Don't forget to visit The Waldorf Review for more up-to-date school reviews and news stories.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

HIGHLAND HALL Waldorf school Reviews - by Parents - UPDATED

I've reviewed Highland Hall extensively, but here are more RECENT reviews from
other parents and teachers... notice, very little has changed in all these

seems many Waldorf schools and charters start off with a beautiful dream but in reality, the success of the school is really depends on the ethical and emotional maturity of the Administration & teachers. Highly subjective whether or not you are blessed with one of the Great teachers or someone who hasn't worked out their issues and you're supposed to 'trust' and 'let go...' we had a very rude awakening... Public school seems so stable and healthy now after the dysfunction we encountered. Can NOT recommend.
added: 05/09/2012

Posted September 16, 2010
Waldorf education can be an amazing thing, but Highland Hall is a very poor
example of a Waldorf school. There are very real reasons this school is
under-enrolled, has no waiting lists, and often turns over 20% of its children a
year. There is no functioning leadership. Teacher quality is uneven. Most
crucially, Highland Hall lacks integrity, their mission statement a hollow
promise gutted by fear and money. Look elsewhere. —Submitted by a parent

Posted June 16, 2010
My 3 children did not feel they learned any basic curriculum. Knitting, art and
woodworking are great, but math, science, english, history are weak. Many of
their high school students don't get into college. We left because our children
were bored. —Submitted by a parent

Posted May 15, 2009
My daughter attended HH for a year and enjoyed what they had to offer at the
preschool age. However, she would come home and need to run and jump all over
the place. Some kids just need to run. I like the Waldorf philosophy but I also
feel times are changing and in order to keep a realistic perspective on our
world, the media is a huge part of it. And being a psych major, I have learned
that children feel safe when they can understand parts of their environment. Not
keeping them in a bubble right smack in the middle of a thriving city. Plus
parents have an imperialistic attitude at HH. The love and respect for nature
and life should be given to all, not just those who can afford it. —Submitted by
a parent

Posted April 21, 2009
My son was there for a year and didn't learn a thing. We changed schools the
following year to an more challenging academic setting. He had a lot of remedial
work that he had to do the following year just to catch up to his peers. The
teachers at Highland Hall are very nurturing and loving, however, the kids need
more mental stimulation. I don't agree with their philosophy (actually Rudolf
Steiner's) of delaying academics till the late elementary/jr. high years. My
feeling is that either you're a Waldorf person or you're not, there's no middle
ground. It turned out that my son had dyslexia, which had gone undetected as his
class was not performing at grade level in reading or writing. He did benefit
however, from having such a caring, wonderful teacher. The campus has an
expansive park-like feel to it and is beautiful. —Submitted by a parent

June 27, 2008
My child loved her kindergarten teachers but by 2nd grade became frustrated with
the repetition of form drawing and the weirdness of the eurythmy class. She is
now in a charter school that is equally relaxed (no grades, no tests, no
homework) but is more academically stimulating and inspiring. At Waldorf, every
child works at the same pace, which is usually dictated by the children who
struggle the most.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted July 25, 2007
If your child has any learning difficulties, this school is ideal for allowing
them to work without enormous pressure. If your child is academically gifted,
this school will not be a good fit. There is a strong anti-intellectualism from
First thru 12th grade.
—Submitted by Anna J., a parent

Posted June 25, 2007
Adjusting to a traditional school revealed that my child was performing in every
area below grade level. It took her a year to catch up, and we regret having not
pulled her out before First grade. Although the campus appears serene and
attractive, the lack of transparency in the curriculum is a serious problem.
—Submitted by Dorothy, a parent

Posted October 14, 2006
Excellent kindergarten with our particular teacher; however, we had the very
opposite experience in middle school; and we were so unimpressed by the time our
child reached 8th grade that our child begged us to allow her to switch to a
more traditional high school.
—Submitted by Judy, a parent

Posted October 13, 2006
Three children attended; the oldest had a great experience from k-8; our second
child had a series of terrible teachers. The youngest child had a great
kindergarten experience. The school has no ability to constructively address
parents concerns —Submitted by a parent

Posted October 13, 2006
In spite of the beautifuyl appearance, it feels like a cult. There are no
academics standards. —Submitted by a former STUDENT

Posted March 11, 2006
As the name states, this is a Waldorf school, which is a very definite thing.
For some, it is perfect, for some not such a good fit. That is the first thing a
prospective parent needs to research. One distinctive aspect of Waldorf schools
is there is not a 'principal'. In the event of a problem, this can be an issue.
We often felt we had no one to turn to for action on our concerns. Academically,
we found Highland Hall on a very different page than other private schools in
the area. Our children left with way above average vocabularies, and below level
skills in concrete areas such as spelling and basic math facts. —Submitted by a

Posted February 28, 2005
The campus of Highland Hall Waldorf school is beautiful - there are big
playgrounds separate for the kindergarten, grades 1-3, and then 3-6. The
curriculum is very soul based, not academic - at least not academic enough for
my children. My 2nd grader got 'bored' there, and wanted to go to a 'real'
school - so we switched her to a public charter school. —Submitted by a parent

Anush ‎ - Jan 25, 2011
This place is a joke 4 years like bob says unless you start in 1st grade forget
it,you will always be an outsider,a bunch of spoiled rich kids who also infuse
the place with drugs ,you may be better of at another school ,save your money .

Paolo ‎ - Oct 23, 2010
Went here for 3 years of my life. Unless you're in the Waldorf system from 1st
grade up you will not integrate well into their education system. A bogus
education belief based on creating your own books, if you're child isn't an
artist, or is coming in from public school. Forget it, spend your 14000
somewhere else\

Our 3 children attended over 12 years and despite the beauty of the campus - the
school has no transparent system for problem solving serious issues. Teachers
seem defensive and intolerant of parents asking questions. The teachers police
each other and there is no advocate for the parents or students who might have a
legitimate concern about a teacher's conduct. Students can be expelled, without
any warning, if the teacher does not like their parent, even if the student has
never done anything wrong. This is not written down anywhere, but it has
happened several times in the last few years. Each time a perfectly cooperative
child is expelled or not allowed to re-enroll because the teacher didn't like
the child's parents, it sends a frightening message to the entire community to
not question the teacher's authority or your child will be punished.

Parents are not allowed to question the teacher's decisions in the elementary
grades. Discipline is inconsistent - often the teachers seem excessively
punitive. This education appeals to students/families who prefer an
anti-intellectual curriculum, with a spiritual agenda inspired by Rudolph
Steiner. There is no geniune open forum to express concern about classroom
issues, bullying, etc., or to question the unusual methods used to teach. - A.
Scemema (student)