Rudolf Steiner School of Ann Arbor (RSSAA) opened its doors with grades 1 through 4 on September 4, 1980 in a small three-room building on Packard Road near historic Cobblestone Farm. Behind the school’s opening were decades of work in the community by many people, including Dr. Ernst Katz (Prof. Emeritus of Physics, University of Michigan) and Mrs. Ruth Nilsson, a parent and teacher who was instrumental in founding the school.
The school’s third year saw a move to a leased building on ten acres in York Township, necessitated by continued growth and the addition of our kindergarten. A new first grade was added each succeeding year, with the 1984-85 school year marking the first time that the Lower School had its full complement of kindergarten through 8th grade classes. Being in Milan was very challenging for the school: most of our students came from Ann Arbor and had to be bussed in. The building itself was not large enough to accommodate our expansion to a full K-8 program, nor did its design really meet our needs. It was extremely fortunate that we were able to purchase our Newport Road campus in 1986.
With our move back to Ann Arbor in 1986, we had room to grow. Steady and rapid growth in enrollment continued to reflect the community’s response to the value of our educational program. The growth of the school has been supported by an active parent body that has worked closely with the faculty on tasks such as publicity, fundraising, and recruitment. Such involvement has been essential in helping the school to confront first, the challenges of its infancy, and now the new challenges brought by continued growth.
Our High School opened in fall 1997 in a leased facility, the Genesis Building on Packard Road, completing the vision of the founding teachers and parents to have a full pre-K–12 program. In October 2001, a six-acre property located on Pontiac Trail was purchased to be the permanent home for our growing High School. After extensive renovations to the building and site, the new campus opened for classes in fall 2002.
We invite you to join us in writing the next chapter of our school’s history.