Posted by: Alex Borders | September 9, 2011

The Blog has moved

Friday, 9th September

Thank you for reading The Waldorf School of Philadelphia official Blog.

We have moved to please won’t you follow us there.

See you!

Alex Borders

Director of Admissions

Posted by: Alex Borders | August 9, 2011

Changing Education Paradigms

Tuesday 9th August

Sir Ken Robinson at the crossing point between mainstream education, Waldorf Education and the future!!

This animate was adapted from a talk given at the RSA by Sir Ken Robinson, world-renowned education and creativity expert and recipient of the RSA’s Benjamin Franklin award. Click on the link below –

Sir Ken Robinson, PhD is an internationally recognized leader in the development of education, creativity and innovation. In 1998, he led a national commission on creativity, education and the economy for the UK Government. All Our Futures: Creativity, Culture and Education (The Robinson Report) was published to wide acclaim in 1999. He was the central figure in developing a strategy for creative and economic development as part of the Peace Process in Northern Ireland, working with the ministers for training, education enterprise and culture. The resulting blueprint for change, Unlocking Creativity, was adopted by politicians of all parties and by business, education and cultural leaders across the Province.

For twelve years, he was professor of education at the University of Warwick in the UK and is now professor emeritus. He has received honorary degrees from the Rhode Island School of Design, Ringling College of Arts and Design, the Open University and the Central School of Speech and Drama, Birmingham City University and the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts. In 2005, he was named as one of Time/Fortune/CNN’s ‘Principal Voices’. In 2003, he received a knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II for his services to the arts. He speaks to audiences throughout the world on the creative challenges facing business and education in the new global economies.

His book The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything (Penguin/Viking 2009) is a New York Times best seller and has been translated into twenty-one languages. His latest book is an anniversary edition of his classic work on creativity and innovation, Out of Our Minds: Learning to be Creative (Capstone/Wiley).

Posted by: Alex Borders | August 7, 2011

Alternative Education Forum

Sunday 7th August

This past week, on a very hot and humid August evening, thirty or so parents attended Philadelphia’s first ever Alternative Education Forum. The event was organized and hosted by Philly Free School, a Sudbury school and the first of its kind in the City. Sitting along side Philly Free School and Greene Towne Montessori was yours truly – The Waldorf School of Philadelphia.

Philly Fun Guide described the event as “a truly unique opportunity to hear representatives from local Sudbury, Montessori and Waldorf schools discuss their unique educational philosophies and describe day-to-day workings of their schools”.

It was a pleasure to meet the families who attended the event . Thank you to Greene Towne Montessori and Philly Free School; the panel format was an interesting and informative way to compare and contrast our respective education models.

Photography courtesy of Dave Tavani

Posted by: Alex Borders | June 29, 2011

Fairy Birthday

Wednesday 28th June

On a recent summers eve, 3 beautiful and gracious fairies flew to our home and delighted 5 little girls, especially my now 4-year-old.  There were precious gems passed around, “magical key necklaces” that unlock dreams and, of course, face-painting!! Everyone at the party was absolutely charmed by the whole thing – and were so impressed that these young women did such an incredible thing to give back to their school.

The three young women referred to are members of the rising eighth grade class at WSP. They offered their fairy services to the highest bidder during the school auction event this past Spring.

Posted by WSP Mama, Maggie Davis

Posted by: Alex Borders | June 20, 2011

8th Grade Graduation

Monday 20th June

Every parent thinks that his or her son or daughter is someone special—smart, talented, thoughtful, passionate. But what of a whole group that’s special? Is that even possible? We think so, and the families, friends, and well-wishers who attended graduation agreed that the Class of 2011 is pretty special. Each one has played an important role in the class, according to Amy Kennedy, their Class Teacher, as she described the unique place each student has held over the years in shaping the class. They are a dynamic group of young people who seem to have grown up in the last couple weeks right in front of our eyes. We wish them the best as they move on to high school, and hope that they will stay in touch.

WSP graduates have a history of being accepted into the high schools of their choice, and the Class of 2011 is no exception. In September the graduates will enroll at the following high schools:

  • W.B. Saul High School for Agricultural Sciences, Philadelphia
  • Fiorella LaGuardia School of Music and Art and Performing Arts, New York City
  • LaSalle College High School, Glenside
  • Central High School, Philadelphia
  • Kimberton Waldorf School, Kimberton
  • Springfield Township High School, Erdenheim
  • Germantown Friends School, Philadelphia
  • Academy of the New Church, Bryn Athyn
  • High School for Creative and Performing Arts, Philadelphia

CONGRATULATIONS, GRADUATES! And so long to Ms. Kennedy, who has guided this remarkable class since second grade. Ms. Kennedy will join the faculty of the Belmont Charter School in West Philadelphia in September.  We wish you the best!

