Yuba River Charter School offers kindergarten through grade eight as well as an on-site private preschool. Often a single teacher leads the same group of children through grades one-five and six-eight. The teachers are guided by Rudolf Steiner’s pedagogical model of the child, which stresses natural developmental rhythms. Within this framework, the teachers select and present the subject matter using approaches tailored to the learning needs of each child.
The instructional method emphasizes the whole child and frames its academic components within an artistic, creative and imaginative context.
The school is staffed by exceptional instructors who embrace the vision and mission of the school. The teachers are Waldorf-trained or, if not, are knowledgeable enough about the model of the child to successfully teach children the curriculum.
Our teachers and staff realize that each child is an individual unfolding in a unique way.
Ongoing personal and professional development is expected of teachers and staff so that they accomplish the mission and vision of the school.
The educational program at Yuba River Charter School has many unique aspects. The arts, drama, painting, music (recorders, strings) drawing, modeling, handwork, etc., are integrated into the entire academic curriculum, including mathematics and the sciences. The model of education through the arts awakens imagination and creative powers, bringing vitality and wholeness to learning.
Ideally, one teacher takes the same class of children through grades one-five and another teacher takes then through grades six-eight, teaching all the main subjects. For the teachers, this means time to really know the children and help them unfold their gifts, as well as the enormous challenge of working with a new curriculum each year. The child finds stability and continuing guidance which may not even be present in home life.
Textbooks are not typically used in the elementary grades. Instead, the teacher creates the presentation and the children make their individual books for each subject taught, recording and illustrating the substance of their lessons. These books, often artistic and beautiful, are an important way in which art is integrated into every subject.
Foreign Language (Spanish) is taught beginning in the first grade, giving the children insights into and facility with other cultures.
The sciences are taught experientially, that is, the teacher sets up an experiment, calls upon the children to observe carefully, ponder, discuss, and then allows them to discover the conclusion – the law, formula, etc. Through this process, rigorous, independent thinking and sound judgement are trained.
The Humanities Curriculum, which begins in grades two and three with mythology and legends, takes the children through the full sweep of their cultural heritage. The Old Testament in grade three, Norse mythology in grade four, the ancient cultures of India, Egypt, Persia, Mesopotamia, and Greece in grade five, provide the background for the study of history and are presented through excerpts from original texts. By living into these cultures through their legends and literature, the children gain flexibility and an appreciation for the diversity of mankind. By the close of grade eight, the students have journeyed from Greece and Rome to medieval history, the Renaissance, the Reformation, the Age of Exploration, to the present day.
Letters are learned in the same way they originated in the course of human history. Men perceived, then pictured, and out of the pictures abstracted signs and symbols. First graders hear stories, draw pictures, and discover the letter in the gesture of the picture. This process is accompanied by much phonetic work in songs, poems, and games that help to establish a joyful and living experience of language. Through the grades, texts taken from the rich humanities curriculum – Genesis, the Bhagavad Gita, the Kalevala, etc. provide material for reading practice.
Thank you for your interest in Yuba River Charter School. For enrollment information visit our Enrollment page.
For more information download our Parent Handbook 2016-2017.