Begin the Journey

Thank you for your interest in the Santa Cruz Waldorf School. Below you will find specific steps necessary to apply, based on your child’s age or grade level. For our Early Childhood programs, applications open in the fall for the following school year. We accept Grades applications year round.

If your child is walking to 3 years old:

Sign up for Fall Parent-Child Class Here

Admissions: Preschool and Kindergarten

  • Parents are warmly invited to learn about the world of Early Childhood at the Santa Cruz Waldorf School. 
  • Experienced Kindergarten, Preschool, and Parent-Child teachers will present aspects of our rich and child-centered curriculum to give you an understanding of our program offerings and how we meet the developmental needs of the young child at each stage. This event is for adults only.
  • Attending An Introduction to Waldorf Early Childhood is a required step in the admissions process for our Preschool and Kindergarten programs.
  • Please contact if you would like to register for this event. Please note for our in person tours space is extremely limited. Adults and babes in arms only please.
  • Next available tours: Jan 20th, Feb 10th, March 23rd & April 20th 9-10:30am

Once you have attended a tour, please fill out an application online

You may also submit an application if you have registered for one of our upcoming tours but have yet to attend.

  • Once we receive your application we  will contact you to schedule an interview at SCWS.
  • The interview will be in a group setting in the classroom with other children who are applying, their parents and the  Preschool or Kindergarten teacher. It is a great opportunity for your child to perhaps play with the other children, with the all-natural objects in the classroom and familiarize themselves with the environment. Whilst this is happening the adults are able to talk and the teacher can answer any further questions you may have.

Following our re-enrollment period completion in mid- March, a letter communicating the admissions decision is sent to the parents from the Enrollment Coordinator. 

The letter may include recommendations to prepare your child to join the class based on the assessment taken during the interview. 

You will also be sent an email from FACTS with an invitation to enroll online. You will have a week to enroll unless you are applying for Flexible Tuition. Please note there is no flexible tuition available for preschool.

Admissions: Grades 1-8

  • Join us for a guided tour of the campus and classrooms followed by a talk describing Waldorf education and our curriculum. We will conclude with Q&A.
  • Please contact if you would like to register for this event. Please note for our in person tours space is extremely limited. Adults only please.
    Next available tour: Oct 13th 8:30-10am

To apply please fill out an application online

When applying for Grades 2 through 8, you will be asked to release copies of school records and obtain a Teacher Recommendation from your child’s current teacher. Copies of previous assessments are always considered helpful.

Upon receipt of your application, the Enrollment Coordinator or a class teacher will contact you to schedule an interview. All grades interviews are conducted by two class teachers.

 For grades 2 through 8, acceptance is based on a review of academic records, personal interviews, teacher recommendations and a school visit. During this visit, the child may have a limited assessment. Faculty members make observations and provide feedback to the class teacher and an admissions decision is then made.

Grades 2- 8: After the interview, moving forward with the application, your child will be invited to shadow in the grades class for a few days to experience life at SCWS. 

Grade 1: First grade applicants will be invited for a 1st grade readiness assessment. There is no shadow for entering this grade

A letter communicating the admissions decision is sent to the parents from the Enrollment Coordinator. You will also be sent an email from FACTS with an invitation to enroll online. You will have a week to enroll unless you are applying for Flexible Tuition.


Tuition Rates for 2024-2025
Preschool: main program until 12:45pm $15, 990 (5 day program)
Preschool: w/aftercare until 3pm $20,215 (5 day program)
Kindergarten: $18,990 (5 day program)
Grades 1-8 : $24,020

Aftercare until 5pm is available at $15/hour

Sibling Discount Plan
Younger siblings’ tuition will be discounted.

Activity Fees
Activity fees are used for field trips and class activities. Activity fees are non-refundable and not eligible for flexible tuition. Activity fees will be included with tuition payments and spread across payments if tuition is paid in installments.

Supplies Fee: $725
3rd – 4th Grade Activity Fee: $375
5th Grade Activity Fee: $400
6th  Grade Activity Fee: $875
7th Grade Activity Fee: $925
8th Grade Activity Fee: $1200

Flexible Tuition

One important way we strengthen the Santa Cruz Waldorf School community is by making the SCWS experience accessible to families from diverse economic backgrounds.This philosophy has been at the heart of our school’s culture since 1976.

