April 9, 2021
Hello MLWS Families...

Spring has arrived, and warmer temperatures and wet weather are upon us; the daffodils, crocuses and forsythia are blooming. Please read on to find out what is emerging within our school community! We hope you enjoy this issue of our newsletter, which includes a Parent Council update, highlights the activities of various classes and other school-related topics, offers Classified listings, and provides information about upcoming events in the MLWS community.
Parent Council is holding monthly meetings via Zoom during the 2020-21 school year. Please join us at our next meeting on Friday, April 16, 12:30-1:30pm. We may hold smaller working group meetings via Zoom as necessary as well, to work on some of our priority projects. These efforts include a monthly Brown Bag Lunch Series (via Zoom) featuring MLWS community speakers, Grounds Beautification Projects, Food Drives, a Welcome Committee for New Families, “Art for the Elderly” Community Outreach, and this newsletter.

If you are interested in being involved in one of the working groups, or if you have an idea for another initiative you would like to work on through Parent Council, please send us an email at

We also have a MLWS Parent Council googlegroup that is open to all MLWS community members. If you are interested in joining, please send an email to as well. Please consider getting involved and offering some of your time to one of our projects. Many hands make light work!

Here is the Parent Council meeting schedule for the rest of the 2020-21 school year:
  • Friday, May 21, 12:30-1:30pm
If your family is new to Mountain Laurel Waldorf School and you are looking for support as you find your way, please reach out to the parent rep for your child’s class (your child’s teacher can tell you who it is!) and/or contact MLWS Parent Council at and request to be paired with a mentor family. Our monthly Brown Bag Series, Basket Craft events and Parent Council meeting are all wonderful ways to strengthen your connection as well!
Calendar of School Events
Tuesday, April 13, 1:00-2:00pm: MLWS “Brown Bag Lunch Series” via Zoom with Prim Ormanovich, MLWS Kindergarten teacher, for a discussion about Early Childhood and The Importance of the Lower Four Senses

Friday, April 16, 12:30-1:30pm: MLWS Parent Council meeting via Zoom. If you would like to request a topic be added to the agenda, please send an email to by Wednesday, April 14.

Tuesday, May 11, 1:00-2:00pm: MLWS “Brown Bag Lunch Series” via Zoom for a discussion about Governance and Structure at MLWS

Friday, May 21, 12:30-1:30pm: MLWS Parent Council meeting via Zoom. If you would like to request a topic be added to the agenda, please send an email to by Wednesday, May 19.
News & Happenings
ANNOUNCING APRIL’S BROWN BAG LUNCH: "Early Childhood and The Importance of the Lower Four Senses" with Prim Ormanovich, Mountain Garden Kindergarten lead teacher.

Please join us on Tuesday, April 13, 1:00-2:00pm for a conversation about Early Childhood and The Importance of the Lower Four Senses with Prim Ormanovich, MLWS Kindergarten teacher.
The first four senses (touch, life, self-movement and balance) are called physical senses because they are used to perceive one's own body. In nurturing these elements, we endow our youngest ones with a sense of wellbeing, connection and strength as they look for their place in the world. Please join Parent Council as we talk about how Early Childhood Education in a Waldorf School emphasizes practical support for these senses and how they lay the foundation for healthy growth and learning in the grades.

Through the Brown Bag Lunch Series, we are hoping to create a stronger and more connected parent body at our school by offering opportunities to connect socially while providing information about our school, Waldorf education and the broader community of like-minded organizations and individuals. We offer a special welcome to new families, as this is a great way to get to know our community and the educational model. Each meeting will feature a speaker on a given topic.

