A Private High School Curriculum: Grades 9-12

Green Meadow offers a unique private high school experience in Rockland County, NY.

Truth: The pillar of our private High School

Waldorf Education is based on three pillars: goodness, beauty, and truth. In the High School, we help students discover truth, in the world and in themselves.

Green Meadow is an innovative private High School located in Rockland County, NY, near the border with Bergen County, NJ. We inspire true engagement in learning: rigorous academics are brought to life through exploration, inquiry, and experience in order to promote critical, independent thinking. Our academic curriculum is inspired by opportunities in the arts, music, drama, movement, and real-world experiences. Students become part of a cohort of dynamic peers, supported by an engaged and accessible faculty, to create a strong community that values integrity, honesty, and empathy for and understanding of others. As a result, Waldorf graduates can look at the world from multiple perspectives and chart their own path in life with confidence.

The Main Lesson

Each day at Green Meadow begins with “main lesson,” a one-hour-and-40-minute period in which an academic subject is studied intensively for three to four weeks. These main lesson blocks will rotate over the course of the year.  Studying a subject in blocks allows students the opportunity to gain a detailed understanding of the subject through a combination of college-style lecture, discussion, and hands-on work. During the course of a main lesson block, students keep a main lesson book or portfolio, in which they record studies using notes, essays, illustrations, and diagrams.

A Private High School Curriculum

Green Meadow’s private high school curriculum strengthens the ability to think creatively and independently. The focus is on a balanced education rather than standardized and formulaic test-taking. Class discussions are lively and frequent, leading students to mature and respectful discourse. Opportunities for multilayered exploration of subject matters abound. Our students benefit from an education in which subjects and experiences are interconnected. Math skills are supported by musical education, as well as the precision necessary to bind a book in applied arts class. Classical art training infuses academic main-lesson books.  

The goal of a private Waldorf high school education is to sharpen students' understanding of our complex world, broaden the capacity for empathy with other human beings, and strengthen the ability to translate thoughts into deeds. Students step out of Green Meadow with focus, balance, self-discipline, and self-confidence, ready to take on the challenges that come their way.

International Exchange

As part of our rich language program, the high school offers a three-to-five-month international exchange program. Green Meadow students have studied in a variety of countries including Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Spain, Chile, and Argentina. We currently offer Spanish in the High School and exchanges are offered to Spanish-speaking countries. Exchanges usually occur in 10th and 11th grades, when a level of proficiency in a chosen language has been reached. This will allow students to integrate successfully into another culture and school setting and provide them with the springboard to attain fluency in that language. In addition to providing an excellent opportunity to strengthen language skills, exposure to a different culture expands students' worldview and adds to extracurricular activity. For more information, please contact exchange@gmws.org.

Senior Projects and Internships

A widely anticipated event in the school year is the presentation of senior class projects.  Alongside regular class and extracurricular commitments, each senior selects a personal project for the year. The range of projects is always striking, including EMT training, filmmaking, building a tiny house, writing a novel, midwifery, automobile reconditioning, wilderness survival, entrepreneurship, race car driving, dance, and much more. Watch senior projects on our Youtube channel.

In the 12th grade year, students also embark on a three-week internship. Students ready to bring their classroom experiences out in the world will have a meaningful work experience five days a week, and keep a daily journal describing their experiences. Students recently served internships at a veterinarian, Lincoln Center, a Swiss research laboratory, and a birthing center.

Students Walking at our Private High School in Rockland

Community Service, Extracurricular Activities, and Class Trips

In addition to the rich curriculum, Green Meadow offers a compelling variety of extracurricular activities, such as drama club, an award-winning robotics club, a literary magazine, entrepreneurs club, Model U.N., and yearbook. Green Meadow faculty welcome student initiatives to create new clubs and activities. Students regularly participate in our flourishing community service program by helping marginalized families in Rockland County and homeless people in New York City.

Curricular class trips abound as well. 9th graders’ reading of Moby Dick is enhanced by a night spent aboard a whaling ship at Mystic Seaport in Connecticut, while 10th graders learn to survey and create their own maps on Cape Cod. Eleventh graders spend a week working alongside adults with disabilities while studying Parzival, and seniors spend a week on the coast of Maine studying marine biology.

12th grade Marine Biology trip to Hermit Island, Maine.

12th grade Marine Biology trip to Hermit Island, Maine.


Green Meadow has a full and thriving athletic program consisting of basketball, track, tennis, cross-country, volleyball, soccer, and baseball. Green Meadow students have gone on to play in college and compete both nationally and internationally.

Support in the High School

Each high school class has two faculty advisors, whose roles are to cultivate the health and well-being of the class as a whole. In addition, Green Meadow guidance counselors will guide you through your college selection and application process, senior project, and senior internship, and assist with any personal challenges.

