Education for the 21st Century
Dear families,

This month, we celebrate Black History as we recognize achievements in the arts, sciences, politics, and more. The month of February is a wonderful opportunity to do so; and, we recognize that Black history is American history, and our spotlights will continue throughout the year.

We have had an appropriately rainy February thus far and our children have loved delving into the elements. An upcoming bright spot in the February gray is Valentine's Day. Don't forget to shop Company of Angels and please scroll down for details on Grade eight's special Valentine's Day fundraiser: a Music Gram! Unconfined by time or space, these Music Grams can be sent ANYWHERE by anyone, WSOC or outside. What a perfect present for a loved one, and a great opportunity to support the Class of 2025.

We have great news! Every year the College of Teachers has the important task of finding the right teacher to lead our class of rising first graders. As many of you know, we are looking not just for a skill set and qualifications, but a deep connection to fulfill a karmic relationship. The College is pleased to announce that Christiane Bohr will be the class teacher for the class of 2033.

Ms. Christiane is the first class teacher at WSOC to return for a third cycle of shepherding a group of students through the grades, and we are incredibly fortunate to count such an experienced, gifted, inspired and inspiring educator among our colleagues. Welcome back Ms. Christiane!

In this issue: a recap of Grade 10's inaugural Poetry Evening (it was a smash!), an alumni interview with Class of 2017's Emma Cano, Health and Safety updates, Admissions news and more.

Don't forget! February Break is Jan. 15 - 19. The campus will be closed.

Please follow us on Instagram and Facebook to enjoy photos and excerpts of what your students are learning and participating in here at WSOC. Click here for easy Social Media links. Like our posts, comment and share! Your doing so helps to introduce our beautiful school to new friends.

Warmly,

Alyssa Hamilton
Communications Coordinator
Mon 2/1, 6:00p - 7:30p • Grade 5 Parent Meeting
Tue 2/2, 8:45a - 10:00a • Room Representative Meeting
Tue 2/2, 6:30p - 9:00p • WSOC Adult Education Program (Grades)
Tue 2/2, 7:30p - 9:00p • Foundation Studies
Wed 2/3, 6:00p - 7:00p • Grade 1 Parent Meeting
2/8, 1:15p - 2:15p • Coffee Chat with College & Admin
Mon 2/8, 6:00p - 8:30p • Board Meeting
Wed 2/10, 9:00a - 10:00a • Coffee Chat with College & Admin
Thu 2/11, 11:00a - 12:00p • Meet the Admissions Director
Mon 2/15 - Fri 2/19 • February Break
Fri 2/26, 5:00p - 9:00p • WSOC Adult Education Program (Grades)
Fri 2/26, 7:00p - 9:00p • Foundation Studies
Sat 2/27, 8:00a - 4:30p • WSOC Adult Education Program (Grades)
Sat 2/27, 8:30a - 4:30p • Foundation Studies
Above: Adobe structure chalkboard drawing in Ms. Schwarz's Grade 3 class
Grade 8 Orchestra Music Gram for Valentine's Day!
Updated Health & Safety Information
Dear WSOC Community,

Last week we let you know that there are some new HEALTH & SAFETY GUIDELINES, as of January 14, from the State of California. 

Following is an update for you on our progress:
  • We filed our first "Campus Open Status Report," on January 25, with the California Department of Public Health (CDPH). 
  • Per CDPH guidelines, that report will be followed with an update from us every two weeks.
  • We have reviewed the new CDPH guidance and submitted today our a new COVID Safety Plan (CSP) that has two components: (1) WSOC COVID Health & Safety Plan - Updated February 1 and (2) COVID Prevention Program (CPP). The CPP document is the Cal/OSHA plan for protection of all school faculty and staff.
  • Our new COVID Safety Plan (CSP) contains essentially our current health and safety protocols which have proven effective. 
  • The California Department of Public Health is to respond to our CSP within seven (7) business days with their approval or required changes. 

We will keep you informed as soon as we have more information from the CDPH. When finalized the new CSP will be posted on the WSOC website.

Please contact Douglas if you have any questions or concerns.

Warm regards,
Douglas Garrett, School Administrator (at the pen)
Andrea Hubert, College Chair
Megan Brown, Board Chair
News from the Business Office
Next meeting is Feb. 11! Click to Register.
Grade 10 Poetry Evening
On Friday, January 29, WSOC's Grade 10 students shared their original poetry in front of a rapt audience of parents and other WSOC students from Grades 7-12 during a special webinar. Poetry styles included sonnets, ekphrasis (the use of detailed description of a work of visual art as a literary device) and anaphora (the repetition of a word or words at the beginning of successive phrases, clauses, or lines to create a sonic effect).

