Frequently Asked Questions

As prospective parents, you likely have questions: How do I apply? Is there an age cut-off for my child’s class or program? How do children from other school systems transition to Waldorf? We hope to answer many of your queries here.

Does VWS have a gymnasium?2023-06-05T13:31:31-07:00

Our Lynn Valley and Edgemont campuses feature multi-use halls that serve various purposes, such as games, dance, circus activities, and some PE classes. However, for sports and PE classes that cannot be accommodated on campus, students in the upper grades and high school travel by bus to use the Delbrook Community Centre on West Queens Street.

Does VWS offer school bus service?2023-06-05T13:31:57-07:00

Yes, we operate a school bus that provides transportation for students in all grades to and from school. The bus offers pick-up and drop-off locations across Greater Vancouver. Additionally, the bus serves as a morning shuttle for high school students commuting between the Lynn Valley and Edgemont campuses. Please note that we do not currently offer bus service to residential neighbourhoods on the North Shore. For information regarding routing and cost, please email bus@vws.ca.

Does VWS use wi-fi?2023-06-05T13:32:15-07:00

Yes, we have wifi access in various areas. Our administrative offices, the Red Door Store, and the high school have wifi available. While the Hall at the grade school has the wifi capacity, it is disconnected when not in use during markets and fairs to reduce exposure.

How do I apply to Vancouver Waldorf School?2023-06-05T13:10:20-07:00

To apply, please visit our Admissions page, which provides detailed step-by-step information on the application process. The steps include:

  1. Gather Information
  2. Submit an Inquiry
  3. Complete the Application
  4. Await Decision

It is essential to carefully follow the instructions during the application process to ensure a smooth and successful application.

How are admissions applications prioritized?2023-06-05T13:15:03-07:00

We operate on a rolling admissions cycle. The Admissions Office gives priority consideration to complete applications. Additionally, priority is given to siblings of current students and children of faculty and staff.

Acceptance to Vancouver Waldorf School will be communicated via email. Students who meet the admissions criteria and have applied for classes that are currently full will be placed into our wait pool for that class. They will be notified by email if a space becomes available.

Do you have a waitlist or wait pool?2023-06-05T13:14:22-07:00

We maintain wait pools for many of our grades. Students who have completed the admissions process and have been deemed qualified may be asked to join a wait pool due to space limitations.

Do you offer financial assistance?2023-06-05T13:16:05-07:00

VWS provides a generous Tuition Adjustment Program (TAP) based on financial need. For more information, please visit our Tuition & Tuition Assistance page.

What is the cut-off age for each grade?2024-05-29T15:07:59-07:00

Our school follows the developmental philosophy of Waldorf education; therefore, children are grouped into grades according to age as of May 31 rather than the new year.

Preschool3 (and toilet trained) by May 31
Kindergarten5 by December 31
Grade 16 by May 31
Grade 27 by May 31
Grade 38 by May 31
Grade 49 by May 31
Grade 510 by May 31
Grade 611 by May 31
Grade 712 by May 31
Grade 813 by May 31
How well do children from outside of Waldorf transition?2023-06-05T13:19:12-07:00

The adjustment period may vary depending on the student’s temperament, adaptability to change, and grade level. Children in the lower grades tend to adapt quickly to the new learning environment and artistic activities. Transitions can take longer for older children and adolescents, who may benefit from tutoring in French and private music lessons.

As Waldorf Education directly addresses the student’s experience and development, students assimilate comparatively quickly when transitioning to a Waldorf school. Our faculty, friendly students, and warm community provide support to each new student.

What is the process for acceptance of students with learning needs and differences?2023-06-05T13:20:10-07:00

During the admissions process, we will meet with families to assess whether we can meet the needs of any child with special requirements. Applicants with diagnosed learning disabilities or current Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

What is your grading system?2023-06-05T15:42:00-07:00

Teachers assess student progress throughout the year.

  • Grading: Teachers utilize grading as a part of the assessment process. This allows for an evaluation of student performance and progress in specific subject areas. Grading criteria are communicated to students in the upper grades.
  • Report Writing: Written evaluations are provided to parents/guardians, detailing individual student progress. These reports offer a comprehensive overview of academic achievements, strengths, areas for improvement, and overall development.
  • Parent-Teacher Conferences: Regular parent-teacher conferences foster open communication between educators and families. These meetings provide an opportunity to discuss student progress, address concerns, and collaborate on strategies to support the student’s growth.
  • Parent Evenings: Parent evenings serve as informative sessions where teachers report on the overall progress of the class and provide insights into social dynamics within the school community.
  • Year-End Reports: At the end of the year, a comprehensive year-end report is issued, encompassing each student’s progress across all subject areas.

Our grading system is aligned with the guidelines set by the Ministry of Education and Child Care.

