Camphill Special School is a Waldorf school accredited by AWSNA and the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Commissions on Elementary and Secondary Schools. Our school also is licensed by the Pennsylvania Departments of Education and Public Welfare and we are a Pennsylvania Approved Private School for children with intellectual and developmental disabilities. We are part of the worldwide Camphill movement and the only Camphill community in North America for children.
We offer residential and day academic and prevocational programs, as well as therapeutic care, for children in kindergarten through grade twelve. We also offer a Transition Program for young people ages eighteen to twenty-one.
The Camphill Movement
Dr. Karl Koenig, an Austrian pediatrician who fled the Nazis and settled in Scotland in 1939, founded what is known across the world today as the “
Camphill Movement .” Camphill is based on the principles of
anthroposophy, the philosophy of
Rudolf Steiner that seeks to integrate spirit, body, and soul. Steiner formulated the concept of
curative education, which includes the arts as healing and educational forces, and his influence is felt in Camphill Special School’s adapted
All around the world, more than one hundred Camphill communities in over twenty countries take different forms. Every community, however, is dedicated to social renewal through community building - with children, youth, and adults with disabilities. The Camphill ideal is to engage all the members of each community in meeting their own needs, as well as those of the community at large, to whatever extent their abilities allow.
Like all Camphill communities, the continuity and future development of Camphill Special School depends on a core of committed coworkers who maintain Camphill's values and mission and impart it to others. As members of the Camphill Movement, they are committed to high standards of care, self-sacrifice, and self-development.
Camphill Special School does not discriminate on the basis of race, age, color, creed, gender, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, or disability.
Art, drama, and music are essential to our Waldorf curriculum.
Outdoor play with friends is an important part of our kindergarten program.
Camphill Special School is the only Camphill community in North America that specifically serves children and the only Waldorf school that exclusively serves children with special needs.
We also operate the Camphill School of Curative Education
and Social Therapy, which prepares its graduates to work with children and adolescents with developmental disabilities by combining traditional academic coursework with hands-on teaching and community living experience.
Village Life: The Camphill Communities , (1986)
volunteer coworker (coworker is the Camphill expression for a longterm volunteer caregiver) Wanda Root wrote: Camphill is a way of life. It is not a job. There are no shifts, no salaries, no relative values placed on people according to the nature of the work that they do…Tasks are undertaken for the good of the whole, out of a sense of commitment and responsibility…Community life is the work of
Camphill. People with enormously varied capabilities, talents, and needs,
live and work together day after day.
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