Madrona School Questions & Answers

Beyond "At a Glance"

[W]e must be clear about our goals: to develop our children's potential to be whole and free creative individuals so that they may be successful, not at conforming to the existing reality, but in transforming the present reality into a new reality that is more true to their aspiring individuality and humanity. -- Michael Howard

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How is Madrona School different than other private, independent schools in Kitsap County?
Madrona School is the only school offering Waldorf education on Bainbridge Island and to the greater Kitsap community. Our early childhood programs offer nurturing, beautiful programs to allow a young child the freedom to move, to develop their imaginations, to feel secure in a school setting. Our grade school lessons are integrated with movement, music, storytelling and the arts every day, enabling children to fully engage in the subjects they are learning. Waldorf education is deeply rooted in an understanding of human development, mind, body and spirit. For additional information, see our page on Waldorf education.

Madrona School supports healthy development with

  • Warm, organic snacks in our early childhood programs.
  • Lots of time for outside exploration and play every day, rain or shine.
  • Written narrative evaluations and regular parent meetings.
  • Child-created main lesson books filled with each day's main lesson drawings, writing and calculations.
  • Weekly time spent in specialty classes including handwork, painting, Spanish, Swedish and music.

What about academics in preschool or kindergarten?
One of Madrona School's core values is to support and protect the robust developmental treasures of childhood. We believe that critical physical and neurological building blocks, including creativity, imagination, and a healthy will, can be compromised when children are rushed to perform in ways that might be more quantifiable but less age appropriate. Madrona School seeks to support the innocence and simplicity of childhood, and the essential capacities that develop as a result. Current research confirms what many parents have long intuited: Seemingly "simple" play builds essential brain function and develops higher learning. Academics are introduced in 1st grade and become increasingly rigorous as the children mature.

What is Madrona School's media policy?
Madrona School works in partnership with families to lay foundations for a healthy childhood and to foster a strong sense of self a child can take out into the world. We strongly believe that children are better off when screen media is limited or absent, including: television, movies, video games, computers, and other electronic media devices….[read more]

Is Madrona School a religious school?
Many Waldorf schools, including Madrona School, hold seasonal festivals such as Michaelmas and May Day, include stories from the Old Testament in the 3rd grade curriculum and put on nativity plays. Such traditions may cause parents to wonder whether a Waldorf education is a religious education. However, as explained in an article titled, "Is Waldorf Education Christian?" by William Ward, our curriculum and traditions weave in many historically important stories and cultures. Mr. Ward explains that a Waldorf education does have an important spiritual basis: "For an education that is of the heart and the will as well as the head, there is the practical questions of how to help children develop these qualities. Much of what goes on in a Waldorf school that is perceived as religious and Christian -- the festivals, the stories and legends of the saints, the Old Testament stories, and so on -- has this intention."

What can you tell me about the community at Madrona School? Would our family be a good fit?
The community of families at Madrona School is a diverse group of people, representing a full range of political, spiritual and cultural values. Our parents are architects, artists, business owners, lawyers, writers, computer programmers, serve in the military etc.; and hail from diverse religious and economic backgrounds. While we do, to some degree, have shared values around certain issues relating to our children, we all express those in very different ways. We strive to be a school with an attitude of expansiveness, with room for all sorts of viewpoints.

How have Madrona School graduates done in high school and beyond?
In a word -- wonderfully! Madrona alums attend Bainbridge High School, Eagle Harbor High School, Seattle Waldorf and West Sound Academy. To a student, they have enjoyed great success during their high school years, winning awards and maintaining honor roll grades throughout. Our first graduating class finished college in 2013, and our second class is close behind. If you are interested in learning more, read our brag sheet to see where in the world our graduates chose to continue their education. We couldn't be more proud!