Berkshire Waldorf High School provides an education for adolescents that seeks truth, develops imagination, nurtures growth, fosters responsibility, and honors inner freedom in an atmosphere of academic excellence, artistic fulfillment, openness, and mutual respect.
Extraordinarily qualified teachers lead students through a rich and varied array of block-scheduled seminars in science, history, literature, and mathematics. These range from thermodynamics to Shakespeare, from statistics to the history of the modern world. In addition to seminar subjects, students complete a college preparatory curriculum in mathematics, English, and a foreign language. Students also receive credits in music, drama, fine and practical arts, eurythmy, and physical education. Students also complete internships, projects, and community service. Students apply to college with Honors transcripts and impressive portfolios of academic and artistic work.
Our students also travel at least once during high school, to Munich if they study German, and to a Spanish-speaking country if they study Spanish, attending Waldorf schools abroad, staying with local families. Spanish students have traveled to Peru, Colombia, Cuba, and Costa Rica. All students also have the opportunity to spend from 6 weeks to a semester abroad.
We have competitive soccer, basketball, and tennis teams. We also assist students in finding opportunities to participate in other competitive sports, including baseball, track, and skiing. We take the character-building and team-building aspects of athletics seriously. As we grow, our sports programs grow.
We are the only independent school to participate in Shakespeare & Company’s Fall Festival of Shakespeare; approximately 60% of our students take part each year. We produce a play every spring as guests of Berkshire Theatre Group. Past plays have included Audience, Blithe Spirit, Harvey, Henry IV—Part I, The Importance of Being Earnest, Noises Off!, Our Town, Saint Joan, The Skin of Our Teeth, The Taming of the Shrew, The Tempest, Uncle Vanya, and A Winter’s Tale.
Graduates have successfully prepared for admission to conservatory programs of note. At semi-annual concerts, students choose to perform vocal and instrumental solos and ensembles. Student initiatives result in additional ensembles or electives. These have included Composition, Jazz Ensemble, and String Quartet.
Our school year begins with a three day Orientation at nearby Camp Hi-Rock, including Plantain Pond and the Appalachian Trail. The purpose of the orientation, including hiking, campfires, games, and low and high ropes challenges, is to acquaint ourselves if we are new to the school, reacquaint ourselves if we are not, learn to work increasingly well with each other, and help establish a supportive school community at the start of the year. Our orientation also gets us out in nature and gives us opportunities to work with each other outside of the classroom.
Academic Support & College Guidance
Each student has a Faculty Advisor, who provides parents with information about curriculum and programs, serves as a liaison with the school, and, with all teachers, conducts parent-teacher conferences twice annually.
All students receive individualized college guidance with a guidance-to-student ratio better than 1:10. Our seniors are admitted to 90% of the colleges to which they apply and 80% are admitted to their first choice. This includes some of the most selective universities in the United States. To learn more about our College Guidance program, see the “College” tab above.
Teachers and parents are active partners in our school and in guiding children through the joys and struggles of adolescence. Our Parent-Faculty Partnership (PFP) and Community Relations Committee support the life of the school.