As autumn settles in and winter draws near, many traditions around the world celebrate festivals of light. As the days shorten and the nights lengthen, we turn from the outer light and warmth of the sun to our own inner light. We kindle our inner light not only to carry us through the long, dark days of winter, but also to nurture the warmth of kindness, love, and goodness within ourselves, which we must share with each other. As we prepare for our lower grades Martinmas lantern walk tonight, the warmth outside belies the approach of winter. Yet it remains of the utmost importance that we pause to reflect on a renewed dedication to finding and sharing our inner goodness and light with the world.

Our celebrations of light continue with a Diwali party hosted by the Class of 2018 and the Patalia's (RSVP required!) on Saturday and the Early Childhood Martinmas lantern walk on Monday. And despite the balmy weather, winter is approaching--remember to change your clocks this weekend!


Christina Dixcy
Communications and Outreach Director

Submissions to News, Notes & Updates are due the 1st and the 15th of every month.
If you attended our Fall Fair and Market, please take a moment to complete a survey. Thank you!
Important Links
Imbue thyself
Upcoming Events
Martinmas Festival
Grades 1-4:
Friday, November 3, 5:30 PM
Warrup's Farm, 11 John Read Rd, Redding

Early Childhood:
Monday, November 6, 4:30 PM
Rose Garden Building

The festival of Martinmas celebrates the life of St. Martin. He was a man known for his gentleness, his unassuming nature and his ability to bring light and warmth to those who had been in darkness. In Europe a tradition has arisen of celebrating Martinmas with lantern walks. This is a time when the darkness of the year is growing stronger, and we can gather the last rays of the summer’s sun to light our way towards the darkness of mid-winter. When a candle is lit within a homemade lantern for Martinmas, this becomes the first glow of a light with a completely different nature, the first spark of inner light.
Handwork Workshop for Adults: Felted Slippers for Children
with Isabel Gandara

Saturday, November 4, 9 AM-12 PM
Rose Garden Building, 40 Dodgingtown Rd.
Cost: $25 (materials included)

Our goal at this workshop is to complete the first step: knitting one slipper. Participants will take home a copy of the instructions and will be able to complete the second slipper at home. The final step involves felting the slippers by putting them through the washer.

Class of 2018 Diwali Party: Class Trip Fundraiser
Saturday, November 4, 5 PM
The Patalias' Home

Diwali is the celebration of inner light over spiritual darkness, of knowledge over ignorance and right over wrong. It is a festive restatement of the Hindu belief that the good ultimately triumphs over evil.

Enjoy an authentic Indian dinner, traditional welcome, storytelling, henna tattoos, colored sand mandalas, candle-lighting blessings and fireworks!
Ticket Cost: $20/ adult & $ 5/ kid
RSVP to Chandrika Patalia:
Open House
Tuesday, November 14, 7 PM
Compass Hall
1 Jacklin Rd., Newtown

Bowling Fundraiser and Get-together
Saturday, November 18, 12-2 PM
Hosted by the Hudaks

Dol'r Bills Bowling
145D Danbury Rd.
New Milford, CT

Cost: $10/child, $15/adult


Invite your family and friends. (Includes unlimited bowling and shoe rental.) 100% of bowling proceeds and 10% of food purchases will be donated to Housatonic Valley Waldorf School.

RSVP to Lori Hudak:
Thanksgiving Assembly, Grades 1-8
Wednesday, November 22, 10:30 AM to 12:35 PM
Compass Hall
1 Jacklin Rd., Newtown

1st-8th grade grandparents, parents and friends are invited to attend our annual Thanksgiving Assembly.

  • 10:30 AM, display of student work in the Atrium (upper level)
  • 11 AM, Assembly in the Eurythmy Room (lower level)
  • Following the Assembly, the class of 2018 will host a Sweet & Savory Bake Sale.

Please note, there will be early dismissal and no aftercare or late care on this day.

