Reprinted from Waldorf Today






A Charter School Perspective


By Donald Samson


Is it possible for a public Waldorf charter school to reflect the same depth, joy, magic and artistic as well as academic excellence as a private Waldorf School? Can a public charter develop a classroom culture that is equal in its manifold layers to what we find in the private sector?


Can public charter teachers take on the mantle of the Waldorf teacher with its demanding, yet rich inner life and equally demanding active outer life? Although many think that the jury is still out, those of us who work in these public charter schools would reply with a resounding Yes!


The following article was published in early March online in Waldorf Today.


We highlight it here with permission.  The article was written by Donald Samson (, Director of Curriculum and Instruction at Juniper Ridge Community School ( that is located in Grand Junction, CO.

To read the full article 

Alliance/AWSNA Joint Venture Committee Renews Agreement

JVC Logos


In March, the Boards of Directors of the Alliance for Public Waldorf Education and the Association of Waldorf School of North America signed a letter renewing the mandate of the Joint Venture Committee, formed one year ago, to implement the service mark agreement that acknowledges Public Waldorf education.


The Committee’s is made of up representatives of both organizations who support the highest priorities of each organization as they pursue their common objectives.


To read the letter


To access the Alliance Logo for your school’s website 

Annual National Conference 2016 at
Rudolf Steiner College

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This year we offer 14 workshops and 14 breakout groups across two
campuses, at both Rudolf Steiner College
and the Sacramento Waldorf School.



To view the conference brochure with workshop details go to



Alliance Member $175     Non-Member $225 when paid by January 1
Alliance Member $200    Non-Member $250 when paid after January 1
   Pre-Conference Workshop & Post-Conference  $50 each     



Public Waldorf℠ Education in the News


Logo 8KB-websiteOn March 27, 2015 the Association for Waldorf Schools of North America (AWSNA) and the Alliance for Public Waldorf Education (the Alliance) announced a collaborative licensing agreement, which grants the use of the service mark Public Waldorf to the Alliance.

Together, both organizations are forging a new relationship based on their common foundation and perspective on what is best for children. Jointly their goal is to strengthen Waldorf Education and ensure its availability and accessibility to the next generation.

Waldorf educators, whether they work in independent or in public schools, hold Rudolf Steiner’s goal for education to be eloquently expressed in this quote: “Our highest endeavor must be to develop free human beings who are able of themselves to impart purpose and meaning to their lives.” In all of Waldorf Education lives the hope of providing new ideas for cultural and educational renewal. It is with tremendous excitement and hope that both associations look towards a future of working collaboratively in service to the children of North America.

For more information, we share here the text of the Joint Letter that spells out the terms of the license agreement, a Memorandum of Understanding that spells out how AWSNA and the Alliance intend to work together, and a Core Principles document with commentary on how Waldorf education is expressed in public Waldorf charter schools.

We invite you to share our enthusiasm for this new development in our movement for educational renewal!




Alliance Board and Advisors

Fall 2015 Confluence Is Here

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Alliance-AWSNA Alignment Strengthens Waldorf Education




Amy Bird talks with Melanie Reiser, AWSNA’s Leader of Programs & Activities


Shanna Mall on The Meaning of Our Joint Venture


Membership Chair Betsy Thagard makes a Membership Pilot Project Report


Alliance Administrative Coordinator Victoria Temple reports on a Magnet School that Has Opened Its Doors in Louisville, KY


Allegra Alessandri

Principal of G.W. Carver High School, writes In Defense of Learning: Designing an Authentic Portfolio Review Assessment


Class Teacher Laurie Tuchel reflects on Healthy Parent-Parent or Parent-Teacher Communications

Mini-Grant 2015 RFP

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GRANT RANGE >  $250-$1000APPLICATION DEADLINE >  December 1, 2015




The Alliance mini-grant program is intended to deepen the theory and practice of Public Waldorf Education.


This year’s grant(s) will be awarded to support the development of parent education activities that are designed to achieve the broadest impact on a school’s community building capacity, thereby strengthening parent-teacher partnerships in the classroom, in governance, or in the festival life of the school. The goal is to provide modest funding to fill gaps in a school’s operating budget allocation for parent education programming.

Proposals that include a creative way to share the learning and outcomes achieved with other Alliance member schools will be given priority.

For more information contact Victoria Temple at



Announce Your Alliance Membership!

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Member schools are encouraged to show the Alliance logo on their websites and indicate they are “A Member of the Alliance for Public Waldorf Education.” To learn more about how the recent AWSNA-Alliance agreement impacts how we can communicate our message as Public Waldorf schools now and into the future, read the recent August 10, 2015 Letter to Members.




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Service Mark Card-Back


GRADUSPRING 2015 Newsletter ATION is the focus of the Spring 2015 edition of Confluence.  We report on the signing of the service mark agreement with the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America (AWSNA) that heralds collaboration between two national organizations serving education in the U.S., get reports From the Field on what collaboration looks like in four different school communities, and hear from four seniors who will graduate in June from three Alliance member high schools.





Request for Permanent Pencil & Paper Testing in California Goes Forward

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Alliance advocacy recently resulted in a “win” for our members with the California Department of Education.  In March, Membership Chair Betsy Thagard and Waldorf administrators Chris Topham and Nikki Lloyd traveled to Sacramento to ask state officials for a permanent paper and pencil option for state computerized tests for the lower grades of Waldorf charter schools.  CDE officials agreed with the Alliance that computerized testing for younger children conflicts with the mission of Waldorf charter schools and agreed to support our request for a permanent paper test option for grades 3-5.  Since this request must go before several other state government bodies, the Alliance is now working with Eric Premack of the Charter Schools Development Center to make that option a reality.  CDE’s support makes it much more likely that a permanent waiver will be made available to our California member schools.  Stay tuned for future developments!

Reported by Betsy Thagard, Board of Directors