Our Story

Originally named Our Sons and Daughters School, our school was founded in 2009 by a group of parents and teachers passionate about Waldorf Education with one small early childhood group, operating out a living room in Sagaponack. In 2017, the school became a fully accredited  member of the Waldorf Early Childhood Association of North America (WECAN) joining hundreds of schools across North America as official representatives of Waldorf Education. In 2019, our school became Harbor Waldorf School, a certified Waldorf School serving over 100 families each year through Parent + Child classes, nursery and children’s garden classes, and a satellite Summer on the Farm program at Fireplace Farm.

Now situated on a beautiful wooded lot in Sag Harbor, New York, Harbor Waldorf School provides an enriching and nurturing environment that supports the children's physical, social, emotional and emerging intellectual development. We tailor our curriculum to support the children's growth through the developmental stages, as understood in Waldorf education. Our curriculum builds on young children's curiosity and enthusiasm, and emphasizes the importance of children's active and experiential engagement with society.  It is based on the understanding that young children learn best when they can construct meaning in a context-rich environment.  Concrete and active experiences provide children with a solid foundation from which, at an older age, they can build an understanding of abstract ideas.

Photos by Em Watson

Photos by Em Watson


Our curriculum emphasizes the healthy development of the heart, body and mind through imaginative play, meaningful work and expressive arts in a natural environment. In the spirit of the Early Childhood Programs of Waldorf Education, we holistically address the  emotional, intellectual and physical needs of each child.  By upholding truth, beauty and goodness, we seek to instill bold thinking, self confidence and social responsibility in our students.


Waldorf Education & Resources

Harbor Waldorf School is a certified Waldorf School. Our curriculum is guided by the principles of Waldorf Education.

Teachers in Waldorf schools are dedicated to generating an inner enthusiasm for learning within every child.

Essentials Of Waldorf Education


With more than 1,000 Waldorf schools in over 60 countries, Waldorf Education is truly global — not only in scope, but in its approach. Waldorf graduates are recognized for their academic strengths and intellectual curiosity, their highly developed interpersonal skills and their enthusiasm for confronting life’s opportunities and challenges.

Harbor Waldorf School offers students a foundation for academic success in a developmentally appropriate environment. We aim to make learning enriching, relevant and meaningful to help students develop intrinsic motivation and to inspire a lifetime of learning. Our approach teaches to the student's mind, body and unique spirit, providing the lessons and environment that help students develop their full potential. 


Developmentally Appropriate

We provide the right learning experience at the right time, meaning curriculum matches child development. In practice, this looks like play based learning in preschool and kindergarten. The foundational aspects of development are the focus here: social and emotional learning, integration of senses and time for self-directed exploration. Child development research supports this model of learning. Education is not a race.

Hands On

We believe children learn by doing. This “hands on” learning is really full engagement learning — head, heart and hands — which is why Waldorf education engages children in a challenging and multi-sensory environment. All facets of curriculum seek to inspire cognitive, social, and creative engagement in our students. In practice, this looks like three year olds learning about the cycles of nature by working the garden, or five year olds learning about measurement through a sewing project.

Intrinsically Motivating

We strive to help children learn to love learning and learn to do their best without accolades. We want them to learn, not for an external reward, but for the rewards inherent in learning — mastery, confidence, grit and pride. The feedback given is given not in comparison to peers, but to self. Students also are not subject to judgement based on standardized test results.  

Character Centric

Waldorf educators focus on developing the whole child — head, heart and hands. The heart is our character and emotional intelligence. Character education is not old-fashioned. Its elements — empathy, determination, cooperation and responsibility — are integral to success. In practice, our teachers help children take their will, strong and determined, and apply it to others in a cooperative and respectful way. Teachers help students focus on community development and mutual respect between peers in the classroom community.


Our teachers work to create classrooms that are warm, beautiful and loving home-like environments, which are protective and secure, and where things happen in a predictable, rhythmic manner. Joy is at the heart of our early childhood program, where teachers model passionate engagement in the activities of each day, and a deep interest in each of their students. In our classes, children are encouraged to share, to work together, to care for each other and to respect the needs of others.  The behavior of children is molded by what surrounds them. Kindness is practiced by teachers and encouraged in the children, who in turn learn to trust the adults and other children. 


Yes! Waldorf’s unique style of multidisciplinary teaching yields graduates with remarkable critical thinking skills and character, so that they can adapt to a wide variety of situations and contribute to the world in a meaningful way.

The Harvard Education Letter addressed the effectiveness of Waldorf Education and found Waldorf methodology implemented by Bill & Melinda Gates in several public schools helped, “test scores rise dramatically.” The letter also noted that: “Waldorf students tend to score below district peers in the early grades and then catch up…by eighth grade 89% are proficient or advanced [compared to 56% of their public school peers].”

Waldorf students shine, even more, where it matters — outside the test bubble. A survey of character traits and emotional wellbeing in Waldorf Graduates shows: “The graduates surveyed demonstrated that they are capable of achieving what they want in life and are happy in the process of pursuing their goals. The majority consider lifelong learning as a significant part of their life journey. They are devoted to their families, both to their own parents as well as to the families they are part of creating. In short, they know how to make a living, but more importantly they know how to make a life.


Organizational Structure

The School's Board of Trustees establishes financial and legal policies, oversees the development and implementation of the budget, determines tuition rates, and develops long-range plans to support the continued health and growth of the institution. Current Board Members include :

  • Chairperson: Nathan Woiwode

  • Secretary: Christina Martin

  • Treasurer: Steven Long

  • Faculty Representative: Patricia Frey

  • Meegan Chaskey

  • Pia Leighton

  • Sudhir Venkatesh

  • Gary Osborne

Board member terms are 2 years; new members are voted in every June. To contact the Board of Trustees, email info@harborwaldorfschool.org

This subcommittee of the Board of Trustees confidentially reviews applications for need-based aid, determines award amounts, notifies families and manages the budgeted the fund.

The Administrator works in service of the Mission of the school. In collaboration with the faculty as a whole, he/or she guides community building, teacher evaluation and mentoring, and admission work. He or she implements policies approved by the Board, plans and budgets, manages human resources, and facilitates and ensures the smooth daily operations of the school.

Maggie Touchette: Parent + Child Teacher, Nursery Assistant, Administrative Support
Trish Frey: Children's Garden Lead Teacher
Ashely Wade: Nursery Lead Teacher
Jessy Nees: Children’s Garden Assistant Teacher
Claudia Garavito: Nursery Assistant Teacher
Aynsley Schopfer: Administrator, Parent + Child Teacher