Early Childhood parents are invited to attend the dress assembly rehearsal on Monday morning from 8:30-9:45. Please contact Therese Lederer,, to RSVP to either event.
Inside the Classroom
Sunflower Kindergarten
Isabel Gandara and Aliz Mihok
Believe it or not our Martinmas celebration is coming soon, so the Sunflower children are working on their lanterns after having finished their pompom pumpkins. Last Friday we went on a wonderful trip to Warrup's Farm where we enjoyed the beautiful weather while picking pumpkins and taking a hay ride. At circle time we have been helping a farmer who gallops to the fields to gather pumpkins, bringing them home in a wheelbarrow. The children have been listening to the story of Witchamaroo, the tiniest witch in the world, who is very wise and courageous and has a special friendship with a scarecrow. And of course, we have been playing one of the children's favorite games, The Pumpkin King.
Rose Kindergarten
Carrie Reilly and Heather Hemphill
The Rose class has enjoyed all aspects of this beautiful Autumn season! They each took turns leading the circle as Michael, the brave knight, who only uses his power for the right and never for some silly quarrel or fight! We have decorated the nature table with the most beautiful "painted leaves" and we love to stand as "tall trees in the forest" and then quickly turn into "pumpkins on the ground!" Our Halloween celebration was full of yummy gifts from our pumpkin to eat as well as carving our jack-o-lantern, what a frightful treat!
1st Grade (Class of 2025)
Chandrika Patalia
The 1st grade just finished their Language Arts main lesson block. The children were introduced to the alphabet with a fairy tale associated with each letter. For example, M was introduced with the story of the Simeli Mountain. Our 1st grade class parent, Marcella Kapsaroff helped the 1st graders tend their little garden patch. We spread mulch in the flower beds around the 1st grade classroom and pruned the spearmint bushes. (Pictured: chalkboard mountain.)
2nd Grade (Class of 2024)
Allison Washington
The 2nd grade is just finishing up their first Language Arts block in which reading and writing instruction is brought through stories of Saints contrasted with trickster tales and fables. Additionally, the second graders have been preparing for Martinmas. They have enjoyed making their lanterns and joyfully begin their days singing Martinmas songs and practicing to perform a play about St. Martin at the festival. (Pictured: Martinmas lanterns in progress, chalkboard raven, main lesson book raven.)
3rd Grade (Class of 2023)
Leslie Lew
The 3rd grade has finished a block on Time and Linear Measurement. Alongside these subjects the class heard the story of Cain and Abel and of Noah and the flood. We learned that the ark was measured in cubits, a form of ancient measurement that uses the tip of the middle finger to the elbow. Ask a 3rd grader how far outside of our campus the ark measured! (Pictured: student watercolor ark.)
4th Grade (Class of 2022)
Laura Hayes
The 4th grade started the year with stories from the Norse Myths and woven Form Drawings. We practiced basic knots, and crafted friendship bracelets. Along with local Geography and History we also learned how to orient oneself in space, and where North, South, East and West are. We took the bird’s eye view, and drew maps of the classroom and the school. We also built a 3-D model of the school campus in the sandbox.  (Pictured: making oiled watercolor lanterns; building a sandbox model of the school, detail of the Rose Garden building.)
5th Grade (Class of 2021)
Vincent Vojack-Weeks
The 5th grade began the year studying Ancient Cultures, including Ancient India and Ancient Persia. We ended our study of Ancient India by visiting Chuang Yen Monastery, home to the largest indoor Buddha in the Western Hemisphere. We started our next block, Botany, with a 3-night field trip to the Adirondacks for quality time in the forest. After we returned to Connecticut, we observed, studied and drew the lower plants, including fungi, algae, lichen, moss, ferns and conifers. (Pictured: 5th grade watercolor paintings.)
6th Grade (Class of 2020)
Ken Friedman
Sixth grade just completed our block of Business Math with graphs, pie charts, writing checks, keeping a check register, calculating sales tax and tips at restaurants, and more. Now we start into Geology and Mineralogy. (Pictured: 6th Grade Watercolor Paintings.)
7th Grade (Class of 2019)
Laura Wittmer
The 7th grade began the year with Renaissance history, traveling back in time to the great Italian city-states of Florence, Genoa, Milan, and Naples. We witnessed the reemergence of the classical texts from ancient Greece and Rome as humanitas swept through Europe. Each student completed a project on a Renaissance artist and presented their research to the class, accompanied by beautiful artwork. Then we delved into the world of Geometry, learning about the relationship between sides, angles, and area, and deriving irrational numbers such as pi and phi. Now we are immersed in the study of African Geography, where we are practicing gumboot dancing, singing African songs, and working on our second project, with each student researching an African country. (Pictured: 7th grade student Renaissance artwork. Scroll down for more photos.)
8th Grade (Class of 2018)
Emily Remensperger
As part of our American History Block, the 8th grade got to experience what life was like as an immigrant family moving to New York City in 1916. We took a ferry round the Statue of Liberty, then walked uptown to the East Village where we toured the Tenement Museum, and then ate dinner in Chinatown.
8th Grade Fundraising
Help the Class of 2018 get to Costa Rica this Spring!

Visit the 8th grade's fundraising page to learn about...

  • Thanksgiving Pies DEADLINE EXTENDED, see below
  • Holiday Wreaths and Swags ORDERS DUE NOV 9, see below
  • Pura Vida Bracelets
  • Hot Lunches
  • Redding Roasters Coffee
  • Water Bottles

Thanks for your support!
Thanksgiving Pies from Blue Jay Orchards
Orders Due Monday, November 6
All pies will be available for pickup at the Sweet and Savory Bake Sale on Wednesday, November 22nd (after the Thanksgiving Assembly).

All pies are 10 inch pies and will come frozen and unbaked with the exception of Pecan and Pumpkin. Pumpkin and Pecan are thaw and serve. All pies are $16 and come in the following flavors: apple, apple crumb, pumpkin, caramel apple walnut, pecan, blueberry and sugar-free apple.

