Education for the 21st Century
Dear families,

We hope you had a restful and restorative winter break! We are so excited to welcome everyone back to campus, and to also welcome our distance learners back online. Don't forget to 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.

We took a little informal poll with a few of our students across the grades on what wish they have for the New Year. Not surprisingly, many expressed a desire to leave the pandemic far behind us.

Aubrey H., Grade 3, summed up the sentiments of many, saying her wish for the New Year is "for the coronavirus to end and for everyone to have peace, love and joy."

Thank you to all of you who joined and supported the success of our recent online Admissions/Parent Education events with renowned Waldorf educators: Jack Petrash's Building Resilience: How Do Our Kids Learn to Adapt in the Face of Adversity?; Douglas Gerwin's Involution and Evolution: How the High School Builds on the Lower School, and Faith Collins' Parenting with Waldorf: Turning Household Tasks into Enrichment Activities. Click titles to view the recordings! The Faith Collins recording will be available in the near future.

Said Peter Norgaard, Grade 8 parent: "My wife Erica and I both thought the Douglas Gerwin talk was very informative and insightful. Mr. Gerwin is a wealth of knowledge on the topic of a student transitioning from 8th grade to high school. He provided new information about things that we hadn't thought of, and also validated concepts we'd already considered. We would highly recommend that anyone who has a child getting ready to enter high school listen to Mr. Gerwin speak about why a Waldorf high school is the right choice."

We wish for all of you a healthier and happier 2021, and we continue to hold the vision of future joyful on-campus gatherings, field trips and festivals. 2020 tested us in every possible way, and our community has remained resilient and united. We are grateful for each and every one of you, every day.

Warmly,

Alyssa Hamilton
Communications Coordinator
WSOC January 2021 Calendar

Fri 1/8, 5:00p - 9:00p • WSOC Adult Education Program (Grades)
Fri 1/8, 7:00p - 9:00p • Foundation Studies
Sat 1/9, 8:00a - 4:30p • WSOC Adult Education Program (Grades)
Sat 1/9, 8:30a - 4:30p • Foundation Studies
Mon 1/11, 6:00p - 8:30p • Board Meeting
Tue 1/12, 6:30p - 9:00p • WSOC Adult Education Program (Grades)
Tue 1/12, 7:30p - 9:00p • Foundation Studies 
Wed 1/13, 6:30p - 8:00p • Grade 12 Zoom Parent Meeting
Wed 1/13, 7:00p - 8:00p • Early Childhood Information Evening (Zoom)
Thu 1/14, 8:30a - 10:00a • Room Rep Zoom Meeting
Thu 1/14, 11:00a - 12:00p • Meet the Admissions Director
Fri 1/15 • NO SCHOOL: Parent/Teacher Conference Day
Mon 1/18 • NO SCHOOL: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
Tue 1/19, 6:30p - 7:30p • Grade 10 Zoom Parent Meeting
Wed 1/20, 6:00p - 7:30p • Grade 9 Zoom Parent Meeting
Mon 1/25 • HS Application Deadline for outside applicants
Fri 1/29, 5:00p - 9:00p • WSOC Adult Education Program (Grades)
Fri 1/29, 7:00p - 9:00p • Foundation Studies
Sat 1/30, 8:00a - 4:30p • WSOC Adult Education Program (Grades)
Sat 1/30, 8:30a - 4:30p • Foundation Studies
Above: Chalkboard drawing depicting The Three Norns from Norse mythology (a lesson block in Grade 4): three sisters who live at the root of Yggdrasil, representing the past, present and future.
Updated Health & Safety Information
Ultimately, as we know, WSOC cannot prevent COVID 19 from entering our campuses. We are, however, employing a multi-pronged approach to mitigate the risk of spread and make in-person school as physically, socially, and emotionally healthy and safe as possible for students, faculty, and families.

Specifics regarding health and safety approaches are continued in this document. The following list is a brief overview of what you can expect WSOC to implement and follow:
  • Cohorting in stable, trackable, smaller pods.
  • Monitoring symptoms, potential exposures, and cases on campus and at home, through daily health screening on our communication platform ParentSquare, and through our designated point person for health and safety protocols and compliance.
  • Limiting time and exposure through personal hygiene, small cohorts, face coverings, increased cleaning, physical spacing, outdoor time, and ventilation.
  • Space between seating, desks, and all work stations will be maximized.
  • Students will bring their own meals, will practice physical distancing when eating, and will not share food items or eating utensils.
  • Students and faculty will use personal reusable bottles at refillable stations.
  • Shared items will be sanitized between use.
  • We clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces (door handles, light switches, sink handles, bathrooms, tables, etc.), in addition to daily and weekly cleaning schedule.

