As a school founded upon the understanding of human development provided by Rudolf Steiner, we strive not only to provide a curriculum that meets the needs of children in the classroom, but also to organize ourselves in such a way that meets the 21st Century. Specifically, we are working to engender awareness and an experience of full individual participation and responsibility in the life of the school by employing a collaborative model. We continue to be guided and inspired by study of what Steiner called the Threefold Social Order, a way of looking at the different realms of any organization or society – cultural, economic and rights – with the goal of better understanding and meeting the unique needs of each. Just as in all other aspects of the school, the school organization seeks excellence, clarity and balance (harmony) in its relationships. Sharing an understanding of the school bodies, structure and related areas of responsibility enables DMS to have effective communication, decision-making and accountability.
DMS operates under a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) non-profit, Valley of the Sun Waldorf Education Association (VSWEA), Inc. The Board of VSWEA is the governing board for DMS and has ultimate responsibility for financial and legal matters. The Board meets monthly and is composed of parents, teachers and interested community members. There is a standing Finance Committee and Development and Budget working groups that work closely with Administration. Working groups are open to non-Board members as well.
The operational responsibility of the Board is delegated to the Executive Director, including the hiring of all staff, with the Board establishing policy and retaining oversight of procedures. The role of the Executive Director is to organize all school operations to support the internal education process, while ensuring that the external legal requirements are met.
While the Executive Director has overall responsibility for all operations, the scale of DMS is too large to allow everyone or anyone, including the Executive Director, to be directly involved in everything. The Administrative Council works with and under the guidance of the Executive Director to share the work so that no one person is burdened by an unmanageable number of tasks or decisions. The Administrative Council establishes administrative processes to ensure that school operations optimally support the education in the classroom. The other members of the Administrative Council are the Director of Business Operations, the Director of Curriculum and Instruction, the Director of Students Support Services, the High School Administrator and Enrollment and Student Records.
Lead faculty members from Early Childhood, the Lower Grades, the Middle School and the High School join with the Executive Director, The Director of Curriculum and Instruction and the Support Services Director to form the Education Council. The Education Council oversees the education process, just as the Administrative Council oversees the non-educational operations. It is an essential link to the faculty for the process of consultation and formation of educational policy and procedures to maintain integrity to the Core Principles of Public Waldorf education.