Academics and Faculty
Tuition and Acceptance Rate
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- Early Childhood
- Waldorf education celebrates and builds upon the natural wonder, curiosity, and imagination of young children, nurturing students we look forward to knowing for years to come. Young children need time to explore and experiment in a safe environment with responsive adults. This feeling of safety and connection is what allows children to have fun and open up to new discoveries. Through close listening and observation, our teachers come to understand the unique interests, needs, and personality of each child.
- Days in our early childhood programs have a rhythm of structured and unstructured activities that feed developing minds and bodies. At the same time, these activities nourish the social and emotional needs of children making their first friends and discovering independence. Free play, practical work, song and story offer multisensory experiences and build foundational skills for mathematics, sciences and language. Cooking, gardening, movement and outdoor exploration create opportunities to count, classify, measure and observe nature, leading to a genuine curiosity for learning and wonder. All of these opportunities help the children establish a healthy, balanced foundation for life.
- For our youngest children we cultivate a beautiful, harmonious environment that encourages learning through doing, engages motor skills, evokes wonder, and gives young children the freedom to follow their natural curiosity. In our experience, this is a path that creates life-long learners.
- Grades 1-8
- The grade school years are a thrilling time of discovery. As their sense of self evolves, children develop more dynamic understanding and abilities. We design our curriculum to support children through the gradual transformation of their consciousness as it shifts from a pictorial to a conceptual focus, with all of the social, emotional, intellectual, and physical complexity that entails. A remarkable phenomenon happens at our school: because the culture engages the whole child, from the senses to the heart and the mind, students are excited to go to school each morning. They're excited about learning.
- Students learn through "block teaching," focusing on a single subject for several weeks to enhance concentration, engagement, and retention of material. Immersion gives children the space and time to draw powerful connections between new concepts and more familiar subjects. After the morning academic work comes the continuing skills work in English, mathematics and foreign languages, as well as the artistic, practical, and movement classes. All of these activities-such as woodworking, eurythmy, and performing arts-promote flexible thinking,self-awareness and the capacity to understand multiple perspectives. The ability to identify and inhabit other viewpoints is not only an important component of empathy, but an increasingly valuable skill in a global society.
- Along the way, our faculty are important touchstones for every student, providing security and continuity in the passage from childhood to adolescence. Our teachers advance with one class of students through the grades, allowing them to develop a deep understanding of each individual`s character, learning style, life experiences, and interests. This design allows teacher to dynamically respond to the needs of each student and of the class, both in the moment and through the years.
- At Maine Coast Waldorf, we also recognize the important learning that comes from struggles. We all hit stumbling blocks in our studies; every student finds that there are some subjects and skills that come more easily than others. Our teachers help students develop strategies to work through their harder endeavors and keep larger goals in mind. The recognition and awareness that this is a natural course of learning helps students persevere, develop resilience, and gain confidence in their ability to meet new challenges. And through practice-in the arts, handcrafts, and physical activities-students come to see that they can rely on themselves to accomplish anything with time and focus. This important realizationthen transfers to new challenges. While intrinsic motivation can`t be taught, we strive to create the conditions for students to find it within themselves, becoming lifelong learners in the process.
- High School
- How well do today`s schools educate for tomorrow`s world? At Maine Coast Waldorf School we go beyond imparting knowledge and skills; we build capacities for self-reliance, independent thinking, creativity, and empathy. These qualitiesare inherent to our approach.
- By high school, students are asking questions that have complex answers, about themselves, about their world, and about knowledge itself. A Waldorf education serves the questioning quality of teenage years well; students draw on our rich interdisciplinary studies to find multiple ways of knowing, thinking, and being to find new connections to themselves and the world. Students discover mathematical principles underlying their study of poetry and music; they consider a line of Emily Dickinson`s poetry in the light of Einstein`s Theory of Relativity; they make Aztec-inspired clay masks as they explore the encounter between the Old and New Worlds in 1492. The work is demanding, which is part of what makes it so rewarding.
- Our small size, deep relationships, and culture of openness allow our teachers to conduct college seminar-style classes in a high school setting. For our teachers, writing college recommendations comes effortlessly because they know each student on multiple levels: as a learner, a creator, a community member, and an individual. We often hear that recommendations from our teachers are striking in their depth and richness, a noteworthy reflection in that the teacher recommendation is an increasingly important way to distinguish students in a highly competitive landscape.
- College Admissions counselors recognize that Waldorf students come to college with exceptional problem-solving skills and the curiosity to find new problems to solve. Working for the experience rather than the grade, connecting with others, and knowing yourself as a learner are all crucial to success in collegeand in life. Although MCWS students are diverse, these are traits they share by graduation day.
- For students who have grown up in Waldorf schools, the high school years complete a circle: the fairy tales that nourish first graders also develop the imaginative faculties high school students rely upon when they delve into the more adult tales of Gilgamesh, Odysseus, Hamlet and Faust. Simple form drawings that second graders practice transform into explorations regarding the nature of infinity in eleventh grade projective geometry. The French and German songs they learn in the elementary school often lead to a term abroad at age 16 or 17 in Switzerland or Germany or France.
- For students new to Waldorf, Maine Coast offers a welcoming environment with personal support, attention, and a rangeof activities for students to find new strengths and interests. They are also not alone in their transition. Approximately 15% of our high school students join us from other educational settings.
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