Thursday, August 9, 2012

Waldorf Valley City School Reviews by Parents

http://www.greatschools.org/school/parentReviews.page?id=15330&state=CA&sortBy=&page=2#revPagination

Posted May 11, 2011
As a parent at this school over many years time, I can attest to the disgraceful behavior demonstrated by the administration and majority of teachers at this school. It is not a Waldorf school. It is a shameful imitation using the Waldorf name (in fact giving Waldorf a bad name). I was lucky enough to pull my child out before too much damage was done (but he got his fair share - some of it requiring therapy to recover from), but it is a sad sight to see so many families swindled into believing they are bringing their children to a loving institution. The 70- some percent of families that have left can attest otherwise, not to mention the tremendous amount of good teachers that have been bullied and harassed out, or have down right quit. If this is not enough to prevent you from bringing your innocent child to this place, perhaps the fact that the school is on the verge of bankruptcy and total shut down, will.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted March 29, 2011
I loved this school for so long. But the more and more time we spent at this school, the more the dysfunctions of how it operates became exposed. Waldorf education is so wonderful and Valley Waldorf seems to embody the best of Waldorf, but that was just a facade and unfortunately, very few families have stayed throughout the years because of how poorly run it is. The school is over ten years old and continues to barely make it year after year, as attrition is so high. And if you ask why that is the case, you will probably be given many excuses, but at a certain point, you have to wonder "what keeps going on when there are only 30+ students over ten years after it was founded. I gave two stars for teachers because some are wonderful, but over the years, many have come and gone (and some still there) that have been terribly inconsistent. And parent involvement also two stars because many parents become involved. But the ones who become most involved almost always leave disgusted, never to come back to this site to update the realities of what they have come to see.
—Submitted by a parent

Get as far away from this place as you can. My kid went here for two years. Last year the school lost about 20 families, there were only maybe 60 kids in the whole school. Mid year this school year they lost another 25! Teachers are leaving left and right. I see two of the reviews here were left by people who took their kids out. They are dishonest and many of the teachers they have here, which all happen to be related to each other have been fired or banned from even setting foot on other Waldorf school campuses. Horrible place and the are breaking laws too.
plaths added: 03/04/2011


Run the other way! This is a tiny school run by teachers who are all related to each other - many of them have been fired from other schools for racism, child abuse, harassment and even banned from setting foot on other Waldorf school campuses. Last year the school had maybe 60 students they lost about 25 and this year they lost about the same amount in the middle of the school year! Teachers and staff are quitting left and right and families who are smart enough to see the truth and have become aware of the incredible dishonesty and the illegal goings on at this place.

http://www.bestplaces.net/schools/california/van_nuys/valley_waldorf_city_school

To quote another reviewer "The school has changed over the years, into an abusive institution, towards children, parents and teachers. There are many reasons for this shift, as the huge amount of families (and teachers) who have left the school over the last two years can attest to, but the bottom line is that the school has become an environment where untruths dominate." The Facts: The last year my child was here there was about 60 children in preschool-8th grade -- the largest the school population has been in it's history. In the past 2 years approximately 45 or more have left - most of them mid year. Teacher after teacher has left, (again almost all of them in the middle of the school year). Most of the teachers that remain all happen to be from the same family (5 of them). I urge you to ask "why?" in hopes of saving your family from what so many others have gone through.  3/28/2011 parent

I agree with the previous reviewer - what was once beautiful became distorted and ugly based on decisions that were made in the best interests of a few teachers, without consideration for the children's best interests. The majority of good and honest teachers have left the school already as well as many parents. My own children were verbally abused and virtually ignored academically, all in the interest of pedagogy that I was told I couldn't possibly understand without becoming a Waldorf teacher myself. A sad, sad situation, and one that we are so happy we have left.  3/9/2011  parent

Valley Waldorf School once was a magical place. This is no longer the case. The school has changed over the years, into an abusive institution, towards children, parents and teachers. There are many reasons for this shift, as the huge amount of families (and teachers) who have left the school over the last two years can attest to, but the bottom line is that the school has become an environment where untruths dominate the entire system, led by the administration and unfortunately, many of the remaining teachers. As someone who has seen the dark side of this place firsthand, I urge you not to trust your child to a place that is so deeply dysfunctional and damaging. 3/7/2011 parent

A little Gnome sent me the following information regarding this school:

When prospective parents read reviews of Waldorf schools they might not know whom to believe. Effusive and glowing reviews minimize the problems and down play the student drop out rates. Most parents who are dissatisfied don't write reviews, they vote with their feet and pull their children out often after several years - often a difficult decision. The credibility of parents who do take the time to write critical reviews is often questioned.

The actual student enrollment numbers support the critical reviews. Here are the enrollment numbers for Valley Waldorf City School as reported by the school itself to the U.S.  government :


2003-04
2005-06
2007-08
2009-10
pre-k


7
14
k
14
11
9
13
1st
3
4
4
8
2nd
6
7
11
10
3rd
4
3
4
4
4th
3
1
5
10
5th
2
3
1
2
6th
7
5
4
4
7th
1
1
3
0
8th
1
2
0
2
totals
41
37
48
67

I would note the following points:

1) These numbers do not show the number of new students recruited each year which might mask a larger drop out rate - meaning if the school loses 6 students from a class and recruits 3 to the same class the numbers will show a loss of 3 students, not the actual loss of 6 students.
Following the enrollment of a particular class as it moves thru the years suggests heavy efforts at recruiting new students to replace the students whose parents removed them from the school.

2) The dramatic fluctuations in enrollment for each cohort of kids as they travel from year to year. For example the 2003-04 kindergarten class started with 14 kids then dropped down to 4 kids for 1st grade in 2005-06, jumped up to 11 kids for 2nd grade in 2007-08 and fell again to 4 kids for 3rd grade in 2009-10. Similar patterns can be seen with each class if one follows the class' progression thru the years starting in 2003-04 and moving diagonally downward thru the years.

3) Any notion of stability in a child's social relations with their classmates is belied by these numbers. A child starting out with one group of classmates is likely to graduate with an almost entirely different group of kids - if they remain at waldorf and actually graduate.

4) Enrollment numbers form other waldorf schools show this student turnover pattern is the norm at most Waldorf schools.

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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.