February Break - Happy Presidents' Day! - No School February 18-22th
February Break 
Our school will be closed next week for Presidents' Day and for our teachers to attend Waldorf Professional Development Conferences February 19-22th. Vacation care is provided Feb 19-22th for contracted families; please note there is no drop-in care in the Sunflower or June Bug program during this time.
Please excuse the puddles
We are doing our best to keep our pathways accessible, but with the amount of rain it's a challenge. Thank you to everyone for wearing rain boots!  

Get Ready - it's coming soon! Early-bird ticket sales through Friday!
Get your tickets here: www.daviswaldorf.org/auction
Ticket Price goes up on February 16th!
Group tickets of 8 will include an extra drink ticket per person
Buy extra tickets and invite friends outside of our school...they love to bid!
Davis Waldorf Woodstock 2019 Benefit Auction
March 16, 2019 5:00-9:30 PM
Veterans Memorial Center, Davis
Don't miss our throw back to the 60's! Put on some bell-bottoms and a peace necklace or just come as you are. We'll be dining while bidding at our silent auction tables, followed by our seated live auction and games, and finish with live music, dancing and dessert. Invite family, friends and community members to come out and enjoy this adult only event to benefit Davis Waldorf School. We have an exciting selection of silent and live auction items, walking dinner catered by Gesche Gourmet, and wine, beer & spirits from Frey Vineyards, Cork It Again and Three Mile Brewing Company.
Wondering what a walking dinner is? Guests will serve themselves from our plentiful food stations as they bid and socialize, with lots of stand up cocktail tables and a few seats for those who need it. Instead of buying a table this year, you can buy group tickets of 8 and each person will get 2 drink tickets instead of one.  
Antipasto Tower
a selection of meats, cheese and spreads
with fresh fruits, nuts, vegetables, breads and crackers
Arugula Lentil Salad
with balsamic vinaigrette
Polenta Bites
with a roasted red pepper walnut sauce
Carrot Soup Shot
organic carrots and vegetables creamed with coconut milk and aromatic spices
served in a shot glass
Spiced Skewer Selection
prawn, chicken, and vegetable skewers with Mediterranean spices
Roasted Rosemary Potatoes and Saffron Rice
Chocolate Chip Cookies with Coffee and Tea Bar
And don't forget one of the fabulous desserts our 3rd grade class is putting up for auction...you will not go hungry!
Sponsorships and donations are still being accepted, so please consider what you can offer!  Click  here  for the form and turn in to the office or email   auction@daviswaldorf.org  ASAP.  Even if you are still working on your item, turn in your form so we know what's coming.
If you would like to volunteer for the event click here
Planning to dress up but don't have a costume? Head to Boheme Hip Used Clothing in downtown Davis and owner Yelena Ivashchenko, former DWS parent, will get you decked out! 409 3rd Street, Davis. https://www.bohemethreads.com/
Questions? Stop by the office or email Jenn Short at  development@daviswaldorf.org.
Re-Enrollment Packets available for pick-up in the office through Friday, Feb. 15th
We're hoping to save on postage this year by asking parents to come by the office this week to pick up re-enrollment paperwork.  Packets that have not been picked up will be mailed out on the afternoon of Friday, February 15th.  Paperwork is due back to the office by Friday, March 1st to receive the discounted re-enrollment fee of $200/family for Preschool, and $300/family for K-8.  After March 1st the re-enrollment fee goes up to $250/family for Preschool, and $400/family for K-8.  Get yours in early!  For re-enrollment questions, please contact our Registrar, Cori Brewer, at  registrar@daviswaldorf.org.
Parent-Child and Preschool Open House - Saturday, February 16th, 10:30am-12pm
Interested in our early childhood programs for a younger child? Do you have a friend that might be curious what our early childhood programs are like? Please visit along with your child, and invite friends to our Preschool Open House. Lauren Hickman, our Director of Pedagogy and Programs, as well as our Parent-Child teacher, Simone Demarzi, will share the wonders of play in the preschool and answer parents' and caregivers' questions about our programs. Children will play in the classroom and in our beautiful preschool yard - all are welcome! RSVP in the office or  office@daviswaldorf.org.
Confluence Congruence!
Our Faculty, Board, Staff and Parent Council joined together on Saturday, January 13th to evaluate and discuss our long-range planning for the school.  This bi-annual meeting of the leadership bodies of the school is called The Confluence as it is "a coming or flowing together, meeting, or gathering at one point, such as a confluence of cultures." 

