Trillium Waldorf School is an independent grade school in Guelph, Ontario that provides our community with a comprehensive Waldorf education that is broad, vibrant and academically vigorous. Families are welcomed openly into a warm and inviting environment with loving teachers who care deeply for their children, and meet their holistic needs. In addition to our kindergarten through grade eight programming, we offer parent and child classes from birth until 4 years old.
Learning at Trillium Waldorf School during COVID-19
What learning looks like now: Summary - Additional Policy Details Available through school website.
Students, Faculty and Staff complete the Government of Ontario Daily Screening Tool each
morning, and stay home when advised to do so
All community members wear a mask during drop off and pick up from school
Class sizes are limited to 16 students, and desks are set at a distance of 6ft from one
another, and the teacher at the front of the room
Class cohorts, and Pods of 2 - 3 grades limit daily contacts and exposure for both faculty and
Masks are worn in grades 1 - 8 both inside and outdoors when physical distancing of 6 ft is
Cross-Pod teachers are kept to a minimum, and are required to wear a medical mask
Kindergarten teachers are required to wear a medical mask and face shield/safety
goggles/glasses when inside and in proximity to students
All faculty are required to don a face shield/safety glasses or goggles when interacting with
others (students or faculty) at less than 6ft distance
Frequent hand washing is scheduled and encouraged
Mask breaks are taken throughout the day when it is safe to do so, such as when outdoors
and activities are distanced
Classes spend more time outdoors throughout the day, and activities are designed to
support physical distancing, student well being and the curriculum
Cleaning and disinfecting of high touch surfaces occurs twice during the school day, with a
full deep clean each evening.
The writer and environmentalist Annie Dillard once said that “how we spend our days is how we spend our lives.” While the administrators at Trillium Waldorf may not think in exactly those terms, that’s an idea that’s at the core of the school. Yes, learning is about working through the curriculum, acquiring new skills, honing old ones. But being at school should be about living well, too, and Trillium has made that at priority since it was founded in 1996. From day one it was an expression of the community that gave rise to it, begun by a number of families that wanted something better, something maybe a bit more caring for their children. There were 21 students in the first year, and a single grade, though it’s grown since then, mainly because of the community that formed around the school. The current property was supplied by an alumni family, which nicely continues the theme. This is about people teaching children how to find their way in the world, to have fun, to enjoy the company of others, and to live fulfilled lives.
Central to your child's school experience is the underlying curriculum taught in the classroom. "Curriculum" refers to both what is taught and how it's taught. When considering the different curricula outlined in the next few pages, keep in mind that few schools fall neatly into one category or another. Most schools' curricula comprise a blend of best practices drawn from multiple curriculum types. Having said that, most schools do have a general overall curriculum type. These are identified for each school on OurKids.net.
Curriculum approach at Trillium Waldorf School: Waldorf
Trillium Waldorf School has a Waldorf approach to Curriculum (as opposed to Traditional, Liberal Arts, Progressive, Montessori, Reggio Emilia approach).
[Show: About Waldorf?]
Waldorf schools are available from preschool to Grade 12, though they are most popular at the younger ages. Waldorf schools are unmistakably "progressive". Rudolf Steiner, their intellectual forefather, believed the educator's first task should be to help students develop an aesthetic appreciation for life and learning. Sometimes incorrectly conflated with Montessori schools, Waldorf schools focus on developing the "whole child" - emphasizing collaborative, hands-on learning, along with the arts and music, which are integrated into other areas of study.
Curriculum at schools on OurKids.net
Waldorf - 17%   Traditional - 15%   Liberal arts - 17%   Progressive - 17%   Montessori - 17%   Reggio Emilia - 17%
What Trillium Waldorf School says: The Waldorf curriculum provides a strong classical education, but does so in a way that nurtures the natural spirit of your child by encouraging the development of the whole child. The curriculum recognizes that children pass through distinct developmental stages, providing appropriate lessons which are created artistically by Waldorf-trained teachers and presented in a supportive, structured environment. It is the goal of a Waldorf teacher to cultivate a sense of wonder and to inspire children to view the world, even in its most basic form, as magnificent—prompting each student to embrace life with enthusiasm, initiative, and purpose. These aims are met through an education that is rich with meaningful sense experiences, classical academics, and artistic beauty in all subject matters.
Preschools and kindergartens tend to have a particular curriculum or curricular approach. This refers to what is taught and how it's taught. Most preschools have a curriculum that comprises a blend of best practices drawn from multiple curriculum types. A preschool's curriculum may or may not, though, reflect its higher-level curriculum (if it's part of a school with elementary or secondary programs)
Preschool/K Curriculum approach at Trillium Waldorf School: Waldorf
Trillium Waldorf School has a Waldorf approach to Preschool/K Curriculum (as opposed to Play-based, Montessori, Reggio Emilia, Academic approach).
