November 2019
July, 2019
Greetings!

Movement is integral to Waldorf education. It offers incredible benefits to both academic learning and social engagement. Our students move in the classroom, on the playground, and during gym, eurythmy, and traditional dance classes. Movement serves as an "outbreath," and also improves memorization, spatial orientation, body geography, balance, and rhythm. It helps children learn to work with others.

In the fall and spring our Traditional Dance Teacher, Patricia Campbell, works with our grade school students on dances which they present at a Halloween dance in the fall and at May Fair in the spring. I have always been particularly fond of the Halloween dance. This is an event the students share with each other (sorry, parents!). The children dance in costumes inspired by each grade's curriculum. In some of the dances the eldest students dance with the youngest; this year the middle school choreographed their own dance. There is much giggling and an incredible amount of coordination--both individual and social--on display. Thank you, Patricia, and Fran Hendrickson (on accordion), for bringing such joy to the school!

Warmly,

Christina Dixcy
Communications Director and Office Manager

Scroll down for photos from this year's Halloween dance!
Important Links
Upcoming Events
School will be closed in observance of Veterans Day on Monday, November 11.
Martinmas
Dress warmly for a woodland walk!

The festival of Martinmas, known worldwide, celebrates the life of St. Martin on November 11th. He was a man known for his gentleness, his unassuming nature and his ability to bring light and warmth to those who had been in darkness. In Europe a tradition has arisen of celebrating Martinmas with lantern walks. This is a time when the darkness of the year is growing stronger, and we can gather the last rays of the summer’s sun to light our way towards the darkness of mid-winter. When a candle is lit within a homemade lantern for Martinmas, this becomes the first glow of a light with a completely different nature, the first spark of inner light.

Grades 1-4
Friday, November 15
5:00 pm (New time! Please aim to arrive by 4:45 for a prompt 5:00 pm start time.)
Warrup’s Farm
11 John Read Rd.
Redding, CT 06896

Children will make lanterns in class; parents and siblings may bring their own. The children will walk with their class teachers. Parents and siblings will follow behind. The walk will be in silence, to allow us to be as open and reverent as possible in the magic and beauty of the woodland setting. Please help us maintain this mood of reverence.

Directions from HVWS: Take Rt. 302 to Route 58 in Bethel. Go left on Route 58 south for 5 miles to Route 107 at Putnam Park. Make a right to follow Route 107, then left to continue to Warrup’s Farm which is on John Read Rd., about a mile from Putnam Park, on the left.

Early Childhood
Tuesday, November 19
Sunflower and Bluebell: 3:45 pm
Rose and Dandelion: 5:30 pm
Rose Garden Building

Please follow morning drop-off procedures: teachers will escort your children into the building. Remember, please do not walk through the playground with your child because the festive lights will be lit. After dropping off your children, please park cars in the designated parking spaces available in front of the Rose Garden Building, in the Grade School parking lot, in the front and back parking areas at the fire station, or in the Taunton Hill parking lot. After parking, please join us immediately for a puppet show in the Rose Garden Building.

After the puppet show, parents and siblings will go to the EC playground, create a human tunnel behind the playhouse, and follow the votive jars toward the swing set area. (Class parents will provide more specific directions on how to create this form when you arrive.) Meanwhile the children will stay inside with their teachers, lighting their lanterns. The first walk will be teachers and children only. Parents and siblings will meet the students after the first walk. Parents and siblings are then invited to join in for a second silent walk. The purpose of walking in silence is to create a mood of reverence, which the parents will sustain.

Please remember to have your child visit Mother Earth before leaving. She will be seated by the Rose Class goodbye bench on the platform. She will have a small gift for each child.

