Member of the Alliance for Public Waldorf Education
Peace Valley Charter School has answered the call from families across the Treasure Valley for a free public school guided by the Core Principles of the Alliance for Public Waldorf Education.
Each child is seen as an individual, and educated in rhythm with their own unique physical, mental and emotional development. Our curriculum is designed to develop your child’s capacities for physical well-being, social depth and creative free thinking.
Movement and expression fill our school. Teachers infuse academics with singing, painting, handwork, movement, drawing, musical instruments, storytelling, drama and dance. The arts are not a separate activity, but interwoven with instruction as a way to better understand other disciplines.
We incorporate sustainable living practices, environmental stewardship, and experiential learning through outdoor experiences, animal husbandry, and gardening skills.
Learning a foreign language is not just an academic exercise but a gateway to understanding human beings who are different from us, with their own individuality and experiences of daily life.
For the Native American tribes that lived in Idaho before the mid-1800s, the Boise Valley, or Peace Valley as it was then called, was a place of gathering for feasting and trade. There were four main tribes that met here, the Shoshoni, the Paiute, the Bannock and the Nimiipuu (Nez Perce).
We chose this name for our school to honor the tradition that our valley is a place for people from different origins to gather, exchange ideas and create community. The name matches our commitment to peace locally, nationally and globally.
Children learn reading and writing, mathematics, history, geography, and the sciences, while also learning to sing, play a musical instrument, draw, paint, model, carve and work with wood, act in plays, garden and learn from the seasons, do handwork such as knitting and sewing, speak a foreign language, spend large amounts of time in nature, think critically and independently, and work harmoniously and respectfully with others.
Our curriculum fully delivers the content and competencies outlined in the Idaho Content Standards during the progression from Kindergarten through Grade 8. We provide an environment which nurtures a child's emerging capacities at each age and has a holistic focus on the physical, emotional, and social well-being of our community of students, staff, and parents.
We aim to bring forth healthy, confident, free thinking, self-directed children who are passionately engaged with education and empowered to contribute responsibly to the world and appreciate the importance of peace, respect, and compassion.
A school which provides an innovative, holistic, student-centered, developmentally appropriate education to a community desiring a whole child educational option.
Through the use of Waldorf methods, the school nourishes a child’s natural curiosity and passion for learning by respecting the unique developmental stages each child experiences.
All facets of the school are structured around a comprehensive understanding of human development-an understanding that nurtures a community of self-awareness, respect, and dignity.
Storytelling is used to awaken imagination, build vocabulary and oral language, retain attention and teach subjects such as math, history, geography, social studies, writing and reading.
The natural world and environmental stewardship are integral and expressed through an edible schoolyard gardening program, integrated “natural world” curriculum, and eco-conscious schoolwide and classroom practices.
Children learn real-life tasks such as housekeeping, cooking, knitting, crocheting, wood carving and gardening.
Technology is de-emphasized in the early years at school and at home. Parents of enrolled children are encouraged to greatly limit their children’s exposure to computers, TV, and video games.
Spanish immersion begins for students in the first grade and continues through eighth grade. One class of Spanish immersion kindergarten will be available.
Teachers follow their students from 1st - 5th and 6th - 8th grade. This allows teachers to develop a stronger relationship with their students and develop a curriculum based on their students’ needs and strengths.
Every child sings daily with their class teacher, and you may often find a class playing flutes or dancing. Starting in first grade, they learn to play the flute, then in fourth grade the violin, viola or cello. In sixth grade, students have the option to stay with their string instrument or begin learning an orchestral wind instrument.
Main lessons include all traditional subjects and are typically taught in 6-week sessions, thereby allowing children to gain a deep and personal relationship with the material and therefore retain it longer.
Seasonal studies and festivals are taught and celebrated throughout the year. For example, Martinmas and the Lantern Walk at the end of Autumn and a Mayfaire to celebrate Spring.
Waldorf education is the fastest growing independent school movement in the world. The modern philosophy behind “Waldorf” education is based on an innovative school started in Stuttgart, Germany in 1919 by the Austrian philosopher, scientist, and thinker Rudolf Steiner. In responding to a request to start a school during the cultural upheaval in Germany following World War I, Steiner outlined a model for education that has since inspired many schools called “Waldorf” after the first Steiner school.
At its very inception, the first Waldorf school embraced a sense of equity and social responsibility: educating boys and girls together, being open to all children, stretching across a wide range of grades, and involving teachers in school governance. Underlying all instruction is a threefold model of human development, which acknowledges how, in different stages, children grow in their capacities to will (meaning move and do), to feel, and to think. Peace Valley’s approach to education practice is built on this rich Waldorf philosophy and commitment to education for social renewal.
A large body of evidence from the last 20 years of neuroscientific inquiry supports the fundamental principles of Waldorf education. The timing and organization of brain development are prime considerations in establishing the optimal sequence for learning, as is the knowledge that the brain operates optimally when all parts are equally developed, valued, and engaged. The Waldorf methods’ holistic approach is designed to stimulate optimal brain functioning and follow a developmentally appropriate sequence to educate the child’s whole being integrating thinking, feeling, and doing. The foundation of Waldorf inspired education lies in providing the right experience at the right time.
"Waldorf Education addresses the child as no other education does."
Learning, whether in chemistry, mathematics, history or geography, is imbued with life and so with joy, which is the only true basis for later study. The textures and colors of nature, the accomplishments and struggles of humankind fill the Waldorf students' imaginations and the pages of their beautiful books. Education grows into a union with life that serves them for decades. By the time they reach us at the college and university level, these students are grounded broadly and deeply and have a remarkable enthusiasm for learning. Such students possess the eye of the discoverer, and the compassionate heart of the reformer which, when joined to a task, can change the planet.
"Being personally acquainted with a number of Waldorf students, I can say that they come closer to realizing their own potential than practically anyone I know."
Peace Valley Charter School is anticipated to open as a free public school in the autumn of 2018. We are a proposed school pending approval initially offering enrollment in grades K-6. Middle school grades will be added each year until we offer full K-8 education.
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