The Otto Specht School offers a developmentally appropriate academic and artistic curriculum to small, individualized classes of children in grades 1 through 12. The school is designed for children with learning differences, alternative learning styles, and sensory and social sensitivities. Classroom work is integrated with dramatic, visual, musical and movement arts, as well as practical skills including cooking, weaving, woodwork, metalwork, farming and animal care.
About the School
School activities take place within the Fellowship Community, an intergenerational intentional community established for the care of the elderly. Our students have the unique opportunity to work alongside Fellowship co-workers and elderly members.
Classes have a ratio of no more than one teacher to five children, and each child benefits from an individualized pedagogical program designed to address her or his particular needs.
Whether we are gathering eggs from the chicken coop, harvesting chard, sewing a doll, studying history, or building a bench, the education we offer is not defined by the four walls of a classroom; the world is our classroom.
The Otto Specht School is operated by Threefold Educational Center in cooperation with the Rudolf Steiner Fellowship Foundation and the Fellowship Community. The school operates under the charter of the Threefold Educational Foundation and School granted by the State Education Department of the University of the State of New York. The Otto Specht School also collaborates with Green Meadow Waldorf School to provide integrated activities that enhance the learning experience for each child as appropriate and needed.
Otto Specht and Rudolf Steiner
Our school is based on the enlightened and carefully drawn insights into child development of Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925). Rudolf Steiner challenged teachers to perceive and respond to children’s individual developmental needs at each stage of life. He described the foundation of anthroposophy, the name given to his world view, as the "wisdom of the human being," with the understanding that each human being has a unique body, soul and eternal spirit. It is through the harmonious relating of the individual’s cognition, feeling life, and will-activity that true education can occur. Waldorf education, one of the largest and fastest-growing independent school movements in the world, is grounded in these insights.
As a young man, Rudolf Steiner became tutor and care-giver to Otto Specht, age eleven, a child with social and learning difficulties who was considered uneducable. Once Rudolf Steiner became responsible for Otto’s education, he employed carefully planned lessons that focused mainly on limb activity. After two years of intensive work, Otto was on grade level and able to enter a school. Rudolf Steiner continued to tutor the boy daily, and Otto completed his education by becoming a physician.
Rudolf Steiner attributed the foundation of Waldorf education to his early educational work with Otto Specht. Through Rudolf Steiner’s insights, we strive to find the path on which each child can find her or his way to a meaningful educational experience just as our school’s namesake did.
For more information about the Otto Specht School, including enrollment opportunities, please contact Jeanette Rodriguez at 845-352-5020 x30 or firstname.lastname@example.org.