Thursday, May 10, 2012

Lake Champlain Waldorf School Reviews by Parents


 RACIST TEACHER Merrily Lovell - at Lake Champlain Waldorf School!!!

http://www.lakechamplainwaldorfschool.org/about-our-school/high-school-faculty/


Merrily Lovell Biology and Math

Ms. Lovell came to LCWHS in 2010 after many years of teaching Biology at Highland Hall Waldorf High School in Northridge, California. She completed a Waldorf High School Science teacher training in England in 1996. Before that was a class teacher at Pine Hill Waldorf School in Wilton, NH, completed her Waldorf Teaching Certificate at Antioch/New England graduate school, and completed a Masters of Science in Teaching Biology from Antioch/New England. She is thrilled to be living in Vermont again, to be living near her grandchildren (who go to LCWS) and other relatives, and to be teaching part time at the high school. She enjoys the refreshing, earthy atmosphere and the environmental consciousness of this school, and warmth, interest and engagement in learning of the students in the high school.

You'll remember Merrily taught my kid that "the blood of people from Europe is more evolved than the blood of people from Africa and Asia" - and that kicked off a lot of activity on my blog:
http://petekaraiskos.blogspot.com/2009/11/pete-k-declares-war-on-racism-at_2522.html
http://petekaraiskos.blogspot.com/2009/11/pete-k-declares-war-on-racism-at_06.html
http://petekaraiskos.blogspot.com/2009/11/pete-k-declares-war-on-racism-at.html
http://petekaraiskos.blogspot.com/2010/10/highland-hall-board-members-clueless.html

and was posted to many newspapers and blogs:
http://petekaraiskos.blogspot.com/2011/11/controlhaltdelete-article-comments.html
http://petekaraiskos.blogspot.com/2012/01/dcs-improbable-science.html
http://petekaraiskos.blogspot.com/2012/01/local-schools-network-3.html
http://petekaraiskos.blogspot.com/2012/01/local-schools-network-2.html
http://petekaraiskos.blogspot.com/2012/01/local-schools-network.html
http://petekaraiskos.blogspot.com/2012/01/sf-k-files.html
http://petekaraiskos.blogspot.com/2012/01/ny-times-article-rebuttal.html

And many more... And now Merrily is teaching biology at Lake Champlain.  Hasn't Merrily done ENOUGH for Waldorf education already?

http://www.privateschoolreview.com/school_ov/school_id/27936
% Students of Color1%
State avg.: 7%

Here are the parent reviews:

http://www.findandgoseek.net/listing/lake-champlain-waldorf-school/education

Reviewed on 05/14/2012
The pros: a lovely, holistic, arts-based education that integrates intellectual, emotional, social, physical, and artistic skills. The cons: an extremely dogmatic approach to education (if Rudolph Steiner didn't say it nearly a century ago, they won't do it now) that effectively ignores the needs of academically and intellectually gifted children. While our children loved the arts education, handwork, and ample movement time, they complained of boredom academically and felt a palpable lack of recognition/validation from their teachers. Teachers also have absolute authority here, and almost no student input/autonomy is allowed. The curriculum is inflexible, and students get little opportunity to explore ideas or facts that are not explicitly detailed by the teacher. (Those lovely hand-written textbooks each child writes are full of text and drawings that mimic the teacher's work almost verbatim.) The lack of clear authority in the school can also be a problem (the school is governed not by a single director, but by a College of Teachers). The buck, apparently, stops nowhere. You may also want to reconsider if you don't agree with Anthroposophy, the spiritual beliefs that lie firmly behind the Waldorf Education. Essentially, Waldorf child development theory is dedicated to helping your child re-incarnate from his/her spiritual body into his earthly existence. (Early reading and intellectual focus is thought to interfere with this process, so is actively discouraged.) This school is therefore a good fit for students (and parents) who don't ask too many questions about the pedagogy. 

lilycanter
Reviewed on 09/18/2008

I had great hopes at Waldorf for our two children. Unfortunately, while I think
the pedagogy is to be admired (lots of hands on art, music, nature), etc.,
theory and practice often differ.

It's a lovely idea to have the same teacher through all grades, but my
experience is that the teachers were not qualified to teach some of the more
rigorous courses at the 6th, 7th & 8th grades such as physics, anatomy, upper
level mathematics, and writing. In fact, teachers that were not Steiner trained
filled in.

I also found the lack of supervision on the grounds and on trips (including
foreign trips) to be very disturbing. The woods are not as benign as one would
imagine - as one student who fell through the ice into the river one year would
know. When we were there, students were allowed to run willy-nilly and teachers
were not aware when conflicts and bullying occurred.

And, as a minor irritation, I did find a certain amount of hypocrisy. I had
maintained a TV free household and looked forward delaying the exposure of some
information to my children. I got the impression that as long as one paid the
hefty tuition, no one would comment on what families let their children view or
listen to, or how they repeated it at school.

Additionally, there is (to me) a club mentality. If you can afford to devote
extra time to the school (because both parents don't need to work or have very
flexibile schedules) then you definitely earn "brownie points" for yourself and
your children from the community leaders.

