Friday, May 11, 2012

Bright Water School Reviews by Parents

Posted on Mar 18, 2012
Bright Water is a Waldorf school. If you already are familiar with Waldorf
teachings, then that may be all the info you need. I didn't fully understand the
educational philosophy, & the result was 3 years of elementary school misery for
my bright little person. But 1st: the 3 stars given here are a compromise. The
kindergarten deserves 5 stars, and lasts 3 years, ages 4-6. It is gentle,
nurturing, & It is a place where your child (if you comply w rules of NO TV, NO
video games, NO computer on in any common room of your home while the child is
present) will learn a larger vocab. than public school kids, develop as an
independent thinker, & gain a greater attention span than most. (Jane Healy:
Failure to Communicate). After K, grab your child and run. Beveled windows &
beautiful rooms mean nothing if all your child does is copy off of the board.
The goal is for 1st graders to be able to write perfectly on unlined paper. As a
teacher, I was ill when I found this out. 3 years, & I didn't know!! BW teachers
aren't required to have WA state teaching certs, only "Steiner School". It's
like the Amish; if it existed after Steiner, they won't use the ideas. Be
careful here.
--Submitted by a parent

Here's another parent who bought into the hype:

Posted on Aug 10, 2011
Our child attended BWS for two years and our experience did not meet the
theological or pedagogical foundation of a Waldorf education let alone a basic
education. The school has struggled to maintain teachers and approaches any
special needs assessment with a para-professional possessing enough knowledge to
be damaging and in fact was for our child. The administration's interest and
full support was for the school and at no time could we find an internal
advocate for our child. Today, our child has been diagnosed with dyslexia and is
beginning a public school education two years behind following an education at
BWS. While capable of knitting and playing the flute, today is unable to read or
write. This is not a school with growing pains - it is not a school - it is an
institution of incompetence. Before you send your child - investigate the level
of educational certification of its instructors and the credentials of its
"specialists." --Submitted by a parent

Posted on Apr 15, 2011
We did not have a positive experience with BWS. We were attracted to the strong
artistic aspect of the education but quickly were disillusioned. The
administration does not communicate or work well with parents, and we never felt
welcomed by the administration. The teacher was very persuasive in convincing us
of the importance of delaying academics, which put our child at a significant
disadvantage. The teacher also was very cold towards the new mothers in the
parent group. It appeared to us that the philosophy encouraged the teacher child
bond and discounted the importance of the parent child relationship. Children
were left to "work problems out on their own". If you are really interested in
Waldorf we suggest looking elsewhere. --Submitted by a parent

Posted October 12, 2009
Brightwater is a new school. I believe under 10 years old. I really liked the
teachers and families. However, the academics are not strong at the school. Lots
of parents felt the need to tutor their children to supplement. I pulled my kid
out because I did not want her to fall more behind. —Submitted by a parent

This poster noticed the BULLSHIT review before their post. As I said, I've been
avoiding the glowing reviews because they are often made under pressure when
they aren't made by teachers and administrators. The reviewer below even
noticed racial intolerance. Hmmmm....

Posted March 30, 2007
I think the previous review was placed by an administrator! It is to perfect and
glowing. My experience with the school is less then perfect. In fact I often
feel extremely sad about the way I am treated and the way our child is viewed.
The school often feels very intolerant of differences and can seem racist at
times. Luckily my child's teacher (who they have for their entire school life in
a Waldorf program) is an incredible person who is very thoughtful and brilliant.
With that said that is the reason why we stay because the individual teacher is
marvelous. But in the bigger picture I feel kind of with drawn and ambivolent
about our experience over all. The positives include a strong bases in art,
thorough examination of a variety of historical periods of time, and the pace is
very calming!
—Submitted by a parent\

Our family has been involved with Bright Water School for some years and will
not be continuing. The school has some good teachers and a great community. But
many teachers are marginally qualified and some good teachers have left. The
administration is the weakest part of the school, being defensive, deceptive,
and authoritarian. The administration is at times hostile towards parents and
certainly has no ability to work with parents for the mutual benefit of
children. They say they encourage freethinking among children, but in reality
children are required to conform to a rigid schedule of what Rudolf Steiner
determined was "developmentally appropriate" 100 years ago. In the time we have
been there the school has had one crisis after another and quite a bit of
turnover. If you are "dead set" on Waldorf education for your kids you might be
surprised to find out what that means in practice.
razguy added: 04/16/2011

My daughter attended this school for two years (1st and 2nd grades). I ended up
pulling her out and placing her back in public school because the academics at
Brightwater were not strong.

It was a hard decision because I loved the environment at the school, the
community and the staff. In our short time there we built some great friendships
especially with the teachers. However, the school was costly and I found myself
having to suppliment her education there with tutors so that she had her basics.
A number of other parents in her class were doing the same thing.

The staff is really dedicated to the school and students. The environment is
creative. However, the school is very young and has some problems to work out
(socially and academically).

It has been a few years since we've been there so I is worth checking out to see
where they are now. Former Bright Water parent

Beware! School uses warm and fuzzy words to draw in parents and students. The
school's teachers and administration do not truely represent the Waldorf
philosophy. Only one teacher of the 8 grade teachers actually has the education
and ability to conduct herself as a true Waldorf teacher. The administration has
made comments to draw in students, but when research is made on the statements
it can be find that the statements are not always true. The administration also
lacks respect for children in need of medicine for health emergencies. One
parent stated to me that when she requested that the school keep an EpiPen for
the daughter, she was laughted at by a member of the administration. If you are
considering enrolling your child in Bright Water School, please think twice.
There are others schools in the area that work within the true Waldorf
philosophy and are truthful to enrolling families. - anonymous

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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.