imagine

Why Waldorf High School?

Waldorf Education speaks to the body, heart and soul, as well as the mind. The academically challenging high school curriculum is balanced by a program rich in music, drama fine and applied arts, movement and practical skills.

Grounded in the classics, academic courses expose students to the great ideas of mankind, the events that shaped civilizations, the beauty of mathematics, the power of the arts, and the wonder of the natural world. Each student participates in all subjects. The scientist explores the physical and natural laws of the sciences. The artist discovers the practical aspects of calculus. Rather than turning out specialists at the age of 18, the school graduates well-rounded and capable students who are confident in their ability to learn from the world, and to contribute to the world. Waldorf School Orange County High School will provide a high school experience like no other.

“After all, the function of education is to turn out an integrated individual who is capable of dealing with life…”
ーJ. Krishnamurti
A Typical Day

Arrival

8:00 A.M. — 8:15 A.M.

Main Lesson

8:15 A.M. — 10:15 A.M.

Break

10:15 A.M. — 10:30 A.M.

Morning Specialty Classes

10:30 A.M. — 12:35 P.M.

Lunch

12:35 P.M. — 1:10 P.M.

Afternoon Specialty Classes

1:15 P.M. — 3:15 P.M.

Experience

The Education Is Experiential

Experiences awaken the students to become active participants in their education.

Learning progresses from experience to description to abstraction. After careful observation and detailed description, actively-engaged students rise to the challenge of analytical abstraction.

At WSOC, nature becomes the classroom during field trips for astronomy, meteorology, geology, and biology. Role-play and drama enhance history lessons. Surveying provides an intriguing introduction to trigonometry.

“Waldorf education addresses the child as no other education does … these students are grounded broadly and deeply and have a remarkable enthusiasm for learning. Such students possess the eye of the discoverer, and the compassionate heart of the reformer which, when joined to a task, can change the planet.”
ーArthur Zajonc, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Physics, Amherst College
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resilience

High School Curriculum

The Waldorf School Orange County High School curriculum guides students across the threshold of adolescence, helping them actively engage the world with strength and courage.

We endeavor to educate students in a manner that awakens independent thinking, intrinsic motivation, and inner confidence. We work alongside adolescents to develop the full measure of their human potential, combining personal achievement with service to the greater world.

Curriculum Highlights

 Ninth GradeTenth GradeEleventh GradeTwelfth Grade
BiologyAnatomy, PhysiologyEmbryologyBotany, Cellular BiologyZoology, Evolution
ChemistryOrganic ChemistryInorganic ChemistryPeriodic Table and Atomic TheoryBiochemistry
PhysicsThermodynamicsMechanicsElectricity, Magnetism, Nuclear PhysicsOptics
Earth SciencesGeologyOceanographyAstronomy 
Electives  Science or HumanitiesScience or Humanities
MathCombinatorics, Algebra 1 or 2Trigonometry, GeometryProjective Geometry, Algebra 2 or PrecalculusCalculus and Business Math
HistoryModern World HistoryEarly American History, Ancient World History, Greco-Roman HistoryMedieval History, Constitutional Law, Current Events 
AestheticsWorld History Through ArtPoeticsWorld History Through MusicWorld History Through Architecture
Global StudiesHistory of the Middle EastDeveloping CountriesGlobal EconomicsSymptomatology
Language ArtsTragedy and Comedy, Mythology, Cultural Perspectives in LiteratureSacred Writings, Illiad, OdysseyWolfram Von Eschenbach’s Parzival, Dante’s The Divine Comedy, ShakespeareRussian Literature, Transcendentalists, Goethe’s Faust, Melville’s Moby-Dick, Memoir
World Language (Spanish)Spanish 1Spanish 2Spanish 3Spanish 4
MusicChoir, Chamber Ensemble, Piano Master Class, Wind EnsembleChoir, Chamber Ensemble, Piano Master Class, Wind EnsembleChoir, Chamber Ensemble, Piano Master Class, Wind EnsembleChoir, Chamber Ensemble, Piano Master Class, Wind Ensemble
Arts and Practical ActivitiesPuppetry, Mask Making, Basketry, Black and White Drawing, Color Theory, Carpentry, Performing ArtsPainting, Drawing, Modeling, Sculpturing, Textile Arts, Printing, Carpentry, Performing ArtsPainting, Drawing, Modeling, Sculpturing, Textile Arts, Printing, Bookbinding, Performing Arts, MonologuesPainting, Modeling, Sculpturing, Bookbinding, Performing Arts, Twelfth Grade Play, Art Portfolio Elective
HealthLife SkillsLife Skills  
Eurthymy (movement art set to poetry and music)EurthymyEurthymyEurthymyEurthymy
Physical EducationPhysical Education*Physical Education*Physical Education*Physical Education*

*Combined (grades 9-12) Physical Education classes this year MAY include the following: beach volleyball, surfing, yoga, flag football, disc golf, hiking, basketball, dance, sailing, archery, soccer, swimming, track and field, and cross country.