Drop off and arrival:
  • Staggered drop-off and pickup times
  • Separate entrances 

For complete Health & Safety Plan, and Student and Staff Symptom Trees, click links below.

January Conferences (Grades 1-8)
The success of our school (and any Waldorf school, for that matter) is built on a warm and cooperative relationship between educators on campus and at home – yes, that’s you, dear parents!

This school year more than ever, we look forward to checking in about how your students are doing (even though it will be via Zoom this year), where they shine and where we may be able to remove a hindrance and give additional support. We make time to share observations, peruse student work, contemplate questions and strategize together, as mutually essential partners on this educational journey.

The conferences are important for all of us -- parents, teachers, and not least of all, students. At its most fundamental level, parent involvement communicates a set of shared values to the children in the school; we demonstrate that we care about their success by communicating and working together.

Andrea Hubert
Chair, College of Teachers
News from the Business Office
Upcoming Admissions Events: Click to Register
Out of Challenging Times, A Collaboration Blossoms
High School Friends Channel Creativity Through Music
In the spring of 2020 as online learning began in earnest - and it was clear that this situation would continue for a while - some of our high school students decided to try their hand at making music. Channeling this creative outlet and enlisting the help of friends and classmates in the WSOC High School, Grade 10 students Jamie E. (Topie) and Brandon W. (Bo) embarked on a musical endeavor, which to date has included an EP and 5 single releases. Elijah P., Grade 12, shot promo covers and a full length video for the song Balloons. The newest single features another classmate, Reyan K., Grade 10, in 10/10, which was released on December 24th.

"It actually started as a joke for a history project," Jamie said. "I jokingly asked Brandon to make me a beat. He actually did it, so I wrote lyrics and we recorded the following weekend. I think we all surprised ourselves that we actually made a song and, at the time, thought it was good. We kept making more music together and evolving until I released my first single under my artist name, Topie, and we haven't stopped since. I'm inspired mainly by the British rap scene and loads of other genres. Brandon and I try and fuse different styles together to come up with our own niche."

The teens are challenging themselves to become more rounded and versatile musicians, using new tools and technology to collaborate with artists around the globe in a more virtual world. They pushed themselves into new territories with music production, editing, poetry, lyricism, photography, videography, music marketing/promotions and technology.

The collaboration with students across the grades, the creativity and support from their peers are just some of the wonderful hallmarks of WSOC's high school educational model.

Click the link below to listen! 

High School Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Club
It’s been almost three weeks since our first meeting of the newly formed high school DEI Club, and we’d like to tell you how it’s going. We’ve only met twice, but already we have a few things in the works. Each member is encouraged to find an aspect or topic of DEI work that they’re drawn to, so that they can then lead action in that field, and bring their ideas to the rest of the club, and ultimately our community. Among other things, in the near future we’re working to see inclusive banners up in the high school parking lot, we’ll be expanding our Instagram page with educational resources and student projects (go follow @wsocdeiclub on Instagram), and at this moment we’re making keychains that we hope you’ll buy to fundraise for future events or guest speakers.

I can only speak for myself, but two meetings in, I’m incredibly hopeful for the future of DEI work in our community, and am extremely grateful for all the people who are here alongside us to lend a helping hand. And remember we’re always ready for new members - if you’re interested, we’d love to have you pull up a chair! 

Hannah L.
DEI Club student leader
Alumni Spotlight: Felix Hubert
Felix Hubert, WSOC Class of 2015, graduated from UC Santa Cruz in 2019 with a degree in chemistry. A recent guest on our Meet the Alumni online panel, he shared a slice of his post-WSOC life with us.

"Since graduating from college, I've traveled to Europe, Africa and Hawaii.

Last year, I coached basketball at WSOC, and I'm now working at UCSD as a researcher in the Lipodomics Core facility, where I analyze biological samples for a variety of lipid classes in the lab (lipids are involved in regulating as well as causing many different diseases and health issues, and by analyzing the lipid, a research team can figure out potential cures or treatments).

I plan on working at UCSD for a few more years, and then I intend to get my PhD in chemistry and continue my career as a researcher.

