Davis Waldorf School

Davis Waldorf School Photo #1 - Waldorf preschool and kindergartens utilize the child's natural propensity to learn through play. Play benefits cognitive, social, emotional, and physical development. When play is fun and child-directed, children are motivated to engage in opportunities to learn.
Davis Waldorf School Photo #2 - In Waldorf education there is a saying "there is no education without relation." A low teacher-to-student ratio allows teachers to spend time with each student, and even more importantly to create a lasting bond. Because our teachers "loop" they stay with the class for an extended period of time, usually 4-5 years and occasionally longer.
Davis Waldorf School Photo #3 - All of our students learn to play and read music. Although music begins in preschool and kindergarten with simple songs, formal music instruction begins in first grade with a pentatonic flute and in third grade with a diatonic flute. Stringed music instruction begins in 4th grade, with the option to choose a wind or band instrument in 6th grade.
Davis Waldorf School Photo #4 - Academics are presented in an engaging manner, with the goal of creating lifelong learners who are curious, disciplined , and creative thinkers.
Davis Waldorf School Photo #5 - Although as a private school we are not held to state standards nor required to do standardized testing, we do administer the McGraw-Hill TerraNova Basic Battery, a nationally norm-referenced standardized test, to our students in 8th grade. Our classical education and arts-integrated curriculum enable our students to test, on average, 3-4 grades above their grade level.
Davis Waldorf School Photo #6 - Our large natural campus with plenty of room enables our teachers to get creative and integrate the multiple intelligences in their teaching while maximizing creative collaboration and teamwork.
Davis Waldorf School Photo #7 - Eighth grade students show off their dance skills at our our annual Winter Concert. The grace and composure of even the shyest grades student is benefited by ample opportunities to demonstrate what they learn-- from dance to theater to 8th Grade Reports where each student writes and presents a lengthy report on a topic of their own choosing.
Davis Waldorf School Photo #8 - In addition to our rigorous academic program, we have a robust "subject" program that seeks to fulfill our mission of educating the whole child. Here second grade students learn to knit in a handwork class. Additionally, our students have Spanish, games and movement, gardening, art, woodworking, music, and more.
Davis Waldorf School Photo #9 - Here our woodworking teacher helps an eighth grade student in the building of a stool. Waldorf education aims to help children develop their IQ, EQ (emotional intelligence) and PQ (physical intelligence)-- integrating their intellectual and social-emotional capacities while giving them the practical experience of making things happen. Woodworking helps students exercise their ability to bring projects to fruition.
Davis Waldorf School Photo #10 - Our children get outside in all weather. We value time in nature and are able to maximize it with beautiful gardens for our preschool and kindergarten children, a 5-acre, grass-based campus and close proximity to the Davis Greenbelt for hikes and walks. Older students also participate in long recesses, bi-weekly games and movement classes and extracurricular sports.
  • The Davis Waldorf School was founded in 1986 and serves 200 children from preschool to 8th grade.
  • Set on a beautiful 5-acre campus in North Davis, the Davis Waldorf School program balances artistic, academic and practical work, educating the whole child - hand and heart as well as mind.
  • Its innovative methodology and developmentally-oriented curriculum, permeated with the arts, address the child's changing consciousness as it unfolds, stage by stage.
  • Imagination and creativity are cultivated as well as cognitive growth and a sense of responsibility for the earth and its inhabitants.
  • Under the warm and active instruction of their teachers, children are provided with a creative and nurturing environment in which to develop, grow and learn.

School Overview

School TypeSchool with Special Program Emphasis
School Membership(s)School Assoc.Association of Waldorf Schools of North America
Religious AffiliationNonsectarian
Grades OfferedGrades Prekindergarten-8
Year Founded1986

Student Body

Total Students192 students
Student Body TypeCo-ed
% Students of Color
State avg.: 45%
Students by Grade Davis Waldorf School Student By Grade

Academics and Faculty

Total Classroom Teachers18 teachers
Student : Teacher Ratio11:1
National avg.: 13:1
% Faculty w/Advanced Degree
Average Class Size17 students
Classroom Dress CodeCasual
(Simple, logo-free clothing.)

