Cedar Bridge has reached an official milestone in the form of a prestigious name change.
When founded in 2006 the school focused on Early Childhood Education using the Waldorf approach to learning, with a dream of one day becoming a full-member Waldorf School.
Ten years later, Cedar Bridge School became an approved associate member of Association of Waldorf Schools of North America, which granted us the ability to use Waldorf in their official school name. This is considered one of many achievements earned over the past 12 years in an attempt to transform the school from a small home-school based early childhood program, to an organization which operates a thriving licensed preschool and a recognized B.C. Group 1 Independent elementary school, Kindergarten through Grade 8.
School officials said the name change came in an attempt to reflect this growth and to showcase what is offered as an alternative choice in education in the Okanagan.
“We are just so excited with the growth our school community has experienced,” said School Principal Andrea Thiessen. “This name change is just one of many ways we further define ourselves as a leading option in purposeful education in the Okanagan region. We are thrilled to have a name and logo that truly represent our Okanagan campus.”
Over the years, as Waldorf education and daily access to nature have become more well-known, the school has drawn families from across the province and internationally. When searching for places to relocate some families base their decision on which areas have a Waldorf school. By defining our school’s region within the name, the hope is to draw more families to this area — a move, they said, benefits everyone.
“From the first moment we set foot at the Okanagan Waldorf School, we knew it was the right place for our son,” said Alvin and Jada Tam, School Parents and Owners of Barefoot. “We moved to the Okanagan the following year – from Las Vegas. The beauty of the school and its surrounding forest was enchanting but the warm spirit and passion of the teachers and staff were exceptional. The sense of deep, authentic care for our child in his school day was there from day one.”
Families have reportedly flocked to the area for the education at Cedar Bridge – from Mexico, Japan, the U.S., and all across Canada. Students also commute from Lake Country, Armstrong, Cherryville, Vernon, Coldstream, Lavington, and Lumby to attend.
“As for sticking the “Waldorf” descriptor in our name…..well, when asked where our children go to school, we often hear: “Oh, is that a Waldorf School?” Or “Cedar Bridge…what kind of school is that?”. We wanted to add clarity to who and what we are for those families in our communities that still do not know us or what we offer. We are a Waldorf school – it has taken us a long time to get here and now feel that our name can help to celebrate what we are about,” wrote officials in a recent press release.
Waldorf pedagogy is a school of thought aimed to celebrate children at each stage of their development in an effort to create global citizens who are independent, creative and confident. This focus is reflected in the school’s Mission Statement: Okanagan Waldorf School is a thriving organization that offers Waldorf education from early childhood to grade eight.
“We provide strong academics through purposeful experiences in the classroom, in nature, and on the farm. In an environment of reverence and wonder, we seek to uncover the full potential of each child so they may freely carry out their lives with courage and purpose. By creating meaningful relationships with the community and the environment we contribute to positive social and ecological change.”
Okanagan Waldorf School is operated by The Bridge Educational Society. The Society has a focus on supportive programming for the early and elementary years. In addition to the Okanagan Waldorf elementary school, the Society is building a Childcare Centre that will serve 63 children and families in the Okanagan by providing infant through school-aged care.
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