With the upcoming Waldorf 100 anniversary we looked at the history of Waldorf education and the history of our school with lively talks from founding member Susan Pelican and prior Board Chair Bob Andersen. We discovered that the Perilous Path has a long tradition at DWS with students in the early years facing the challenge of dodging a dragon breathing fire! We also heard that the foundations for the lower grades classrooms were dug in the dead of night. When faced with this site hazard, the building had to begin immediately!

We spent the afternoon focusing on the future of the school by approving the DWS 2018-2023 Strategic Plan.  Over the past year the Visioning Committee has worked with different constituent groups at DWS to develop this plan whilst simultaneously working on the key priority items.
 Highlights of the Strategic Plan Vision for DWS are:
  • Re-develop our campus to meet the pedagogical, administrative and community needs of our school and enhance its natural beauty
  • Increase financial sustainability of DWS: through increased fundraising and maintaining a strong enrollment and retention of our students, faculty, and staff
Some of our key efforts so far are:
Site - Working to develop a Master Plan as the first step in redeveloping the Middle School space, including the aftercare and strings room, the wood shop, and handwork room. The Site Committee will be seeking input from the community soon on this much needed project
Employee Retention - Increased remuneration for Early Childhood (EC) Assistants and increased training budget for all employees
Fundraising - Working to establish a development committee to support strategic fundraising
To find out more click here. If you have skills in marketing, fundraising, architecture or planning we would love to have you participate in this important work for the future of DWS. Please email your expression of interest to our Board Chair, Ceri Beeman at boardchair@daviswaldorf.org.
Tuition Information for 2019-2020 School Year
Each year DWS, like all private schools, must increase tuition to meet the rising costs of operating the school and provide our employees with cost of living salary increases. Accordingly, for the 2019-2020 school year tuition will increase 3.5%, down from 5% in recent years. Your re-enrollment packet, available at the office, has the tuition fees and schedule.

This increase enables DWS to continue to operate with a fiscally-responsible budget, care for and retain our excellent employees, and to provide our students with the varied Waldorf subject program they enjoy. Other details that may provide insight into our tuition-setting process include the following:
  • Our Faculty and staff receive a cost of living increase, and a step increase for years of experience, totaling approximately 3% each year.
  • The Davis Waldorf School is a lean operation. The $1.28 million in payroll covers 17 full-time and 27 part-time staff.
  • The results of the DWS 2018 audit results determined 91 cents of every dollar is spent on program expenses and our finances are managed very closely and consistently.
  • To attract and retain excellent faculty, we have maintained a strong benefit package of full coverage medical/dental/vision for our full-time employees. These benefits give us a competitive edge over our neighboring Waldorf schools, where some have dropped insurance coverage altogether. Medical benefits increased 7% this year.
  • The 2019-2020 increase is aligned with the Consumer Price Index increase for the Western Region of 3.1% over the last 12 months.
For more information on DWS budget and costs click here.
TAP 101/DWS' Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) Demystified

