At our first meeting, envisioned our highest dreams for our high school. Here is a compiled narrative of Physical Aspects, Professional Aspects, Relationship Aspects, and Spiritual Aspects.
Eugene Waldorf High School: Physical Aspects
- The school grounds are located on a few acres on the bus line close to town. Sunny fields amble into a small island of shady forest where students can observe different small ecosystems. The campus is a peaceful sanctuary where one wishes to linger. There are water areas, gardens, flowerbeds, permaculture landscaping, farming fields, orchard trees and domestic animals. The students help care for the land as they learn biodynamic agricultural methods. We have ample financial and human resources to maintain both the land and the structures.
- Our buildings are constructed with environmentally sustainable methods and their design reflects Steiner’s indications in architecture. In the early days of the school, the students helped build our structures. There is a fully equipped theatre and movement room, eurythmy hall, spacious workshops (woodworking/metal smithing, art studios, handwork studio) science labs, a sports field, and a library. There are small spaces where students can tuck themselves away for a moment of peace and quiet, spaces where one or two speakers can stand front and center before a group of gathered listeners, and a large, open space where students can cluster and socialize or stand at a safe distance to observe.
- There are enough classrooms to accommodate four robust classes. The rooms are spacious and lofty, inviting the student’s thoughts to soar. Plants fill windowsills where light pours onto beautifully colored walls. There are beautiful desks and chairs that the students care for. Student artwork fills the school. One gets the mood of moving through a renaissance community where thriving apprentices are working with masters of the liberal arts, fine arts and sciences. A network of homes-away-from-home are connected to our school. Local families help board students from Bend, Corvallis, Ashland and beyond. We have a healthy and sustainable international student exchange program.
- A few other possibilities: High school is in the current EC building. EC classrooms have moved to beautiful homes in the immediate neighborhood. We purchased the Crest Elementary property. Our school has a central urban campus. Our school was a former high school or building of higher education.
Eugene Waldorf High School: Relationship Aspects
- Our school has a loving and mutually supportive relationship with the Eugene Waldorf School. At this time, we are separate organizations, though if a time comes when it would benefit both EWS and our school, we would consider merging into one organization. Our teachers and the EWS faculty have a harmonious and healthy relationship. We have the common goal of serving the families of Eugene.
- Our school is seamlessly integrated into the wider community of Eugene and nearby communities like Corvallis. Our school overflows with art, which brings people together and creates new bridges of understanding and empathy between them. Locals are enamored with the high school. Even people who do not have enrolled students come to see our performances and displays. Businesses and individuals are so wowed by our work that scholarships abound, so every child who wants to come here can. Local businesses gladly give donations to the school, recognizing that supporting our efforts is a long-term investment in the health of our local and global economy.
- Our teachers donate their time to help local businesses, helping owners find ways to offer artistic, social activities to their employees. This has a renewing and energizing effect on the whole local economy. We have relationships with other high schools. Our sports teams are part of the local leagues and some schools share their facilities with us. We also have healthy relationships with colleges and universities, so our program leaves graduates with everything in hand they need to pursue a higher education. Local artists and professionals teach blocks at our school and offer students apprenticeship opportunities.
- The students run community service projects and fundraisers so that they can give back to the community, both locally and internationally. We have a thriving international exchange and travel program. We exchange both students and teachers with Waldorf schools in other countries.
- Within the school, students, parents and teachers have a close relationship buoyed by healthy levels of organizational transparency. Well-seasoned teachers stay in our community because they love their job. They are a stabilizing force for the local Waldorf teaching community. Teachers help students bring their ideas to birth. We all help the children learn how to love their fellow human beings. Our students mentor middle school students and there is a lively social and artistic exchange between the EWS and our school. EWS graduates are eager to be admitted to our school.
- The faculty understands the needs of both entering Freshman and graduating Senior students and support them with thoughtful rites-of-passage. Alumni students stay connected with the school and help us refine our offerings. Our graduates are community leaders. They are changing the world for the better.