Please save these dates! Join us on the second Tuesday of each month, from 1:00pm to 2:00pm, as follows:

May 11: “The Governance and Structure at MLWS"

June 9: "Celebrating the Journey: Reflections on the Year and the Class of 2021" with Takken Wish, MLWS Eighth Grade teacher (and rising First Grade teacher!)
SUMMARY OF MARCH’S BROWN BAG LUNCH on Music in the Waldorf Curriculum and at MLWS:

Kicking off our 2021 Brown Bag Lunch Series, Mark and Steve Bernstein’s presentation attracted a large group of parents with children of all ages, including both long-standing families and those new to the school. Everyone seemed jubilant with the promise of the Spring sunshine and warmer weather, although it also brought voice to the sadness of not being able to be together for festivals and especially singing. We talked about our childhood memories of music as a check-in question.

“Music has provided me with everything I have ever needed,” Steve Bernstein began, recollecting growing up with music and big family in the 1970s. He then guided us through the progression of musical learning through the grades, beginning in Third Grade and continuing to the ensembles in the upper grades.

Mark Bernstein then spoke about the music that is “deep in our culture (at MLWS).” The orchestra has been a feature of our school for the past 20 years. He outlined the stringed instrument portion of the musical curriculum, starting with the process of choosing instruments at the end of Second Grade and the various groups in which the children participate as they move through the grades, including chorus and orchestra. He also spoke about the confidence and enjoyment imparted to the students by the program, especially through sharing their work with the greater community (in more normal times) with the semi-annual Winter and Spring Music Shares, as well as concert and touring opportunities.

It was wonderful to be reminded of how robust and ever-present music is at our school. As parents, we have fewer opportunities this year to glimpse the program than in previous years, when you would walk into the school and hear a group rehearsing or see the older children at drop off with their instruments. There is so much to be grateful for in witnessing the talent of the children at the Music Shares and also the gentle accompaniment at community-wide events like May Day.

Our first ever Basket Craft meeting on March 17 was a complete pleasure! Using kite paper, each of the participants made a simple folded star and a folded heart. Our conversation was warm and inviting, and the craft was fun. If you would like to make a transparent star for your own windows, this is a great video tutorial (The supplies are simple: colorful paper, scissors and glue!)

Stay tuned for details about April and May crafting opportunities! If you would like to get involved with this program, have ideas for projects or would like to lead, please contact Parent Council at

This is an especially nice series for families who are new to our school or in the early childhood program, as it provides an intimate forum to speak with other parents and offers an opportunity to bring a little bit of the Waldorf spirit into your home.
A Peek Into the Classroom
Offering a glimpse at the work of two of the classes in our school community…
Ms. Turner and the Second Grade class:
The Second Grade class welcomed two new students in March, so we are now a group of twelve. The children are all very happy to be together, commenting on how they are 3 groups of 4 or 4 groups of 3 when looking at their rows of desks. Each day we work on some math by practicing counting, the four operations, and place value. We also recite seasonal verses with movements that allow the body to feel the words with all the emotions one can muster to accompany phrases like "the harvest mouse goes scampering by with silver claws and a silver eye" (Walter de la Mare - Silver). In our drawings, we have been making forms that can be used to create rolling waves.

Puppetry is a creative social experience that honors the playful second grader while enriching the story life that is held deeply within our curriculum. We recently performed a play based on a legend given to us by the First People called "Jumping Mouse." We built a shadow puppet theatre together and each student made a shadow puppet. As the class recited the tale in unison, each child used their puppet to play a part in the performance. The children also just finished making small hand puppets for a version of The Bremen Town Musicians that they will perform and that may also be done in Spanish with Senora Marta.
Mr. Neel and the Seventh Grade class:
Divinity remembered learning about bile from the first fire fairy she met in the duodenum, when the major duodenal papilla spit at her. He said bile helped break up fatty globules, or something like that. “Bile,” the guide said, “activates the pancreatic lipase, intensifying the digestive activity of the Pancreas, neutralizing the hydrochloric acid of the stomach, facilitating the intestinal absorption of lipids, exciting intestinal peristalsis, and acting as an antiseptic against the intestinal flora.”
Health Corner
Tick Prevention
Spring is here and with the warmer weather come beautiful flowers and early vegetables like peas and radishes, as well as unwanted bugs like ticks! Here in the Hudson Valley, ticks are commonly found on brush (leaves and dead branches), in your backyard (grass) and on your pet(s). The best way to avoid getting bitten by a tick that could be carrying Lyme’s disease and other tick-borne illnesses is prevention! We would like to offer you some advice about how to prevent tick bites and help you put together a tick kit for your household, which should be accessible while outside.

