The Build – Questions & Answers

How are parents involved in the decisions that affect the future of our school?  Rudolph Steiner’s vision for the way a Waldorf School should be run is that all pedagogical decisions rest with the College of Teachers (often the more experienced teachers).  The Board of Management is made up of parents, who participate on a voluntary basis, as well as some teachers, administrative staff and at least one representative of the College. The Board holds the legal and financial responsibility of the school.  The College and The Board work together looking at issues from both the pedagogical and legal/financial side and make decisions, taking these viewpoints into account.

This management structure is unique to Waldorf schools.  It means that as a parent you can volunteer your time and energy, and participate in making decisions that affect the future of the school.  During the history of Imhoff Waldorf School many parents have served on the board and on ad hoc sub-committees (mandated groups) that have been formed to address specific issues.  Parents have participated in the decisions that have been made since the inception of the Dragon Tree project.  The strength of the school going forward depends on the continued involvement of newer parents, replacing the longer-term parents in these mandated groups and on the Board.  If you feel strongly about the future of the school then this is the way to become involved.

How did we appoint our architect?
Three prominent architects from various backgrounds were interviewed several years ago.  The Board and The College agreed that the successful candidate must be an anthroposophical architect because the school is a Waldorf School.  This decision was reviewed recently (in the past year) and again the Board and the College came to the same conclusion.  One very important consideration for the anthroposophical design is that this design would correspond with the international Waldorf trends.  To date this has paid off, as the bulk of funds raised have come from the international Waldorf community.  By showing that we are serious about building a purpose-built, anthroposophical Waldorf school, additional funding should come in from this source.  Keith Struthers, our architect, is an anthroposophical architect. We foresaw a long and very challenging road ahead where the architect would be carrying the bulk of the responsibility (project management and so on) and again Keith Struthers matched the criteria, having a proven track record.  To date he has not faltered in this respect.

Can we move the existing (‘wendy house’) structures to our new land?
Red Cliff Properties (our landlord) specifically did not want us to build informal, wendy house, classrooms on the new land because it believes this will compromise the future development plans for the rest of the farm.  It was therefore made a condition of the sale agreement that Red Cliff Properties has input regarding all the plans for any buildings on the new land.  Whether we can move some of the wendy house classrooms over to the new land as a temporary measure is a possibility that is yet to be negotiated.

Nick Steytler, The Build Team and parent