Spring Garden Waldorf School is not required to give standardized tests and does not evaluate teachers based on scores; however, SGWS does administer the IOWA Test of Basic Skills once a year to students in Grades Four through Eight. We do not test children before Grade Four.
Administrative Team Leader, Tracy Edwards, explains:
“As a school, we use this test to compare individual and class progress from year to year as we move through our Waldorf Curriculum. Parents also appreciate having a quantitative measure of their child’s progress as compared with public education.”
And how does Waldorf, and Spring Garden, student performance compare to national averages?
The Nov/Dec 2011 Harvard Education Letter reports that “Waldorf students tend to score considerably below district peers in the early years of elementary education and equal to, or… considerably above, district peers by eighth grade.”
An independent five-year study of SGWS students’ IOWA test scores seems to confirm the results of Harvard’s national study. The 2014 study, conducted by the University of Akron Business Analytics department, found that test scores at Spring Garden rose as students rose in grade level, and that students’ national percentile ranks also increased as they moved through the grades. This means that by Grade Eight, SGWS students well outperformed their same-age and same-grade peers nationally who took the IOWA tests.
- 50% of SGWS Grade Eight students tested at a 13th grade equivalency, the grade level at which the IOWA test is capped.
- 75% of SGWS Grade Eight students performed significantly above 10th grade equivalency.
There was no significant difference in the performance of male vs. female students at Spring Garden Waldorf School.
In Grades Four, Five, and Six, the unique unfolding of the Waldorf curriculum creates some discrepancies between the areas being measured on the tests and our learning goals; therefore, we give the younger students only the Language Arts and Mathematics sections of the test. However, our Grade Seven and Eight students take all sections of the test and follow the test’s required time limits, so there were no outstanding variables in the study’s Eighth Grade comparison.
Megan Hungerman, Class of ’89, and her brother Daniel, class of ’92, have both become professors. Megan teaches philosophy courses at West Virginia University, with specialties in continental philosophy, the philosophy of literature, phenomenology, existentialism, and feminism. Megan is also an animal rescue advocate and volunteer.
Daniel’s research focus includes Public Economics, in particular religion and the determinants of philanthropic activity. His work has been published in a number of journals, including the Journal of Public Economics and the Quarterly Journal of Economics.
Congratulations to both these accomplished, engaged siblings! SGWS is proud to have been part of your education.
Hannah Schurr, SGWS class of ‘06, has graduated from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, Summa Cum Laude, with Honors, and as the Outstanding Art Department Senior.
Ravi Harley and Willow Campbell were honored with awards in academic excellence at Theodore Roosevelt High School in Kent, Ohio. Both SGWS grads have maintained a 3.5 GPA this year.
Three alumni recently received honors at Copley High School. Emma Hecky received a Scholar Award for maintaining a 4.0 or above GPA for her freshman year. Madison Deckert, a senior at Copley, received the National Choral Award, the Departmental Award for Art, and an Honor Roll award for maintaining a 3.5-3.9 GPA all four years. Emma Haney also received an Honor Roll award for maintaining a 3.5-3.9 GPA for her four years at Copley High School.
It’s news when an alumni wins a Science Fair award, but Alena Veigl has won the ACESS (Akron Council of Engineering and Scientific Societies) Award for outstanding project at the Akron Science, Math, and Technology Expo for the second year in a row. The title of this year’s ACESS award-winning project from January was “How Temperature and Time Affect the Decomposition of Hydrogen Peroxide.”
In addition, she received a perfect score at the Akron Public Schools Science Fair for her project titled “The Role of Gene Expression in Cell Differentiation.” After advancing to the District 5 Ohio Science Fair at the University of Akron, she won the Akron Schools Award and a $1000 scholarship from the University of Akron. This project, which will be published in a science journal, also qualified her for the State Science Fair in May, where she received the OAS “Excellent” Award.
Alena is currently in the 11th grade at Firestone High School in Akron, Ohio. Keep up the inspiring work, Alena!
By Joanna Caley, GOTR Coach
Photos courtesy of Tyra Scott and Loucile Powers
The weather was perfect for a great 5K race on Sunday. After gathering in Lock 3 and checking in at the SGWS sign post, the girls were invited to have their faces and hair painted to “show their colors.” Then, all the race participants were invited to the main stage for the race kick-off and stretching. We heard encouragement from Mayor Don Plusquellic and Sarah Shookman from WKYC, and were led in a very enthusiastic stretching session by one of the GOTR coaches and teams.
The race was done with a color wave start to accommodate the hundreds of racers. Our purple wave was the last wave to start so we waited a bit to get on the course. But it was very exciting when we did get started! The course took us through the streets of downtown Akron and on to the Towpath. It was an interesting course with lots of cheering supporters all the way.
Many of our girls ran with family members – moms, dads, and uncles! – or ran together with their friends. All the coaches were in the race – even coach Stimpson with her triplet sons – with the exception of Nancy Mann, who was enjoying vacation with her family.
The best part was rounding the turn at Lock 3 to the finish line with the huge crowd cheering us on. Everyone received a medal when crossing the finish line, along with lots of high fives! It was amazing to see our girls be part of a larger community, all participating in the same great program. I’m sure the memory will last a long time!
We are set to have a Fall session of GOTR at Spring Garden (we will not be having it next spring). Sign-ups begin in August. Look for more details as the sign-up date approaches!
By Nancy Stewart, Coach and Athletic Director
Photos courtesy of Dana Welton
It has been a successful and rewarding track and field season for Spring Garden Waldorf School, with one more meet to go.
On Saturday, Grade Eight athletes participated in the Cleveland preliminary meet against Akron and Cleveland schools. Congratulations to Simon Welton, who qualified in the mile for the championship meet thisThursday, May 22, at Brecksville/Broadview Heights High School at 6:00 p.m. Please come cheer Simon on as he represents SGWS!
Congratulations also to Luke Kapitan and Jerome Hume for their outstanding performances at the meet. We saw the significance of 9/100ths of a second making the difference at the end of a race.
Grade Six and Seven athletes participated in their championship meet on Sunday, with another outstanding representation for SGWS. Congratulations to Kira Cseak, Sarah Caley, Eli Hansen, Jules Christensen-Diehl, Grace Hecky, Hayden Matias, Maya Miller, Jena McIntyre, Megan May, Rominy Moss, Willa Moss, Bethany Hecky, Grace Rossi, and Andrew Scott for finishing in the top ten in their events, and to Sarah Caley for finishing first in the 400.
It has been a very successful season for the athletes! Their hard work has truly paid off. Thank you, parents, for your support and dedication. Thank you also to our coaches, Greg Beck, Tom Humes, and Bryan May, for helping lead the athletes to success.