The Nelson Waldorf School is dedicated to nurturing the child’s capacities for imagination, healthy emotional development, independent thinking and positive action.
In recognizing the harmful effects that media have on the development of these capacities, the Nelson Waldorf School is committed to supporting the development and maintenance of media-reduced, age-appropriate environments for the children that attend our school.
Underlying this commitment is a firm belief that electronic media affects child development, regardless of the content. The passive condition and the electronic stimulation of these activities cannot be reconciled with the rhythms of nature. Electronic media lacks the human presence so vital to the nourishment of the child, replacing it with electromagnetic forces that inhibit healthy sleeping and eating patterns. Children’s need for creative play and their ability to create images from within is suppressed by the mechanically produced imagery of the television or computer screen.
Experience at the Nelson Waldorf School (and other Waldorf schools) shows that individuals who are shielded from media at home are more likely to experience and contribute to positive learning and social interactions.
For the purposes of this policy, media is considered to include:
- Television, DVD, Cinema
- Video and electronic games
- iPods, iPads, radios, and other portable music players
- Cell Phones
NOTE: While music itself is not “media,” parental discretion is expected in terms of music content and appropriateness within the child’s daily rhythm.
Media Policy Goals
Based on this commitment to healthy experience, it is the goal of the Nelson Waldorf School that all children from Kindergarten through Class 5 be media free.
It is the goal of the Nelson Waldorf School that all children in the Upper Classes 6 to 8 are appropriately limited during the school week (Sunday evening-Friday afternoon). in their exposure to media including television, digital screens and related content (i.e., videos, social media, games, movies, etc).
The Nelson Waldorf School recognizes that the challenge presented in the course of achieving these goals may be substantial and that it may vary significantly from family to family. The School also recognizes that achieving these goals in a satisfactory way will require an ongoing commitment of time and energy both on the part of the School and on the part of the parents.
With this in mind, the Nelson Waldorf School is prepared to work with parents and guardians to develop practical, collaborative solutions and meaningful, personalized support that will move us steadily closer to realizing a healthy, nurturing environment for our children.
Media Policy Procedures
Parents will be informed of the details of the school’s Media Policy at the time of registration and will be required to make a commitment to working towards its goals. Teachers will have discussions with parents during parent meetings. Teachers will speak with parents privately if there is an ongoing concern for a child who appears to be bringing media influences into the class.
Photography and Video Taping at the NWS
We recognize the need and desire among ourselves to record that “special moment” so we can remember it in future years. Yet, we also acknowledge the distraction that picture taking and video taping pose for others, including the children who are most often the focus of this attention. We ask that the following guidelines regarding photography and videotaping of school events be followed:
- At indoor ceremonies, performances and festivals a designated school photographer (and, if requested, a video taper) will be used to record these indoor events. Photographs (and DVDs if videotaping was prearranged) will then be available to parents for purchase at a nominal fee. Parents are therefore asked to refrain from personal photography and videotaping, by use of cameras or cellphones, during these indoor school events. Due to the reverence and brevity of the Rose Ceremony, photos are taken after the ceremony. Please note that the Advent Spiral is a non-photographed /non-videotaped event.
- At class plays, photography will be allowed during dress rehearsals by a designated photographer and /or individual parents. Official photographs will be available for parents by email. A designated videographer can be arranged to record actual class play performances. Parents will be expected to refrain from personal photography and videotaping during class play performances.