FAQ's

For answers to some commonly asked questions, please pick an area of interest below. For other questions, please contact the Admissions Office at 415-213-6139 or lbarry@sfwaldorf.org.

Academics

Community

Costs

Student Life

After Waldorf

Admission Process


Academics

Q: What makes San Francisco Waldorf High School unique?
We believe that as students come to know the world, they come to know themselves. In keeping with this philosophy, every aspect of the high school experience, from the science lab to the playing field to internships and community service, is viewed not only from the standpoint of academic preparation, but also from its contribution to the student’s developing sense of self. This is very rare in secondary education.

San Francisco Waldorf High School’s rigorous academic curriculum integrates ethical values and creative exploration into all programs. Grounded in the classics, academic courses at San Francisco Waldorf High School expose students to the great ideas of mankind, the events that shaped civilizations, the beauty of mathematics, the power of the arts, and the phenomena of the natural world. We are committed to academic excellence, integrating the arts, and guiding the growth of adolescents toward lives of conscience, creativity and consequence. San Francisco Waldorf High School guides students on their path to becoming intelligent, imaginative, self-confident and caring individuals.

Q: Is San Francisco Waldorf High School an art school?
San Francisco Waldorf High School is not an “art school”. However, the arts are deeply integrated in our curriculum because we believe that when the arts are a part of learning, learning becomes more meaningful and enduring. In addition, students take four hours of art classes and four hours of music per week throughout their four years at SFWHS.

Q: How is technology integrated into the academic curriculum?
Technology is used in the classroom as a teaching tool; laptops are available for classes to use and students have access to Mac's and PC's in our library/media center.  They also have access to databases for research at school or from home.

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Community

Q: What is San Francisco Waldorf High School’s stance on diversity?
We strongly believe that a diversity of experience strengthens the high school education for all our students. Thus, we actively seek students from a variety of racial, ethnic, religious, and socio-economic backgrounds. Currently, our student body is approximately 35% students of color, and comes from a broad range of socioeconomic backgrounds.

To promote a climate of multiculturalism at the school, the Multicultural Council was created in 2006. The Multicultural Council is made of of parents, faculty, staff, and board members who are committed to diversity and multicultural issues at San Francisco Waldorf School.

Approximately 40% of our students receive financial assistance through our Affordable Tuition Program.

The student body is drawn from a wide geographic range, with students commuting from as far away as the peninsula toward San Jose; Oakland and Piedmont in the east; and Sonoma, Corte Madera, and Mill Valley to the north.

Students entering the San Francisco Waldorf High School come from many different schools around the Bay Area. Some of our students have been enrolled in Waldorf schools since kindergarten, but for many students the high school is their first Waldorf experience.

Q: How many of your students come from other schools?
An average of 50% of entering freshman come from 35 other middle schools. 

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Costs

Q: How much does San Francisco Waldorf High School cost?
Our full tuition is $32,400, although approximately 40% of our current families qualify for and receive some amount of tuition assistance.

Q: Do you offer any financial assistance?
Approximately 40% of our students receive financial aid through our Affordable Tuition Program.

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Student Life

Q: What after-school activities does San Francisco Waldorf High School offer?
Clubs: Students participate in various performing arts clubs, literary magazine, and gay/straight alliance, year book, and others.

For a comprehensive list of clubs and activities, please visit our Clubs and Activities page.

Athletics: As a member of the Bay Counties League-Central of the Bay Area Conference, San Francisco Waldorf High School competes with many other independent schools in volleyball, soccer, cross-country, basketball, track & field, baseball, and sailing. We have entered the playoffs in volleyball, basketball, and baseball, and have played for the division title in volleyball, basketball, and baseball.

Please visit our Athletics page for more information.

Community Service: In addition to their academic work, all students complete community service, working both in school and in the larger community every year.

Exchange Program: San Francisco Waldorf High School also has an active student exchange program with Waldorf schools in Germany, France, Switzerland, Spain, and Argentina. In the past two years, 20 SFWHS students have participated in exchanges lasting from two to four months, including some summer study.

Q: What kinds of resources are available for San Francisco Waldorf High School students?
High School Mentor: The high school student mentor (sometimes called “counselor” in other schools) acts as an all-school resource and helps guide our students through their high school experience. The student mentor is available to meet with students as individuals and in small groups to address any concerns regarding school matters, personal or family relationships, and social issues.

College Counselor: a resource for all students and families in the San Francisco Waldorf High School community. The college counselor assists students in understanding the college application process or in planning an alternative post-secondary path.

Class Sponsors: Each class year has two faculty “sponsors” who act as guides for the class through the four years of high school. The sponsors check in with their classes at class meetings, and are the first people the students and parents contact with questions or concerns. They keep a finger on the pulse of the class, and are the ones other teachers can speak to if the class or an individual student needs extra academic or social support. Class sponsors are deeply committed to the welfare of their students.

Q: How does San Francisco Waldorf High School support students with learning differences?
High school tutoring is provided both on and off campus. We have a professional educational consultant who assesses students at parent or faculty request, and hires tutors to work with the students as appropriate.

The Individualized Learning Committee, a dedicated group of faculty chaired by our school mentor, is responsible for designing and maintaining support structures for our students with learning differences. The Individualized Learning Committee meets on a weekly basis to discuss student progress, identify challenges, and help find solutions. All of our faculty members are familiar with each student’s accommodation plans.

Our small size and committed faculty allow us to give each student individual attention. For many students, this attention is enough to help them succeed in their schoolwork. However, students who have difficulty writing or reading might be overwhelmed with the quantity of writing and reading expected in many of our courses. Our faculty try to give material in three different ways – orally, visually by writing on the board, and via handouts – and this can help students with a variety of learning styles.

We look carefully at different styles of learning before we admit students to the freshman class to be certain that we are able to meet their needs. Our Director of Admission can help you determine if SFWHS will be the right high school for you.

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After Waldorf

Q: What do San Francisco Waldorf students do after graduation?
Our graduates are prepared to meet a multicultural, multifaceted world with enthusiasm and have the ability to make a positive impact in any field they choose for themselves. Self-confident and creative, Waldorf graduates benefit from a base of interdisciplinary knowledge from which they may pursue any passion in any direction. They are enthusiastically involved in their education, and eagerly partake of the challenges that meet them in the world today, well-equipped with their creative thinking and problem solving capacities.

For more than 90 years, Waldorf High Schools have educated some of the world’s foremost leaders, thinkers and creative minds, including Kenneth Chenault, former president and CEO of American Express, and Kristen Nygaard, a computer scientist whose work is the basis of all modern programming languages.

Q: Where do your students go to college?
Waldorf education has an established reputation for excellent college placement. Please see our College Acceptances page for a list of the colleges and universities our students have earned acceptance to in the past five years.

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Admission Process

Q: What kind of students are you looking for?
We are looking for smart, curious and imaginative students who are willing, eager, and prepared to challenge themselves academically, explore the arts, be an active member of our community, think imaginatively, look at each issue they encounter from as many sides as possible, and understand the world while making it a better place.

Q: Is attendance at an open house required? Is an interview required?
Attendance at an Open House, a school visit, and a student/parent interview are all required as part of our admission process. Open houses and campus visits provide an important opportunity for students and their families to learn more about our school and community. Please call the high school office (415-213-6151) to make a reservation at one of our Open Houses or to schedule a visit.

Q: What standardized tests are required?

San Francisco Waldorf School does not require any standardized testing as part of its admission process. We have found that these assessments do not give us information about our applicants that either elucidates who they are as individuals or how successful they will be during their Waldorf high school experience.

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