April 2020
July, 2019

So much has changed since our last News, Notes & Updates that it is hard to know where to begin.

We're now living under the near-constant stress of a global pandemic and all of the health and financial concerns this brings. Our parents are balancing a 24-hr cycle of schoolwork/parenting/and work-work (I say 24-hour cycle because it all overlaps, all. day. long.) and our teachers, many of whom also have children at home, have been thrown into figuring out how to deliver the beauty and personal connection of a Waldorf education mediated through digital means. Some in our community are working on the front lines of the crisis. Some have lost friends or loved ones. And we all wonder, what is next?

It is hard to wrap one's head around any of this, and even harder to keep your spirits up. But I am amazed daily by how everyone is rallying. I have witnessed so much creativity and caring and plain old hard work. I send my gratitude to all of you.

We all miss our HVWS family so much and feel a new sense of loss as each community event passes us by. (I feel so thankful that we were able to share in a crowded, boisterous, joyous talent show before everything changed!) Last week our beloved 8th graders should have been celebrating one of their final Waldorf milestones--the presentation of their 8th Grade Graduation Projects--surrounded by family, friends, teachers, alumni, and fellow students. Instead, they shared their presentations to a smaller group over a video call, recording their presentations to share with all of us from afar. I am so happy to share these presentations with you now. I wish we had all been together to appreciate them in person, but let's pause to embrace these lovely young people with a virtual hug from afar!

Further down in this e-mail you will see some photos of our students at work and play at home, images that brighten my day whenever they appear in my inbox (or home). We've also published a glimpse of all the work our teachers are putting into their new teaching processes. Theirs is a labor of love. Please take a moment to click through and read about all they are doing. And finally, please take heed of some sage advice from HVWS 7th grader Lilah Rose, about how to stay sane and healthy in a global pandemic. She wrote her advice for teenagers, but it applies to us all (with the exception, perhaps, of the gerbil).

Sending healing thoughts. Chin up.

Christina Dixcy
Communications Director and Office Manager
Important Links
COVID-19 "Take Care" Emergency Assistance Fund
We do not want to lose a single family to financial hardship caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The effects of this crisis on the economy have been swift and severe. We know some of our families have been hit especially hard.

In place of the Spring Benefit and Annual Fund campaign, we are launching the HVWS COVID-19 “Take Care” Emergency Assistance Fund. All donations received after March 30, 2020 will be allocated toward emergency tuition assistance. If you—or anyone you know who loves our school—have the means to support families who are vulnerable right now, your generosity will help see us through this crisis and keep our community whole. Thank you.

Housatonic Valley Waldorf School is a non-profit 501c3. Your contribution is potentially tax- deductible. Tax ID # 061310057
All events are subject to change.

School will be closed for Spring Break April 10-17
Happy Passover and Happy Easter!
8th Grade Project Presentations: Online Now!
Last week the Class of 2020 presented their 8th Grade Graduation Projects to their class and families during their daily Zoom meeting. They later recorded their presentations so we may now share them with all of you!. This was another skill they had to learn in these Covid-19 times. They took it all in stride! This year’s presentations include:

  • Aine Ancona, Digital Drawing
  • Jackson DellaCamera, Designing a Website on Architecture
  • Sophia Merkulov, Breaking Pit Bull Stereotypes
  • Alexis Steger, Interior Design
Our Campus is closed but our Admissions is open!
School sign compressed
Virtual Open House
Thursday, April 23, 2020
9 AM and 7 PM

Our next all-school tour was scheduled for April 24th  Please join our Enrollment Director for a virtual open house instead . As a bonus we will offer this twice that day so more parents can join. 

Please email tlederer@waldorfct.org and she will send you the invite!
10 Tips on how to stay sane and healthy during a global pandemic (for teenagers)
  1. Don’t use this time to be a complete slob or couch potato. Get stuff done like organize your room or fix the lawn chairs. Get outside as much as possible. Take a hike every day or simply a sunbath.
  2. Stock up on paper and ink. You never know when you are going to run out.
  3. Expect to not see your friends for a while, so exchange phone numbers, addresses, emails, etc.
  4. In order to feel more connected with friends do a project with them, like everyone researches a certain subject that changes each week, call every day to share what you have learned and every Friday have a Zoom meeting or group FaceTime and write a paper together on the subject. Or you could make a secret code.
  5. Take everything you read or hear about the pandemic with a grain of salt, because some things are not worth worrying about.
  6. If you need a mental health day, take one without panicking about being behind on school work, because your teachers know that your mental health is more important than a school assignment during a pandemic.
  7. Journal at least a few sentences every day so you can look back on this crazy time.
  8. Distinguish your week from your weekends. On the weekdays get dressed every morning and stick to a loose schedule, but on the weekend go crazy, let loose and relax.
  9. Screen free time! Since most of your school work is probably on a screen, take breaks regularly.
  10. If you don’t already have pets, ask your parents if you could maybe foster or get a small pet like a rat, gerbil or even a cat, because companionship is important during this time of isolation and it’s easy to become depressed or feel lonely.
-by Lilah-Rose Poston, 7th Grade
Learning Together
In this time of unprecedented change, we are tasked with the challenge of finding new ways to foster human connection.

With flexibility, creativity, and heart, our teachers and parents are working together to provide consistency and support for our children during a time of uncertainty.

Each foray into the use of technology to maintain these connections has been taken deliberately at the discretion of the teachers with an eye to the specific needs of each class.

Pictured, a snippet of 2nd Grade form drawing instructions.
Thank you to all of you.
Articles & Videos

Psychology Today, April 5, 2020

The Washington Post, March 29, 2020

Growing Children blog. April 1, 2020

Smithsonian Magazine, March 31, 2020

Better Homes & Gardens, March 24, 2020

The New York Review of Books (Zoë Schlanger is an HVWS graduate)

Bonnie Harris, Connective Parenting

HVWS Fleece Jackets are Here!
Orders may be shipped to your home.

Sizing guidelines for youth sizes:
YS  6-8
YM 10-12
YL  14-16
YXL 18-20
Alumni Panel Video
Alumni gathered in January 2019 to reflect on their experiences at the Housatonic Valley Waldorf School. This video of the event was filmed and edited by Henry James who graduated from 8th grade at HVWS in 2017.
Waldorf Alum Networking Platform
Calling all HVWS alums! A few of the opportunities that await you at Alums.WaldorfEducation.org:
  • be a part of a continental network and community
  • mentor younger alums in your field
  • seek out work or internships with a Waldorf alum
  • hire other Waldorf alums to work with you on a project or within a company or organization
  • attend a regional Waldorf alum event or party
  • find "long lost" friends and reconnect
  • meet new Waldorf alums in your area
  • follow the Waldorf alum news and be inspired by what your fellow Waldorf alums are doing in the world!
Seeking Submissions from Alumni!
HVWS alumni are amazing people doing amazing things!

Please consider a submission.

The Association of Waldorf Schools of North American (AWSNA) is launching its Waldorf Alum Connect Spotlight campaign in 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 alum are doing out in the wide world.

Please consider nominating yourself or someone you know here!
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.

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

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 | office@waldorfct.org| waldorfct.org