The Rudolf Steiner School occupies two mansions in the heart of Manhattan’s Upper East Side. Our school is home to a vibrant community of teachers, students, and parents dedicated to the core principles of Waldorf education. With a history spanning more than nine decades, our school is vital to life, work, and creativity in the 21st century because we remain dedicated to an enduring goal: to inspire our children to be students, thinkers, creators.
As a fully accredited college preparatory school, the Rudolf Steiner School is committed to an unparalleled level of sophistication in our curriculum. From the Early Childhood Program all the way through our high school, the lessons unfold not merely in the children’s ears, but in their hearts and in their minds. As a result, our graduates are prepared to pursue a path defined by academic excellence, a global perspective, a social and environmental conscience, and well-earned confidence. In an ever-demanding world, we are steadfast in our commitment to giving children a foundation from which they do not merely survive, but excel.
While others experiment and conclude what we already know, Waldorf endures as one of the richest education methods in the world.
The goal of the Rudolf Steiner School is to reflect the diversity of the city of New York. Our students represent a wide range of ethnicities, creeds, nationalities and family structures. Our families are from Armenia and Brazil, from Caribbean nations like the Dominican Republic, from Egypt, Israel, Korea, and Norway. Students come from throughout the boroughs and the periphery. During the academic year 2010 – 2011, 29% of our students were of color, ranging from 36% of the high school to 21% of the early childhood program.
The Rudolf Steiner School actively welcomes students, faculty, and staff of all ethnicities and sexual orientations, and of all faiths and creeds. We respect and support all individuals’ spiritual beliefs and practices. We strive to develop the mind, body, and spirit of the child, encouraging in the process the child’s spiritual freedom and growth. The Waldorf community is diverse in nature and rich in the teachings of many great religious traditions. Students develop an understanding of and deep respect for the various cultures of the world through their experience in the classroom and in the celebration of seasonal festivals of the year. We celebrate our common humanity, not our separateness in belief or practice. To do this, however, we are conscious of the depth of our specific biographies and how they shape our lives.
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Despite our small size and modest endowment, we are committed to economic diversity. Steiner consistently ranks at the top of the most generous schools in New York by allocating approximately 20% of gross potential tuition per year for Tuition Assistance. In 2009 $1.87 million was awarded to 96 students, making it possible for them to attend our school. Faculty and staff children are offered generous incentives, and many are currently included in our student body. 30% of our students receive financial assistance. To meet the needs of working parents, Steiner has expanded its subsidized After School Care program past the end of the workday. Enriched afterschool programming is available for students beginning in kindergarten.
Here are some additional ways our school helps to foster an inclusive, supportive, environment:
_The Board of Trustees and College of Teachers have supported the formation and the ongoing work of the Diversity Committee. The Diversity Committee’s mission is to promote and support diversity, inclusion and equity. The committee stimulates conversation and action on these values to ensure they reside in our culture. A faculty study of diversity has begun. The school has established a Committee on Social Inclusion, which involves students from all grades in the school.The school seeks a balanced representation of diverse backgrounds within our faculty and staff.Newly enrolled families are matched with an experienced “buddy” family to welcome them, and to provide information and support.The Parent Council has sponsored recent Community Education Forums that include: speakers on diversity, social inclusion, parenting, raising boys, and a presentation by two early childhood teachers about their visit to a nomadic tribe in Kenya.Steiner offers an array of multi-cultural artistic offerings and festival celebrations. Recent examples include a Middle-Eastern concert, Chinese New Year celebration, Sukkah building, a Fall Fair and Native American puppet show. Moreover, foreign language immersion begins early, as all students learn Spanish and German starting in the first grade.
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