History of Susquehanna Waldorf School

In the early spring of 1987, a group of parents interested in Waldorf education met at the Friend’s Meeting House in Lancaster, PA. After several meetings, mounting enthusiasm and a growing understanding of Waldorf pedagogy, the group decided to open a preschool that fall. Enrollment doubled in the second year with the addition of a kindergarten class. The school then re-incorporated, becoming an established non-profit organization, and joined the Federation of Waldorf Schools.

Outdoor School Marietta

A Place Along the Susquehanna

A new location in the late summer of 1989, with enrollments exceeding available space, the school relocated to its present home in Marietta, not far from Lancaster and closer to the home of students from York County. This new home, a turn-of-the-century (1899) school building that had served the town of Marietta for generations as a public school, once again had children entering its arched doorway and enlivening the classrooms. SWS leased space within the building, sharing occupancy with other various organizations until December 2002. It was then that the school purchased the building and began to occupy all the available space.


Early 1980s

Waldorf education comes to Lancaster community at Friends Meeting House.


School at Friends Meeting House closes, but the spirit stays alive and vibrant through an active school board, festivals, play groups and Winter Faire, working towards re-opening.


Lancaster-York Waldorf School offers preschool classes once again. As the classes grow, the school renames itself Susquehanna Waldorf School (SWS) to reflect its families on both sides of the river.


The need for additional space brings the school to Marietta and the leasing of a beautiful, turn-of-the-century building, sharing occupancy with other organizations until December 2002.


SWS graduates its first 6th grade class.


SWS graduates its first 8th grade class.


SWS purchases and fully occupies the Marietta building.


SWS celebrates its 30th anniversary in the tri-county region, offering high quality Waldorf education through Parent-Child classes, mixed-age Kindergartens and First through Eighth Grades. The school also adds an additional Kindergarten class to meet the needs of the community.


Created SWS’ first School Administrator position and hired an Administrator; Added a nursery program (Stepping Stones); Launched a new website and updated marketing materials


Hired a new Head of School with extensive experience in the National Association of Independent School best practices; Accredited by PAIS and AWSNA