- Available Spots: We are currently enrolling for the 2019-2020 school year.
- Age Range: Age 3 - grade 5
- Years Established: 1997
- Enrollment: 70 students
- Average Class Size: 8 students
- Who you serve: Co-ed, Elementary, Preschool
Potomac Crescent Waldorf School is a private school offering programs for early childhood and an elementary education through grade 5. We strive to develop thoughtful, fulfilled citizens who have the capacity to think imaginatively, communicate effectively, and relate compassionately. We believe in the Waldorf curriculum for educating the whole human being: head, heart and hands, which nurture well-rounded individuals who will be successful in school and beyond. We strive to develop thoughtful, fulfilled citizens who have the capacity to think imaginatively, communicate
effectively, and relate compassionately.
The Early Childhood Education program provides a learning environment that allows the child to freely develop and grow through active, imaginative play and purposefully designed activities. Special attention is paid to each child's capacities and unique personality. Children spend significant amounts of time outdoors on our natural playground. Starting in the Mixed-Age Kindergarten, children experience one to two mornings a week of Forest Kindergarten in nearby woods.
Our Elementary programs offer a developmentally appropriate, experiential approach to education. We integrate academics and the arts to inspire life-long learning in each student and enable them to fully develop their unique capabilities. Our culture applauds critical and creative thinking and strong social skills. The Waldorf curriculum allows for in-depth learning, focusing on quality over quantity. Students' understanding of each subject area deepens each year as they circle back to topics to which they were introduced in previous years. The work is challenging without being overwhelming because teachers meet each student where they are. Each day begins with a 2-hour main lesson that centers on one subject for blocks of three or four weeks. Intensive, uninterrupted study of one subject allows students to explore an area in depth from many angles.
- Available Hours: 7:30am-5:30pm
- Address: 3846 King St, Alexandria, VA 22302, USA
- Zip Code: 22302
- Phone: 703-486-1309
- Website: http://www.potomacwaldorf.org/
- What differentiates your school from all others?
Potomac Crescent Waldorf School offer a developmentally appropriate, experiential approach to education. We integrate the arts and academics for children from preschool through 5th grade. Waldorf education aims to inspire life-long learning in all students and to enable them to fully develop their unique capacities. Founded in the early 20th century, Waldorf education is based on the insights, teachings and principles of education outlined by the world renowned anthroposophist, artist, and scientist, Rudolf Steiner. The principles of Waldorf education evolve from a profound understanding of human development that address the needs of the growing child. These principles inspire and guide teachers, administrators, trustees and parents today.The Waldorf curriculum is broad and comprehensive.
PCWS realizes its vision through these actions:
~ We educate each individual child according to age and developmental stage so that learning and growth are united. ~ In each school day our teachers employ the curriculum to address the child’s whole being: the mind, the artistic life, and the physical skills.~ Our teachers are dedicated to preserving and protecting the innate senses of wonder and reverence in childhood.~ We hire Waldorf-trained teachers.~ We are eager to welcome and serve families of all races, creeds, and economic levels.~ As we educate children, we welcome and encourage families to become involved and participate in our school’s governing, fiscal, and social life. ~ As colleagues we strive to honor one another’s work and gifts and to hold one another to the highest professional standards in order to create a healthy community of teachers and administrators around the children we are entrusted with educating.~ We take seriously the sustainable care of the Earth and of Nature in the fulfillment of our mission.
- Where do you see your school in 5 years, what will be different?
Founded in 1997, PCWS has grown from an intimate Parent & Child class to a full preschool and elementary school through 5th grade. In 2015, we moved into our current location and have been developing our school space by adding unique features to our natural playground, evolving our biodynamic garden (which won the 2017 EdibleDC Garden Award), adding a strawberry patch, and continuing to expand our classroom space. The school also has a vibrant and growing family community that has been adding activities such as bonfires, camping trips, social gatherings, seasonal sing-alongs, festivals and special events.
- Why should we choose your school?
“The importance of storytelling, of the natural rhythms of daily life, of the evolutionary changes in the child, of art as the necessary underpinning of learning, and of the aesthetic environment as a whole–all basic to Waldorf education for the past 70 years–are being discovered’ and verified by researchers unconnected to the Waldorf movement.”
Paul Bayers, Professor Columbia Teachers’ College
“Waldorf students are encouraged to live with self-assurance, a reverence for life and a sense of service.”
Ernest Boyer, President, Carnegie Institute for the Advancement of Teaching,
Former U.S. Commissioner of Education
“Pushing skills before children are biologically ready sets them up to fail.”
M. Baker, M.D. Executive Director, Gesell Institute of Human Development.
“Education is not the filling of a pail but the lighting of a fire.”
William Butler Yeats
“Waldorf education places the development of the individual child in the focal point, convinced that the healthy individual is a prerequisite for a healthy society.”
The International Conference on Education of the United Nations Educational and Scientific Cultural Organization
- What does a typical day look like for your kids?
The Early Childhood Education program provides a learning environment that allows the child to freely develop and grow through active, imaginative play and purposefully designed activities. Special attention is paid to each child's capacities and unique personality. Much of their time is spent outside exploring nature, they share a nourishing snack, have space for quiet and rest, and engage in imaginative play with simple wooden toys, beeswax, paint and crafts such as sewing and finger-knitting - all of which play an intentional role in their early development.
Our Elementary programs offer a developmentally appropriate, experiential approach to education. We integrate academics and the arts to inspire life-long learning in each student and enable them to fully develop their unique capabilities. Each school day begins with a 2-hour main lesson that centers on one subject for blocks of three or four weeks. Intensive, uninterrupted study of one subject allows students to explore an area in depth from many angles. The remainder of the day is spent in two outdoor recesses and specialty classes, including Spanish, Music, Handwork and Games, Movement/Physical Education.