The Admissions Process for Grades 1 – 8
We are so glad you are interested in Orchard Valley Waldorf School. The admissions process provides the opportunity for parents to gain a fuller picture of our program and for the Admissions Committee to evaluate a student’s needs. The process is outlined below.
Orchard Valley welcomes children and families of all cultures, faiths, and creeds. Waldorf schools are not part of any church. Orchard Valley families come from a broad spectrum of religious traditions and interests.
When to Apply: You may submit an application at any time during the school year. When a space becomes available, the school will fill it from the waiting pool of applicants. We will hold an application on file for up to 2 years; you do not need to reapply each year. Re-enrollment for current students is completed during February. We begin accepting new students for the fall term in March.
We are here to answer any questions you may have and to help you with your application. Please direct all inquiries to our enrollment office: via the convenient form button below or directly at (802) 456-7400 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to speaking with you!
Admissions Process for New Students
1. Initial Application for New Applicants: Please complete an application and return it with the non-refundable application fee. We will confirm receipt.
Main Campus Application Form – Grades
Age Requirement for Grade 1: 6 years by June 1
2. Many parents find it very helpful to schedule an Observation Morning to see the class of interest in action. We also offer Walk-Through Wednesdays once each month—January to May in 2019.
Observation mornings are for parents only. We ask that visitors arrive by 8:20 am so they can see the morning verse and greeting as well as the main lesson. Parents observe the class during the main lesson portion of the day, which occurs from 8:30 to 9:30am, after which time the Enrollment Director can join the parents to answer any questions which may have come up as a result of this observation time.
If the Walk-Through Wednesday schedule does not work with your schedule, please call (802-456-7400) or email our Enrollment Director to schedule a separate time to observe our classes. We need to coordinate observation mornings around field trips, play rehearsals and other special events.
3. Admissions Interview: Once an application has been received, the parents will be contacted to schedule an interview with the class teacher. We strongly encourage both parents to attend. This interview is an opportunity for parents and the teacher to exchange pertinent information. The program and Waldorf pedagogy are discussed to help the family determine if the program is right for both family and child.
4. Student Visit: Following the parent interview with the class teacher, applicants are invited to spend three consecutive days visiting the appropriate class. We prefer a 3-day visit because it usually takes until the third day for the child to relax into the rhythm of Orchard Valley and because we have found that shorter visits don’t give us a full enough picture of the child. (We understand the potential concerns regarding missed work/absences on a child's school record at their existing school while visiting our classrooms; however, we are firm about the 3-day visitation policy. It is such a big decision and change for all involved that anything less would not serve the process.)
Drop-off time is 8:10 – 8:20 am, with classes beginning at 8:25 am. Dismissal is at 3:00 pm, except for Thursdays. OVWS has an early dismissal time of 2:00 pm each Thursday so that our faculty can attend the weekly faculty meeting.
5. Assessment: A one-on-one assessment by the Educational Support Teacher will be conducted during the student visit. The assessment lasts approximately 45 minutes and takes into consideration the academic, social, and developmental progress of the student. We try to schedule the assessment on the 2nd or 3rd day of the class visit so the student is a bit more relaxed.
The assessment helps us to prepare a transition plan for any student entering the grades mid-stream. We recognize that our curriculum and expectations are different from other schools. The assessment will help us to better inform parents in which areas their child may be ahead of the class and in which areas some extra support may be needed so that he/she will be able to participate fully and confidently with the rest of the class. Generally, these areas tend to be in those subjects which may not have been available at an applicant’s previous school, such as handwork and French.
6. Admissions Decision: After the student visit, all of the observations are gathered and the Admissions Committee reaches a decision (sometimes quite informally through conversations). Our Admissions Committee consists of the class teacher, our educational support teacher, and the enrollment coordinator. Parents are notified by mail of the admission decision. Upon acceptance you will receive an acceptance packet.
7. Finalize Enrollment: Return of enrollment forms and payment of an enrollment deposit finalizes enrollment. A completed and signed Enrollment Agreement and the enrollment deposit are due within two weeks after acceptance to hold your child’s place in the class. Please see “How to Pay” below. Deposits paid will be credited toward the tuition obligation. Financial questions may be addressed to our Administrative Director. School policy and state law require that all enrollment forms must be returned to the school prior to a student attending class.
8. Tuition Adjustment Program: You may apply for tuition adjustment following acceptance. Once the tuition adjustment process is complete, an amendment to the Enrollment Agreement will be issued.
We welcome questions from the student and family throughout the admissions process.
LEARNING ABOUT WALDORF EDUCATION
Orchard Valley offers a comprehensive Waldorf education and works hard to uphold Waldorf ideals. There is the hope and expectation that parents at Orchard Valley will choose to educate themselves so they have a basic (or perhaps a deep) understanding of the main tenets of Waldorf education. For your child to achieve the most benefit from his/her education, it is important that parents be in agreement with and supportive of the school’s philosophy and the work teachers are doing in school.
Please visit our Why Waldorf page for more information about Waldorf education.
Children with Special Needs
OVWS is happy to meet with families to assess whether we are able to meet the needs of any child with special needs. OVWS is committed to meeting each child’s social, emotional and intellectual needs, but there may be times when our scope of remedial and support services is not adequate to meet the needs of a child while balancing the needs of the class. As a private school, we do not have the resources or a mandate to provide an appropriate education for all children. OVWS reserves the right to deny acceptance or continued enrollment in the school if the faculty does not believe the school can adequately meet a child’s needs.
How to Pay
We offer two options:
1. Payment in full to our Business Office by July 1 for the upcoming school year — payable by check.
2. Installment payments via FACTS automatic withdrawal. Through this service, families can arrange the payment plan (semester, quarterly, or monthly) that works best for them. FACTS charges a small annual fee for this service. Click on the FACTS button link to get started.
Orchard Valley Waldorf School does not discriminate on the grounds of race, creed, color, gender, sexual orientation, disability, or national origin in the operation of its programs or in its admissions, hiring, or financial aid decisions.