After 10 years in Whistler the Waldorf School is expanding with the addition of another room to accommodate its growing numbers,
According to a press release in the past five years alone the Waldorf School has seen enrolment increase by an average of 11 per cent per year. School Administrator Vicky Bunbury is finalizing registration for 80 students to begin study in September 2010.
"Several of our current families originally contacted us to register their children at the school before they made the permanent move to Whistler," she said. "Having a Waldorf school here is what finalized their decision to move."
Founded by Austrian philosopher Rudolf Steiner, Waldorf prescribes an education with attention to values such as family and community life, joy in the learning process, a focus on body, soul and spirit, as well as training of ethical and moral judgment.
Teachers are trained to generate an "inner enthusiasm for learning" in every student, according to the Whistler Waldorf School's website. Academic subjects are presented in "pictorial and dynamic" ways, eliminating the need for competitive testing and rewards to motivate learning.
The central idea behind the Waldorf education is teaching the "whole child," looking at a kid's development at intellectual, social, emotional and physical levels.
Whistler Waldorf School believes that parents in the Corridor are choosing the method because it gives them an opportunity to be strongly involved in their child's education.
"Personal phone calls from my son's class teacher are not just to talk about 'issues,'" Waldorf parent Nidhi Raina said in a news release. "It might just be to share a special moment, or small achievement he had accomplished in a presentation that day. I feel his teacher is an extension of family - our relationship with her is very important."