 

Grade 9

Main Lesson Blocks

  • History
    • Modern World History
    • World History Through Art
  • Global Studies
    • History of the Middle East
  • Literature
    • Tragedy and Comedy
    • Cultural Perspectives in Literature
  • Mathematics
    • Combinatorics
  • Science
    • Biology – Anatomy
    • Organic Chemistry
    • Physics – Thermodynamics
    • Geology

Track Lessons

English, Algebra, Spanish, Music, Health, Physical Education, Mythology

Arts and Practical Activities

Puppetry, Mask Making, Basketry, Black & White Drawing, Color Theory, Carpentry, Performing Arts

Grade 10

Main Lesson Blocks

  • History
    • Early American History
    • Ancient World History
    • Greco-Roman History
  • Global Studies
    • Developing Countries
  • Literature
    • Sacred Writings
    • Poetics
  • Mathematics
    • Geometry
    • Trigonometry
  • Science
    • Biology – Embryology
    • Inorganic Chemistry
    • Physics – Mechanics
    • Oceanography

Track Lessons

English, Geometry, Spanish, Music, Health, Physical Education

Arts and Practical Activities

Painting, Drawing, Modeling, Sculpture, Textile Arts, Printing, Carpentry, and Performing Arts

Grade 11

Main Lesson Blocks

  • History
    • Constitutional Law
    • Medieval History
    • World History Through Music
    • Current Events
  • Literature
    • Wolfram Von Eschenbach’s Parzival
    • Dante’s The Divine Comedy
    • Shakespeare
  • Mathematics
    • Projective Geometry
    • Triangle Trigonometry
  • Science
    • Biology – Botany
    • Chemistry
    • Physics – Electricity, Magnetism
    • Astronomy

Track Lessons

English, Algebra/Precalculus, Spanish, Test Prep, Personal Finances, Music, Physical Education

Arts and Practical Activities

Painting, Drawing, Modeling, Sculpting, Textile Arts, Printing, Bookbinding, Performing Arts, and Monologues

Grade 12

Main Lesson Blocks

  • History
    • World History Through Architecture
  • Global Studies
    • Symptomatology
  • Literature
    • Russian Literature
    • Transcendentalists
    • Goethe’s Faust
    • Melville’s Moby-Dick
    • Memoir
  • Mathematics
    • Business Math
    • Calculus
  • Science
    • Biology – Zoology
    • Biochemistry
    • Physics – Optics

Track Lessons

English, Calculus/Financial Mathematics, Spanish, Music, Physical Education

Arts and Practical Activities

Painting, Modeling, Sculpture, Bookbinding, Performing Arts, Twelfth Grade Play, Art Portfolio Elective

College

College Acceptances

As of June 2023, WSOC has proudly graduated 13 classes with a total of 164 students.

They have garnered tremendous success in gaining admission to fine colleges and universities, including a substantial number of those deemed either “highly selective” or “selective.”

 

The 245 colleges and universities listed below represent their cumulative Waldorf School Orange County college acceptances. Please note many of these colleges and universities granted admission to multiple students over the years, but the school is only listed once. It would not be unusual for a single WSOC graduate to have earned acceptances to as many as five, seven, or even ten or more colleges, and then be in the position to select the best fit for their next educational endeavor.

 

Our graduates have been granted numerous merit-based scholarships and awards. Cumulatively, these students have earned tens of millions of dollars in merit-based and needs-based scholarships.

Click here for a complete list of colleges
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Honors

Advanced Placement Classes

WSOC is a comprehensive four- year high school serving grades 9-12.

Like most high schools, WSOC provides students with a rigorous college preparatory program. However, we do not offer AP classes.

Because we are structured differently in this way, the result is an unweighted 4.0 GPA which allows all students to receive the benefit of AP-level work.

Many of our courses are honors-level in terms of depth and scope. What makes a Waldorf Education unique is the way in which the curriculum is delivered. Students take short intensive blocks in core subjects every year. This fosters healthy cognitive development by revisiting core academic themes from year to year, unfolding progressive layers of complexity as the students mature. Students are rigorously challenged at every level. Our science curriculum emphasizes an experiential learning process known as phenomenological observation. Students actively engage in experiments and come to conclusions through their own thinking, verifying what can be found in textbooks. This approach allows our students exposure to both fundamental and advanced topics with deeper understanding from integration of experience and thinking. English and history courses expose them to classics and original historical texts in place of standard textbooks.

