don't know if that's indicative of all schools, I doubt it is. I guess it's up to the individual to decide how much they are willing to deal with and maybe try to change things. Just don't get burned out in the process.
 

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<div class="alt2" dir="ltr" style="margin:0px;padding:6px;border:1px inset;width:640px;height:34px;text-align:left;"><code style="white-space:nowrap;"><code><span style="color:#000000;"><span style="color:#0000BB;">I am now wondering </span><span style="color:#007700;">if </span><span style="color:#0000BB;">all Waldorf schools are just flaky</span><span style="color:#007700;">. <br></span> </span></code> </code></div>
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funny, i was wondering the same thing!
 

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There are some recurring issues that younger and smaller waldorf schools encounter. The issues can involve:<br><br>
-- dealing with older students and their families (grade five and up); the kids are different, the parents look at the school differently, some will think the school is not properly preparing the kids for high school, and a significant subset of waldorf teachers aren't really comfortable teaching the science and math needed in middle school.<br><br>
-- the size of the school, as it hits 100 kids or so, forces a change in character of the place. In my experience, there are no "economies of scale" to be realized in a growing waldorf school, until perhaps your classes are twenty students or so. As you gain grades, you need more "middle management", more rules, more subject teachers, more teachers period, and the growing staff leads to conflicts between the new folks and the founders -- hence the potential for disagreemnts and lack of vision.<br><br>
There is much more that can be said about this, and I've lived all of it. I've been a waldorf parent for 13 years (last kid finishes grade eight this year) and a board member for seven or eight years. We've were once on the verge of going under, but recovered and are now doing pretty well. I've seen other schools, though, even large ones, go through big problems.<br><br>
Feel free to contact me via PM if you want to talk in more detail.<br><br>
My big question is why the financial problems -- an enrollment shortfall doesn't have to cause a financial crisis if it's dealt with appropriately!<br><br>
Best of luck, David
 
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