Press Release, April 25, 2011
Beverly, MA—On Monday, the Cape Ann Waldorf School opened classes at its new location at Moraine Farm.
The School purchased the new site last September from Project Adventure. The School then invested more than $600,000 in building renovations and a new addition. The newly completed wing adds more than 4,000 square feet of classroom space to an existing building most recently used as administrative offices by Project Adventure. The renovated School building will house all of the School’s programs, which run from early childhood classes for children as young as one year old through the eighth grade.
Susan White, the School’s Administrator, said the construction was completed on time and on budget, despite challenging winter conditions. “Our general contractor, Windover Construction, did an unbelievable job,” White said. “They worked closely with us during the final design to ensure we stayed on budget, and then delivered an absolutely first rate building.” Gloucester architect Jonathan Poore, a parent of two students who volunteered his services to the School, worked closely with Windover and with the architects of record, Flansburgh Architects of Boston. “We had a great team,” Poore reflected. “All of the professionals involved in this project were invested in it from the first day. They delivered excellent service and outstanding value.”
When you enter the Waldorf School’s new building, the first thing you may notice—after the enthusiasm of the children busy learning—is the way the space serves the needs of the students. The walls are painted in warm colors and cases display student artwork. The classrooms are spacious and warmly lit. Every student’s desk holds a uniquely created main lesson book.
According to Administrator White, the Waldorf curriculum is structured to respond to the three distinct phases of childhood. One of the fundamental precepts of Waldorf education is that the best way to nourish healthy growth is to bring age appropriate content to the children, including by limiting exposure to media. According to White, this model of teaching cultivates social and emotional intelligence, as well as intellectual development. “Our fundamental goal is to ignite a passion for lifelong learning,” White said. “Waldorf teachers strive to transform education into an art that educates the whole child—the heart and the hands, as well as the head.”
The woods and meadows at Moraine Farm are an ideal location for teaching the Waldorf curriculum. “Part of the reason Moraine Farm suits us so well is that we strive to connect children to nature,” said White. “Here we can do that by allowing the students to play in the woods and meadows, and by giving the older students opportunities to work on the farm fields.” White said the School is exploring ways to collaborate with Project Adventure and The Trustees of Reservations, the other two non-profits now owning portions of Moraine Farm. “Our missions and values seem very closely aligned,” White observed. “We are very fortunate to have the opportunity to forge partnerships with these two amazing non-profits.”
The Cape Ann Waldorf School currently serves families from 26 cities and towns north of Boston—from Gloucester and Newburyport to Lynn and Marblehead—and represent a wide range of socioeconomic, cultural, and religious backgrounds. It is one of more than 250 Waldorf schools in North America. Worldwide, there are more than 900 Waldorf schools in 83 countries, making Waldorf education one of the fastest growing independent educational movements in the world.