Education for the 21st Century
Hello Families!

Thank you to all who attended our Community Forum, where we enjoyed updates on our current school year and academic plans. We also enjoyed our first curriculum night of the school year. We got to sit in on a real "class in session" for Grades 1-3 (we did form drawing, created a B with a bear drawing and did a very active form of times tables, followed by an invigorating Eurythmy session with Mr. Pavel). We look forward to another Curriculum Night (babysitting provided by Grade 8) in January, covering Grades 4-5. We hope many of you can join us!

We also enjoyed an evening with educator Patti Connolly, who shared with the packed audience the often mistaken perception of "success" in Early Childhood education and beyond, versus the true qualities an individual needs to thrive in today's society.

Please scroll down for more information about our Community Forum, upcoming events (Dr. Dan Siegel and "The Teen Brain," High School Walk Through the Grades and Open House and more) and happenings around campus. Grade 8 will be running a concessions stand before the Dr. Siegel event, so come hungry!

Grades 1-12, don't forget to sign up for Grandparents and Special Friends Day , which takes place on November 16. RSVP here: Grandparents and Special Friends Day, 9am program

Get in your orders for  HOLIDAY GREENS  and  TREES FOR TROOPS!  Children in Early Childhood through Grade 12 have received sales packets with ordering info, and you also can order online with the links above. Share far and wide! For details, see post on Winter Greens and Trees for Troops (Use the handy "Search Posts" feature at the top right of your screen on ParentSquare). Thank you in advance for supporting Grade 8 as they raise funds for their end-of-year trip to Wyoming. The deadline for ordering is Tuesday, Nov. 6; Tuesday. November 13 for Trees for Troops.

AmazonSmile is increasing their donation rate from Oct. 29 - Nov. 2! AmazonSmile is donating 5% (ten times the usual amount) to Waldorf School of Orange County when you shop at through Nov. 2 . Here's a great way to do some holiday shopping and support your school at the same time!

Happy Thursday everyone!

Alyssa Hamilton
WSOC Communications Coordinator
November News At-a-Glance
Online School Calendar on Parent Square here

Key dates:

Fri 11/2, • Annual Giving Raffle Incentive Deadline
Fri 11/2, 7:00p - 9:00p • Foundation Studies
Tue 11/6, 7:30p - 9:00p • Foundation Studies
Tue 11/6, 8:00a - 2:00p • Grade 6 Field Trip Medieval Brass Rubbing
Wed 11/7, 6:30p - 8:00p • Don't miss our Parent Ed event (The Teen Brain) featuring bestselling NY Times author & renowned neurophysicist Dr. Dan Siegel!
Thu 11/8, 9:00a - 2:00p • WSOC 8th grade visits the High School
 Fri 11/9, 9:00a - 11:00a • Walk Through The High School (for parents)
 Fri 11/9, 4:30p - 7:00p • Kindergarten Lantern Walk
 Fri 11/9, 7:00p - 9:00p • Foundation Studies
 Sat 11/10, 10:00a - 1:00p • WSOC High School Open House (all are welcome!)
 Mon 11/12 • Grade 9 Early Registration for current WSOC students
 Mon and Tue, 11/12-11/27: 3:15p - 4:45p • 7th and 8th Grade Boys' Basketball Practice
 Tue 11/13, 5:30p - 7:00p • Pre-K Lantern Walk
 Tue 11/13, 6:00p - 8:00p • Grade 4 Parent Evening
 Tue 11/13, 6:30p - 8:00p • Ms. Barbara parent evening
 Wed 11/14, 6:30p - 8:30p • Grade 7 parent evening
Thu and Fri, 11/15 - 11/30: 3:15p - 4:45p • 7th and 8th Grade Girls' Basketball Practice
Fri 11/16 • Grandparents and Special Friends Day
 Fri 11/16, 3:15p - 4:45p • 7th and 8th Grade Girls' Basketball Practice
Mon 11/19 - Fri 11/23 • Thanksgiving Break
Annual Giving
100 Days * 100 K * 100% Participation
Annual Giving: Myth Vs. Fact

Myth: My donation is not that important or needed because WSOC has sufficient income from tuition and fees to cover the school’s annual operating expenses. 
Fact: Tuition and fees cover only a portion of the annual operating expenses of the school. The Annual Giving fund is the primary source of unrestricted funds that supplements tuition income to cover the school’s annual operating expenses. Like fellow independent schools, WSOC relies solely upon tuition revenues and philanthropic gifts to meet our operating and capital expenses. 

Myth: My participation does not make a difference because I don’t have the means to make a large donation. 
Fact: Gifts of every size help the school achieve its $100,000 goal. You can make your tax-deductible gift as a one-time donation or can distribute it into multiple payments over the remainder of the school year. 
Your participation is also a key indicator to foundations and corporate donors that we have consistent support from those we serve, both past and present. When 100% of the people who benefit from our organization also care enough to donate, this sends a strong message which helps obtain outside grants and gifts.

