November 2018

The skies were blue Friday afternoon, but Thursday evening and Friday morning the weather was dreadful and we've already had our first snow day! Let's hope this isn't an indication of the winter to come...

On Wednesday the 21st, before we head out for Thanksgiving break, our grade school students will present an assembly program of poems, songs, and recitations for parents, relatives, and friends. Curious early childhood parents are welcome to attend the dress rehearsal on Monday, during which the students will present their work to each other. If you would like to attend either event--and we hope you do!--please contact Therese Lederer at

Also fast approaching is our Holiday Market on December 7 and 8. We are expecting a fantastic array of local artisans, and our 8th graders plan to host a shopping room for children in which they can purchase small gifts for their family members.

We have more events on the calendar over the next few weeks, including a Kindermorning; a talk entitled "Compassionate Risk Taking for a Positive Future" by the founder and Director of Kroka Expeditions, Misha Golfman; our Early Childhood Lantern Walk and Advent Spiral; and, of course, our rescheduled parent-teacher conferences, and more to come throughout December. It is a very busy season!

Thank you to all of the volunteers who made our Open House this past week a success, and thank you to the fourth grade for leading a beautiful (and chilly) Martinmas. As one of our grade school teachers wrote to her parents, "I was especially touched by the care and love that the 4th graders showed their 1st grade buddies. It wasn’t easy to walk through that freezing, dark and muddy farm, but the children were all helping each other and were brave and strong. It is always one of the most moving traditions of the year for me. To see the smallest of our grade school children leading all the adults with their tiny lights into the dark unknown, always makes me think of our future and how instrumental the spirits of these children will be in forging a better tomorrow. Their courage and perseverance, as well as their connections to each other and to the earth, are the gifts our world needs in times of darkness and cold."


Christina Dixcy
Communications Director and Office Manager
Important Links
Imbue thyself
Upcoming Events
Visit our calendar for a full listing of events.
Parent-Teacher Conferences
Rescheduled parent-teacher conferences will take place on Monday and Tuesday, November 26 and 27. Teachers will be in touch with parents regarding rescheduling their conferences. We will have early dismissal on these days.
Martinmas Festival (Early Childhood)
Tuesday, November 20, 4:30 PM
Rose Garden Building

The festival of Martinmas celebrates the life of St. Martin. 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.
Thanksgiving Assembly (Grades 1-8)
Wednesday, November 21, 11 AM
Compass Hall

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 2019 will host a Sweet & Savory Bake Sale.

Early Childhood parents are invited to attend the assembly dress rehearsal on Monday morning from 8:30-9:45. Please contact Therese Lederer to RSVP to either event.

Please note, there will be early dismissal and no aftercare or late care on this day. Happy Thanksgiving!
Compassionate Risk Taking for a Positive Future
Tuesday, November 27, 7 PM
Atrium, Compass Hall

Join Misha Golfman in an intimate and practical exploration of the positive outcomes that come from allowing our children and teenagers to take healthy natural risks, while taking our own risks as parents. How do we build family habits that foster young adults towards healthy empowerment, connection, and an altruistic willpower for engaging with the world? We will explore parenting styles and introduce practical ideas for home design, family habits and systems, schooling, social life, and community engagement for social and environmental change. Working together we will imagine a world where we put the interests of others before our own, live in communities based on trust, and turn our consumptive relationship with the natural world to one of balance and reverence for life.
Misha Golfman is the founder and executive director of Kroka Expeditions, a farm-based wilderness expedition school in Marlow, New Hampshire that serves more than one thousand students each year with a unique approach to both academic education and youth development. Kroka’s campus is a sustainable village and organic farm that connects students to the earth through the daily manual labor and engagement with the elements that provides our shelter, water, and food. Kroka’s wilderness expeditions replicate the critical and unique ancient human experiences that date back in history to the earliest nomadic peoples on earth. Whether paddling, cycling, hiking, or skiing, traveling together outdoors actually creates the experience of here and now that can otherwise be impossible to find in the modern technological world. Together, the lessons from the farm and the expedition reveal the essential elements of developing young people into healthy and engaged positive human beings – and these lessons can be applied anywhere – in urban or rural settings, across cultures, and in any type of family and home. As a parent and educator Misha considers creating opportunities for healthy risk a central theme in his life and work.
Advent Spiral
Early Childhood:
Friday, November 30
Eurythmy Room, Lower Level, Compass Hall
ROSE, 4:30 PM

Grades 1-8:
Monday, December 3
Eurythmy Room, Lower Level, Compass Hall
Times TBD (in-school event)

Parking is available in front of the Fire House, at the Grades campus (1 Jacklin Rd.), at the Early Childhood building (40 Dodgingtown Rd.) and at the Taunton Hill parking lot.

