News from the Parent Council January 23, 2017
Hello MLWS Families!

We hope you are finding an easeful rhythm as the new year picks up its pace. Notwithstanding the current warm spell, winter is certainly upon us, complete with ice skating, skiing and, inevitably, school delays and closings! Parent Council is pleased to share this issue of the newsletter with the community, which includes a Parent Council update, highlights activities of various classes and other school-related topics, offers Classified listings and provides information about upcoming events in the community. Be sure to check out our new Q&A section entitled “Mountain Laurel Demystified”! 

Highlights of topics discussed during the January Parent Council meeting are as follows:

  • A Welcome Committee for new families is in development, which will work towards better orienting these families during their first year at the MLWS;
  • A workshop for parents on the topic of the Four Temperaments is coming soon;
  • The idea of a parent-led “Fix It” day was proposed and is in development, with the goal of coming together to give a little extra TLC to various areas throughout the school buildings.

Parent Council will hold our February meeting on Wednesday, February 14, 3:15-4:15pm* . Please consider attending the February meeting to share your thoughts, ideas and concerns, and to learn more about the various Parent Council initiatives in the works. Help our community thrive. Many hands make light work!
* Please note that contrary to the schedule announced at the start of the school year (which indicated meetings would alternate between 3:15pm and 5:15pm start times), for the rest of the 2017/2018 school year, Parent Council meetings will be held from 3:15pm until 4:15pm, based on attendance during the first four meetings. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

In this issue:
Mountain Laurel Demystified
Upcoming Events
A Peek Into the Classroom
Development Corner
Mountain Laurel Demystified
QUESTION : What sort of continuing education do the teachers at MLWS receive? How often? From whom?

ANSWER : Each teacher has annual budgeted funds available for continuing education, and teachers choose where and when they will pursue continuing education. There are several programs available, typically over the summer. Courses are also available online. These courses are offered by the Waldorf teacher training centers, other anthroposophical and pedagogical institutions and "master" teachers who offer their own programs. MLWS covers the cost of tuition as well as lodging and food. Staff development days are also scheduled once or twice per year, so teachers may visit other schools. If a teacher requests to visit another school outside of that schedule, MLWS provides classroom coverage so that may happen. MLWS also provides mentoring and assessment, both in-house (weekly) and out-of-house (per the mentoring and assessment policy/schedule which is maintained by the Personnel Group).

One question and the corresponding answer will be featured in each issue of the newsletter. If you have a question you would like answered, please submit it to . Please be patient if your question is not responded to immediately. Thank you!

Calendar of School Events

Thursday and Friday, January 25 & 26, 9:00am
A Norse Medley
These two performances of the Fourth Grade play are primarily for the children, but there may be seating for community members who cannot make the evening performance.

Friday, January 26, 6:00pm
A Norse Medley
Come out and see the Fourth Grade perform in the MLWS Community Room!

Wednesday, January 31, 8:30-10:30am
Community Craft Circle
Beginning January 31, 2018, MLWS is introducing a weekly Craft Circle for parents interested in sharing handwork skills, ideas and projects. Whether you are new to handwork or you are an experienced pro, please join us every Wednesday from 8:30am to 10:30am in the Handwork classroom as we create in community. For more information, please contact Amy at

Monday, February 5, 3:00-4:15pm
Steiner Study Group
Led by Theo Lundin, meeting in the First Grade classroom.

Tuesday, February 6, 1:00-2:30pm
Free Marionette Workshop
Join Rosana Workman and learn how to make marionettes like those used in our beautiful Kindergarten puppet shows. This is a gift from Mrs. Workman to the parent body, as a thank you for all of the handwork help offered in preparation for the Winter Faire. Mrs. Workman is also hoping to find new talent and interested participants for the school’s puppetry group.

Wednesday, February 7, 8:30-9:30am
MLWS Coffee Hour
Come join us in the Handwork Room in the main school building! Please bring your own cup, and email if you can bake something to share.

