March 2021
News, Notes & Updates

Flowers are peeking through the soil, snow pants are coming home muddy, and we are already preparing for summer! Canceling summer camp last summer was a hard decision and we are thrilled to now have the tools and planning in place to once again confidently host summer programs in person, just as we have held school in person for the entire year so far.

All of our children--even those who have been in school in person but whose social lives outside of school have been impacted, or who are spending more time on screens to safely visit with family and friends--need extra time running around outside with other children. The themes for our two groups, Explorers (3-8 year-olds) and Artists (9-14 year-olds), are listed below. If your child is in the 8-9 year-old range and you aren't sure which camp will be right for them, please reach out to our Camp Director, Marcela Perez, at (Maestra Marcela is also our Spanish teacher and if you haven't done so already, take a moment to read her blog post about teaching outside this year!)

Just as it is Summer Camp registration season, it is also Enrollment season. We are particularly excited to have a great many applications in place for our rising first grade! Our mixed-age kindergartens are also filling up but we are actively seeking 4-year-olds. If your child was born between May 2017 and April 2018 we have space for you! Our Enrollment Director, Therese Lederer, is currently scheduling in-person, individual family tours, outside of school hours. If you have always been curious to see our school in person, now is your chance. You can register for a tour here or submit an inquiry form here.

Enjoy the unfurling of spring!



Christina Dixcy
Communications Director and Office Manager, COVID Coordinator
View our COVID-19 Community Health & Campus Operations Plan on the Current Parents page of our website.
We will have Early Dismissal on March 19 for continued (virtual) Parent-Teacher Conferences.
School will be closed on March 30 and 31 for COVID-19 educator vaccinations.
School will be closed April 2-9 for Spring Break.
Third Grade Seder
Thursday, March 25
In-School Event for Students

Thank you, Third Grade Parents, for signing up to send in items for the Third Graders to enjoy during this in-school celebration.
May Fair
Friday, April 30
In-School Event for Students

Our Traditional Dance Teacher, Patricia Campbell, is thrilled to begin preparing dances with our grade school students for an in-person May Fair dance. Our Early Childhood students will participate in their own Maypole dances with their teachers. We will share videos with parents!
Summer Camp Registration is Now Open!
Offering two groups—Explorers for 3- to 8-year-olds and Artists for 9- to 14-year-olds—HVWS Summer Camp is the perfect place for natural and exciting summer fun!
Explorers (ages 3-8)
WEEK 1: June 21-June 25

WEEK 2: June 28-July 2

WEEK 3: July 5-July 9

WEEK 4: July 12-July 16

WEEK 5: July 19-July 23

WEEK 6: July 26-July 30

WEEK 7: August 2-August 6

WEEK 8: August 9-August 13

The fee for each camp session is $285 ($275 when you register before June 1).
Artists (ages 9-14)
WEEKS 1 and 2 (2-week session):
June 21-July 2

WEEK 3: July 5-July 9

WEEK 4: July 12-July 16

WEEK 5: July 19-July 23

WEEK 6: July 26-July 30

WEEK 7, August 2-August 6

WEEK 8, August 9-August 13

The fee for the two-week Circus Arts session is $590 ($570 when you register before June 1).

The fee for every other session is $285 ($275 when you register before June 1).
Led by caring and talented educators, HVWS Summer Camp is the perfect place for natural and exciting summer fun! The Summer Camp day runs from 9 AM to 3 PM.

Explorers (3- to 8-year-olds)
Our Explorers play with water and mud; participate in group games; enjoy organic gardening; and make arts and crafts related to the theme of the week using natural materials such as wool, beeswax, silk, wood, etc. We follow a simple daily rhythm that provides the campers with a sense of trust and ease while they explore nature, make new friends, and learn new skills. Please note, Explorers must be potty trained before the start of camp.

Artists (9- to 14-year-olds)
Our Artists are more capable of challenging themselves physically and socially. Our goal is to provide opportunities that meet our older campers developmentally in a safe, natural environment.