Before graduating, the 8th grade class took a ten-day class trip to Costa Rica with guides from Outward Bound, here is what some of the class had to say about the experience:

Heading out on the last trip I will share with my class as Waldorfians was a crazy thought. The trip brought us together more, which I didn’t think was possible considering most of us have been together since 3rd grade and, in some cases, kindergarten. During the trip we often needed to help each other through our different troubles and some full-group problems. I have learned something new about each of my classmates (even though I thought I knew all I could about them before the trip). I thank all the people who helped us fundraise for this amazing trip – Jacob Hoffman

I wouldn’t change a thing about our trip to Costa Rica. Considering how long we have been dreaming about it, raising money for it, and preparing ourselves for it, it couldn’t have been more perfect. I had found myself clinging onto the last weeks here and, before the trip, the moments had been slipping away faster than I imagined. The trip to Costa Rica brought us together one last time and then set us free. Not only did I rappel down a waterfall, hike through a natural park, and try foods I never imagined existed, I also gained countless new memories with my friends that I can fondly look back on. I appreciate that so much, and thank the Outward Bound program for the opportunities and experiences it gave me – Celia deCaumette

I started really thinking about the 8th grade when the class of 2008 went to the Four Corners area for their trip. I was only in 5th grade, but I had a sibling in that class so I saw how it affected certain people. It all got closer when we began selling pretzels in 6th grade, and finally became real when we stepped off the plane in Costa Rica. The long wait for this ten-day experience was inspiring to me as a student. I want every 8th grade to have just as great of an experience as I did – Oliver Mitchell-Boyask

I think that our trip to Costa Rica was very inspiring. It pushed me out of my comfort zone to another level. This was very good because I think I came away from it stronger (physically and mentally), and with new appreciation for everything around me. Since we worked toward this since 6th grade, it was greatly anticipated and I enjoyed every minute of it – Roman Fiorella

Posted by: Alex Borders | June 7, 2011

How reading is taught in a Waldorf school

Tuesday 7th June

Soon after I discovered Waldorf education, I had a conversation with a friend whose daughter, like my son, was approaching kindergarten age. We lived in Los Angeles, where getting one’s child into the “right” kindergarten had as much significance as getting accepted to Harvard or Yale.

“Have you considered the Waldorf school?” I asked her.

“Oh, we looked at it, but ruled it out because they don’t believe in books. We are a family of readers,” she emphasized.

I was taken aback. Did my friend think that my husband I, both college graduates, didn’t value books or reading?

These are the words of Sarah Baldwin of Bella Luna Toys, an online store selling Waldorf toys, wooden toys and natural toys. One of the many misconceptions about Waldorf education is that reading support is lacking and that Waldorf schools are anti-books. For the whole article go to

Posted by: Alex Borders | June 4, 2011

Enclave Embraces Brotherly Love

Saturday 4th June

Sunday’s New York Times travel section includes an article about our pretty darn fabulous neighborhood, Mt Airy!  Zach Pontz writes “Mount Airy is in the midst of a cultural revival, replete with new and old businesses, which have come to reflect its residents’ socially conscious progressive life-style”.  Mt Airy is home to The Waldorf School of Philadelphia.

For the full article and slide show visit

Posted by: Alex Borders | June 3, 2011

A Walk in the Wissahickon

Friday 3rd June

Here are the 2nd grade students with their teacher Mrs Persinotti taking a well deserved rest during their walk in Fairmount Park.  Mrs Persinotti and some volunteer parents took the students for an afternoon ramble last Friday.  It was a scorching hot day but what fun it was to be in the woods!

Posted by: Alex Borders | June 2, 2011

John Shinn awarded scholarships

Thursday 2nd June

John Shinn has travel-fever!  Class of 2009 WSP alumnus John Shinn has received the Okinawa Peace Scholarship to spend six weeks in Japan.  It is his intention to become immersed in the culture, attend Japanese high school and live with a Japanese host family. John is going to the village of Kitanakagusuku in Okinawa, Japan and you can read about his travels by following his blog at

After Japan, John Shinn has won the Congress Bundestag Youth Exchange scholarship to spend the academic year in Germany, attend German high school and live with a host family. The scholarship is jointly funded by the American congress and the German Bundestag. John will return to the US and spend his Senior year back at St Joseph’s Preparatory School in Philadelphia.  Upon his return John has promised to come back to WSP and tell us all about his year of adventure.

Congratulations to John and all of the other scholarship prize winners.  John came to visit The Waldorf School of Philadelphia earlier today.  His former grade school teacher Mrs Cynthia Way could not be prouder of John for all of his accomplishments, as are all of the teachers and staff at WSP.  We wish John every success on his endeavors.  In case you were wondering, Mrs Way is now teaching the class of 2018.

Posted by: Alex Borders | May 23, 2011

8th Grade go to Costa Rica

Monday 23rd May

Costa Rica here they come!

Here is our beloved 8th Grade with their teacher, Miss Kennedy.  All are now on the way to Costa Rica.  See you soon guys!

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