December 2018

During the flurry of activity leading up to our holiday break, time seems to speed up. Every year I am so grateful for the beautiful pauses provided by our our annual school festivals and traditions at this time of year. Whether we are being visited in the office by angelic second graders bearing Santa Lucia buns, or the fifth graders as Las Posadas serenading us in Spanish, there is so much music (and delicious food) and joy emanating from the students. Watching a reverent 1st grader walk the Advent Spiral or an equally reverent 8th grader sing during the Little Play of the Nativity I am renewed by the beauty of these small moments. Experiencing these traditions year upon year also gives me a picture of the arc of our students from early childhood through eighth grade. As we all know, they grow up so quickly! But there is a little flame inside each of them that remains constant through this journey and I feel so fortunate to witness it.

Wishing you a peaceful and healthy holiday break and a very Happy New Year,

Christina Dixcy
Communications Director and Office Manager
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Red Leaf ($500 - $999)
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Thank you for your support! Housatonic Valley Waldorf School is a non-profit 501c3.
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Upcoming Events
Visit our calendar for a full listing of events.
"It Takes a Village" Family Dinner
Sunday, January 6, 2019
2-6 PM
Compass Hall, 1 Jacklin Rd.

  • Traditional New England Community Dance
  • Family Style Dinner
  • Potluck Dessert 
  • Special opportunity to be part of a commemorative art piece made by our talented Emily Remensperger

Due to an overwhelming response, the event is now sold out! We will share information in the New Year on how you can still be a part of the commemorative art piece even if you are not at the dinner and dance.

With questions, please e-mail Lisa Tassone at .

Celebrating our 30th year!
Biodynamic Gardening Club
Friday, January 11
3 PM
Grade School Campus, 1 Jacklin Rd., Newtown

At this meeting we will retrieve our seeds and apply the Three Kings Preparation. We will plant seeds for our pollinator garden and spring garden clean up.

The Biodynamic Gardening Club is designed for parents but children are welcome to attend meetings along with their parent(s). Alumni welcome!

Questions? E-mail Marcella Kapsaroff at
Alumni Panel: 30 Years of Waldorf Education in CT
Tuesday, January 15
6:30 PM
Compass Hall, 1 Jacklin Rd. Newtown
Karate with Sensei June
For Grades 1-8
175 per student
8 week session from January 15 to March 12 with snow make up dates on March 19 and March 26 if needed. (A second 8 week session is planned for April 2 to May 28 which will have a separate registration)

When: 3:15-4:15 PM on Tuesdays
Where: Eurythmy Room, Lower Level, Compass Hall

Sensei June will pick up students at dismissal, children will have time to change, and class will start at 3:15 PM.

Kempo Karate originates from the Shaolin Temple. This style of karate teaches basic blocks, strikes, forms, combinations, and self-defense techniques. Kempo Karate can bring confidence, discipline, and balance to students. It's also great for crossing the midline! Students of all ages and experience will be met at their level in this mixed-grade class. 

Master Fagan (Sensei June) has studied karate for over 40 years and is a 5th Degree Black Belt in the style of Shaolin, Kempo Karate. Sensei June has taught HVWS students over the years in her studio and through Redding and Ridgefield Parks and Rec. She was also the mentor to one of our graduates, whose 8 th  grade project focused on Kempo Karate. 
Students can purchase a karate uniform from Sensei June at an additional fee of $41, or wear work out clothes – sweatpants or leggings – (no jeans)
There is a 6 student minimum.
Puppet Show and Tour
Saturday, January 26
10 AM
Lower Level, Compass Hall
1 Jacklin Rd., Newtown

The puppet show in the Waldorf tradition features hand-sewn puppets, sumptuous plant-dyed silks, and a simple, age-appropriate performance style suited to young children’s attention spans and level of awareness. A peaceful and enchanted mood prevails.

