Highland Hall Waldorf School
|This article relies too much on references to primary sources. (August 2007)|
About Highland Hall
Located on a secluded 11-acre campus in Northridge, California, Highland Hall Waldorf School is an independent alternative school serving children from nursery through grade twelve with additional Parent and Child classes. Established in 1955, the school is the first Waldorf school in the western United States and is one of approximately 1000 Waldorf schools worldwide. The curriculum is based on the work of Rudolf Steiner. It is fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges and the Association of Waldorf Schools in North America.
Highland Hall offers a balanced, comprehensive curriculum that weaves academics with the arts to inspire our students to become passionate learners by way of experiential learning. Blending the humanities and sciences with music, foreign languages, practical arts and movement, each year’s curriculum is designed to successfully engage the children at every developmental stage through project-based, hands-on learning. The Waldorf curriculum moves from imagination and movement in early childhood through increasingly academic and artistically created lessons in the lower school, then on to intellectually challenging lessons in the high school. Students are provided with a solid academic foundation and the ability to think creatively, ask questions and explore answers in a broad, interdisciplinary way.
Experienced faculty and staff are committed to educational excellence in a school environment that respects cultural diversity and individual differences. The curriculum is college preparatory, and graduates are accepted in many of the finest colleges and universities domestically and internationally. Studies at Highland Hall cultivate a reverence for the earth and respect for its people. Highland Hall prepares graduates to be flexible, creative problem solvers able to communicate effectively and ready to make a difference in the world.
History of Highland Hall
Highland Hall Waldorf School was originally founded in 1955 in North Hollywood, California. It is the oldest Waldorf school in the western United States. In the early 1960s, Highland Hall outgrew the North Hollywood location and the administration decided to build a new campus on a hill in Northridge, California. The school currently resides at this location. The campus is naturally divided into three parts: the Early Childhood Center (including the Parent/Child class, nursery school, kindergarten classrooms, play areas and gardens), grades 1-8, and the high school (grades 9-12). Additional facilities on the 11-acre campus include a biodynamic farm (including vegetable beds, orchard, chicken coop and tended bee hives), gym, sports fields, wood/stone shop, art rooms, science lab, archery range, a bookstore/gift shop, and on-campus parking.
The first Waldorf school was founded in 1919 in Stuttgart, Germany, by Rudolf Steiner, the visionary Austrian educator, scientist and philosopher Rudolf Steiner. Waldorf education is a worldwide independent educational movement, with over 1000 schools in 83 countries. Highland Hall is nonsectarian, and works to inspire a true morality through the development of gratitude, reverence, and appreciation for all cultures.
About Waldorf Education
Waldorf education supports the concept that to be successful in the future, children will need the skills to think critically and solve problems. Intellectual flexibility, independent judgment, moral courage, and the ability to work effectively in a group environment will be essential to their success as innovative and responsible human beings.
To nurture these characteristics, the experiential-based Waldorf curriculum carefully balances academic, artistic, and practical activities to stimulate the imagination and prepare the students as thoroughly as possible for the future. Whether students move on to become scientists or lawyers, meteorologists or musicians, the creative and critical capacities developed through a Waldorf education will give them the foundation for success in whatever field they pursue.
At the heart of the Waldorf approach is the recognition that children pass through distinct stages of development, and that both the subject matter and the way it is taught needs to be age-specific to the growing child. Rather than simply imparting intellectual information, Waldorf education seeks to engage the whole child in the learning process. The arts are integrated into every subject, using movement, music, storytelling, and rhythm to bring the material to life and endow the developing child with a lifelong sense of wonder and joy of learning. An average of 42% of Waldorf graduates pursue careers in science and/or math related fields.
The Future at Highland Hall
By the end spring 2013, Highland Hall will have completed renovations on a new, state-of-the-art science lab and 20-hen chicken coop. In 2010, they completed construction of their gym. Previous updates include expansion of classrooms for grades 1-8.
Sports programs begin in middle school for grade 6 through 8. Girl's volleyball, girl's and boy's basketball and baseball are all offered at the middle school level. High school sports include women's and men's basketball, men's baseball, women's softball, women's volleyball, co-ed soccer, golf and archery.
Notable Alumni from Highland Hall
- John Howard- actor and Naval World War II hero taught English for many years and helped found the High School.
- Mackenzie Phillips, actress and singer best known for her role on One Day at a Time; daughter of John Phillips of the Mamas and the Papas
- Tom Stone, photographer
- Wendy Melvoin & Lisa Coleman, song writers and musicians, formerly with Prince.
- Ever Carradine, Actress
- Frances Bean Cobain, daughter of Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love