Mission & History
The Waldorf School of Baltimore educates and inspires children to think, feel, and act with depth, imagination, and purpose.
History of Waldorf Education
In a world buzzing with the relentless pursuit of academic achievements, Waldorf Education stands out as a beacon of holistic learning, where the mind, body, and spirit are nurtured in harmony. This unique educational approach, founded by Rudolf Steiner, goes beyond conventional methods, embracing a philosophy that sees each child as a blossoming individual with diverse gifts waiting to unfurl. At the heart of Waldorf Education lies the recognition that a child's intellectual, emotional, and spiritual dimensions are interconnected, weaving a rich tapestry of understanding and wisdom.
Waldorf classrooms are vibrant ecosystems, where the integration of arts, movement, and academics creates a symphony of learning. The curriculum is designed to honor the developmental stages of childhood, allowing students to explore and engage with subjects through a multi-sensory lens. The arts, from painting and music to drama and movement, are seamlessly woven into the fabric of daily lessons, fostering creativity and imagination. This integrated approach not only deepens understanding but also kindles a lifelong love for learning, transcending the boundaries of conventional education.
Beyond academic excellence, Waldorf Education places a profound emphasis on nurturing the whole child. The curriculum is a living entity, adapting to the changing needs of students, encouraging them to become critical thinkers, compassionate beings, and active participants in shaping their world. By fostering a deep connection with nature, promoting social responsibility, and instilling a sense of reverence for life, Waldorf Education molds students into well-rounded individuals poised to navigate life's challenges with resilience and grace. In a world that often compartmentalizes knowledge, Waldorf Education stands as a radiant testament to the power of an integrated approach, where the journey of learning becomes a transformative and enriching adventure..
Today there are more than 2,500 Waldorf schools across the globe, and is the largest and fastest growing independent school movement worldwide.
Waldorf School of Baltimore Values and Principles
We value humanity, connection, gratitude, imagination, freedom & responsibility.
We offer an education grounded in these value-driven principles:
- The foundation of our work is guided by our understanding of human development, as indicated by the insights of Rudolf Steiner. The pace, priorities, and practices of our entire program, Early Childhood through Middle School, grow out of this foundation.
- We strive to create caring, life-long connections with all students, all families, all staff, and for our full community, based upon principles of equity and restorative justice, to feel a sense of true belonging. We strive for our student and staff populations to be reflective of the diversity within the Greater Baltimore area.
- We foster a sense of gratitude for our place and time in the world as it evolves by providing the children with deep, timeless, meaningful experiences which inspire wonder and are steeped in Goodness, Beauty, and Truth.
- We support and guide every student toward higher learning through an arts-integrated and experiential curriculum that develops critical and imaginative thinking, environmental stewardship, social health, and creative problem solving.
- We strive to prepare children for a life of purpose and direction by fostering free and courageous individuals with an emerging balance of capacities and temperament, capable of forging their own unique paths in the world as responsible, emotionally intelligent, wise, compassionate, and resilient people.
Indigenous Land Acknowledgement
We acknowledge that the Waldorf School of Baltimore sits upon the traditional land of many indigenous Algonquin, Haudenosaunee, and Siouan peoples. We acknowledge that this land and its indigenous inhabitants existed without the rigid political boundaries maintained by settler governments of today.
We honor the social, physical, spiritual, and kinship relationships this land continues to share with all indigenous people who live here today. We honor the continued resilience of all indigenous people in holding steadfast to their identity and cultural traditions. We honor their continued resistance in the face of historical and ongoing oppression.
We acknowledge the ancestral right of the land and waterways to heal, to provide food and medicine for all. As a school community, we recognize the responsibility we have to care for this traditional indigenous land with reverence, to learn from it with respect, and to steward all life on Turtle Island.
Our School History
Our school began as the New Morning School, opening its doors to 15 preschool children in 1971. Originally housed in property rented from the City of Baltimore, this little school set off on a big journey.
In 1973 the New Morning School adopted a Waldorf curriculum, based on the teaching methods of Austrian philosopher and teacher Rudolf Steiner. The school expanded to include a pioneering first grade in 1974, and in 1978 the New Morning School changed its name to reflect the Waldorf values that had been adopted. It was now the Waldorf School of Baltimore (WSB), and part of the global network of Waldorf schools - currently over 2,500 strong, the largest independent school movement worldwide.
The 1980’s and '90’s saw hard work, growing excitement, and great expansion. By 1980 we had 150 students, had been accepted as a member the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America (AWSNA), and were accredited by the Maryland State Department of Education. Our first eighth grade class graduated in 1987. In 1991 we were awarded accreditation from the Association of Independent Maryland Schools (AIMS), and 186 students were enrolled. In 1994, WSB became a member of BEST (the Baltimore Educational Scholarship Trust).
In 1994, the School launched a $4 million capital campaign. With support from the City of Baltimore, the State of Maryland, foundations, and private donors, a beautiful new elementary building was constructed. In 1997, WSB moved into its permanent home on Tamarind Road, our location to this day. In 2010, we opened a four-classroom Children’s Garden in the lower level of the Tamarind Building and ceased to use the nearby Mercantile Building that had previously housed our pre-K and Kindergarten classes. In 2017, we built an addition to house a hall suitable for Physical Education classes, performing arts, and other community events, and two classrooms: one a flexible classroom and one dedicated to student services.
Today, WSB is thriving, and its mission to educate and inspire children to think, act and feel with depth, imagination, and purpose has produced many motivated and empowered young people.