"To experience the students' words in their own voices, delivered with such grounded and authoritative energy, was transformative, said Humanities teacher Kristen Kuczenski, who created the Poetry Evening. "I actually loved how Zoom allowed us to listen closely to each reader, really focusing on the subtleties of each poem. The audience was able to respond to the students in the chat box as we went, quoting favorite lines and cheering everyone on; being able to scroll the comments simultaneously lended an additional layer of soul-to-soul communication, a feeling of community, which entwined enthusiastically around the gorgeously candid encounter with each individual poet." 

Said Grade 10 student Venice S.: "These poem structures challenged us to dig deeper into our writing process. Poetry itself encouraged us to recognize our thoughts, feelings, emotions, and questions and spin them into words that sounded nice and flowed well together. It is a very interesting way of identifying one’s character."

Added Grade 10 student Hannah L.: "Poetry Night was such a gift - I remember being a seventh grader listening to my sister's class do their reading, and I can say that this is one event that I found equally beautiful on each side of the podium (or screen, this year). 

One of the greatest parts of our poetry block for me was the range of structures we went through. You may go in with one image of 'poetry,' and then you find out just how many shapes it can take, and are more or less forced into feeling comfortable putting each one into practice. With so many different vessels, there were things I found myself putting down on paper that I had no idea I had in me to say, and that I was genuinely proud of.

As an online student, this whole block helped me immeasurably - I can't quite describe it, but i can recognize that the meditation and practice of writing did so much to help me through, to clear out my head, and make something beautiful from all the knots undone in my shoulders."
WSOC Alumni Spotlight: Emma Cano
Year you graduated from WSOC: 
2017.

What you did after high school:
After Waldorf, I attended Smith College in Massachusetts as well as the University of Canterbury’s study abroad program in New Zealand. 

Your major:
Double major in Biology and Arabic. 

Did you feel prepared for college after WSOC? Pros and cons?
The great thing about my WSOC education was that it fostered my sense of curiosity and balance which was naturally built into the curriculum. In college, I often found I did best when I chose the courses that I was passionate about (many rooted in humanities), and balanced them with my science courses that allowed me to use the skills I learned at Waldorf to think outside of the box. In many ways, it helped distinguish me from my peers when it came to thinking in creative and innovative ways. Although my concentration has been in Biology, I believe my Waldorf education also made me excel in topics like engineering, physics, geometry-- subjects that were often the undertone of our art projects in painting, woodwork, and handwork. 

What is a favorite WSOC memory (or more than one)?
In high school, two of my favorite memories were my senior project based on Middle Eastern refugee migration and their experiences of resettlement in California, as well as our senior trip to Peru. The project fueled my passion for helping others, learning new languages, and my future career as a Nurse Practitioner. During my time at WSOC, I appreciated the emphasis on field trips, travel, and learning about other cultures. In particular, the senior trip was a time where I saw the true value of my education and all that I’d learned about myself.
 
What was a WSOC high school challenge and how did you overcome it?
Working in close proximity with the same group of people comes with its joys and challenges. I learned to work with people of different personalities and opinions which has significantly influenced my ability to connect with others. This was limited to not only my own classmates but also to teachers and faculty. I overcame these challenges by understanding the importance of using my abilities to communicate and find common ground. 

What are you doing now?
Over the past academic year, I’ve been working on finalizing research on DNA origami with my professor, Nathan Derr, by creating spherical structures out of DNA to look at how cytoskeletal motor proteins transport molecules around a cell. Also, I am interning with a refugee resettlement program in Massachusetts, and working with the Smith’s Admissions Office to recruit and evaluate the incoming class of 2025. In May, I will earn my B.A from Smith College as a 2021 graduate, and hope to continue my education at Columbia University, where I have been admitted for the Masters Direct Entry Accelerated Nursing Program in New York City. The program offers me the ability to travel to Amman, Jordan for six weeks providing health care to Jordanians and refugees from neighboring countries. After the program, I will continue my education to get my Doctorate of Nursing Practice to become a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner. 

What advice would you give to Waldorf middle schoolers (or a new family) about the advantages/challenges of the Waldorf high school?
I think every child deserves a Waldorf education because of its ability to deeply connect each student with their inner self and purpose. Some of the greatest advantages of attending a Waldorf high school are learning how to work with a variety of people, think independently, and communicate more effectively in group projects settings. Academically, Waldorf does challenge students to think critically and problem solve using skills picked up from different fields of study. I’ve noticed that I think differently than peers in the ways in which I approach my studies, and what I want out of life. In college, I’ve been able to draw clear connections between subjects and work towards understanding the deeper meanings of subjects. I attribute these abilities to Waldorf. 
Coffee Chats with College of Teachers Members and
Our Administrator
The next Coffee Chat is coming up on Feb. 8 at 1:15pm and Feb.10 at 9am. No need to pre-register; just join the call at the time you choose!

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 813 8923 5519
Passcode: 288423
Company of Angels
What's New!
Let's get organized! Lovely new notebooks and journals are here. It's always nice to write when your journal puts a smile on your face. Along with journals, we have new cards to send to a loved one as well as boxed sets of Thank You cards. 

