Shining Mountain Waldorf School (SMWS) is a not-for-profit 501(c) 3 independent school. We are an accredited member of the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America (AWSNA) and the Association of Colorado Independent Schools (ACIS), as well as a member of the National Association for Independent Schools (NAIS).
SMWS was founded in September 1983 with more than eighty students in PreK/Kindergarten through Grade 4. The Lower School campus was purchased in 1986, and in 1991 the High School campus was purchased and a Grade 9 inaugurated. Eight years later we completed the first phase of the Festival Hall. The Campus Planning Task Force of the Board is currently working with an architect to determine our next phase of expansion, which will likely include a new high school building.
History of Shining Mountain
Shining Mountain adheres to the philosophy of education and pedagogical indications initiated by Rudolf Steiner in 1919. Rudolf Steiner, scientist, philosopher, and educator agreed to establish and direct a school for the children of the Waldorf Astoria cigarette factory in Stuttgart, Germany. Steiner’s goal was to establish an education with a culturally rich, age appropriate curriculum that would educate the body, mind and spirit of children. The school was to be independent from state interference, educate boys and girls together, and to be inclusive of children of all economic backgrounds. The teacher was to be free to teach in association with a circle of colleagues, and the school affairs were to be “self-administered.”
Steiner intended Waldorf education to focus not only on what knowledge must be acquired to enter society, but also to awaken capacities in children that would bring new impulses into society. Since the founding of the first school, Rudolf Steiner Waldorf education has become a global independent school movement with more than 1000 schools worldwide in over 60 countries.
What is true education?
True education is much more than simply imparting information.
Love. Awe. Devotion. Compassion. Trust. The ability to recognize beauty; to discriminate between right and wrong; to carry out a chosen course of action. These are the qualities consciously cultivated at Shining Mountain Waldorf School from early childhood through adolescence.
Shining Mountain’s well-rounded academic curriculum, enlivened by the arts, music, movement, and world languages, provides a learning environment that fosters creativity and healthy social interactions. As you explore the many facets of this rich curriculum, you will see that the experiences at Shining Mountain are about transformation – the gradual unfolding of faculties and capacities which take the individual beyond tradition and the conventions of our time.
Today’s students will become tomorrow’s initiators of cultural progress. We believe that a lifelong love of learning and a curiosity to ask deep questions are vital to this process. Our graduates leave school with clear, independent thinking; feelings of empathy and creative activity; and ultimately a strength of will that propels them toward moral courage and social responsibility.
Shining Mountain Waldorf School is one of the few Waldorf schools in the United States that has dual accreditation status. We are a fully accredited school through AWSNA, the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America, as well as ACIS, the Association of Colorado Independent Schools. Shining Mountain undergoes a rigorous process to achieve this status, which includes a school wide self- study every 7 years, 2 week site visit by outside teachers, administrators, and leaders, a 100 page document outlining required recommendations, and the school completing a one year and three year response to both organizations on meeting the requirements listed by the evaluating teams.
By holding this dual accreditation status, families can be assured that Shining Mountain is following “Best Practices” across the entire school and is continuously be held to these standards by these outside organizations. We encourage current and prospective families to better understand the advantages to their children’s educational experience that being an accredited independent school holds for them.