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Waldorf program in Milwaukee public schools.

The Milwaukee public school district has been one of the most venturesome in the country. Convinced that education has to change to meet better the needs of children, school officials have been exploring four educational models one of which is Waldorf education. In May, School Board Director Mary Bills drafted a resolution citing the merits of the following aspects of Waldorf education: integration of subjects; teaching through the arts; teaching concepts through encounter and experience; and enriching children's lives. As a result of this interest, a task force was set up to study Waldorf education. To work with this task force, the Association if Waldorf Schools of North America and the Pedagogical Section of the Anthroposophical Society created an advisory committee consisting of Henry Barnes, Werner Glas, Connie Starzynski and Betty Staley.

School Superintendent Robert Peterkin and Deputy Superintendent Debra McGriff have been enthusiastic about developing a Waldorf program within the Milwaukee public schools. On October 22-23, representatives from the Waldorf schools met with Dr. Peterkin, his advisory staff and the waldorf task force to explore the issue further. The final decision to move ahead was made at a meeting of the Board of Education on November 28.

The Waldorf program is scheduled to be opened in September 1991 as a "school of choice" for 350 children from kindergarten through grade 5 and will involve double-track classes. A new school building, still under construction in Milwaukee's inner city, is a probable location. Fifty-five percent of the students would come from the immediate area which is an African-American neighborhood. Ten percent would come from the suburbs and the remaining 35%, from other areas, would be chosen by lottery. A three-year training program for teachers has been designed. It begins with seven weekend courses in the spring, facilitated by faculty members of the Chicago Waldorf School, and continues with summer workshops and seminars that are still in the planning stage.
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Publication:Special Delivery
Date:Mar 22, 1991
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