January 2020
July, 2019

Every year I am so invigorated when class plays begin! The class play is an integral part of the Waldorf curriculum beginning in first grade. Our youngest grade school students recite the entire play, while individuals act out specific parts. They work more visibly as one. By middle school the performances are elaborate and nuanced productions and the students are involved behind the scenes as well as on stage. Working in the office I have the privilege of being an audience member for dress rehearsals as well as final productions. This week I have already seen the 6th-8th graders production of Crusader, Muslim, and Jew multiple times and I highly encourage your making it to their final performance tonight if you can! The following is an excerpt from Mrs. Hayes' director's note:

"The process of creating art together in a group from words on paper is magic...Aside from diving deep into the content of the play, we learn to understand characters and their motives; we look closely at words and their meaning; we express the characters through our bodies, becoming conscious of every part of us that tells a story, sends a message. The students...are often challenged to leave their comfort zone and shed habits...These play blocks give each student the opportunity to get to know themselves and to become more comfortable in their own skin. I love these play blocks because they make us more human."


Christina Dixcy
Communications Director and Office Manager
Important Links
2019-20 Annual Fund
 Thank you for your support! Housatonic Valley Waldorf School is a non-profit 501c3.
Your contribution is potentially tax- deductible.
Tax ID # 061310057
Upcoming Events
No Afternoon Extended Care on February 7
School will be closed February 17-21

February Parent Evenings
Wednesday the 5th, Middle School
Thursday the 6th, 1st Grade

Board of Trustees Meeting
Wednesday the 12th
Middle School Play
January 31; 7 PM
1:30 PM performance for students
Lower Level, Compass Hall
1 Jacklin Rd., Newtown

The 6th-8th Grades are pleased to present Crusader, Muslim, and Jew, a play by D.F. Coye, inspired by Nathan the Wise by Gotthold Ephraim Lessing.

The play is set in Jerusalem during the Holy Truce around 1191. Salah ad-Din, hero of Islam, rules Jerusalem at that time, but anticipates another invasion by Richard the Lionheart of England and his crusaders. Nathan the Wise is a rich Jewish merchant with a daughter who was just saved by a Christian knight from a devastating fire. As the story unfolds the characters are faced with the question: within the rigid societal expectations of their own religions, can a Muslim, Jew, and Christian be friends?
Third Grade Play
February 12, 6:00 pm
Lower Level, Compass Hall
1 Jacklin Rd., Newtown

The 3rd Grade proudly presents Noah and the Flood. (Daytime performance for students on February 13 at 11:50 am.)
Talent Show!
February 28, 6:00 pm
Atrium, Compass Hall
1 Jacklin Rd., Newtown

Back by popular demand! This fun-filled evening (and 7th grade fundraiser) will showcase the talent of our students and community.

HVWS students from grades 4-8, parents, alumni, and teachers are welcome to take to the stage. From poetry, to song, to improv theater, you won’t want to miss these performances! Please contact Laura Hayes at lhayes@waldorfct.org to sign up to perform!
Middle School Morning
March 10; 8:20 -10:30

Become a middle schooler for a morning and join us for a lesson in Platonic solids. You will quickly understand the beauty and complexity of our curriculum and will have no doubt about your child’s preparedness for high school. Marleen DeGrande— HVWS veteran of 23 years—will be your teacher. Refreshments and Q&A to follow.

Inside the Classroom
Bluebell Nursery
Annette Previti and Sandy Proksa

The Bluebells have been singing songs about the Three Kings, Father Winter, and foraging animals. Recently they have become very interested in building incredibly high and detailed structures with blocks. They have also been building forts out of materials in the classroom large enough for the entire class! Ms. Sandy and I look forward to our winter walk and celebrating Candlemas and Valentine’s Day with the Bluebells in the upcoming weeks. 
Dandelion Kindergarten
Marcella Kapsaroff and Liz Koors