Finances and Admission

Admission DeadlineMar. 31 / Aug. 15 / rolling
Tuition NotesTuition is available on our
% on Financial Aid
Acceptance Rate
National avg.: 85%
Admissions DirectorChristina Guzman


Total Sports Offered3 sports
SportsBasketball, Flag Football, VolleyballBasketballFlag Football,


Total ExtracurricularsTotal Extra-curric.5 extracurriculars
ExtracurricularsExtra-curric.Acrylic Painting, Conversational Spanish

Club or Organization:
Algebra Club

Arts and Music Programs:
Fiddling Group

Recreational Athletic Programs:
Games Club

School Notes

  • Waldorf education balances artistic, academic and practical work educating the whole child - hand and heart as well as mind. Its innovative methodology and developmentally-oriented curriculum, permeated with the arts, address the child's changing consciousness as it unfolds, stage by stage. Imagination and creativity are cultivated as well as cognitive growth and a sense of responsibility for the earth and its inhabitants. Under the warm and active instruction of their teachers, children are provided with a creative and nurturing environment in which to develop, grow and learn. Developed by Rudolf Steiner in 1919, Waldorf education is based on a developmental approach that addresses the needs of the growing child and maturing adolescent. Waldorf teachers strive to transform education into an art that educates the whole child.
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  • School Location Miles Grades Students
  • Davis
    Peregrine School
    Special Program Emphasis
    Grades: K-6 | 100 students
    1.8 miles
    2907 Portage Bay West
    Davis, CA 95616
    (530) 753-5500
    1.8 K-6
  • Davis
    Montessori Country Day
    Daycare / Preschool
    Grades: PK-K | 53 students
    2.1 miles
    1811 Renoir Avenue
    Davis, CA 95616
    (530) 753-8373
    2.1 PK-K
  • Davis
    Grades: K-8
    2.6 miles
    27173 County Road 98
    Davis, CA 95616
    (530) 758-6590
    2.6 K-8
  • Davis
    St James School
    (Roman Catholic)
    Grades: K-8 | 312 students
    1.5 miles
    1215 B St
    Davis, CA 95616
    (530) 756-3946
    1.5 K-8
  • Antioch
    Grades: 4-8 | 4 students
    40.9 miles
    600 Alumrock Drive
    Antioch, CA 94509
    (925) 706-7086
    40.9 4-8

