Mountain View Voice

News - March 25, 2011

Waldorf School moving upper grades to MV

Middle and high school students from Cupertino campus will settle at St. Athanasius Church on N. Rengstorff

by Peter Maxwell

The Waldorf School of the Peninsula, a private school currently based in Cupertino and Los Altos, is relocating and expanding its middle school and high school classrooms to St. Athanasius Church in Mountain View. The move will be completed in time for the 2011 school year that starts in August.

The school currently houses its kindergarten through middle school classes at a campus in Los Altos and its high school courses in an office building in Cupertino. But since the high school program began four years ago, the school's enrollment is pushing 300 and now lacks room for new students, said Gail Evenari, Waldorf's marketing and communications manager.

The move of the upper grade levels to the St. Athanasius property on North Rengstorff Avenue is designed to increase the capacity for the lower grade levels in Los Altos and to make use of St. Athanasius' large classrooms and outdoor school grounds, said Lucy Wurtz, the school's development director. "(Mountain View) is ideal for us; we were really constrained for space in Santa Clara," she said.

High school courses began at Waldorf four years ago and the first class of seniors, six of them, will graduate this spring.

Wurtz is excited about the new location in Mountain View because it's close to the Caltrain station and other public transit stops.

St. Athanasius is currently being used by Girls Middle School, which is moving to a new location in Palo Alto.

The Waldorf School employs a teaching discipline that Evenari describes as a holistic approach to learning that includes many hands-on activities and field trips.

"It's not teaching to the test. There is a rich curriculum," she said.

Waldorf's annual tuition fees are about $17,000 for kindergarten through eighth grade, and $23,300 for high school. There is a tuition adjustment program available at the school that most parents use, Wurtz said.

"We have a lot of socio-economic diversity at the school," she said.

The school hopes to engage with their new community before they move in. "We want our middle school and high school kids to get involved in the community. It is who we are as a school," Wurtz said.

The school plans to introduce a community garden to St. Athanasius, Evenari said. And on Friday, March 25 at 7 p.m. the high school students will perform a free concert at Grace Lutheran Church in Palo Alto, where all donations will go the St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry at St. Athanasius Church.

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