Annual Giving Campaign - We Did It! 
Not only did we get 100% participation from all our K-8th grade families, but we reached our $60,000 goal by the end of our campaign last Friday, December 7th!!! Congratulations and thank you to all our families, friends, alumni, and matching businesses for coming together in this amazing way to support the financial needs of our school. A special thank you to the generosity of our two anonymous donors for their $5,000 bonus gifts for reaching 100% participation, and for our Early Childhood dollar-for-dollar match. We are so grateful!!
Although our Annual Giving Campaign has ended, donations can still be made at any time of year on our website at  Every gift is a blessing to our school!
Fundraising is critical at DWS - If you are interested in joining the fundraising committee, please email 
Come By To Say Farewell to Our Beloved Debbie Hicks!
We have been so lucky to have Debbie Hicks, our amazing Office Coordinator, with us for over 10 years and are just thrilled to support her as she moves into retirement. Her last day with us will be Friday, December 21st and we would like to invite all families to come by the office/breezeway on Tuesday, December 18th from 1-3:30pm to wish her well and sign her farewell memory book.
If you would like to contribute to her community gift, go to For questions, email
Welcome to Shellie McCallen, our New Office Coordinator
Shellie brings with her a wide array of skills and is a pleasure to work with. Shellie along with partner, Rob and 2 children, Callen, 6th grade and Mary Jane, 5th grade are in their 9th year here at Davis Waldorf School. Come by and say hello!
Parent Council December Social - Location Change to De Vere's Irish Pub!
In lieu of a December Parent Council Meeting, we will be having a holiday social gathering at De Vere's Irish Pub in Davis this Friday, December 14th at 7pm. Address is 217 E Street and we will gather in the Library Room. All are invited (adults only).
At our January Parent Council Meeting on January 17th DWS Board representatives will attend to report on the audit, and answer questions and receive feedback on tuition setting. We encourage all parents to attend. Minutes from last month's meeting may be viewed here. Parent Council meetings are held at the home of Ceri and Ezra Beeman, 334 I Street in Davis, from 5:45-8:00pm. For more information contact our Parent Council Chair, Gina Murphey at
Aftercare Contracts for Winter Break
Care will be offered January 2-4.  Contracts are due back by December 13th. If the school does not receive a minimum number of four sign-ups for any days, care will be cancelled for those days. You will be notified of cancellation by December 18th. No drop-in care is available. Click here for June Bug contracts or  Sunflower contracts.  Email with questions.

Sunflower Drop-Ins  
Please call to confirm availability. Ms. Karen, the Aftercare Director, has been having drop-ins without prior notification and approval when she is already over capacity.

If you are a contracted family and there are days/times your child will not be attending, please let the office know so another child may be signed up. Thank you for your help! 530-753-1651 or
Memories of the Month
What a busy and festive month we've had! Beautiful memories from our reverent Spiral Walks, 3rd grade dreidel games for Chanukah,  6th grade Legion of Honor field trip to SF, 7th grade chemistry lesson,  a visit from St. Nicholas, Christmas tree sales, Winter Concert, Family Craft Day and Diwali the Hindu Festival of Lights. Special thanks go to music teachers, Angela Kost and Andrew Taylor for a spectacular concert and to our handwork teacher, Dahlia Haberman, and the middle school classes, for organizing Family Craft Day! 



New Hot Lunch Forms and Healthy, Delicious, ChickPeas for Lunch on Fridays!
New hot lunch forms are available for January and can be found  here, on our website, or in the office.
Beginning in January, the 7th grade is excited to bring a new offering to our school's hot lunch program. Locally owned ChickPeas Mediterranean food!  As a fundraising effort for the class trip, we will be serving ChickPeas' 'World's Best' vegan and gluten-free falafel, pita bread, their scrumptious homemade hummus, and a rotating Middle Eastern side of freshly cut and well-seasoned vegetables. 7th grade will offer a tasting day for the children on Friday, December 14th during the lunch hour.
DWS orders a yearbook for each student. If you  do no t want a yearbook for your child, you must opt-out by Friday, December 14th. You can opt-out by letting the office know or emailing the office at

