Weekly News from WECAN - May 15, 2020
Dear WECAN Members and Friends,
 
Greetings! This is our second issue of the new  Weekly News from WECAN  that we are sending out each Friday. The Weekly News includes a variety of resources and listings of opportunities for collaboration during this challenging time of the Covid-19 crisis.

Please visit the  WECAN Community Hub f or engaging in conversation and sharing resources, with subgroups for Parent Child, Birth to Three, Home Programs, Early Childhood Teacher Educators, California Programs, Mid-Atlantic and Southeast Regions and WECAN Organizational Members. We now have more than 600 members and would like to invite you to join as well. To subscribe, please go to  WECANCommunity+subscribe@wecan.groups.io

We are also offering and participating in a variety of  zoom calls for early childhood educators.  Some calls take place on a weekly basis and others are scheduled as needed. We also list other webinars and events that might be of special interest to you. Please see the listings below for the coming week.

We also include  highlights from the week's activities links to resources , and  thoughts to ponder . This week we share some thoughts from Magdalena Toran on reopening.
 
With warm wishes,
Susan Howard
WECAN Coordinator   
 
Reopening Schools
 
Dear Colleagues,
 
We are all in this together. This has always been true. It is universally true that we are interconnected, interdependent beings; spirit beings, human beings, plant, animal and mineral beings. We need and respond to each other in profound ways.  This truth is more apparent than ever.
 
Most Waldorf Schools in North America face the same daunting questions:
·        “Can we reopen in September, in June, right now?” 
·        “When we do reopen what will the parameters be?” 
·        “Will we wear masks and gloves with the children? If we do, how will we overcome the boundary between us so that the children can feel welcome into their human body and onto the earth?”
·        “What does ‘social distancing’ do to the young child’s experience of the world? What does it do to ours?”
·        “Can we be outside?” “Can we be inside?”
·        “How many children may we have in our classes?” “Will our school make it through this time?”
 
It is so easy to feel overwhelmed. Sometimes we do feel completely overwhelmed and that is okay. When that happens and in between too, we can lean into the reality that we are not alone. We can lean into the truth that we are part of a large web of individuals, schools, home programs and childcare centers. We are part of the larger web of the natural world, one that is constantly offering us its comfort, companionship and healing. We are part of a spiritual world, one that is wise beyond our human knowing, one that guides and offers us gifts in every single moment. And we really do have one another.
 
WECAN and AWSNA are working diligently to offer you the spaces for connection, sharing and resource gathering that you need. These are places to share what you are learning and to receive what is being given. An amazing part of this moment is that we are actually connecting as a movement more than ever before.  And if the spaces offered aren’t serving you, find your regional colleagues, find your companions, wherever they are and connect, ask questions, share. The invitation is there to connect with all that is around you too, to receive the wisdom and comfort streaming in.
 
One wise colleague, on a recent WECAN parent/child zoom call, spoke of how her school was asking, ‘What are your highest ideals for what you want to bring to the children? Work backward from there in creating your vision for next year.’ This moved me deeply. What is this totally wild moment suggesting for new possibilities or affirmation of those values we hold most true? What are the children in our care asking us to provide for them at this time? How do we weave that into the parameters that state and federal officials are sharing with us as to how to best keep children and families healthy?
 
So dear colleagues, let’s remember each other and the bounty that surrounds us. It will give us the strength, courage and wisdom we need to meet the challenge of this time. So, so together we go……...
 
Magdalena Toran
Hartsbrook School, MA
WECAN Board Member and Member, WECAN Birth to Three Task Force and IDEA Committee

Looking Ahead - Reopening our Programs

As we look toward the many zoom calls that are currently taking place, we see that many vocational groups are now in conversation with one another - birth to three, home programs, parent-child - and those working in toddler groups and child care will have calls in the coming weeks. This leaves open the question about the more general WECAN zoom calls and how to go forward. The theme of re-opening is on everyone’s minds, and we plan to focus on this theme in the next three weeks.

We all need to prepare for a range of possibilities - what to do if and when children and families return to school, what to do if schools and early childhood centers are not allowed to open for longer or shorter periods of time, and how to approach the question of working with technology and the young child. 

We will offer one WECAN Zoom call each week for the next three weeks around one of these themes. 

The first call with a panel will take place next Wednesday, May 20th, on the theme of how we will work with our ideals of what young children need and comply with CDC and other regulations regarding social distancing (masks, no soft toys, sanitizing indoors and out, smaller group size, no mixing groups and teachers, etc) if and when our programs reopen with social distancing and other regulations in place.