Flexible tuition is determined based upon financial need, available funds and the needs of the school and is only determined after the child has been accepted for enrollment. Upon acceptance a family has two weeks to submit an application for Flexible tuition. Upon receiving an award a family has one week to enroll

We appreciate every family’s willingness to make their best commitment to prioritize their lifestyle spending towards their child’s education in order for the school to remain financially healthy to provide the best educational program possible.

We also recognize that every family’s situation is unique. The Santa Cruz Waldorf School Flexible Tuition Program provides families with an opportunity to apply for reduced tuition. Many factors that affect a family’s ability to pay are considered carefully. Some families may qualify for anywhere from 10%-90% off of the regular tuition rates according to their financial situation. The school uses a secure application process and a neutral, third-party organization for the evaluation of Flexible Tuition eligibility.

In order for the school to determine the level of tuition for which a family qualifies, the entire application must be completed. Incomplete or inaccurate applications cannot be considered.

We partner with School and Student Services (SSS) in the Flexible Tuition process. To begin your Flexible Tuition application, you will complete SSS’s Parents’ Financial Statement (PFS). The Parents’ Financial Statement (PFS) is the cornerstone of the application process. By submitting a PFS, you’re granting SSS permission to analyze your financial information. Using their unique methodology, they estimate the amount you can contribute to school expenses and forward that estimate to the appropriate schools. It’s one form, for one fee, for any number of applicants, for any number of schools.

The entire Flexible Tuition process, including grants and applications, is confidential. Great care is taken to protect your financial information.

  • visit the SSS Family Portal HERE
  • Create your Family Portal account with your email address and a password. If you applied for financial aid last year, log into the Family Portal as a Returning Family using the same email address and password.
  • Complete a PFS for Academic Year 2022-23. You can log out of the portal at any time and return later to finish it.
  • Once all PFS sections are complete with green checks, the “Submit & Pay” button activates. Follow the prompts to the payment screen. The fee of $51 is nonrefundable.
  • Once your PFS is submitted, it cannot be withdrawn from the SSS system. After you pay for and submit your PFS, you have access to the Family Portal’s “My Documents” tab to upload required documents as part of your application process. Be sure to submit required documentation by their deadlines.
  • The Administrative Director will let families know about the Flexible Tuition award.

The PFS is a comprehensive application that will take some time to complete. Give yourself the time you need by not waiting until the deadline approaches. It’s important to note the difference between the deadlines for admission and financial aid applications.

If you do not have your 2020 tax return, complete the PFS using your most recent tax return. When the requested tax forms arrive, such as W2s or 1040s, log back in and upload them (if required). We also recommend that you review the wide range of materials that SSS has put together to help families with the financial aid process HERE.

  1. Complete only one PFS per household. You can apply for aid to any number of schools for any number of children using just one PFS for the same flat fee. Know your deadlines for submission.
  2. Use your legal name. Make sure your name on your Parents’ Financial Statement (PFS) appears exactly the way your name appears on your tax documents.
  3. Enter whole numbers. When entering numbers, do not enter decimals or cents—simply round to the nearest whole number. Understand that all monetary values must be in US Dollars.
  4. Differentiate applicants from dependents. Questions about “student applicants” refer to your children who are applying for financial aid via the PFS. Questions about “other dependents” refer to the children (or adults) for whom you provide support but ARE NOT applying for financial aid.
  5. Separate salary from profit. If you are a business or farm owner, you will be asked about your salary in the Family Income section. Enter only the amount you actually draw as salary (reported on your W-2). You will provide information about profit/loss elsewhere in the PFS.
  6. Estimate your taxes. We realize most tax forms are not available until late January. If you don’t have your current year’s taxes available, it’s okay to estimate your answers based on your prior year’s tax return.
  7. Upload or mail your required documents. You’re strongly encouraged to upload tax documents via the Family Portal. If you prefer to submit documents by mail, you must print your Cover Sheet from the “My Documents” tab and send it with your documents to the address provided at least 10 days before your school’s deadline.
  8. Tell your story. Offer explanations when requested, so your story or situation is clear and understandable to those reviewing your application.
  9. Calculate debt and unusual expenses. When asked to report your credit card debt, enter your total outstanding balances and use the Notes section to specify the types of purchases you used these cards for. When asked to total your “unusual expenses,” you’ll find a list of the types of expenses you should and should not include.