Myth: Donations to Annual Giving are put in the school’s reserve fund and are meant to cover a “rainy day.”
Fact: The funds raised through Annual Giving go into the school’s operating account and are invested right back into our school to pay for things like:
·      Recruitment, training and retention of outstanding teachers;
·      Classroom supplies, transportation and trips;
·      Facilities improvements; and
·      Tuition Assistance.

WSOC’s Annual Giving Campaign runs from October 22nd through January 31, 2019. Make your tax-deductible donation by November 2, 2018 to be entered into a raffle to win a Festival Parking Spot good for Grandparents and Special Friends Day, Winter Festival and May Faire! Click here for Raffle Rules .

To make your gift or pledge, click here .

WSOC thanks you from the bottom of our hearts for your support!
Community Forum College of Teachers Report
Dear School Community,

The WSOC Board of Trustees, administration, and faculty would like to thank those who participated in the 2018 Annual Parent Survey. The 2018 survey saw an excellent level of community participation, representing the parent body across all grades and the high school. This survey is conducted every year to self-reflect, identify the things we do well, and more importantly what we need to improve upon.

During the October 3 Community Forum, the College of Teachers presented a synopsis of this self-reflection. We would like to take this opportunity to share what we need to improve upon and the steps we are taking to address those needs. Click here for details.

As human beings, it is healthy to foster a sense of vulnerability and to open ourselves to self-improvement. We will continue to reflect and identify ways to improve our work with your children and will always welcome and cherish your feedback.

We will also be working to improve the survey for next year, making it more efficient and productive.


The College of Teachers


We were blessed with this wonderful observation by WSOC parent Chi-Lin Pendergrast after her attendance at our Community Forum. See below!

My name is Chi-Lin Pendergrast. I’m the mother of four daughters, all attending WSOC, ranging in age from Playgroup/Bridge to grade 11. Our Waldorf journey began 14 years ago when my oldest and I attended Playgroup with Ms. Uschi. 

I’m writing because I was deeply impacted by last night’s Community Forum and felt compelled to share with the parent body. The amount of thought, intention, and effort put forth by our faculty and staff was unequivocal. Learning about the new programs was especially inspiring—programs rich in content, depth, and relevance. Some in particular, the Middle School World Language and Culture program (featuring the beloved storytelling and presence of Baba), Curriculum Nights, Class Crossover opportunities, and Pepe’s HS dance instruction, were discussed with great enthusiasm. 

Ideas were shared, questions were raised and discussed, and dialogue flowed in a meaningful way. Seated in that large circle, the pride and appreciation I have for our community swelled. The commitment of our faculty and staff to repeatedly answer their call to action— ‘What is best for our children?’ (The question Ms. Christiane is known to summon :))—is impossible to put into words. 

During the last month, with the start of a new school year I noticed some positive changes happening on campus. A new energy in the air. Last night opened my eyes to a seemingly revitalized richness in our children’s curriculum. The presentation of new offerings, conveyed with captivating enthusiasm, far exceeded my expectations. To achieve such resolve and purpose, I imagine, must have taken great purpose and dedication. 

I am left with a renewed sense of gratitude and appreciation for each member of our faculty and staff, those responsible for the gift we receive each day when our children walk into their classrooms.

Thank you for your time and for partnering together as parents in this beautiful educational journey we share at WSOC. I am ever grateful. 

-- Chi-Lin Pendergrast
Why Waldorf High School?
Supporting Your Adolescent's Developmental and Academic Journey
The Waldorf high school curriculum reflects awareness of the developmental journey of adolescents and their quests for identity, independence, and purpose. Each year, our students study themes that resonate with their individual growth; each year's focus building on previous years. With a curriculum designed around students' developing consciousness, we feed and balance their intellectual, social, physical, and spiritual growth.

T he high school journey is not just a preparation for college; it's a crucial time to nurture and fortify the adult that will soon emerge from this deeply formative period. We focus on building a resilient inner core that will serve our students long past adolescence.

Join us to learn more about the Waldorf high school experience!

November 8: WSOC Grade 8 Visits High School (8am - 2:50pm, no sign up required)

Friday, Nov. 9th: Walk Through the High School (for adults)

Saturday, November 10: High School Open House (for adults and students)

Click here for full-size flyer.

High School Trip Week
Grade 9: Geology

The Grade 9 student is experiencing the world of polarities, contrasts and extremes. In this year, students begin the process of identifying and contrasting, initiating the processes of analytical thinking through the subjects they study.

