Education for the 21st Century
Dear Families,

As the darkest days leading up to winter solstice slowly fade, we welcome a gradual return of longer days. Our grades classes have been balancing academics with nature walks in the warm sunshine and fresh, sweet air, and going on field trips ranging from Death Valley to Centennial Farms. Our high school CIF soccer season is in full swing, with several wins under our belt. Please join us for a home game today at 3:30pm!

Please fill out the Research Institute for Waldorf Education questionnaire linked below if you haven't already, and spread the word for our upcoming Waldorf 101 event- it's perfect for new families and those curious about the inner workings of Waldorf education. Details below.

Happy Monday!


Alyssa Hamilton
WSOC Communications Coordinator
Outreach and Education
RSVP by Feb. 10! Space is limited. 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.

"Other schools still fortunate enough to offer extra-curricular activities tend to present those subjects as upgrades or options--like sprinkles on a cupcake. At WSOC, however, specialty subjects ARE a main cupcake ingredient. They are fundamental to education, not optional. At grade 1, I didn't know that knitting, music, and eurythmy were physical ways for my children to internalize mathematical concepts until I saw the payoff for my 5th grader. Students don't just count or write numbers, they FEEL the counting in their bodies; they walk and dance the numbers for fun! At bedtime, my 1st grader requests a story and then 2 math problems that we talk through together before he'll sleep. My older child finds fractions easier when she relates it to reading music. That wasn't something I expected, but I love every minute of it."
— B. De la Libertad, WSOC Parent & Board Member
Leadership Circle Message
Dear Families,

At my previous school, my newsletter contributions ran under the heading, “A View from My Window.” I didn’t choose that heading and always wondered why we used it when my window was a 2’ X 3’ opening with a large bush blocking any view. It’s so different here at WSOC as my large office windows look out on the central hub of the school: “the blacktop.”
From here, I get a continual view of the life of the school. Children arriving in the morning, headed eagerly to their classes. The mad rush to the blacktop at recess times and the immediate retreat to the classroom when the bell rings. Moose and Squirrel running across the blacktop with a few of the students. Teachers gathering in small groups to plan or review. Activity out on Parsons Field as Mr. Brad’s voice rings out. Here he comes now with students following on stilts and pogo sticks at the end of the day. And soon, the children in after school care will be reciting their verse with Mr. Jay and Mr. Grady before snack.
I often find myself gazing out the window, enthralled with the activity and joy that I see every day. I know that this is representative of what’s going on at the school and, although I can’t see it from here, I know that what is happening in the classrooms is just as exuberant and beautiful as the teachers bring the Waldorf curriculum to the students. Knowing and seeing this is what makes my job so gratifying.
If you’d like to share a taste of what’s going on here in the classrooms, please plan on joining us at 11:00 am on February 15 for “Waldorf 101.” It will be an interactive exploration of the Waldorf curriculum from Early Childhood through High School and a wonderful opportunity to get a better sense of what our days here are about.


Kevin McDuff
School Administrator
New Teacher Welcome
A Warm Welcome to our Newest Faculty Member: Lisa Taylor
Lisa Katherine Taylor is our high school and grades (4,5,6,8) choir teacher. She returned to Southern California in 2020 after nine years in Hawaii, where she taught music at Malamalama Waldorf School and K-6th grade in the public schools. She founded and directed Ānuenue Children’s Chorus, Ānuenue Glee Club, and a children’s musical theatre summer camp in collaboration with local performing arts groups. She worked as a music and vocal director on several musical theatre productions including “Gypsy” and “Beauty and the Beast” at the Historic Palace Theatre in Hilo and “Aladdin Jr” at the University of Hawaii, Hilo. For many years, she performed as a vocalist at Disneyland, Knott's Berry Farm, and Universal Studios and continues to perform in local community theatre. She received a Music Therapy Degree from Chapman University in Orange and has worked with children with special needs for over 20 years. She teaches ukulele, guitar, piano, and voice to students of all ages and abilities.
Research Institute for Waldorf Education Survey
For Grades 1-12
Please complete by Feb. 4
Dear Parents, 

