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Who We Are
Urban Prairie Waldorf School is a vibrant community of educators and families who embrace the unique Waldorf curriculum, drawn from the philosophies of Rudolf Steiner.
Urban Prairie Waldorf School educates children by awakening a love of learning, encouraging reverence and wonder in the world, and nurturing the capacity to impart purpose and direction to their lives.
- Vigorous and inspired academics infused with meaning, art, and beauty
- Social connectedness and self confidence
- Free thinking informed by strong moral compass
- Delight in and respect for nature in our urban environment
- We envision Urban Prairie Waldorf School at the leading edge of Waldorf education in America.
- We innovate on the ideas of Rudolf Steiner and contemporary pedagogical philosophy to build an educational program that is developmentally engaging, meets the here and now, and prepares our students for an ever-changing future.
- Our school is a magnet for seekers and doers, who build a close-knit community that is diverse yet connected by shared ideals. We are intentional, accessible, and collaborative. Our relationships are deep and meaningful.
- Our campus is in harmony with our surroundings and emphasizes ecological and societal awareness.
- Our education contains the seeds for social transformation.
Urban Prairie is an independent, Waldorf elementary school located in the city of Chicago. We opened our doors to a first grade class of 12 students on September 9th, 2009, ninety years to the day from the opening of the first Waldorf school in Stuttgart. Urban Prairie will add a first grade each year until the school has grades 1 through 8. The school currently has 1st through 6th grade classes as well as a Parent-Child program for parents and children ages 0-3. Early childhood and kindergarten year programs are offered by City Garden Early Childhood Center, our nearby affiliate school. Urban Prairie is a not-for-profit corporation with 501(c)(3) status and a developing member in the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America.
Our curriculum includes math, science, and language arts seamlessly interwoven with music, movement, and art. Our students also study Spanish and Chinese, eurythmy, and handwork. Recess is a regular part of our day for all grades.
The whole of Waldorf education works toward personal development and cultivating academically accomplished individuals who have the skills to innovate change, the feeling to care, and the will to implement their ideas. Every aspect of the Waldorf curriculum integrates these goals.
The early years of the children’s lives are protected by loving, capable teachers who view the educational experience through a qualitative, as well as quantitative, lens. Such teaching practices call forth the best in our students, rather than fill them with facts for tests.
Over the course of the eight grades, our students build a solid portfolio from the mastery of quadratic equations in math to a close study of the relationship between plank alkaloids and proteins in organic chemistry.
Our graduates are ready to excel academically and socially in the environment of their choosing.
Urban Prairie is part of the largest independent educational movement in the world today. Rudolf Steiner, an Austrian-born philosopher and scientist (1864-1924), founded the first Waldorf school in Germany in 1919. In those days after World War I, his aim was to create a school that could develop the full range of students’ capacities and allow them to become free, self-reliant individuals capable of contributing fresh insights and initiatives to the world.
Today there are over two thousand Waldorf schools in forty-six countries, including over one hundred and fifty-seven Waldorf schools in the United States and Canada.
To learn more about Waldorf education, click here.