The Dandelion class has settled into their daily rhythm beautifully this January. Many little shoes were replaced as all the Dandelions experienced growth spurts over the holiday break. January was a special month as we continued to experience the darkest days of the year and we felt the hope that the warmth and light from the sun will soon return. What better story to express these feelings than that of the Three Kings following the light of a bright star which leads them to the child of light: the promise of goodness and light here on earth. We celebrated Three Kings Day by rolling out our bread dough into long strands and forming a braided crown with a hidden star gem inside. The children were so excited to form their bread dough into this beautiful crown loaf and to see who would find the star gem. They all felt so happy and generous for the one child who found the gem inside their serving. Star Money and The Story of Baboushka, our story, circle, and puppet shows during this month, highlight generosity, kindness, and hardworking habits. The Dandelion children are continuing to live into these beautiful tales, and the spirit of kindness and generosity abounds in their friendships with each other. 
Rose Kindergarten
Carrie Reilly and Brigitte Cadigan

The Rose class has had a nice time coming back from the holiday break. We celebrated Three Kings day on January 7 and enjoyed an apple cake with our soup. In the cake were hidden three gems and pieces were served without knowing who would get the gems! Our kings for the day were Vivian as the red king, Zara as the blue king, and Katharine as the green king. We celebrated our friends who had the good luck of finding the gems! This celebration kicked off our Baboushka circle, which Mark proudly let us know means grandmother in Russian. The children all had turns in various roles and we "swept and swept" all day. The children have been playing happily and creating boats, towers, fire rescue trucks, slides and more. It is a busy place during free play! We will enjoy a lovely winter walk at Huntington Park at the end of the month are are enjoying all the pleasures of the winter season.
Sunflower Kindergarten
Isabel Gandara and Aliz Mihok

It was wonderful to see the children after our two-week break. They all came back ready to start school and be part of our daily routine. They have been happily and busily playing, building houses, boats, and trains using all of the boxes, tables, chairs, and fabrics in the classroom. This month, all of the activities have been related to the Three Kings. The Three Kings and their gifts symbolize wisdom. As soon as we got back from break, we had our Three Kings Day celebration. At snack time we ate a cake that had three gems hidden inside, and the children who found the gems got to wear a crown and a cape to symbolize the Three Kings. Our circle and story has been a beautiful Russian legend, Baboushka. She is an old lady that is always busy sweeping, and the Three Kings invite her to go with them to look for the Child of Light. The older children are sewing a felt snowman and made different kinds of snowflakes. We are now beginning our circle about King Winter.  
First Grade
Class of 2027
Laura Wittmer

The first graders are enjoying our second Mathematics main lesson block. We are talking about the four processes with fun imagery from the Land of Numerica where Mayor Mathematica has created a special language of numbers and symbols to help out all the residents and improve their lives. We all helped Percival Plus add up the many things found in his shop of Thises and Thats and created number stories for his various inventory (crystals, chocolates, and snakes were some of the things we found in the shop). Every day we practice our counting up to 100, skip counting by 2's, 3's, 5's and 10's, and lots of mental math. We learned about cardinal and ordinal numbers and began talking about place value as shown in Bill Yun's Bun Shop. We are also enjoying some dances brought to us by Patricia Campbell; we especially love "Bald Eagle Sail Around." Thanks, Ms. Campbell! 
Second Grade
Class of 2026
Emily Remensperger

The second graders have been hard at work in their Math block. We are moving from horizontal to vertical math as we become familiar with place value and adding and subtracting into the hundreds!
We are also enjoying creating and solving our own math stories using our friends “Stubby” the squirrel and “Floppy” the bunny. These two fuzzy friends have been the subject of numerous mental math stories, and they continue to inspire us to think quickly and with precision.  
Third Grade
Class of 2025
Chandrika Patalia

The third grade is busy in their main lesson play block. They will be performing Noah and the Flood on February 12 and 13. During this block the third graders also learned about when Jacob and his sons moved to Egypt and how the twelve tribes of the Jews were established. (Image: Sons of Israel moving to Egypt)
Fourth Grade
Class of 2024
Allison Washington