In week two, on May 27th, the Wednesday call will focus on what we can do if we cannot be on campus with children - or choose not to be because of regulations we cannot work with. This conversation will focus on alternatives to our usual programs (support for parents at home, establishing off campus activities, etc.)

In week three, on June 3rd, we will focus on the possibilities and limits of working with electronic communications (zoom calls and meetings with adults, FaceTime and other individual meetings with children, zoom experiences with groups of children, audio and video recordings, and other kinds of electronic offerings for those families who are asking for this). 

We hope you will join us! 
Susan Howard, WECAN Coordinator

Resources from WECAN and the Community Hub

Corona Comments from members of the Pedagogical Section Council of North America, including exercises and practices for regenerating forces in the “Zoom” era.  http://pedagogicalsectioncouncil.org/corona-comments/

AWSNA - Returning to School - Scenario Planning Part I -  An Interview with Sian Owen Cruise from a May 11 AWSNA Zoom Call. Click here

CDC Guidance for Reopening Child Care Programs During the Covid-19 Pandemic. Click here

CDC Guidance for Reopening Schools During the Covid-19 Pandemic. Click here

CDC Guidance for Summer Camp Programs During the Covid-19 Pandemic. Click here
Upcoming Zoom Calls and Events
 
TODAY, FRIDAY, MAY 15 

Great Lakes Region - Opening up in Ontario and Northern New York  
with Heather Church and Laurie Harper Burgess
Hosted by the WECAN Great Lakes/Northern New York Regional Representatives
1 pm ET
Meeting ID: 893 0974 2662
Password: GreatLakes

Home Programs
with Yvonne de Maat from Heart in Hand Preschool, OR, and Celia Riahi from the Cottage Garden, Amherst, MA
Hosted by WECAN
2 pm ET, 1 pm CT, 12:00 pm MT, 11 am PT, 8 am HT
Join Zoom Meeting: https://zoom.us/j/94618314671
Meeting ID: 946 1831 4671
Password:  395068
 
California Early Childhood Educators – Looking to the Future  
with Steve Spitalny from the Santa Cruz Waldorf School
Hosted by WECAN Northern and Southern California Regional Representatives
4 pm PT
Meeting ID: 871 1514 1558
Password: 04600
 
CALLS FOR NEXT WEEK
 
WEDNESDAY, MAY 20

Birth to Three - Opening up with Toddler Groups
with Katherine Scharff and Heather Church
Hosted by the WECAN Birth to Three Task Force
2 pm  ET, 1 pm CT, 12 pm MT, 11 am PT, 8 am HT
Meeting ID: 811 9684 6830
Password: Birth-3 

Reopening – Working with our Ideals and Social Distancing Requirements
with Susan Howard, Magdalena Toran and a panel of early childhood educators
Hosted by WECAN
2 pm ET, 1 pm CT, noon MT, 11 am PT, 8 am HT
Join Zoom Meeting:  https://zoom.us/j/95905037335
Meeting ID: 959 0503 7335
Password: 642880
 
THURSDAY, MAY 21

WECAN Mid-Atlantic Zoom Meeting
with Regional Reps Mary Maschal, Waldorf School of Saratoga Springs, NY and Patricia Cornelius, Waldorf School of Philadelphia
Hosted by the WECAN Mid-Atlantic Regional Representatives
1 PM EDT
Join Zoom Meeting: https://zoom.us/j/9955772427
Meeting ID: 995 577 2427

 FRIDAY, MAY 22

California Early Childhood Educators – Looking to the Future
with Steve Spitalny, Santa Cruz Waldorf School
Hosted by WECAN Northern and Southern California Regional Representatives
4 pm PT
Meeting ID: 871 1514 1558
Password: 04600

LOOKING AHEAD

WEDNESDAY, MAY 27

Birth to Three - Opening up in Childcare Settings 
with Heather Church and others
Hosted by the WECAN Birth to Three Task Force
2 pm ET
Meeting ID: 811 9684 6830
Password: Birth-3  
 
OTHER EVENTS
 
THURSDAY, MAY 21
 
Online Symposium: Early Education in Quarantine: What Happens Now? Exploring the Future of Equity, Inclusion and Differentiated Learning
Hosted by High Scope Educational Research Foundation (Registration fee $115)
Information and registration:  https://360.coradvantage.com/symposium
 
Other WECAN Resources

Click Here to view some titles included in our current Special Spring Book Sale - Sale ends June 5th!