Please leave quietly to continue the inward experience. Gentle reminder: NO PHOTOGRAPHY is allowed at any time, as it takes away from the mood of reverence. RSVP by Friday November 15th.
Holiday Market
Friday, November 22, 6 pm-8 pm;
Saturday, November 23, 10 am-3 pm
Upper Level, Compass Hall
1 Jacklin Rd. Newtown

FREE ADMISSION | RAIN OR SHINE

Unique Children’s Toys, Fair Trade Collections, Yarn, Scarves, Jewelry, Bags, Sustainable Clothing and Home Goods, Handmade Beeswax Candles, Pottery, Natural Skincare, Woolen Goods, Paintings and Placemats
Thanksgiving Assembly
Wednesday, November 27
11 am
Compass Hall
1 Jacklin Rd., Newtown

1st-8th grade parents, grandparents, and friends are invited to attend. 11 am, display of student work in the Atrium (upper level); 11:30 am, Assembly in the Eurythmy Room (lower level).

Following the Assembly, the class of 2020 will host a Sweet & Savory Bake Sale. Please note, there will be early dismissal and no aftercare or late care on this day.

Early Childhood parents are invited to attend the dress assembly rehearsal on Monday morning from 8:30-9:45. Please contact Therese Lederer at tlederer@waldorfct.org to RSVP to either event.
Inside the Classroom
Bluebell Nursery
Annette Previti and Sandy Proksa

We began the year singing name game songs to help the children remember each other's names. We have also been singing songs for the season ( Autumn Leaves are Falling Down, Here is my Trunk I'm a Tall Tall Tree and Five Little Pumpkins Sitting on a Gate). In addition to learning the lyrics, the children have learned to sign all the colors in Autumn Leaves are Falling Down.

Every Tuesday morning the children paint. They have been painting with yellow, orange, and red. Whenever we can, we like to incorporate nature into their creative endeavors. They have painted with brushes, pine needles, and around fallen leaves. They have also been drawing in fall colors, with the exception of one recent week which was rainbow-inspired.

Our puppet show is called The Baker Woman. It is about a baker who grants a wish so that the dough might spend its life with the children of the village. The children have also been felting small pumpkins in time for the season. Last but not least, we have enjoyed celebrating a few Bluebell birthdays! 
Dandelion Kindergarten
Marcella Kapsaroff and Liz Koors

The Dandelion class has settled into their Autumn rhythm in Star Meadow. With the aroma of delicious soup on Tuesdays and warm buttery bread on Thursdays, we could not be more warm and cozy. We experienced the most beautiful fall day at Warrup's Farm where we each picked a pumpkin and then had a lovely picnic of bread, apples, and cheese among the bobbing heads of tall sunflowers. For handwork the Dandelions rolled balls of orange wool roving around and around in the palm of their hands to create little orange felted pumpkins. Then the children twisted green wool between their thumbs and pointer fingers to make the stems for the little felted pumpkins.

For Halloween, the children excitedly ventured into the play yard to see what mischief a Halloween hobgoblin created in our garden! Much to their surprise, they discovered that wrinkled bumpy gourds were hidden all about the garden and there were just enough for each child to take a gourd home. We then joined the Rose, Sunflower, and Bluebell classes to watch a puppet show, The Pumpkin Child. The children were quiet as they watched the travails of an enchanted pumpkin child and the faith and love her loved ones had in her, which then helped her to transform into a human girl. It is a fairy tale that encompasses a tragic difficulty, personal growth, and then transformation. Lastly, the children have had such fun taking turns being the Pumpkin King and sitting on our big pumpkin while classmates hide the treasure from them. After much guessing, the treasure is found and a new king is crowned!

We are looking forward to Martinmas and have been collecting beautifully colored fall leaves and sticks to make our beautiful lanterns for our lantern walk.
Rose Kindergarten
Carrie Reilly and Brigitte Cadigan

The Rose class is enjoying the beautiful season of Autumn. We are finding so many gifts from nature to show our friends for show and tell at the end of the day! We had a fantastic field trip to Warrup's farm and enjoyed our escort around the farm, Tom the turkey. Thank you Farmer Bill and Lincoln for our trip to the Pumpkin patch! The Rose children are busy building forts, shelters for their dogs and cats, pirate ships and trains, or just cooking in the playhouse. We have been busy running in the play yard and a few of the children have mastered "pumping" their feet on the swings so they can touch the maple leaves with their toes. There are new faces in our beloved climbing trees and we are running around the Mulberry bush to learn new jump-roping skills. We enjoyed watching the beautiful pumpkins grow in the garden and eating the roasted pumpkin seeds by the glow of our jack o'lanterns' smiles on Halloween!
Sunflower Kindergarten
Isabel Gandara and Aliz Mihok

