Frequently Asked Questions
River Song Waldorf School is a magical place dedicated to serving children and childhood, pure and simple.
What Questions Do You Have?
Click any of the questions below to learn more.
Your child’s enrollment at River Song is year-round. While you may choose part-time or full-time enrollment (as space allows), River Song families agree to a 12-month (one-year) enrollment contract. Enrollment is rolling, usually with spaces opening up in June and August. Please contact us to learn about enrollment opportunities for your child or children.
The following fees will be in effect from August 2015-August 2016:
- Five (5) Full Days:
- Five (5) Half Days:
- Three (3) Full Days:
- Three (3) Half Days:
- Two (2) Full Days:
- Two (2) Half Days:
River Song offers tuition assistance to families who meet income guidelines based on household size. See guidelines below. Assistance is available on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Scholarships may also be available. Inquire with the Administrative Director for more information on how to apply for tuition assistance or scholarships.
For more information about River Song Waldorf School or to arrange a tour, contact Becky Praamsma, Administrative Director at 970-407-9185 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for your interest! The first step in the application process is to schedule a visit and tour at River Song. Contact Becky Praamsma, Administrative Director at 970-407-9185 or email@example.com
River Song has year-round programming. We are open from 8:00AM – 5:30PM, Monday-Friday. Festivals, parent meetings, Board meetings, and other school events may take place weekday evenings or on the weekends as appropriate.
Our Early Childhood program is year-round.
We do not provide lunch for our students. Families are responsible for packing a wholesome, nutritious lunch without candy or other high-sugary items. Many of our families pack children’s lunches in soft sacks, metal lunch boxes, and baskets. We ask that parents also provide two cloth napkins for lunch, and water bottles on picnic days. River Song provides bottled spring water or tea in glasses for the children at lunch, during snack, and throughout the day as needed.
Yes, we do. In the Waldorf tradition, children receive a mid-morning and a mid-afternoon snack. The snack calendar changes from season to season, and at least one of the daily snacks is based on the Waldorf’s “Whole Grain of the Day” featuring wheat, rice, barley, millet, rye, oat, and corn. We source organic, GMO-free ingredients whenever possible.
Many of our children have food allergies, sensitivities, or come from families who prefer grain-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free, nut-free, vegetarian, or vegan diets. We respect the needs and interests of everyone in our community and allow families the opportunity to provide their own snacks (and “cake” for birthday celebrations). Families who opt to provide their own snacks are eligible for a small tuition discount. Please speak with the Administrative Director for more information or to make arrangements for your family?
In the sense of subscribing to the beliefs of a particular religious denomination or sect, no. Waldorf schools are not religious. Waldorf schools, however, tend to be spiritually-oriented and are based out of a generally Christian perspective. The historic festivals of Christianity, and of other major religions as well, are observed in the classrooms and in our annual festivals. But classes in religious doctrine are NOT part of the Waldorf curriculum, and children of all religious backgrounds attend Waldorf schools. Spiritual guidance is aimed at awakening the child’s natural reverence for the wonder and beauty of life.
In the Waldorf tradition, seasonal festivals serve to connect humanity with the rhythms of nature, our own ethos, and the cosmos. Our festivals originated in ancient cultures and have been adapted over time. We believe it benefits the soul, body, and spirit to to join with the seasonal moods of the year, in a festive way. Celebrating is an art. There is joy in the anticipation, the preparation, the celebration itself, and the memories. To learn more about River Song’s annual festivals, click here
Yes, River Song Waldorf School welcomes all children and families. In fact, in the Waldorf tradition, we believe — simply by being a child — you have special needs. And it is “The Waldorf Way” to meet all
children where they are as we offer them developmentally appropriate opportunities to play, imagine, learn, contribute, and connect.The Anthroposophy-based Camphill Movement has a particular focus on special-needs individuals. The social, cultural, and economic principles of the International Camphill Movement were developed by Dr. Karl König (1902 – 1966). In Pennsylvania, for example, Camphill Soltane attempts, “to build healthy social relationships in an environment dedicated to personal and social renewal, healing, and caring for the land. In these activities, both independence and interdependence are fostered by recognizing the full potential of each individual. This enables each person to grow into the life of the community while allowing the community to grow within the individual.” For more information, see the Camphill Communities in North America
No, your child will not be behind. In fact, it is likely your child will be at an advantage. Children who experience a Waldorf early childhood education have, among other gifts, some of the highest levels of executive function. Executive function is a cognitive ability that allows children to self-regulate, pay attention to their own thoughts and behaviors as well as the cues, requests, and actions of others — including their peers and teachers. Research shows that executive function is s a better predictor of success in school (and in life outside of school) than IQ. Why? Children with well-developed executive function pay better attention to people, information, conversations, tasks, situations, and their own feelings and behaviors amidst all the stimuli in our modern world. In short, children with well-developed executive function are better able to cope and learn. To learn how River Song helps children develop executive function, click here
Yes. For more information about the Waldorf Early Childhood Association of North America (WECAN) visit waldorfearlychildhood.org
Our first priority is the safety and well-being our our children, families, faculty, and staff. For that reason, we cannot outline our policies or practices online. Please speak with the Administrative Director, and we can address your questions in person.