What is the Tuition Assistance Program?
DWS' Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) is designed to help fill in the financial gap for families who may otherwise not be able to afford the full cost of tuition. Any family with children in the 2nd year of Kindergarten (5 years old by September 1, 2019) through 8th grade may apply. Tuition discounts may be 5-50% of full tuition, but generally may not exceed 50% without special Board approval. Tuition assistance funds come directly out of DWS' operating budget.
The TAP Process
The TAP process has four basic steps: filling out the application, initial review by the TAP committee, family conversation with the committee, and the tuition decision. The TAP committee and TADS, our third-party tuition assistance vendor, hold all financial information securely and in the strictest confidence.
Step 1: TAP Application
The TAP process begins with filling out the comprehensive application offered online at www.TADS.com. The basic application fee paid by each family is $39. All applying families are required to submit supporting documentation to TADS, which will then verify the information submitted on the application. Once all the requested data that have been submitted to TADS have been validated, the application is considered to be complete.
After the application is complete, TADS calculates a recommended tuition payment amount for each household by deducting a set amount for living expenses and household debt. Households with a lower amount of discretionary income will be determined to have a smaller amount that they can pay toward tuition at DWS.
Step 2: Initial review by the TAP committee
When applications are complete, family financial information is received by DWS for initial review by the TAP committee.
Step 3: Family conversations with the TAP committee
Following initial review of the financial information provided by TADS, the TAP committee arranges to meet with all newly applying families and approximately 1/3-1/2 of all continuing families. The goal of these meetings is threefold: to understand the family situation behind the numbers presented in the TADS spreadsheets, for families to hear details about the TAP process, and to explain the needs of the school.
Step 4: Tuition Decision
After the committee meets with families, it reviews the applications of all applying families who have fully completed their applications. Taking into consideration the story behind each family's numbers, the tuition amount recommended by TADS, and the school's financial aid budget, the committee assigns every family a tuition amount. Contracts are mailed to families in early May. In the event that a family feels that its tuition assignment is untenable, they may choose to request that the TAP committee re-review their application.
2019 Important TAP dates
March 8                          Application deadline for returning families
March 22                        Start TAP conversations with returning families
April 10th                        Application deadline for new families
April 24                                        Start TAP conversations with new families
April 15                           File 2018 tax forms (current tax return needed to finish process)
A tuition agreement amendment will be mailed with new tuition amount once the process is completed.  
If you have any questions about TAP, please contact the Tuition Assistance Committee at tap@daviswaldorf.org.
The TAP Committee consist of a representative from The Board, the Director of Finance and Operations and up to 3 parents.
The Wonders of our Gardening Program with Gardening Teacher Alisa Haller
The garden is growing green and lush with the abundance of rain we've been having! Last week we took advantage of the green weeds before they made any seeds and built a giant compost pile mixing them with the leaves we collected and stored over the fall. The eighth grade has been hard at work weeding and prepping the corner at Sycamore near the EC parking lot for new plantings. Thanks to Three Palms Nursery for the plant donations, Yolo Arborists for the mulch and Kelly Fristch for her expertise!
The seventh grade has been doing a wonderful job with promoting composting and recycling at our school by making signs, performing fun and interactive skits to all the grades and conducting weekly trash audits of each classroom. We look forward to announcing the winning classroom for our "Compostition" next week. It is so hopeful to see the improvements made in recycling and composting at our school and exciting to see the students' enthusiasm for making a difference!  

In December the sixth grade completed their project with Davis Farm's Grow and Give program. The students visited the farm three times to plant, maintain and harvest produce selected for a special lunch they cooked for the residents of the Eleanor Roosevelt Senior Center. The menu included: homemade pasta (made with wheat grown and ground at school) with kale pesto, salad, and pumpkin pie (using pumpkins grown at school). The food was incredible, but most incredible were the conversations and care the students showed to their guests. After the food was ready, each student was paired with a senior for the lunch and they all did a beautiful job of playing host! Thank you to Davis Farm to School for providing us with the grant to fund this project, to Robyn and Orjan of Farm Davis and to all the parent volunteers and Ms. Toy for making this special experience possible!


All the grades are doing wonderful work in our gardens: the fifth grade class is studying herbs, the fourth grade class is working in the new native garden, third grade is busy taking care of the chickens and performing garden work, second grade has lots of fun making garden crafts and helping with garden chores, and first grade has been a delight to see visiting the garden each season. And of course, all the grades have been enjoying tasting the bounty of our garden by making lots of salads, arugula pesto, popcorn and herbal teas.

If you are interested in learning more about the garden program or would like to volunteer with a class or with special projects, I would love to hear from you! My email is ahaller@daviswaldorf.org Blessings! Alisa 

Watercolor in First Grade
First Grade Wish List
Our first grade teacher, Meg Connell, is looking for an oval braided rug for floor work and to absorb sound, and a folded floor mat for floor exercises. If anyone has one at home they can donate, please email her at  mconnell@daviswaldorf.org.


