We've found an educational home at GBRSS. We were in public school then another Waldorf School and then landed here after much research. It has been the soft landing we were hoping for for our children. This school feels as close to perfect as they come. We've been at GBRSS for several years now and we have been pleased at how teachers-- both class teachers & subject teachers-- not only see but celebrate each child in the class for his/her uniqueness. There is a wholeness that is cultivated & nurtured in each child (mind body spirt)-- that is then cultivated within the classroom (all children work together regularly and exclusion is not tolerated)--- that is then cultivated in the whole of the school-- across grades across the teachers across the parent body and so on. So a sense of belonging is organically there from the beginning. Children are taught to think here-- not know-- but learn to know from a place of curiosity. Through fostering curiosity the education unfolds-- the curriculum matching a child's development. I recall a GBRSS parent saying once "Sending my child here was the best decision I have ever made in my life." We suspect we'll feel very much the same.
Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School is a private middle school. 220 students go to Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School and are mostly White, non-Hispanic; Asian/Pacific Islander; and Multiracial. The student to teacher ratio at Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School is 10:1. The Center School is one of the nearest middle schools.
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GBRSS is the second Waldorf School my three children have attended and we finally feel that we have found the perfect school environment! The teachers are stellar and experienced many of them on their third cycle having seen their own children and even grandchildren through the school which speaks volumes. As one teacher recently remarked in a class evening 'There is a cloud of expectation hovering over the school' and the children rise to meet it on a daily basis. GBRSS has found the perfect blend of time-tested Waldorf pedagogy and a gentle but present structure to the school days effortlessly mixing rigorous academics and a rich arts program. The entire school came together some years back to develop their 'Star Code' which is a code of conduct and mission statement of sorts that the children are constantly reminded of and it is absorbed into their beings. The parent body is extremely healthy and involved the sense of community is very strong and the school does a great job of communicating who they are with the children at the center of everything they do. I especially love the bonds between the older and younger grades as 7th and 8th graders help out at recess.
Both my son and my daughter attended and graduated from the Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School and I have nothing but gratitude for the education they received. They were well prepared for high school academically in every way. In particular they learned how to write meaningfully and coherently. The arts are incorporated into everything in a Waldorf school and they learned how to express themselves in many ways - they were in class plays learned to play an instrument painted made a three-legged wooden stool and sang in a chorus - these activities were not electives and were part of every day. They also built relationships with their teachers and classmates more so then what happens in a public school. At GBRSS there is time every day for outdoor recess and I saw how vital that was both for their well being and classroom time. There are many more great things I could say about the school and it's dedicated teachers - there is also something that is hard to put your finger on and that is important that I can best say in this way - at GBRSS a child is able to be and to become their own person.
the school is very good for Nursery/Kindergarten but after that is becomes " institutionalized" by forcing the ids to line up in rows of tables/chairs This begins in 1st grade which becomes a culture shock to kids after the free-flowing natural learning environment of Kindergarten. Also there is no limit to amount of kids placed in each class-some classes have 25 kids and ONE teacher! They NEVER add a second teacher just trying to maximize profits over quality of education it appears. We transferred schools after Kindergarten. Also science isnt even taught until 6th grade and then it is poorly taught. No wonder USA is so far behingd the rest of the world in science!