People who support Waldorf ascribe to an unquestioning belief in the "teachings" of Rudolf Steiner. They are passionate! Hopefully, you'll get a great teacher. Otherwise, you're child is stuck from 1st grade 'til 8th. There is only the "Board" to talk to - mysterious, apparently made up of other teachers - no principal, not easy to voice concerns and see results. Your child must dress and eat according to acceptable guidelines. If you don't conform your family is ostracized. Too much parent involvement! "Therapy Sessions" is how one parent we know describes "parent evenings." The EC was more diverse in our experience - much more cultish and rigid later. If your child has special needs, class sizes are enormous and the special kids are left to flounder with one teacher to manage the group. They are suing people who leave the school for legitimate reasons, so don't sign a contract!
The worst school with no rule to follow when there is a social problems. They are over protective for the teachers and not willing to provide any cocret solutions. No diversity.
Politics amongst the admin is full of egos, an inability to take meaningful action, and rarely holds each other accountable in support of an individual family. A large part of the delivery of a Waldorf education depends on the teacher's ability to meet each child's needs with sensitivity and support (including supporting the parents). If u have bullying concerns or other problem(s),it's difficult to feel heard at Merriconeag without entering a series of meetings where, if offered, solutions are vague and dismissive, or the responsibility is left up to the parent to back off, pay for extra tutoring, Eurythmy, Speech, etc. The admin. is often not very supportive, and as a result, families leave disappointed, for multiple reasons. Unfortunaltely, the delivery of a quality Waldorf education is being compromised at this school. If you can handle the politics, dishonesty, & volunteering, welcome & enjoy!
It was undisciplinary and supplied very low support. I am dissapointed with this school.
Words from a parent of a former student: A great school for the average to above average child provided the teacher and class are a good match for your son or daughter. If your child has any learning disabilities, look for private tutoring or the public school. Parents are not welcomed into the classroom, but are active in fundraising and larger school activities. A lovely, nurturing approach to education, but definately not for every child. Our extremely bright high school graduate (top 10% of class/800 SATs) does not reflect fondly on the 5 years at Merriconeag. Memories of favoritism and elitism predominate.