Fifth Grade looks forward to their play!
One of the best parts of the fifth grade year is the study of ancient cultures. The fifth grade is currently deep into mythology of ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt. This week they will perform "The Epic of Gilgamesh", the first story ever written. As one student summarized:
"Long ago, there was a king named Gilgamesh, who ruled selfishly with no mercy. The gods decided to make his equal, Enkidu. When Enkidu entered the city, Gilgamesh challenged him to a fight, but because they were equal, neither one won. They became friends and they fought the beasts Humbaba and the Bull of Heaven. The gods were angry and they killed Enkidu. Gilgamesh would not accept this, so he went to the underworld to find his ancestor. Finally, Gilgamesh learned to accept the circle of life as it is."
The fifth grade play will be performed at Davis Christian Assembly on Friday, February 15th at 9:30am and 6:00pm. 
Welcome New Baby!
Johannes Milford Oltjenbruns was born at 11pm last Friday night! He is 8 lbs. 2 oz and 21 1/2" long. Our games teacher, Natalie Oltjenbruns, says baby is perfect and healthy and all are doing well. Congratulations!
Parent Council - Next Meeting Thursday, February 28th, 5:45pm 
Parent Council is open to all community members and helps support our school. Meetings are held at the home of Ceri and Ezra Beeman, 334 I Street in Davis, from 5:45-8:00pm. We enjoy a potluck dinner so please bring an item to share.  We hope you will join us as we come together to support our school! Minutes from last month's meeting can be found here.
Morning Care Staff Needed
We are looking for someone to take over our 4-5th grade morning care from 7:45-8:15am each morning.  This is a paid position and is great for a parent that may have a little extra time each morning to help out at school.  Thank you, Rebecca Mills, for helping the last few months! If interested, please email   office@daviswaldorf.org.
DWS Middle School Sport Fans - Spirit Shirts are here!
Youth and adult short sleeve and long sleeve shirts are available for purchase in the office. Our spirit shirts are approved for all students to wear at school and are a fun way to support our sports program.
Come out and cheer for our last basketball game of the season on Saturday, Feb 16, 9am and Sac Waldorf School. We'll be playing Live Oak Waldorf.
Come help with our Handwork Circle Auction Project - Fridays from 8:30-10:00am
We need some extra help getting our Handwork Circle Auction Project completed. We are sewing felted animals for a scene and will also have work that can be taken home. If you are unable to come on Fridays, but are an experienced hand stitcher and would like to help, please email Handwork Teacher, Dahlia Haberman, at  handworkbasket@gmail.com. We meet in the room to the left of the preschool classrooms, look for the gold sun.  
Waldorf 100 Celebration in Golden Gate Park - May 18th - Save the Date!
San Francisco Waldorf School is sponsoring a huge Waldorf 100 event at the Band Shell in Golden Gate Park on Saturday, May 18th from 10:30am-3:30pm. Mark your calendars and we'll share more information as we get it.
If you'd like to help with our school's Waldorf 100 Celebration activities, please contact Jenn Short at  development@daviswaldorf.org.
Free Simplicity Parenting Institute Online Workshop
Kim John Payne's Simplicity Parenting Institute website is a wonderful resource used by many Waldorf schools, teachers and families. You can still sign up for his latest free online workshop on "Discipline and Guidance" as well as find other helpful information at  https://www.simplicityparenting.com.
Bring Your Friends to Join Our DWS Family
We offer a $500 referral credit to next year's tuition to any family who refers a friend that completes the enrollment process for our grades classes. Questions? Contact Jody Roach, Director of Finance and Operations at  business@daviswaldorf.org.
Submissions for our Updates/Bulletins
If you would like to share something with our community in an upcoming newsletter, please email Jenn Short at   development@daviswaldorf.org.
Updated School Calendar - click   here

Dates to Remember

2/16 - Why Choose Waldorf Education? 6pm 
2/14 - Parent Child Program 9:30am
2/15 - Parent Child Program 9:30am
2/15 - 5th Grade Play 6pm, Davis Christian Assembly
2/16 - Heavy Baby Doll Making Class 10am
2/16 - Preschool & Parent Child Open House 10:30am
2/18 - No School, Presidents' Day
2/19-22 - No School, Teachers' In-Service Training
2/27 - School Tour 8:30am
2/28 - Parent Child Program 9:30am
2/28 - 5th Grade Field Trip
3/1 - Early Re-Enrollment Deadline
3/1 - Parent Child Program 9:30am
3/1 - Boats and Breakfast Father's Day Celebration 8:25am, Climbing Rose Kindergarten 
3/1 - 4th Grade Play 6:30pm
3/6 - School Tour 8:30am
3/6 - 5th Grade Parent Meeting 6:30pm
3/7 - Parent Child Program 9:30am
3/7 - 3rd Grade Parent Meeting 6pm
3/8 - Application Due Date
3/8 - Parent Child Program 9:30am
3/9 - Family Ways Series, Creative Discipline 9am
3/11 - 7th Grade Play 5pm
3/12 - Board Meeting 6:30pm
3/16 - Benefit Auction Dinner 5pm, Veterans' Memorial Center