May 2021
News, Notes & Updates

We are very pleased to announce that after a multi-year reaccreditation process undertaken jointly with the Connecticut Association of Independent Schools (CAIS), the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America (AWSNA), and the Waldorf Early Childhood Association of North America (WECAN), HVWS has secured accreditation through all three both bodies for the second time. This was a massive undertaking that encountered various delays, reaccreditation team member changes, AND a pandemic, ultimately culminating in a virtual reaccreditation visit with CAIS and AWSNA--a first for all involved!

Thank you to our visiting team members as well as all of the HVWS faculty, staff, and trustees (current and former!) who worked so hard to make this happen. Reaccreditation (a process that occurs every 10 years) isn't simply a matter of submitting required documents or meeting certain benchmarks; it is an in-depth self-study process. Reaccreditation helps a school distill what it does really well and discern areas where it wants to grow or evolve. It is with great excitement that we enter our next decade and all the growth and promise it holds.

Enjoy the long Memorial Day weekend!



Christina Dixcy
Communications Director and Office Manager, COVID Coordinator
View our COVID-19 Community Health & Campus Operations Plan on the Current Parents page of our website.

View our current COVID-19 Summer Camp plans on the Camp page of our website.
Summer Internship
We are excited to share news of a new summer position, the HVWS Alumni Summer Internship - Social Media Specialist. One of our talented alumni will greatly help leverage the work of the enrollment office by building out our social media content for the upcoming school year across multiple platforms. An equally important goal is to provide an HVWS alum with real work experience. This is a part-time, paid internship that can be done remotely.

An HVWS alum is a perfect fit for this important role. The Social Media Specialist should be in harmony with, and exhibit knowledge of, Waldorf school philosophy and its educational principles, techniques, and methods and possess a strong Waldorf aesthetic. The candidate is preferably a college student, but will consider high school junior or senior, with graphic art and marketing experience or course work.

Visit our Employment page for this and other current job postings.
School will be closed on May 31 in observance of Memorial Day.
Waldorf100: The fifth and long-awaited international film #KidsOnTech is here! The new 57-minute documentary #KidsOnTech aims to help parents to better understand and accept their options - without shame or blame.

A free viewing is available for Waldorf community members between May 20 and May 30:

After opening the trailer, you can choose the language of the subtitles by clicking on the “CC” button at the bottom right of the window.
Summer Camp Registration is Now Open!
Offering two groups—Explorers for 3- to 8-year-olds and Artists for 9- to 14-year-olds — HVWS Summer Camp is the perfect place for natural and exciting summer fun! Register before June 1 to secure special pricing.
Explorers (ages 3-8)
WEEK 1: June 21-June 25

WEEK 2: June 28-July 2

WEEK 3: July 5-July 9

WEEK 4: July 12-July 16

WEEK 5: July 19-July 23 (FULL)

WEEK 6: July 26-July 30 (FULL)

WEEK 7: August 2-August 6

WEEK 8: August 9-August 13 (FULL)

The fee for each camp session is $285 ($275 when you register before June 1).
Artists (ages 9-14)
WEEKS 1 and 2 (2-week session):
June 21-July 2

WEEK 3: July 5-July 9

WEEK 4: July 12-July 16

WEEK 5: July 19-July 23

WEEK 6: July 26-July 30

WEEK 7, August 2-August 6

WEEK 8, August 9-August 13

The fee for the two-week Circus Arts session is $590 ($570 when you register before June 1).

The fee for every other session is $285 ($275 when you register before June 1).
With questions about summer camp, please e-mail Camp Director, Marcela Perez, at
Thank you to Ashley Ortelli, Dale Tucker, and Ollie and August Exley-Seidel for helping Dave Demment, Alex Exley, Christina Dixcy, and Marcela Perez put the large circus tent back up! (Ashley also recently ran 35 miles to celebrate her 35th birthday!!!)

Deepest thanks to Federico DiMattia (Téa’s dad) for helping David Demment fix and adjust the grade school basketball hoops!

Thank you from the Early Childhood teachers and students to the 7th and 8th graders for providing such beautiful music for the EC May Fair celebration. It helped make the simple celebration very special.

