Weekly News from WECAN - May 22, 2020
Dear WECAN Members and Friends,
 
Greetings! This is our third issue of the new  Weekly News from WECAN  that we send 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, Northeast and Southeast Regions and and a closed group for WECAN Organizational Members. We now have more than 700 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.

This week's news also includes  highlights from the week's activities links to resources , and  thoughts to ponder . This week we share some thoughts from Laura Mason on reopening and what to do when the children are not able to return to school. This will be a theme for our calls this coming week.

Finally: Our WECAN Spring Appeal is now taking place! We are so grateful to those of you who have offered such generous gifts of support for our work. We hope others will want to participate as well! See below to make a donation.
 
With warm wishes,
Susan Howard
WECAN Coordinator   
 
Reopening Schools - Alternatives to Being on Campus
 
When campuses closed due to the pandemic this spring we were forced to rethink our entire way of being as educators. How could we continue to support the families we were serving? How could we meet the needs of the children from afar? How could we support ourselves in case of loss of income? Some programs began providing school content for children to engage with at home, some began working exclusively in the realm of parent support and some programs temporarily closed. We were all in a position of making decisions about how to proceed quickly, with very little lead time to consider our options.

Though many of us are making plans for re-opening in the summer or fall, we face uncertainty about whether health considerations and state, provincial and/or local guidelines will allow us to do so. According to projections, we may very well face campus closures intermittently this school year. We will once again find ourselves faced with hard questions.

This time, we may have the advantages of a little more time for planning and the knowledge gleaned from our experiences this spring. This may be a good moment to pause and consider options that did not occur to us in our earlier haste. Knowing what we know now, we need to re-imagine how we can meet the needs of the children in our programs if our campuses are closed.

Are there ways we can provide care and education outside the confines of the walls of our program?
Do we have the means to provide an outdoor-only program?
Can we split up large programs into smaller home programs?
Can my school program be licensed as essential childcare with the state or province?

If these are not options, what kind of support do families need to make it through long weeks at home? Did the distance learning program we provided in the spring truly meet the needs of the children and was it sustainable? What might need to change to improve the program? What kinds of physical materials might be useful for the students to have at home? Could a new parent education program help support the children by way of supporting parents?

Are there other ways to foster a continued sense of community for our families while not on campus? Based on the health situation in the community, could parents safely meet for small in-person gatherings? Would virtual meetings for social purposes meet the needs of the parent body? Can parents be on campus to contribute in some way to the physical health of the school?

There are many good answers to these questions living in our wider community. We hope you will join us Wednesday May 27th (details below) to hear more from a panel of educators about this topic. Please also feel free to share your own ideas on the WECAN Community Hub (to subscribe, see the introduction above.)

While what we face seems quite daunting at times (or perhaps all the time) we have an entire worldwide Waldorf educational movement standing behind us. Our associative activity weaves us together as a community of educators who - while coming from all walks of life and taking many different approaches - are all working out of the same shared values.

Laura Mason
Eastside Community School, WA
WECAN Membership Coordinator and IDEA Committee Member
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.

We are continuing our series of zoom calls on considerations,plans and resources for re-opening.

This past week our call focused on the theme of how we can work with our ideals about what young children need as well as CDC guidelines and various governmental 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.

This coming week, 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 plan to take a break during the week of June 10th and then host a final zoom call on Wednesday, June 17th, to share what we are learning, what we want to continue and what we want to leave behind as we prepare for the new school year, and most importantly, what inner attitudes and resources will support us as we move forward.

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

Resources from WECAN and the Community Hub

Click here for the recording from the this week's WECAN Zoom Call on Reopening - Working with our Ideals and Social Distancing Guidelines and Requirements.
Password: 3A^G=?%6

Click here for the notes from the Zoom call, thanks to Nancy Blanning.

Click here for " Working Together Digitally and Staying Whole" by Michael Soule, of Leading Together

Job Postings : Visit WECANCommunity@wecan.groups.io to see our growing list of announcements of open early childhood positions. If you have not yet subscribed, use the email address in the welcome message above.
Upcoming Zoom Calls and Events
 
TODAY, FRIDAY, MAY 22

Great Lakes Region I - Ontario and Northern New York
Hosted by WECAN
With Laurie Harper Burgess and Heather Church, WECAN Great Lakes/Ontario Sub-Regional Reps
Weekly at 1 pm ET
Meeting ID: 893 0974 2662
Password: GreatLakes

 
CALLS FOR NEXT WEEK

TUESDAY MAY 26
 
E arly Childhood Teacher Trainers Meeting
Hosted by WECAN
for early childhood faculty in WECAN Member Institutes, with Ruth Ker, WECAN Teacher Education Coordinator. 12:30 pm PT, 1:30 pm MT, 12:30 pm CT, 11:30 am ET
By invitation only.

Outdoor Parent Child Classes
Hosted by WECAN
with Holly Richardson, Waldorf School of the Roaring Fork, CO, and Magdalena Toran, Hartsbrook School
11 am HI, 2 pm PT, 3 pm MT, 4 pm CT, 5 pm ET
Meeting ID: 824 8757 5787
Password: 8sVLWS

 
WEDNESDAY, MAY 27

Birth to Three - Opening up in Childcare Settings 
Hosted by the WECAN Birth to Three Task Force
with Jada Berg from Orchard Valley WS in VT and Heather Church, WECAN B-3 Coordinator, Halton, ONT
2 pm ET
Meeting ID: 811 9684 6830
Password: Birth-3  

Reopening – What can we offer if children don’t return to school? Alternatives to our usual programs, including off-site activities, small group home programs, support for parents at home, and creative ideas
Hosted by WECAN
with Susan Howard and Magdalena Toran, and a panel of presenters
9 am HI, 12 pm PT, 1 pm MT, 2 pm CT, 3 pm ET
Join Zoom Meeting: https://zoom.us/j/92814450704
Password: WECAN

Returning to School: Outdoor Learning 
Hosted by AWSNA
for pedagogical leaders, administrators, department chairs, and faculty members, w/Beverly Amic o
10:00 am HI, 1:00 pm PT, 2:00 pm MT, 3:00 pm CT, 4:00 pm ET
Join Zoom Meeting: https://waldorfeducation.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJMkcuyrqz0iEtL-iQPUwTYomh4GD0chO-a1
 

 FRIDAY, MAY 29

Great Lakes Region I - Ontario and Northern New York (Weekly at 1 pm ET)
with Laurie Harper Burgess and Heather Church
Meeting ID: 893 0974 2662
Password: GreatLakes

LOOKING AHEAD
Links and details for these calls will be posted next week.

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 3

Birth to Three - Opening up with Toddler Groups
with Katherine Scharff, Waldorf School of Saratoga Springs, NY and Heather Church, WECAN B-3 Coordinator
8 am HT, 11 am PT, 12 pm MT, 1 pm CT, 2 pm  ET,

Reopening - Electronic communications in the coming school year
with Susan Howard and Magdalena Toran, Laura Mason, and a panel of presenters
9 am HI, 12 pm PT, 1 pm MT, 2 pm CT, 3 pm ET

FRIDAY, JUNE 5

Home Programs
with Celia Riahi from the Cottage Garden, Amherst, MA and others
8 am HI, 11 am PT, 12 pm MT, 1 pm CT, 2 pm ET

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 17

What Have we Learned? What Do We Leave Behind? What Do We Keep as We Go Forward?
with Susan Howard, Magdalena Toran, and a panel of presenters
9 am HI, 12 pm PT, 1 pm MT, 2 pm CT, 3 pm ET
Final Zoom Call this school year.
Other WECAN Resources

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