College Counseling

One advantage of a private education at Green Meadow is individualized attention for students in pursuing the college or career of their choice. Beginning in junior year, the high school’s guidance counselor meets with students and parents to understand objectives and help pursue individual educational and career goals.

Subjects Studied

the 9TH GRADE question: "WHAT?"

In 9th grade, students are questioning the world around them with an interest in the dynamics of change. With this in mind, the Waldorf curriculum introduces the study of historical revolutions, thermodynamics, and anatomy.

English, History, and the Humanities:
The Novel
Grammar, vocabulary, spelling, public speaking
Expository and creative writing
Journal writing
History of Drama
American History 1607-1940
American Government and Modern History
History through Western Art

Science and Mathematics:
Algebra I or Geometry
Codes and Number Theory
Physics of Heat
Introduction to Organic and Inorganic Chemistry
Human Anatomy

Modern World Languages:
Spanish-Level I, II, or III
Advanced Levels III and IV

The Arts, Music, & Movement:
Black & White drawing
Copper work and blacksmithing
Band & Orchestra
Physical Education

the 10TH GRADE question: "HOW?"

By 10th grade, the students develop a more harmonious worldview, revealed in questions such as "How do the processes of the world bring contrasts into balance?" The 10th grade students study balance and harmony as they manifest in mechanics, poetry, and ancient cultures.

English, History, and the Humanities:
The Art of Poetry
Dramatic Production
Grammar, vocabulary, and writing
Short story and essay writing
Ancient Cultures
Greek History
Social Studies

Science and Mathematics:
Euclidean Geometry & Surveying
Descriptive Geometry
Geometry, Algebra II, or Trigonometry
Physics of Motion
Inorganic Chemistry
Human Physiology

Modern World Languages:
Spanish-Level I, II, or III
Advanced Levels III and IV

The Arts, Music, & Movement:
Color theory and watercolor painting
Geometric floorcloths
Band & Orchestra
Physical Education

the 11TH GRADE question: "WHY?"

Between 10th and 11th grades, the student embarks on what will be a lifelong quest for knowledge of self and others. Students encounter the tales of Parzival and Hamlet. In the sciences, students learn about the physics of electromagnetic fields.

English, History, and the Humanities:
Parzival, Dante, and Shakespeare
The Canterbury Tales
The Romantic Poets: Blake to Keats
Grammar and vocabulary
A study of comparison and contrast
Dramatic Monologues
Western Civilization: 1348-1850
Medieval History
World Geography

Science and Mathematics:
Projective Geometry
Algebra II, Trigonometry, or Calculus
Physics of Electricity and Magnetism
Inorganic Chemistry II
Human Embryology
Advanced Physics Elective
Advanced Biology Elective
Advanced Chemistry Elective

Modern World Languages:
Spanish-Level I, II, or III
Advanced Levels III and IV

The Arts, Music, & Movement:
Observational drawing and painting
Paper marbling and bookcraft
Band & Orchestra
Physical Education

the 12th GRADE question: "WHO AM I?"

As seniors, students explore the nature of existence through such sources as American transcendentalism, Russian literature, evolutionary theory, and modern history. Internships and independent senior projects reflect the students' emerging individuality.

English, History and the Humanities:
The Birth of American Literature
Dramatic Production
Literature and modern poetry
Poetry or Russian Literature Elective
20th Century History
Philosophy and Ethics
History of China
History through Architecture

Science and Mathematics:
Calculus, Topics in Applied Mathematics, or Advanced Topics in Mathematics

Modern World Languages:
Spanish-Level I, II, or III
Advanced Levels III and IV

The Arts, Music, & Movement:
Band & Orchestra
Physical Education

Survey of Waldorf Graduates

Recently, the Research Institute for Waldorf Education conducted an extensive survey of graduates from Waldorf high schools throughout North America and found the following:

  • 94% attended college or university

  • 42% chose sciences or math as a major

  • 47% chose humanities or arts as a major

  • 89% are highly satisfied in their choice of occupation

  • 91% are active in lifelong education

  • 92% placed a high value on critical thinking

  • 90% highly value tolerance of other viewpoints

Three key findings about Waldorf graduates were revealed through this survey:

  1. Waldorf graduates think for themselves and value the opportunity to translate their new ideas into practice. They both value and practice lifelong learning and have a highly developed sense for aesthetics.

  2. Waldorf graduates value lasting human relationships – and they seek out opportunities to be of help to other people.

  3. Waldorf graduates are guided by an inner moral compass that helps them navigate the trials and temptations of professional and private life. They carry highly developed ethical principles into their chosen professions.

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