The Research Institute for Waldorf Education (RIWE) is asking you as parents of students currently enrolled in grades 1-12 at Waldorf schools across North America to participate in a survey that will give you the chance to offer broad-ranging perspectives on your experiences of Waldorf education. The survey was intended to be distributed during the 2020-21 school year. Instead, we substituted it with a brief COVID-related questionnaire. The results were summarized in an article written by David Sloan, a member of our survey project team and published in the Spring/Summer 2021 issue of our Research Bulletin. The article is also attached for your convenience.
Detailed goals of this survey are listed below:
  1. To voice your experience of Waldorf education: why you chose it and how it has shaped or is shaping the development of your children.
  2. To articulate the impact of Waldorf education on your home life and your parenting styles.
  3. To assess how you and your children have fared since the start of COVID-19 and the impact of the outbreak on your lives and your relationship to your children’s education.
  4. To share your views on DEIJ, LGBTQ, BIPOC and how you see your Waldorf school addressing these issues.
  5. To ask whether you would recommend Waldorf education to your family and friends. Tell us why or why not. 
The results of the survey project will be organized into a publication that will help your school communities by providing data and recommendations for future planning. In addition to an overall look at the North American Waldorf school results, your school will receive the raw data submitted of your responses. You have the choice of remaining anonymous or offering your name if you want a follow up interview. In any case, your specific answers to the survey will be kept confidential since they will not be attributed to you by name.
We recognize that we have now started our third year of the pandemic and your schools are very busy working to keep the doors open. Yet we are moving forward in the hopes that you will find this project as important as we do in engaging your voice regarding essential aspects of your child’s education. 
for more information on the work of the Research Institute for Waldorf Education.
We ask that you complete the survey by Friday, February 4. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Click here to access the survey:
Warm Regards,
Connie Stokes
Project Manager
Survey of Waldorf Parents
Research Institute for Waldorf Education
For the project team: Douglas Gerwin, David Sloan, Andrew Starzynski

Varsity Soccer Home Game today at 3:30pm
Christiane Bohr
Grade 1 Teacher
This is your third go-around as a main lesson teacher at WSOC. Prior to that, you were the Practical Arts teacher. Tell us about when you started teaching as a main lesson teacher at WSOC, and what brought you back again. I started with my first group as a class teacher in 2003 and have now completed two cycles. It is the joy the students bring and the amazing curriculum that I get to teach that brings me back. 
You initially taught at a public school. What drew you to Waldorf education?While I was getting my MFA at Long Beach State University, I was also working at a public school in Long Beach. When it was time to find a school for our first son, I was teaching in the art department at Cal State Long Beach. I was conflicted about sending him to an educational system that was so different from what I experienced growing up in Germany. It was through some serendipitous events that I learned that there was a fledgling Waldorf School in Fountain Valley! Long story short, I enrolled him and eventually followed in a teaching capacity myself.
You have now worked with three generations of Waldorf children. What is most noticeably different from one to the next, and what is similar? I have actually taught almost four generations of children when I include the eight years I spent as a specialty teacher, and I could answer this question in so many ways! If I start with the similarities, I would note that children are children and they come to class with their eyes and hearts wide open, ready to explore. Each individual brings so many gifts, inspirations, challenges and this incredible light of being young and full of potential.
What is most noticeably different is the existence of technology present in the children’s life. My early students felt accomplished in handing in something written on a typewriter, and the most modern gadget they would have had in the later grades was a flip phone and or electronic planner. My second group was surrounded by an ever-increasing line of gadgets, smart phones and the world of social media. I am still in the early stages with my current group, and under the impressions that even though there are even fancier and faster things available, there also is more information available to possible consequences of early exposure to these marvels. It is my hope that this group will get the chance to use them as a tool, and know how not to be ruled by them.
Each class community is unique and has their unique destiny. As to me, I feel blessed and enriched by every one of the kids I have taught and learned from. 
Some newer families might not realize you have a sibling here on campus, Ms. Ingrid who teaches science in the high school. Tell us about the German mountain village you grew up in, and how it shaped you as a teacher. Yes, Ms. Ingrid is my one-year-younger sister and I admire her so much. I also have a brother who is one year older than me. My parents were educators, and envisioned a childhood for us during which we would grow to be self-reliant, resilient and lifelong learners, while being steeped in a classical education. During my early years, we lived on a large dairy farm in the foothills of the Alps. Living on the land with the four seasons and livestock, our neighbors taught us much about where food comes from, and the cycle of life, and the practical skills needed to be self-sufficient.
When it was time for us to go to school, we moved to a village in the Alps surrounded by high mountains, a glacier lake and gentle meadows. Nature was our teacher as much as the interesting collection of intellectuals my parents frequented in their friend circle. My father was occupied as a math and physics professor and we spent most of his vacation times learning about different cultures and history by traveling throughout Europe. It is to this day when I teach history that I still get transported back to those years, strolling the Greek Acropolis, exploring the catacombs in Italy, or seeing the original art of Renaissance masters in one of the countless museums we visited. 
Read more here!
Company of Angels
Birthday Baskets 101

Your child's birthday is a delight to them, their families and their friends. To make this celebration with gifts a bit easier, we at Company of Angels are here to help!

Please come into the store with your birthday child one week before their birthday and create a birthday basket with toys, craft items, games, books etc. This is a lovely bonding time and a way to plan for the gifts with which your child is the most delighted Whether you are having a class birthday party or a family party, you can let parents or loved ones know that your child's choices are in a basket at the Company of Angels. Win, win!
Lots of Valentine's Day goodies in our shop now! Come see us soon!
Next Coffee Chat: Feb. 7
Health & Safety Updates
Scrip of the Month
Irvine Ranch Market
Local favorite grocer Irvine Ranch Market is on our Scrip list! Fresh meat & seafood with a butcher behind the counter, full service deli, bakery, fresh produce, fresh sushi, salad bar, wine & cheese, grocery department, and full service catering dept.