I very much approve of the Steiner methods of teaching (even as I disagree w/
anthroposophy), but I felt the LCWS was imbued w/ varying agendas other than
education and community building.

http://www.greatschools.org/school/parentReviews.page?id=449&state=VT



Posted January 6, 2014


The curriculum lacks academic rigor. The school doesn't even teach advanced mathematical concepts. The science curriculum is minimal. Most of the teaching is based on "hands on experience" and at many times seems similar to a vocational institution, not a college preparatory program. For high schools in the area I recommend Vermont Commons, Champlain Valley, Essex, or Mount Mansfield.
—Submitted by a parent
Posted May 10, 2013

The school is academically subpar compared to many institutions in the region. The school has essentially no math program until high school (at which point it is minimal). There is little homework which instills are terrible work ethic amongst the children. This school shouldn't even be considered a preparatory school. It is an alternative school. Much of the curriculum revolves around "handwork, eurythmy, acting, and music". The math and science teachers are generally under-qualified. Most of the public schools in Chittenden County are more rigorous and will prepare students for college.
Posted February 12, 2013  
The kindergarten years went well for our children, the teachers were wise and skilled and good at communication but the grade school experience was disastrous at best, lots of bullying and shaming the children. Some of the teachers are really dysfunctional others have their backs turned to name calling, punches and hair pulling. One of the children's classes was in constant chaos and the school completely denied it and did nothing to make it better. The teachers seem to be overworked and underpaid. Most of the children need tutoring. Many families left. The school put up a brick wall of defensiveness and blamed the children. Lots of blame and put down of children. There was a great deal of bullying and teachers just allowed it. Complaints were met with a sort of Waldorf-ese special language and a "we don't do it that way." Or families were asked to leave the school. No dialogue what so ever. Hard to imagine I know, we were so disappointed, we expected just the opposite and had been so drawn to the school for its beauty and seeming gentleness. I have since learned that many other families had similar problems with this school over the years. No leadership and no accountability.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 22, 2012
Our family found this school to be unprofessional with poor leadership. This school can be a great experience if you have a great class room teacher and there are some really great teachers at this school. However, there is no administrative or principal to provide leadership this leaves little recourse if your child has a mediocre teacher. The school is excellent at training children in the arts. Be prepared to provide supplemental tutoring for reading and math. The school handbook even states that extra tutoring is the responsibility of the parents. There is only one way of learning and that is the Waldorf way. Many of the staff do not believe in ADHD and fault poor parenting with not enough "rhythm" or structure in the home life. Early exposure to music, music theory, and watercolor is fantastic. Our child was frustrated by the numerous Nome stories and wanted real world learning opportunities. If you do not play the Waldorf Way you are not asked to Stay. Think very carefully with your mind and feel very carefully with your heart before enrolling your child here. Our family was attracted to the spiritual aspect of the school, and in the end found it dogmatic and limiting.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted May 14, 2012
The pros: a lovely, holistic, arts-based education that integrates intellectual, emotional, social, physical, and artistic skills. The cons: an extremely dogmatic approach to education (if Rudolph Steiner didn't say it nearly a century ago, they won't do it now) that effectively ignores the needs of academically and intellectually gifted children. While our children loved the arts education, handwork, and ample movement time, they complained of boredom academically and felt a palpable lack of recognition/validation from their teachers. Teachers also have absolute authority here, and almost no student input/autonomy is allowed. The curriculum is inflexible, and students get little opportunity to explore ideas or facts that are not explicitly detailed by the teacher. (Those lovely hand-written textbooks each child writes are full of text and drawings that mimic the teacher's work almost verbatim.) The lack of clear authority in the school can also be a problem (the school is governed not by a single director, but by a College of Teachers). The buck, apparently, stops nowhere. This school is a good fit for students (and parents) who don't ask too many questions about the pedagogy.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 16, 2012
The administration here is not very nice. I was not impressed and will not send
my children here.

Posted June 29, 2011
I went to this school from 1st-8th grade. I switched from there to go to a
public high school. Let me tell you why. When I reached the 7th grade I started
feeling like I was falling behind the public schoolers academically. So I took
some test and yes, in fact I was behind. The teachers do not teach math very
well, they never stress how important it is to do your homework. They give you
NO preparation for college or even high school. Once I switched it was hard to
adapt because I didn't have the work ethics, study habits, or ideas that
homework needed to be done. Other Facts: There is not enough funding for a tech
department meaning no technical oriented classes such as design. There is no
real auditorium. The basketball court is about 1/4th the size it should be. The
dress code is way to strict. You don't get the feel that teachers are there when
you need them. It is impossible to fail a class. (People need to know that there
can be failures in life!) I honestly find the public school pressure atmosphere
more successful. I will feel sorry for the students enrolled at LCWS and LCWHS
when they go on to college. They will not have the skills to have a successful
college career. (—Submitted by a student)

Posted November 5, 2008
This school does not provide a very good education, it teaches very pointless
'skills' like knitting, woodworking, eurythmy and other meaningless things. The
faculty is many times inexperienced and many do not know how to relate to
students and are often very insensitive. There are some good teachers however
and some of the teaching is satisfactory but overall it is a poor school.
—Submitted by a student

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You may ask, "where are all the 5=Star reviews?" Well, the problem with those reviews is that many tend not to be too honest. I have included 4-star reviews that appear honest. Often, gushing reviews are placed by teachers and administrators - as some comments here indicate. "This school educates the whole child!!!" - 5 stars - by Anonymous... I say baloney! Notice, many of the reviewers have been misled by Waldorf and are still buying the PR, even after having been disappointed. Feel free to comment but understand the intent of this blog. Comments are no longer moderated.