We are committed to the education and development of all children by fostering an inclusive community. We provide a caring, competent, engaged, and diverse staff. In the interests of fostering a vibrant community, the school admits and welcomes students and families of all backgrounds. The school's non-discrimination policy states:
The Davis Waldorf School believes that no person should be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subject to discrimination in any educational program or activity available in the School on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, age, marital or familial status, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, pregnancy, national origin, ancestry, veteran status, , gender, gender identity, gender expression, nationality, race or ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, or any other protected characteristic under federal, state, or local law, including that which is contained in the definition of hate crimes set forth in Section 422.55 of the California State Penal Code. State law requires that all students shall be permitted to participate in sex segregated school activities and programs, including athletic teams and use facilities consistent with their gender identity, irrespective of the gender listed on the student’s records. (Education Code 221.5) For the purposes of this policy, “facilities” includes restrooms and sleeping facilities for school activities (field trips), etc.
Davis Waldorf School further believes that individuals with disabilities are entitled to full and equal access, as other members of the general public, to the School’s services, privileges, and/or advantages, etc., subject to the conditions and limitations established by law, or state and federal regulation.
The commitment to this policy in all aspects of the school community is evident through the following value which states:
DWS Value: Inspirational Teaching/Meaningful Relationships We engage dedicated, reliable, and artistic teachers who, with enthusiasm, are capable of enlivening education and inspiring each student. We cultivate meaningful relationships between our teachers and students, creating a supportive and engaging environment of parents, staff and Board.
Additionally, school programs such as the Student Support Committee, based on the work of Kim John Payne, foster a sense of inclusiveness and seek to address issues of social conflict and discrimination before they begin. With Student Support work, the entire community is responsible for the safety and civility of the campus culture, both in the classroom and in the wider school community. The teachers work to support children in their own classes and one another's classes in their social learning, and the Student Support Committee up that work when needed.
Waldorf curriculum is inherently diverse as it covers a global expanse of subjects. Fairy tales from around the world are the subject of the first grade main lesson story material. In second grade, Golden Legends of striving people and fables from many cultures are introduced to the children. In third grade, Hebrew and Native American cultures are studied and the study of local Native American culture is expanded in fourth and fifth grades. The vast sweep of geography and mythological history is brought in fifth grade and world geography taught in sixth grade. The fifth graders also participate in the Greek Pentathlon and the sixth graders in the Medieval Games. Typically, sixth grade reports encourage the students to explore the geography and culture of another country, and the students bring in food from that country to share with the other students and parents of the class. The seventh and eighth grades continue the exploration of the world's geography, climate, and cultures. Starting with Native American and shelter study in the third grade and continuing onward, the curriculum increasingly turns outward toward the world, looking with interest and enthusiasm toward what we can learn from and about others. By the time the students are in eighth grade, they have had a wide exposure to the geography and many cultures of the world.
This global perspective is echoed in the holidays and festivals celebrated at the school. Through authentic exposure to different celebrations and cultural practices, we prepare the students to be world citizens, with the goal of reducing ignorance and racism.School-wide, we recognize the holidays of the Christian and North American calendars, including Michaelmas, Halloween, Day of the Dead, Thanksgiving, Advent, Christmas, and Easter. The early childhood and first and second grades also celebrate Martinmas with a Lantern Walk, and the second grade holds the tradition of Santa Lucia each year. Saint Nicholas day is celebrated in the early childhood and grades 1-4. Teachers also support class celebrations related to the curriculum or to reflect the student population, which may include the Chinese New Year, Persian New Year, Sukkot, Passover and Diwali, among others.
All extracurricular activities, clubs and sports, are open to all students. We have a strong basketball program, in which most of the 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students of all genders participate. We have a gender neutral dress code for school and concert attire.