Education for the 21st Century
Dear Families,

The first tendrils of Spring are making their way to the surface, and our Earth feels like she is waking up. We see it on campus as well; the children's energy is more sun-charged and vibrant. We are all collectively shaking off the dreaminess of Winter and stretching ourselves toward the sun.

We have some wonderful events coming up, including our Waldorf 101 event on campus tomorrow (please RSVP if you haven't already- we have a limited number of seats left!). We have 2022-23 tuition updates from our Board of Trustees and are offering a special Budget & Tuition Coffee Chat on March 3. See below for details. Please bring your questions - we are happy to answer them!

While Valentine's Day is a primarily commercial holiday, it also got me thinking about the power of the heart.
According to researchers, "the heart has a larger electromagnetic field and higher level of intelligence than the brain: A magnetometer can measure the heart’s energy field radiating up to eight to 10 feet around the human body." For the horse lovers and fans of equine therapy out there, here is more amazing information: "While this is certainly significant, it is perhaps more impressive that the electromagnetic field projected by a horse’s heart is five times larger than the human one (imagine a sphere-shaped field that completely surrounds you). The horse’s electromagnetic field is also stronger than ours and can actually directly influence our own heart rhythm! Horses have what is called a 'coherent' heart rate pattern, which is found to be a robust measure of well-being and consistent with emotional states of calm and joy – that is, we exhibit such patterns when we feel positive emotions."

Our heart fields can influence others as well. I would like to think that today can also be a time simply to express gratitude -- not only to your loved ones, but to yourself. Thank your body for carrying you through many busy days, thank your mind for helping you plot the course of your future, thank your heart and spirit for whispering to you what truly matters. Watch the sunset. Be kind to yourself today, and often! It will radiate out into the world in ways you can't even imagine.

Happy Valentine's Day to YOU, and enjoy your upcoming February break!

Alyssa Hamilton
WSOC Communications Coordinator
2022-23 Tuition Updates from
WSOC Board of Trustees
February 14, 2022
Dear WSOC Families,
Each year, a collaborative process takes place to create the following school year's budget forecast. This year, we were fortunate to get a head start on this process starting in the late fall of 2021. The benefit of this head start was to provide adequate time for the school business manager to solicit input on the financial needs and requests of the teachers and staff, and to gather information regarding projected changes in expenses for the upcoming year. Based on this input, the Budget Mandate Group (BMG), represented by members of the Administration, College of Teachers and the Board of Trustees, takes on the task of preparing the 2022-2023 school year budget with projected enrollment data to help guide their decision making. The goal of this whole process is to minimize any additional financial impact to all of our WSOC families while maintaining the health and integrity of the WSOC educational experience.
Over the last two years, the WSOC community has faced many challenges and uncertainties. Through it all, our teachers and administrative staff have worked tirelessly to ensure that our children continue to receive the rich Waldorf educational experience we have all come to cherish. Many of you who have been part of this community longer, appreciate the dedication and effort required to teach and hold all of our children even before the pandemic. For those of you newer to our community, these past two years have further demonstrated how committed our teachers and staff are to keeping our school open and teaching our children day in and day out.
After significant thought and collaboration, it was recommended by the BMG that it was the appropriate time to budget a more meaningful raise for our faculty and staff. Due to a confluence of factors, including the full forgiveness of two rounds of U.S. Payroll Protection Program loans, increasing enrollment trends, and stable financial reserves, WSOC is in a financial position to give more back to our teachers and staff. This raise will help bring the base compensation for our teachers up in par with those found at Newport Mesa Unified School District. This recommendation was enthusiastically approved by the Board of Trustees in helping to fulfill a principle of our work in helping to care for the WSOC faculty and staff.
Every year, strong consideration is given regarding the financial sacrifices many of you make to support this community and your children. Increases in some of our future school’s expenses are due to rising insurance costs and inflationary pressures impacting classroom expenses, as well as investments made to our new nursery program infrastructure. Balancing the needs of the school for its long term health with that of the needs of our families is a guiding principle for the work of the BMG. As such, we continue to provide tuition adjustment programs and sibling discounts to help continue our work to provide community diversity.
This current school year has seen a 14% increase in school enrollment compared to last year and we are excited to continue this momentum of growth as we expand our nursery program for children ages 2-3 and welcome new families into our community in all our other realms of the school, from early childhood up through high school. We feel confident that the enthusiastic Admissions Ambassadors in our community and marketing of our school will continue to provide future growth of our community. WSOC is one of the top independent K-12 schools in Orange County and has attracted families from all over the world as a destination for a fully implemented Waldorf education.
As we look forward to planning the year ahead, we are ever grateful for your trust and commitment in providing a nurturing and robust Waldorf experience for your children. We have continued to adapt to how the school operates, but maintain our focus on providing on campus learning for our students. We are excited about what the future holds for our WSOC community as we reconnect with each other and make new connections with new families.
Please click here to review the 2022-2023 Tuition Rate Sheet. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us. We have intentionally reached out to you early to provide adequate time for you to review these financial changes and prepare for the upcoming re-registration week, March 14 - 18. We thank you all for your continued commitment to our school and community.