Wednesday, February 7, 8:30-10:30am
Community Craft Circle
(overlapping with MLWS Coffee Hour!) Led by Amy DeLeon, meeting in the Handwork classroom. For more information, please contact Amy at .

Friday February 9, 6:00pm
Parent-sponsored screening of “Take Back Your Power”
MLWS Community Room. This award-winning documentary investigates so-called “smart” utility meters, uncovering shocking evidence of in-home privacy invasions, increased utility bills, health & environmental harm and more. These meters are all over New Paltz, including at MLWS. For more information or if you have any questions, please contact .

Wednesday, February 14, 8:30-10:30am
Community Craft Circle
Led by Amy DeLeon, meeting in the Handwork classroom. For more information, please contact Amy at .

Wednesday, February 14, 3:15-4:15pm
Parent Council monthly meeting

A Peek Into the Classroom
From Mr. Neel
The Fourth Grade is in its play block, which gives the children a chance to live into the characters of the gods and goddesses of the Norse Myths. This builds in the students deeper and more personal relationships with the mythological subject matter that stands as archetypes and guideposts in their later lives. The play is a Norse medley as told by Tom Bombadil, who is a mysterious character from Tolkien's Lord of the Rings. The class learned Tolkien's Tom Bombadil poem in First Grade; bringing Bombadil back reinforces something that works deeper in the children than a cursory memorization of the poem. For me, bringing Bombadil back will strengthen a sense of awe for the sheer mystery of life in the adults our children will become. In a sense, Bombadil is the guardian of mystery—reserving a place in our hearts where we don't strive for answers and facts but allow a sense of reverence to take hold for the unknown. The play will be performed on January 25 & 26 at 9:00 AM . These performances are generally for the school, but there may be seating for those who cannot make the evening performance at 6:00 PM, Friday, January 26 .

On a lighter note, the Fourth Grade has been spending time working with fractions and a complex Celtic knot drawing. Both of these activities are a continuance of long term projects we've begun this year. Celtic knots develop a sense that sticking to the path, or formula, or algorithm, will lead you to the completion of something true and beautiful. As with fractions, this activity develops the will to see a given project through to its completion and an understanding that anything worth anything requires patience and perseverance to create.

Classroom Music Updates from Mr. Steve Bernstein:
5th Grade: The Fifth Grade is now playing in two parts on their recorders, alto and soprano. We’re focusing on intonation, new note fingering, and playing together. Songs include Branle de Champagne, Ye Banks and Braes, and The Potter.

6th Grade: After finishing "Bonnie at Morn” in 3 parts (Soprano/Alto/Alto) from last year, the Sixth Grade is mightily forging ahead into four-part recorder playing (soprano, alto, tenor and bass). With the addition of tenor and bass recorders, the class has learned to play a Gregorian Chant, "Salve Regina," the Christmas carol, “Carol of the Bells,” and is presently absorbing the mysterious Egyptian melody, “Misirlou.” 

7th Grade: The Seventh Grade is playing music from the Renaissance and Baroque periods. Playing in four parts (SATB), the class performed Royal Wind Music at the work share in November, and two Baroque selections: Badine and a Bach Canon. The class is now delving into a Mozart Fugue.

Development Corner

This year’s Annual Giving Campaign is in full swing and our goal is $25,000!
Can the Mountain Laurel Waldorf School community come together to support this year’s Campaign? Can we all observe the many gifts Mountain Laurel provides for our children and community, stand together side-by-side and make a financial donation that’s right for our families? Let our contribution this year say we are united as a community.
With 100% participation, MLWS has a better chance of obtaining more grants and scholarships. With 100% participation, MLWS can continue to support things such as our tuition assistance program and teacher trainings. With 100% participation, MLWS can be proud that we all stand together in support of our school.
Doesn’t it feel good that Mountain Laurel provides an education that teaches children the way they interact in our world matters? In the world we live in… that is worth supporting.
Consider your contribution today. Every dollar counts and every person who gives counts toward 100%. For more information on why giving is so important, click here .