The Sunflower children have been enjoying all the changes they see in nature, admiring the beautiful leaves and the big pumpkins that grow in front of our building. At circle time we all become farmers and are ready to harvest pumpkins. To get to the garden patch, we need to ride a horse, leap across a river, jump over a hedgerow, cross a bridge, and climb up a mountain. When we arrive at the garden patch, we find a very big pumpkin that is so big that we need to pull and pull with all our might. When we finally have our pumpkin we bring it home in a wheelbarrow (some children are the wheelbarrow and others push the wheelbarrow). At the end of our circle we make a jack o'lantern from the pumpkin we harvested. The children have also been making felted pumpkins. They were very excited about our field trip to Warrup's Farm where they each picked their own pumpkin and went on a hay ride. We have also been playing Five Little Pumpkins Sitting on a Gate and The Pumpkin King. All the children enjoyed our Halloween celebration, for which we had a special puppet show and a delicious snack of pumpkin bread and toasted pumpkin seeds.
First Grade
Class of 2027
Laura Wittmer

The First Grade has been exploring the quality of numbers from one to ten, learning to count by ones, twos, and tens, writing the numbers and their names, and practicing more than and less than. We are learning our ten buddies, looking at Roman Numerals, and recently went on a wonderful field trip to Silverman's Farm in Easton where we fed animals, took a tractor ride through the orchard, and played in a giant cereal bowl.
Second Grade
Class of 2026
Jennifer Chapman

The Second Grade is singing Martinmas songs and practicing the Martinmas play. We are listening to daily Aesop Fables and listening to a math story about Pirate Pete and how he is working with Prince Plus in organizing the chestnuts they are collecting and saving for the queen's favorite dessert, chocolate chestnut pie. In order to do that we need to put them in piles of ones, tens, hundreds and even thousands. We are also spending lots of time with arithmetic and even looking at the patterns many of the multiples make when counting by 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 when put in a circle. 
Third Grade
Class of 2025
Chandrika Patalia

The Third Grade has been visiting Riverbank Farm on Mondays and has had the experience of harvesting various vegetables like sweet potatoes, beets, and carrots. The Third Graders are learning stories from the Hebrew Bible. They began with painting and writing about the seven days of creation. They also got to choose their favorite parts from the story and represent it through free rendering.
Fourth Grade
Class of 2024
Allison Washington

The Fourth Graders began the year fully engaged with the stories of Norse Mythology. The All-father Odin, mighty Thor, thoughtful Iduna, and cunning Loki captivated their interest! While reviewing the parts of speech and how to write a summary, the Fourth Graders also reviewed and practiced essential math skills. During their local geography block, the class will visit the Institute for American Indian Studies where we can begin our study of how the indigenous people of Connecticut lived on the land. Outside the classroom, the Fourth Graders' huge energy is mostly expended on the four-square court where they joyfully compete with one another.
Fifth Grade
Class of 2023
Leslie Lew

The Fifth Grade celebrated the Hindu festival of Dusshera with the Patalia family. The festival celebrates the triumph of good over evil and is based on the saga of the Ramayana. As well as eating a delicious Indian meal, the students and parents learned a traditional stick dance and heard the story of the Ramayana from Mrs. Patalia.

Thank you, Chandrika and Jay, for the wonderful evening!
The Fifth Grade parents and I met in early September for our first parent evening, and I was asked to bring the topic of media and electronic devices by a number of parents in the class. Going into this conversation, I was wary of coming off too strong or not strongly enough in my belief that these devices should be out of the hands of our students for as long as possible. I wondered how to navigate this challenging terrain while respecting each family's own private life.

