"We are so grateful that this experiential approach to growth and learning is available and embraces our children's uniqueness. We have witnessed the intentional focus to awaken and grow both academic intelligence and emotional intelligence. We love that Waldorf engages the children's minds, emotions and bodies -- helping them take in so much more and awakening a deeper passion to learn."
-- Jamie E., parent
Thank You for supporting Waldorf Education!
This has been a year of contrasts for the Waldorf School of Saratoga Springs. From one view, the challenges of the pandemic have made us grateful for the outpouring of support from our wonderful families and the tireless efforts of our faculty, staff, and volunteers. From a different view, we’re empathetic toward those who have lost loved ones and livelihoods as a result of the pandemic. It is unquestionably a time of change.
Our school has experienced notable shifts in faculty, staff, and students, and incurred many additional expenses to reopen safely, including: sinks, sanitizing stations, covered outdoor structures, air purifiers, PPE, and heaters. In addition, we were forced to cancel many of our beloved school fundraising events that are essential to cover the costs of our programs and capital improvements. Now is a pivotal time for us all to reimagine and recommit to our school, raising funds to continue the rich education we offer the students. Your contributions make a huge difference in helping to support Waldorf’s experiential, multi-faceted approach to learning.
This Annual Fund, we are going back to the heart of Waldorf education: storytelling. When Rudolf Steiner founded the Waldorf School, he designed a story-based curriculum to support the inner journey of children as they grow and develop. The age-appropriate stories, told from memory, bring subjects to life while building vocabulary and imagination. They are also a powerful way to instill a deep sense of wellbeing and connection within the class.
Now, as school gatherings are limited, the connective force of stories is even more significant. Our Waldorf stories extend beyond the walls (or trees, as is the case this year) of the classrooms. They encompass our entire community.
We invite you to share your Waldorf story. What brought you to our school? What keeps you coming back? We want to hear your heart-warming tales, funny memories, and inspiring moments from your life at the Waldorf School of Saratoga Springs. Send us your story in writing or by video: email@example.com.
As you share your stories and connect to the stories of other Waldorf families, please consider supporting our school through a much needed and appreciated donation to the Annual Fund. Click on the yellow "donate" button to the left—we need your support today!
Waldorf stories from the heart...
WSSS alumnus and parent Merry Penk shares her story
"We became part of the Waldorf family and educational community when my son Justin transitioned to the school for his sixth grade year after spending his elementary years at public school. During public school, Justin struggled with focus and getting lost during lessons amongst a larger class environment, often missing important details and falling behind his peers. Since being at the Waldorf School of Saratoga Springs, Justin has flourished academically in the smaller environment, benefiting from one-to-one instruction as well as their extraordinary way of teaching. One memorable story is watching his class do a circus performance at two large events, one including the annual downtown trick or treat every October. Watching Justin's focus on each movement and the precision he had in those movements was amazing to see as a parent, knowing how focus and attention was always something he struggled with in public school. Now we also have our youngest daughter at Waldorf and it continues to be wonderful to see the outstanding education transform her as a student as well. My husband and I highly recommend Waldorf education, a learning philosophy that brings out the best in children everywhere!"
- Michele H. Davis, employee and parent of students Justin and Jaina
“Although my years as a Forest Kindergarten parent have passed, I recall them with fondness and appreciation. A memorable moment occurred just before the end-of-year picnic when my rising first grader confidently said, ‘I never want to leave my school, because I don’t want to learn anything.’ Her statement still makes me smile four years later. It completely embodies everything our family loves about Waldorf and the Early Childhood Program. She experienced her three years at the Forest as a time to simply play in the woods. I saw her joyfully discovering skills she needed for the grades. The rich language of songs and stories, the risk-taking of leaping from rocks and climbing trees, and the fine-motor skills found through sewing and food preparation allow her to successfully navigate the challenging academic work she happily faces today.”
“On my first visit to the campus on York Avenue, I noticed so much beautiful artwork. It was organized in groups based on theme, yet each piece was remarkably different. I look back on their difference and see a metaphor for the experience that has followed: Harry was given permission, and constant encouragement, to be his true self. At WSSS, Harry discovered a certain peace to his days. While grades 6-8 brought challenges, Harry learned to focus, returned to his curiosity, and rekindled his joy of learning. Waldorf offers an approach to academics that is holistic and supportive, in tune with his development.”
-Carla Metz, employee and parent of Harry
“In today’s world children, and young adults are faced with so many outlining stressors. I did not want school to be one of those for my children. I wanted them to enjoy going to school. I wanted my children to be immersed in nature where they could acquire an appreciation for the different elements and the beauty each season has to offer. I wanted it to be a safe place for them to learn, and grow. Where music, movement, and the arts were integral, and smiles, laughter, and happiness succeeded standards, and testing. Waldorf School of Saratoga Springs does this, and more.”
"Our three daughters had the privilege to attend the Saratoga Waldorf school starting as toddlers in the parent/child class. We spent 15 years in the Saratoga Waldorf community and miss it everyday! Upon moving to California, we made the decision to put the children in public school. This was mostly a financial decision, but there was a big part of us that wondered if they could succeed outside of a Waldorf community. We were amazed at their transition.
My ninth grader transitioned into a high school of 2300 students. She quickly figured out the system, joined the city rowing team, and achieved straight A’s in her first semester. While the transition to such a huge school was disorienting, she was fascinated by the experience and took it on with excitement. There were many times that she mentioned how grateful she was for the intense homework during her eighth-grade year with Mrs. Ravenstar because the assignments, tests and homework completely prepared her for public high school.
My seventh grader entered a large middle school. She spent the first month pulled back socially (so she could figure out who to be friends with) and after that first month, she was able to assemble a group of eclectic friends from India, Colorado, and Arizona. She achieved straight A’s, and while she finds public school extremely boring, she is thriving academically and socially. Many times, she said couldn’t believe the quality of teaching from her Waldorf teachers—how much they prepare and how interesting they make course material. I was glad she could appreciate the quality of education she had grown accustomed to with Mrs Crandall!
My fifth grader was super excited to join a class with a lot of girls (friend options!), however, she struggled academically at first. She entered into the class with some differences in the education that she received, but the teachers worked with her and after five months she is completely caught up academically. I’m sad she won’t have the slow academic pace that my other daughters received at Waldorf.
I am super grateful for the acceleration of academics in the Saratoga Waldorf middle school. Each of my kids were prepared for middle and high school due to the academic rigor that was instilled in them during 6-8 grade.
Thank you for all you did for my children!"
-Kim Beekman, parent