The Waldorf School of New Orleans (WSNO), originally called The Hill School, was founded in 2000 by parents seeking an alternative to mainstream education, both public and private. An independent private school serving grades pre-k through 8, we are a member of the Waldorf Early Childhood Association of North America (WECAN), and are recognized as a Developing School by the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America (AWSNA). WSNO is also approved by the Louisiana State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE).
A brief history of the Waldorf School of New Orleans
- The Waldorf Parent Association is founded by parents from New Orleans’ first Waldorf Kindergarten (1996-1998). They hire Suzanne Hill from the Toronto Waldorf School to teach their children.
- The Hill School begins with five students in grades 2/3 in a room in a house on Chestnut Street.
- Suzanne’s class grows to nine students in grades 3/4.
- The Hill School expands to two classes, with a second location at St. Charles Avenue Baptist Church.
- The Kindergarten opens on Bordeaux Street. The school is now split among three locations.
- The school’s first Eighth Grade graduates.
- The Kindergarten moves to the Church of the Annunciation.
- First grade is at New Home Ministries.
- Plans are made to move all the classes to one location at Church of the Annunciation.
- School opens three days before hurricane evacuation with 47 children: Kindergarten- 17; first grade- 8; second grade-5; 5/6 grade- 9; 7/8 grade-8.
- August 29, 2005 - Hurricane Katrina and levee failures. Broadmoor location is flooded and unusable.
- The school reopens in November at 517 Soraparu Street, with 9 students. It is the second school to reopen in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina.
- First Lantern Walk held at the Labyrinth in November as a celebration of survival.
- First annual Starry Night fundraiser is held.
- The school gets a visit and support wider Waldorf Community. Torin Finser gives talk at Loyola, which attracts future parents and supporters.
- Build out of additional classrooms at 517 Soraparu is completed over the summer.
- The Hill School becomes The Waldorf School of New Orleans. It becomes certified by AWSNA as a Developing Waldorf School.
- Kindergarten hits enrollment goal of 18 students.
- AWSNA Council Meeting and Work Weekend brings volunteers from around the country to our school.
- Patrice Maynard gives public talk on Waldorf Education at Loyola Law School.
- Path to full AWSNA certification-- Five-Year Plan: Year 1
- Additional modification to the Soraparu location are undertaken to accommodate growing enrollment. We once again begin to explore additional lease/construction options. In 2015, for the first time, waiting lists are instituted for certain classes in the Grade School.
- WSNO students meet the Dalai Lama on his historic visit to New Orleans.
- With school enrollment at more than 90 students, Early Childhood classes are moved to a new location in the My House building at 2010 Peniston, allowing the Grades School class to expand at the Soraparu location.
AWSNA visits the Waldorf School of New Orleans
See how the 2011 AWSNA service weekend was a living example of "many hands make light work." Our play yard and our walls have never looked more beautiful!
Video by Kyle Curry, Maison Post.