We are the village. This is a listing of Mountain Laurel families navigating difficult times who need our community’s support and practical help with meals, rides, and more. To make additions to the list for future newsletters, please submit details to Meredith at

STUFF (For Sale, For Free, ISO…)
ISO Working Manual Typewriters to borrow for Seventh Grade curriculum for January 2018. Mr. Aram is planning curriculum for the Seventh Grade students to use typewriters to learn keyboard and writing skills. If you have one to lend, please contact Laura at or Patty at 845-701-1380 or

ISO Used Vacuum Cleaner in good condition. Please contact Anna at .

ISO Boys Hiking Boots Size 4 (possibly a half-size smaller or larger would work). Text Lisa at 845-430-4633 or email

FREE Size 13Y Ice Skates . We have a no longer needed US size 13Y pair of ice hockey skates (BAUER) - barely used. If you have little feet that need a pair of skates in this size let us know. Stephanie (Obelia's mom). 845-255-0021

For Sale :
Antique mahogany sewing table. It can be used as a kitchen table. Two drawers on one side. $400
Yellow leather chair with Ottoman. Great condition $250
Contact Kiki (845)332-7257

For Sale : Expandable Ice Skates Gently used, Gray, Youth sizes 2 to 4. $15 00. Text Lisa at 845-430-4633 or email

For Sale: Stroller Ironman Bob Stroller for Sale, 2012 version. Identical to 2016 BOB which can be viewed at the website Heavy Duty with suspension for trails and running, perfect for Minnewaska carriage trails. Also included is the infant Graco car seat adapter, which allows you to use car seat in the stroller. Excellent condition. $150.00. If interested, please contact Dennis at

For Sale : Log Splitter Troy-Built, 27-ton hydraulic log splitter, vertical/horizontal operation, 160cc Honda engine, coil-wrapped hose, towable. Lightly used. $699.00 (Costs $1,399.99 new.) Contact: Susan - susanbaileyramaty@gmail / 845-532-2466

For Sale: Land in Stone Ridge, NY Three Individual sites, each with B.O.H approval for a 3-bedroom single family home. Underground electric to each lot already in place. Great location -- private but close to Stone Ridge amenities. Please see link below and email us directly if you need more information - email:

Winter Camp at Glenbrook Each February, Camp Glen Brook in southwest NH (an educational facility of the Waldorf School of Garden City, NY) offers a fun filled, wholesome, media free Winter Camp for children in grades 3 - 9. This year the dates are Monday, February 19 through Saturday, February 24. Please visit our  website  to learn more and watch our Winter Camp video or call us at 603-876-3342. We hope your child(ren) will join us this Winter! 

Traditional Figure Drawing for Teens Offering 14 to 19 year olds an opportunity to hone their figure drawing skills at the 10 Horse Art Center (five minutes outside of New Paltz). The 12-week class covers anatomy, proportion, composition and perspective, with the goal of creating accurate drawings of the clothed human figure from direct observation. Contact Alex Canelos at 845 255-7612 or . For details, visit  . Adult classes also available. ( )

Traditional landscape paintings in oil – Tim Smith
Offering private tuition for adults and 8th grade students in classical oil painting method. To organize a session around your or your child's specific schedule and needs, 

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.

Private Drum-Set Lessons Amir Ziv (Head of the Drum Department at the New School University's Jazz & Contemporary Music Program) is now offering students of all ages private lessons from his home studio in Kerhonkson. Serious students only. For more details and to set up a time to speak on the phone or in person, please email: To view Amir’s bio:

Music Composition with ‘Famous Waldorf Alumna’
Have you ever wanted to write a piece for recorder? Maybe a piano sonata? Or even a symphony? My name is Stephanie Ann Boyd, I’m a symphonic composer in New York City, and I went to the Rudolf Steiner School of Ann Arbor. You can find me on the list of Famous Waldorf Alumni, and my music is  being played all over the world. I teach music composition lessons via Skype and I have helped over 100 people write their first pieces. I charge $100 an hour, and I have financial scholarships for those who need them. You can read more here: and you can contact me at:

