High School – Grades 9-12
There is nothing quite like the experience of Waldorf High School. Students begin to view themselves as the adults that they seek to become. The curriculum, presented by teachers who have devoted themselves to and mastered particular subjects and skills, is one that challenges, excites, and engages young men and women.
Preparing for college and adventures beyond Hawthorne Valley, students explore the world around them – no longer as passive observers but as individuals poised to make a difference.
The academic focal point of a Waldorf High School is the Main Lesson, an hour and forty five minute concentrated lesson at the beginning of each school day. Each Main Lesson block presents one of the “core subjects” (English, Mathematics, History, or Natural Sciences) for a period of three to four weeks. In the following section, the High School curriculum is outlined with brief course descriptions written by the teacher of each block. Each grade is introduced by a brief perspective on how the underlying thematic continuity of the curriculum responds to and supports the changing consciousness and increasing independence of the adolescent.
In addition to the Main Lesson, each student attends between 15 and 20, 45-minute academic skills classes per week, covering Foreign Languages, additional English and Mathematics study, and enrichment classes. Course descriptions of these skills classes follow the Main Lesson descriptions. While the Language and Math courses are continuous throughout the year, selected skills classes in the Humanities may last for a term before changing focus.
Each student also takes four, one-hour classes per week in the Fine and Practical Arts. These blocks occur in a six- to eight-week rhythm and are also briefly characterized in the outline that follows.
Each High School student participates in a one week Practicum each year, subsequently listed. All High School students take part in Chorus work, which meets two 45 minute periods per week. There are major dramatic and musical productions that include the whole class in both Tenth and Twelfth Grade.
Extracurricular programs are offered in instrumental music and girls’ and boys’ basketball, volleyball, and cross-country, and soccer. Other activities include the Social Action Committee, the School Yearbook, a Photography Club, and the Drama Club. Hawthorne Valley School also provides a foreign exchange program, which has placed our students in Waldorf schools in many other countries, including Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, Spain, Scotland, Australia, New Zealand, Columbia, Spain, Peru, and South Africa.
Students receive comprehensive, narrative reports for each class. The teachers also issue a letter grade that goes on the students’ official transcript. Four times a year, High School students and their parents receive a written course description and student narrative evaluation for each course taken. When a student applies to college, the High School guidance department sends each college an official transcript.