Admissions Process at IWS
Our admissions process is thorough in order to ensure the right fit for the child, parents, and class environment. Each step in the following process must take place before a student may be accepted.
Teachers consider each class as a constellation, comprised of individuals all contributing to the richness of the classroom.
We are happy to answer any questions that you may have regarding the timeline and progress of each step.
1. Inquiry & Tour
All prospective parents are invited to register for a tour or move directly to the online application. While a tour is recommended before commencing with the application process, for a variety of reasons families may choose to submit an application before attending a tour.
The one-hour tour begins promptly at 8:30 am, and offers a chance to view both Early Childhood and Grades classes. Tours offer parents and caregivers a chance to observe how the lessons progress in a developmentally appropriate and joyful way. At the conclusion of the tour there will be a chance for questions over a warm cup of tea with the Director of School Administration. In order to facilitate candid open conversation, these tours are designed for adults only. Prospective students are invited to meet with a teacher and visit a class once a complete application has been received.
After the tour, should parents have additional questions about life at our school, we offer an optional conversation with current Ithaca Waldorf School parents. In addition, a library of materials on Waldorf education is available for your use. Information on our Financial Aid (Tuition Assistance) program will also be available.
If parents would like to move forward with the application process, and meet directly with their child's prospective teacher, the following items must be submitted:
Early Childhood program:
Register and create account online at https://secure.tads.com
Completed online application
Non-refundable application fee of $100 applies
(via check/cash at the IWS office)
3. Interview & Acceptance
Once all application materials have been received and reviewed, an interview will be arranged so that the class teacher may meet both the child and parents. The teacher may request that the prospective student spend one or two days in the classroom. At this time another teacher may also interview or observe the child.
After the interview, you will receive notice of your child’s acceptance decision.
Note: While face-to-face interviews are preferred, circumstances may prevent the feasibility of an interview in Ithaca before an acceptance decision needs to be reached. If this is the case, please contact our office about the possibility of a Skype interview.
Submit Medical & Vaccination Records/Exemption
Ithaca Waldorf School Policy on Vaccination
The Ithaca Waldorf School (IWS) is committed to protecting and supporting all people in our community so that they may live healthy and rich lives. It is central to the school’s mission that each community member is respected, and that the school actively works to build a safe environment for all students and their families.
As required by the New York State Department of Health, IWS follows the New York State Immunization Requirements for School Entrance/Attendance, which requires all school children to be fully vaccinated, unless a medical exemption has been granted. In addition, IWS follows the NYSED Immunization Guidelines for Schools, which explains the purpose of vaccination policy and procedures in schools, and makes best practice recommendations. Vaccinations are usually obtained through a child’s health care provider as part of routine health care. If that is not possible, the Tompkins County Health Department (607-274-6616) will provide vaccinations on a sliding fee scale if you meet their eligibility criteria.
If a physician licensed to practice medicine in this state certifies that any vaccination may be detrimental to a child's health, then a medical exemption can be requested. IWS requires an annual, written exemption request to be submitted that identifies the specific vaccination(s) and the length of time the vaccination(s) is(are) contraindicated, along with a current letter from the student’s physician confirming the exemption.
Please make sure that the acceptance letter
is signed by a medical doctor (apparently a practitioner 's signature is not sufficient)
includes a date-stamp, as medical exemptions are only good for one year
lists all the vaccines from which the child is medically exempt (see the 2019-20 NYS list of vaccinations required for school attendance)
Please see your primary health practitioner with further questions regarding medical exemptions.
If there are any vaccinations for which the child is NOT medically exempted, IWS will need to have proof of the current vaccination status. Please refer any medical questions to Nurse Gibbs, regarding the Department of Health requirements.
All exemptions to this policy will be reviewed by the Director of School Administration in accordance with review procedures recommended by the NYSED and Department of Health that were issued in March 2016.
Parents/guardians of medically exempt students must sign an acceptance letter which acknowledges that their child(ren) has(have) been granted an exemption, and will be excluded from school in the event of an outbreak of disease for which the student is not vaccinated or does not have a lab-confirmed immunity. Please check with the Ithaca Waldorf School School nurse for Tompkins County Health Department exclusion policies for specific illnesses.
The staff, parents, and children of the Ithaca Waldorf School thank you for your thoughtful care of the whole community. The IWS school nurse and/or the Director of School Administration are happy to discuss this policy further with you or to connect you with local health care providers who can work with your family to establish a catch-up vaccination schedule.
Once you have received notification of your child's acceptance, you will have two weeks to complete the enrollment process and pay a non-refundable deposit (consisting of a down-payment and fees) to reserve his/her place in the class.
The Ithaca Waldorf School has the capacity to meet a wide range of learning abilities and styles. Children who are not doing well in other schools may flourish in our school. However there are learning and disciplinary needs that are beyond our scope. All new children are accepted with a two month evaluation period, to ensure the suitability for all involved. If a new child needs extra support in certain areas, recommendations will be made by the class teacher. We aim to have a “healthy constellation” of pupils in each class.
The first tuition payment is due on July 1 for all payment plans (single payment, two-payment, and monthly plans). For returning students, monthly payments must be completed by May 1 of the current school year to be fully enrolled in the upcoming school year.