Education for the 21st Century
Dear families,

We have a great deal of exciting information to share this month! Please scroll down to learn more about upcoming Parent Education events, get a glimpse of what our WSOC Alumni students are doing now, upcoming workshops (including building your own lyre with Mr. Matan) fun field trip photos and much more!

Congratulations to our Middle School Basketball girls and boys teams! On Saturday, January 26, our teams competed against other Southern California Waldorf Schools in our annual tournament at Highland Hall, and went home with first place trophies for both girls and boys! Thank you to Coach Brennan, Coach Cat and Coach Shifa for cheering our kids on to victory. Go Wildcats!

Don't forget February Break is coming up. NO SCHOOL Feb. 18-22.

Happy Friday, everyone!

Alyssa Hamilton
WSOC Communications Coordinator

Fri 2/1 - Fri 2/15
3:15p - 4:45p • 6th, 7th and 8th Grade Girls' Basketball Practice

Tue 2/5- Tue 2/12
3:15p- 4:45p 7th and 8th Grade Boys' Basketball Practice

Tue 2/5
6:00p - 7:00p • Ms. Barbara Parent Evening
6:00p - 7:00p • Ms. Arieta Parent Evening
7:00p - 8:30p • Parent Education with Ruth Ker: Setting Boundaries with Your Children

Wed 2/6
6:00a - 4:00p • Grade 6 Medieval Games at Journey School
9:00a - 11:00a • Walk Through the Grades
6:00p - 7:30p • Grade 1 Parent Evening

Fri 2/8
Choir Invitational Hosted by WSOC (Grades 5-8 students only: wear traditional choir clothing)
5:00p - 9:00p • Foundation Studies

Sat 2/9
9:00a - 4:30p • Foundation Studies

Tue 2/12
6:30p - 9:00p • Foundation Studies

Thu 2/14
9:30a - 11:00a • Grade 4 Play
Fri 2/15
9:30a - 11:00a • Grade 4 Play
7:00p - 9:00p • Grade 11 Monologues- Eurythmy Hall

Mon 2/18 - Fri 2/22 • February Break NO SCHOOL

Wed 2/27
5:30p - 8:30p • Curriculum Evening for Grades 6-8

Thu 2/28
9:00a - 1:00p • Grade 4 Field Trip San Juan Capistrano

Our 30th Anniversary Gala takes place on Saturday, April 6, 2019. Ticket sales and more information coming soon.

We can't wait to share more's going to be an amazing evening!
Annual Giving Update:
We Did It!

$105,721.30 RAISED!


  • 100% Board of Trustees
  • 100% College of Teachers 
  • 100% Administrative Staff
  • 100% Ms. Arieta’s Kindergarten
  • 100% Ms. Terri’s Kindergarten
  • 100% Ms. Barbara’s Pre-K

Thank you to each of our 2018-19 Annual Giving donors who made WSOC’s Campaign a success.


From Our Business Office:
School Improvement Funding Info

You've likely noticed the air conditioning units and make-shift fence surrounding them outside of WSOC’s front office. You might have wondered about the funding for such ventures. Was this covered by school fundraising? Who authorized these improvements?

We have answers! The cost of these improvements was not borne by our fundraising contributions or from the school’s operating budget. The expense was covered entirely by our landlord, the Newport Mesa Unified School District. As our space is leased, the district still maintains responsibility for certain aspects of our buildings and property.

Additionally, our state-mandated upgrade to a new school-wide fire alarm system also was covered entirely by the district. There are actually a number of behind-the-scenes maintenance and facility related expenses which are covered by the district.

In addition to these larger projects, we also are allotted an annual “rent credit” equal to about 5% of our annual rent costs. This credit is for deferred maintenance and has been used to install new windows, carpets, flooring, paint, and lighting in district owned buildings.  

We are truly blessed with a wonderful 10 acre campus conveniently located next to Fairview Park, Green Park, the Fairy Shrimp for our children to explore and enjoy. We have many alumni parents who gave generously of their time and talent years ago who made all of this possible for our school to benefit from - and enjoy - today. Thank you!
Join us for Grade 11 Monologues Feb. 15
For Grades 7 and Up
WSOC Spirit Wear is Here!
We are so pleased to announce our new line of WSOC Spirit Wear! If you can dream it, our merchandise store can likely create it! Visit and choose from over 50 unique items, from clothing to bags and more! For men, women, teens, children and toddlers. And the quality is AMAZING- soft and cozy and long lasting. 15% of proceeds support our WSOC 8th Grade fundraising efforts for their end of year adventure together.

Support your school & show your spirit...order today!
Parent Education
Ruth Ker
Tuesday, February 5
7 - 8:30pm
Meadows Hall

Please RSVP to or on the Ruth Ker ParentSquare post. Hope to see you there!
Grades Curriculum Night: Featuring Grades 6-8
Wednesday, February 27
5:30 - 7:30pm
Eurythmy Hall

Come deepen your understanding of the Waldorf Curriculum in Grades 6-8 with hands-on activities, classroom visits, a Q and A with faculty and more. You do not need to have children in these grades to join us! Our recent Curriculum Nights have been a hit with our parent community and everyone -- particularly those in Playgroup through Grade 6-- will benefit from seeing what we do and why in the Grades!

