Dear Colleagues,

These past months have been an unprecedented time of change, disruption, and adaptation. Life as we knew it altered; school as we had always known it was redefined almost overnight, and it is not clear when we will see that familiar model again. Working, teaching, and learning from home have become a new normal. Yet, despite the distance this has created, in some ways we may be more connected than ever. 

Through these past weeks, a number of themes have stood out to me from the perspective of seeing many of you, from many schools in different parts of the country, on Zoom gatherings. 

  • This has been a process in phases as the situation has continued to unfold. At first, we all scrambled to figure out what to do. Then came a phase of grieving as we recognized loss, limitation, and frustration. Next, amazing and creative ideas began to emerge. Then meaning-making: how to help make sense and meaning of all of this – for ourselves and our students? This was followed by a focus on end of year events and beginning to look ahead to fall. Recently, there has been emphasis on how to bring this strangest of school years to a close. There will undoubtedly be more phases to come. Throughout, there has been a mood of generosity, support, and open sharing of what we are learning. 

  • The presence of teachers and the role of schools matters profoundly. Children need teachers in their lives. Teachers and schools make all sorts of things possible for society as a whole; they are social glue. Maybe we will remember and won’t take this essential truth for granted in the future.  

  • Human connection is key. We crave and need it and we know it is vital for our students’ wellbeing. You have all focused on finding ways to maintain connection at a distance with your students, worrying about those who seemed to have vanished, missing being with them, letting them know you are there for them. 

  • In a word, teachers are remarkable: dedicated, responsible, creative, deeply caring, resourceful, determined. What you all did in almost no time, with no guidebook or training and few resources, was and is truly amazing. 

  • The innovation had been extraordinary. There are many, many examples and I hope we can find ways to record and share all of them. Main lessons were revised and reframed. As a couple of examples, one teacher took up the question of “what matters?” and tied everything to that. Another took up the theme of past, present, and future as a framework. There have been studies of previous pandemics. Backyard or neighborhood nature walks. Window art projects. Three Sacramento area schools collaborated to develop a Sacramento Families Project with weekly themes that accommodated different ages and home circumstances:  This has inspired many to imagine new possibilities. 

  • We are constantly confronting questions of what is essential, what really matters. School leaders are anticipating needing to do more with less. Early childhood teachers have struggled with questions of screens and young children: to zoom or not to zoom? At base, we all agree that we need to consider the children’s developmental needs, the tools and resources available, and a feeling of “rightness” and authenticity for the teacher, always with the child’s best interest at the center. 

  • Complex issues of equity and access are present in everything we do. We acknowledge that not every child is happily okay, that parents and caregivers have vastly different demands on their attention and huge differences in resources, and that this pandemic has fully exposed the gaps and inequities in our society. This reality has been part of many conversations and a focus of ongoing efforts to avoid widening existing gaps. 

We are now in the latter part of May, a time of the school year that is rich with review, transition, ceremony, and celebration. Much will not happen in its traditional format. Yet, once again, there is the remarkable ability of all of you to acknowledge and allow for the sadness that comes with these losses right along with a rolling up of sleeves and exploration of different ways of meeting transitions and rites of passage on behalf of students and their families. Plays, performances, collages of artwork, community projects, doorstep deliveries or drive-through distributions; all are being brought into being in new and safe ways. 

We will soon bring this school year to a close, lay it to rest, and release our students into an unusual summer. Everyone needs an opportunity to rest, reflect, take stock of what have we learned, and plan for the many possible variables of fall. It will not be a simple resumption of “school as we know it” but Public Waldorf has proven beyond any doubt that we can take our rich knowledge of child development, artistic teaching, remarkable human beings, and connection into a distance space and do incredible things with and for our students. 

Heartfelt thanks to each one of you for your every-day heroism throughout this. We will continue to be present in Zoom sessions for any who wish to drop in as we approach the end of the school year. We hope to build on this true alliance of peers as we go forward. It is a privilege to witness your work.

On behalf of your Alliance Board, we take a moment to recognize the lives lost and disrupted by the pandemic and to wish each one of you good health.

Liz Beaven,

ATHENA Therapeutic Eurythmy Grant
ATHENA (Association for Therapeutic Eurythmy in North America) is delighted to announce its 19th annual grant for the school year 2020-21. We are very grateful to the Waldorf Educational Foundation (WEF) for the funding of these grants. ATHENA will ensure that these monies are well used in the furtherance of our common goal of promoting Therapeutic Eurythmy in Waldorf Schools.

Here are the announcement , application , and report form . Please contact ATHENA if you have any questions.
ZOOM Collaboration Links
Upcoming Zoom Collaboration meetings (all times Pacific, duration one hour).

You can also find the links on our website .

These are the links for the week of May 18th

Special Subject Teacher Meeting: 5/18, Monday 3:00 pm:
Meeting ID: 930 2336 6327
Password: 243496
One tap mobile +19292056099,,93023366327#,,#,243496# US

Early Childhood Teacher Meeting: 5/18, Monday 4:00 pm:
Meeting ID: 944 823 5523
One tap mobile +12532158782,,9448235523# US

Grades Teachers 1-3 Meeting: 5/19, Tuesday 3:00 pm:
Meeting ID: 930 9959 7057
Password: 292869
One tap mobile +19292056099,,93099597057#,,#,292869# US

Grades Teachers 4-6 Meeting: 5/19, Tuesday 4:00 pm:
Meeting ID: 920 6357 1325
Password: 0fqXZA
One tap mobile +16465588656,,92063571325#,,#,059963# US

Upper Grades/High School Teachers Meeting: 5/20, Wednesday 3:00 pm:
Meeting ID: 969 4074 4819
Password: 830570
One tap mobile +19292056099,,96940744819#,,#,830570# US

Inner Work Open Discussion Meeting: 5/21, Thursday 3 pm:
Meeting ID: 968 9981 2123
Password: 102184
One tap mobile +19292056099,,96899812123#,,#,102184# US

Special Education/Education Support Meeting: 5/21, Thursday 4 pm:
Meeting ID: 897 6447 5986
Password: 4kuNVG
One tap mobile: +16465588656,,89764475986#,,1#,525822# US

Administration/Leadership Meeting: 5/22, Friday 3:00 pm:
Meeting ID: 931 2414 9550
Password: 277774
One tap mobile +13126266799,,93124149550#,,#,277774# US
Member Schools Job Postings
As a service to our schools, we will run a list of positions with a link to your school site.

Email Amala Easton  if you wish to place a listing. 
Professional Development and Teacher Preparation
In addition to the summer professional development opportunities listed here, the Alliance Board will be building on our collaborative Spring Zoom forums to offer professional development sessions in July for Public Waldorf education: by teachers and school leaders, for teachers and school leaders. Watch for information on this!

With Eugene Schwartz
June 1-September 30, 2020

June 12-15, Teaching Literacy in Grades 1-3
June 23-26, Teaching Literacy in Grades 1-3
July 6-9, Teaching Literacy in Grades 1-3

June 27-July 11, Teacher Training
July 12-17, 2020, Teaching as an Art
Denver, CO

With Center for Anthroposophy
September 2020, Waldorf Teacher Training
Tuscon, AZ
For more information:

Liz Beaven , Alliance President 
Amala Easton , Administrative Coordinator 

1000 River Rock Drive, Suite 218
Folsom, CA 95630

Public Waldorf is a service-mark of the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America and used pursuant to a license.