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San Francisco Waldorf School

2938 Washington Street
San Francisco, CA 94115

(415) 931-2750


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San Francisco Waldorf School is an independent, co-educational, non-sectarian school providing education from early childhood through Grade 12. Our early childhood program has Parent-Child classes from birth to 3 years old, a 2-3 day nursery program for children ages 2¾ and a five day a week kindergarten for children ages 4¾ to 6½.

At San Francisco Waldorf School, our dedicated faculty and staff work together with parents to foster each student’s sense of self-reliance, social responsibility, and moral purpose.

The diverse cultures and individuals represented in our school community are a source of invaluable human experience from which our students and the entire community learn and grow. We aim to encourage young people to bring the highest human capacities into their adult lives, as they become world citizens of the future.

Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Waldorf

From the Director:

During the first seven years of a child’s life, an astonishing range of human capacities develop. As they awaken to the world, learn to walk and talk,master their bodies, and begin to understand their relationship to others, young children observe and absorb the environment around them and imitate the movements and interactions they see. Our early childhood program offers support for children and families during these critical early years based on Rudolf Steiner’s insights into birth and early child development and provides an introduction to Waldorf education.

Quality of Teaching

Individualized Teaching: From the Director

The San Francisco Waldorf School provides an education that honors a wide diversity of learning profiles and ways of growing and being in the world. The integration of live experiences, hands-on exploration and artistic expressioninto all areas of the curriculum enables every child to achieve a high level ofmotivation and joy in learning, and to meet challenges with resilience and perseverance.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

San Francisco Waldorf School the only San Francisco school offering a curriculum and method of teaching based on the educational philosophy of Rudolf Steiner. In addition, we are one of the few San Francisco schools that offers a complete program from nursery through 12th grade.

Early Childhood
Between birth and age seven, the child learns primarily through imitation. The atmosphere surrounding the child is filled with beauty, goodness, and role models worthy of imitation. At this age the children need warmth and protection to develop their capacities in a natural, non-competitive atmosphere for creative play and work. SFWS’s Early Childhood Program honors the task of caring for the young child, offering a range of opportunities for families with children not yet old enough for kindergarten including a comprehensive Parenting Program and a Nursery Program. Following the nursery years, the child moves into a two-year kindergarten program. The child continues to learn through imitation and play.

Grades 1 – 8
Children between the ages of seven and fourteen learn best from loving and consistent authorities who embrace the world with interest. At this age subjects are presented in a lively, artistic and engaging way in order to ignite children’s enthusiasm for learning the academic, practical, and physical skills they will need for life. They are taught through a block rotation, allowing subjects to be deeply penetrated. The intellectual development of the child is fostered through the establishment of basic learning skills and the development of memory.

Grades 9 – 12
High school students learn best from experts in their fields with whom they can exercise their independent thinking and pursuit of truth. At this age students deepen their understanding of the world and of themselves. Through challenging intellectual study, they begin to master a wide range of subjects from mathematics to music, from science to humanities, from art to physical education. Subjects are brought by teachers who are specialists in their fields.

A Typical Day

For children ages 2 3/4 to 4 1/2, the Nursery Program offers a few half-days a week of nursery school. There is a two-day and a three-day program. Both are from 8:45 in the morning to 12:45 in the afternoon.

As their horizons expand, young children find delight in each day’s new attractions. Daily and weekly routines, alternating between times of activity and rest, carry them joyfully through the day. Learning takes place in the Nursery Program through imitation and example rather than through instruction. Honoring the need of the preschool aged child to find security in the familiarity of the home setting, this program offers a social experience in the Waldorf tradition of a beautiful homelike environment. Going to nursery class becomes a joyful visit with little friends happily joining together in real domestic work activities like baking bread and preparing soup, or washing and ironing, as well as singing, painting and free imaginative play.

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

In the nursery school and kindergarten, parents are encouraged to come to monthly class meetings, participate in parent-teacher conferences, and attend school festivals and events. The school also sends out weekly news bulletins, monthly newsletters, and regular emails from the teachers.

Parents Say They are Encouraged to:

  • Sit on the board of trustees
  • Hold social events at the school to build community
  • Fundraise
  • Are able to visit the school anytime we want
  • Go on field trips
  • Volunteer in the classroom
  • Receive newsletters

Modes of Communication

  • Notes
  • Phone Calls
  • Voice Mail
  • Email
  • Special Meetings
  • Drop-Off
  • Pick-Up
  • Regular newsletter/printed updates circulated to the whole school


Separation is Handled through:

  • Pre-entry meetings with parents at school
  • Parents in classroom early on

Handling Separation: From the Director

The teachers communicate clearly with the parents at class meetings and orientation about working with separation. They are gentle and loving with the children while encouraging a smooth separation.