Our puppet shows are appropriate for 3-8 year-olds. All performances begin at 10 AM and are presented in the Lower Level of Compass Hall at 1 Jacklin Rd. in Newtown. Puppet shows are free, however The Puppetry Committee will happily accept a goodwill offering to support Women for Women International, an organization helping women survivors of war rebuild their lives:

Families interested in touring our Early Childhood campus immediately following the performance should e-mail or call Therese Lederer at 203-364-1113.
Bluebell Nursery
Marcella Kapsaroff and Liz Koors

The Bluebell class has had a wonder-filled late fall, beginning with our beautiful Martinmas lantern walk on November 20 and our sweet Thanksgiving gathering on the 21st. We then returned to the EC the next week and began working with holding the light for our Advent Garden festival. This took place on November 30, and the little Bluebell children were so observant; each one walked the lovely spiral with their lighted candle and placed it carefully on a golden star. Teachers and parents wiped at tears as the smallest of children held their candles so carefully and solemnly. 

Our school days have been filled with working in our play yard raking leaves and mulching our garden with leaf mulch. We have learned a sweet lullaby we sing to our little child of light and we had two birthday celebrations this week! 
Rose Kindergarten
Carrie Reilly and Heather Hemphill

Excitement for the holiday season is building as well as intricate structures during free play! We have been hearing a story of a little girl that shares all she has for the sake of another and we are humbled by the gesture! 
Sunflower Kindergarten
Isabel Gandara and Aliz Mihok

The Sunflower children were so excited when they saw that St. Nicholas had left them special cookies and clementines, but when they ran to the window to see him pass by, they were even happier. It was a very special moment. They also loved the puppet show of the St. Nicholas story. 
The children have been listening very attentively to a story of a little girl who found a little hobgoblin. She likes the hobgoblin so much that she puts him in her pocket and carries him around with her. However, this hobgoblin was making her do things that she was not always sure were the right things to do. But in the end, the finger fairies helped her to make the right choices.
At circle time they are shepherds who go up the hill (climbing stumps to get to a table) and down the hill (jump down), they find a river and need to walk on stepping stones (wooden stepping stones, good for balance) and they need to row a boat (two children together holding arms) until they finally arrive at a cavern where a Child of Light is. Then they pass a special ball from hand to hand saying the verse: 
"The gift of Light I thankfully hold, and pass to my neighbor its shining gold.
That everyone may feel its glow, receiving and giving our love will grow."

The children have been happy when called upon to make holiday gifts for their parents!
1st Grade (Class of 2026)
Emily Remensperger

The 1st Grade is finishing up their second Language Arts Block of the year. Having explored the sound, form and feeling of each letter in the alphabet, we can now use our phonemic skills to decode words, and even do some “kid spelling”of our own! This is an extremely exciting journey into literacy.
2nd Grade (Class of 2025)
Chandrika Patalia
Jennifer Chapman

The 2nd Graders worked their way discovering the 5 times table, and soon realized the easy pattern that it carries. The current block has again been about Saints. They learned about Saint Francis, Santa Lucia and Saint Odilia. The 2nd Graders are having a lot of fun during the Movement Class.
3rd Grade (Class of 2024)
Allison Washington

To kick off our Math block and study of weight measurement, the third graders enjoyed measuring the ingredients to make pumpkin pies with the pumpkins they harvested from their school garden.

Additionally, this past week in the classroom, third graders made their own scales and experimented with how things were weighed before modern scales and standard measurement were invented.

On the playground, the third graders created a makeshift see-saw, on which we hysterically played a game of "how many third graders does it take to balance Mrs.Washington?" It was quite an experience for all! 
4th Grade (Class of 2023)
Leslie Lew

4th grade is studying the Human Being and the Animal. We are learning different aspects of various animals and seeing how they compare to humankind. We began our studies with the cuttlefish, which has the ability to see backward and forward at the same time!
4th grade visits the Wolf Conservation Center and Echo Farm in South Salem, NY
5th Grade (Class of 2022)
Laura Hayes

The 5th graders are currently in their North America block, learning about the different climate zones, important waterways and mountain ranges, and the sizes of countries and territories. The students painted the physical map of North America and drew the Grand Canyon in pastel. They learned how to use an atlas and how to describe the location of landmarks. In the new year, we will have another Geography main lesson block with state projects.
The 5th graders visited the Admin. Cottage as Las Posadas .
6th Grade (Class of 2021)
Vincent Vojack-Weeks

