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 (firstname.lastname@example.org), Director of Curriculum and Instruction at Juniper Ridge Community School (juniperridgeschoolco.org) that is located in Grand Junction, CO.
> To read the full article
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
On 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!
MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING
Alliance-AWSNA Alignment Strengthens Waldorf Education
IN THIS ISSUE
Amy Bird talks with Melanie Reiser, AWSNA’s Leader of Programs & Activities
FROM THE ALLIANCE
Shanna Mall on The Meaning of Our Joint Venture
FROM THE FIELD
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
Principal of G.W. Carver High School, writes In Defense of Learning: Designing an Authentic Portfolio Review Assessment
LIVING PUBLIC WALDORF
Class Teacher Laurie Tuchel reflects on Healthy Parent-Parent or Parent-Teacher Communications
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.
But for All Families | Shanna Mall, principle of the Winterberry Charter School in Anchorage, AK and Interim President of the Alliance shares an inside and personal story about the birth of Public Waldorf Education in the SPRING 2015 edition of CONFLUENCE.
CONFLUENCE Vol.4, No.3
GRADUATION 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.
TO VIEW NEWSLETTER
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