On the heels of its 20-year anniversary in central Ohio, Waldorf Education Columbus is in the midst of a six-month planning process that could lead to the establishment of a K-8 elementary school.

On the heels of its 20-year anniversary in central Ohio, Waldorf Education Columbus is in the midst of a six-month planning process that could lead to the establishment of a K-8 elementary school.

Meg Freeling, president of the local chapter of the nonprofit education group, said a report expected in June will indicate whether two more preschools will be added in central Ohio to serve as feeders to the elementary.

The location of the school, which would serve around 300 students, and its funding sources will be included in the report, Freeling said. The committee involved in the effort is composed of teachers, parents of students and community members.

As an independent school, its structure would be similar to other private learning institutions, such as Columbus Academy and Columbus School for Girls, Freeling said.

It would be an offshoot of the Briar Rose Children's Center, 636 Chase Road. The school, which enrolls 20 students, is run by Freeling's daughter, Rebecah Freeling. It's the only Waldorf school in central Ohio, founded in 1999.

The Waldorf educational system was founded in 1919 by Rudolf Steiner. In essence, teachers nurture a creative element into the curriculum, and art is integrated in each subject, Freeling said.

"For the Waldorf student, music, dance and theater, writing, literature, legends and myths are not simply subjects to be read about, ingested and tested. They are experienced," according to the group's Web site. "Through these experiences, Waldorf students cultivate a lifelong love of learning as well as the intellectual, emotional, physical and spiritual capacities to be individuals certain of their paths and to be of service to the world."

Meanwhile, Briar Rose will eliminate all-day preschool in the 2009-10 school year, meaning only morning instruction will be available. Rebecah Freeling said that another group could take over the afternoon schedule, but no one has come forward.

gseman@thisweeknews.com