In geology, studies include plate tectonics, glaciations and looking at the processes of physical geology that shape and mold the earth. Students also do local fieldwork.

This year, Grade 9's trip week with HS science teacher Kim Eijpen enhanced their geology studies with trips to Red Rock Canyon, Fossil Falls, Hot Creek, Mammoth and Yosemite.
Grade 10: Orienteering & Survival School

Grade 10 enjoyed an orienteering experience led by the California Survival School. They learned how to navigate the physical landscape using maps - not Google Maps, but real maps. They also experimented with orienteering in Griffith Park. The week was capped off by a camping trip, where they learned fire building and other skills.

"At the end of our orienteering ‘experience,’ it felt really good knowing I could navigate through land not having to rely on a cellular device. I loved this part of trip week and would suggest we keep it similar for the up and coming sophomore classes.

For the second part of trip week we went on a ‘survival’ camping trip. I also loved this camping trip, it was definitely my favorite out of the two."
-- Riley K., Grade 10

"My biggest challenge during this week was probably the finding my way back to our spot in Griffith Park by only using a map, but at the same time it was extremely fun to figure it out. Not only was it a great physical workout, but also a nice mental one as well!"
-- Sebastian K, Grade 10
Grade 11: Practicum

Practical experience is an integral part of the curriculum at the Waldorf School of Orange County. Accordingly, during the 11th grade year, every student has the special opportunity to spend one week in a professional environment of his/her choosing. The purpose of this week is to get exposure to and an experience of the professional world in a student’s field of interest.

Students do their own research regarding which company they would like to do an internship with and they consult faculty and parents for guidance and recommendations. Our students benefit greatly from these experiences outside the classroom.

The goal is to complement the academic experience of our students with real-world application in a field that they have an aptitude or affinity toward. Ideally these experiences will help guide the path of their college studies, and instill a sense of the professionalism and acumen of the business world.  

Above, Lily L, Grade 11, did her Practicum with Kristy Edmunds, the Executive and Artistic Director of the UCLA Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA.


Lily stayed with Kristy, (in her home), for one week while she attended artist pitch meetings, budget meetings, Dean’s meetings, artist load-in to the theater, three performances, and the above visit to the Crest Theater in Westwood, which UCLA has recently purchased thanks to Kristy’s leadership and vision.
Grade 12: Transcendentalist Block
Lake Arrowhead

Each year, our Grade 12 takes a journey into the natural world for inspiration and reflection, as the Transcendentalists did. They put away electronics and turn to pen and paper.

Transcendentalism is an idealistic philosophical and social movement that developed in New England around 1836 in reaction to rationalism. It taught that divinity pervades all nature and humanity, and its members held progressive views on feminism and communal living. Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau were central figures. Prior to the trip, students studied the essay, "The American Scholar," by Emerson.

It reads, in part: "The astronomer discovers that geometry, a pure abstraction of the human mind, is the measure of planetary motion. The chemist finds proportions and intelligible method throughout matter; and science is nothing but the finding of analogy, identity, in the most remote parts. The ambitious soul sits down before each refractory fact; one after another, reduces all strange constitutions, all new powers, to their class and their law, and goes on for ever to animate the last fibre of organization, the outskirts of nature, by insight."

"We enjoyed drawing inspiration from the myriad faces of nature—for one, on a (very) early-morning sunrise hike along Lake Arrowhead," said Mr. De Benedetto, HS art teacher and chaperone. "We also experienced a night hike illuminated by the bright moon.

"Punctuating these and our other forays has been a steady stream of artistic creation—everything from poems to drawings to delicious student-made dinners!"

-- Mr. De Benedetto, HS art teacher 
and Ms. Kuczenski, HS English teacher
Co-Sponsors, Class of 2019
WSOC On and Off Campus
Baba the Storyteller Brings Magic of Story and Verse to WSOC
Resonant tales ignite wonder across the grades

In a class that is normally boisterous, you can hear a pin drop when Baba picks up his instrument and begins to speak. He might share a personal story, or launch into an ancient tale about a clever queen or a foolish traveler. He sings, and the audience answers.

"I give you my eyes, you give me your ears," he tells them. "The rules of reciprocity."

His stories all carry morals, messages and deep meaning that resonate with his audiences, both child and adult: tales of courage, bravery, humility, consequence. Even the most jaded middle schooler falls under his spell.

"Ancient storytelling is so important in our modern age because it connects us to our ancestral past; it creates a communal experience which has the capacity to unify our communities," Baba said.

He chooses stories to share based on the needs of each group. "Unlike performance art or entertainment, the decision on what stories are to be shared is determined by the collective present during the session," he says. "In the craft that I practice, decisions are made in the moment, and my responsibility is to be open and receptive to the what everyone's eyes are telling me is needed at that time."