The spiral path is made from pine boughs, crystals and shells. The walking on the path through the spiral represents the child walking through life on earth. The apple represents the nourishment that the earth gives us. The light of the candles suggest that people should be clear and bright of thought and warm of heart. 
Holiday Concert
Thursday, December 13
6:30-8:00 PM
Newtown Middle School, 11 Queen St.

Join us for a Holiday Concert featuring performances by the 4th-8th grade choruses, strings classes, and orchestras. All are welcome!
The Little Play of the Nativity
Wednesday, December 19
7:00 PM
Lower Level, Compass Hall

The Eighth Grade is pleased to present The Little Play of the Nativity. Written by Arvia MacKaye Ege, a teacher at the Rudolf Steiner School in New York City, it is adapted from the medieval Shepherds' Play. Such plays were performed by parishioners in European churches in the Middle Ages to bring the Christmas story, simply yet vividly, to the common people.

At the Steiner School in New York, the Little Play is presented every year by the Eighth Grade. Melissa Merkling, who appeared in it herself in 1966, brought it to HVWS in 2010.
Annual school pictures are heading home to students! If you would like to place a late order, you can do so here . If you have any questions about your order, please call Photography by Roman directly at 203-922-8040.
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.

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.

New in store:
We are excited for a restock from the beautiful Camden Rose! Camden Rose toys are natural, safe and made in the USA. New to the store are yo-yo’s, rhythm sticks and play clips to name a few. We also have a large selection of crocheted vegetables, cherry wood bowls and spoons and beeswax. Stop by Tuesday-Friday 8:20-9am to take a look.

Please contact Natasha Daniels-Pearson with any questions regarding the store:
Thank you, Bruce Kueffner (Father of Liz Koors and grandfather of Ellie and James Koors) for teaching the 4th and 7th graders how to tie knots! Your presentation gave the 4th graders a three-dimensional view of the Celtic Knots we are practicing in our form drawing lessons and gave the 7th graders handy knowledge about life on a ship for the early explorers. It was a great experience for us!
Thank you to our open house volunteers: current 8th graders Rose Bertram and Daschel Knuff; alumni Lena DeFeo and Brady Knuff, various faculty and especially Marleen DeGrande; parents Wei Bertram, Cheryl Hill, and Sunshine Lucas; board members Nathalie Bennett and Laura Stotz; bakers Carrie Godlove, Nigel Harrison, Alison Lindner and Robin Van Riper (EHSTO); and to Arogya for their delicious tea.
Thank you to Julie Retzlaff and Whitney Flood, Lisa Buckley, and Camille Lawrence for providing food for the Pennsylvania Eurythmy Ensemble. Thank you to the Lawrence/Poston, Ponce, Gandara/Navarro, and Kapsaroff families for hosting the performers. Thank you to Nigel Harrison and Linda Straub for their help with the organization of the event. And thank you to Laetitia Berrier-Saarbach for heading the event and to the Ensemble for their beautiful performances!
Thank you to the 4th grade (parents, students, and Leslie Lew) for organizing and leading a beautiful grade school Martinmas lantern walk and to Bill Hill and Laura Selleck of Warrup's Farm for hosting.
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The mission of the Housatonic Valley Waldorf School is to develop each child's unique capacity to engage meaningfully in the world.

Guided by the principles of Waldorf education, the faculty inspires in our students creative thinking, moral sensibility, and a passion for learning.

We offer a classical education that integrates experiential and artistic learning, in an environment emphasizing academic excellence, respect for diversity, and reverence for the natural world.

Our faculty, board of trustees, and parents work together, with dedication and warmth, to support our school community.
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