The right challenge at the right time
Through an expansive curriculum that cultivates analytical and creative thinking, promotes community engagement through service opportunities, encourages eloquence in expression, and inspires the transformation of idealism into initiative, CWS students are exposed to subject areas which they might not seek on their own. Academic subjects like sciences and humanities are taught in an intensive block schedule that stresses depth over breadth, while English, Math, and Foreign Language are taught throughout the semester. Music, Drama, Painting, and other arts are required classes, not electives. This challenges students to work in unfamiliar subjects and to persevere through topics that may not be their main interest — a skill that prepares them for life.
Hear from our students...
Ninth Grade asks, 'what?'
The 9th grade curriculum engages the realm of abstract thinking and objectivity. In freshman year, students practice accurate observation and clear recollection in various contexts, striving to understand the world as it is, not merely how they perceive and experience it. They work within restricted parameters to learn universal rules and systems of reasoning, from thermodynamics to modern history.
Tenth Grade asks, 'how?'
Sophomores need experiences of balance and inclusivity. Where a younger student may see things exclusively as “either-or,” the sophomore curriculum presents the complexity of issues that can be perceived from multiple viewpoints. How were these mathematical structures formulated? How was this work of art created? How was this natural environment evolved? In the tenth grade, students learn about the processes and developmental systems that produce the world around us.
Eleventh Grade asks, 'why?'
In the 11th Grade curriculum, existential questions arise. Juniors learn to live with open–ended questions and begin the long path toward answers that they may not expect. The curriculum meets this fiercely idealistic age. These classes offer concrete opportunities to accomplish personal goals and take responsibility for themselves as individuals, but also as part of a larger community.
Twelfth Grade asks, 'who?'
Making Sense of the Journey
In the twelfth grade there is synthesis; the trajectory of their Waldorf education comes together. Seniors review their education and return to the place where they began as first graders, to the image of the whole - but now with a deeper understanding. Seniors wrestle with questions of identity and purpose as they envision their place in the world. The central question of the year is, Who?Who am I? Who do I want to become? The new experiences of the senior year—travels, senior projects, and internships—encourage the students to answer that inquiry with action.
Where will the Class of '21 be this fall?
One of our core learning goals in High School is to prepare our students to enter the world in engaged inquiry and service. Students are given experiences to think beyond themselves.
The Chicago Waldorf School’s College Counseling Program strives to help each student find colleges and universities or other programs and plans which meet his or her unique aspirations, needs and personal criteria.
Waldorf teaches you how to be aware of yourself and the world around you. I don’t know if I would have been like this if I had gone to another school. I do know that coming here I am aware of who I am, and the educational space cultivates that for each student. CWS allows you to go through the process of growing up, which is hard and emotional in weird ways, but CWS teachers are always there to help you. […] This school has made me realize my strength and my voice.
- Emily, '21