Baba the Storyteller has been a professional speaker since 1994 and is one of the few recognized U.S.- born practitioners of the ancient West African storytelling craft known as  Jaliyaa . He has received numerous awards over the years for his work as a folklorist, traditional harpist, storyteller, community activist and volunteer.

Noted one WSOC 8th grader: "I've been listening to Baba's stories since I was in 4th grade. Everyone looks forward to it. It's fun trying to figure out what the lesson is going to be, and it's also really soothing to listen to him."
WSOC HS Supports Buddywalk
On Sunday, October 28th, WSOC HS Student Council hosted a game booth at the annual OC Buddywalk at Angel Stadium. The event benefited the Down Syndrome Association of Orange County, which provides support for children with Down syndrome and their families. 
Grade 6 Visits Getty Villa
On October 29, Grade 6 visited the Getty Villa in Los Angeles to soak up some powerful visuals about ancient Rome (in support of their current Roman History block) in the form of art, sculpture, ancient jewelry and more.
Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten Celebrate Michaelmas with Handmade Swords and Silks

WSOC's Early Childhood classes celebrated Michaelmas with the dying of silk capes, the creating of wooden swords, the baking of dragon bread, and through craft and song.
Scrip & School Business
Scrip Incentive Is Off to a Great Start!
The Scrip office is giving away $1,000 this school year to any class that meets the following:
  • 100% participation with PrestoPay, with
  • 5 or more PrestoPay purchases, for a total of 
  • At least $500 in SCRIP PrestoPay purchases 
Our Scrip promotion is off to a great start! It takes a community of amazing people to come together to make this happen for our classrooms. I just wanted to thank all of you for stepping up for the benefit of all of our children.  

If there are any families who would like some additional help to get started, please come by the Company of Angels and let us help you. It really is very easy and most of all super convenient.  

If you have any questions or need any help we are here to help in the Company of Angels! See me anytime during store hours Monday through Friday.

Pam Lusk
Scrip Coordinator
Parent Education
Between the ages of 12 and 24, the brain changes in important, and oftentimes maddening, ways. It's no wonder that many parents approach their child's adolescence with fear and trepidation.

According to renowned neuropsychiatrist Daniel Siegel, however, if parents and teens can work together to form a deeper understanding of the brain science behind all the tumult, they will be able to turn conflict into connection and form a deeper understanding of one another.

Click flyer for more!
Community News & Announcements
Debora Wondercheck Serves as Master of Ceremony for OC Arts Awards Gala
On October 16, WSOC's Director of Music Debora Wondercheck served as Master of Ceremony, along with Rick Stein of Arts OC, for the 19th Annual Orange County Arts Awards Gala, which took place at the Segerstrom Center of the Arts, in Costa Mesa. 

 "It was an honor being asked to lead the event as the Master of Ceremony and co-emcee for such a prestigious awards event," said Ms. Wondercheck. "My non-profit, the Arts & Learning Conservatory, was honored four years ago with the Outstanding Arts Organization Award by Arts Orange County, so it was humbling and validating be given the opportunity to grant awards to other amazing arts organizations." 
Waldorf 100: What is it, and Why is it So Significant?
The first Waldorf school was founded in Stuttgart in 1919. Today there are over 1,100 Waldorf schools and almost 2,000 Waldorf kindergartens in some 80 countries around the globe. We are making our Centennial an occasion to further develop Waldorf education for contemporary times, and focus more consciously on its global dimensions. With many exciting projects on all continents. Keep your ears and eyes open, and be part of the movement: 100 years is just the beginning!
Anthroposophy Study Groups Near You

T hese study groups are non-denominational and non-sectarian.

Tuesday evenings 7- 8:45pm at Julia Doemer’s home. 
We are in Lecture 4 of the November 1907 St John Gospel lectures contained in a larger Steiner book called  True Knowledge of the Christ.  The study also includes  The Calendar of the Soul. Irvine.

Sunday evenings monthly, 5:45pm: Paul and Nancy Mitchell are reading and discussing  Spiritual Hierarchies and the Physical World.  They begin with singing and a verse at 6:10pm and close at 8pm. Huntington Beach.

Sunday mornings, 10am, and one Sunday a month 2-4pm . First Class of Spiritual Science studies in Brea. Afternoon group works out of Sergei Prokofieff’s book on the nineteen lessons.10am group continues reading of Michael Hedley Burton’s continuation of Steiner’s Mystery Dramas. Brea.

Contact: Eloise Krivosheia.

Please email Aly ssa Hamilton for contact and address details.
Festival Singers
Do you like to sing? Please join the Festival Singers to bring joy to WSOC's Winter Festival! Rehearsals are every Wednesday at 3pm in the Company of Angels. We would love to add your voice to our holiday songs!

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