A High School for Creative Critical Thinkers

Education to meet our ever changing world
The future is unpredictable and the increasing pressure these days for teens to narrow their academic focus does not prepare them for that changing future. At Highland Hall our high school curriculum fosters a love of learning by stimulating students with a variety of skills to explore, encouraging deep engagement with the subject, and keeping the focus on doing for the sake of learning.
  • Academic achievement is promoted through a curriculum that is both intellectually challenging and artistically integrated.
  • Our high school program is college preparatory and our academic standards surpass University of California entrance requirements.
  • Core subjects are taught in the morning lesson—a double period lasting three to four weeks. This concentrated course work explores one subject intensively through lecture, discussion, written and artistic projects that allow for deep immersion into the subject matter.  
  • The morning lesson is followed by classes in English, mathematics, world languages, music, art, and physical education

Meaningful Community

Teens need connection and community now more than ever; they are the antidote to the heightened anxiety and social isolation of our online, plugged-in world.

  • At Highland Hall we value opportunities for relationship and community life.
  • While others are just now beginning to recognize the perils of excessive screen time, our educators have consistently held a “slow-tech” approach. Technological tools and skills are learned and utilized by our high school students and teachers, but we also spend energy and resources enlivening community events and building meaningful interactions.
  • Each grade in the high school is supported by a Class Sponsor who works to build the social community of the class for all four years.
  • Small class sizes let high school students form meaningful bonds throughout the school rather than getting lost in the crowd of a larger setting.
  • Yearly school trips help broaden students’ mutual understanding and social connections.

Global Awareness, Social Activism & Inclusivity


Our high school fosters an environment of social awareness, activism, and a culture of inclusivity.

  • Our students learn the balance between individual striving and concern for the group as a whole through hands-on learning in small groups.
  • The High School has an active student council which organizes their student community and social activism.
  • World languages (Mandarin or German) are required for all four years of high school.
  • Our high school students have the opportunity to participate in our international exchange program with Waldorf schools in Europe and South America.
  • As part of a global network of Waldorf schools Highland Hall attracts and hosts international students who wish to study in the United States.

Strengthening Critical Thinking & Self Expression

A distinctive feature of Waldorf education is the emphasis on the students' interpretation and expression of what they have learned in class.

  • Students are expected to take lecture notes, discuss ideas and themes, and prepare their own compositions about the material that is being presented.  
  • For several courses, students create & present projects, either individually or in groups, which can take the form of an illustrated main lesson book, an oral presentation, a song, a film, a power point, a poem, a story or even a play. 
  • Our technology curriculum requires students to build a computer and understand that they are the masters of computers, and not vice versa.

A Strong Performing Arts Program

Music, drama and art provide balance to the challenges of academic life.  

  • All students have the opportunity to perform in a variety of dramatic productions and musical concerts.
  • Highland Hall arts classes include orchestra, handbell choir, painting, life drawing, woodworking, photography, improv, metalsmithing, sculpting, and sewing. 
  • We choose not to offer AP tests at Highland Hall, so there is no need for students to feel pressured to focus on a small area of academic challenge and miss the richness that comes from participating in a broad array of classes.

A Healthy Balance & Connection to the Natural World

  • Our 11-acre campus and thriving biodynamic garden support students connection to the curriculum.
  • Our sports programs are open to all students regardless of experience and everyone is encouraged to join. We offer a three-season sports program that includes co-ed soccer, girls volleyball, boys volleyball, girls basketball, boys basketball, girls softball, co-ed cross country, and co-ed archery.

Preparation for the Future & College Counseling

Highland Hall graduates attend many excellent colleges and universities. A Waldorf high school education offers much more than a solid academic foundation. When Highland Hall students graduate, they are equipped intellectually, academically, and emotionally to meet the future and bring purpose to their lives.

Highland Hall offers a highly personal college counseling service, and our on-staff College Counselor guides each student through the college application process.  This begins in 9th grade when students are introduced to various colleges and college systems and get accustomed to the language that is used during the college application process. In the 10th grade the exploration of colleges continues with students, helping to match each one's interests and qualifications with the right colleges and universities.

Every 9th, 10th, and 11th grade student is required to take the PSAT in the fall.  Highland Hall also hosts an outside test prep program on campus to assist students with preparing for the SAT and ACT. The college process accelerates at the end of 11th grade when the students begin to work on their college admissions essays.  This writing process is supported by the guidance of our English faculty and the College Counselor.  In the 12th grade our counselor continues to work with students, delving into topics such as resume building, portfolio supplement, requests for letters of recommendation, financial aid, and the college interview. Our counselor provides support to the capacities the students are self-cultivating, ensuring they are best positioned to pursue their post-secondary graduate goals.  Find out more about this program.
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