Lost and Found Items
Many students have left clothing on the school grounds that are not labeled. We collect all the items and keep them in the wood cabinet outside the office. We also have dishware items that have not been claimed.  We will be displaying these items on hanging racks in the Office Breezeway from Thursday, December 13-21, at which time we will go through them and either donate them to a local charity or save them for a future school clothing exchange. Thank you for coming by and claiming any that belong to your family!
Our DWS Strings Ensemble - Out in the Community
Ms. Kost and our Davis Waldorf Strings Ensemble enjoy getting out into the community to share their love of music. They will be playing a holiday performance at Atria Covell Gardens on Thursday, December 20th at 2:30pm. Address is 1111 Alvarado Avenue in Davis and all are invited to attend! Click here for flyer.
After School Electives
It is time to sign up for the next session of after-school electives - we are offering Woodworking with Mr. Critchfield and Painting with Ms. Marta.  Sign up by January 11th to receive a discount of $15 per elective. Click  here for form.
Save the Dates!
We want to make sure our families have some important Davis Waldorf School event dates on their calendars for the coming year:
February 1st - All School Open House, 6:00-8:00pm
March 16th - Benefit Auction, 5:00-9:30pm, Veterans Memorial Center, Davis
May 5th - May Faire Festival, 9:00am-2:00pm

Board News by Chair Ceri Beeman
Tuition setting was discussed at the December Board of Directors (BOD) Meeting and will be approved at the Tuesday, January 8th meeting. William & Olds CPAs will also be reporting on the DWS annual audit at the January 8th meeting. All DWS BOD meetings are open to all members of the community and we welcome your participation. Board meetings start at 6:30pm and are held in the MPR. If you are unable to attend a meeting and would like to offer input please email

Parking Reminders
Please be mindful to not park in any reserved or faculty designated parking space until after 2:00 pm. We have faculty/staff/subject teachers/mentors that come and go throughout the day at different times and need to be able to park quickly to start their work.  
Also, when using the front and back parking circle drop off locations in the morning, please pull forward as far as you can to prevent congestion behind you. Thank you for your understanding - it is making a huge difference to the flow of cars coming through for drop-off!
DWS Sports
Our Sports Director, Natalie Oltjenbruns, will be going out on maternity leave after the December break, and Caitlin Amajor, a previous DWS teacher and current substitute teacher, will be our long-term substitute during Ms. Oltjenbruns' leave. Please direct questions to
School Photos Online
The 2018 individual school portraits are now ready to view and order online. If you would like to order additional prints, please go to:   The password is DWS.  If you have any questions please contact

Substitutes Needed!
We are looking for qualified substitutes for our Sunflower Aftercare Program, grades classes, and our Early Childhood Program. If you are interested, please submit a resume and three professional references to
Please Support Davis Waldorf While Doing Your Holiday Shopping 
Here are some ways to help support our school while you shop:
Giving Assistant online purchases:
2. Set up your account (takes less than a minute)
3. Be sure to select our organization in your account settings Davis Waldorf School (Association for Waldorf Education in Davis)
4. Begin your holiday shopping to earn cash back!
It's also easy to support us through Amazon Smile at Amazon Smile  

Nova Natural will give the school a 10% donation and free shipping for all orders placed with their company.  They have beautiful Waldorf-appropriate toys and crafts!  Check out Nova Natural, or we have a catalog in the office. Use the following code when ordering to get free shipping and to ensure the school gets their generous donation - DAVISWALD10.
Looking For Waldorf Inspired Books For Your Home?
Our office has a SteinerBooks Waldorf Education Catalog with a selection of wonderful books for parents, educators, and children.  Come by the office to take a look or go online to  to place an order.  

Handwork Circle Continues to Meet Fridays from 8:30-10:00am
Please come in and join our Handwork Teacher, Dahlia Haberman, for handwork, coffee and tea, and conversation. We meet in the room to the left of the preschool classrooms, look for the gold sun. All are welcome and no experience needed.

Heavy Baby Doll-Making Class with our Handwork Teacher Dahlia Haberman
On Saturday, February 16, 10am-4pm in the MPR, c ome make a "heavy baby" Waldorf doll - one that your child will treasure. This doll making class is for adults and is perfect for parents with children in the Parent-Child, Preschool and Kindergarten classes. Class fee is $60 and includes all doll-making materials. Please sign up in the office by Friday, February 8 th . Minimum of 3 participants needed to hold the class. Questions, contact Dahlia Haberman at

Why This Skeptical Engineer Trusts Waldorf Education
By Joseph Hartman, Ph.D., P.E.

As a long-time professor of industrial and systems engineering-and the parent of three children who have attended Waldorf schools-I have been asked for years about the ability of the Waldorf curriculum to produce engineers and scientists, professions that are valued in a world defined by ever advancing technology.

In 1995, I was in my third year of graduate studĀ­ies at Georgia Tech, the leading school in my field. That year I also met my lovely wife Karen, who introduced me to Waldorf education. The word "skeptical" only begins to describe my reaction to a pedagogy that emphasizes movement, music, and the visual arts. But, being a curious student, I listened to Karen, attended lectures, and tried to learn. Eventually I conceded that Waldorf seemed to be a great idea, albeit only for kindergartners.

