A new school opening in Waldo is accepting applications for grades 1-6, with plans to extend its offerings through grade 8 in the next two years.
Constellation Charter School is a free public charter school with a mission to encourage children to love learning through academics, movement, art and nature. Classes start Aug. 10.
“I’m just very pleased and tickled to see us getting a school back in Waldo,” Waldo Mayor Louie Davis said in a phone interview.
Waldo has not had a school since Waldo Community School closed in 2015. Though several organizations attempted to start a school back up, according to city manager Kim Worley, none of them succeeded.
In 2020, Episcopal Children’s Services created a Head Start program using two classrooms in the Noe Wing in the former school, now called Waldo City Square and used as a government office building. Worley said she hoped the Head Start was a sign of more to come.
Davis said Worley has been working every day with school administrators and with the school board to get the Waldo school reopened and running.
Constellation Charter School is Waldorf-inspired, taking a holistic approach to learning using Waldorf education principles in a joint effort with teachers, staff and parents. These principles emphasize the development of the whole child, not just in academic pursuits but in critical thinking, emotional intelligence and physical engagement.
Waldorf is typically associated with private schools, but Constellation's founders wanted all children to have access to “an educational experience that best supports their learning style and development,” regardless of household income, according to the school’s website.
According to the school’s summer newsletter, The Waldorf Initiative of Gainesville (TWIG) provided a grant to aid in the school’s start. TWIG is shutting down, and Constellation’s partnership will continue with the Florida Waldorf Foundation instead.
Davis said he hopes the school might help grow the town, as people like to have their children in smaller schools.
“It’s been a long time coming, but I think everybody in the city is excited about it,” he said.
Those who wish to learn more about Constellation Charter School’s mission and vision can visit the school’s website.