Be honest. Take time to carefully consider how much you think you can pay towards tuition on your own. Make a budget of income and expenses and see how much you can include for school costs.

Immunization Policy

At Santa Cruz Waldorf School, our students’ overall health is always a priority and concern. Like all public and private schools in California, our school must follow the immunization requirements put in place by the state. California requires all students to be immunized before attending school; therefore, families must provide immunization records before the student begins classes. Here is the immunization schedule for students in California. In California, immunization records are checked when a child enters a preschool, kindergarten, seventh grade or when transferring to a new school. Children may not attend a school or a childcare facility until they have received all required immunizations for their age or have a valid medical exemption. The state allows for medical exemptions in specific circumstances. Please visit the California Department of Public Health website for the state’s exemption policy.

Click arrows to view our VIDEO LIBRARY

Campus Tour

If you do not live close by and are unable to visit us in person this video is a wonderful opportunity to experience the magic of our campus in the redwoods. The video begins with an experience of the school garden (named Marisol) followed by a visit to the preschool and a peek into both the preschool and kindergarten classrooms. The second half the video takes a wander through the grades campus and ends in our Redwood Grove where we host school plays, school assemblies and community events. It is our outdoor auditorium and it’s peace and serenity is the jewel of our land.

8th Grade Graduation Performance

8th Grade graduating class of 2023 performs “Where is the Love”.

Outdoor Learning (during Covid)

This video was made in Fall of 2020 when we returned to the campus after the Covid 19 shutdown. It is an example of both the teachers’ and administration’s adaptiveness to the situation and how we were able to continue in person learning throughout the school year thanks to our large campus and outdoor classroom set up. Our students were minimally impacted by the shutdown and we are so grateful for that.

Walk Through the Grades (during Covid)

This video was made in 2020-21 school year, during the Covid pandemic, and shows our flexibility for both indoor and outdoor learning in an effort to keep everyone healthy during this time. We are so happy that our students were able to come to campus for the entire school year, resulting in minimal impact to their learning. The children also loved having both indoor and outdoor classrooms!

An Education for the Future

On September 19, 2019, Waldorf education celebrates 100 years. Across the globe, Waldorf schools are engaging in creative, social and environmental actions. With these initiatives, Waldorf communities are seeding the future. 100 years is only the beginning. Visit to learn more.

Kindergarten Hike Day

Take a hike with the kindergarteners through the redwoods that back onto our campus. You will experience Newt Crossing and the sheer wonder of our Santa Cruz mountain wildlife along with the Lavender Kindergarten class.

Learn to Change the World Part 1

This is a beautiful film giving a glimpse of the profound work being undertaken by Waldorf schools that is going on on a global scale. Part 1

In 2019, to celebrate 100 years of the Waldorf education, more than 1,000 schools, and twice as many Kindergartens, in almost 90 countries on all continents, celebrated a worldwide festival, sharing their thoughts and initiatives for the pedagogical needs of our time.

Learn to Change the World Part 2


“Becoming” is the third film in a series of short films produced on the occasion of the centenary of Waldorf Education under the direction of the award-winning Californian documentary filmmaker Paul Zehrer, and which provide an insight into the inclusive diversity of Waldorf Education under the most diverse cultural, social, religious and economic conditions around the globe. No age has a deeper impact on the whole of life than the first years of childhood. “During those first seven years, children develop their bodily foundation for life. They explore and experience the world with their senses and through meeting the other. These early encounters in life have a deep influence and long lasting effect on the making of their own being,” says Clara Aerts, coordinating member of IASWECE and co-producer of the film, which was shot in the USA, Israel, Japan, India, South Africa, Guatemala, the Czech Republic, Switzerland and Germany. “The experiences that we make possible – or withhold – for our children at this age form the most elementary basis for their further lives and thus ultimately for the future of humanity.”

Media and Waldorf Education

“Waldorf has a nurturing environment and the kids are thriving! They are learning how to be capable, responsible people and enjoy what they are studying. The staff is wonderful! We love that our kids can’t wait to go to school and are happy!”

Nate and Julie