Davis Waldorf School was founded in 1986 by a group of parents who wanted Waldorf education for their children. The first kindergarten opened in Fall 1986 in the living room of a parent’s house in Winters, CA. The school moved to a temporary site in a farmhouse west of Davis. For five years the school grew into a community, housing the expanding grades in portable classrooms, holding assemblies and plays in the property's open-air barn while laying straw pathways through the flooded yard each winter.
In 1992, a generous gift of land from John and Judy Whitcombe enabled the school to move to its current 5-acre site. The campus and buildings were carefully designed to harmonize with the ecology of the landscape and the principles of Waldorf education. One of the most distinctive features of our lower grades classrooms is the rammed earth used in the interior walls. Formed of native California clays in beautifully swirled layers, the walls serve as integral works of art, encouraging a sense of connectedness to the earth.
Relocating the school was a community endeavor, with landscaping and prep work done by parents and faculty. The current strings portable building was transported from the old site. The Almond House (current preschool building) was donated by John Whitcombe. These buildings, along with the rammed-earth classrooms, formed the original DWS facilities.
In 2005, the upper grades wing was installed. DWS has expanded to include: parent-child classes, two preschool and two kindergarten classes, one class for each grade 1-8, and eurythmy, strings, band, Spanish, handwork, woodwork, games and gardening programs. Our first parent-toddler program began in 2003. In Fall 2006, we added our popular preschool program
The 2010 Site Committee developed a plan for continued growth and began the first phase of the project. We built new wings for both the kindergartens and administration using innovative green buildings.
In 2016, the school was accredited as a full member Waldorf school by the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America (AWSNA).