December 2020
News, Notes & Updates

It is with profound gratitude that I embrace the arrival of our winter holiday break. My gratitude begins first and foremost with my colleagues, who have approached this daunting year with such grace and tenacity. It extends to our families, who are shouldering the responsibility of community care with all of us, supporting not just our protocols, but us as well. It extends to our greater community. I am grateful for the support--practical and collegial--we continue to receive from AWSNA, CAIS, and the CT DPH and CSDE. And I am grateful too, for simple words of encouraging from former families and staff.

It is due to the care and hard work--physical and emotional--of our entire community that we have been able to teach our students in person on campus for this entire school year thus far, a goal that felt nearly impossible this summer. Our responsibility to each other, and to our students, continues, and it will likely be a very challenging winter. But I thank all of you, from the bottom of my heart, for any part you have played in getting us this far!

Sending strength and warm wishes for a happy and healthy holiday as we continue the work involved in really taking care of each other.


Christina Dixcy
Communications Director and Office Manager
The gift of the light we shall thankfully take
But it shall not be alone for our sake,

The more we give light, the one to the other
It grows and gives light, and shines even farther

Until every heart, by love set aflame
In every place great joy shall proclaim:

Not long shall continue the darkness of year
The light draws near.
View our COVID-19 Community Health & Campus Operations Plan on the Current Parents page of our website.
We will have a half day on Friday, December 18, leading into our Holiday Break. We return to campus on Monday, January 4.
HVWS Stories: Simple Gifts
Meg Vojack-Weeks (pronouns: she/her), a graduate of the first HVWS class and parent of a current student, has graciously volunteered to coordinate and write for our HVWS Stories blog. Thank you, Meg!

Simple toys and activities are at the heart of the Waldorf approach. It is from simple beginnings that children grow and explore, expanding their imaginations, studying their world, and developing skills needed for higher and complex learning later in life...
Click through to the full post for a link to instructions from HVWS handwork teacher Marlies Simfeld-Redpath on how to make salt dough ornaments.
School Store Now Online!
We are selling all the items that you know and love: modeling beeswax, crayons, color pencils. Plus new toys, homeware, and books. New items are being added daily!

If you don't see something that you know we stock please email:

The Rainbow Garden School Store is volunteer-run. All proceeds support the HVWS operating budget.
2020-21 Annual Fund
In a year unlike any other, please help us reach our 30K goal! The Annual Fund helps us keep our commitment to our community by allowing us to provide a rich Waldorf curriculum supported by talented and experienced teachers. It allows us to strive to keep tuition affordable with the goal of providing this education to as many children as possible.

Please give to the extent to which you are able. Whether you can give a lot or a little, please show your commitment. Every family, every teacher, every Board member, every friend participating really DOES make a difference.
Classroom Updates
Video: Early Childhood Martinmas
Thank you to HVWS parents Rob and Svetla Cavaleri for creating this video!
Second Grade (Class of 2027)
Laura Wittmer

On Tuesday, the Second Grade celebrated Santa Lucia Day with an outdoor procession.
Fifth Grade (Class of 2024)
Allison Washington

As part of their study of how the geography of the land affected the lives of the indigenous people of North America, the Fifth Grade constructed this beautiful salt dough map of North America.
Seventh Grade (Class of 2022)
Eighth Grade (Class of 2021)
Laura Hayes

The Seventh and Eighth Grade have been working on a production of Orson Welles' radio play adaptation of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol. As a related project, the students have been learning to solder so that they can build actual radios, which they plan to use to broadcast their play to the other classrooms in their building on Friday (weather permitting). We will send a link to the radio play once it has been published on our website!
Video: A Peek inside HVWS (2019)
Thank you to HVWS alums Brady Knuff and Forrest Anderson for creating this video!
Special Mentions
Community Updates
Congratulations to Maria and Jonathan Green who welcomed Nathaniel Emmanuel into the world on December 3rd!
Congratulations to Carrie and Nick Godlove, and big sisters Cecily and Leona, on the arrival of Gwendolyn Alice on December 1st!
Thank you to all of our loving families who give such thoughtful and generous holiday gifts to faculty and staff!

