Rudolf Steiner School is a college preparatory, co-educational, independent day school located on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. Founded in 1928, Rudolf Steiner School was the first school in the United States to be part of a rapidly growing international community of Waldorf Schools, based on the educational principles of the Austrian philosopher, scientist and educator Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925). There are now more than 1,200 Waldorf Schools in over eighty countries worldwide.
Intellect, imagination and will are cultivated together in a balanced curriculum comprising academic disciplines, artistic expression and practical work. Waldorf pedagogy nurtures healthy emotional development by conveying knowledge experientially as well as academically. At the heart of this philosophy is the belief that education is an artistic process.
The school enrolls approximately 340 students in nursery through grade 12. The 2014 graduating class consisted of 20 students. Rudolf Steiner School is committed to small classes, rarely admitting more than 25 students to a grade level.
A central feature of Waldorf education is the main lesson, a 90-minute daily seminar taught at the beginning of each school day. These seminars are taught over a period of three to four weeks, with approximately nine main lessons given during one academic year. The purpose of these intensive seminars is to explore one subject in depth through lecture, discussion, written assignments and artistic projects. They are offered in the sciences, mathematics, literature, history, and history of the arts. Main lessons are complemented by year long courses in English, Mathematics, Foreign Language, History and Sciences. Students are also required to take Arts/Crafts/Science Labs (ACL), instrumental and choral music and physical education each year.
Students in the 10th grade have the opportunity to participate in our Foreign Exchange Program, and study abroad at a Waldorf School in France, Spain, Germany, Austria or Switzerland. Living with a local family and attending school daily immerses a student in the language and culture of their host country. Visiting foreign students also attend Steiner during this year, enriching the school community.
At the end of grade 12, students participate in a three-week Internship Program. For a minimum of six hours per day, seniors participate in a professional work environment. This culminating experience of high school gives students an introduction to the working world in a field of their interest.
Students may participate in interscholastic athletics, The Key literary magazine, The Spectrum yearbook, Fifteen East student newspaper, Student Council, Drama Club, music lessons and other activities.
Rudolf Steiner School is accredited by the New York Association of Independent Schools (NYSAIS) and the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America (AWSNA). The school follows the guidelines set forth by the National Association of College Admission Counseling (NACAC) in the Statement of Principles of Good Practice.
The main lesson begins each day, and runs from 8-9:30 am. Main lessons run from three to four weeks and are referred to as Seminars on the transcript. Following the main lesson, students progress to their full-year courses, including English, Foreign Language, Math, History, Science, and elective courses. These courses meet four or five times a week for 40-minute periods.
Three afternoons a week, students participate in three- to eight-week blocks of Arts/Crafts (AC). AC periods last 80 minutes. On the other two days of the week, students meet for instrumental music and physical education.