The 6th grade is finishing up their study of Astronomy. This week they walked the solar system (at a scale of 6 billion to 1). If the sun were shrunk to the size of a basketball, earth would be the size of a peppercorn, and 78 feet away. The walk to Neptune took half a mile!
7th Grade (Class of 2020)
Marleen DeGrande

The 7th grade has been busy the last few weeks on Creative Writing during the Wish, Wonder and Surprise main lesson block. The Surprise week brought us assignments on writing our own ending to a story, describing an unknown object, and writing about overcoming an unexpected event. We did a trust walk and wondered about the trees we were encountering. Listening to Imagine by John Lennon inspired us to write our own Wishes for the World. Next we are moving into some of William Carlos Williams’ and Langston Hughes’ poetry. 
8th Grade (Class of 2019)
Laura Wittmer

We began our History block by exploring historical perspectives and the way in which history is told, and looked at Columbus through the eyes of the Arawak tribe. We explored the indigenous nations of North America and the effect of European colonization from multiple perspectives. We read the journals of the first colonists in Jamestown and Plymouth and contemplated the words of Chief Powhatan, who wondered why the Europeans wished to live in constant conflict instead of in peaceful cooperation. We wrote about Crispus Attucks and the Boston Massacre, read the Declaration of Independence, and followed General Washington through the ten crucial days as the Continental Army began to turn back British forces during the American Revolution. We discussed the way in which slavery helped to embed racism into the fabric of our country's history and cheered during the retelling of the Haitian Revolution. Future topics in this block will include the French Revolution, westward expansion, and the Civil War.
Marleen De Grande writes...

Nigel and I spent Thanksgiving week in New Delhi and Udaipur, India. We were invited to attend the wedding of Anshikka Singh and Benjamin Larsson (HVWS Class of 2005). Sarah and Tucker Grose, Zoe Schlanger (all class of 2005) and Lincoln Hill (HVWS Class of 2006) also joined the celebrations. Other HVWS graduates attending were Nick Larsson (Class of 2002) and Daniela Larsson (Class of 2007), siblings of the groom.

The whole event was spectacular. We did not have one party but four! Indian weddings are remarkable. Anshikka is American-Indian and had dreamed of getting married in India from an early age. Our days in Udaipur were a combination of Indian and American wedding traditions. We participated in the Haldi and Mehendi ceremonies. The Hindu wedding ceremony was performed in Sanskrit with all of the guests surrounding the four sides of the small podium with the couple, their closest family and two Hindu priests leading the ritual.

The next day at sunset we celebrated the American wedding ceremony, which Ben and Anshikka had asked me to lead. What a great honor the was for me, having known Ben since he was 10.

The week was filled with love and loads of fun of course. Some of the highlights for me were the conversations I had with the HVWS alumni, what their Waldorf education meant to them, and listening to their questions about the deeper meaning behind all we do as Waldorf teachers. I was especially impressed with the close bonds between all of us HVWS-ers even after having graduated my class 13 years ago.

Enjoy some of the photos!
Spring Hot Lunch Orders
Parents, please remember that you must place a NEW hot lunch order for delivery starting in January!

Lunches will be delivered to grade school students and staff on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays through mid-April, at which point the Class of 2019 will be finished with their fundraising and the Class of 2020 will take over with their own fundraising plan. Parents will be billed through TADS. Staff who do not have a TADS account may pay by check. There are no refunds for snow days or absences or cancellations. Late orders will be prorated based on the number of remaining weeks. Please do not place last-minute orders. It may take up to a week to process orders.

Thank you for supporting the Class of 2010! Please e-mail Damon Reynolds with any questions:

Please place a separate order for each student.