We do not yet know the scope of health and safety protocols we will implement this summer, but these protocols may include mask wearing and will include staying home when sick or during a necessary quarantine. Each session/group will be limited to 18 campers. This summer we will not prepare snack at camp; campers will bring their own lunch and snack daily.

With questions about summer camp, please e-mail Camp Director, Marcela Perez, at
From the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee
Looking to expand your child’s library?
The HVWS DEI Committee has begun gathering recommendations from teachers and parents to share on Instagram.

Carmela, Full of Wishes, is by the author and illustrator of Newbery Medal- and Caldecott Honor-winning Last Stop on Market Street, Matt de la Peña and Christian Robinson. This book touches us on so many levels: sibling relationships; the experience of being an immigrant; the story of a girl growing up with a deported parent; and underpinning it all is a story of childhood and imagination. Ages 4-8.

If you have a suggestion to share, DM us on Instagram or email

Looking for a podcast?
From Serial and The New York Times: Nice White Parents looks at the 60-year relationship between white parents and the public school down the block.

Alumni Updates
Alex Campbell, HVWS Class of 2007, has proactively worked to help educate the public about COVID transmission and "best practices’" or helping to keep healthy. After speaking at a community housing facility on the topic, he realized this information could not effectively help if the community members did not have access to face masks. He then decided to use his own finances to purchase 1000 masks for low-income individuals who were at high risk for serious health complications from the virus. Read more.

Zoë Schlanger, HVWS Class of 2005, wrote a cover story for the Sunday Styles section in The New York Times last month: The Mushrooms will Survive Us (February 7, 2021).

Daschel Knuff, HVWS Class of 2019 and audio engineer extraordinaire for our Middle School Radio Play, has been recording and producing his own music. His song Higher is currently available on Spotify.
Thank you to the Newtown Health District for so quickly incorporating HVWS faculty and staff into educator COVID-19 vaccination clinics, and to our dear parents for their flexibility with planned (and unexpected) closures related to the clinics!

Thank you to Jodi Knuff for her continued work on organizing our collection of costumes.

Thank you Natasha and Bernardo de Castro for donating a beautifully rendered copy of a Native American staff to the costume room.

Thank you to the Newtown Rotary for donating masks to the school as well as dictionaries to our 4th graders!
Classroom Updates
Dandelion Kindergarten
Marcella Kapsaroff and Liz Koors

The Dandelion class enjoyed every moment outdoors in the snowy months of February and early March. The children have enjoyed imagining what goes on “deep down in the earth,” where the dwarfs and gnomes are working hard getting ready for spring. The dwarfs are quite busy “hacking and cracking the rocks and the stones,” and the children really understand the draw of this most beloved activity. We have a special spot in our play yard where the children sit and smash small stones between larger ones. This produces smaller rocks and rock dust that the children use for various pursuits. Bowls of this superlative rock matter are set aside, coveted, hoarded, shared, distributed as (imaginary) food stuff, and guarded by fervent children and then spread asunder when the call to tidy up the play yard is heard. The dwarfs circle play is enjoyed by all, especially their special dance that invites even the most skeptical six-year-old to join in the fun of dancing a jig known as the hobliog!

The children have noticed that spring is coming very soon because a beautiful iris told them so by pushing through the garden and blooming even though snow still covered most of the ground. Our steps have grown lighter as we sing “spring is coming, spring is coming, birdies build your nest,” because as the children play, they hear all the birds singing their beautiful songs.