There are thousands of species of ticks throughout the world, but the most common types that feed on humans are the black-legged or deer tick, the American dog tick, and the Lone Star tick. For help identifying which tick you may have encountered, check out this website hosted by The University of Rhode Island. You can send a picture into their website and they will provide information on type, gender, life stage and if it has fed. This website, by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, shows just how tiny a tick really can be!
Image courtesy of, The University of Rhode Island

Here are a few ways to prevent tick bites:
  • While hiking, try to stay on a path and avoid brush and/or tall grass.
  • Tuck your pants into your (preferably white) socks, wear long sleeves, and frequently check for ticks.
  • Apply a natural tick repellent. Please note: Lemon eucalyptus (like in Natrapel) is not safe in children under 3 because of the risk of seizures. 
  • Use a lint roller!
  • Remove any exposed clothes, sock and shoes and put them in a hot dryer for 10 to 15 minutes. 
  • Do a FULL body check (in between your toes, behind your ears, in your hair, in your armpits, behind your knees, in your groin area, etc.). Brush you and your pet(s) hair, and then jump in the shower.
  • Do not allow outside pet(s) to sleep on any furniture (couch and/or bed).
  • Do a tick check every night before bed.
  • Immediately remove any ticks you find crawling on you.

IF you do find a tick attached to your skin, visit the Center of Disease Control’s website for more information on how to removing the tick safely and next steps.

Or follow these safe tick removal steps:

  1. Use tweezers to hold onto head of tick.
  2. Pull straight out – do not twist, crush, or squeeze body of tick.
  3. Wash area and hands with soap and water. If mouthparts are left, don’t worry, they will come out.
  4. Monitor area for rash or redness for the next 30 days.

Note: Some redness within 48 hours is normal as the saliva of the tick is very irritating.

Tick Removal Kit

  • Pouch/Case – Keep the tick kit in your traveling purse for accessibility when outside.
  • Headlamp – Extra light and hands are always nice when checking for ticks, especially on children!
  • Magnifying glass – Sometimes ticks (nymphs) can be the size of a pinhead; this helps you identify if it is in fact a tick not just a beauty mark.
  • Fine-Tipped Tweezers and/or Tick key – Use it to remove any embedded tick.
  • Rubbing Alcohol – Use this to clean the area and tweezers once the tick has been removed.
  • Antibiotic ointment – Apply directly to the area.
  • Bentonite clay or a drawing salve – This is optional, it can be applied to the tick area to reduce itchiness and it could help draw out any pathogens a tick has left behind.
  • Large bandages – Cover the area after the tick has been removed.
  • Pen & paper – Write when and where the tick was located, knowing the area allows you to monitor it for any possible Lyme disease symptoms.
  • Tape or bag – Place the tick inside, especially if attached to a smaller child, in case the tick needs to be tested.

Other possible items: tick identification cards, lint roller, brush (human and/or pet(s).
We would love to hear your requests for future Health Corner topics and recipes. Please send them via email to
The Fund for Mountain Laurel
The Development and Fundraising Group have been working behind the scenes during these past few tumultuous weeks to take on the task of short term and long term funding to fill the gap caused by the pandemic. Please keep a lookout for upcoming announcements about our reprised Annual Giving Campaign and a fun Virtual Spring Soiree, as well opportunities on how you can help replenish funding and keep Mountain Laurel moving forward. With renewed spirit and determination we can do this!

