Curriculum » Overview

Overview

A challenging high school education

Grounded in the classics, academic courses at Waldorf High School expose students to the great ideas of humankind, the events that shaped civilizations, the beauty of mathematics, the power of the arts, and the phenomena of the natural world. Waldorf graduates benefit from a base of interdisciplinary knowledge from which they may pursue any passion in any direction.

An integrated curriculum

Our integrated curriculum is challenging and rigorous, balancing the arts, sciences and humanities. Our faculty fine-tunes the curriculum so that it has a rhythm and harmony as it builds year by year. Teachers meet weekly so that references and connections can be made between subjects. This integration of courses fosters students' appreciation that true understanding is reached by many roads.

An approach grounded in adolescent development

The curriculum reflects awareness of the developmental journey of adolescents and their quests for identity, independence, and purpose. Each year, our students study themes that resonate with their individual growth; each year's focus building on previous years. With a curriculum designed around students' developing consciousness, we feed and balance their intellectual, social, physical, and spiritual growth.

Our goal: To help you discover what you will do in this life, and start doing it.
 
How? Every day, we engage in three types of work:

Main Lesson Block Courses

First, we look outward in morning “main lessons” focused on understanding the larger story our lives are part of. Each month, we focus on a specific aspect of history, literature, science and/or technology and dive deep, experiencing it through dynamic discussion, hands-on exploration, and artistic creativity.

Continuous Courses

Second, we spend late mornings developing communication and reasoning skills, working collaboratively to help each individual grow a little bit more each day from whatever skill level they have now to the next level they are reaching for. Each day, students go to two of the four continous courses that run the full school year: English, Spanish, Math, & Cultural Studies.

Afternoon Courses

Third, we spend every afternoon doing the real, creative work that students choose. Through the week, students pursue three chosen work areas, which can include studios in art, design, and/or theater, exploration workshops going out into the world to study and act on personally relevant issues and work together the community with a variety of service organizations, scientific and technical project labs, and active workshops building our own health and fitness. Students choose nine afternoon courses each year (three per trimester).

Education in and through the Arts

Waldorf education is built on the principle that everyone has artistic capacities and imagination, even though not everyone is an "artist." The arts are integrated into every course, so learning is a multi-sensory experience, engaged through drawing and reading, through music and discussion. Our curriculum is infused with the arts because we believe that when the arts are integrated into learning, learning becomes more meaningful and enduring. Our students become flexible, confident thinkers. They set about solving problems with creativity and optimism.

Many of our students become accomplished artists and musicians, and many do not. All wake to the interplay of color, shape, sound, texture, perception, and emotion, and how these elements enrich our daily lives. All respect the work of the imagination and the power of creativity.
 
'Waldorf gave me a love of rich colors, energetic movement, and a passion for music. While I have not always been a creator of this kind of beauty, I have always found friends and environments that keep this part of my soul alive.' 
-Waldorf alumnus
"Waldorf schools include powerfully the arts as a teaching tool. Art as it helps to reveal the use of language, art as it can be revealed in numbers, and certainly in nature."
 
- Ernest Boyer, former president, Carnegie Institute for the Advancement of Teaching