Community Announcement: CWS Purchases Permanent Home

Dear Chicago Waldorf School Community,

Forty-four years ago, the newly formed Chicago Waldorf School was on the precipice of its opening endeavor and task.  A new teacher had been hired, a classroom rented, furniture donated, and kitchen tiles laid in our single classroom school. Under the guidance of founding teacher, Joyce Brennan, a new Waldorf kindergarten was opening in the basement of the Church of the Three Crosses.  Over the next 44 years the Chicago Waldorf School has grown into a flagship Waldorf School in North America and a leading independent school in Chicago, all while never owning a permanent home.  We have travelled throughout the city to various homes, out-growing each in time as our school has developed into the vibrant institution it is today.  On February 20, 2018 that journey ended.  The Chicago Waldorf School has found and acquired its permanent home.

We have come to a Purchase and Sale agreement for the historic Trumbull Elementary School building.  The Chicago Waldorf School is moving to Andersonville and opening in our new home in fall 2018.

The transformative power of a Waldorf education is best realized on a campus that embodies our core values.  Our new home will imbue these values and will unlock the potential of generations of students who will carry the fruits of their Waldorf education into the world.  Expanded and specialized classrooms will support an engaged and inspired student body.  Outdoor green space will support students’ exploration and connection to the natural environment of our urban school.  The community created in the central auditorium will encourage and advance our school’s social charge.   Our students will develop the power and self-direction to shape the future and change the world for the better.  Waldorf education in the heart of Andersonville will make a significant impact on the city.

The Chicago Waldorf School has taken a momentous step in its development.  Our school community stands on the foundation of former school leaders, faculty, staff, board members and alumni.  We must take a moment to also acknowledge and express our deep gratitude to current school leadership who have helped to make this moment possible.  Permanent Campus Committee Chair Mike Rosenthal, Capital Campaign Committee Chair Valerie Colis and Permanent Campus Committee member Peter Livaditis, current Board of Trustees Chair Dana Hegedorn and College of Teachers Chair John Trevillion, former Capital Campaign Committee Chairs, John Figiel and Mike Motyka, and our current Board of Trustees, the community is indebted to your amazing contributions of time, talent and treasure.  Thank you.

As an entire and extended school community we have an enormous amount of work ahead.  Transitioning to a new home will be a huge undertaking and there are many details of preparation to be accomplished before our moving date of summer 2018.  Our 44 year journey has prepared us for this moment and we have the expertise and will to accomplish this task successfully.

To share our transition plan we will hold a special All School Meeting tomorrow, February 21st in our new community auditorium at the former Trumbull School at 5200 N. Ashland Ave.

As we prepare to transform the historic school building into a Waldorf school we ask our community to take action as well. An education this big needs space to grow and your contributions will immediately impact the students and teachers today, advancing the mission of our school. To meet our inspiring and ambitious renovation plans we depend on our Capital Campaign; we are halfway to our $4 million goal and need to raise the remaining $1.9 million. With our permanent home in hand, it is the right and most essential time for the CWS community to rally together and support the potential of this education. Your donations to the Capital Campaign will directly expand the scope of our renovations and the development of our new home.  Look for Capital Campaign invitations in the coming days with action steps for how your support can have immediate and lasting impact on the transformation of our new building into our permanent home.

Thank you for all your support and dedication to Waldorf education. We look forward to sharing our new plans with you during the All School Meeting at the Andersonville campus on February 21st. 

To keep up with latest news and developments about our new campus please visit   

 With excitement about this new future for our school,              

Luke Goodwin                            Dana Hegedorn                                John Trevillion
Administrative Director             Board of Trustees Chair                   College of Teachers Chair