School Campus

 



Our Campus is located in the rural Cave Gulch neighborhood of Bonny Doon, 1.5miles past UC Santa Cruz west entrance, on Empire Grade. The road winds up through our local redwood and pine forests to our rustic 7 acre mountain school campus. The raw environments of hillside and stream, forest and meadow, provide an invaluable resource to our Waldorf approach to nature awareness walks and classes.

School Garden

Rudolph Steiner designed a living education—botany taught in a garden, astronomy at the top of a Redwood students climb, art by chiseling away with a mallet at a stump of wood and making a sculpture, plays in the redwood grove in which everyone stars that help students internalize the depth of the classics.

Our School Garden brings life to the curriculum, with fruits, vegetables, flowers,  chicken and duck eggs, all grown or raised on our 1/2 acre organic garden, with a long tradition of caring for the grounds and garden using Biodynamic,  and most recently Permaculture, techniques and practices. Just outside the garden is our Community Raw Earthen Labyrinth which continues to serve our school for festivals, fairs, and personal growth walks, and our play structure, for improvised games the children play. Across from the labyrinth is our water feature we call the Flow Form: three staggered concrete cast, organically shaped petals, which enhances the natural enlivening process of falling water. Beautiful to watch, listen and to cast leaf boats down its course.

The Redwood Grove

The Redwood Grove is our outdoor amphitheater, where rings of large and small redwood sentinels tower above to provide a natural cathedral, where class plays, graduations, festivals, fairs and outdoor classes are held. The grove is also home to our obstacle course, zip line, archery range and entrance into the historic Cave Gulch network of canyons, streams and limestone caves.

Play Ground

We have several dedicated playing surfaces for our students which include our baseball diamond and long jump area, basketball and beach volleyball courts, grass playing field, swing and play structures.  Embracing our playing surfaces reside our seven instructional buildings including our administration building which is also home to the Treasure Tree gift and Waldorf resource store.

Classroom Aesthetic

What makes a Waldorf Classroom? The teacher creates a space for students with three things in mind. Does it reflect the mood of the children's soul state, is it uncluttered and imbued with the warmth and care of the teacher's aesthetics and thirdly, is it functional for the children to access tools and equipment so as to participate in their own learning environment. You will often see wooden materials used for furniture and equipment because of the quality of warmth it provides and its connection to the world of nature. Wooden furniture also provides an opportunity for students to learn how to care for things by weekly cleaning and yearly polishing, sanding and refinishing.

The walls are usually painted with a method called Lazuring. For this method, veils of transparent color are layered one upon the other to create an "alive" quality. It is not flat and opaque. The color of the room is chosen to reflect the soul development of the students. Soft shades of reds are often used to envelop First Graders with warmth and reflect the outward action of their learning. When students are in Eighth Grade, their learning is more inward and cognitive. The colors of their room are often deeper shades of blues and purples. The child is on a path of development and the teacher is always asking how to best serve them on their path.

Sustainability

Our Campus is cared for by our Site Manager and Site Committee, putting zero waste, sustainable and green practices as our highest goal, for adults, students and our community at large. We encourage your constructive input and energy toward a more earth friendly environment.