  • Monday Burritos; January 7 through April 8 (12 weeks)
  • Tuesday Pizza; January 8 through April 9 (13 weeks)
  • Thursday Subs (Grades 3-8 only); January 10 through April 11 (12 weeks)
  • Friday Soup; January 11 through April 12 (11 weeks)
The Waldorf Chronicles
As part of the worldwide Waldorf 100 celebrations we are recording our voices and sharing our stories through The Waldorf Chronicles, an archive project. Waldorf schools and teacher training institutes in North America are adding interviews to the StoryCorps Archive, the largest collection of human voices ever gathered.

Topics for The Waldorf Chronicles include:
Fall 2018: The Roots--Founders' Stories
Winter 2018/19: The Seedlings of Imagination--Early Childhood Stories
Spring 2019: The Budding Heart--Grades' Stories

If you would like to be interviewed for the Waldorf Chronicles please e-mail Christina Dixcy at You can read sample questions on The Waldorf Chronicles' page.

We send our love and deepest sympathy to the Olphie-Lippmann family on the passing of their beloved niece and Samuel's cousin, Grace.
Deepest thanks to David Unschuld for his annual generosity of time and kindness.

Thank you to Kristina Wofsey for helping enter new books into our library catalog.

Thank you to all of our parents for such generous holiday gifts (including handmade chocolates!!) and to all of the parents who provide such delicious meals for faculty meetings!

Thank you to the 2nd grade parents who helped fill the admin cottage with the scent of Santa Lucia buns and for all of your help shepherding this beautiful festival.
Thank you from the 4th grade to Amy Rodriguez for organizing and accompanying us to the Wolf Conservation Center and to Echo Farm, in South Salem, NY. 

Thank you to Misha Golfman, the founder and executive director of Kroka Expeditions, for travelling to HVWS to deliver a riveting talk on the importance of healthy risk-taking!

The 2018 Holiday Craft Market was a success, thanks in no small part to the many volunteers who jumped in to help wherever needed. Congratulations to Natasha de Castro, who survived her first year as both coordinator and vendor! Thank you again to Carrie Reilly for helping us welcome guests on Friday night with delicious appetizers, and to the Ancona family for helping us provide a special beverage station as well. Thank you to this wonderful group of people who made the Craft Market a warm and inviting space for all: 
Kerrie Newell, Andrea Maloney, Christina Setkoski, Meredith Hettler, Christina Dixcy, Alex Exley, Heather Parrish, Lisa Tassone, Marcela Perez, Peggy and James McFarland, Sherri Strol, Natasha Pearson, Elena Merkulov, and the 8th grade class for providing a beautiful shopping experience for the little ones!  

A big thanks to Lisa Tassone for every year making delicious corn muffins for the EC Thanksgiving celebration. The children loved them.

Thank you to Elisa Navarro and Sandy Proksa for helping the EC Martinmas and Advent Spiral celebration to be so special and wonderful for the children.

Special thanks to Marlies and Isabelle Redpath for their help with the Grade School Advent Spiral.

The 3rd grade sends many thanks to Marcella Kapsaroff, who shared her very own childhood pumpkin pie recipe and guided the class through the baking process over at the EC kitchen. 
1st & 2nd Graders at Aftercare
The Little Play of the Nativity (8th Grade)
Santa Lucia (2nd Grade)
Holiday Concert
Thanksgiving Assembly
Support HVWS While You Shop
Amazon Smile
If you shop through Amazon you may designate Housatonic Valley Waldorf School to receive .5% from your purchase. Please designate HVWS as your chosen charity and make your Amazon purchases at the Amazon Smile website. Amazon Smile

Box Tops
Please clip and save your box tops and send them into the office. We are looking for a new Box Tops volunteer! Please e-mail

Danish Woolen Delight
Danish Woolen Delight, a business that offers children’s and adults' items made from biodynamic (DEMETER) wool, is offering a 15% discount (off of regularly priced items) for orders placed online until 12/31/18 using the code HOUSATONIC18.
The Rainbow Garden School Store is Open!
Star Meadow Cottage, Rear Door
40 Dodgingtown Rd.

The store is open Tuesday-Friday 8:20-9 AM on regular school days.

Please contact Natasha Daniels-Pearson with any questions regarding the store:
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