Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School is a full member of the Association of Waldorf Schools in North America (AWSNA) and is also an accredited member of the New York State Association of Independent Schools (NYSAIS). The school is chartered by and registered with the New York State Board of Regents, under whose jurisdiction we award diplomas.
Our Mission and Goal
Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School is an early childhood through grade 12 independent school located in the Hudson Valley’s scenic Columbia County. Hawthorne Valley nurtures the artistic, academic, physical, and moral development of the growing child through an age appropriate curriculum inspired by philosopher and educator Rudolf Steiner. Waldorf teachers aim to transform education into an art that educates the whole child – head, heart, and hands.
Waldorf teachers are dedicated to generating an inner enthusiasm for learning within every child that will last a lifetime. The faculty at Hawthorne Valley is no exception! We work to create a healthy and balanced learning environment where children build living connections to the natural world while cultivating social responsibility, personal excellence, and the practical capacities to meet the challenges of the future.
Our Place and Philosophy
Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School early childhood teacher Katie Demers articulates Hawthorne Valley’s teaching philosophy: “Each child’s journey is unique. As Waldorf educators, we strive to impact their journeys in ways that are both powerful and lifelong. How can we best connect children to their natural and wondrous abilities? How can we foster an environment fertile enough to spark their highest sense of purpose? When we allow a child to experience wonder, it’s a gift. It’s a seed that is planted in them that will grow into adulthood. We’re teaching them what it’s like to work with the soil, and what it’s like to be respectful to animals. All of this is so lost in our world right now. We are trying to get children to come back to the roots of what it is to be a human being. And if we can do this, if we can plant the seed of joy and love and gratitude through our teaching and support, then we are giving a child a gift for their future.”
At Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School, we enjoy a 500-acre campus surrounded by the cultivated fields, gardens, and forests of Hawthorne Valley Farm, an active Biodynamic farm. The beauty of tended nature and the seasons of farm life provide exceptional educational resources built into the founding ideals of Hawthorne Valley.
Additional educational resources available to our students include the Farmscape Ecology Program, Center for Social Research, Walking the Dog Theater, and other Hawthorne Valley Association initiatives; which together help cultivate reverence for life, a respect for the earth, practical skills, and the power of initiative through firsthand scientific, artistic, and work experiences. All of this is enhanced through an intimate connection with the life of the Valley. We invite you to learn more by visiting our website, scheduling a tour, or attending one of our Open Houses.