We began by sharing the ways that we ourselves find it difficult to put down our phones, and we discussed how easily the children become engaged to the point of not being able to extract themselves from a game or looking something up. We all know the addictive nature of the internet, phones, and other electronic devices and their effects on children. Why do we find it so difficult to say no? The Fifth Grade parents felt strongly about keeping personal smartphones out of the hands of their children until after Eighth Grade graduation. Aside from music, the online options of a smartphone are not what pre-adolescents need and they are not yet equipped to use them responsibly. (And if you think your child cannot connect to the internet on your old iPod without you setting parent controls--think again!)

It was felt that by supporting one another in saying a collective class "not yet," the parents could support one another and make this important step together, as opposed to having to navigate these challenging times alone. With the pressure and temptation to have a personal phone, what these parents discussed was very inspiring! If you want to reach out to any of the Fifth Grade parents to ask questions and talk about this, please do.
Sixth and Seventh Grades
Class of 2022
Class of 2021
Laura Hayes

After working through the Roman Empire in no time (Sixth Grade) and composing funny, witty and insightful poems and stories (Seventh Grade with Mr. Vojack-Weeks), we moved into a Geoscience main lesson block.

Since the Seventh Grade had already had one main lesson block on Geoscience, we started out with the Seventh Graders teaching the Sixth Graders about the rock cycle and the three rock categories. We then learned about tectonic plates, the special position of Iceland, and how rock layers get folded. We also brainstormed the many different resources of the earth, and categorized them. This introduction led us into more detailed studies of fossil fuels and other non-renewable resources. Our first group work and written assignment discussed crude oil, its formation, mining, usage and risks. Next we looked into coal and then moved on to metals (gold) and gemstones (diamonds). The block ended with a renewable resource, water, and where we can find it in the ground. This included filtering processes of different rocks, reservoirs, and where it comes to the surface (springs).

In our discussion on how to find oil, I compared it to a layer cake that bears an especially desirable layer of jelly. The task is to find this layer, and ideally a reservoir of it. The students brought straws (reusable or recyclable) to school and I brought a cake. Just like geologists and seismologists, we surveyed the landscape (top of cake) and guesstimated where the jelly reservoir might be hidden. Then we used drilling (straws) as a means to get information about the layers. Oh, Geology is so much fun!

As with many topics, we only have a limited amount of time to bring these big subjects that could easily be studied for years. So I aim to give the students a taste of these fascinating topics and to spark interest.
Eighth Grade
Class of 2020
Marleen De Grande

The Eighth Grade was immersed in the sciences the first weeks of the school year. We started with the study of Chemistry, including atoms, electrons and protons, the periodic table, sugars and starches and photosynthesis. In our second block we explored some interesting topics in Physics. We explored how sound can be magnified through an earphone and megaphone, for example. Fluid and Aeromechanics had us explore the air cushion and dry cup, among many other demonstrations. We realized that many of these demonstrations we might have experienced before. What principle are they really connected to? How precise is our observation?
German
Grades 1-8
Laura Hayes

The First Grade started with German this year by learning to count and follow basic classroom commands. The students listened attentively to the first stories in German that introduced the two important words "bitte" and "danke."

The Third Grade practiced a German St. Michael song and listened to a most beloved story about "Mama Muh" and "Krähe." They started to recall animals and their sounds, and began writing the German animal names.

The Fourth and Fifth Graders practiced how to take a taxi through a typical German town. They learned the names of stores and public buildings of a town, as well as what can be bought in these different stores.

The Middle School has not only been working on learning vocabulary words, but also had a glimpse into the historic events of the reunification of Germany in 1989.
Notes
Morning Glories Parent-Child Classes
Morning Glories Parent-Child classes are for parents or caregivers and the children they love from ages 12 to 36 months.

Winter Registration is Open! Winter session classes begin December 5.
Interested in Waldorf Teacher Training?
Are you considering the possibility of Waldorf teacher training? Melissa Merkling is offering a Foundation Studies mentorship at HVWS that can help you get started. For more information please contact mmerkling@waldorfct.org.
Congratulations!
We are thrilled to share...

