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Education for the 21st Century
Dear Families,

Welcome to our 2022-23 school year! We are so excited to see everyone's happy faces back on campus. Quick reminder, your WSOC 2022-23 Back to School packet was sent via ParentSquare in the beginning of August. If you need a refresher on anything from calendar highlights to parking pick up and drop off procedures, tap the link here.

We've been busy bees here on campus getting ready for your return. Please scroll down to learn more about a new pilot program on campus, our student artwork featured at Costa Mesa City Hall, WSOC grad Elijah Pangrazio's PCT hike, summer fun photos and much more.

Please join us at Company of Angels tomorrow, Tuesday, 8-8:45 a.m. for a special social welcoming back new and returning families (coffee and baked goods will be served!).

Reminder: This message gets "clipped" due to its length. Remember to click "view entire message" at the bottom so you don't miss any important news!

Happy Labor Day!

Alyssa Hamilton
Communications Coordinator
Leadership Message: Welcome Back
Dear families,

We look forward to the coming school year with real excitement. The past few years have presented challenges that sometimes inhibited our ability to focus on what we want to concentrate on exclusively: student learning. The coming year promises to afford an opportunity to return to normal school life and full community involvement, and we have been spending the last weeks preparing for the start of this promising new school year.
The 14-member College of Teachers met for three days of planning in mid-August that included an introduction to the curriculum tool that WSOC will be piloting this year, described later in this newsletter. The Board of Trustees and College met together on August 17 to deepen the planning for the coming year. Long-range strategic planning will be a focus this year with wide community participation. Look for announcements in the coming weeks of how you can be involved.
The week of August 22 was our official Back to School week, with all teachers and staff participating in preparatory meetings and trainings. Classrooms are being readied and lesson plans being finalized.
A particular emphasis this summer on our facilities has been the preparation of the new Nursery building. Permits were obtained in a sometimes-frustrating bureaucratic process, allowing the necessary electrical and plumbing hookups to be completed this week. A gorgeous wood deck and other aesthetic improvements were added and, once licensing has been approved, the new Nursery will be ready for use.
We are happy to welcome 51 new families to the school this year and are so glad that they are joining us for what we expect to be a wonderful 2022-23 school year.  

Kevin McDuff
School Administrator
The Art of Teaching Pilot Program
For the coming school year, WSOC will be joining 13 other North American Waldorf schools in piloting an endeavor to utilize and adapt a curriculum planning tool developed by the Steiner Waldorf Schools Fellowship (SWSF), the UK Waldorf Association. This software tool is based on a layered curriculum model of Waldorf education to assist teachers in planning and reviewing lessons.
The authors of the curriculum process that has been developed over several years. Kath Bransby and Martyn Rawson, define the role of the teacher as: “To weave a beautiful cross-curricular tapestry of rhizomic teaching and learning, using the generative principles of Waldorf education to inform their method; to apply that to a map of developmental tasks and curriculum themes, making decisions about content that will enable each individual child with their distinct needs to transform their unique potential into sophisticated enhanced capacities, through the development of a range of skills on a spectrum from explicitly taught constrained skills to freely caught unconstrained, whilst taking into account all the statutory requirements, the local context, the changing nature of childhood, the expectations of parents and any government Inspection framework.”
The “Art of Teaching” tool supports teachers in doing this significant task. The pilot project, being overseen by AWSNA, will adapt the UK version for implementation by Waldorf schools in the United States and Canada. Last month, our teachers completed training sessions on using the tool and we will be providing input in monthly meetings with AWSNA as the tool is implemented. For this year, the tool is appropriate for grades 1 through 8, with expansion to high school and EC programs to be developed in the future. We are excited to be at the forefront of developing this promising curriculum tool.

We are excited to announce an addition to our Early Years Program!

Parent & Infant classes provide an opportunity for parents to observe their child with facilitation and support from a trained and experienced Early Childhood specialist. In a safe and beautiful environment, infants will have floor time with their parent close by. Parents have experienced these observation-style classes as a breath of fresh air, peaceful moments, and often a parent's favorite part of their week. These classes provide parents with an opportunity to learn about their child in a way that our busy lives often do not provide.
Alumni Spotlight: Elijah Pangrazio
hikes the Pacific Crest Trail
We recently caught up with WSOC high school graduate Elijah Pangrazio (class of 2021) to learn about his gap year and current college plans. He's got quite a story. Enjoy!

