We welcome applicants who wish to transfer to Orchard Valley—even in the later grades (if there is room in the class). Many students graduate from Orchard Valley having transferred happily to OVWS from public schools, independent schools, homeschooling, or other Waldorf schools.
It is a myth that children who transfer to Waldorf education have a hard time transitioning. That is rarely the case. In our experience, children progress well through these transitions—fueled, in many cases, by their sheer joy in being at a school with welcoming peers and small carefully planned classes taught by dedicated teachers who treat each student as an individual. Students often tell us they realized on their first day that OVWS was a place where they would be appreciated for who they were—a place where they would be empowered to realize their full potential.
As you will note from the Admissions page for Grades 2 – 8, an assessment is part of the application process. This lays the groundwork for establishing a transition plan so the student can take his or her place in class with confidence and with any needed support in place.
Students who transfer from a non-Waldorf school are often at the level of their Orchard Valley peers in basic academic skills such as reading and math. For areas such as music, foreign language, artistic development, cursive handwriting, social development, handwork and other areas to which Orchard Valley gives more loving attention than non-Waldorf schools tend to, there may be some catching up. We are well set up to deal with this. OVWS is an exceptionally welcoming, supportive, and non-competitive environment in which to learn.
For students transferring from another school into the grade school, a release of student records form will be needed in order for us to receive your child’s prior school records. Class placement will depend on the student’s age, grades already completed, and the academic, social, and developmental progress of the student. As part of the admissions process, we will complete an assessment during the student visit which will help us to determine class placement.
You may submit an application at any time during the school year. OVWS has an open enrollment policy, which means that 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 3 years; you do not need to reapply each year.