Frequently Asked Questions
Are you offering face-to-face classes?
Yes. We were one of the first schools to pilot the return to face-to-face classes in 2022 and we are now fully back to in-person learning.
Do you require children to be vaccinated in order to enroll in your school?
No. We respect each family's right to decide what is best for their child's health and wellness. We do organize parent seminars on healthy child development and work closely with our school doctor and our parent community. We also respect the right to privacy regarding health information.
1. Do you have a cafeteria? Where do students get their food?
- No we do not currently have a cafeteria. We encourage students to bring their own healthy lunch and snacks
- Parent providers offer cooked lunches and snacks on a daily order basis.
- Students must bring their own stainless steel food containers (No single-use plastics allowed).
2. What time does the day start and end?
- Kinder: 8:00am-11:30 (plus after school care if needed until 3:00pm)
- Class 1: 8:00am-12noon (plus after school care if needed until 3:00pm)
- Class 2 – 8: 8:00am-3:00pm (classes 5 and up may have after school tutorials, activities)
- High School (Classes 9-12): 8:00am-4:05pm
3. Is it true you don’t give the students grades?
- Grades are not given for Class 1-8 students. GCWS wants its students to become motivated from within and not motivated by an external reward system like grading. Instead, each student’s progress is reported in the form of a year-end narrative assessment in all subject areas. These assessments are supported by teacher conferences and class meetings throughout the year. Furthermore, each student’s narrative assessment is converted to a numerical grade for purposes of Forms 138 and 137 submitted to the Philippine Department of Education (DepEd).
- For High School Students, numerical grades are given to the student in addition to the narrative reports so that the student at this age can know where they stand in the class. All necessary grading information is reported to the Department of Education for the student’s permanent record.
- Given the above, there is no ranking of students or award system in GCWS based on grades.
4. Are you DepEd recognized?
- GCWS has DepEd Recognition for its Kindergarten to Class 10 programs and a DepEd Permit for its Senior High School (Class 11-12).
5. Is it true you do not give exams?
- In GCWS, the focus is on learning progress and not competition among students. There are different forms of assessment to determine student development and progress and the effectivity of lessons. Depending on age level, this may include different forms of examination, but there are no high-stakes exams as often found in other schools.
- Beginning in class five, students may be given short quizzes with scores. As students, move up to higher classes, there are more challenging quizzes and tests to assess student mastery in a subject area. In all cases, exams and grades form only part of the overall assessment of each child.
6. Is there a uniform? Dress code?
- There is no prescribed school uniform. The School has a dress code that recommends comfortable, cotton clothing with minimal or no graphic design. This is to prevent distraction from the learning process. Students should bring a hat for playing outdoors; boots for rainy weather, gardening and nature walks; as well as a change of clothes. Students in Class 1-8 are not allowed to wear jewelry, makeup, or other accessories that may distract from the learning process.
- Plain colored shirts are encouraged and many students enjoy following a “color of the day” in the lower and middle grades.
- In high school, the dress code is not as strict to allow for greater freedom of expression, although skimpy outfits, strong colognes and big brand names are still discouraged. Details can be found in the Student Handbook.
7. Is there a school bus?
- The school has a bus, van and carpool service that caters to families from Iloilo City and different towns in the province. This service is managed by parents and involves a separate fee and payment plan.
8. Do you accept students with special needs?
- Like other Steiner Waldorf schools worldwide, GCWS is recognized as providing a “healing education.” The School, however, is not a special needs school. The overriding question for the School is whether or not we feel we can meet the needs of the child. In some cases, children diagnosed with special needs are admitted after a thorough assessment process, but this is very individual and handled on a case-to-case basis. In some other countries, there exist Steiner Waldorf schools that have a variety of therapists on the faculty who are trained to work with children who have special needs.
9. What is the medium of instruction?
- The Kindergarten program is conducted in the mother tongue (Hiligaynon). Some English rhymes, verses and songs may be introduced towards the end of the school year.
- Class 1 is a transition year where both Hiligaynon and English are used as a medium of instruction. From Classes 2-12, English is the medium of instruction in most classes. (Filipino and Araling Panlipunan are conducted in Filipino). In grades 1-3 there is also a Hiligaynon subject conducted in Hiligaynon.
10. What are the school fees?
- In GCWS, school fees are socialized and depend on a family’s financial status. It is the Mission of the school to accept children regardless of the family financial status. School fees are determined only after a child’s acceptance in the School. The School is non-stock and non-profit and all parents are encouraged to contribute their fair share to helping meet the costs of running the school. For parents who indicate that they cannot afford the full school fee, and who qualify, they may apply for the school's Socialized School Fee Program wherein a thorough assessment process is undertaken to determine individual school fees. The full school fee for S.Y. 2023-24 is: P59,000 for K-8 and P74,500 for Class 9-12.
11. Are Steiner Waldorf schools religious?
- Steiner Waldorf schools are non-sectarian and non-denominational. They educate all children, regardless of their cultural or religious backgrounds. The pedagogical method is comprehensive, and, as part of its task, seeks to bring about recognition and understanding of all the world cultures and religions. Steiner Waldorf schools are not part of any church. They espouse no particular religious doctrine but are based on a belief that there is a spiritual dimension to the human being and to all of life. Children give thanks before meals; say a verse to begin the day; and celebrate various festivals throughout the year. Steiner Waldorf families come from a broad spectrum of religious traditions and interests. Where a religious connotation is present, as in many festivals (St. John, St. Michael, St. Martin etc.) the emphasis is on universal human spiritual values like reverence, gratitude, devotion, wonder, courage, generosity and compassion.
12. What Senior High School tracks do you offer?
- GCWS believes all students need to become well-rounded human beings able to bring creativity and imagination to how they think, feel and work in the world. The General Academic Track provides the broadest container for the unique curriculum provided in a Steiner Waldorf high school—a curriculum that includes the Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences as well as Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
13. Where do your graduates go on to study?
- GCWS has graduated six classes of high school students. These graduates have gone on to study a diverse range of courses in different colleges and universities in the country, including University of the Philippines, Siliman University, Central Philippine University, West Visayas State University, University of San Agustin, Ateneo University among others. Some choose to study abroad. The courses they have chosen include: Accounting, Architecture, Political Science, Information Technology, Agriculture, Fisheries Science, Veterinary Medicine, Civil Engineering, Marine Engineering, Education, Literature, Creative Writing, Psychology, Music and Theatre Arts among others.
14. Do you offer summer programs?
- Currently GCWS does not offer summer programs. The months of April-May are devoted to teacher training and preparation for the coming school year.
15. Do you have a program for two-year-olds?
- The GCWS kindergarten program is for children 3.5 - 6 years old. We have a "sister initiative"—Balay Binhi, that offers a parent-toddler program for younger children.