The Sun Children have started sawing the wood for their sailboats and will be working on their boats every week until May! The children are hard workers and we are making plans to plant a garden and to cover our paths with woodchips from our fallen tree. The five-year-olds are beginning to carry more responsibility for themselves and their classroom jobs; we are all feeling a shift deep within us that as time passes, seasons change, the youngers become the elders, and the elders become First Graders.
Rose Kindergarten
Carrie Reilly and Sandy Proksa

The Rose class is loving how Mrs. Thaw is sweeping the snow from the ground. She is leaving puddles and mushy mud, so wonderful to play in! The Rose children are “visiting” Farmer Bill and his maple trees. Back at the sugar house, there’s a BIG kettle, into which he pours in the sap and watches it settle. When the syrup is nice and sweet, the Rose children will enjoy pancakes this week! The first signs of spring are promising, we see how busy the root children have been underground, washing, sewing and mending the colors they will wear as they push up through the earth without a care! Happy spring to you all!
Pictured above are student snowman handwork projects, previewed in the last issue of News Notes.
Sunflower Kindergarten
Isabel Gandara and Aliz Mihok

Winter is still here, but we can feel that spring will be here soon. The Sunflower children are feeling this. They are still happy enjoying some of the snow that is left by building different things and pretending to ice skate, but they were so amazed when they discovered some crocuses that have already grown in the Community House playground. The connection they have with nature and the value they give to each little thing that nature offers us is incredible.

In our circle the children have been going on a sleigh ride which they do while they sit on my knees. They go up and down, side to side, and at the end they go high on the snowy hilltop, then suddenly they Whoosh! go down. Also in our circle we have been visiting a cobbler who makes big, small, tall, and flat shoes. To get to the cobbler shop they need to walk, stomp, tiptoe, jump, hop, march, skip, gallop, and crawl. To try on the shoes that the cobbler made for us, we walk on tiptoes, on our heels, and on the inside and outside of our feet. The circle is all about experiencing and using our feet in different kinds of movements.

Lastly, the sap is now running down the maple trees, so the Sunflower children will have a special pancake day where they can enjoy the taste of the delicious maple syrup.
First Grade (Class of 2028)
Jennifer Chapman

First Grade is busy in our Language Arts block, learning consonant blends, digraphs, and R-controlled vowels. We have started writing our own book, complete with illustrations, about a gnome named Jerome. The kids love this activity. We are also memory reading. I write down a verse they know very well, the students read the verse, and then write it themselves. We have been busy writing consonant-vowel-consonants with the help of a star. I place a vowel in the center of the star and consonants in the points of the star. The students then discover the hidden words within. This is truly fun. We just heard the story of the Frog King, which the students all enjoyed. They are also starting to read simple "Bob" books. This thrills the children as they are seeing the fruits of their efforts as they begin to read independently from the books. We have enjoyed a few birthdays and a few warm days. The children have made some beautiful watercolor paintings as well as charming beeswax creations.
Second Grade (Class of 2027)
Laura Wittmer

The Second Grade just finished up our Fables block with The Grasshopper and the Ants and started our Saints and Great People of the World block. We have heard the stories of St. Christopher: The Giant at the Ford, St. Zita and the Rich Man's Cloak, and St. Jerome, the Lion, and the Donkey. In grammar, we reviewed naming words (nouns) and began talking about doing or action words (verbs). The students had fun demonstrating and naming the actions they can perform. We are continuing our work with cursive writing and are halfway through the alphabet in mastering upper and lower case letters. It has been exciting to write whole sentences in cursive, such as "I baked a cake."
Third Grade (Class of 2026)
Emily Remensperger

The Third Graders began their Shelter block this week by learning about the shelters built by the First Nations of North America. We studied the Haudenosaunee “People of the Longhouse,” the Lakota Teepee, and the Pequot Wigwam.
Laetitia Berrier-Saarbach

The Second and Third Grades recently finished the story of Mama Miti in Eurythmy, as told through the book of the same name by Donna Jo Napoli, illustrated by Kadir Nelson.

Wangari Muta Maathai, known as “Mama Miti,” founded the Green Belt Movement in 1977. This Kenyan grassroots organization has empowered many people to mobilize and combat deforestation, soil erosion, and environmental degradation.

