North America is the northern part of the American double continent, surrounded in the north by the Arctic Ocean, by the Atlantic Ocean in the east, by the Caribbean Sea in the south and by the Pacific Ocean in the west. It is the third largest continent in the world, after Asia and Africa, and covers a surface area of 24,930,000 square kilometers, including Greenland, the Central American land bridge and the Caribbean.
The first Waldorf School in the United States was the Rudolf Steiner School in New York, which was founded in 1928. At that time, shortly after the death of Rudolf Steiner on 20 March 1925, a group of teachers, doctors, artists, and parents who knew Rudolf Steiner personally and studied with him in Europe, met in New York. They talked about the possibility of bringing Waldorf education to America.
In the United States Waldorf schools are independent schools. This means that none of the Waldorf Schools receives financial support from the government and each school community is responsible for their own fundraising. On the other hand, each school has the liberty to develop its own curriculum, without having to coordinate it with the state curriculum.
Since 1991, it has been possible in California to found “Charter Schools” that are publicly funded. On September 3, 1991 the Milwaukee Waldorf School was opened as the first Waldorf “charter school.” Supporters of charter schools emphasize the positive influence of the schools in disadvantaged neighborhoods, which also allows parents with lower income to send their children to a Waldorf school.
A small Waldorf school that has emerged in an exceptional area is the Lakota Waldorf School in the “Pine Ridge” Indian Reservation in South Dakota. The initiative was founded in 1993 by parents who were concerned about their children's education. The aim is to create a school for the Lakota children which is based on their culture and language and thus prepares them for a successful future.