The Fourth Grade wishes to thank Laetitia Berrier-Saarbach and Patricia Campbell for their wonderful presentations at the 4th grade Parent Evenings this year. We are focusing on Waldorf movement activities and are grateful to you for sharing your enlightening work with us.
Classroom Updates
Dandelion Kindergarten
Marcella Kapsaroff and Liz Koors

The Dandelion class has had a wonderful and busy May. We began the month of May with our May Day Festival. First the Dandelion children crafted their May crowns with lovely viburnum flowers and white dogwood blooms from trees and shrubs in our little Community House play yard. After our crowns were finished we dressed all the children in their May crowns and lovely silks. They all looked like little wood sprites and every child was so happy to participate! The Dandelion children began their May Festival with a little dance to the Bedford Carol. After our dance, as the middle school children played their flutes, the Dandelion class walked reverently around the Maypole and then we reversed direction, each child holding a strand of ribbon. Then Ms. Liz and Ms. Marcella held the Maypole ribbons high as pairs of children held high the snowy branch of May and skipped around the Maypole, singing "Here's a branch of snowy May."

The sun children worked hard these weeks of May on the finishing touches of their sailboats and their woolen dolls. Each sun child completed their boat just in time to set their craft asail on the Deep Brook in Dickinson Park. This was a proud moment for all of the rising first graders in the Dandelion class.

In these remaining days of spring the children are enjoying their garden and planting sunflower and zinnia seeds so that we may have flowers in the fall!
Rose Kindergarten
Carrie Reilly and Sandy Proksa

The Rose class is loving the spring weather! We can get outside now quick as crickets without all of the snow gear! We have helped Farmer Bill let all the animals out of the barn and into the meadow, skipping, galloping and ambling along. Our walks through the meadow brought us to a branch of May and all the beautiful colors of the rainbow while dancing and singing. We listened to a story that told us how the beautiful pussy willow branches received their soft, furry kitten-like buds. Now we are listening to a folk tale from Japan that takes place in mouse country. If you ever have a clean handkerchief and some extra rice, roll it into a ball and maybe you'll hear, "Roly poly rice ball, roll right in, roly poly rice ball, roll right in!" Otherwise, you will find the Rose children out in the play yard looking at all the dandelions as yellow as gold and wondering what do they do all day?
Sunflower Kindergarten
Isabel Gandara and Aliz Mihok

Earlier this month the sun children from the Sunflower class finished making their dolls and boats. The children were so proud of finishing their projects and all played happily with their dolls and boats, and even shared them with the younger children! These projects serve as great examples of how Waldorf education motivates the growth of all sides of human nature in children by encouraging everyone to participate in stereotypically male or female crafts. This truly develops the inner growth of students as they learn to live with and inhabit different perspectives and feelings.

The Sunflower children also created beautiful gifts and cards for their moms for Mother's Day. These gifts were made with love and care.
First Grade
Class of 2028
Jennifer Chapman

The 1st graders have been very busy with our play and classroom life. The children have learned their long and short vowel sounds. We are working on helpful blends like fl, br, cl, dr, gr and "the four H brothers": SH, TH, WH and PH. The 1st graders have made some amazing form drawings and lovely beeswax creations. They have also completed their book Jerome the Gnome and are now binding it stitch by stitch.
Second Grade
Class of 2027
Laura Wittmer

At the beginning of the month, the 2nd grade enjoyed dancing for the May Fair and making flower crowns. We are practicing our cursive writing, doing daily practice with our times tables while jumping rope, and hearing stories from The King of Ireland's Son, by Padraic Colum.

Lately we have been working on our class play, Anansi and the Moss-Covered Rock, and working with Ms. O'Neil on our songs and dances with djembe accompaniment.
Third Grade
Class of 2026
Emily Remensperger

The 3rd grade has been working hard on their class play, Many Hands. We have been building sets, designing backdrops, and of course memorizing lines! Our play is a version of the well-known Hebrew story of baby Moses, but it centers the voices of the many women in the Torah, who helped raise and guide Moses into becoming a great liberator of the people.
Fourth Grade
Class of 2025
Janelle Beardsley

4th grade shared their Animal Projects with the grades and parents under the Big Top Circus Tent on May 7th! Izzy Jane, Eloise, Omisha and Audrey presented four majestic members of the feline family: the Siberian tiger, the ocelot, the leopard and the black panther in that order. Two canines were the Arctic wolf by Eirwen and Fennec fox by August. Two animals from Australia were the budgie by Ella and koala by Eva. Piera focused on the sea otter of the world's coastlines and kelp forests. Did you know that most of the world's grizzly bears are in Alaska? Ask Noah about these enormous, salmon-eating bears. Finally, two forest creatures, one prickly and one silky soft, were the hedgehog presented by Olivia and the flying squirrel by Leah. Each project included an ecosystem diorama, a hand-written research report and illustrations. The 4th graders loved the encouraging comments and great questions from the enthusiastic and supportive audience. Now the 4th graders are enjoying the exciting stories of Connecticut history, such as the Charter Oak, the Old Leatherman and the Phantom Ship of New Haven, as we near the finish line of a memorable year. Glad to have shared it and survived it with all of you!
Fifth Grade
Class of 2024
Allison Washington

The 5th graders wrapped up their Ancient Greece block with a wonderful performance of their class play, Perseus the Brave. The play, based on a Greek myth, tells the story of how Perseus became determined to slay the gorgon Medusa in order to free his dear mother, Danae, from the evil king Polydectes. Along the way, he meets the goddess Athena and the god Hermes who assist him to achieve this challenging task.

