September 2019
July, 2019
Greetings!

Last Thursday marked the joyous 100th birthday of Waldorf education! To celebrate the day we gathered for a morning assembly with Eurythmy led by Laetitia Berrier-Saarbach and the origin story of the first Waldorf school, delivered by HVWS founder Melissa Merkling. After our morning assembly, students split into mixed-age groups and participated in "speed specialty classes" moving from Spanish, to flag dyeing (the flags will later hang around the school), to German, to Music, to Movement, to Form Drawing, to Eurythmy. We paused for (healthy*) cake during snack recess, and joined together for a closing assembly during which we all sang a song learned during the morning's music class (video below), and a song presented by our Middle School, learned while off on their adventure at Kroka Expeditions earlier this month. A parent who was able to move through the classes with a parent group shared, "Today's classes just took me to a new level of understanding -- sitting in the seats, doing the exercises as they are done with the children and even moving from class to class... It was such a beautiful and reaffirming reminder of just why I love the school and the Waldorf philosophy."

This beautiful method of teaching to the whole child - -mind, body, spirit and soul -- was born out of the destruction of World War I. Rudolf Steiner believed that social renewal was the only way to avoid such conflicts in the future. During her story, Melissa shared that Steiner believed, "A school should help children learn to think independently and address their spiritual, emotional, social, and moral development, so they could find more constructive ways to end conflict." What began as a single school in Stuttgart, Germany, serving the children of Emil and Berta Molt's Waldorf Cigarette factory workers, and other local local children, has now expanded to greater than 1,090 Waldorf/Steiner schools in 64 countries, and 1,857 Waldorf kindergartens in more than 70 countries** around the world. The need for such an educational model feels ever more pressing.

This Friday we celebrate our annual Michaelmas Festival, and parents and friends are once again invited to attend. We hope you will be able to join us in conquering our dragons!

Warmly,

Christina Dixcy
Communications Director and Office Manager

*Of the gluten/dairy/egg/refined sugar/nut-free applesauce cake, students reported, "It was good. Not as good as real cake, but good."
**Numbers from AWSNA , the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America.
Sing a song for the peace of the people,
sing a song for the rights of every one.
Sing a song for the peace of the people,
sing a song for the rights of every one.
Give your hand, there will be a friend,
each for another in every place or land.
Give your hand, there will be a friend,
each for another in every place or land.
Important Links
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:
Upcoming Events
No School:
Monday, September 30,
Wednesday, October 9,
Monday and Tuesday, October 14 and 15

Picture Day:
Tuesday, October 1
Michaelmas
Friday, September 27; 11 am - 2 pm
Grade School Campus

Early dismissal (12:35 PM); *bus at 12:35 PM*; no aftercare or late care. 

The Michaelmas festival honors St. Michael, the mythical Dragon-slayer astride a white steed, who bears a mighty iron sword flashing like a meteor. Michael's legend symbolizes the autumnal resurgence of human strength, willpower and striving to overcome our inner Dragons -- laziness, greed, doubt, fear of the future -- who may have crept over us unnoticed during summer's dreamy warmth and forgetfulness. Every September, our school honors the Michaelmas festival with songs, games, and a wonderful play featuring the grade school students. Grade school parents, please check with your class teacher regarding your child's clothing for the Michaelmas play.

All HVWS parents and the public are invited to join the festivities at 11 AM, on the South Campus playground at 1 Jacklin Rd.

Parking
  • Taunton Hill parking lot (entrance on Taunton Hill Rd.)
  • Front and rear Firehouse parking lots. In the rear firehouse lot, please do not park in the spaces against the the building or blocking the garage bay doors! 
  • North Campus Early Childhood horseshoe (40 Dodgingtown Rd.)
  • South Campus parking lot (1 Jacklin Rd.)

Seating
Please feel free to bring blankets and folding/lawn chairs for your convenience, particularly if bringing grandparents or others who may be more comfortable sitting rather than standing for an extended period. 

Lunch
The Class of 2020 will offer a delicious Sweet & Savory Bake Sale immediately following the festival. The proceeds support their class trip fundraising efforts.

Early Childhood Families
All Early Childhood families are invited to attend this celebration. If you plan to attend, please pick up your child at 11 AM from the Early Childhood playground and escort them across the street to the South Campus. Teachers will escort remaining Rose, Sunflower, and Dandelion students to the celebration. If you do not plan to attend, please pick up your child at 12:30 from the South Campus parking lot gate (1 Jacklin Rd.). If your child does not attend school on Friday, please come and join us at 11!

Cleanup
The picnic ends at 2, but please feel free to remain until 3 to help tidy the grounds post-picnic!
Notes
Enrollment News
While schools worldwide are celebrating 100 years of Waldorf Education, our school is marking important milestones at home:

  • Fulfilling a long-held dream, we opened 2 new early childhood classes in 2 years, bringing the total to 4!
  • We are now serving 61 early childhood students.
  • We are piloting a new middle school model to better serve the emerging adolescent.
  • We have an all-time high enrollment of 146 students!

Upcoming admissions events:

October 22First Grade Readiness Evening
November 5A Walk Through Grades 1-8
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.
Fall After-School Classes
In Session: Tai-Chi, Archery, Karate
Staring Friday, October 4: Painting

Congratulations!
We are thrilled to share the news that HVWS teacher Emily Remensperger gave birth to Dennis Oisin McGowan on September 24. We send all our love and congratulations to Emily, Chris, Thalia!
Thalia and Dennis
Gratitude
Thank you to bakers Danielle Sears, Daniela Squizzato, Rachel Dorfman, Lisa Buckley, and Carrie Godlove for the treats they provided for our new-parent orientations and school tours.

Thank you to Darcy Demu and Ann Dixcy for baking (so much baking!) for our Waldorf 100 Celebration and to Natasha de Castro for cutting and sewing all of our flags. Thank you to Marina Yanover for sorting all of our W100 t-shirts and to Patricia Campbell for the use of her PA system. Thank you to all of the teachers and staff who made the day possible and to the parents who joined us!

Thank you to our Newtown Arts Festival volunteers, Rebekah and Solomon Lee, Laura Hayes, Christina Dixcy and Beatrice Tucker, and Carrie Donat, and to all of the families who stopped by to say hello and make a jump rope!

Thank you to the parent volunteers who made welcome calls to our 40 new students (28 early childhood and 12 grades): Carina Bandhauer, Carrie Godlove, Meredith Hettler, Lori Hudak, Alison Lindner, Daniela Squizzato, Rekha Terway, Amy Tilford, Megan Vojack-Weeks, and Kristina Wofsey.

Thank you to Rebekah Lee for her continued library cataloging.

Thank you to Dr. Tamara Potselueva and Sunshine Lucas for their donations of library books.
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.
Photos
Waldorf 100
First Day of School Rose Ceremony
Middle School at Kroka Expeditions
The Middle School Biodynamic Gardening class has begun meeting with Ms. Kapsaroff in their outdoor classroom. Posing here with their fresh manure-filled horns, this group of 6th graders did their part to counter climate change in the garden while some of their middle school classmates worked on changing climate policy by joining the Youth Climate Marches in New York City and Hartford!
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