The Great Barrington Waldorf High School provides an education for adolescents that seeks truth, develops imagination, nurtures growth, fosters responsibility, and honors inner freedom in an atmosphere of academic excellence, artistic fulfillment, openness, and mutual respect.
Extraordinarily qualified teachers lead students through a rich and varied array of block-scheduled seminars that range from thermodynamics to Shakespeare, from statistics to the history of the modern world. In addition to seminar subjects, students complete a college preparatory curriculum in mathematics, English, and a foreign language. Music, drama, eurythmy, fine arts, practical arts, and physical education provide our teenagers with additional opportunities for creative expression and demanding activity. In addition, high school students are required to do community service. Each student applies to college with an Honors transcript and an impressive portfolio of academic and artistic work.
Our students also travel at least once during high school, to Munich if they study German, and to a Spanish-speaking country if they study Spanish, attending Waldorf schools abroad, staying with local families. Spanish students have traveled to Peru, Colombia, and, most recently, to Cuba. All students also have the opportunity to spend from 6 weeks to a semester abroad.
We take the character-building and team-building aspects of athletics seriously, and we have competitive soccer, basketball, and tennis teams. We also assist students in finding opportunities to participate in other competitive sports, including baseball, track, and skiing. As we grow, our sports programs will grow.
Music & Dramatic Arts
All students in our school participate in all courses and activities at the school, including music and drama. Our chorus performs twice a year, and the entire school performs a play each spring. Past plays have included Henry IV—Part I, Uncle Vanya, The Importance of Being Earnest, The Skin of Our Teeth, Blithe Spirit, The Tempest, Saint Joan, A Winter’s Tale, Our Town, The Taming of the Shrew, Harvey, and Audience.
Our school year begins with a three day Orientation at nearby Camp Hi-Rock. Students complete low and high ropes course challenges and group dynamic exercises, and, around bonfires each night, get to know each other and the school. Seniors introduce the culture of the school to First Year Students and new students. By the first day of classes, every student knows every other student’s name and more.
Academic Support & College Guidance
All students receive individual attention and guidance, their academic and personal progress thoughtfully supervised. Our students are fully prepared for the most demanding universities and colleges. Our College Guidance is thorough and individual, and provides everything from effective strategies for standardized test-taking, through excellent recommendations, to review of every detail of every college application.
Teachers and parents are active partners in our school and in guiding children through the joys and struggles of adolescence. Our Parent-Faculty Partnership (PFP) and Community Relations Committee support the life of the school.
Each student has a Faculty Advisor, who provide parents with information about curriculum and programs, serves as a liaison with the school, and, with all teachers, conducts twice annual parent-teacher conferences.