Here the students perform the sound "T" for tree. On the walls behind them are many pictures of the trees spoken about in the story.
Fourth Grade (Class of 2025)
Janelle Beardsley

The Fourth Grade is saying farewell to winter with the conclusion of an exciting Language Arts main lesson block on The Kalevala. This is the national epic poem of Finland and tells of magic and adventures involving the magic Sampo, a marvelous mill that produces grain, salt, and gold. The heroes struggle against the witch, Old Louhi, to secure and keep the Sampo and restore the Sun and Moon to their rightful places in the heavens. The Fourth Graders have enjoyed writing about and Illustrating the stories of the Kalevala. Now it is on to more fractions and long division!
Fifth Grade (Class of 2024)
Allison Washington

The Fifth Graders have recently completed an Ancient Cultures block which highlighted the fascinating civilizations of Mesopotamia and Egypt. As students listened to the oldest piece of epic world literature, Gilgamesh, the ancient cities of Ur and Babylon were discovered as well as the geography of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. Additionally, the Fifth Graders studied the geography of Egypt including the "gift of the Nile." Everyday life of ancient Egypt was explored including hieroglyphic writing, the mummification process, and the construction of the pyramids.
Sixth Grade (Class of 2023)
Leslie Lew

The Sixth Grade has begun a block on Medieval History. This history block opens with the fall of the Roman Empire and will cover topics leading up to the Renaissance block that is taught in Seventh Grade. A mere ~1,000 years or so! We began the week discussing monasteries and manuscripts. In a darkened room, with a tea light helping them, the Sixth Graders were given a new calligraphy pen and practiced writing with it. We will cover life in a medieval castle, feudalism, Islam and a number of important biographies during this block.
Seventh Grade (Class of 2022)
Eighth Grade (Class of 2021)
Laura Hayes

The Seventh Grade is approaching their History block artistically by copying masters of the Renaissance. Our Eighth Grader, Chloe, is copying a Monet while learning remotely. In class, we discussed the change in perspective that defined the Renaissance from the Middle Ages, not only in art but also in sharing ideas and news (the printing press), in astronomy (from geocentric to heliocentric), in Christianity (the Reformation), battle techniques (gunpowder), and society in general. The students tried their own change of perspective when they aimed to write like Leonardo Da Vinci in mirrored writing, backwards from right to left, or when they discovered how hard it is to paint onto a ceiling like Michelangelo by drawing on their backs under their desks (see pictures).
Support HVWS
2020-2021 Annual Fund
Help us reach 100% community participation!

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.

Thank you for your support!
Click to view our 2019-2020 Annual Report
(Best viewed in Google Chrome)
Dutch Mills Bulb Fundraiser
Order your spring bulbs online through Dutch Mills and HVWS will receive 50% of the proceeds!

Available items include:
  • Elf Lilies
  • Spectacular Gladiolus
  • Hanging Strawberry Garden
  • Peacock Orchids
  • Bleeding Hearts
...and more!

Orders may be placed through June 1, 2021. Bulbs will begin shipping to CT after April 1, 2021.
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.
Waldorf Alum Social Hour
AWSNA warmly invites alums, alum parents, teachers, and staff to join a bimonthly Waldorf Alum Social Hour! During the first alum social hour, over 70 Waldorf alums from across the country joined the call. Stories were shared, new connections made, and old ones rekindled. We left feeling inspired and grateful for one another and for our shared histories. We warmly welcome you to mark your calendar for these upcoming gatherings, all of which will begin at 7:30 PM ET:
  • Monday, May 10, 2021
  • Monday, July 12, 2021
  • Monday, September 13, 2021
  • Monday, November 8, 2021
Waldorf Alum Networking Platform
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 has extended 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.

We warmly invite you to create a profile on Waldorf Alum Connect today.
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!
We Are Teachers (January 27, 2021)

The Academic Times (March 12, 2021)

The Atlantic (March 2, 2021)

The Chalkboard, Waldorf School at Moraine Farm Blog (September 2020)

The Association of Waldorf Schools of North America (February 18, 2021)

Metro Parents (February 23, 2021)

The Philadelphia Inquirer (February 13, 2021)
Bookmarks and Resources
HVWS Fleece Jackets
Orders may be shipped to your home.

Sizing guidelines for youth sizes:
YS 6-8
YM 10-12
YL 14-16
YXL 18-20
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 ||