As the school year winds down, our 5th grade student teacher, Ms. Lenox, is bringing the second and last Botany block of the school year. Students are learning about different native trees, higher and lower plants, cotyledons, and others. Additionally, they will spend time journaling in nature and writing their first biography about world-famous botanist George Washington Carver.
5th Grade Pentathlon:
Sixth Grade
Class of 2023
Leslie Lew (Update by Marleen De Grande)

Grade 6 spent the last few weeks studying European geography. The students drew a map of Europe, quite a challenge. Through choosing daily calendar cards they heard stories that brought them to the Highlands of Scotland, the Castle of Neuschwanstein in Germany, the Blue Lagoon and the Ring Road in Iceland, Stromboli and many other islands in Italy, the magnificent fjords in Norway, an ice hotel in Finland, Santorini in Greece, the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland, Chartres in France, Ephesus in Turkey, Red Square in Moscow and so many other fascinating places all around. With 47 countries (including several mini-states) there was a lot to explore. We heard about the 27 member countries of the European Union, listened to the European anthem (Ode to Joy by Beethoven) and An der schönen blauen Donau, an Austrian classic by J. Strauss. Currently the students are completing work on a travel brochure they are creating about a country of their choice.

6th Grade haikus:

A green emerald
Rain comes pouring down today
Potatoes are near

Beautiful chapels
Walking the great Camino
Fabulous beaches

Rome’s Colosseum
Clear Mediterranean
Seafoam rocky cliffs

Ocean whitewashed walls
Six thousand islands to probe
Appetizing food

Red tulips shine bright
The richness of paprika
Deep tremendous caves

Pictured below are 6th grade paintings illustrating The Lake Isle of Innisfree by W.B. Yeats.
Seventh and Eighth Grades
Class of 2021 and 2022
Laura Hayes

Congratulations to Chloe Amdhauer who recently presented her 8th Grade Graduation Project to the school! Over a number of months Chloe worked with Ms. De Grande as well as two mentors, Tina Bolling Evoniuk and Christina Dixcy, to produce a report on the history of photography and photographer Dorothea Lange, as well as her own body of work focused on Nature Photography.

You can view Chloe's slideshow here and a recording of her presentation here. The password is 2020GRAD.
During our Creative Writing block, the 7th and 8th grade wrote a mystery novel for tweens and teens. We started the project with a mystery role-play where the students had to solve the mystery and find the culprit amongst them. We then took this construct and came up with our own plot and set of characters.

With just a few parameters, a story outline, and an initial character profile, the students wrote their individual chapters. They peer-edited, discussed relationships between characters, and checked for inconsistencies in their storytelling. They had to rewrite, edit, add, change, and expand their chapters as the story unfolded in our collective mind.

We are now in the last throes of designing the cover, which proves to be much harder than writing a complex story! Nevertheless, the students are eager to present you soon with their very own, self-published book. Proceeds will help fund the class trip next year as well as buy more books for the school's library.
by Solana Barnes, 7th grade

When I think of the word fantasy my mind runs wild
I dream of things that are beyond this earth
My thoughts they go for miles
Big dark scary castles with dragons flying all around
Or sweet little fairies with big red mushrooms
In the ground
I think of giants stomping
And cute bunnies jumping
I see these different worlds in my brain
And I go to them when the world around me is insane
They make me feel safe
 and I thank these fantasies for giving me a place
 that I can escape to when I’m in pain.
Student Haikus about Scotland:

Loch Ness deep and blue
Concealed in soft green reeds
Nessie sleeps in peace

Fluffy cloudy sheep
Speckle the Scottish valleys
Jam the narrow roads

Midnight skies aglow
Crickets singing soft and sweet
Calmed Higlan’ coos sleep

Cold rainy Scotland
Beautiful lochs and mountains
Green sea island beach
Pictured below is artwork from the 7th and 8th graders' earlier European geography block, which was similar to that described by Ms. De Grande in the 6th grade update.
May Fair Photos
Thank you to Patricia Campbell, Fran Hendrickson, Danielle O'Neil, and our middle school students for leading our dances and providing the music!
Teacher Haikus
On March 25, as part of the school’s professional development program, grades faculty members participated in a two-hour literacy workshop with master teacher Anna Rainville. The final project was to write a haiku summing up the experience. Here are some results:
A word-feast banquet
For language-starved peasantry
We the chefs: teachers (Janelle Beardsley)

