Summerfield Waldorf School is located in Santa Rosa, CA. It is a private, special program emphasis school that serves 345 students in grades PK,K-12. Summerfield Waldorf School is coed (school has male and female students) and is nonsectarian in orientation. The school belongs to the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America.
I've attended Summerfield since 9th grade and have been a Waldorf student forever. Summerfield isn't for everyone, and most benefits students with open minds, but don't worry; if you don't enter this place with an open mind you will probably graduate with one. The school introduces freshmen to the high school workload gradually, and by sophomore year you will know the full meaning of homework. Homework loads vary from Main Lesson to Main Lesson. While it can be challenging, it is always do-able, even with sports and other outside activities.
I think the strongest teachers are in the math and science departments, but I may be biased because those are my best subjects. Math is generally fantastic, especially if you make it into the advanced class. Science classes are always a highlight, but give the biggest work-load. I despise history, but I would think that a history fanatic would get a lot out of the classes. History and English are presented in a unique way.
Language classes are kind of a weakness, in my opinion. Our language program hasn't mastered an effective way of teaching us to speak spanish comfortably. German might be another matter entirely; I've never been in that class, so I wouldn't know. I have learned something in Spanish though; I recently visited a spanish-speaking country and was able to communicate decently, even if I had to mime a lot.
Our sports program has been improved DRASTICALLY since I came to Summerfield. When I came, we had no women-only sports teams, and now we have both a competitive basketball and soccer team. I think the students were an instrumental part of this change.
Our music program is fabulous, although I'm disappointed that our school discontinued the beginning guitar class. That class taught half our school to play guitar.
Sustainable agriculture classes are annoying in freshman year, but absolutely eye-opening when you're a junior. You'll come out of this place with an environmental conscience, trust me. Eurythmy is something I have yet to gain a liking for, but objectively I would say we have a pretty good eurythmy program.
We have a student council made up of a wonderous group of students who continuously plan events for the school; some of these have been Harry Potter day, Pie day, a carnival, and more.
Summerfield and I have had our disagreements, but most teachers are very willing to listen to what we have to say, and most things are eventually worked out.
One thing I would like to stress is that the teachers at summerfield are really a fabulous source of information and support. If you have questions about their subject, even if you have no class with them, they are happy to provide you with resources and answer questions to the best of their abilities. They are a great support system whether you are embarking on a Visionquest, or studying for standardized tests for college that you feel unprepared for. I get the feeling that they really want to get to know all of us. Teachers make it their priority in class to make sure you understand what they're talking about; they don't just want to throw info at you.
The students are another amazing part of this community. I'm friendly with almost everyone in the school, excluding a bunch of freshmen I haven't gotten to know yet. People are really nice and accepting, and there is so much trust in the community that people always leave their bags lying around unwatched.
Summerfield has decent facilities, but not as many as most of us would like. We're lacking a gym, and we only have a few computers. We don't have the strongest sports program around, so if that is your first priority, look elsewhere. (We do have some great athletes though.) Extracurricular opportunities are not abounding, and you have to search them out yourself. I'm looking down the rating list here; gifted and talented resources aren't splendid. This place defintely has some weakness, but overall I think it's an amazing place.
I would highly recommend checking Summerfield out, and please take the Open House with a grain of salt, because another weakness of the school is that they do a terrible job of showing themselves off.
by a Current Student
on Oct 19, 2008
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