In August of 1993 a Waldorf-inspired kindergarten – the Enchanted Desert Playgarden – was founded by a group of educators, artists and professionals inspired by the dream of creating an educational environment that was both spiritually enriching and dynamic in its approach.
The kindergarten was developed on a foundation of many years of individual and group study of Anthroposophy and the works of Rudolf Steiner. In the two years prior to the school’s opening, many individuals invested tremendous time and effort to facilitate the success of the new endeavor.
There had been an Anthroposophical study group in Tucson since the mid-1980s, and in the spring of 1991, a Waldorf educator was invited to Tucson to speak about child development and Waldorf education, with the intention of inspiring the founding of a school community. Waldorf-inspired playgroups were created and festivals were celebrated beginning in the fall of 1991. By the summer of 1992, the Tucson Waldorf Education Association, a not-for-profit corporation, was established.
From the time that the school first opened its doors in 1993 through 1997, the Playgarden program – including kindergarten and playgroups – expanded to accommodate the groundswell of interest in what the school had to offer.
In August of 1997, our grade school program was officially launched. A trained Waldorf teacher who had been teaching in our Playgarden program for three years stepped out of the kindergarten to form our maiden class. Each year since that time, a new group has embarked on their grade school journey. Our current first grade will graduate in 2031.
In the spring of 2002, we purchased a property perfect for our growing school. Within the space of six years it was bursting at the seams, and thanks to generous financial and in-kind donations, and the ongoing support of the Rudolf Steiner Foundation, we were able to acquire our current ten-acre property. Since the fall of 2014, all school programs have occupied our Riverbend campus, from our Quail’s Nest Parent & Child program through the eighth grade.
In 2016, Tucson Waldorf School became a full member of The Association of Waldorf Schools in North America (AWSNA).