Q: Is the Waldorf School of Atlanta accredited?
A: The Waldorf School of Atlanta is accredited by the Southern Association of Independent Schools (SAIS), AdvancEd and the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America. (AWSNA)
Q: I want my child to experience the Waldorf program, but he's already in the fourth grade. Can you start the Waldorf program at any grade?
A: Yes, there are plenty of students who come to us from other schools and at various ages. As with all major life changes, how smoothly the transition is accomplished may vary depending on the temperament of your child, and how well he adjusts to changes. Generally, through grade five, students adapt well to the new learning environment. In middle school, a student may need extra tutoring in language arts and in a musical instrument to help him catch up to the level of the class.
Q: Can you tell me about the art program at the Waldorf School of Atlanta?
A: At the Waldorf School of Atlanta, multiple arts are infused into the curriculum. Here, drama, visual arts, handwork, music, and movement are not "extras" provided when budget and time permits, but are integral components to every day's learning. Every Waldorf student can play an instrument, paint, draw, and work in the handcrafts. However, we are not an art school. Waldorf schools around the world have integrated the arts into every subject, using movement, music, storytelling, and rhythm to bring the material to life and help students develop a lifelong sense of wonder and joy of learning. By pairing the academic and the artistic, students are invigorated by the learning process.
Q: What about math and science?
A: The math and science curriculum is rigorous, and students are taught to engage math and science in a way that is practical in the real world. Although the teaching methods are different, Waldorf School of Atlanta students graduate eighth grade having had the same core math and science curriculum that is expected of every student in the state of Georgia including Algebra I. Waldorf graduates are critical thinkers and problem-solvers, and have found that the math and science foundation gained while at Waldorf prepares them to go into any field they choose.
Q: Can you tell me about how children learn to read at Waldorf?
A: Waldorf students become voracious readers. The Waldorf program does not impose formal reading instruction too early. Rather, through storytelling, performance, and illustration of letters and words artistically, students naturally develop an enthusiasm for literature. Each student is encouraged to develop in a manner that supports a long-term love of reading.
Q: What is your policy on media?
A: As educators, one of our major goals is to increase the neural pathways in the brain, thereby optimizing overall brain functioning. This is especially important for the lifelong skills of discrimination and critical thinking. Apart from the content they disseminate, television, video games, and movies lay down simple, repetitive neural pathways and actually shut down those areas of the brain that activate higher level thinking skills and powers of discrimination.
Furthermore, for young children, their primary means of self-development is through healthy movement, active play, and fantasy, which arises out of an innate capacity to form images. We strive to cultivate this capacity of imagination, which can be blunted through the ready serving up of visual and aural content provided by media.
Q: What is your average class size?
A: Kindergarten classes range from 8 to 18 children in size, with a lead teacher and an assistant for each class. Grades one through eight range from 20 to 25 students, with certain subjects - such as math, eurythmy and writing - split into smaller groups to ensure a better grasp of the subject.
Q: What happens if my child and the Class Teacher do not get along?
A: We have rarely seen this type of situation develop between student and teacher. The Waldorf approach honors and supports each child's unique unfolding, which allows for a great embracing of differences. However, if the relationship hits a snag, frequent communication between teacher and parents ensures that any difficulties are resolved as quickly and as cooperatively as possible.
Q: How do you work with gifted students?
A: We see every child as gifted in his or her own unique way, to be appreciated for both strengths and weaknesses. Our methodology is such that all children are taught the same curriculum. However, a child who is gifted in certain areas, such as in music, science, or the arts, may go deeper or do more advanced work within the general classroom setting.
Q: What help is available for remedial work?
A: Our Learning Specialists evaluate students in grades 1 - 8. These faculty members, along with the class teacher and specialty teachers, work individually with the student and parents to understand the underlying issues affecting the child's learning and develop approaches to resolve them. When a child's needs extend beyond that of the Learning Specialists, we recommend outside tutoring, assessment, or consultation.
Q: What is the approach to homework?
A: Research has shown that homework begins supporting a student's school performance in middle school. However, we begin small homework assignments in third grade so that students develop responsibility, organizational skills, and good habits. By the time students are in middle school, they have homework loads similar to those in other schools.
Q: What is eurythmy?
A: Eurythmy combines movement, music, rhyme, story, and geometric shapes into an art form that develops one's concentration and capacity for aesthetic appreciation. Students learn to choreograph group movement and to be sensitive to other people.
Q: My friend's child goes to a Waldorf School in Connecticut. Is the program the same? How are Waldorf Schools related?
A: Each Waldorf school is independently operated, but all share a commitment to the same educational philosophy. Each school in the nearly 40 countries where they are located adapts its curriculum to its particular culture.
Q: A diverse school setting is important to me. Is the Waldorf School of Atlanta diverse?
A: The Waldorf School of Atlanta is committed to diverse student body. Applicants are considered for admission without regard to race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national and ethnic origin or socioeconomic background. Approximately 27 percent of our student body is of African-American, Asian, or Hispanic origin.
Q: Is there a dress code?
A: There are no uniforms required at the school; however, there is a dress code designed to support the learning environment. The dress code guidelines vary from the early-childhood program, lower, middle, and upper schools. Please contact the school for more details.
Q: Is the Waldorf School of Atlanta a religious school?
A: No, we are not. We do, however, recognize that all humans â€“ in fact, all living things â€“ possess a spiritual dimension. We believe the role of education is to support the unfolding individuality without any religious dogma. We honor various spiritual traditions and seek to educate students about cultures and religions from around the world.
Q: What is the school's policy on immunizations?
A: Each student is required by Georgia Law to have satisfied one of the following requirements prior to admittance:
The Official Code of Georgia provides for exemptions from immunization requirements due to medical conditions or religious beliefs. If parents/guardians are claiming an exemption, they should familiarize themselves with this policy (DHR Rules, Chapter 290-5-4.01). All Certificates of Immunization and Affidavits for exemptions will be on file and available for inspection by health officials.
WSA encourages parents to consider their civic responsibility in regards to the decision of whether or not to immunize against any communicable disease, but ultimately, the decision to immunize or not, is one made by parents in consultation with their family physician. While the school respects the right of parents to choose not to immunize their children, parents MUST be aware of the policy for non-immunized children. The DeKalb County Health Department has many helpful resources for schools and parents. See this web site for more information.
We are required to report any cases of several communicable strains to the county immediately: Ex: Measles, Meningitis and Mumps.
In order to protect the school community and the wider community from unwanted exposure to communicable childhood disease, we strictly enforce a stay-at-home policy for children who are sick with identified communicable illnesses or a thermometer reading of 99.5F. We maintain records of those families who have this affidavit on file should monitoring those children be necessary. Non-immunized children who have been exposed to measles, mumps, whooping cough or chicken pox must not attend school until the incubation period has past and/or a doctor's note confirms evidence of the antibody or physical evidence of the disease is documented. Incubation periods are available in the office and on the county website. We are also available to assist you with your questions.
For parents submitting the religions exemption affidavit, click here: