Okanagan Waldorf School Admissions

The admissions process at Okanagan Waldorf School is designed to support each family in their process of uncovering the optimal educational and developmental goals for their child. We consider this a necessary step in developing a relationship with each family so that we can find the best ways to work with both you and your child.

Application Process

To begin the application process, click here to complete the Application of Interest. You will then be contacted by Trish Folland, our OWS Admissions Coordinator, to book a tour and further discuss our admissions process. You may also contact Trish directly at [email protected] or (250) 547-9212.

Application Review

Only applications with all of the required documentation will be reviewed. Applications will be reviewed to assess whether our program can meet the student’s learning needs. Placement in a class will be offered based on this review and available space.

Okanagan Waldorf School Tuition & Fees

Choosing independent private education for your child and family is a decision that requires much consideration, on both philosophical and financial levels. As a non-profit independent school, we endeavour to keep our fees as low as possible.

Yearly Society Membership Fee per Family:

$25

Yearly Registration Fee Due per Family:

$25

Yearly Supply Fee Due per Student:

Kindergarten

$350

Grades 1 to 3

$400

Grades 1 to 3

$500

Grades 4 to 8

$500

Yearly Tuition:

Kindergarten

$6800

Grades 1-8

$7140

Non BC Resident Student Fees in Addition to Yearly Tuition:

$5000

Other Charges

The school supply fees cover the basic supplies for each student each year. Students may also be required to purchase additional supplies and/or replace lost or damaged items. These fees are not prorated for mid-year enrolments. Students and parents may be asked to participate in fundraising activities to raise additional funds for the student field trip fund.  

Middle school students may be required to rent or otherwise provide an instrument for music. There may be additional fees for extraordinary costs associated with specific middle school programs.

Withdrawal Procedures/Refunds

In the event you wish to withdraw from the school, thirty (30) days written notice must come by the first (1st) of the month, to signify a withdrawal for the end of that same month. Without this one (1) month’s written notice, you will still be responsible for one (1) month more of tuition for your child(ren).  All withdrawal notices must go to the Head of School and Business Administrator, and must be dated and signed.

Yearly Society membership fees, yearly registration fees, and school supply fees are non-refundable and will not be prorated back to the family if the student is withdrawn.

Refunds, when due, are processed within thirty (30) days from the last day of attendance.

Please contact our business office at [email protected], or (250) 547-9212.

Yearly Child Care Tax Receipts for OWS Families

Recess supervision is provided for Grades One to Eight. Recess supervision fees are included in tuition fees and this portion of the tuition fee is tax-deductible as a child care expense. 

Grades 1-8 have a total of 40 minutes on full school days and 20 minutes on half school days.

Fundraising/Community Involvement Commitments

Each family’s involvement is expected in order to support your child’s education and class environment. It includes mandatory attendance at class meetings and parent/teacher conferences. We also expect parents to work within our guidelines for communication, student discipline, student dress, and exposure to electronic media, and we expect parents to support, in their home, the school’s curriculum and philosophy to the best of their ability. Families are also required to fulfil a minimum of three mandatory time and financial commitments that support the school’s fundraising and organizational goals. Details of the options within the three commitments are outlined in the Family Guidebook and are discussed in the community newsletter through Jen de Bourcier, our Family Engagement Coordinator.

Okanagan Waldorf School Affordability

Waldorf students come from a variety of backgrounds and, in keeping with our inclusive philosophy, Okanagan Waldorf School maintains an innovative program of tuition adjustment to promote diversity. Our tuition adjustment policy is based on the ideal that Waldorf education should be accessible to all families who wish to choose it for its own values, regardless of their economic status, and who are willing to make this a priority in their life. Through our tuition adjustment program, we ensure that the acceptance of a child into our school does not depend on the financial resources of the child’s family. Adjusted tuitions are viewed as a much appreciated contribution to the School’s financial needs rather than as a reduction in income.

Our tuition adjustment program embodies the school’s commitment to enter into relationships with members of our community, becoming aware and appreciative of the needs and gifts of each member. The program does not lessen our strong sense of fiscal responsibility. On the contrary, it requires thorough budget preparation and ongoing review to ensure continuous progress and the achievement of goals based on the values and ideals of Waldorf education.

To learn more about the application process, or the Tuition Adjustment program, please contact our business office at [email protected], or (250) 547-9212.

Enrolment FAQs

Are Waldorf schools art schools?

Waldorf schools are not art schools. The curriculum offers a classical education in all academic disciplines that fully integrates the arts into its teaching methodology. Why? Because research continues to show that the inclusion of the arts in academia increases aptitude and creative thinking in areas such as math and science, and has a positive effect on emotional development as well.

Why do Waldorf schools suggest limiting media?

Waldorf teachers appreciate that technology must assume a role in education, but at the appropriate developmental stage, when a young person has reached the intellectual maturity to reason abstractly and process concretely on his or her own, which is at around the age of 14. Society might challenge this principle, as many young children are well able to complete sophisticated tasks on a computer; the Waldorf perspective is that computer exposure should not be based on capability but on developmental appropriateness. While many applaud adult-like thinking in young children, we observe that a child’s natural, instinctive, creative and curious way of relating to the world may be repressed when technology is introduced into learning environments at an early age.

Excerpt from NYTimes Opinion, 5/2014, Author, Beverly Amico

At Okanagan Waldorf School we work directly with our students, starting formally in grade 6, with offering Cyber Civics as part of their Applied Design, Skills, and Technologies curriculum so that they may acquire the necessary skills to use technology in a responsible manner. We bring the beginning concepts of Cyber Civics starting in grade 4. In grades 7 and 8, we also offer keyboarding.

Are Waldorf schools religious?
Waldorf schools are non-sectarian and non-denominational. They educate all children, regardless of their cultural or religious backgrounds. The pedagogical method is comprehensive, and, as part of its task, seeks to bring about recognition and understanding of all the world cultures and religions. Waldorf schools are not part of any church. They espouse no particular religious doctrine but are based on a belief that there is a spiritual dimension to the human being and to all of life. Waldorf families come from a broad spectrum of religious traditions and interests.
What does the music curriculum in a Waldorf school look like?

Music education plays a significant role in Waldorf schools. Waldorf educators have a deep appreciation for music and encourage that sense in their students. Rhythms and transitions throughout the course of the day are established with music for the younger students. There is lots of singing, poetry, rhyming and rhythm-building exercises. All students learn to play a recorder in first grade. As the student progresses through the grades, they are introduced to orchestral string instruments. Vocal music is also introduced in first grade, with the complexity of choral material increasing by age level.

What is Waldorf’s approach to teaching science?

All sciences begin with simple nature experiences in kindergarten and the early grades, and advance with the study of acoustics, heat, magnetism, and electricity in Middle School. The emphasis is on direct encounters with observable phenomena -“Describe what happened. Evaluate what you have observed. What are the conditions under which the phenomena appear? How does this relate to what you already know?” Then students are asked to think through the experiment and discover the natural law that stands behind and within the phenomena.

When do children begin learning world languages?

People assimilate language most easily when young. This language ‘window’ is recognized in Waldorf schools, and virtually all schools teach one or two world languages beginning in first grade.

At the Okanagan Waldorf School, we teach Japanese in our lower grades and French in our upper grades.

How do children do when they transfer to a Waldorf school?

Children who transfer to a Waldorf classroom from a more traditional setting are typically up to grade in basic academic skills, and have little problem adapting academically. Those entering in the middle school will need to learn to approach the arts in an objective and integrated way and may be required to take music lessons or world language classes, for example, to prepare them for classroom work. We find that most students new to Waldorf Education embrace this engaging and artistic style of learning with excitement and enthusiasm regardless of grade level.

How do children do when they transfer from a Waldorf school?
Children who transfer from a Waldorf school into a more traditional school setting during grades 1-3 will likely need to spend time over the summer refining their reading skills, as Waldorf schools’ approach to teaching reading is a more graduated approach. On the other hand, students often find they are more advanced in speech and language, social studies, mathematics, and artistic activities. Children moving during the middle and upper grades should experience no academic problems. In fact, in most cases, transferring students of this age group find themselves ahead of their classmates and with an eagerness to learn.

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