Irvine Ranch Market is the local grocery store with the homey vibe. A mix of Whole Foods, Mother's, Trader Joe's, Gelson's, and Bristol Farms.

2651 Irvine Ave., Ste J, Costa Mesa CA 92627
200 Marine Avenue, Newport Beach, California 92662
Let's Get Outside!
Grade 7 recently took a trip to Death Valley, following up on 6th grade Geology curriculum and expanding the study of Astronomy. The Death Valley National Park Rangers led three activities for the class, including a lesson and practice in identifying animal tracks! Death Valley offers a lesson in polarities and extremes, while providing the social bonding we value in Waldorf Education. - Ms. Brooke, Grade 7 main lesson teacher
Grade 4 took a field trip to the Environmental Nature Center (ENC) in Newport Beach. They learned about some of the different ecosystems within California, and aspects of how the ancestors of California's First Nations lived within that ecosystem. The ENC set up different stations so they could experience how to weave a vessel and demonstrated weaving a mat with thule, how preparation of acorns and cooking was done, how to play a common dice game using walnut shells, and how to make a fire using a spindle and hearth board. The class was introduced to the many different tools, sourced from nature, that were commonly used by First Nations peoples. - Ms. Schwarz, Grade 4 main lesson teacher
Grade 3 had a wonderful time at Centennial Farm! A highlight was of course holding a baby chick. After learning about the livestock (including a team of oxen) and crops, we headed back to school on foot. After walking the 3 miles from the Fairgrounds to our campus, everyone was tired but proud of having made it! - Ms. Hubert, Grade 3 main lesson teacher
Mon 1/31 • Newsletter
Mon 1/31, 3:30p - 4:30p • Boys Soccer vs. Calvary Chapel HOME GAME - come cheer on our Wildcats!
Tue 2/1, 8:45a - 9:45a • Room Rep Meeting
Wed 2/2, 3:00p - 4:00p • Boys Soccer vs. Pacifica Christian (away)
Thu 2/3, 8:45am -9:45am • Parent Enrichment for Early Years parents
Mon 2/7, 3:00p - 4:00p • Coffee Chat at Company of Angels garden
Wed 2/9, 9:00a - 10:30a • Walk Through the Grades
Thu 2/10, 8:45a - 9:45a • Parent Enrichment for Early Years parents
Adult Education (for information or to enroll, click here)
Fri 2/11, 5:00p - 9:00p • Adult Education Program Grades (Foundation Studies: 7pm-9pm)
Sat 2/12, 8:30a - 4:30p • Adult Education Program (all)

Little Aftercare Feb. 2022; March 2022
Big Aftercare Feb. 2022; March 2022
News & Announcements
Choice Lunch late order updates: ordering now offers MORE entrées, including cold and large, until the late ordering deadline of 9 a.m. the day before service. More entrées choices and full customization of A La Carte sides are what families want with late ordering.
We've already implemented this enhancement and will email your families this afternoon with the news. Although these enhancements offer a first-rate late ordering experience, we still advise ordering by the regular deadline for the full menu. Current ordering deadlines remain as indicated in the table.
Vandana Shiva: Reciprocal Care Will Give Us a Future

In her keynote for YES! Fest, Vandana Shiva mourned the fact that on the day she spoke to us, in early October, in her home country of India, the sun should have been shining, the crops should have been drying, and the soil should have been...

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The Importance of Productive Solitude

The virtues of solitude have been extolled for centuries. As Pascal said, "All man's miseries derive from not being able to sit quietly in a room alone." Yet somewhere in the 20th century, the idea of solitude became confused with loneliness and...

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Waldorf Alum Connections
Did you know that AWSNA offered a continental New Year happy hour for alums across the continent? Seventy-five alums attended and it was a blast! Quarterly social events are now on the schedule.
Need an architect, an artist, an accountant? Support alum businesses and share with your community the alum business directory.
As we journey through a second year of our Continental Alum Connect program and the accompanying online networking platform, we would like to remind you to share an invitation with alums and alum parents. Here is a direct link to join:
For more information on the above activities, or to join the monthly alum networking calls, connect with Nita June at

  • The Continental Waldorf Alum Business Directory
  • currently listing 125 businesses
  • sharing alums' successes and endeavors far and wide
  • Mentorship and Mentee Opportunities
  • with 100s of alum registrants offering themselves up as mentors, the potential support for young alums is truly boundless.
  • Alum Parent Registration
  • the platform welcomes not only alums, but alum parents as well, with the hopes of parents sharing job postings and internship offerings
  • School Community Pages*
  • fully manage events and registration in one place
  • integrated Zoom for events
  • full fundraising capabilities offered directly through the WAC platform
  • * offered for an additional annual fee
  • Internship and Employment Postings
  • Searchable Alum Map by location, industry, class year, school affiliation and more.
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