July, 2019

One might think a school is a sleepy place during the summer, but so much work goes on this time of year. We've already moved out of, and back into, our Administration Cottage in order to have our floors refinished; our Facilities Manager, David Demment, is now in the process of managing the renovation of our Community House, which will house our Morning Glories parent-child classes and Rainbow Garden School Store in the fall; we've migrated to a new version of our Student Information database which has allowed teachers to write their year-end reports online for the first time; and our Enrollment Director, Therese Lederer, is regularly giving curious parents tours of the school -- just to name a bit of what's been going on!

And of course, Summer Camp is in full swing. One of my favorite parts about camp is that it brings alumni back to school as counselors. Seeing the familiar faces of these lovely young adults is a balm for the sadness we feel saying goodbye to our graduates each year. Summer Camp runs through August 16 for our younger campers ("Explorers") and through August 23 for our older campers ("Artists") so there is still time to register for a week if you haven't already: www.waldorfct.org/camp. We hope to see you on campus!

If you are on Instagram, check out the #Waldorf100Windows campaign leading up to Waldorf Education's 100th anniversary on September 19. We, and Waldorf schools from all over, are posting on a different theme each day. It has been so much fun to see what we do with our students reflected in the work from so many different schools!

Happy Summer,

Christina Dixcy
Communications Director and Office Manager

  • Our Administration offices will be closed for two weeks, July 22 to August 2.
  • If you have already registered your child for camp this summer and would like to add additional weeks, please e-mail Marcela Perez, Camp Director, at camp@waldorfct.org.
Renata Navarro (Class of 2013) and a young camper.
Important Links
Imbue thyself
Follow us on Instagram where Waldorf schools from all over are posting photos on a different theme each day for the 100 days leading up to Waldorf Education's 100th birthday on September 19th!
The Waldorf Chronicles
As part of the worldwide Waldorf 100 celebrations we are recording our voices and sharing our stories through The Waldorf Chronicles, an archive project. Waldorf schools and teacher training institutes in North America are adding interviews to the StoryCorps Archive, the largest collection of human voices ever gathered.

If you would like to be interviewed for the Waldorf Chronicles please e-mail Christina Dixcy at cdixcy@waldorfct.org. You can read sample questions on The Waldorf Chronicles' page.

Upcoming Events
Roadmap to Literacy
Summer Intensive with Janet Langley and Patti Connolly
August 5-7, 2019; 8:30 am-5:00 pm 
Housatonic Valley Waldorf School

Creating an Artistic and Effective Language Arts Curriculum in Grades 1-3

If you have questions, please e-mail Patricia Bennett-Bigham at pbennett-bigham@earthlink.net.

Summer Camp
Visit our Summer Camp page for more information and to register.

If you have already registered and would like to ADD a week, please e-mail Camp Director Marcela Perez at camp@waldorfct.org .

Week 5, July 22 – July 26
Explorers: Shelters and Tunnels
Artists: Shelter Design & Building

Week 6, July 29 – August 2
Explorers: Fairies, Knights, and Dragons
Artists: Life Size Puppets

Week 7, August 5 – August 9
Explorers: Boats, Trains and Traveling
Artists: Vehicle Design & Building

Week 8, August 12 – August 16
Explorers: Circus Clowns
Artists: Circus Arts (ages 9-14) 

Week 9, August 19 – August 23
Artists: Circus Arts (ages 9-14) 

If you have questions about the upcoming Summer Camp season, please e-mail camp@waldorfct.org.
Summer Community Gatherings
Friday, July 19, 5pm
Food Truck Friday 
Bethel Municipal Center
1 School Street
You are sure to find something to feed the kids with over dozen food trucks. Bring a blanket, enjoy the live music, meet up with HVWS families.

Wednesday, August 7, 5pm
Broken Symmetry Gastro Brewery
5 Depot Place, Bethel
Lisa Tassone, Aurelia and Piera’s mom, owns this great hot spot in Bethel. Come have an early dinner with your family.

Thursday, August 8, 10am-2pm
Westport Farmers Market
50 Imperial Ave, Westport
HVWS will be there all day making jump ropes! Come by and say hi and lend a hand

Tuesday, August 27, 2pm
Ben’s Bells
32 Stony Hill Rd, Bethel
Meet up at Ben’s Bells studio to help create Ben’s Bells and Be Kind pendants. Adult supervision is required.

