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High School Profile

High School Profile

Patricia Daunt-Grogan
High School Counselor
(512) 439-0118 Direct Line

The School
The Austin Waldorf School, founded in 1980, is fully accredited by the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America (AWSNA) and the Independent Schools Association of the Southwest (ISAS).  The school enrolls over 380 students from kindergarten through twelfth grade as a non-profit 501(c)3 organization.  We welcome students and families of any religion, race, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin.

Waldorf education, founded in 1919 by the Austrian philosopher, scientist, and artist Rudolf Steiner, has grown into an educational movement with over 800 independent schools worldwide.  Fundamental to Waldorf education is the recognition that each human being is a unique individual who passes through distinct life stages and that it is the responsibility of education to address the spiritual, emotional, physical, and social needs of each developmental stage.

The faculty of the Austin Waldorf High School is committed to excellence in teaching and in the cultivation of a healthy social life in the school’s community.  Faculty members have at least Master’s degrees in their subject areas and are engaged in the wider educational issues of our time. The curriculum is uniform and rigorous.  Students are expected to carry the full requirements in academics, arts, movement, and community service and work experience.  Currently there are 80 students, 11 full-time faculty members and 20 part-time specialty teachers. 

The Austin Waldorf School graduated its fourteenth senior class in 2014.  Seventy-five percent of those students chose to enter four-year colleges immediately, with the remaining deferring for a Gap Year of travel and work, taking time out to work or attending the local community college.  Some colleges of recent matriculation are:

ACC, Agnes Scott, Carleton, Carnegie Mellon, Clark, College of Charleston, Davidson, Drexel, Earlham,

Evergreen, Elon, Franklin & Marshall,  Fort Lewis, Fordham, Georgia Tech, Grinnell,  GWU, Hampshire, Hampden-Sydney, Hendrix, Hope,  Johnson and Wales,  Kenyon,  Macalester, MICA, Middlebury, Montana, Mount Holyoke, Naropa, Northeastern, Northwestern, Oberlin, Purdue, Rice, Rensselaer,  School of Visual Arts-NYU, Sarah Lawrence, Scripps, Smith, Southwestern, St. Edward’s, Stevens, St. Olaf’s, Sewanee, SMU, Swarthmore, Sweet Briar, TAMU, Trinity, TSU, CU-B, UC-Berkeley, U of Miami, USNA, UTSA Honors College, UT-Tyler, TX Tech, U Dallas, UT-A, University of Victoria, Wake Forest, Wellesley, Wesleyan,  Whitman, and Williams.

AWS Diploma Requirements
AWS Diploma Requirements

Courses Credits
English                  4.00
Math                   4.00
     Life Science                   1.50
     Physics                    1.25
     Chemistry                    1.00
     Earth Science                   0.75
History / Social Studies                   3.50
World Language                    3.00
Arts, Crafts, Music                    6.00
Physical Education                    1.50
Work Experience                    1.00
Computer                     0.50
Total                  27.00

Marking System
A+=4.3; A=4.0; A-=3.7; B+=3.3; B=3; B-=2.85; C+=2.75; C=2; C-=1.85; D+=1.75; D=1; D-=0.7; F=0; INC=0. 

All subjects are treated equally in terms of grade point assessment.  College recommending grade is a C and passing mark is a D.  We do not rank students. Six-semester grade point distribution and SAT distribution are noted on student transcripts.

Academic Program
The Waldorf high school provides students with a comprehensive curriculum that focuses on developing the life of cognition.  During each year of the high school, a different cognitive faculty is trained:  in ninth grade it is the power of observation, in tenth the power of comparison, in eleventh the power of analysis and in twelfth the power of synthesis. The arts play an integral role, equal with academics.

The high school skills classes meet four times each week for 34 weeks.  There are two or three English main lesson blocks per year.  Main lesson blocks average four weeks.  The high school strives to include a balance of excellent literature, instruction writing essays and creative pieces, and an understanding of Basic English grammar. A Liberal Studies Elective is offered in the twelfth grade.
Ninth Grade
Comedy and Tragedy, The Novel, Grammar, Essay and Short Story Writing
Tenth Grade
Art of Poetry, Drama – Play, The Odyssey, The Double
Eleventh Grade
Parzival, Dante/Hamlet, and Romantic Era Arts and Sciences, Comparative Religion
Twelfth Grade
Goethe’s Faust, Drama – Play, Transcendentalists, and Russian Literature 

The high school requires four years of mathematics. There are two math main lesson blocks each year, except for twelfth grade in which there is one. 
The 9th – 11th grade math curriculum integrates Algebra I/II, Geometry, and Trigonometry.  In 12th grade students choose between Calculus, Business Math and Projective Geometry.
Ninth Grade
    Algebra I, Geometry, Combinatorics
Tenth Grade
Algebra II, Trigonometry, Euclidean & Cartesian Geometry
Eleventh Grade
Geometric Transformations, Pre-Calculus or Algebra II/Trigonometry
Twelfth Grade
Calculus or Topics in Contemporary Mathematics 