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Profile

2023-2024 High School Academic Profile

Experiences awaken the students to become active participants in their education.

Learning progresses from experience to description to abstraction. After careful observation and detailed description, actively-engaged students rise to the challenge of analytical abstraction.

At WSOC, nature becomes the classroom during field trips for astronomy, meteorology, geology, and biology. Role-play and drama enhance history lessons. Surveying provides an intriguing introduction to trigonometry.

Click here for our 2023-24 Academic Profile.

Administration & Counseling

High School Coordinator: Gina Garrison ggarrison@chinaliefang.com

School Counselor: William Giacchi wgiacchi@chinaliefang.com

 

High School Characteristics

Waldorf School of Orange County (WSOC) is an independent pre‐K‐12 coeducational, nonsectarian, nonprofit school.  WSOC is one of approximately 1039 Waldorf schools worldwide and 43 Waldorf high schools in the U.S.  Founded with a single kindergarten class in 1988, the school enrolled its first ninth grade class in fall 2007 and graduated its first twelfth grade class in spring 2011. The Campus is located 45 miles south of Los Angeles and 100 miles north of San Diego.
 
Total High School Enrollment61 Students
Class of 202416  Students
Class of 202516 Students
Class of 202613 Students
Class of 2027 9 Students

WSOC is a comprehensive four- year high school serving grades 9-12. Like most high schools, WSOC provides students with a rigorous college preparatory program. However, we do not offer AP classes. Because we are structured differently in this way, the result is an unweighted 4.0 GPA which essentially allows all students to receive the benefit of AP-level work. Many of our courses are honors-level in terms of depth and scope. What makes a Waldorf Education unique is the way in which the curriculum is delivered.  Students take short intensives blocks in core subjects every year. This fosters healthy cognitive development by revisiting core academic themes from year to year, unfolding progressive layers of complexity as the students mature. Students are rigorously challenged at every level. Our science curriculum emphasizes an experiential learning process known as phenomenological observation. Students actively engage in experiments and come to conclusions through their own thinking, verifying what can be found in textbooks. This approach allows our students exposure to both fundamental and advanced topics with deeper understanding from integration of experience and thinking. English and history courses expose them to classics and original historical texts in place of standard textbooks.

 

Accreditations

Western Association of Schools and Colleges valid through 2025
Association of Waldorf Schools North America

Athletics
 
Sports: CIF Boys Soccer, CIF Girls Volleyball, Boys Basketball, Girls Basketball, Track and Field, Cross Country, Golf

Physical Education classes may include surfing, sailing, yoga, flag football, disc golf, hiking, basketball, dance, sailing, archery, soccer and swimming

 

Grades

Grades are calculated on a 4.0 scale.The prescribed high school curriculum at WSOC is challenging. Therefore, Honors and AP coursework are not offered as an option.

GPA Age Range, Class of 2023

3.27 – 4.0

 

Curriculum & College Requirements

 
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Achieve

High School Curriculum and College Admissions Requirements

In most cases, Waldorf School of Orange County High School exceeds college admissions requirements for entry.

Because students are taught in “blocks” over the course of four years, students may receive more units for a given subject because of the number of times it is introduced.

Graduation Requirements

Subject

Total WSOC Units Earned

Total UC & CSU Approved Units Earned at WSOC

UC and CSU Requires

History

30 units*

20 units

20 units

English

50 units

42.5 units

40 units

Math

50 units

40 units

30 units

Science

40 units

30 units

20 units

World Language (Spanish)

40 units

40 units

20 units

Visual/Performing Arts

65 units

10 units

10 units

Elective

12.5 units

10 units

10 units

Physical Education

20 units

0 units

0 units

Health

20 units

0 units

0 units

Global Studies

7.5 units

0 units

0 units

*10 units = one year

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Guidance

College Guidance

WSOC graduates attend some of the most sought-after colleges and universities in the country and have shown great promise and aptitude academically, socially, and personally as a result of the skills they developed during their four years in high school.

In partnership with Strive to Learn, the Waldorf School of Orange County now offers the most robust, in-depth college and career counseling program to all WSOC students in grades 10-12. The thought of post-secondary planning can be extremely stressful for students, and this partnership aims to alleviate that stress while providing education and mentorship to allow students to gain clarity about their future trajectory post-high school.

Strive to Learn features a team of highly specialized Independent Educational Consultants with experience guiding Waldorf students to thrive in any post-secondary space. They remain experts in their field through their collaboration with and contribution to their professional communities, like the Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA) and the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC). But, most importantly, their work embodies the values of a Waldorf education – to provide students and families with the tools they need to craft a future they find meaningful, and to support their journeys through individualized and caring mentor relationships.