School Reviews

  5.00 out of 5  (16 reviews)
Our family was first introduced to DWS in 2009, as my sister's family was moving to town and interested in having their daughter (my niece) begin kindergarten there. The administrators at the school were very helpful, open, and provided us a tour on behalf of my sister. My niece has attended DWS (and now Sacramento Waldorf) since that time and has really loved her school experience. My oldest daughter started preschool in 2015 and is now in second grade. She loves her school, teachers, and the other children. One of the things that is really important to me is that the Waldorf teaching methods brings the world to the children. They introduce concepts and academic items when it's appropriate for where the children are developmentally, which makes learning more effective and less frustrating. The classroom environment is very warm, caring, and a safe place to learn about new things. My youngest daughter started preschool at DWS in 2016 and is now in Kindergarten. As she ran to class on the first day of school this year, she yelled, "Mom! This is going to be so fun!!" and she pretty much says the same thing every day. Both my children love going to school every day and are bummed when Saturday rolls around. What a blessing!
- Posted by
I have two children at DWS and we could not love it more. The teachers are loving and kind, and the campus is beautiful. Waldorf leads children to develop an appetite for learning. My children can't wait to go to school everyday!
- Posted by
I am both a teacher and a parent. I was a public middle school teacher; but, after having my own children I was searching for a beautiful, healing education that really met the whole child. I found it in Waldorf education. My children, ages 5 and 9, and My husband and I are so thankful. My children and my students can't wait to come to school each day!
- Posted by
Every child should be able to experience this type of schooling. I can't say enough about this wonderful place!!! My son has been attending DWS since 2015 with the parent toddler program. He then went on to preschool for 2 years, Kindergarten for 2 years and now he is in first grade. His teachers have been exemplary and the Waldorf curriculum has proven to align with my values. This philosophy of learning has taught me how to be a better parent and appreciate the needs of my child as he grows. I would enthusiastically recommend the school to anyone!
- Posted by
Committed teachers, great community, really varied curriculum, and the campus is beautiful. We are very happy with Davis Waldorf - our kids can't wait to get to school each day. The teachers really "see" my children and their different talents, while the teaching style and emphasis on experiential learning inspires their imagination. My children are in the grades now but the early childhood program is wonderful because the children spend so much time outdoors. Their reading skills are well above their grade level and they enjoy math!
- Posted by
Davis Waldorf is a fantastic school with a whole child focus, meeting the children where they are, guiding them to the next stage. All 3 of our children currently attend and we couldn't be happier. The school community feels more like family than an institution. The curriculum integrates arts, sciences, math, culture, and languages beautifully & seamlessly.
- Posted by
Davis Waldorf has been an amazing school for my kids & a wonderful community for us all. From the very first day, we were warmly welcomed & have made lifelong friendships. We were living in the Bay Area going to public schools and something just wasn't right. The more I researched alternative ways of learning, the more I was drawn to Waldorf. Their nature-based approach and the head-heart-hands philosophy were just what we were looking for. My kids can't wait to go to school each morning - that is the best evidence that this is a special place. :)
- Posted by
We chose this school for what we see as an education that will teach our two children to be self-directed, creative, independent thinkers. The foundational role of play and space to be themselves without a barrage of continuous input creates a self-awareness and confidence that is seen as students progress. The integration of arts into math, science, and social studies engages both hemispheres of their brain as they learn. The teachers, staff, and educators approach their work with a deep commitment to the students and parents. On top of it all, it is fun! We enjoy seeing the other families and students look forward to the festivals and the events and love all that we learn through the process as individuals and as a family. This is an education that is an investment for the future.
- Posted by
Davis Waldorf School upholds a worldwide tradition of education focussed on the whole child. My daughter loves to go to school, impresses us with her musical engagement, and adds joy to our lives by radiating a drive understand and give back to her community.
- Posted by
Our daughter came into Waldorf after having issues in public school and falling behind. She not only caught up and is testing past grade level (she recently passed me in math, too- I can't help her anymore), but the philosophy of the school is teaching her to be a better, more-rounded person.
- Posted by
My daughter attends Davis Waldorf, and we are so happy with the school. Our choosing to send her here was not based on it being a private school but instead based on the quality of education she is receiving. It is giving her a solid foundation. She is learning who she is as an individual, learning to be a good human, on top of the academics. She is a cautious and timid child, and Waldorf education is bringing her out of her shell. Such a great community of people that we plan to keep as lifelong friends.
- Posted by