James Gaor & Amy Rasmussen
Co-Chairs, Waldorf School O.C. Board of Trustees
Next Coffee Chat: Discuss Budget & Tuition
Outreach and Education - Tomorrow
Only a few spaces left! We have a handmade gift for each attendee.

Teachers from Early Childhood through High School will take guests on an interactive trip through the Waldorf curriculum and will answer any questions which arise. We guarantee you'll learn something new about the students' journey. We'll discuss Rudolf Steiner’s insights in human development and will take a look into the anthroposophical underpinnings of Waldorf education.

Have you ever found yourself on the receiving end of questions from family or friends who wonder why you chose Waldorf education for your child(ren)? Have you ever struggled to explain the "why"? You know why, but describing it is so multi-dimensional that it can be rough to summarize over the dinner table or out on the street in passing. How do you explain the breadth of the experience for your child and your family? How do you express the myriad ways that this philosophy has changed your home life? You're not alone.

The Waldorf 101 event is designed for any adult who is curious to learn why Waldorf works and why it continues to be the fastest-growing independent school movement in the world. Everyone is welcome! Bring your grandparents, neighbors and friends. Let them hear from the educators and ask questions - we welcome them! Time and again, alumni parents tell us that the greatest way to get the very most out of this education is to understand it - deeply. To understand "why." Don't miss this opportunity to expand your deep knowing and support your student's success.
Admissions Event
Before becoming a board member, you started out as a parent at WSOC then became the school administrator. How did you come across Waldorf education? I was invited to the Winter Festival by a friend who had her children at WSOC. The minute my husband George and I walked on campus, there was something about the environment and the experience that just made us certain we wanted our children here. We became Waldorf parents in the fall of 2002 when our daughter Inessa entered Miss Jenell's 3 day Pre-K.

You returned to WSOC as a Board member recently. What prompted your decision?
I decided to join the board specifically to provide support for the administrator. I felt that my 11 years of experience could hopefully help the process and make the transition smoother. I am available to Kevin or Nancy for any questions they have for which my experience could be useful. In addition it is a privilege to be on the board with such dedicated parents making sure WSOC continues to thrive despite the difficult times.

Your daughters were a part of WSOC's newly-completed high school. Describe what it used to look like/function versus now.
The HS campus was completed by the time Inessa started 9th grade in 2012, and Eva followed two years later, so they both had the privilege of being in the new facility and having a real sense of a mature space. Prior to that the high school "campus" consisted of the current Admin trailer and current playgroup trailer. This meant that the high school students were still in the middle school area, and the trailers were not impressive for classrooms, so overall it was a big leap of faith for the students to feel like they had moved on to a higher level.

You were an integral part of the inception and building of the current high school. How did the committee arrive at the idea of shipping containers?
We were blessed with the district offering up the space where the HS currently sits. This was previously a Head Start location, and when Head Start moved the district gave us first dibs. It was such a great moment since it meant we didn't have to pursue looking for another property. Paul Conolly, long time parent and president of the Board at the time, was the one that brought the idea of shipping containers since he worked in the shipping industry. He gave us the contacts and when we did the research, it was clear that we would go in that direction. Containers are sustainable, durable, earthquake safe and easy to move. The overall cost of building with containers verus a traditional build was almost $2 million less. Once we had all that data, it was an easy decision. The City of Costa Mesa awarded WSOC with their Annual Green Award.

Click here to read more!
Company of Angels
Forget a sweet something for your sweetheart? We have lots of last-minute Valentine's Day goodies in the shop!
Scrip of the Month:
Whole Foods Market
Whole Foods Market seeks out the finest natural and organic foods available, maintains the strictest quality standards in the industry, and has an unshakeable commitment to sustainable agriculture.

Click here to check out their Valentine's Day deals and find ways to use your Whole Foods Scrip!

For more information on Scrip, please visit Scrip Coordinator Pam Lusk at Company of Angels or email her at
Celebrating Lunar New Year 2022
Lunar New Year is the most joyous time of year for those who celebrate! It is also the most important holiday in many East and Southeast Asian countries. Lunar New Year traditions and customs, however, vary from country to country. Since our school offers a Mandarin program, the celebration in our school is more focused on the Chinese tradition. 

The date of the Lunar New Year depends on the moon! It’s the first day of the first month on the lunar calendar~~ the first new moon of the lunar year. This year Lunar New Year is on February 1, 2022.

Lunar New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, is celebrated from the first to the fifth day of the first month of the Chinese lunar calendar. Literally, people refer to this festival as "passing the year," which means shooing out the old and welcoming the new. Preparations for the 15-day celebration begin days in advance, starting with a spring cleaning which is thought to sweep away bad luck from the past year. It sets the tone for the new year to start fresh. And it isn’t just the house that gets an updated look. New clothes are also a part of the holiday celebration. Make sure you’ve finished sweeping by midnight though. Cleaning on the first day of the new year is forbidden in case you wash away any of the new good luck.