Invite and RSVP link coming soon via ParentSquare. You also can RSVP to

On-campus babysitting for Grades 1-up offered by Grade 8. Details available from your teacher.
Michael D'Aleo: An Introduction to Living Thinking
Friday, March 22, 6:30pm
Saturday, March 23, 9am
Meadows Hall

Pay online (both days only) here or at the door (both days or single days) via check or cash. Don't miss this special opportunity to learn from this Master Waldorf Teacher! Click here for more details.
Company of Angels & Scrip
WSOC Good Reads
Students Learn From People They Love

Work by cognitive scientists like Antonio Damasio showed us that emotion is not the opposite of reason; it’s essential to reason. Emotions assign value to things. If you don’t know what you want, you can’t make good decisions.

Furthermore, emotions tell you what to pay attention to, care about and remember. It’s hard to work through difficulty if your emotions aren’t engaged. Information is plentiful, but motivation is scarce.

That early neuroscience breakthrough reminded us that a key job of a school is to give students new things to love — an exciting field of study, new friends. It reminded us that what teachers really teach is themselves — their contagious passion for their subjects and students. It reminded us that children learn from people they love, and that love in this context means willing the good of another, and offering active care for the whole person.

Raising Humans in a Digital world: Helping Kids Build a Healthy Relationship with Technology

"Raising Humans in a Digital World: Helping Kids Build a Healthy Relationship with Technology" is packed with advice from dozens of digital experts--each one is passionate, smart, and experienced in his or her field. It also shares Cyberwise co-founder Diana Graber's personal experiences teaching Cyber Civics--the digital literacy program born in a Waldorf charter school classroom- - for nearly a decade, visiting schools and communities across the U.S., and most of all raising two digital kids of her own.

Digital parenting is hard work, but by comparing it to building a house and even giving you tools (the book is full of easy at-home activities that every family can slip into their busy day), this book can help you raise smart, confident, and thoughtful humans in the world, digital or otherwise.

Alumni Update
Isabel Linhares
WSOC Class of 2018

Current school: Middlebury College, Vermont

“Last June, I graduated from the same tiny Waldorf school that I had attended since I was two or three years old. At my school, we approached education a little differently. From the time we were able to hold crayons, we were immersed in a curriculum that focused first and foremost on developing our creativity. In kindergarten, while our peers copied down the alphabet, we learned to sew and finger-knit. In elementary school, we would have ‘handwork’ lessons every week where we’d crochet or cross-stitch or weave baskets, and by middle school, we had progressed to quilting and sewing clothing. In high school, we made our own marionettes and worked with wood and metal to make sculptures and jewelry.

I didn’t fully grasp the practicality of learning these skills until two summers ago, sitting in front of a formaldehyde-soaked pig’s leg in a lab at the University of California-Irvine Medical School. There, a surgeon taught me to use various types of sutures to close a wound on the pig’s leg. Now, surgical suturing is very different from your average sewing project; for starters, you can’t directly touch the needle. Instead, you must maneuver it using a pair of forceps, which you need to lock and unlock when you grasp the needle. Still, while this presented a significantly greater challenge than anything I had ever sewn before, I found that those years spent learning to stitch neatly and securely in school translated beautifully to the work in that lab with the pig.

For years, I had questioned whether going to such a unique school was right for me. I heard stories from friends about their robotics team competitions or AP classes and often wished my school would offer those instead of making me sew and knit. But after that summer, I realized that if those hours spent painstakingly undoing and redoing stitch after stitch can one day help me save someone’s arm, leg, or life, then I’m more than okay with that.”

Academics: Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, Physics, Philosophy, Creative Writing.

Excerpted from @meetmidd on Instagram
Grant Meadows
WSOC Alumni

Current school: University of Wisconsin, Madison

Grant spoke to Grades 11 and 12 in January about his experience studying Engineering at the University of Wisconsin Madison, where he is in the Master’s Program.

After having graduated with an undergraduate Engineering degree from UWM, he declined several job offers in order to go to graduate school. 
He is interested in Nuclear Engineering and found that he had more to learn before stepping into the job market.

He explained that he decided this last-minute, in August, before starting in September. Students reacted with surprise that this was a possibility.

Grant’s primary message for the students was that, as Waldorf students, they are starting WAY ahead of the curve in terms of potential success in the Engineering field. Grant said, “YOU are ahead of 90% of the students I was in school with in my undergraduate program.”

He cited several reasons for this:

  • Will-work, which supports good study habits
  • Creativity to think outside the box
  • Skillful hand work allowing for dexterity with instruments that others did not have
  • Asking different questions (because we just do that here)

Grant stressed the tremendous need for women in the Engineering /STEM field. He said that the University courts women to the school in this field. He stressed, "you will be sought after," and added that you do not have to be top of your class in math and science in order to be a successful engineering student. You just need the will, genuine interest and good study habits to succeed.

Grant gave the students a tip:  Strive for A’s in your freshman year. This sets the bar and gives you an awareness of what it takes to get A’s. After that, when you dip below an A, (which is not horrible), you will know what it takes to get back to that place where you began. Start at the top of the wave.” 