A magical place, full of community and space for growth. My children LOVE their school! I love the well-rounded education that reaches not only their head, but their heart and hands as well.We started down the Waldorf path at a home-based preschool. There we saw how this approach treats each child with respect and love and yet provides boundaries that makes them feel protected. Knowing Davis public schools are great, we were unsure about making this choice for elementary. Then we attended an open house and that was it. Our daughter was at home here and able to continue being a young child with freedom to play and grow. Since that time, we have taken it year by year and every year for 5 years now, the choice is the same... this Waldorf approach is holding her and teaching her in ways that are appropriate to her development. Now in 4th grade, she is a voracious reader, that can spell almost anything, her favorite subject is math where she's currently working with multiplying and dividing fractions. She writes with skill, creativity and confidence, is learning Spanish in her twice weekly classes and her interest in science is ongoing and deepening. Not only these academics, but, she (and every single classmate) plays an instrument, acts in plays, creates art, participates in active and engaging games, and many other hand work activities. The quality, well-rounded education provided here and her continued love of learning are the primary reasons why we stay. I cannot recommend DWS enough!
- Posted by
Our oldest daughter began at Davis Waldorf School in second grade. At the time she was furious with us for transferring her from her old school without her input. However, within weeks, the child who resisted learning, reading, and routines, grew engaged and even enthusiastic in her schooling. We stopped hearing "I don't want to go to school." That was six years ago, and my husband and I have never regretted the financial or time investment. We now have three children at DWS (7th, 4th, and 1st grade as of the 2011-12 school year), and the school has fitted each of them in very different ways. While some of the traditions or requests (such as limited to no media) often feel strange and even restrictive at first, we''ve found that there always seems to be valid reasoning behind them. The school functions like a large and welcoming family, and while (as with any family or community) there may be occasional frictions, we''ve never felt anything other than accepted and embraced. We''ve found the teachers and administration to be open to communication and remarkably understanding of the unique personalities and quirks of our children. The curriculum is challenging enough to keep our intellectually gifted and skeptical teenager motivated while being paced perfectly for our perfectionist middle-schooler and social butterfly youngest. Waldorf education may not be for everybody, but at Davis Waldorf School, I have found most of the children to be confident, at ease with adults, able to focus on problem solving, and remarkably tolerant of the quirks and individuality of their peers. In a cookie-cutter world, these kids are taught academics and life skills through the unique beauty of art, music, and movement.
- Posted by
I highly recommend this school to anyone with kids or grandkids going into preschool to 8th grade in Davis. I homeschooled my kids for the first 10 years of their lives and then, needing something different for the kids, we placed them in Davis Waldorf School which happened to be our neighborhood, though not public, school. The shift from homeschooling to private school, though difficult because my kids had never attended a formal school before, was made so much gentler and easier for our family due to the family like atmosphere of the Waldorf school. I love so many things about this school, it is difficult to pick just a few things to talk about. There is the community and staff who are loving and supportive of the kids and their families, it is the classmates who become like siblings as they transition from grade to grade together, the special ceremonies for the transitions to new seasons, new grades, new developmental levels, and more. It is the way the school keeps the kids well versed in the arts and music and it is the continuation of those relationships developed at the school after graduation. It is the very special teachers who get to know their students so well having taught them for multiple years and treat the kids with respect, individuality, and developmentally appropriate tasks. Our family would choose Davis Waldorf School again in a heartbeat!
- Posted by
We have had nothing but a positive experience for our two children who are now 11 and 13. My children have been through the grades here and are testing very well compared to their public school friends. They are confident, well rounded and compassionate. The Davis Waldorf school has exceeded our families expectations!
- Posted by
Our family loves the Davis Waldorf School. Our kindergarten-aged daughter is in her third year here, and has had consistently loving care in a structured play-based program. What we love about the Davis Waldorf School is that we feel we have real partners in raising our child. Our daughter has had structured time doing developmentally appropriate projects and crafts -- finger knitting, woodworking, cider-pressing, sewing, drawing and embroidery in kindergarten. As she has gotten older, the projects increase with her skill. She has also learned a lot of practical skills, folding laundry, putting things away, baking, sweeping, setting tables. Built into the day are ways for her to learn self-control, from things at circle time to the 3-minute "quiet sand" at the beginning of meals and snacktime. There is a lot of open-ended playtime in a beautiful garden and gentle classrooms. I feel totally safe leaving my child in the hands of such loving teachers and a loving program. One last thing, the early childhood classrooms are mixed-age as is the aftercare. I love that my daughter has learned to play with older and younger children over the years.
- Posted by

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The average private school tuition in California is $11,569 for elementary schools and $20,000 for high schools (read more about average private school tuition across the country).
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