We welcome inquiries from families wishing to learn more about the Comox Valley Waldorf School community and/or to apply for the Early Childhood Education or Grades programs at any time during the school year. Our application process ensures your understanding of what Comox Valley Waldorf School offers children and what support is available for families considering becoming part of this unique Courtenay school.
Step 1: Inquiry Submit an online inquiry HERE so that we have some basic information about you and your family.
Step 2: Tour Once we have received your inquiry we will contact you to arrange a tour of the school. Tours include quiet observation of classes in progress, a chance to ask questions and receive answers. The tour will include both buildings and the recess field (off site).
Tour Schedule: January - March once a week on Tuesdays at 8:30am. April to June and September to December - once a month or on a case by case basis. All tours will need to be booked with administration.
Our next school tour is February 26th at 8:30am. Please register HERE for a school tour.
Step 3: Application Parent Handbook: Prior to submitting your application, please read through the Parent Handbook, especially the policies on electronic media & television expectations, the school dress code and the school’s communication policy, specifically the piece about parent participation in Parent Evenings.
Application: After you have had a tour, please submit an application and a $60 application fee. The application can be filled out on our website or picked up from our Administration office. Applications for the up-coming school year should be submitted by March 15th. Applications submitted after this date will also be considered if there are still spots available.
Step 4: Meet the Teacher When your application is complete, the admission office will contact you to arrange the next steps in the process.
For Preschool and Kindergarten applicants, a 45 minute meeting will be scheduled. The first 15 minutes will give the teacher a chance to observe your child with other children in the current class. The last 1/2 hour the teacher will sit down for an interview with you and your family. We are seeking families who value our early childhood philosophy and seek a school that will provide a healthy, balanced and nurturing childhood experience.
For Grades applicants, the class teacher will contact you to set up an interview. This interview will allow the teacher and family to determine the suitability of Waldorf education for your child. The class teacher may ask the child to visit the class as part of the interview process.
Step 5: Acceptance Acceptance: consideration by faculty will be based on:
Plan for your family to remain with our school long term (Preschool, Kindergarten and Grades)
Outcome of the interview between the student, teacher and parents/guardians
The date the application was submitted
Siblings in the school
Commitment to Comox Valley Waldorf School (*please see below)
Families will be contacted shortly after Step 4 to learn if they are accepted. Students will begin attending Comox Valley Waldorf School as arranged with the class teacher. Preschool students will learn of their acceptance by mid to late March.
Step 6: Registration Once a student is accepted, the School Administrator will arrange a time to fill out registration paperwork and pay tuition fees.
2. Attending Parent Evenings: Parent evenings are held regularly to enable the parents and teachers to discuss the class as a whole. The teacher will speak about work being done with the children and describe the curriculum for the year/term. A broad sketch of the children’s learning process at their current stage of development and a picture of the class dynamics is given. Parents can bring their insights and ask questions about changes their child may be undergoing. These meetings are very important. To miss them is to miss a vital link in the understanding of your child’s education and development. It’s also a chance to get to know parents of other children in the class. It is recommended that at least one parent from each family attend these meetings.
3. Electronics & Media Expectations: Exposure to news stories, television, videos and other visual media including computer games, can significantly interfere with the educational work of the school. Waldorf education seeks to nourish and develop each child’s creative capacities. The young child’s ability to imagine is crucial to the development of creativity. This capacity to imagine is compromised by media images and television. In the process, the child is also taught a passive relationship to the world. Children are also exposed to content that is inappropriate for their age. Recent studies are questioning the effects of television watching on the nervous systems of growing children, on healthy social development and its adverse effect on learning. Parents ultimately decide how much screen time their children will have. In general we recommend following the guidelines listed below: Preschool through grade three: Ideally, no television or video games. Fourth grade and up: Ideally no television or video games during the school week, especially in the morning before school. Avoid cartoons and programs that are vulgar, over stimulating and those that feature violence. For further reference, please watch THIS VIDEO and/or read THIS ARTICLE.
4. School Dress Code: Our school environment is one where we wish to encourage and nurture reverence and a strong relationship to the living images and ideas that the Waldorf curriculum strives to provide. We value the importance of warmth, comfort, neatness, simplicity and a scent free environment and ask that the students reflect these values. Our aim is to provide a classroom and learning environment that is free from distraction and unnecessary visual noise and which is conducive to allowing the imagination and individuality present within each child to flourish under the guidance of their teachers. Our intention is to inspire individual creativity and expression and to create and nurture a healthy learning environment by limiting visual distractions and excessive marketing messages, whilst maintaining a spirit of expression and openness around dress.
Students should come to school dressed appropriately for the weather.
No heavy dangling jewelry including earrings and necklaces.
We respectfully ask that students’ indoor clothing, lunch bags and athletic wear be free of logos.
Media influenced and visible branding on clothing is not allowed when images are larger than fist size.
Any images or slogans should not be scary, disrespectful, offensive or overtly distracting (at teacher’s discretion).
Spaghetti straps (less than two fingers-wide), halters, and midriff baring clothing are not appropriate for school.
Skirts and shorts should fall to the student’s fingertips when standing.
To allow for safe movement and various physical activities clothing should be reasonably sized for the student (at teacher’s discretion)
Hats and hoods must be removed indoors.
Curative Education Information
Waldorf education is inherently an integrative education. Comox Valley Waldorf School has limited resources for meeting specialized needs. We are willing to meet with families to assess whether we are able to meet the needs of a child with special requirements. Applicants for admission with a diagnosed learning disability and/or a current IEP will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. In determining what learners we can serve, we recognize our capabilities and limitations and our wish to meet each student’s needs with integrity.
As part of the Comox Valley Waldorf School enrollment conversation, parents are required to share any information from previous assessments. During the course of the admission process, the teacher may recommend further assessment from the Curative Education teacher on staff or an evaluator outside the school. The teachers will decide whether the student’s needs can be met within the range of the school resources and policies. Some students will be able to be successful at the school when they have support provided outside the school. While our approach appears to offer benefits to students with learning challenges (education through multiple modalities and emphasis on art and music), it has been our experience that the children who thrive in our environment are those who enjoy learning, do well in an auditory learning environment, are responsive to artistically rendering what has been presented orally in the lessons, can work independently and in groups, and can accept responsibly.
Few teachers at our school have extensive training in working with children with learning disabilities or emotional or behavioural challenges. Our resources for supporting special needs are limited and that, in turn, limits the range of needs that we can meet and the number of children with special needs we can effectively teach. Comox Valley Waldorf School must ensure that efforts to serve particular students do not impose undue hardship on teachers or detract from other students’ opportunity to learn.
Enrolled students requiring additional academic or social support may be identified in a number of ways including but not limited to: by teachers, the Curative Education teacher, a doctor, or by parents. While teachers may provide extra help on a short-term basis parents may be asked to provide additional support through outside services. A collaborative approach is taken in assisting teachers and parents in finding the additional support needed. At any point in the student’s schooling, if it appears that the student’s needs cannot be met at the school, there will be conversations with the parents over time, with the final decision resting with the school.