How does VWS serve students with learning needs and differences?2023-06-05T15:44:30-07:00

Students who have obstacles to learning that cannot be met within the regular context of the Vancouver Waldorf School program and curriculum may receive support consisting of Extra Lesson Assessment, Extra Lesson Sessions, Therapeutic Eurythmy Sessions, Academic Assessment, Academic Tutoring (which may include Orton Gillingham Tutoring) and English Language Learning Sessions.

We work closely with families and professionals to develop individualized plans that address each student’s unique needs and create an inclusive learning environment.

Do you offer child care outside of school hours?2023-06-05T15:46:46-07:00

We provide an After School Program specifically for enrolled students in grades K-6. Our After School Program offers a safe and nurturing environment with various activities for students. To learn more about our After School Program, please visit the program link.

Does VWS work with agents or consultants?2023-06-05T13:20:56-07:00

We work directly with applicant families. While we are happy to collaborate with educational consultants in conjunction with an applicant family, we do not engage in any financial or contractual agreements.

In what ways can parents get involved at VWS?2023-06-05T13:44:59-07:00

We highly value the involvement of parents in our school community. There are various opportunities for parents to contribute their unique skills and energy. We encourage parents to find their place at VWS by:

  • Supporting Classroom Activities: Parents can actively participate in classroom activities, providing assistance and support to teachers and students.
  • Festivals and Events: Parents can contribute to the organization and celebration of festivals and events held at VWS, fostering a sense of community and cultural enrichment.
  • Fundraising: Parents can contribute their time and efforts to fundraising initiatives, helping to support the school’s programs and activities.
  • Class Trips: Parents can volunteer as chaperones for class trips, enhancing the educational experience for students and fostering a strong connection between parents, teachers, and students.
  • Parent Education Evenings: Parents can attend and actively participate in parent education evenings, where they can learn and engage in discussions on various topics related to their child’s education and development.
  • Serving on the Board, Committees, or Other Parent Groups: Parents have the opportunity to serve on the board of trustees, parent committee, or as a class representative, actively participating in decision-making processes and contributing to the overall governance of the school.
  • Becoming a Society Member: Parents can become members of the school’s society, actively supporting and contributing to the long-term vision and mission of VWS.
Are there any other ways for parents to engage with the school community?2023-06-05T13:46:53-07:00

Yes, in addition to the mentioned opportunities, there may be other ways for parents to engage with the school community. These could include participating in parent-teacher conferences, attending school performances, joining parent-led workshops or committees, or contributing to the school’s newsletter or social media. We encourage parents to stay connected and explore various avenues for engagement within our vibrant school community.

What are your guidelines on technology use?2023-06-05T14:11:00-07:00

Students: The principles of Waldorf education prioritize the development of imagination and support creative play, especially in the younger grades. We believe in fostering a balanced learning environment that promotes hands-on engagement and interpersonal connections. As a result, we have specific guidelines for technology use among our students. Screens are not used in the early childhood center or grade school. In the high school, technology is utilized as necessary for coursework during the school day, but the use of smartphones in class or during breaks is not permitted.

Visitors: We kindly request that parents and other adults visiting the school set an example by keeping their mobile phones turned off and put away. By modelling personal connections, we create a welcoming environment that encourages meaningful interactions and active engagement with the school community.

Home: We recognize that many families choose Waldorf education because they value a low-tech environment for their children. We encourage families to limit technology exposure for young children and significantly restrict it as students progress through the grades. We understand that this transition may pose challenges, but we are here to support our families in finding solutions that align with their values and goals. Our dedicated staff is available to provide guidance and assistance in creating a balanced home environment that complements the educational experience at VWS.

Do you have a dress code?2023-06-05T14:11:46-07:00

Yes, we have a gender-neutral daily dress code at the Lynn Valley campus. Our dress code is designed to promote free movement, warmth, integrity, and simplicity, ensuring that clothing supports children in learning and playing safely and happily. During festivals and concerts, we encourage clothing that is tidy and slightly more formal than everyday wear. Please refer to our parent handbook for more specific details regarding our dress code.

What is the VWS Immunization Policy?2023-09-15T14:40:57-07:00

The health and safety of our students are of utmost importance at the Vancouver Waldorf School. To view our statement on immunization, please visit the Current Families page on our website.

Where can I find school policies?2024-05-29T15:40:49-07:00

School policies can be accessed in the Parent Portal under the Parents Tab. This portal provides comprehensive information regarding our policies and guidelines for easy reference.

Enrollment Update:

  • 2024/25 School Year: Enrollment is now closed, and we are no longer accepting applications.
  • 2025/26 School Year: We will begin reviewing inquiries and assessing applications in the fall of 2024.
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