The fourth grader typically starts to feel very separate from the security and comforts that they felt previously. This is a time for the fourth grader to look around and see how they stand in relationship to that which is near, and to find security and uprightness through that relationship.The theme of separateness is further reflected in the curriculum with the study of Fractions. The fourth graders were recently introduced to fractions with concrete objects to demonstrate truths before forming mental concepts. They joyfully ate their way through the Math block: cutting a tray of brownies into sixteenths; a coffee cake into twelfths; and apples into thirds, to name a few. They gained experience with drawing, comparing, and recognizing equivalent fractions, as well as addition and subtraction. 
Fifth Grade
Class of 2023
Leslie Lew

The fifth grade completed a block of study on Ancient Cultures; specifically Ancient Persia and Egypt. The study of these cultures gives the students a keen insight into the geography and cultures of these places that will lead us into Ancient Greece this spring and towards Rome next year. The student artwork from this block was breathtaking!
Sixth-Eighth Grades
Classes of 2022, 2021, 2020
Laura Hayes and Marleen De Grande

This month the middle school students have been in the midst of play practice; learning lines, becoming comfortable with the stage, and remembering where to enter and exit. In the last days before our performance we began to practice with special stage lighting, and to act in costumes including unfamiliar headdresses such as a turban or hijab.

Our annual theater productions are such a wonderful experience for all students as they create art in time and space together. They discover the many expressions possible through their body and their interactions with each other. It challenges them to step out of their comfort zone, to stretch themselves, and to try on a different posture, demeanor, or character. I hope you can come and experience the fantastic world that these middle schoolers create during their performances.
Danielle O'Neil

Earlier this month the 1st graders graduated from using the interval flutes to their new pentatonic flutes. The 3rd graders, who were recently promoted to the diatonic “C-flutes,” were eager to present the 1st graders with the pentatonic flutes and share what they had learned. They did a wonderful job teaching them their first flute lesson! (Scroll down for photos!)
Winter and Spring After-School Classes
Registration is now open for our next round of After-School classes for grade school students (and adults). Check out our website to learn more and register for:
  • Karate (2nd-8th grade),
  • Tai-Chi (adults),
  • Drumming (1st-8th grade),
  • Theater (5th-8th grade),
  • Art (3rd-8th grade),
  • Circus Arts (3rd-8th grade)!
Morning Glories Registration is Open
Thank you to all of the parents who have cooked for faculty meeting meals, most recently the fifth grade !

Thank you to all of the middle school parents for their help with the play, including: Jodi Knuff for creative consult, backdrop, props, and costumes; Johnny Poston and Al Patroni for building the wall; Lisa and Mark Buckley for donating supplies for said wall and for hosting the after-party; ClareAnn James, Zinnia James and Christina Dixcy for sewing; Chandrika Patalia, Christina Dixcy, TaNesha Barnes and Dale Tucker for offering and lending set pieces and rugs; David Amdur for organizing the potluck and for graciously letting us use an antique saber and family heirloom; and Alex Exley for organizing flowers. Special thanks to Nariman Omar for her guidance, and to teachers Danielle O'Neil, J ennifer Chapman, and Marleen DeGrande for all their help and support.

Belated thanks to Larry Washington for singing American folk songs with the fifth graders and bringing his banjo. A deep note of gratitude to Susan Hobbs (Fiona and Noah's grandmother) for coming into the class to speak about her travels throughout the 50 US states. Susan also donated two resource books that will remain in the fifth grade classroom. Many thanks!
Bells & Babies
Congratulations to Lauren, Dan, and Bluebell student Lucas Proffitt on the birth of Sawyer Joseph Proffitt on January 24!
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!
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.
6th and 7th Grade Rube Goldberg Machines
1st and 3rd Graders and their Pentatonic Flutes
Articles & Videos
Hartford Courant, January 11. 2019

Mind/Shift January 12, 2020

Parenting Isn't Easy, January 6, 2020

Red Tricycle, January 16, 2020

MIT Technology Review, December 19, 2010
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.
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