Jennifer Farrelly, the Meadowbrook Waldorf School Administrator has been a part of this community for many years in various capacities. She has two children currently enrolled and is the mother of three alumni.
We are proud of our school and the quality of the education we offer here and it’s a pleasure to be able to share it with those who visit us to attend an Open House, Visitor Day and other community events. Meadowbrook was recently granted accreditation by both AWSNA (Association of Waldorf Schools in North America) and NEASC (New England Association of Schools and Colleges). AWSNA is the national affiliate of the worldwide Waldorf Education movement and NEASC is the oldest accrediting institution in this country. We’ve always known by the quality and character of our graduates that we are doing a worthy job of educating children however it is very satisfying to have an independent group of educators and administrators validate our work. In celebration of our school’s 35th birthday I would like to share with you four things that I believe make us unique.
First of all, from the time I was a new parent in the school with a 3 year old in tow the school has been an incredible resource for me as a parent. The teachers here consciously take up helping parents navigate the trials and tribulations of raising children. Because the class teacher journeys with the children from grade to grade they get to know the child and the family quite well! In a sense each one of my children gained a 3rd parent, luckily for them a parent who has been formally educated in child development. This partnership between the families and the school creates a stable environment in which children can learn and make mistakes. This partnership has meant that my children have
- another adult in their lives who knows their strengths and weaknesses intimately,
- another adult dedicated to helping them to overcome their daily challenges so they can reach their full potential as individuals,
- someone actively setting an example that learning is a lifelong process,
- someone who understands how important it is to be worthy of imitation because children need adults they can look up to and emulate.
Imagine the impact on society if all children had adults consciously holding them in this way.
The second thing I would like you to know is that the children are held in the center of every decision we make at Meadowbrook. We work with a different management model from the typical top-down institutional hierarchy. All work begins by considering “How will this benefit the children?” “Is this what is best for the children?” This practice encourages us to think creatively rather than defensively while identifying priorities. Parents participate in shaping the life of the school through our active parents association that works with faculty and staff . Our shared child-centered approach in all areas allows us to make extraordinary educational experiences available to the students.
The third thing you should be aware of is that Waldorf education is not meant to be a private education only available to the well to do. Our mission statement says that we strive to offer this education to those who seek it here and invite a community which reflects the breadth and diversity of humanity. We honor that portion of our mission statement by keeping our tuition as affordable as possible, currently at 50% of other RI independent schools. We also have a tuition adjustment program that honors each family’s individual circumstances and ability to pay. This can make annual budgeting challenging but we manage every year through the generous support of our community.
The last thing I would like you to know about us is that we are a learning community preparing to meet the future. All of the adults that serve the mission of the Meadowbrook Waldorf School are committed to a path of self development and thoughtful engagement with the world. With life becoming ever more complex we recognize that today’s children require more than intellectual training if they are to be successful. We are a community that consciously strives to live the values that prepare children to meet the future as hopeful resilient individuals.