Letter From The Principal


Dear Community Members and Prospective Families,

Welcome to Golden Valley River School, a leader in public Waldorf education, and one of the longest continuously running charter schools in California. We are a community of parents, teachers, and students, all working together in a vibrant, engaging environment that is enriching to the mind, and nourishing to the soul. Having taught at Golden Valley for the past 14 years, I cannot overstate how deeply I have valued the collaborative and supportive community we have cultivated. It is truly unlike any other school environment I have experienced. 

At Golden Valley, we pride ourselves on educating the whole child - “head, hands, and heart”, and meeting them at their particular stage of development. With this always at the forefront of our minds, our amazing teachers are called to be veritable Renaissance men and women. They are artists, scientists, mathematicians, historians, storytellers, musicians, playwrights, all in one! In Waldorf pedagogy, we do not view our learners as empty vessels to be filled with knowledge and information. On the contrary, from the first days of kindergarten, we engage a child’s innate sense of wonder and imagination. In the grades we cultivate the student's skills of observation, and ultimately critical thinking. This is done through a myriad of dynamic approaches, such as storytelling, artistic expression, music, theatrical performance, poetic recitation, and phenomenological observation in the sciences. 

In a time where arts education in schools is an endangered luxury, at Golden Valley it is an absolute necessity. When you enter any of our grades classrooms, you will likely be greeted by an incredible chalkboard drawing that reflects the curriculum block the class is currently working on. You will also find beautiful student paintings adorning the walls, main lesson books filled with guided drawings and writing, and you will hear classes practicing singing, playing their pentatonic flutes, or reciting a poem. It is a rich scholastic environment that can speak deeply to every modality of learning. 

If you would like to learn more about our school or Waldorf education, please feel welcomed to attend one of our parent information meetings and tours. For current community members, we also have a myriad of parent enrichment evenings put on by our teachers and guest speakers from the greater Waldorf community throughout the year. Thank you for your time and interest in Golden Valley River School.  

Principal Ryan Sutton