Valentine's Day is just a couple weeks away. We have sweets for your sweeties! Sea Salt Caramels have arrived and more goodies are coming. Don't forget to your Valentine's Day cards!

We thank you for coming to visit us, and for your commitment to shopping local and shopping small.

Regards,

The Angels
SCRIP News: Scrip of the Month
Mother's Market offers a 10% Scrip Rebate!
Over the years, Mother’s has gained a reputation for having all the best products for specialized diets, top quality local and organic produce, the county’s largest selection of supplements and all at a great value! Organic, non-GMO, vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, low carbohydrate, low-glycemic, low-fat, low-salt and more. Mother’s has something for everyone!

Mother’s Market was founded in 1978 by a group of yoga enthusiasts consisting of friends and family, who couldn’t find a place that carried vegetarian foods (now offering omnivore selections) and related lifestyle products they searched for. They decided to join their resources and talent to provide the community with a natural foods market and restaurant not available elsewhere. What began in 2,500 square feet in Costa Mesa has grown into 9 Southern California locations.

Go to www.mothersmarket.com for locations.
Bonus: if you sign up for text messaging, you will get daily discount offers when you shop in-store!
WSOC On Campus
The deep satisfaction of mud play in Early Childhood...full of sensory delights!
In our front office: students celebrating the splendor of the Northern Lights rendered in watercolor.
Our sports seasons may be delayed, but our Grade 8 students are out on the court every chance they get!
Grade 2 outdoor education in the warmth of the sunshine.
Grade 3 relishing the completion of knitted jump ropes in Handwork with Ms. Meier.
Early Childhood: Where the Journey Begins
Register Now for Early Years Programs:
Nursery, Playgroup and Bridge!
Click here to register for Session 2 Playgroup, Nursery or Bridge. To learn more, click here.
High School Wildcat Weekly
Community News & Announcements
WSOC Alumna Publishes Book
"When I was 15 years old I took a poetry course at The Waldorf School of Orange County with then-humanities teacher Robin Theiss. I immediately fell in love with freeform poetry. Robin recognized something in my writing and took me to Da Poetry Lounge, which is the largest weekly open mic night in the US, located in Los Angeles. I began attending these open mic nights regularly, and eventually mustered up the courage to perform my own work in front of an audience. I can remember the first time I performed so viscerally. There was something so incredibly alive about it. I found something I didn’t know I had been searching for my entire life. In 2017, I won the Say Word LA Youth Slam Competition and joined a poetry team and toured Southern California, performing at local venues and eventually competing at Brave New Voices, an international poetry slam. I was selected as a finalist to be the Youth Poet Laureate of Los Angeles, and when I moved to New York in the fall of 2017 to study writing I was selected as a finalist to be the Youth Poet Laureate of New York, and was granted an internship with Urban Word NYC. Last year, I was put in contact with Imperium Publishing. They said they were interested in my work and asked me to send a 120 page manuscript to them within two weeks. At the time I had about 12 pages worth of poems I considered decent, however the opportunity was too great to miss out on. So I spent the next two weeks at a diner, feverishly writing the entirety of ‘The Anatomy of an Arsonist.’ The book is now published and officially out and for sale and it is a body of work that I believe truly represents who I am." 

- Rose Devika, Class of 2017

Waldorf Alum Connections
Waldorf Alum Connections
Did you know that AWSNA offered a continental New Year happy hour for alums across the continent? Seventy-five alums attended and it was a blast! Quarterly social events are now on the schedule.
Need an architect, an artist, an accountant? Support alum businesses and share with your community the alum business directory.
As we journey through a second year of our Continental Alum Connect program and the accompanying online networking platform, we would like to remind you to share an invitation with alums and alum parents. Here is a direct link to join: https://alums.waldorfeducation.org/
For more information on the above activities, or to join the monthly alum networking calls, connect with Nita June at alumrelations@waldorfeducation.org.

  • The Continental Waldorf Alum Business Directory
  • currently listing 125 businesses
  • sharing alums' successes and endeavors far and wide
  • Mentorship and Mentee Opportunities
  • with 100s of alum registrants offering themselves up as mentors, the potential support for young alums is truly boundless.
  • Alum Parent Registration
  • the platform welcomes not only alums, but alum parents as well, with the hopes of parents sharing job postings and internship offerings
  • School Community Pages*
  • fully manage events and registration in one place
  • integrated Zoom for events
  • full fundraising capabilities offered directly through the WAC platform
  • * offered for an additional annual fee
  • Internship and Employment Postings
  • Searchable Alum Map by location, industry, class year, school affiliation and more.
Click here for WSOC College of Teachers, Board Members and Administrative Rotation
Waldorf School of Orange County
2350 Canyon Drive
Costa Mesa, CA 92627-3948
(949) 574-7775
wwww.waldorfschool.com