Thank you Lisa Tassone for her kindness in making delicious corn muffins for the Early Childhood Thanksgiving celebration. Thank you to Chris Kapsaroff for helping the EC teachers to bring a magical St. Nicholas celebration for the children.
Update from the Board of Trustees
We send our deepest gratitude and love to Laura Stotz, who is leaving the HVWS Board of Trustees after many years of service. She will still support our school in an advisory capacity. Laura and her son, Kyan, relocated to Vermont last year and we continue to miss them!
Waldorf Alum Networking Platform
Last year AWSNA member schools joined together to support the launch of Waldorf Alum Connect, a North American Waldorf Alumni Networking Platform. Today, there are approximately 1,300 registered Waldorf alums on the site. The intention of this platform is to support our alums to find employment, internships, mentoring, and work opportunities. We wish for our alums to thrive in today’s world, and what better way to support them in doing so than through a network of like-minded individuals.

To further this mission, AWSNA is now extending the invitation to alumni parents to join this networking platform with the hopes that you as an alum parent community can be of service in offering employment and internship opportunities, volunteer positions, and mentoring to young Waldorf alums.

This site is much like LinkedIn in that you create a profile and share as much information as you wish to. Other users are not able to view your contact information, but are only able to connect with you through the site via email to your inbox. Neither we nor AWSNA are sharing your information in any way, nor will we, AWSNA, or any member schools be reaching out to you or your alum/s for development or fundraising purposes through the platform. The intent and purpose of this site is truly to further support our alums to shine and thrive in the world beyond our community. To that end, we invite you, as a parent, to use this platform solely for the purpose of supporting Waldorf alums as a mentor, employer, or internship provider.

We warmly invite you to create a profile on Waldorf Alum Connect today. You can do so by simply clicking here. It is easy to join and fun to explore.
Seeking Submissions from Alumni!
HVWS alumni are amazing people doing amazing things!

Please consider a submission.

The Association of Waldorf Schools of North America (AWSNA) launched its Waldorf Alum Connect Spotlight campaign last January and is seeking published news about alums. The aim of this campaign is to spread the word about the amazing work that our Waldorf alums are undertaking as scientists, artists, teachers, engineers, musicians, advisors, entrepreneurs and more.

We are seeking published news articles, personal websites and published research about what our alums are doing out in the wide world.

Please consider nominating yourself or someone you know here!
December 7, 2020

KQED Mind/Shift
November 30, 2020

Children Nature Network
October 2020

Family Education

Essentials in Education (AWSNA Blog)
November 16, 2020

Useable Knowledge (Harvard Graduate School of Education)
November 24, 2020

November 25, 2020
Bookmarks & Resources
Gear up for Winter
Order your HVWS fleece jacket!
Orders may be shipped to your home.

Sizing guidelines for youth sizes:
YS  6-8
YM 10-12
YL  14-16
YXL 18-20
Danish Woolen Delight
Danish Woolen Delight (, a business that offers children’s and adults’ items made from biodynamic (DEMETER) wool, is extending a 35% discount to Waldorf schools this year, in order to help more parents get more children into woolen layers for more time outside.

This year we are not placing an order through the school – this is not a fundraiser – rather Danish Woolen Delight is offering a discount code to be used on their website. The code HOUSTCVWS20 will give 35% off full-priced items (not including sale, factory outlet or combo sets, which are already discounted) and is valid through 12/31/2020.

We can't stress enough what a difference wool underlayers make in a child's enjoyment of time spent outside in the colder months!!!
With winter approaching, Reima ( is offering a discount to many Waldorf and forest schools across the country and they are extending a 30% discount to our community through the Spring.

Enter the code HOUSATONIC30 at checkout to receive the discount.

"Reima is a world-leading kids’ activewear brand from Finland. With over 75 years of experience, we know it’s the small details that make the biggest difference. That’s why our award-winning products are safe, innovative and sustainable - and stand the test of time. We make clothes that are designed specifically for kids, not just miniature versions of adults. With our gear kids can explore outdoors for hours and stay dry, warm and comfortable whatever the weather."
To provide a lasting education that cultivates resilient and creative human beings who are capable of free thinking, confident action, and deep connections with others and the world.
Housatonic Valley Waldorf School | 203-364-1113 ||