Tutoring Ashley Sapir Lathrop is offering tutoring for children in reading and literacy skills. She holds dual master’s degrees in elementary education and literacy, with certification in both areas. Whether it is decoding, phonics, comprehension, fluency, or simply finding more comfort with literacy skills, Ashley finds fun and meaningful ways to help children shine. Ashley is available year round for tutoring, at an hourly rate of $60, and can be reached at (845)519-5067 or

Seeking F/T Nanny Position Mature, experienced child care provider seeking full time nanny position while pursuing part time education. References available. Former nanny to MLWS family. 845.750.5203

Valentine and Wilder's Pet-Sitting Service
Experience with cats, fish and guinea pigs, but open to other pets as well! (917) 309-7790 or

FREE Sustainable Living Consultations Would you like to live a more sustainable lifestyle? Do you need help determining what personal actions have the biggest impact? We offer consulting to help you tread lightly on the Earth and mitigate climate change. This is a free service because we truly believe in building a viable future for all of our children. Samrat Pathania (Waldorf parent) and Dan Guenther are the Climate Consultants. For more informarion, email or call/text 631-848-1599.

Home Inspections : emfs, dirty electricity, radio frequency
Concerned about children’s cell phone or lap top use? Get protection from new electric meters. Get emf readings on prospective new homes. Learn about router signals. Create an emf free sleeping environment. Teach children about safe wireless use. Decrease overall field exposure. Measure offices, cars, dorms. Learn about resources. Public talks. Harrison Barritt, , 256-0446

Permaculture Home and Property Designs : installed and maintained by Andrew Faust and Adriana Magaña. We help you to adapt your vision to the ecological and geological realities of your site. We have more than twenty years of experience in the region offering the following services: Real Estate Assessment and Land Selection, Installing and Maintaining Ponds and Solving Water Problems, Creating Biodynamic Orchards and Farms, Organic Vegetable Gardens, Off-grid Natural homes and communities, Native Landscapes, Permaculture Forest Gardens, Contact us at 917-584-4588 or see our portfolio and get a quote here:

Postpartum Wellness:
 Restoring Your Pelvic Floor
A workshop for Mothers of ALL ages!
Sunday March 18, 2018, 10am – 12:30pm , $40 before March 1, $50 after
Hudson Valley Midwifery/Stockade Wellness, 14 Hurley Avenue, Kingston, NY 12401
To register or for more information: 413-320-9380

Learn about your amazing and resilient Pelvic Floor:
what is it? what does it do? → discover your anatomy
Take home understanding, experience and information :
how does the Pelvic Floor repair? → learn a healthy and restorative movement practice

Looking for a reason to stay in shape this winter, while meeting other MLWS parents?
Let's form a team of MLWS Parents to participate in the 2018 Rock the Ridge 'endurance challenge'. This Mohonk Preserve fundraiser caters to all abilities. We'll divide the course into equal parts that each team member (or twosome) can walk/jog at their own speed. To prepare, we'll schedule once per month group training walks. Interested? Contact Mischa Cohn:

Wellness: Holistic, Drug-Free Asthma and Allergy Relief. Buteyko Breathing Method is the most effective drug-free approach for the management of asthma, other breathing related problems, anxiety and panic attacks. Technique can be practiced by children and adults. Anna Yashayeva, RN, Dip BBM. . 917-750-2652 

Naam Yoga Classes with Renée at The Living Seed in NP: 10:00-11:30am
All levels welcome! Call 917-655-2540 for more information.

