Community Update
Feb. 8, 2019
D ear friends,
I love seeing impromptu structures like this when I'm walking around our campus. Where a chilly camper might look at this and see firewood and a beaver a home, there are a dozen different scenarios that enter the mind of the young child who seizes upon a stash of wood planks and logs like this. Will it become a group doghouse? A rabbit warren? A rocket ship? Or the officer's quarters of a sea-faring vessel? The possibilities are as endless as the imaginations of the children allowed to follow their curiosities and enthusiasm. Think of all the skills that are developed in the process of building such a structure: listening, planning and follow through; care and negotiation; not to mention the inherent lessons in physics and the sensory integration that happen through lifting, rolling and handling the materials.

That we provide access to simple, natural objects like this to our students may not seem extraordinary to those of us who've been involved in Waldorf for a while, but it certainly is not the norm at most schools in our country. Visit a public school campus, especially those in more population-dense areas, and you'll find a lot of blacktop, plastic play structures and rubbery play surfaces. I recall visiting a school in Sacramento County some years ago - a suburban one - and being surprised and disheartened to learn that despite the numerous beautiful trees throughout the field area, the children were not allowed to climb them and were in fact confined to the asphalt for their play. Fear of liability, I was told. I thought about the old fire engine that occupied prime real estate in my own early elementary school play area back in Ohio. A rusty, metal structure as the centerpiece of a children's playground? Who can imagine something like that in today's world? We've all probably seen the news stories popular in the last decade of school districts banning all manner of recess play elements: swings, sticks, even running!

There are some good signs, though. I've begun to see more stories lately that schools are slowly starting to realize that -- surprise! -- children need frequent access to unstructured play and movement time during their school day. That it actually makes them happier and more productive during their focused academic time. It's nice to see them finally coming around to what Waldorf has known all along: Children are multi-dimensional, creative beings, and learning is about more than delivering academic content and performing assessments that someone far away has devised. They need to move, and building up a strong and integrated body is a key component of academic learning later on.

Being an independent Waldorf school as we are does present us with some challenges, but certainly there are so many treasures that arise out of that independence and ability to really see the children before us and meet them where they are. Stop by any day during recess time and be a 'fly on the wall' by any of our playground areas and you'll witness these gifts in abundance.

As we head into this chilly winter weekend, I wish you precious time in beautiful natural spaces and many opportunities for imagination and play.

In spirited community,

Nicole Deutsch
Director of Community Development
All-School Assembly Next Friday
Please join us next Friday in the outdoor amphitheater before we all head off for the February break for our grades assembly. Student performances will include speech, music and movement and will begin at 12:30 p.m. See you there!
Early Enrollment Deadline Approaching
Early bird re-enrollment - and your opportunity to take advantage of the discounted re-enrollment fee of $125 - ends on Feb.18. After that date, the fee returns to its regular level of $150. Please contact Donna Soldano at with any questions.
"Art Unveiled" Tickets Now on Sale!!!
We Can't Do It Without Your Help!
Below: Parent Adam Beasley welcoming in guests at last year's auction.
Be like Adam! Sign up now! Many fun jobs still available: Sign Me Up!
Should Adolescents Use Social Media?
An integrative child, adolescent and adult psychiatrist, the author of  Reset Your Child’s Brain , and an expert on the effects of screen-time on the developing nervous system presents a case for just saying no to your middle schooler's request for social media. The following is an excerpt from her article, posted on the "today's mama" website. Access the full article via the link:

" Maybe because we are exhausted from their constant begging for a phone, or because we think that all their friends have one, or because we want to upgrade ours to the latest model…we cave. We act on impulse. Our brain seems to regress like theirs, and we give them our old smartphone.

And with that one little decision comes the world of social media access—something we haven’t thought about and something none of us is prepared for. Because the midbrain is reorganizing itself and  risk-taking  is high and  impulse control  is low, I can’t imagine a worse time in a child’s life to have access to social media than middle school. Here are just a few reasons why: ..."

