High School Profile

High School Profile

Patricia Daunt-Grogan
High School Counselor
(512) 301-9550 x118

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 400 students from kindergarten through twelfth grade.  The Austin Waldorf School is a non-profit educational institution, 501(c)3, that welcomes students of any religion, race, 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, community service and work experience. Currently there are 103 students, 11 full-time faculty members and 22 part-time specialty teachers 

The Austin Waldorf School graduated its tenth senior class in 2010. Two-thirds of those students chose to enter four-year colleges immediately, with the remainder deferring enrollment to take a gap year of work, service learning or travel. Some colleges of recent matriculation are:

ACC, A&M, Agnes Scott, Bard, Bennington, Berklee, Carleton, Chapman, Carnegie Mellon, Clark, Colorado, Davidson, Earlham, Eugene Lang, FSU, Georgia Tech, Grinnell, Guelph, Gustavus Adolphus, Hampshire, Hampden-Sydney, Hendrix, ITT, Hollins, Kalamazoo, Kenyon, Lewis and Clark, Loyola Marymount, MICA, Middlebury, Northwestern, Oberlin, Rice, Rose-Hulman, Sarah Lawrence, Scripps, Smith, Southwestern, St. Edward’s, St. John’s College, Stevens, Swarthmore, Sweet Briar, Trinity, TSU, CU - Boulder, U of Miami, University of Chicago, UT-Austin, Wellesley, Wesleyan and Whitman.

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                       2.50
Foreign 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; A=3.9; 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. The high school also offers a Liberal Studies English Skills course in the twelfth grade.
Ninth Grade
     Comedy and Tragedy, The Novel, Grammar, Essay Writing, Story Story Writing, Analysis
Tenth Grade
     History of Poetry, The Bible as a Source of Literature, The Odyssey, Grammar, Composition, Creative Writing,      Economics I
Eleventh Grade
     Parzival, Dante, Hamlet, The Romantic Era, The Prince, The Trial of Socrates, Liberal Studies electives, Composition
Twelfth Grade
     Goethe’s Faust, Russian Literature, American Literature and Transcendentalists, Liberal Studies electives 

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 curriculum integrates algebra and geometry.
Ninth Grade
     Algebra, Geometry, Combinatorics
Tenth Grade
     Algebra, Trigonometry, Euclidean & Cartesian Geometry, Kinematics, Circular Functions
Eleventh Grade
     Geometric Transformations, Calculus or Algebra
Twelfth Grade
     Sequences and Series, Differential Calculus, Integral Calculus or Business Math 

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 earth science (one block per year for 2 years). Laboratory and field experience are an intrinsic part of the science program. The high school also offers a Chemistry Problem Solving Elective and a Physics Problem Solving course in the twelfth grade.
Ninth Grade
     Thermal Physics, Organic Chemistry, Anatomy and Physiology, and Geology
Tenth Grade
     Acids, Bases, & Salts; Endocrinology & Embryology; and Environmental Science and Engineering
Eleventh Grade
     Electricity, Mechanics, Compounds, Cell Biology and Botany
Twelfth Grade
     Optics, Biochemistry, Zoology, Evolution & Genetics, 20th Century Physics

History/Social Studies
The high school requires four years of history: two main lesson blocks per year and 12 weeks of social studies. Research paper skills are developed throughout the curriculum.
Ninth Grade
     Native American History, Revolutions, Modern World History, History of Art, U.S. Geography
Tenth Grade
     Ancient Civilizations Medieval History, Mythology, American Literature
Eleventh Grade
     US History I, Early Modern European History, Enlightenment, Meso-American History, History of Music, Comparative Religion, Latin American History
Twelfth Grade
     Philosophy of American Civilizations, History through Architecture, Race, Class, and Gender, US History II, Economics II, Modern Art History

Modern Language
Spanish or German (required sequence in one)
The high school requires a three-year language program with most students choosing to enroll for a fourth year. A Linguistics Elective is offered in the twelfth grade.

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
     Weaving, Black & White Drawing, Clay Sculpture, Wood Carving, Blacksmithing and Gardening
Tenth Grade
     Veil Painting, Pottery, Basketry and Calligraphy
Eleventh Grade
     Spanish and German Plays, Painting, Sculpting, Bookbinding, Joinery and Stain Glass
Twelfth Grade
     Play Performance, Painting and Sculpting 

The All High School Musical involves all students as choral or instrumental students. Either chorus or orchestra is chosen as an elective for 12 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
Tenth Grade
     Chorus or Orchestra
Eleventh Grade
     Chorus or Orchestra
Twelfth Grade
     Chorus or Orchestra 

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 two fold. 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 should 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: Operating System Foundations, Word Processing, Data Analysis and Digital Logic
Tenth Grade
     Computer Applications: Hardware, Robotics, Introduction to Programming, and Interfaces
Eleventh Grade
     WWW Tools: HTML, PHP & Action Script, CSS
Twelfth Grade
     Software Development: Databases, Web Stack, OOP, Flash, Integrations
Additional Courses often offered as electives: Auto Cad, Robotics and Programming II

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 at either 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