Welcome Wellness MLWS parents Liz Duncan-Gilmour, Callie Hershey and Nancy Hoose invite you to experience Ondamed® PEMF therapy. Liz and Callie founded Welcome Wellness after our children achieved remission from neurological Lyme Disease with the help of Ondamed® therapy. Our team has seen the benefits from Ondamed® therapy with issues including stress management, sleep disorders, sports injuries and surgical rehab, Lyme disease and other chronic and degenerative issues. A one-hour session generally costs $75, but MLWS families will receive a special “friends and family” discount. We are located across the street from MLWS at 29 South Chestnut St., Suite 201. Please call to learn more. Liz: 845-616-2709, Callie: 914-456-5406, Nancy: 518-269-6357.

Bard Conservatory of Music presents Music From China: East Meets West
Sunday, January 28, 2018, 3:00pm at the Fisher Center, Sosnoff Theater
Admission is free / Suggested donation $10
A concert celebrating the ground-breaking partnership between the US-China Music Institute of the Bard College Conservatory of Music and the Central Conservatory of Music (Beijing). The Orchestra Now, conducted by Jindong Cai, and the Central Conservatory Chamber Orchestra conducted by Chen Bing, will perform works by Guo Wenjing, Chen Danbu, Liu Wenjin, Zhou Yanjia, Chen Xinruo, and Tang Jianping, featuring soloists Yu Hongmei (erhu), Zhou Wang (guzheng) and Zhang Qiang (pipa). Sponsored by: US-China Music Institute of the Bard College Conservatory of Music. For more information, call 845-758-7196, e-mail or visit  

Step towards a Nuclear-Free Future 原爆・原発のない未礼に向かって - 
Bon-Odori Dance Festival For Peace - Photo Exhibition 2011-2017 
Exhibition on View: January 5th - January 31st, 2018
We were not content to be victims. We refused to wait for an immediate fiery end or the slow poisoning of our world. We refused to sit idly in terror as the so-called great powers took us past nuclear dusk and brought us recklessly close to nuclear midnight. We rose up. We shared our stories of survival. We said: humanity and nuclear weapons cannot coexist.
 (Excerpt from The Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance Speech by Setsuko Thurlow, 12/10/17)

Youko Yamamoto, a MLWS alumni parent, will present a photo exhibition to show a series of lively photographs of the Bon-Odori Dance Festival For Peace from the year of 2011 through 2017. Yamamoto has been organizing a peace movement based on Japanese traditional summer dance festival to protest Nuclear Weapons and Nuclear Power. 
Born in Yokohama, grew up in Hiroshima, and running a restaurant in New Paltz, she believes that she has a mission to raise awareness of the danger of the effect of radiation in our daily life and future generations. Prior to the scale of the dance festival, she had been gathering on the Hiroshima Day (August 6th) at her restaurant, and chanting Heart Sutura and sharing her concerns of the nuclear disasters. After The Tohoku Great Earthquake in 2011, followed by the melt down of a few reactors in Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, she decided to make efforts to bring up her small gathering group to the scale of the community festival. This photo exhibition at the Lace Mill will show her early steps to the latest festival in Kingston Point Beach in 2017. For more information, visit on Facebook @BonOdoriKingston or call at (845) 255-8811.

Waldorf-Anthroposophical Tours in Europe
Two European tours with Waldorf/Anthroposophical themes are being offered by Sarnia Guiton of Sophia Services for 2018.

In Search of Knights Templar in Portugal  The Knights Templar are well known for their activities in Jerusalem and the Holy Land in the Middle Ages following the First Crusade. Their demise in 1307 is also well known. What is not so well known is the belief that their activities in Portugal, working with Bernard of Clairvaux and Portuguese Templar Kings over several generations, formed a Kingdom of Conscience with laws that are echoed in Rudolf Steiner’s Threefold Social Order. 

In Search of the Future - in Hungary, Romania & Bulgaria Anthroposophy was planted in these Eastern European countries early in the last century. Communism kept it underground prompting it to grow strong roots. At the end of that era, it grew strong and firm above ground and blossomed with joy that it could now be free. We have known none of that in the West. On this tour we will explore what has been happening anthroposophically in Eastern Europe in the last 25 years, and if we have anything to contribute or to bring back home from our experience.
For more information, please contact: Sarnia Guiton, 604.740.0676,