Frequently Asked Questions
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When should I apply?
We recommend that you submit your application before January 15th to ensure there is space available. Still, we welcome applications throughout the year and offer mid-year enrollment as long as space is available. Apply online here once you are ready!
Can my child visit the classroom?
Yes, as part of the admissions process we ask that students interested in grades 2 through 7 visit the classroom for a few days. This gives your student the opportunity to get a feel for the classroom and gives the teachers the opportunity to really get to know your child. During the summer, when school is not in session, this is not required.
What is the school’s media policy?
Urban Prairie recommends that parents limit exposure to media, especially during the school week. Why? Because Waldorf education strives to nurture children’s growing capacities for imagination, independent thinking, healthy feeling, and active willing. Supporting the imagination is necessary for the development of critical thinking. Consuming media, including television, movies, video games, and computers, can interfere with the healthy development of these imaginative and critical thinking capacities. Ready-made pictures reduce a child’s ability to visualize both the written and spoken word, thereby reducing reading comprehension. Students accustomed to passively receiving impressions often have difficulty with the inner demands necessary to sustain imaginative thought.
What are the school day hours?
All grades start at 8:00 a.m. and end at 3:30 p.m., except Thursday, when classes end at 2:30 p.m. Early Childhood half day ends at 12:00 pm and full day ends at 3:30 p.m. We also offer aftercare for all students 3:30-6:00 p.m.
Is my child ready for 1st grade?
Children who turn 6 years old by May 30th are eligible for 1st grade in September. Since the transition from kindergarten to first grade is a major developmental stride, we assess each child’s potential readiness through a First Grade Readiness screening.
How does Urban Prairie differ from public schools?
Our school is not restrained by government regulations. Urban Prairie Waldorf School is able to put love of learning first, and we recognize that students love learning when there is a balance between academics and the arts, between the head and hands and heart, between schoolwork and good, old-fashioned outdoor play. We give our teachers the freedom to construct their grade-level curricula to meet the needs and the dynamic of the specific class of children in front of them. Our students are not subject to frequent standardized testing.
How do your graduates transition into high school?
Our alumni attend some of the top schools in the Chicagoland area. Our graduates really are the best testaments to the success of Waldorf education. They transition to high school with confidence, a strong sense of self, and a passion for learning. Our alumni indicate that they are able to quickly and confidently acclimate to different social and academic environments and that some high school classes feel like a review for them because of the strong education they received at Urban Prairie. For more information about the schools our alumni have attended, as well as test scores, click here.
Do you offer Tuition Assistance?
Yes, we employ a Variable Tuition Model to help us support our families and make Urban Prairie accessible to your family. Click here for more details.
What is your Anti-Discrimination Policy?
UPWS strives to be an affirming space. The curriculum that we deliver offers students both a window into the experiences of others and a mirror to reflect their own life experiences. We actively seek and welcome students and staff regardless of race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, socio-economic background, sexual orientation, or spiritual values. Urban Prairie does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, nationality, ability, family composition, ethnic origin, gender identity, or sexual orientation in the administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, financial assistance programs, and other school-administered programs.