Saturday, May 12, 2012

Desert Sky Community School Charter Reviews by Parents

To The Parents Desert Sky Community School and the Arizona State Board for
Charter Schools:
My name is Rachael Colley and I recently resigned from Desert Sky Community
School. I am writing to inform you of the reason for my untimely departure. I
resigned from my position as grade 3/4 teacher because I was unaware that I had
been employed by what is, in my opinion, a religious cult and cannot in good
conscience continue, despite my love of the children and my sincere desire to
give them the best education.
I love that Waldorf education has a rhythm, that there is a large block in the
morning for children to really get into the lesson and that true unstructured
play is encouraged. However,
I cannot work in a place where lighting candles at a staff meeting and
chanting a childs name (without the parents knowledge), as well as reading from
the “Calendar of the Soul” is done and is seen as normal, and even called a
“child study”.
I cannot work in a place where the children are told to walk on the outside of
the circle because the director is afraid they will “break the chalice”. Or
where children say verses (prayers) to “spirit”. I am a spiritual person, but it
should not be required of children in a publicly funded school. When this was
brought up to my superiors, I was told that they “cannot imagine how I think
religion is there”. Yet I was told that the chicken coop must be built in a
certain way because it, “brings the childrens souls to the earth”.
If you have not already looked up anthroposophy, please do. It underpins
everything that is said and done at Desert Sky. Understand that you will be lied
to, and some people at Desert Sky believe that they know more about your child
and what is best for him/her than you do. Many (parents) are referred to in
negative terms behind their backs, and your children are saying prayers with
words that they do not know the meaning of.
There are good people at Desert Sky, people who love your children and also
want the best for them. However, someone needed to stand up and be the voice of
what really happens and what is really expected. Sadly, that task seems to have
fallen onto me.

To all of the families, especially those with children in grades three and
four I wish you all the best.
Rachael Colley

Posted on Dec 18, 2010
It's interesting how every school review site has an excellent review on this school by parent E... S.. who also happens to be the principal and school founder. Just saying ...


  1. This school was a nightmare.

  2. I highly disagree with this...I have been a desert sky parent for the last two years and very involved in many aspects. Your opinion seems quite outdated and irrelevant. The staff is very warm and embracing of the children...there is absolutely no religious influence in the school. It seems to me that you were not a good fit for the school and it is a good thing you have parted....I would not want my children exposed to such a negative person. I hope you have found a better path for you and have found happiness.

    1. Tara, you are an administrator at the school (not just a "parent").

      Readers should be aware of this conflict of interest and read your comment accordingly. Thanks for participating.

    2. Also, as the administrator, I wonder if you would mind commenting on the review above that claims someone employed at the school with initials ES (I assume they mean Erich) has been posting positive reviews on-line claiming to be a parent?

  3. Although there are positives to this school, I have to say that leaving was the best decision. I was a desert sky parent for years, and enjoyed the arts and the free play that my children received. However there were serious issues with how they discipline children. They use shame, they leave children outside, and even will "teach" a child by replicating an accident (such as tripping a child who tripped another child, or pulling a chair out from underneath them). It wasn't until, after many children left,I began talking with the parents that we realized it was happening with such frequency. I love the learning style, and we were lucky to have a few teachers who did not participate in the above activities.

  4. Unstructured play=allowing the kids to climb the mesquite tree out front 8/9 ft. No adult supervision.

  5. Best to avoid this school. It looks good on the surface, but causes long term damage. In the end, leaving was the best thing that happend in regards to desert sky.


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.