Saturday, September 7, 4-7pm
Back-to-School Picnic, Dickinson Memorial Park
50 Elm Dr, Newtown
Welcome in the start of the new school year with family and friends. Bring a picnic!
Our trip to the Goetheanum
Miss Isabel, Miss Carrie and Miss Marcella would like to extend their deepest gratitude to HVWS for providing the resources for us to travel to Dornach, Switzerland to attend the Waldorf 100 World Early Childhood Conference held at the Goetheanum. We cannot begin to express how grateful we all are for this incredible opportunity. We hope that we can bring the inspiration we received back to our classrooms and share some of what we learned with our HVWS colleagues. 

Our inspiration began as we communed with 1100 Waldorf Early Childhood colleagues from 59 countries. How amazed we were to meet so many teachers from all over the world. We made beautiful connections with teachers from Kenya, Romania, Brazil, Mexico, Nepal, South Africa, Germany, Switzerland, China, and so many more. 
The Goetheanum was impressive to behold. Atop a hilltop redeemed from a barren landscape torn by war, between 1925 and 1928, 80 people from sixteen different nations built the Goetheanum according to a design by Rudolf Steiner. The style of the 38 m. high building is organically designed concrete created by building a wooden structure and pouring concrete within. When the wood is removed, the impression of the wood grain is left behind. There were impressive stained-glass windows designed by Rudolf Steiner, warm hand-carved woodwork throughout, beautifully lazured walls, and ethereal murals. 
We were fortunate to view Rudolf Steiner’s incredible carved wood statue titled “Representative of Man” and a beautiful miniature wooden reproduction of the first Goetheanum, which was a wooden structure destroyed by arson in 1922. Equally inspiring and impressive was the surrounding landscape, a small working biodynamic farm, and a quaint anthroposophical community.
The title of the Waldorf 100 World Early Childhood Conference was “Inner Freedom - Social Responsibility: Finding Ways into A Human Future.” Each day was filled with a morning lecture, a discussion group and an afternoon workshop, all of which embodied this essential theme in the human experience. Here are some of the titles of the lectures we attended: “Relationship Opens the Way into the Future,” "The Social as Art,” and “Ways to Prepare Children for a Social Future.” (Watch out AI -- artificial intelligence -- here come Waldorf early childhood teachers!!) Our afternoon discussion groups were equally stimulating as our discussion group leader, Stefanie Allon from Israel, was charged with bringing a group of 25 people from various nations with different languages into a discussion surrounding this central theme. Isabel, Carrie, Marcella and Jessica Khoshabo (our Apple Blossom colleague) had such fun during these discussions, laughing as we pantomimed each other’s ideas, and becoming teary-eyed as we connected with other teachers from all over the world during our last group meeting. 

Our early afternoon workshop was incredibly inspiring as we were privileged to learn from Michaela Glockler about "Practical Exercises with the Seven Life Processes." This workshop was conducted in English and German, and we learned how many problems from life can be viewed through the lens of the seven life processes, which can bring about new insights into problem-solving and avoiding future problems. We hope to share more about the seven life processes with HVWS staff and community. 

For their afternoon workshop, Isabel and Carrie attended Christof Wiechert’s “Life Forces and Social Faculties” and Marcella attended Valentin Wember’s “The Pedagogical Effectiveness Triptych: Effectiveness through principles and techniques, self-education, and pedagogical/moral intuition." Whew, our heads were bursting by the time our delicious dinner with biodynamic ingredients was served. They were not kidding when they said “Waldorf teachers educate children by educating themselves first.” 

