Curriculum Overview

Curriculum Overview

Science classes train students to observe carefully and think clearly about the world in which they live. Students study chemistry, physics, biology, geology meteorology, astronomy, and ecology. Beginning with the questions raised by the experience of a phenomenon, students strive to figure out how things work before they are given theoretical explanations. In the earth sciences, the acquisition of knowledge is as important as learning to appreciate our partnership with the natural world. Laboratory observation and fieldwork are integral parts of the science curriculum.

Math classes teach students to think logically, practically, and with precision. Students build skills in the traditional areas of algebra, geometry, trigonometry, projective geometry and calculus, as well as surveying and applied mathematics. The study of math also gives students experiences of beauty and imagination as they work with number, form, and mathematical ideas.

English classes spring from the study of literature, an ideal medium for promoting self-knowledge and creative perseverance. The study of English cultivates strong writing, reading, and speaking skills, always emphasizing a love for language and communication. Students sharpen their thinking with work in grammar, mechanics, usage, and vocabulary, and they develop the art of writing in many forms, including the critical essay, the research paper, the short story, and the poem. Students read literature from around the world.

History classes provide living experiences of past times, places, and people. Students are taught to observe the symptoms or phenomena of history to discover what these say about different time periods, cultures, and events. By the time students graduate, they have a real sense for global geography and global issues so that they may become responsible and active citizens of the world.

The Arts  bring harmony and balance to academic life, deepening and extending learning through music, drama, movement, and the fine and practical arts. Students develop a lasting appreciation and understanding of the role of aesthetics. Art classes may include drawing, painting, and sculpture; choral and instrumental music; theater and eurythmy (an art of movement); woodworking; ceramics; blacksmithing; and bookbinding.

We offer honors classes in Mathematics throughout the four high school years. Students also have the opportunity to earn an A with Honors distinction in the Sciences, History, and English courses.

Our language curriculum is designed to develop a living connection to another language—one that goes beyond basic reading and conversational skills and fosters an appreciation for the literature of a foreign culture. All students are required to take four years of a foreign language. Qualified students may take advanced Spanish.

During the spring semester we administer AP Exams to all interested students.

Senior Projects are elective courses of independent study in which twelfth grade students deeply examine a subject of their own choice. Through this work, the seniors take complete responsibility for disciplining their time and effort. Their research concludes with a written report and a substantial public presentation.

In connection with their economics studies,all of our senior students undertake a business internship for two weeks, full-time, in a business of their choosing. They experience the structure of a workplace and learn how a business functions.

Competitive athletics provide opportunities for learning good sportsmanship and citizenship, along with athletic skills. Cooperation, fairness, and the pure joy of playing are fundamental values of the athletic program. Sports offered include basketball, volleyball, soccer, track and field, and ultimate Frisbee.

Each of the four years in the Waldorf high school curriculum has an underlying theme that supports the students as they develop.