Due to an issue with our Constant Contact account, this issue of Community Update failed to send on Friday. Apologies for the delay.
Community Update
Jan. 4, 2019
Dear Friends,

I hope everyone has had a joyful and relaxing holiday season. Winter break offers an opportunity - if we're open to it - to slow life down and just be. This is not an easy thing to do in our culture! We have become so accustomed to rushing around that the idea of taking time to be "unproductive" seems almost sacrilege. Always that nagging feeling in the back of our head that we should be 'doing' something - a feeling that often gets transmitted to our children, who end up being rushed from one activity, one playdate, to another. Sometimes it's nice when everyone just gets to spend the day in their jammies, doing nothing in particular, save being together, but doing so without guilt (at least for adults used to being 'on') can require some mental gymnastics.

This feeling of needing to be constantly engaged manifests in many ways and is augmented by the smart phones most of us have at our fingertips. They've become like little appendages, these devices, traveling with us wherever we go and filling any unoccupied, previously mundane moment. How many of us notice folks waiting in a line or sitting at a stoplight checking their phone? How many of us do this ourselves? How often are phones ending up at the family table - whether at home or at a restaurant? 

This fall, I began to notice the insidious creep of these devices into ever more moments of my and my family's life. It was especially concerning where my two teen daughters were concerned, and I hated the constant tug of war that seemed to follow the conversations around screen time. While they understand to some degree the argument I was making, the pull of social media, music, YouTube and literally a world of information, is incredibly strong, and the minutes just seem to fly away when engaged in these activities. Before you know it, an hour has gone by. Some folks say parents just need to be more on top of this, but let's be honest: it is difficult to be constantly vigilant to your child's screen use in the midst of all else we're juggling as parents. As a longtime friend of mine commented: "Policing those phones is exhausting." I agreed, so I tried something different: setting the phone to police itself. 

The folks who brought us Screenagers have a weekly blog, Tech Talk Tuesdays. This Tuesday's installment  looks at ways to use technology to your advantage when trying to get a handle on your child's screen time (or your own; I set usage limits on my own device to keep myself in check, and it's been hugely helpful). You can set overall device limits or manage the apps individually, or both. It is pretty straightforward on the newer Apple phones and can be managed remotely, which is a huge plus. 

Although we are a Waldorf community, and our philosophy (as well as child development experts) advocates for delaying and then limiting the use of such devices for our children (and many of us do), the times we live in make following that credo ever more difficult. We are like the salmon swimming upstream, and we get tired. So is there a way to swim smarter, not harder? It would seem so. Two years ago, our school decided that it was very important, in light of the reality of our digitized world, to offer a CyberCivics curriculum to our middle schoolers. They're going to be exposed to screens and social media; it's a fact of modern life. Given that reality and our role as an educational institution, it made a lot of good sense for us to step in and help guide them to manage that exposure safely and intelligently. The screen limit apps is another tool - one that parents can use - to create a healthier digital life for their children. 

If your child is at - or approaching - an age where they have begun to explore the world of social media and apps, consider taking a look at the article and exploring the options, especially if your child has just received a new device for the holidays. (It's somewhat easier to start off with the limits, though not impossible to implement later.) I would also advocate for employing these limiting apps for yourself (even if your children are small) since as we know from our Kindergarten faculty, we are constantly modeling. 

As always, thank you for being a special part of our community and please let me know if you have questions about this topic or anything else. In the meantime, here's to a wonderful last weekend of winter break, and I look forward to seeing everyone back next week.

In spirited community,

Nicole Deutsch
Director of Community Development
Classroom Tours for Current Parents: Witness the Magic!
Save the Date, CSWS Parents!
Tuesday and Wednesday, Jan. 15-16 
8:30 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.

Have you ever wondered about your child's experience during their Main Lesson?  Here is an opportunity for you to observe the magic of Waldorf teaching in real time as you are guided on a tour through the grades.

Enrollment Director Donna Soldano will lead group tours on Jan. 15 and 16 for current parents who would like to do a "Walk Through the Grades." The Tuesday, Jan. 15th tour will begin  in the 1st grade,  continuing on the path to the 3rd, 5th and finally ending in the 7th grade. The following day's tour  will begin at 8:30 a.m. on the lower campus observing the 2nd grade and continue on to visit the 4th, 6th and 8th grades.

Please contact Donna Soldano at (530) 642-9903 or  enrollment@cedarspringswaldorf.org if you re interested in joining us on the tour.
AppLimitsFrom 'Tech Talk Tuesdays' ...
Apps that help parents with setting screen time limits

By Delaney Ruston, MD
"Happy New Year!  I thought this would be a good time to revisit your plans
to limit screen time this year and reduce struggles in your home. Today I want to focus on how to fight fire with fire-that is how to get tech to be the enforcer of tech time. There are a myriad of apps and tools out there can help set up a system that reduces anxiety and struggles around screen time.  ..."
~  Read Article Here  ~
New Parent-Child Session 
Starts This Month!
Please join us for our Parent-Child Program for 3-4 year olds.  The Sunflowers Program is held fully outdoors and designed to help children deepen feelings of confidence; build capacities for learning; develop new communication and problem-solving skills, and strengthen emotional well-being.

Our Day:
  • Gather and play 
  • Morning circle time: singing, movement, finger games and verse
  • Nature, crafting, and/or a campus walk, or more play if that is what the day is asking of us
  • Snack time (We will supply delicious homemade snack, please let the teacher know of any allergies when registering) and meal clean-up
  • Nursery rhyme/nature inspired story and a goodbye song 
For younger children (19-36 months), our Daffodils Program offers interactive play, singing, finger games, story time, snack and craft activities. Parents and children work on projects that rotate between gardening, baking, painting, toy making/craft.

Breathe deep and enjoy parenting support, imaginative play, laughs, and warm meals while you share good conversation with like-minded parents.

An Argument for Unstructured Play Time
Let kids be kids! Allowing children greater freedom for independent play and risk taking has far-reaching benefits for a child's development and well being. PBS had a recent segment on how overprotecting our children can backfire. An important conversation. 

~  View Video Here  ~
Auction Catalog
Advertising Available 

Promote your business to a wonderful community of conscious consumers, while supporting a great cause! 
The Auction Team is actively seeking advertising for this year's catalog. Full and half page ads still available. Submission form with pricing below.  Email cedarspringsauction@gmail.com for questions or additional information.
auctionformsPlease click on donation forms below to download and print. Completed forms should be sent to:  cedarspringsauction@gmail.com

For more information about the auction, visit our auction website:

Click the images to open for download!
Check Out Our New Website!

Housing Ad
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  veronicalavergne@gmail.com  

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 classof2023@cedarspringswaldorf.org if you would be able to help with this. 
This Month's School Calendar 

Jan. 7 -    Classes resume
Jan. 10 -  Board and Trustees meeting, 6:30 p.m.
Jan. 15 -  Tour  of Grades 1st, 3rd, 5th and 7th, 8:30-9:30 a.m.
Jan. 16 -  Tour of Grades 2nd, 4th, 6th and 8th, 8:30- 9:30 a.m.
Jan. 16 - Parent-Child classes, Session 3, begins
Jan. 18 - Parent Guild Meeting, 1:35 p.m.
Jan. 21 - MLK Jr. Holiday - No School
Jan. 25 - Winter Concert , 6:30-7:30 p.m.
Jan. 26 - Early Childhood Parent Meeting, 9-11a.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

This form is made available to guide parent questions & concerns in support of our school's communication model. Please download and complete with Parent Mentors, Faculty, and Staff.