We ended each evening by returning to the Rudolf Steiner School Birseck in Aesch, Switzerland, a short bus ride away, where we bedded down on IKEA mats in the second grade classroom, surrounded by our Waldorf colleagues from 13 countries. Each morning the 8th grade from this school served us a homemade breakfast of waffles, jam, juice and coffee, for a donated fee (as they were fundraising for their 8th grade trip to London). This school was amazing as well, and we enjoyed exploring all the classrooms and grounds. While sitting on only a few acres, this school had an entire mini-biodynamic farm, with two pigs, three goats, ducks, geese, chickens, a greenhouse, a barn and a pond. We were greatly inspired by how much was done in such a small space. Each morning we walked to Dornach and enjoyed the scenery of this partly rural Swiss countryside. 
After our evening meal we were treated to many lovely forms of entertainment, from a beautiful Eurythmy program from Eastern Asia, South Africa, and Europe to “Don Quixote” performed by the Compagnie Quartz, from Moulins, France. Our final evening ended with a solemn but hope-filled candlelight walk under the stars and a bright full moon singing the most beautiful song in Latin, “Dona Nobis.”
Alumni Updates
Pictured, L-R: Rachel (Ladasky) Nielsen, Tyler Bigham, and Lily Press

Rachel and Lily were in HVWS's first early childhood class when it was known as Star Meadow Nursery-Kindergarten in 1990-91. Tyler, Patricia Bennett-Bigham's younger son, was in the Star Meadow parent-child group. 

Rachel, Tyler, and Lily met recently in Colorado. Rachel is a kindergarten teacher at the Boulder Valley Waldorf School in Niwot, CO. Tyler works as a senior mechanical engineer consultant in Boulder and is building his own house. Lily, daughter of Roseann Press (one of HVWS's founders), is a harpist in Los Angeles. Lily writes, "While we were in Colorado we got to check out Rachel's kindergarten classroom where she teaches at Boulder Valley Waldorf (the campus was amazing - and there were actual baby bunnies everywhere - it was seriously a fairy-tale farm come to life) and we were talking about how lucky we were to be part of something so special growing up. Thank you so much for helping us all have such an awesome childhood!!! The house Tyler is designing looks awesome - we can't wait to see it on our next trip!" 
Percy Gale-Kelleter, HVWS Class of 2010, was honored this spring with the Outstanding Philosophy Major award at Western Connecticut State University. He also won the Best Basic Video award at the WCSU Fourth Annual Media Arts Festival for a video he directed.
Thank you to Sunshine Lucas for her hard work organizing the Diversity Committee's purchase of new library books and classroom readers from Byrd's Books and Camille Lawrence and Lilah Rose and Eirwen Poston for their help organizing the books for the teachers to collect at our year-end meetings.

Thank you from the Class of 2020 to all of our hot lunch customers. We will be back to serve everyone in September!

Thank you David Lew for taking items from school to Big Brothers Big Sisters for donation.

Thank you to the parents who cook for faculty meals. Your efforts are truly appreciated.

Thank you to Anne Kupferberg for her help in the office during the school year and to Rebekah Lee for her extensive library cataloging.

Thank you to all of the 1st Grade (now, rising 2nd Grade) parents who baked and brought in treats for the Rising 1st Grade Tea.

Thank you to Dale Tucker for purchasing an amazing array of teacher resource guides from the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Miss Carrie sends Spring Benefit catering thanks: a huge thank you to Tom Giudice and to Jeff Parker and Melissa Merkling for helping me with kitchen prep! Thank you!!!  

Thanks to Chris and William Washington for making additional wooden sticks for the May Fair Morris Dance.

Thank you to our school store volunteers: Natasha Daniels-Pearson (Store Manager), Lena Merkulov, Jen Finefrock, and Sherri Stroll.
HVWS Fleece Jackets are Here!
Click for a PDF Order Form. Orders may be shipped to your home or picked up from Tiger Sports in Ridgefield.
Crossing the Bridge
Articles & Videos
Mind/Shift, KQED (July 2019)

The Hechinger Report (May 2018)

The Atlantic (August 2019)

Screenagers (July 2019)

Forbes (June 2019)

1000 Hours Outside (May 2019)

TIME (January 2019)

Edutopia (June 2019)

Edutopia (February 2019)

The New York Times (June 2019)

1000 Hours Outside (May 2019)

CNBC (June 2019)

CNBC (March 2019)

Screenagers (May 2019)

Bonnie Harris, Connective Parenting

Mind/Shift, KQED (May 2019)

The Washington Post (May 2019)

The New York Times (May 2019)

The New York Times (May 2019)
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 | office@waldorfct.org| waldorfct.org