- Among the student body lives the mood, “We are all in this together.” Students move freely between different social and interest groups. There are diverse groups at our school—both traditional groups like drama and debate and innovative groups that arise from student interest and motivation. We have a full array of competitive sports teams that compete on local and state levels. Our performance arts groups travel, locally, nationally and internationally. Our students have FUN! A mood of enthusiasm and inspiration prevails in the student body.
Eugene Waldorf High School: Professional Aspects
- At our school, a mood of openness towards the future guides the faculty (and their angels) to find educational experiences in ever new and creative forms. Leaders of the school work in such a way that their decisions are inspired by spiritual guidance. Most of our faculty members are trained Waldorf teachers. We also collaborate with master artists, business leaders and other professionals.
- Community members from various walks of life come to share and teach at our school, some briefly, others long term. Visiting guests who work out of Steiner’s insights bring expertise and deep insights from their work in the greater world. Our teachers are on the cutting edge of current thinking and practices in meeting adolescent needs. The academic standards are high.
- In exchange for their devoted service, all of our faculty members’ true needs are met. They have full salaries, excellent medical and dental insurance both for themselves and their family members, and retirement funds.
- The school provides continuing education funds to teachers and administrators who wish to deepen their understanding of Waldorf education and Anthroposophy. Teachers and administrators serve side by side, sharing a warm and professional relationship. The administrative team is welcoming to all who visit our school. The faculty and parents listen openly to each other and have a good understanding of each other’s needs. All the Waldorf teachers and families in our community are on the same team together.
- Our students are amazingly diverse in their interests and abilities. They are well versed in the arts and sciences (including technology). We prepare the students well for standardized testing and guide them through the process of applying for colleges and other post graduate programs. Our school brings students to the point where they may truly enter successfully into the world. Universities love our graduates and approach us to recruit students. Locally, we have meaningful connections with University of Oregon and LCC. We collaborate with other independent high schools in the region and beyond.
- Our school has a broad financial base.
- Money finds its highest dynamic through the work of our board. We spend only the money we have so that we continue to exist and grow sustainably. There is a very large donor population who gift generously to the school. We have a tuition program that is affordable to all students who want to attend and a strong financial aid program with scholarships. No child who wants to attend our school is turned away for financial reasons.
- Our school is a buoy to EWS in every way. Our schools support each other. We work closely with the local Waldorf high school training program. Teachers come from all over the world to attend this program, and our school both supports the training by providing facilities and hands on opportunities for student teachers and benefits from the flow of student teachers through the school. The local community and the Waldorf teaching community regard our school as a well-organized, responsive and responsible model.
Eugene Waldorf High School: Spiritual Aspects
- With great humility in the face of world mysteries, we ask for help from the spiritual world to guide our school and receive such insights with deep gratitude. In our early days together, through meditation, study, and perseverant work guided by the highest contributions of our community and help from the spiritual world, we created a vessel wherein our school manifested. Our community strives to bring the insights of Anthroposophy into this vessel, which creates a powerful, free space for young adults to become inwardly and outwardly prepared to help bring the world into a new age of love. Our school is a place where the adolescent mind learns to manifest their visions and ideas on earth.
- There is hope for the world here. All religions and spiritual paths are welcomed, respected and nurtured. We support students in developing awareness of both material and spiritual realms. Students sense and feel the presence of a greater order in relationships to self and world. We help our students experience a healthy expansion and contraction between the needs of the individual and of greater humanity.
- An excellence of speech exists which allows us to tell our own story as well as another person’s story. A wish to help others in the world lives in our students and faculty. We foster empathy for the human condition, a quality that teaches self-love. This school is a safe place to explore self-expression that invokes the imagination. Our school shelters teenagers from cynicism, hatred and despondency.
- Our students are happy, healthy and courageous people who can act upon their aspirations and dreams. This is a place where you can find out who you are. A great vibrancy lives within our community. One senses this is a place where people meet challenges with strong will, humor and enthusiasm. Our community shares a unified purpose reflected in our goals and mission. There are collaborative partnerships between different subjects to explore interconnected teaching methods. A deep love of art pervades all endeavors at the school. High levels of respect live between community members, as well as consistent recognition and gratitude for the abundance that fills this school.