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What is Public Waldorf?

UTCS will use a public Waldorf education model, a holistic approach to education that emphasizes whole child development, including their physical, emotional, and intellectual needs. UTCS believes that children learn best through hands-on, experiential learning and that education should be child-centered and developmentally appropriate.

The UTCS curriculum will be grounded in the seven core principles of public Waldorf and philosophy. The public Waldorf curriculum is designed to help children develop a strong reading, writing, and math foundation. Waldorf curriculum also emphasizes the development of creativity, problem-solving, and critical thinking.  Children will learn through stories, songs, movement, and art. They will also learn about the world through gardening, field trips, and immersion in nature. The school’s curriculum will align with Oklahoma state standards for each grade. Teachers will spiral the practice of previously learned skills into future grade levels as part of the Waldorf design; students will deepen their understanding and mastery with each exposure and apply their knowledge to increasingly complex situations.


Waldorf Learning

Traditional subjects through Waldorf instruction

English Language Arts

The Waldorf literacy philosophy is based on the belief that children learn best through hands-on, experiential learning. Reading and writing are taught as a natural extension, with children learning to read and write through stories, songs, and activities that engage their senses and imagination. Children are encouraged to explore the world through books and writing and develop their unique voices as readers and writers. UTCS will embrace the Waldorf approach to literacy education by prioritizing hands-on learning, a love of reading and writing, and developing fine motor skills. Teachers will also engage students in the direct instruction of reading, monitor students’ development of literacy skills, and provide children with additional and individualized support as needed.

Social Studies

Waldorf's social studies curriculum is designed to help children develop an understanding of the world around them, including the history, geography, and cultures of different peoples. During their studies, children participate in activities that help them develop their creativity, imagination, and problem-solving skills. At UTCS, students will learn about the local community, the world, and the human being. Children will learn about their community’s history, geography, and culture as they study the local community. They will visit local landmarks, meet with community members, and participate in community events. They will study maps, read books, and learn about different countries. Finally, as they study the human being, children will learn about the physical, emotional, and spiritual aspects of human development.

Arts & Music

According to the Waldorf educational philosophy, arts and music are essential for whole child development. Arts and music allow children to express themselves creatively, develop imaginations, and learn about the world around them. In addition, arts and music help children develop cognitive, emotional, and social skills. At UTCS, arts and music will be integrated into the curriculum of all grades. Children will learn to sing, dance, play instruments, and create art. They will also learn about the history and theory of the arts. In addition to formal music and arts instruction, at UTCS, teachers will integrate arts into all areas of the curriculum. Children will learn through hands-on, experiential activities that engage their minds, bodies, and hearts. The arts integration will help students develop creativity, problem-solving skills, and self-expression. It will also help them connect to their emotions and to the natural world. For example, arts integration may look like:

  • Using music to teach math concepts

  • Using movement to teach science concepts

  • Using art to teach history concepts

  • Using drama to teach social studies concepts

  • Using storytelling to teach language arts concepts


The Waldorf mathematics philosophy is based on the idea that mathematics is a living, creative activity that should be taught in a rigorous and imaginative way. Students are encouraged to explore mathematical concepts through hands-on activities (e.g., use of manipulatives and pictures) and to develop their understanding of mathematical patterns and relationships. This approach helps students to develop a deep understanding of mathematical concepts and to see how they can be used in the real world. At UTCS, students will learn about numbers, shapes, and mathematical concepts through activities such as counting objects, building with blocks, and playing games. This approach will help students to develop a deep understanding of mathematical concepts and see how they can be applied in the real world and to more abstract situations. Students will also be encouraged to explore mathematical concepts through art, music, and movement. This approach will help students develop their unique thinking about mathematics and express themselves creatively.


The Waldorf science philosophy is a holistic approach to understanding the natural world. It emphasizes the interconnectedness of all things, the importance of observation and experience, and the role of creativity in scientific inquiry. Waldorf science education aims to help students develop a deep understanding of the natural world and their place in it. At UTCS, students will learn about the natural world through observation, experience, and creativity. They will also learn about the history of science and the different ways scientists have come to understand the natural world. As students deeply understand the natural world, they develop critical thinking, problem-solving, and creativity.

Social Emotional Learning

UTCS believes that a holistic approach to education is essential for social-emotional development. By providing a nurturing environment, children can learn and grow in all areas of their lives. Through the Waldorf method, UTCS teachers will guide the development of children’s social-emotional learning through various methods, including:


  • Imaginative Play: Imaginative play is essential for social-emotional development. Children are encouraged to play freely and creatively, which helps them develop their imagination, empathy, and problem-solving skills.

  • Art and Music: Art and music subjects help children express themselves creatively, develop fine motor skills, and learn about different cultures.

  • Nature: Children spend time outdoors every day, which helps them connect with the natural world and develop a sense of wonder and awe.

  • Seasonal Celebration: Celebrations help children develop their social-emotional skills by helping them feel connected to their community and learn about important values such as respect, cooperation, and compassion as they plan and execute seasonal celebrations with their teachers, families, and fellow students.

Assessment Practices

Waldorf teachers believe the best way to assess student progress is to observe them closely and collect samples of work. This allows teachers to get a well-rounded view of each student's development. UTCS teachers will assess student progress through a variety of methods regularly used in Waldorf learning environments:


  • Observation: UTCS teachers will observe their students closely in the classroom and during activities outside of class. They look for signs of progress in areas such as academic achievement, social-emotional development, and creativity.

  • Oral Assessments: UTCS teachers assess students by asking questions and hearing students’ verbal responses individually or in small group dialogue. They listen for signs of progress, such as students’ use of academic vocabulary, depth of understanding, and verbal communication skills (e.g., complete sentences, grammar, volume, enunciation).

  • Written Assessments (e.g., tests, quizzes, and on-demand prompts): UTCS teachers may also give their students tests or quizzes to assess their progress in specific areas (e.g., mathematics). However, tests are not the primary way Waldorf teachers assess their students. Teachers use information from tests and quizzes to differentiate instruction and inform student groupings, re-teach or offer more practice, and provide additional support (e.g. one-on-one or small-group support).

  • Conferences: UTCS teachers will meet with caregivers to discuss their child's progress. These conferences provide an opportunity for caregivers to share their observations and concerns and for teachers to provide feedback and support.

  • Main Lesson Books: UTCS teachers will review students' main lesson books and portfolios in the Pre-K and K grades, including essays, artwork, projects, and other items demonstrating learning progress.

  • NWEA MAP: UTCS will administer the NWEA MAP reading and math benchmarks quarterly to monitor children’s reading and math development and evaluate the impact of the school’s curriculum. Teachers and school leaders will use the assessment results to identify students struggling in one or both content areas and to develop support plans for these students. Teachers and school leaders will use the MAP results to identify skills and concepts that teachers will reteach or spiral into instruction or stations for additional practice. In addition, teachers and school leaders will be able to see assessment information disaggregated by student groups, such as students with disabilities, English learners, and socioeconomic status and race. With this information, teachers and leaders can monitor trends, including the underperformance of any particular group of students.


As noted for the NWEA MAP, teachers will use the quarterly assessments to identify students needing additional practice, re-teaching, or other support. Teachers will also use other assessment methods to inform their instruction, including differentiating instruction for students or providing support for struggling students.

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