ISO Summer Child Care We are looking for a part-time sitter for our daughter Emma, who is 4 years old, June 20 through August 10. Days would be random due our random work schedule. If you are interested and would like more information, please contact Mia Hindrell at 917-741-4850 via email or text.

ISO Long-term Housing. Michele Turner, MLWS Second Grade teacher is seeking a place to live. The ideal "roof over my head" would be located in a rural setting close to Mountain Laurel. I would appreciate a cottage/barn with amenities including two bedrooms, a porch, parking, and a wood-burning stove. I would welcome creativity in finding my ideal space. Please contact Michele at 603-543-7045 or with suggestions, leads and offers.

STUFF (For Rent, For Sale, For Free, ISO…)

Summer sublet: One-bedroom New Paltz apartment sublet available for the month of July. Will only sublet to friends and relatives. $1300 includes everything. Please contact Michele Turner at 603-543-7045 or if interested.

For Rent: Office space available to friends and family of Mountain Laurel Waldorf School at 7 Innis Avenue, located opposite the school. Choose from 3 available spaces ranging from 120 to 338 sq ft. Separate entrance/shared kitchen & bathroom. Wifi and utilities included. Sweeping mountain views! Contact us Here for more information.

For Rent: Serene and lush three-bedroom newly renovated vacation rental with newpool near five beaches in Guanacaste, Costa Rica. Kaethe Fine, 4th grade parent is offering MLWS families and administration a 20% discount on her new home! If interested, call or text 917-916-9065 or email Or request to book and say who you are to receive special rate! Last two weeks of July currently open, as well as November and all of next year!

For Sale: Bulk Beef Mitten Rock Farm is planning to slaughter two cows at the end of April and is looking to get a group of families together to pre-order beef in bulk. Click HERE for more info and click HERE for the Bulk Purchase Sheet. You can also email or call 845-642-9482.

For Sale: Upright Bass (1/2 size) w/ black horsehair German bow, includes storage bag. $1,800 obo. Great condition, beautiful walnut color, great sound. Please email with interest, questions, for photos:


SpringDance and SummerDances Series with Vanaver Caravan. Vanaver Caravan is offering IN-PERSON Dance Programs at Stone Mountain Farm in New Paltz! 

Join us now, for SpringDance. In-person, limited outdoor classes have begun and run through May 27 with a DanceSharing/ Beltane Celebration on May 22. There are a few spots left in each class, so register now:

Registration has begun for our Summer Programs.
SummerDance- Creative Immersion, for ages 9 and up is a three week workshop (1 and 2 week options) where dancers will be fully immersed in the creative process: dancing, learning to choreograph, exploring nature, film-making, and more. July 26-30 |Aug 2-6 | Aug 9-13 

CaravanKids - Adventure, for ages 4-8, is a hybrid Social Dis(DANCE) program created to inspire, engage, and encourage movement and creative expression for children. July 12-16 & July 19-23 2021

Drum lessons with a professional Drummer with 15+ years of experience teaching all ages and levels. Learn rudiments, any style, world rhythms, and reading music. Available for virtual or in-person lessons (socially distanced, masks worn and windows open). Contact Andrew Greeney, MLWS parent: 845-430-4773,

Guitar and mandolin lessons with Mr. Steve Bernstein at his home in Gardiner, NY. Children, teens and adults are all welcome. Please call: 845-255-0822 or drop a note in his mailbox (2nd floor) at school.


Residential Design and Architecture - Blejer Architecture. With all of us spending more time at home, working, cooking and being with family, many are looking to improve, expand or build new homes. I am happy to discuss all types of projects. Contact Justin Blejer at, or call 917.637.0341.

Valentine and Wilder's Pet-Sitting Service Serving the greater New Paltz area. Experience with cats, dogs, guinea pigs, mice, turtles, fish, chickens and cows. Email, text or call Seana at 917-309-7790 or