The following science main lesson blocks are taught to all students: physics (one block per year for 4 years); chemistry (one block per year for 4 years); and biology (one or two blocks per year for 4 years), and environmental science (one block per year for 4 years).    Laboratory and field experience are an intrinsic part of the science program.  The high school also offers a Problems in Physics Elective in eleventh grade and a Problems in Chemistry Elective in the twelfth grade.
Ninth Grade
Thermal Physics, Organic Chemistry, Anatomy and Zoology, Environmental Science:  Geology
Tenth Grade
Acids & Bases, Mechanics, Circular Functions, Physiology: Health and Embryology, and Environmental Science and Engineering
Eleventh Grade
Electricity, Mechanics, Atomic Theory, Cell Biology, and Environmental Science: Botany.  Science Skills: Problems in Physics Elective
Twelfth Grade
Optics, 20th Century Physics, Biochemistry, Zoology, Evolution & Genetics, Environmental Science: Astronomy, Science Skills: Problems in Chemistry Elective

History/Social Studies
The high school requires four years of history/social studies:  two main lesson blocks per year and 12 weeks of social studies.  Research paper skills are developed throughout the curriculum.  The high school also offers a Liberal Studies Elective in twelfth grade.
Ninth Grade
U.S. History – Spirit of Enterprise, U.S. History – Native American Studies, History of Art, Geography
Tenth Grade
World History - Ancient Worlds, Age of Faith, Bible as Literature, Economics I
Eleventh Grade
World History – Science in History; Latin American History, U.S. History – 18 & 19th Century, History of Music, Government: Civics
Twelfth Grade
U.S. History - Modern, World History – History Through Architecture, Economics II, Race, Class and Gender, Social Studies Elective

World Language
Spanish or German (required sequence in one)
The high school requires a four-year language program.  An Advanced Computer Programming Elective is offered for those twelfth graders who qualify in place of Spanish IV or German IV.

Performing, Fine and Practical Arts
In conjunction with the aesthetic sensibility that guides the study of all subjects, courses in the performing, fine, and practical arts are integral to a student’s study.
Ninth Grade
Improvisation, Spinning, Black & White Drawing, Clay Modeling, Wood Carving, Blacksmithing, and Gardening
Tenth Grade
Play Performance, Weaving, Veil Painting, Pottery, Lino-Cut Printing Making, and Wood Joinery
Eleventh Grade
Spanish and German Plays, Painting, Bookbinding Sand Sculpting, Wood Carving, and Stain Glass
Twelfth Grade
Play Performance, Painting, Clay Sculpting, and Stone Carving 

Either chorus or orchestra is chosen as an elective for 24 weeks, three hours each week.
Each year short electives are offered in music theory, composition and appreciation. Ensemble work may occur with more advanced students.
Ninth Grade
    Chorus or Orchestra I
Tenth Grade
    Chorus or Orchestra II
Eleventh Grade
    Chorus or Orchestra III
Twelfth Grade
    Chorus or Orchestra IV 

Eurythmy, a form of artistic movement of music and verse, is required two times each week for ninth, tenth, eleventh, and twelfth  grades.

Physical Education and Athletics
All students are required to participate in the physical education program two times each week throughout the high school year.  A variety of gymnastic, team sports and movement arts are offered on a rotating block basis.  The school also provides opportunities for extra-curricular, inter-scholastic, competitive team sports.  Cooperation, fair play, and the pure joy of playing are fundamental values of our athletic program.

Work Experience
Each year, students in the high school spend two weeks working in a variety of off-campus settings. 

The purpose of this program is twofold.  First, it is important that every student experience a type of work that they may never choose in life to learn to appreciate the contributions of the many people who perform the various types of work necessary to our society.  Second, students have the opportunity to explore possible career choices. 
Ninth Grade
    Organic Farms
Tenth Grade
    Small Businesses, Craft Studios, or the Trades
Eleventh Grade
    Human Services
Twelfth Grade
    Individual Interests

Computer Science
The first two years are devoted to studying the underpinnings of digital communications and computation while the last two years focus on leveraging judgment and technology toward the pursuit of interacting with digital tools in a creative, knowledgeable, ethical and mindful manner.
Ninth Grade
Introduction to Computers
Tenth Grade
Introduction to Programming
Eleventh Grade
Computer Graphics and Digital Arts Elective
Twelfth Grade
    Advanced Computer Programming Elective

Community Service
The high school community service program provides both the individual and the group an opportunity to connect with and contribute to the wider community in a personally and socially meaningful way.  Ninth graders spend one afternoon a week volunteering either at the Austin Food Bank or the Wildflower Center. Tenth, eleventh and twelfth graders independently fulfill their required 20 hours of community service per year.

The Austin Waldorf School is a non-profit educational institution, 501(c)3, that welcomes students and families of any religion, race, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin.
The Austin Waldorf School is a full member of the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America (AWSNA)
Celebrating Educational Excellence Since 1980 - Acknowledgements