Students are assigned to a counselor who will guide their journey during their last three high school years, and with a student to counselor ratio of 10:1, (extraordinary compared to many schools), the counselors get to know Waldorf students in a deeply personal way as they work closely together throughout the years. In addition to one-on-one meetings, Strive to Learn organizes a variety of workshops and presentations at WSOC, inviting outside speakers and organizing college fairs on campus to allow students to dip their toes into the opportunities they might want to engage with.

Experience what it’s like to work with the Strive to Learn team by listening to their podcast (hosted & produced by a Waldorf School alumni), or by checking out their free resources for families. Strive to Learn also offers all WSOC students a 10% discount on any tutoring or test prep services.

Strive to Learn Fall Important Dates and Timelines for WSOC Students
Sophomore Year

Sophomore students begin their college and career planning process by taking personality and character strengths assessments that jumpstart in-depth conversations exploring curiosities, passions, and extracurricular interests. The goal during sophomore year is to start building a personal relationship to help the students reflect on what brings them joy.

 

Junior Year

Throughout junior year, Strive to Learn helps students translate their curiosities and passions into future career options and good-fit college criteria. They will explore an array of non-traditional pathways such as community college, study abroad, gap years, co-ops, as well as attend workshops designed around list-building and college research. By the end of junior year, students will have developed a solid list of colleges that inspire their interests, support their success, and fit into the family finances. Students also attend a college essay writing workshop right before summer break to begin working on their college essays.

 

Senior Year

High school seniors learn how to tackle the intricacies of their college applications and essays through monthly meetings with their Strive to Learn counselors who focus on taking the stress out of the application and help them get better results. Seniors learn how to fill out the Common App, UC, and CSU applications through group workshops, and parents can join our in-depth financial aid literacy night, so there’s no question about what they need to do to get their ducks in a row! After submitting their applications, students and families meet with their counselor in the spring to discuss their acceptances, which option is best for them, and how to move forward successfully.

Our Team - Who are we?

William Giacchi – Head Counselor

A storyteller and former English teacher, head counselor William loves to mentor students on their unique path to a joyful future. William especially loves supporting students with learning differences or attention deficits, while also leading Strive to Learn’s college counseling team. In his spare time, he enjoys playing the guitar, exploring new restaurants with his wife and daughter (who loves dinosaurs and outer space), and reminiscing about his Italian heritage.

Education:
BA in Film and Electronic Arts (California State University, Long Beach)
Teaching Credential in English (California State University, Long Beach)
Independent Educational Consultant Certificate (University of California, Irvine)

Amanda Merrifield – College Counselor

Amanda is a ray of sunshine with many interests and talents: from literature to environmental science to coding, she is a role model to students trying to figure out what their passion might be. Amanda enjoys mentoring women in STEM fields and loves working with students interested in study abroad. Amanda calls London, England, home, and as an OC native, she misses the sun and beaches of California!

Education:
BA in Literature, Postcolonial Studies (University of California, Santa Cruz)
Independent Educational Consultant Certificate (University of California, Irvine)

Josefine Borrmann – Strive to Learn Founder

A college admissions counselor and founder of Strive to Learn, Josefine Borrmann loves mentoring youth as they contemplate what the future holds for them. But it’s her experience as an award-winning independent documentary filmmaker that she leans on when helping students craft their stories. Josefine can occasionally be found in Costa Mesa, CA (where she lives) when not traveling around the world or backpacking in the Sierra Nevada.

Education:
BA in Psychology; BA in Ethnographic Documentary (Chapman University)
MA in Visual and Media Anthropology (Free University of Berlin)
Independent Educational Consultant Certificate (University of CA, Irvine)

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Go Wildcats!

Athletics

Waldorf School Orange County High School is a member of the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF).

Students at our Waldorf high school participate in athletics often to the same degree as their academic and artistic studies. The program allows both opportunity and access for all students to develop a passion for athletics, while experiencing the camaraderie of teamwork, the joy of positive sportsmanship, the satisfaction of hard work and competition, and the depth of relationships that comes only through shared experiences such as team sports. There is a “no cut” policy – all students in good academic and community standing who wish to participate have the opportunity to do so in our high school athletic programs.

As a member of CIF, the High School will endeavor to field a variety of programs based on student interest. The current roster includes the following:

Sample Athletic Schedule

Fall
Girls Volleyball CIF
Boys Basketball Club

Winter
Girls Basketball Club
Boys Soccer CIF
Girls Soccer 

Spring
Beach Volleyball CIF Both Boys and Girls
Track and Field CIF Coed

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