[Show: About Waldorf?]
Highly group-oriented and with a strong emphasis on creative and imaginative play, Waldorf preschool and Kindergarten programs have very little to no emphasis on academics. A Waldorf environment will often feel more like a home than a traditional classroom -- the goal being to instill comfort and and a sense of predictability in students’ day. This emphasis on comfort and predictability also manifests through a heavy use of repetition: for example, teachers might read the same story multiple days in a row. Waldorf schools ask parents to refrain from offering children TV or computers at home, and aim to develop in children a connection to the natural world. If you want to learn more about Waldorf education, check out our comprehensive guide.
What Trillium Waldorf School says: Your child is building the capacity for creative thinking, problem solving and learning. Play is an essential part of this process. Our kindergarten programs offer children (aged four through six years old), abundant opportunity for free play and exploration of the world around them (including weekly walks in the woods and regular farm visits in the fall), balanced by a healthy rhythm of group activities such as singing, movement, stories, artistic and practical work.
Our program will engage your child’s senses and emotions and this gentle introduction lays the groundwork for learning in the grades. Outdoor games develop the connections between brain and body.
Through the collective mindset of teachers, administrators, students, and parents, each school develops and maintains its own academic culture. This generally relates to the norms and expectations created around academic performance. Many parents look to private schools because they want a specific type of culture. Some want a rigorous environment that will elevate their child to new heights. Others want a nurturing environment that will help their child develop a passion for learning.
What Trillium Waldorf School says: This information is not currently available.
Schools have specific goals regarding how they want their educate and develop their students. This is part of a school's overall philosophy or vision, which is contained in its mission statement. While they tend have several developmental aims, schools tend to priortize certain aims, such as intellectual, social, spiritual, emotional, or physical development.
Primary Developmental Priority:
What Trillium Waldorf School says: This information is not currently available.
Schools offer a wide range of approaches and services to support students with special needs. This may include individualized learning, one-on-one support, small classes, resource rooms, and learning aids. These supports may be provided in a number of different environments such as a dedicated special needs school or class, an integrated class, a withdrawal class, or a regular class with resource support or in-class adaptations.
Learning strategy and study counselling; habit formation
Extra support and minor accommodations for children experiencing subclinical difficulties
This is a learning disability that can limit a child's ability to read and learn. It can have a variety of traits. A few of the main ones are impaired phonological awareness and decoding, problems with orthographic coding, and auditory short-term memory impairment.
Auditory Processing Disorder (APD)
This is a sound differentiation disorder involving problems with reading, comprehension, and language.
This is a kind of specific learning disability in math. Kids with this math disorder have problems with calculation. They may also have problems with math-related concepts such as time and money.
This is a kind of specific learning disability in writing. It involves problems with handwriting, spelling, and organizing ideas.
Language Processing Disorder
This is characterized by having extreme difficulty understanding what is heard and expressing what one wants to say. These disorders affect the area of the brain that controls language processing.
Nonverbal Learning Disorders (NLD)
These involve difficulties interpreting non-verbal cues, such as facial expressions and body language. They're usually characterized by a significant discrepancy between higher verbal skills and weaker motor, visual-spatial, and social skills.
Visual Perceptual/Visual Motor Deficit
A characteristic seen in people with learning disabilities such as Dysgraphia or Non-verbal LD. It can result in missing subtle differences in shapes or printed letters, losing place frequently, struggles with cutting, holding pencil too tightly, or poor eye/hand coordination.
Refers to a range of conditions that involve challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, and speech and nonverbal communication. They also involve unique strengths and differences. For instance, there are persons with both low- and high-functioning autism (some claim the latter is identical to Asperger's syndrome).
On the autism spectrum, Asperger's is considered quite mild in terms of symptoms. While traits can vary widely, many kids with Asperger's struggle with social skills. They also sometimes fixate on certain subjects and engage in repetitive behaviour.
his is associated with impairment of cognitive ability and physical growth, and a particular set of facial characteristics.
This is a condition characterized by significant limitations in intellectual functioning (e.g., reasoning, learning, and problem solving). Intellectual disabilities are also known as general learning disabilities (and used to be referred to as a kind of mental retardation).
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is an umbrella term used to describe the range of effects that can occur in an individual whose mother consumed alcohol during pregnancy. These may include growth deficits, facial anomalies, and damage to the central nervous system, which can lead to cognitive, behavioural, and other problems.
roubled teens tend to have problems that are intense, persistent, and can lead to quite unpredictable behaviour. This can lead to behavioural and emotional issues, such as drug and alcohol abuse, criminal behaviour, eating disorders, depression, and anxiety.
This is a mental health disorder also called "major depression." It involves persistent feelings of sadness, loss, and anger. According to the Mayo Clinic, symptoms are usually severe enough to cause noticeable problems in relationships with others or in daily activities, such as school, work, or one's social life.