Click here to read more!
Grade 10 Poetry Evening
Grade 10 shared an evening of poetry and innovation under the guidance of English teacher Kristen Kuczenski. Students explored multiple styles of poetry, including several collaborative poems that the whole class wrote, passing sheets of paper around line by line and later assembled by Ms. Kuczenski. The results were contemplative, beautiful and often humorous.

A glimpse of one of the students' collaborative poems, an "aubude" or morning love song:

What if reality is no different from a dream?
It changes every day no matter what I do,
the shining sun growing in size 
The shine peers through the curtains 
The sun watches over with its all-seeing eye 
Wings cutting through clouds, a sword of gusting wind 
Where is this plane going? 

I emerge from my bed of red
Into a vast sea of the day 
Bringing balance to the force, not leaving it in darkness

"The Poetry Block is an opportunity for 10th grade students to explore and articulate a new flickering flame of light and clarity within the soul, inviting it to play within a crucible of attention and openness," said Ms. Kuczenski. "The culminating assignment, the poetry evening, celebrates this freshly deepened capacity to speak with individual authority and to be heard in a new way: an experience for our entire community to savor." 

Tenth grader Anaya Johnson generously shared her "Ars Poetica" poetry with us, below. Ars Poetica is a poem that explains the “art of poetry,” or a meditation on poetry using the form and techniques of a poem. Click here to read!
High School Fuel Cell Team
Congratulations to our WSOC Fuel Cell car team! Our students, new to the team this year, outperformed schools with years of experience.​​​​​​​​
They finished 8th out of 22 cars, doing 189 laps in two hours. Next up: the state qualifier on Saturday, March 5, with the potential to compete in the California State Championships! Go WSOC Science!
High School Physics
Grade 11 students in Mr. Feck's Physics class learned how to solder electrical components to create a special Valentine's Day message. Press play to watch!
Varsity Soccer
It was another successful CIF season for the Waldorf Wildcats Boys Varsity Soccer Team. Coach Wil Eijpen noted that over the course of the season the boys exhibited exemplary teamwork and collaboration. He was impressed by the improvement in all players' technical soccer skills, their competitiveness and good sportsmanship. The team won four home games this season and played against some strong competition within the league. 

Well done Wildcats, we are proud of your achievements! Coach Wil sends his thanks to parents, family, faculty and of course the Waldorf students for cheering the team on this season.
At our last home game and end of the season, we honored seniors Bruno Linhares, our goalkeeper, and central defender Antonio Dardis, who have played with the High School soccer team for the past three years. 
CIRCA Contemporary Circus Lecture Demonstration
Thanks to a partnership with the Irvine Barclay Theater and David Lieberman Artists Representatives, WSOC was visited by one of the world's leading contemporary performance companies, CIRCA, for a lecture demonstration for Grades 1 - 12. Students got a firsthand demonstration of feats of extreme physicality, strength and flexibility and had the opportunity to ask the performers questions about their creative process.

Since 2004, from their base in Brisbane, Australia, CIRCA has performed in 40 countries to over 1.5 million people. Circa is at the forefront of the new wave of contemporary Australian circus – pioneering how extreme physicality can create powerful and moving performances. It continues to push the boundaries of the art form, blurring the lines between movement, dance, theatre and circus. Under the direction of circus visionary Yaron Lifschitz, Circa features an ensemble of exceptional, multi-skilled circus artists. They are regulars at leading festivals and venues in New York, London, Berlin and Montreal with seasons at Brooklyn Academy of Music, The Barbican Centre, Les Nuits de Fourvière, Chamäleon Theatre as well as major Australian Festivals.

Says Lifschitz about the seeming impossibility of some of these physical feats: "You can do anything if you work at it really hard!"
Ms. Maria's Early Childhood Parent Enrichment class recently enjoyed a wet on wet watercolor painting activity together
Our sweet Squirrel just turned one year old and students celebrated with a birthday serenade!
Mon 2/14 • Newsletter
Tue 2/15, 11:00a - 12:30p • WALDORF 101
Wed 2/16, 6:30p - 7:30p • Grade 9 Parent Meeting
Thu 2/17, 8:45a - 9:45a • Parent Enrichment for Early Years parents
Mon 2/21 - Fri 2/25 • February Break
Thu 2/24, 8:45a - 9:45a • Parent Enrichment for Early Years parents
Mon 2/28 • Newsletter
Mon 2/28, 4:30p - 5:15p • Nursery Parent Conference
Mon 2/28, 6:00p - 9:00p • Board Meeting

Tue 2/15, 6:30p - 9:00p • Adult Education Program (Foundation Studies: 7:30pm - 9pm)

Little Aftercare Feb. 2022; March 2022
Big Aftercare Feb. 2022; March 2022
News & Announcements
Click here for WSOC College of Teachers, Board Members and Administrative Rotation
Waldorf School of Orange County
2350 Canyon Drive
Costa Mesa, CA 92627-3948
(949) 574-7775