I ma gi na tion
Bring wonder to our children
Their every day (Patricia Bennett-Bigham)

Today brought much joy
Remembering things from past
Brought to life again (Patricia Campbell)

For the love of language
We were writing together
Sentences are fun (Marleen De Grande)

words peeled from blemished paper
never forgotten (Laura Hayes)
Beautiful language
Starts with beautiful phrases
Carefully chosen (Leslie Lew)

True inspirations
Sprinkled into thirsty souls –
Thank you, dear Anna (Melissa Merkling)

Meeting on a screen
Sharing our love of language
All for kids’ writing! (Denise Pedane)

The art of language
Sweet elegant sentences
Listen carefully  (Allison Washington)
Support HVWS
2020-2021 Annual Fund
Help us reach 100% community participation!

The Annual Fund helps us keep our commitment to our community by allowing us to provide a rich Waldorf curriculum supported by talented and experienced teachers. It allows us to strive to keep tuition affordable with the goal of providing this education to as many children as possible.

Thank you for your support!
Click to view our 2019-2020 Annual Report
(Best viewed in Google Chrome)
School Store Now Online!
We are selling all the items that you know and love: modeling beeswax, crayons, color pencils. Plus new toys, homeware, and books. New items are being added daily!

If you don't see something that you know we stock, please email:

The Rainbow Garden School Store is volunteer-run. All proceeds support the HVWS operating budget.
Waldorf Alum Networking Platform
The following are a few of the exciting features, opportunities, and offerings on Waldorf Alum Connect:
  • The Continental Waldorf Alum Business Directoy
  • Mentorship and Mentee Opportunities
  • Alum Parent Registration
  •  Internship and Employment Postings
  • Searchable Alum Map by location, industry, class year, school affiliation and more.

Waldorf school teachers and staff are also welcomed to register, share alum news and school events!
Waldorf Alum Social Hour
AWSNA warmly invites alums, alum parents, teachers, and staff to join a bimonthly Waldorf Alum Social Hour! During the first alum social hour, over 70 Waldorf alums from across the country joined the call. Stories were shared, new connections made, and old ones rekindled. We left feeling inspired and grateful for one another and for our shared histories. We warmly welcome you to mark your calendar for these upcoming gatherings, all of which will begin at 7:30 PM ET:
  • Monday, July 12, 2021
  • Monday, September 13, 2021
  • Monday, November 8, 2021
Seeking Submissions from Alumni!
HVWS alumni are amazing people doing amazing things!

Please consider a submission.

The Association of Waldorf Schools of North America (AWSNA) launched its Waldorf Alum Connect Spotlight campaign last January and is seeking published news about alums. The aim of this campaign is to spread the word about the amazing work that our Waldorf alums are undertaking as scientists, artists, teachers, engineers, musicians, advisors, entrepreneurs and more.

We are seeking published news articles, personal websites and published research about what our alums are doing out in the wide world.

Please consider nominating yourself or someone you know here!
The New York Times, May 19, 2021 (by Zoë Schlanger, HVWS Class of 2005)

Edutopia, May 11, 2021

The Hechinger Report, May 13, 2021

Edutopia, April 23, 2021

The Guardian, April 23, 2021

The New York Times, April 16, 2021
Bookmarks and Resources
HVWS Fleece Jackets
Orders may be shipped to your home.

Sizing guidelines for youth sizes:
YS 6-8
YM 10-12
YL 14-16
YXL 18-20
Reima ( is offering a discount to many Waldorf and forest schools across the country and they are extending a 30% discount to our community through the Spring.

Enter the code HOUSATONIC30 at checkout to receive the discount.

"Reima is a world-leading kids’ activewear brand from Finland. With over 75 years of experience, we know it’s the small details that make the biggest difference. That’s why our award-winning products are safe, innovative and sustainable - and stand the test of time. We make clothes that are designed specifically for kids, not just miniature versions of adults. With our gear kids can explore outdoors for hours and stay dry, warm and comfortable whatever the weather."
To provide a lasting education that cultivates resilient and creative human beings who are capable of free thinking, confident action, and deep connections with others and the world.
Housatonic Valley Waldorf School | 203-364-1113 ||