The Waldorf School
|This article relies on references to primary sources. (December 2007)|
Coordinates: Established in 1971, the Waldorf School of Lexington in Lexington, Massachusetts is a Pre-K through Grade 8 independent school. As of September 2012, the school serves over 250 students with 40 full- and part-time faculty and staff members.
The Waldorf School is accredited by the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America and the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. It is also a member of the Association of Independent Schools of New England.
Guided by the educational philosophy of Rudolf Steiner, the Waldorf School opened in 1971 as a kindergarten and day care center with a handful of children in a Cambridge church basement. In its third year, the school's three faculty members decided to apply for membership in the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America (AWSNA). For six years the school was sponsored by the Waldorf School of Garden City, NY. By the end of the decade, the school had expanded to sixth grade and had become a full member of AWSNA.
In 1980, the school rented the old Adams School building in Lexington to accommodate the growing number of students. From 1981 to 1984, enrollment increased significantly and the school purchased the Adams building from the town of Lexington in 1983. In 1982, the first eighth grade graduated.
In 1990, a formal Waldorf Parent-Teacher Association was formed and, in 1991, the Board of Trustees elected a parent as its first non-faculty president. During this year, the school was accepted into the Association of Independent Schools of New England (AISNE).
During the 1995-96 school year, the faculty and Board developed a new long-range plan. It established a goal of founding a high school, while keeping the elementary strong. The high school started out in the basement of the Follen Church at 755 Massachusetts Avenue, with ten students in ninth grade.
In 1998, the school successfully conducted a capital campaign to purchase the historic building adjacent to the existing site. Beginning in October, the building at 703 Massachusetts Avenue was gutted and renovated to house up to 56 students on three floors. The High School moved into its new quarters in the spring of 1999, and in June 2000, the first twelfth grade graduated.
In 2002, the school was evaluated by a team from AWSNA and NEASC (New England Association of Schools and Colleges.) The school received accreditation from both organizations.
In 2003, it was decided that the high school would become a separate entity. The high school formed its own board of trustees and is now the Waldorf High School of Massachusetts Bay. The high school moved to Belmont, MA in July 2004 to accommodate its growing enrollment.
As of 2006, the school offers programs for children from birth through eighth grade, with a "Winterpark" program for children from 0–3 years, a "Rosebuds" program for parents and babies between the ages of 6 weeks and 9 months, a "Morning Glories" program for parents and tots, and a "Buttercups" transitional nursery program for those almost ready for school.
The school's second building at 703 Massachusetts Avenue, which dates to 1828 and is the oldest brick structure in Lexington, was renovated during the summer of 2005 to house the expanded nursery school program. It has two classrooms, a new fenced playgarden, a resource room, and a lounge area for parents.