We moved to Scotland for a year and lived near a Steiner school that went through 12th grade. Again, I attended lectures and quizzed the teachers. I was shocked to discover that they taught calculus...right after poetry and before pottery. If they taught calculus, I reasoned, they had to be doing a good job teaching the fundamentals of mathematics and science.

But I still wondered how all of this "other" stuff (pottery?) helped a potential engineer or scientist. That is when I started taking a closer look at the students in my classrooms and the changing world around us.

In his best seller The World Is Flat, Thomas Friedman lays out what is necessary for students to make it in a highly connected, global community driven by technology. He does not dwell on technology skills or the ability to write computer code. Rather, he points out four survival skills:
  • Learn how to learn: Seems simple, but most children are not excited about learning. For this to happen, a teacher must awaken the child. Looking back, we remember our favorite teachers because they got us excited about learning. The subject matter taught by a great teacher is immaterial, as it is easily forgotten. Rather, the desire to acquire new knowledge is what is learned and retained.
  • Be curious: Curiosity and passion are just as important, if not more important than intellect. As the technology writer Doc Searls said, "Work matters, but curiosity matters more. Nobody works harder at learning than a curious kid."
  • Play well with others: You must play with others, as the people skills can never be out-sourced, even in a flat world.
  • Exercise the right side of the brain: Put simply, "do something you love to do because you will bring something intangible to it."
Note that the above skills have nothing to do with calculus or trigonometry. Rather, they have everything to do with a love of learning and exploration-cornerstones of Waldorf education.

Elementary classrooms at Waldorf schools are bright, colorful, and uncluttered. Teachers bring the curriculum to life with vibrant, full-color chalk drawings, dramatic story-telling, and movement. What you won't find in a Waldorf classroom are computers, iPads, electronic white boards, or other electronic devices.
Friedman goes on to describe the transformation at my alma mater, Georgia Tech. Then-president G. Wayne Clough realized that some of the best engineers "might not be the ones who could solve the calculus equation better, but they could define the problem that the calculus had to solve better than anyone else." More importantly, "they knew how to think creatively."

So, beginning in the late 1990s, Georgia Tech changed its admissions process to admit more students that played musical instruments, sang in a choir, or played on a team. The result is that a computer science student at Tech is likely to be taking a course in computer graphics while studying Hamlet in Classics. Echoed by Charles Vest, former president of MIT, "the humanities, the arts, and social sciences are essential to the creative, explorative, open-minded environment and spirit necessary to educate the engineer of 2020."

The fact is, a well-rounded student who exercises both sides of the brain is more apt to be creative and curious. This is the type of engineer that I hope I am, the type of engineer I want to work with, and the type of student I want to teach. This is the son or daughter I want to have. This is why I trust Waldorf education. Educating the whole child works in any world, for any eventual profession. I can only hope that some of these children show up in my class someday, eager to learn.

Dr. Hartman's youngest child currently attends the Waldorf School of Lexington. He is Dean, Francis College of Engineering, University of Massachusetts, Lowell.

Bring Your Friends to Join Our DWS Family
We have openings in some of our grades classes for next year. We are offering a $500 referral credit to next year's tuition to any family who refers a friend that completes the enrollment process. Questions? Contact Jody Roach, Director of Finance and Operations at
DWS is Now on Instagram!
Be sure to follow us: @DavisWaldorfSchool. To access you must download the Instagram app on your phone. Create an account and once you are logged in to your account, search DavisWaldorfSchool and select the "follow" button.
Friends of Davis Waldorf School Facebook Page
Follow us on the Friends of Davis Waldorf School Facebook page. To access, click the following link, click "Join Group". You may need to wait 24 hours until your request to join has been approved.
Submissions for our Updates/Bulletins
If you have an item to include in an upcoming bulletin, please email Jenn Short at


Dates to Remember

12/13 - Santa Lucia
12/13 - Parent Child Program 9:30am
12/14 - Parent Child Program 9:30am
12/14 - Parent Council Social 7pm, De Vere's in Davis
12/18 - Miss Debbie's Farewell 1-3:30pm
12/20 - Parent Child Program 9:30am
12/20 - Strings Perform at Covell Gardens 2:30pm
12/21 - Parent Child Program 9:30am
12/24/18-1/4/19 - No School, Winter Break
01/07 - School Resumes
01/08 - Board Meeting 6:30pm
01/10 - Parent Child Program 9:30am
01/10 - 3rd Grade Parent Meeting 6pm
01/11 - Parent Child Program 9:30am
01/12 - Family Ways Series 9am
01/12 - 5th Grade Parent Meeting 10:30am