No, your child does not need to be out of diapers when he or she attends River Song. We work with 2 1/2 – 5 year olds with all levels of development and maturity. We walk beside children, parents, and guardians as partners during potty training. We do require children wear pull-ups or undies, and we ask that you provide pull-ups, wipes, and extra undies as appropriate.
Our school and community is diverse. Our children come from dual-income families, single-income families, single-parent families, adoptive families, families with non-traditional guardians, families who’ve opted out of the traditional economy, families who love participating in the traditional economy yet still value “The Waldorf Way.” What all of our families have in common is a loving, nurturing engagement with our children; a commitment to zero- or mindful-media usage in their homes and lifestyles, and deep respect for the magic of childhood.
To meet the River Song faculty and staff, click here
Thank you for asking! We always appreciate donations from enrolled families, alumni, community members, community organizations, and even anonymous donors. To donate good old fashioned cash, click here
. To donate your time, goods, or services to River Song contact Becky Praamsma, Administrative Director, at 970-407-9185 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The term ‘anthroposophy’ comes from the Greek ‘anthropos-sophia’ or ‘human wisdom.’ Waldorf’s founder, Rudolph Steiner developed anothroposophy as a Spiritual Science and a complement to the Natural Sciences we have come to accept. According to Steiner, through anthroposophical studies and practiced observation, one awakens to his/her own inner nature and the spiritual realities of outer nature and the cosmos. The awareness of those relationships brings a greater reverence for all of life.Steiner and many individuals since, who share his basic views, have applied this knowledge in various practical and cultural ways in communities around the world. Most notably, Waldorf schools have made significant impact on the world. Curative education, for mentally and emotionally handicapped adults and children, has established a deep understanding and work with people who have this difficult destiny. Bio-dynamic farming and gardening greatly expand the range of techniques available to organic agriculture. Anthroposophical medicine and pharmacy, although less widely known in the US, are subjects of growing interest.It should be stressed that while anthroposophy forms the theoretical basis to the teaching methods used in Waldorf schools, it is not taught to the students.
Most simply put, eurythmy is a dance-like art form in which music or speech are expressed in bodily movement; specific movements correspond to particular notes or sounds. It has also been called “visible speech” or “visible song.” Eurythmy is part of the curriculum of all Waldorf schools, and while it often puzzles parents new to Waldorf education, children respond to its simple rhythms and exercises which help them strengthen and harmonize their body and their life forces; later, the older students work out elaborate eurythmic representations of poetry, drama and music, thereby gaining a deeper perception of the compositions and writings. Eurythmy enhances coordination and strengthens the ability to listen. When children experience themselves like an orchestra and have to keep a clear relationship in space with each other, a social strengthening also results. In addition to pedagogical eurythmy, there are also therapeutic (“curative”) and performance-oriented forms of the art.
Dr. Rudolf Steiner was a highly respected and well-published scientific, literary ,and philosophical scholar who was particularly known for his work on Goethe’s scientific writings. He later came to incorporate his scientific investigations with his interest in spiritual development. He became a forerunner in the field of spiritual-scientific investigation for the modern 20th century individual. His background in history and civilizations coupled with his observation in life gave the world the gift of Waldorf Education. For more information about Rudolph Steiner, click here.
Is it true my children can’t play games on the computer or my iPad, watch TV, or go to movies? At River Song Waldorf School, we have families who opt out of electronic media usage and we have families who choose to use it mindfully. As part of your enrollment agreement, we ask you to greatly
limit or abstain from electronic media usage in your home and lifestyle. The reasons for this have as much to do with the physical effects of the medium on a developing child as well as the questionable content of much of the programming (we adults become desensitized to). Waldorf communities believe electronic media usage, electronic gaming, and pop culture media icons (Mickey Mouse, Sponge Bob, even Batman or Wonder Woman) seriously hamper the development of the child’s imagination – a faculty which is believed to be central to the healthy development of the individual.
Waldorf teachers are not, by the way, alone in this belief. Several books have been written in recent years expressing concern with the effect of television on young children. See, for instance, Endangered Minds and Your Child’s Growing Mind by Jane Healy, Remotely Controlled by Aric Sigman, The Plug-In Drug by Marie Winn, and The Shelter of Each Other by Mary Pipher, PhD (author of the international bestseller Reviving Ophelia.)