HVWS teacher Vincent Vojack-Weeks and HVWS alumna Megan Vojack-Weeks welcomed baby Soleil Hazel on Thursday, October 10. Congratulations to Meg, Vince, and big sister, Skyler!

The Peralta Page family welcomed baby Clementine Eugenie on October 21. Congratulations to Rebecca, Estanislao and big brother, Palmer!
Gratitude
Thank you to all of the parents who have cooked for faculty meeting meals and baked for outreach events!

Thank you to Fifth Grade parents for their hard work on the Michaelmas festival: bakers ( Aliz, Julie, Whitney), apple slicers (t he Washingtons), architectural wizards in designing the obstacle course ( Colleen, Liz, Laura, Lisa, Julie, Cathie), servers ( Lina, Cathie, Alison) and obstacle course angels ( Tom, Rob, Lisa). The day could not have been a success without you and the hard work of the Fifth Graders, who really stepped up as ambassadors that morning! 
Thanks to Dale Tucker for installing the slack line!

Thank you to Jeff Parker for his donation of paper goods.

Thank you to Rebekah Lee for her continued library cataloging.

Thank you to Ann Dixcy for baking Day of the Dead bread for the Sixth Grade's celebration.

Thank you to all parents who donated toys for our new EC class, especially Cecilia Ponce for making beautiful capes and Diane Rockwell for sending beautiful knit items to the classroom all the way from North Carolina! Special thanks to all the HVWS parents and friends who participated in our toy making workshop, sharing a lovely morning together with Miss Isabel: Nancy Disbrow, Jennifer Finefrock, Brigitte Cadigan, Aliz Mihok, Marcella Kapsaroff, Cecelia Ponce, Daniella Squizzato, Sarah Settanni, and Michela Casey.
Thank you to all who contributed to the success of our Open House! It is an important gesture to interested families to have so many in support of enrollment at our school. Thank you to HVWS alumni Lincoln Hill, Henry James, Quinn Siddiqui, and Diana Wipf, parent volunteers, Christina Setkoski and Zack Holly, and bakers Kylie and Khloe Hudak, Robin Howard, Carrie Godlove, and Alison Lindner. And thank you, also, to all those who posted Open House signs at their homes and businesses. Please return signs to the admin cottage or leave them at drop-off to be rounded up.

Thank you to firefighters Ron and Kirk from the Dodgingtown Volunteer Fire Company for visiting our 1st and 2nd grades once again to talk about fire safety!
Alumni Updates
Teachers Leslie Lew and Marleen De Grande visited HVWS alumnus Dylan Lew at Carnegie Mellon University earlier this fall. Dylan has been a part of a start-up group that has developed a small anaerobic digester that diverts food waste from landfills and produces fertilizer and methane gas for energy production:
https://ecotonerenewables.com. Word has spread in the neighborhood and now neighbors are dropping off their compost!
Where do HVWS graduates go to school next?
HVWS Class of 2019 High Schools         
Madeleine Abramson, Sacred Heart Academy  
Rose Bertram, High Mowing Waldorf School
Alice Blyn, Shepaug Middle School   
Tristan Counter, Joel Barlow High School   
Helena de Castro, Nonnewaug High School
Daschel Knuff, Wooster School      
Isabelle Redpath, Weston High School      
Beckett Reynolds, Canterbury School   
Esther Yu, Ridgefield High School   

HVWS Class of 2015 Colleges and Universities
Sanni Cohn, Saint Andrews University, Scotland (Economics)
Lena DeFeo, Saint Joseph's University (Sociology)        
John Scott Disbrow, University of Connecticut         
Dillon Larkin, St. Lawrence University      
Jeremy Larkin, University of New Hampshire
Dempsey Reese, New England Institute of Technology (Carpentry)
Maeve Rooney, Fordham University   
Bayley Storrier, James Madison University (Kinesiology)       
Michael Wipf, California State University Northridge (Film/Business)
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!
HVWS Fleece Jackets are Here!
Click for a PDF Order Form. Orders may be shipped to your home or picked up from Tiger Sports in Ridgefield.
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.

Interviews:
Photos
Halloween Dance
Articles & Videos
Mission
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