This is a mood disorder involving intense, relentless feelings of distress and fear. They can also have excessive and persistent worry about everyday situations, and repeated episodes of intense anxiety or terror.
This involves persistent thoughts about ending one's life.
Drug and alcohol abuse
This involves the excessive use of drug and/or alcohol, which interferes with daily functioning.
Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)
This is a disruptive behavioural disorder which normally involves angry outbursts, often directed at people of authority. This behaviour must last continuously for six months or more and significantly interfere with daily functioning.
This is a condition of the central nervous system. It affects the brain, optic nerves, and spinal cord. Symptoms can include fatigue, loss of motor control, memory loss, depression, and cognitive difficulties.
his refers to a group of permanent movement disorders that appear in early childhood. CP is caused by abnormal development or damage to the parts of the brain that control movement, balance, and posture.
Muscular dystrophy is a neuromuscular disorder which weakens the body's muscles. Causes, symptoms, age of onset, and prognosis vary between individuals.
This is a condition present at birth due to the incomplete formation of the spine and spinal cord. It can lead to a number of physical challenges, including paralysis or weakness in the legs, bowel and bladder incontinence, hydrocephalus (too much fluid in the brain), and deformities of the spine.
Dyspraxia (Developmental Coordination Disorder)
This is a Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD). Also known as "sensory integration disorder," it affects fine and/or gross motor coordination in children and adults. It may also affect speech.
Visual impairment is a decreased ability or inability to see that can't be fixed in usual ways, such as with glasses. Some people are completely blind, while others have what's called "legal blindness."
Hearing impairment, also known as "hearing loss," is a partial or total inability to hear. The degree of hearing impairment varies between people. It can range from complete hearing loss (or deafness) to partial hearing loss (meaning the ears can pick up some sounds).
Cystic Fibrosis (CF) is an inherited genetic condition, which affects the body's respiratory, digestive, and reproductive systems. It affects young children and adults.
Accommodating a wide range of physical conditions and disabilities.
Schools support students with gifted or advanced learning abilities in a several ways. Whether they offer a full-time gifted program or part-time support, they normally provide some form of accelerated learning (delivering content at a faster pace) or enrichment (covering content more broadly or deeply). Many schools also offer a wide range of in-class adaptations to support advanced learners, such as guided independent studies, project-based learning, and career exploration.
Curriculum delivery: This information is not currently available.
While academics remain the priority for most private schools, many also place a strong focus on a well-rounded education and encourage participation in extracurricular activities such as sports, music, arts, or clubs. Involvement in extracurriculars helps stimulate students in their studies, makes them more motivated to learn, and can make school more enjoyable and fulfilling. Extracurricular activities can also provide students with a much-needed break from the stresses of academics, while helping them to develop skills and allowing them to take part in valuable social situations.
This can depend on a number of factors, including the type of school, living arrangements, what’s included in tuition, school location, resources, and facilities. Many private schools in Canada have tuition that ranges between $6,000 and $12,000 a year. While some schools, such as schools which provide room and board, can be more expensive, many of these schools provide ways to defray the costs of tuition. For instance, they may offer merit-based scholarships or needs-based financial aid (often referred to as “bursaries” or “subsidies”).
DayDay (Half day)
Day (Half day)
What Trillium Waldorf School says about their tuition: We believe that Waldorf education should be accessible to all families who wish it, regardless of their economic status. We demonstrate our commitment to this ideal through our Tuition Adjustment Program (TAP), trying to ensure that the acceptance of a child into our school does not depend solely on the financial resources of the student's family.
Need-based financial aid
Grade range that need-based aid is offered:
K to 8
Percentage of grade-eligible students receiving financial aid
Private schools come in all shapes and sizes. Some larger schools have enrolment numbers in the thousands, while some smaller schools have only a few dozen students. Boarding schools tend to be on the larger side, while alternative schools, such as Montessori, Reggio Emilia, and Waldorf, are normally smaller. Besides the overall size of school, there are other important facts you’ll want to know about a school’s enrolment. For instance, here you can learn about a school’s enrolment for separate streams (if they have them), such as day and boarding, its average class size, and its average enrolment per grade.
K to Gr. 8
Average class size
% of international students (total enrolment)
Number of different nationalities within student population
Private schools in Canada have admissions policies. All schools have some required application materials, though these vary between schools. These may include letters of application, application fees, essays, and exams (such as the SSAT). Many schools also require interviews with prospective students, either with their parents, on their own, or both. Schools also have different standards and priorities when evaluating student applications, different acceptance rates (which may vary between grade levels), and target different kinds of students. To improve your child’s chances of acceptance, you should find out everything you can about a school’s admissions policies and how they assess applicants.
Join the Our Kids roundtable discussion about Trillium Waldorf School. Alumni and current parents are answering questions and sharing their insights—about the school’s culture, strengths, and weaknesses.