Some of my favorite memories from WSOC are the field trips, notably Costa Rica. A challenge I encountered at Waldorf as a high school student was being pushed out of my comfort zone in the realm of public speaking, but I'm so grateful for that now! The WSOC high school truly allowed me to develop into a well-rounded individual while still exploring subjects I was passionate about."
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
Early Childhood: Magic in Simplicity
Waldorf educator Jack Petrash, who recently gave an online talk for WSOC on the topic of resilience and Waldorf education, said in his book Understanding Waldorf Education: Teaching from the Inside Out, that “children who are encouraged to play with the same object in a number of different ways develop the kind of flexible thinking that can consider a problem from a number of different perspectives.” We find this to be true on a daily basis, as the simple, sensory rich objects found in a Waldorf early childhood classroom act as limitless beacons for the imagination rather than the one-dimensional static experience that many electronics offer. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Outdoor Education with Grade 5
(Above) Ms. Peterson's Grade 5 in their Ancient Egyptian block, studying and creating their own hieroglyphs in clay.

A fifth grader's development moves into more confidence, grace, and agility, both physically and socially. Students study Greek mythology and history, as well as the ancient civilizations of India, Mesopotamia, Persia, and Egypt. The fifth grade year culminates with the Pentathlon, a competition modeled after the ancient Greek Pentathlons that captures the fifth graders at the height of their grace and agility and signals the end of the “golden age” of childhood.
Grade 12 Transcendentalist Block
As with everything else in 2020, WSOC's Grade 12 Transcendentalist block looked different this year. Normally a field trip to a remote locale to immerse in nature and write, this year's block took place right in our own backyard, on the field behind our campus.

"The block was in December, and we spent time in the 'nature' of our backyard field, and we found there is so much out there for our imaginations!" said high school English teacher Ms. Kuczenski. "We also realized that we carry Nature with us wherever we go; even without the geographical traveling component, we bonded on a journey together and experienced our relationship to the cosmos nonetheless."

“One unique aspect about the Transcendentalist block was time we took during class to appreciate nature," say Grade 12 student Emma T. "We would take walks on the field behind the high school and try to develop a connection with the natural world, just as Transcendentalists like Emerson and Thoreau would do while writing their works. I came up with the idea for the poem, 'The Yellow Dandelion' through this exercise, and enjoyed testing my Transcendentalist skills through this creative project.” Read her poem below!
The Yellow Dandelion
By Emma T.

I used to be a seed, soaring in the wind
Planted by Nature with purpose in this field
To grow, to thrive, to help my generation continue to flourish.
Bright in color, I love the way I look.
Yellow like the sun that brings me life, 
Golden like the moon on a winter’s night, 
I grow, I thrive, I breathe the fresh air this crispy morning.
Weeds often have a negative connotation attached, why is this?
I am as beautiful as any flower planted with purpose.
I know my worth in this beautiful world.
A pretty weed, that is who I am,
It may seem conflicting to say such a statement.
But I have a right to be here, to grow, to thrive.
One day I will age and my yellow petals will be replaced
With fluffy white seed pods, ready to reproduce my kind.
We are the weeds that grant wishes, that bring children joy.
An exciting weed, a beautiful weed, a righteous weed.
Later in my life, when I decide if I want to grant your wish,
I will remember the way you treated me now:
Was it like a weed, a hindrance to your perfection,
A stain on your purity, a mistake in your path,
Or was it like a flower, a gift of beauty for someone you care for,
A token of love, remembrance, or gratitude,
A decoration to the natural beauty of your world.
If your wish comes true, you will know how I think of you today,
My love unconditional for the appreciative souls in my world.
Company of Angels
Thank You to Our Patrons!
We are back to school, work or wherever your road leads you, and one is left with reflection and the joy that this season has brought. Here's to hoping one and all were able to relax, enjoy and just exhale.

Once again, this community has stepped up and supported your community store. With much gratitude I wanted to share that the Holiday sales were up $7,500 from last year and we could not have done that without you! I am just so so happy for the school. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts

The store is fresh and ready for the new year. Valentine's Day is our next holiday and I have begun to decorate for this lovely day. Please do stop in and say hello so we can thank you in person.

Warmly,

Nona and the Angels
SCRIP News: Scrip of the Month
Fermentation Farm (owned by longtime Waldorf family the Masons) in Costa Mesa is now serving soup, chili and other delicious items such as Kraut Grilled Cheese and Sprouted Oat Porridge. Pick up your FermFarm Scrip at Company of Angels: they offer a generous 10% return!
Fermentation Farm
1125 Victoria St.
Ste. R
Costa Mesa
10am- 6pm Mon-Sun
(949) 650-0830
Register Now for Early Years Programs:
Nursery, Playgroup and Bridge!
Click here to register for Session 2 Playgroup, Nursery or Bridge.

To learn more about our Early Years program, click here!
High School Wildcat Weekly
Community News & Announcements
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