Successfully Negotiating Our Tight Spaces
We have a challenging parking and access situation here at CSWS, which means it takes everybody being alert and doing their best to keep traffic moving smoothly and ensure all students remain safe during the busy drop-off and pick-up times. Toward that end, we ask that all drivers pull fully forward to the "top" of the drop-off line before children exit or enter the car. Having children exiting or approaching vehicles farther back in the line, especially when it's on the back driver's side, puts them potentially at risk for being hit by cars backing out of the south side of the lot or by cars that are trying to scoot around the stopped cars to make a quick exit.

We have also had some occasions where cars enter into the drop-off line and then stop and exit the vehicle to care for some school business or retrieve a child. This obviously creates a very difficult situation for all involved, so we ask for your consciousness around keeping things moving. If, as you are pulling in, you notice that your child's class has not yet been dismissed, please consider continuing on through the lot and circling around again, or parking on the blacktop below, rather than entering into the moving line and then holding up traffic to wait.

Lastly, in this wetter season, the lower field needs some extra care from everyone. Please do not park or drive on the field at any time during pick-up or drop-off, as it tears up the turf, which the kids do use daily for recess and movement classes.

More information on parking and access is included on the link below, should you have questions.

With everyone's consideration and care, we can facilitate an easier process for pick-up and drop-off. Thank you for doing your part to keep our children safe.

~ The Administration
Captures from Beneath the Oaks
Fourth Graders caring for our school animals during Gardening class
A little musical accompaniment always makes work more fun
The campus crocuses have started to peek out
Seventh Graders tackle their math practice in the sunshine
One of our new little pot-bellied campus pigs! Meet "Spark."
Advertisements and Opportunities
WANTED: First Car

We are reaching out to our dear community family with interest in purchasing a first car. Our daughter, a CSWS alumna, is looking for a reliable, fuel-efficient, compact vehicle. If anyone has a good lead, please contact Veronica Gunasekara at (916) 833-8234 or come visit in the Early Childhood Village! Thank you!
Spring Break at the Stardust Lodge in Tahoe

Enjoy a gorgeous spring week in Tahoe! We've booked a 1-bedroom unit (sleeps 4) at the Stardust Lodge for Cedar Springs' second week of Spring Break, 4/21 - 4/28. Highly rated on Trip Advisor, many people consider the Stardust Lodge to have a perfect location with a friendly staff and comfortable rooms. We're asking $800 for the whole week. Please contact Christine Land at (530)313-8714 if you're interested!
CSWS Positions Available

Our school is much in need of an early childhood extended care assistant. We are seeking a warm, responsible individual to help supervise this program. Experience with young children and knowledge of Waldorf pedagogy is preferred, but not required. The extended care position hours are Monday through Friday, 12 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. To meet state licensing requirements, applicants must have 12 ECE units, and be willing to comply with current CPR and First Aid training, clear a Livescan background check, a TB test, and a health screening and comply with current California vaccination requirements. Please send inquiries to: Veronica Gunasekara at   

The College of Teachers is seeking individuals who can act as substitute teachers. With our pedagogical chair position now vacant, we no longer have a go-to for when our teachers are ill or need to be away for the day for personal or family needs. With the cold and flu season approaching, the College would like to begin compiling a list of people, especially those with a teaching credential or experience working with children, who can support our faculty in this way. Please contact Amy Roehl at  if you would be able to help with this. 
Upcoming Events
Feb. 15     All-school Assembly, 12:30 p.m.
Feb. 18-22  February Conference Week, No School
Feb. 25     School Resumes
Mar. 1      Parent Guild Meeting, 1:35 p.m.
Mar. 14 Board of Trustees Meeting, 6:30 p.m.
Mar. 22 Auction set-up
Mar. 23 "Art Unveiled" Red Carpet Gala, 5:30 -10 p.m.
Inspiring our students to reach their highest potential as free-thinking, creative human beings who have a life-long love of learning, Cedar Springs offers Waldorf education to families and their children, infants through Eighth grade . - CSWS Mission Statement