Chariho School Parents’ Forum

December 20, 2006

Private School coming to Richmond

Filed under: Richmond — Editor @ 10:44 pm

This article in the Westerly Sun describes a private school coming to Richmond.  I’ll let you parse the details but two points strike me.

 As with any non-non-profit, you don’t go into business unless there is business to be had.  Perhaps this is connected to the reduced enrollment at Chariho listed in the previous post.

Secondly, the school administrator Charlotte O’Brien stated that the average teacher salary is below $30,000.  It is said that you should not to be too tough on teachers (reducing benefits, etc) because you want to attract the best.  If private schools consistantly outperform public schools (NAEP scores, the only test take in all states, is always higher in private schools), and they pay less, how do they do it?

There is a report that suggests public schools outperform private when adjustments are made for parent income.   These reports suggest that low-income students in public school perform better than low-income students in private schools.  Middle and upper-income students in private schools continue to outperform the public school students.



  1. Well I’ll need to know more, but I’ll start saving my pennies! Are there any details on the Internet?

    Comment by Curious Resident — December 20, 2006 @ 11:20 pm | Reply

  2. The private school is called Meadowbrook-Waldorf. There is one operating in West Greenwich. I’m sure you can get more info from them and/or google for more.

    I can tell you that my wife is a consultant for some schools in the area and is impressed with their operation. At least for the little ones (her area of expertise).

    Comment by cspf — December 21, 2006 @ 10:28 am | Reply

  3. Now if you could only get me a voucher…

    Comment by Curious Resident — December 21, 2006 @ 10:31 am | Reply

  4. […] Perhaps Maria Armental, the reporter involved, has not spoken to the same people I have.   Superintendent Ricci was quoted as saying that the school “has no use for the building …. citing falling enrollment in the district, especially at the elementary level.”  This statement makes me wonder if/when new construction is done at the main campus, will it still be needed when that “falling enrollment” ages to the middle and high school level.  And with the new private school in Richmond, we can only expect the dwindling enrollment to get worse.  […]

    Pingback by “Old Ashaway Elementary: The school that no one wants” « Chariho School Parents’ Forum — December 21, 2006 @ 7:57 pm | Reply

  5. Hi, I am a board member at Meadowbrook Waldorf; thanks for posting the Westerly Sun article text.

    Just to clear up a couple of points, our school is moving from West Greenwich to Richmond; we’re in a rented building now that isn’t suitable to our needs, and we’re moving to Richmond because that was where we found a piece of land on which we can build the school campus we want — a rural yet visible location, pretty close to our current location, still in south county but relatively accessible to our families upstate.

    Hope this information helps.

    Comment by David — December 28, 2006 @ 3:09 pm | Reply

  6. David, Thank you for the correction. Please let us know of any relevant changes and progress. I will be happy to post them for you.

    Comment by cspf — December 28, 2006 @ 3:23 pm | Reply

  7. I’ve copied information from Meadowbrook-Waldorf’s website below. Their educational philosophy seems to be concentrated on spiritual and artistic expression. Not my cup of tea, but I’m sure some parents love the concept.

    My biggest concern would be with their “training of ethical and moral judgment”. While I commend them for honesty, one of my biggest problems with public schools is their insistence on trying to force their morals and ethical codes upon my children.

    If I read it correctly, M-W also has teachers stay with the same class for 8 years. I have to imagine that a teacher with that much exposure to a child becomes almost like another family member. While this could be very good in some circumstances, I could see instances where it would be very bad. I’m not a big fan of the “village” approach to parenting.

    Anyway, for anyone interested, here is the website info:

    About Meadowbrook’s Programs

    Waldorf Education as realized at the school reflects the values of:

    · Family and community life
    · A healthy unfolding of childhood
    · Joy in the learning process
    · Education focused on the wholeness in body, soul, and spirit
    · Intellectual excellence, imagination, strong memory, and problem-solving skills
    · Age-appropriate use of media
    · Training of ethical and moral judgment
    · Beauty of the environment as a formative force in the child’s world
    · Minimal use of standardized tests

    Key Attributes distinguishing the pedagogy:

    · The class teacher ideally travels with the class for grades 1 – 8
    · A main lesson period of 2 hours each morning
    · Rotating main lesson blocks of 3 – 5 weeks each subject
    · Integration of arts, music, movement into all academic subjects
    · Conscious development of the senses and capacities for observation
    · A curriculum aligned with phases of child development and cognitive awakening

    Comment by Curious Resident — December 28, 2006 @ 10:08 pm | Reply

  8. I can’t argue with your point. However, the argument could be made that not teaching a spiritual view is teaching an atheistic view, which is in it-self a religious view.

    Furthermore, you should understand that creating civic activist is becoming a big part of all schools. And with this comes certain biases that naturally are subject to interpretation of what one’s role in the world is. As an example, Chariho has implemented a “graduation portfolio.” In order to graduate a student must show civic involvement. Not a bad idea but it leaves one open to a teacher’s interpretation of that involvement (read: Jay Bennish). This is exactly what we see in higher education (see “Union U” an article in City Journal –

    Wouldn’t it be nice if we just taught reading, writing, math, science, etc…

    Comment by cspf — December 28, 2006 @ 10:23 pm | Reply

  9. I don’t consider spiritual to mean religious. I don’t see anything mentioned about God or religion on Meadowbrook-Waldorf’s website. Many aetheists consider themselves spiritual so it doesn’t necessarily go hand in hand.

    In any case, M-W philosophy does not worry me as they are a private school and parents can choose if the school’s curriculum mirrors their family’s values and ethics. I’m doubtful the school is in line with my thoughts on education and child-rearing, but nobody is forcing me to pay for their school, so it’s not a big deal to me.

    I would hope that Chariho leaves the question of what qualifies as “civic involvement” up to parents. As long as a student is able to verify their contribution to a community organization…and in my view this would include their church…then I guess the requirement is okay. If you’re telling me that the school does not consider religious organizations as part of “civic involvement”, then I would have a problem with that.

    Comment by Curious Resident — December 29, 2006 @ 12:19 am | Reply

  10. Interesting article on Labor Unions influence in public universities. Their strategy is nothing new as feminist orthodoxy has dominated universities for years. I consider myself a conservative on most issues, but I’m ashamed of how often conservatives rollover and play dead to feminist propaganda.

    One of the worst examples is the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) which federally funds the most virulently anti-male feminist orgnizations under the guise of protecting women. VAWA is funded to the tune of billions of dollars! VAWA was re-funded during the last legislative session with little opposition from conservatives despite the fact that VAWA-funded programs consistently oppose conservative values.

    Apparently, if you put the right label on something…like violence against women…or living wage…or civil liberties…you can get conservative politicians to cut their own throats. Too often, political decisions are based on perception and not reality. Unfortunately, s0-called conservatives too often allow themselves to be manipulated.

    Comment by Curious Resident — December 29, 2006 @ 12:34 am | Reply

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