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Purpose and Goals of School
Woodland Star Charter School has a strong, cooperative and mutually supportive working relationship with Sonoma Valley Unified School District, building upon our mutual goals of providing the best possible educational opportunities for all children in the Sonoma area. Strong collaborative relationships with professionals and other community resources support the school, the students and their families. An involved community of parents and teachers actively and visibly support the children.
Parents and other family members are involved in governance, the school program, events and activities, the establishment, beautification and maintenance of the school facility, linkages with the larger community and the ongoing evaluation of the school program. Parents financially support the school and their child’s class to the best of their ability. The school supports a program of professional development, which includes support and evaluations for teachers and other staff. There are annual evaluations of student progress combining state and Waldorf based measurements and an annual evaluation of the teachers. Information gleaned from the evaluations is used for ongoing planning of the curriculum and staff development. The Charter Council employs teachers who hold a California teaching credential combined with a combination of Waldorf training, education, and/or experience that meets Charter Council standards.
At Woodland Star Charter School all children are respected and appreciated for their unique ethnic and cultural backgrounds. Woodland Star is a school from which children will emerge with strong potential for academic excellence, a commitment to the enhancement of their community, and the ability to succeed amidst the challenges of today’s and tomorrow’s world. Woodland Star Charter School desires for our children a Waldorf-inspired education that follows Rudolf Steiner’s developmental model of the growing child. Woodland Star educates kindergarten through eighth grade students who are residents of the state of California.
The purpose of this charter school is to support the development of competent, confident and responsible students who will achieve academic and personal habits and attitudes desired of an educated person in the twenty-first century. We honor the intellectual, physical and emotional needs of our children; and we therefore chose a Waldorf-method curriculum that develops and nurtures the whole child, placing equal emphasis on academic excellence, artistic expression and social development. We intend to inspire in our children a respect for others, for their community as a whole, for nature and the Earth, so they may mature into capable, contributing participants in both their local and global community. We hope to imbue them with such wonder at the unfolding of their self-knowledge that they are inspired with enthusiasm for life-long learning.
Student Mission and Achievement Goals
Learning occurs best in a stimulating, nurturing and safe environment. This includes an instructional program that emphasizes the whole child and frames its academic components within an artistic, creative and imaginative context—allowing each child’s full potential to unfold. The purpose of Woodland Star Charter School is to support the development of competent, confident and responsible students who will achieve academic and personal habits and attitudes desired of an educated person in the twenty-first century. An educated person must have effectively developed the following attributes as far as his or her personal capacities allow:
Rational Thinking: The development of analytical abilities such as clear, logical thought and mathematical precision developed through arithmetic, geometry, biology, physical sciences, grammar and literature.
Language: The ability to explore ideas with others, to work together on common projects and to articulate intentions and results, both verbally and in written form.
Imagination: The imagination must be active and fruitful, for it is the basis of all creativity.
Intuition: This attribute is one of the most important, yet least tangible. Students need to have the opportunity to develop their capacity to respond to creative ideas and to rely on their individual observations and insights.
Compassion: A respect for other human beings, animals, plants, and the Earth itself is an essential attribute of an educated person and responsible community member.
Volition: The individual must develop the inner strength and capacity to translate ideas and plans into action. Qualities of determination and perseverance must be strengthened so that good intentions become tangible.
Freedom: A truly educated person must have the ability to establish personal direction and goals out of his or her own fully conscious ideas and insights.
Woodland Star students will achieve the skill to gather and organize information, the art of literacy, the ability to communicate clearly both orally and in writing, the ability to think scientifically, the use of technology as a tool and a wealth of knowledge about human history and culture. The personal habits and attributes of an educated person also include the ability to concentrate, focus and persevere; the strengths of confidence and motivation; the ability to work cooperatively with others, to be adaptable, to value relationships, and to take personal responsibility.
Student Graduation Goals
Students of the Woodland Star Charter School who have properly applied themselves will demonstrate the following skills upon graduation from eighth grade:
Core Academic Skills | Appropriate age or grade level mastery of:
- Language Arts: Students will demonstrate strong reading, writing, listening, speaking, and presentation skills, in multiple forms of expression, with communication skills appropriate to the audience. They will comprehend and critically interpret multiple forms of expression, including literature from various time periods and cultures.
- Mathematics: Students will develop abilities to reason logically and to understand and apply mathematical processes and basic concepts, including those within arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and other mathematical subjects deemed appropriate by faculty members.
- History / Social Studies: Students will understand and apply civic, historical, and geographical knowledge in order to serve as citizens in today’s diverse world.
- Science: Students will successfully utilize scientific research and inquiry methods to understand and apply the major concepts underlying various branches of science, which may include physics, chemistry, biology, ecology, astronomy, botany and earth sciences.
- Foreign Language: Students will gain a basic level of proficiency in speaking, reading, writing, and listening comprehension in at least one language in addition to their native tongue. Students will understand key aspects of the culture, both past and present, of the second language. (This may not be possible for students who have not attended Woodland Star starting in Grade 1.)
Other Core Skills | Underlying and utilized throughout each of the above subject areas will be other core skills such as:
- Critical Thinking Skills: Students must demonstrate proficiency in critical/analytical skills such as problem solving, analyzing and applying knowledge.
- Artistic Expression: Students must demonstrate achievement in music, visual/studio arts, drama, and movement.
- Healthy Physical Respect: Students must have acquired a healthy respect for their bodies and their relationship to the earth and other individuals. They will illustrate a concern for health and appreciation for the physical condition of one’s own being.
Lifelong Learning Skills | Students will develop skills, which will enable them to pursue their own path of learning throughout their adult lives, including:
- Study skills and habits (note taking, library research skills, and studying strategies)
- The ability to plan, initiate, and complete a project
- The ability to reflect on and evaluate one’s own and others’ learning