Grant shared that it has helped to be a part of an Engineering fraternity which provides him some support and camaraderie when he has long hours in the library. Having a group of friends in college to provide you that balance helps avoid a sense of overwhelm.

Noted WSOC 11th grader Mathilde Collins - “He came across in a very genuine way. You could see that he was being honest about his experience.” Added Lily Lieberman, also Grade 11: “It was great for him to demystify the college Engineering experience for us.”

WSOC On and Off Campus
Grade 8 Play: The Man She Was
On Thursday, January 31, Grade 8 performed their play, The Man She Was , a gender-bending historical action drama based on the book Memoirs of a Soldier, a Nurse and a Spy: A Woman’s Adventures in the Union Army by Emma Edmonds. Emma was one of 400 women who posed as men to fight the Civil War.

"I was looking for a play that would provide the class an opportunity to stretch themselves, comment on the always relevant human condition and showcase the many skills and aptitude our education continues to provide over the course of eight years," said Ms. Brooke, 8th Grade class teacher.

Thank you to Ms. Brooke, Ms. Giulia, Ms. Rusty and musical accompanist Faolan Grady for their many hours of hard work that culminated in a beautiful performance by our 8th graders.
Burns Supper & Poetry Night
"On January 23, the 11 th  grade hosted a traditional Burns Supper for the High School in honor of Scottish poet Rabbie Burns to celebrate the spirit of Romantic poetry at the conclusion of their Romanticism unit in English class.

Through toasts, songs, and recitations, we broke bread and savored poetry together as a festive performance art. Highlights included the piping in of the haggis (a staple of the feast); the rich contributions of song and speech from the 11 th  grade and others; and the community group-sing of “Auld Lang Syne” at the end of the evening complete with live bagpipe accompaniment!

We are looking forward enthusiastically to next year's Supper!"

--Kristen Kuczenski, WSOC high school English teacher and organizer of the event

WSOC Mosaic Completed!

This beautiful all-wood mosaic that was begun at Winter Festival last December (led by our woodworking teacher Mr. Matan and designed by Grade 10) is finished! Many loving hands from across Early Childhood to high school - plus parents, staff and faculty - contributed to its completion. This 5 1/2 feet by 4 feet artwork will be a cherished part of our campus for many years to come!
Grade 5's Snowy Wonderland in the Sequoias

Ms. Fabian's Grade 5 enjoyed a robust snowfall and incredible winter wonderland experience in the King Canyon National Park on January 15-18. Activities included sledding, jacuzzi fun, and building snowpeople by lamplight.

WSOC Choir and Orchestra celebrates MLK

Members of WSOC's Grade 4-8 choir joined with the youth choir at the Second Baptist Church in Santa Ana on Sunday, January 20. Our high school orchestra also performed at the event, which was part of the church's annual Unity Weekend held in honor of the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Fun Exercises with Mr. Brad Support Learning
Where does my body start? Where does it end? Where does your body start? Let's stack ourselves like logs and find out. Left, Mr. Brad, WSOC games teacher, leads Ms. Terri's kindergarten in some fun exercises.

In educator speak, these fun movements are proprioception exercises. Such exercises help strengthen the proprioceptive system, a sense of the body in space. A strongly developed proprioceptive system enables a child to pay attention and learn more effectively. For more information, click here .
Community News & Announcements
WISC Summer Courses
Waldorf 100, Part 2: "Learn to Change the World: Encounter, Engagement, Inclusion"
Paul Zehrer produced and directed this new film and it's fantastic. You'll see and hear students and teachers from Waldorf schools around the world talking about today's children, the challenges and rewards of education, and how we encounter each other, engage, and include each other in relationships and in community.

Courage for the Truth
2019 Alliance National Conference will be held for a second year at George Washington Carver High School in Sacramento.

We will be addressing the theme of  Widening the Circle  for a third and final year and are excited to pick up crucial themes of diversity, inclusion, and access to our education.

It requires courage to develop an alternative path on behalf of our children. Join us to explore the importance of inclusive, accessible whole-child education for all children. Participants are invited to reflect and to engage around topics of equity, race, inclusion and the policies needed to support Waldorf education in the public sector.
Pick Up Basketball Fun with high school, alums and parents
Looking for a fun way to stay in shape? Plus build some community spirit? Come join us for pick-up basketball Saturdays from 10 to noon. High school, alums and parents are invited. For questions contact Joe DeMichele ( or Hugh Brennan (
Thank you to Waldorf EC teacher and Little Aftercare Supervisor Michaela Heller for this amazing photo of a Burrowing Owl in Fairview Park!

Also, for those of you on Facebook, enjoy this lovely video: The Dance of The Fairy Shrimp! These little creatures are endangered and a protected species, and are the reason we were required to rearrange our parking lot. Helping preserve an endangered species, no matter how tiny, is a great feeling!

C lick here for WSOC College of Teachers, Board Members, Administrative Rotation and Ombudsmen

Waldorf School of Orange County
2350 Canyon Drive
Costa Mesa, CA 92627-3948
(949) 574-7775