Order forms went home in school mail. Please return your completed order form and checks payable to HVWS by Monday, November 6. With questions, please e-mail Sandy Proksa at
Holiday Wreaths and Swags
Orders Due Thursday, November 9
Delivery November 30

Decorated Wreath
Celebrate the holidays with a beautiful Maine Made Balsam Fir Wreath. You’ll love the fresh aroma of long-lasting balsam fir in this handmade double-sided wreath. This wreath is about 24” in diameter and decorated with pinecone and berry clusters and a beautiful holiday red velvet bow!
Price: $25.00

Decorated Tear Drop Swag
A great decoration to use on the front door, on garage doors, any place you want to add a touch of holiday cheer! These handcrafted decorations measure approximately 18” in length and are decorated with pinecones, red holly berries, and a red velvet bow..
Price: $18.00

Questions? Contact:
The Rainbow Garden School Store
Open Tuesday-Friday 8:20-9 AM
Star Meadow, 40 Dodgingtown Rd.

Watch your mail folders for a Dr. Hauschka order form.

Any questions about the store, please feel free to write to volunteer school store manager, Natasha Daniels Peterson:
Alumni Updates
Where do our graduates go to high school and college? Below is a sampling of the schools selected by our most recent classes of high school and college freshmen.

Class of 2017 High School Updates
Isabelle Abramson, The Harvey School
Ceara Ancona, Staples High School
May Baldwin, Joel Barlow High School
Lily Blyn, Shepaug High School
Liam Counter, Joel Barlow High School
Sean Christiansen, The Gunnery
Riley Hurley, The Gunnery
Henry James, Shepaug High School
Lily Mikita, Wilton High School
Brendan Parker, Education Without Walls
James Reilly, Joseph A. Foran High School
Christopher Strilowich, Wooster School

Class of 2013 College Updates
Carly Disbrow, SUNY Purchase    
Dylan Lew, Carnegie Mellon University, Chemical Engineering
Paige Storrier, High Point University, Business/Entrepreneurship
Elliott Bennett, Boston College, Business
Wish List
Looking for a professional photographer who can donate their skills to photograph our grade school students' beautiful main lesson books. Contact Therese at or 203-364-1113 x102.
Exhibitor Tent
Our main pop-up tent is showing its age and we would love to replace it with one that includes removable sides for outdoor outreach events. If you, or your company, have one you could donate or if you have a potential tent connection, please contact Therese at or 203-364-1113 x102.
Support HVWS While You Shop
Amazon Smile
If you shop through Amazon you may designate Housatonic Valley Waldorf School to receive .5% from your purchase. Please designate HVWS as your chosen charity and make your Amazon purchases at the Amazon Smile website. Amazon Smile

Box Tops
Please clip and save your box tops and send them into the office so 4th Grader Oliver Exley-Seidel can process them for the school.
We send our deepest sympathy to the Mihok family on the passing of Aliz's father, the Setkoski family on the passing of Ron's mother, and the Strilowich family on the passing of Rich's father.
Sincere thanks from the 1st grade to Marcella Kapsaroff for her help tending the 1st grade garden (Pictured: the 1st graders and their spearmint).
The 3rd grade wishes to thank Marlies Redpath, Larry Washington, Laura McKinney and David Blyn for their work with the 3rd graders. We have been busy harvesting beets, potatoes, and carrots at Riverbank Farm, dyeing wool with Mrs. Redpath, and building with Larry Washington. (Pictured: Riverbank Farm carrot harvest; Larry Washington and the 3rd graders with their sukkah; Marlies Redpath and the 3rd graders with their yarn.)
Thank you to all the parents who cook for faculty meeting meals, most recently the 7th and 3rd grades. Your generosity and culinary talents are greatly appreciated! Thanks to Lisa Tassone and La Zingara for hosting the 3rd grade class for a pasta-making lesson--the faculty greatly enjoyed the results! (Pictured: 3rd graders making pasta at La Zingara.)
Thank you to Peggy McFarland not only for her recent Market volunteer work, but for her continued help in the HVWS libraries.

Thank you to Rose Witte and Jamie Baldwin for hosting our guest speaker, Connie Helms, at their home.

Thank you to Marleen DeGrande's sister, Annick, for once again preparing amazing Belgian waffles for the faculty and staff. YUM!! (Pictured: Annick, Nigel, waffles!)
7th Grade Renaissance Artwork
8th Grade Yoga Fundraiser
Articles & Videos
The mission of the Housatonic Valley Waldorf School is to develop each child's unique capacity to engage meaningfully in the world.

Guided by the principles of Waldorf education, the faculty inspires in our students creative thinking, moral sensibility, and a passion for learning.

We offer a classical education that integrates experiential and artistic learning, in an environment emphasizing academic excellence, respect for diversity, and reverence for the natural world.

Our faculty, board of trustees, and parents work together, with dedication and warmth, to support our school community.
Housatonic Valley Waldorf School | 203-364-1113 ||