Young Schools' Guide

Author : The Association of Waldorf Schools of North America
Title : Young Schools' Guide A working guide for the development of healthy Waldorf Schools
Year : 2005

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Introduction. The AWSNA Young Schools’ Guide has been written to support the healthy growth of Waldorf Schools and initiatives. This first edition represents the beginning step to a process that will involve a close collaboration between our developing schools and the many consultants and AWSNA staff members who have assisted them over the years. It is very much meant to be a living document, open to frequent revision and additions. The format for this guide is one that uses questions as a basis for self-examination. We hope that your school and your consultants will look at your operations in light of them without falling into the thought that there is only one “right answer.” Rather, the hope is that you will ask yourselves why you are doing what you do and find a way to support and articulate your reasons. The aim here is to develop healthy schools! At the same time, we recognize a number of dangers associated with an enterprise such as this and want to acknowledge them: First, we have taken some pains to avoid being prescriptive, but there is always that danger. The keyword is self-determination at the local school level. We expect that every school will consider carefully what is written in this guide for each of their developmental steps. But each step will also need to reflect the specific needs of each local, individual community, the colleagues, and, most importantly, the children entrusted to your care. Similarly, there is a danger that our work here will describe forms that arise only from the past and will put a damper on innovation and the search for truly new solutions. We ask that every question and suggestion be taken as only one possible way of working. We are counting on those working in the schools to work with these principles and ideas to develop further insight and effective practices. Lastly, a young school might look at all this and become dismayed by the immensity of the task of working with it. It is a somewhat daunting enterprise that we have outlined here. Before becoming overwhelmed, however, take a look at the section on “How to use this guide.” This guide is also designed to help schools develop their skills and capacities in the realm of self-study and successful Accreditation. As of this writing, the Association is reviewing the Steps to Membership whereby schools can earn the right to use the trademarked “Waldorf” name. Successful self-study and accreditation may well become the criteria for that privilege. We recommend you familiarize yourselves with the Shared Principles for Waldorf Schools found in the Appendix to this guide. ...

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