What prompted your ambitious hike?
I was waitlisted at Hillsdale College in Michigan my senior year at WSOC. I fell in love with that school. Learning is everyone’s primary focus, and each student had to agree to something called the ‘honor code’, a set of principles stating that one will act in honor, honesty, and with respect. I decided to take a gap year and take another shot at the application.

When I first started looking at the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) it seemed incredibly unlikely that I would do it. It's a five-month hike across California, Oregon, and Washington. It stretches 2,650 miles with 350,000 feet of elevation. The reality of doing something so big seemed near impossible and almost foreign. But after about a month of thinking about it, I gained enough conviction to say “I am going to do this” whatever that looked like. In early January I secured my permit - the only permit you need for the entire trail - making my decision final. On March 14th, I started the PCT. I ended up completing the trail in 145 days, finishing on August 5th. I likely averaged around 22 miles per day. Some days we didn’t hike, and instead spent time in a small town resting and hanging out.

What were you hoping to learn?
I grew up backpacking and camping, and I have always admired the outdoors as an incredibly special environment to spend time in. I think every time I am outdoors - whether for a day or several - there is a reset that happens inside me. How would it change my being, who I am as a person, and what would I learn about myself if I spent an incredibly long time outside? On top of that, I was eager to see more of my country, to walk through some of the most spectacular parks and forests, and witness natural beauty. I was eager for a difficult challenge, something that I knew I would look back on with immense pride for the rest of my life. 

Student Art Displayed
at Costa Mesa City Hall
On Thursday, July 28, WSOC had the honor of being spotlighted in a special reception at Costa Mesa City Hall alongside painter and muralist Gabrielle McLean. WSOC had been invited to display high school art work in the lobby and conference room in the civic building to highlight the talents of Costa Mesa residents. Our art includes felted mural landscapes (pictured) created by high school students and visiting 8th grade students in the Fall of 2019, as well as a variety of works in various media. Our student work will remain on display through 2022. Stop by and take a look!

Who was behind this project? Meet Laurette Garner, Arts Specialist for the City of Costa Mesa
Laurette: My job is to implement a new Arts & Culture Master Plan for the City of Costa Mesa and to work on creating a vibrant arts community for the City of the Arts. Some projects and events I work on currently: ARTventure 2022 that will take place at the Samueli Theater at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts, a new Public Art Plan (currently in the works with Arts OC), Utility Art Box Program, Arts Grants (pending new handbook for fall of 2022) and I will be the staff liaison for the new Arts Commission that is currently accepting applications.
What prompted you to choose WSOC student art for the exhibit?
Charlene Ashendorf suggested WSOC for the Youth Art Gallery and is the Chair for the former Cultural Arts Committee that will soon become an Arts Commission. The school comes highly recommended for the great work they do in the arts!
What other projects are you currently working on? Is there a city initiative in place to encourage more of these kinds of art displays in public spaces?
The Arts & Culture Master Plan does acknowledge a need for a Community Arts Center or space for arts within Costa Mesa that would most likely have walls for art displays. This is something the Arts Commission may address in the future.
What was something that struck you about our Waldorf students' art? Do you see something unique or intriguing in their submissions?
I love the textile arts- the collaborative aspect of how the pieces are created is unique. But overall, you can tell that the students enjoy making art and the creative process.
Art Fundraiser for Ukraine:
Thank you for your tremendous support!
Thank you to our community, friends and family for supporting our high school-led initiative to raise funds for students in Ukraine.

$1600 was raised through the sale of WSOC student art curated and organized by now-senior students Hannah Lieberman and Luke Whitney.
Summertime Fun
Back to School Week with WSOC Admin & Staff

During the week of Aug. 22, WSOC faculty and staff reunited on campus for a series of meetings, meals, CPR refreshers and of course, an art project (chain stitching felted wool balls, and beeswax crafts).
Kindergarten teacher Ms.Terri welcomed a new grandbaby, Mason Shane! Her daughter Catie, a former WSOC student, had a home birth with doula Whitney Lowe and midwife Nina Torres (both WSOC moms!) in attendance.
Communications Coordinator Alyssa Hamilton (back row, mid statue) spent part of August in graduate school, UNR at Lake Tahoe (MFA, creative nonfiction) with an amazing faculty and crew.
Grade 5 teacher Rebecca Schwarz visited California's Gold Country, including the famed Sutter's Mill.
"My sons and I took a trip on an original steam engine locomotive during a Nevada history tour in Virginia City. The conductor hated Californians and he really seemed to enjoy taking us backwards through the tunnel through a thick blanket of smoke."
- Erica Torres, Administrative Assistant
"Here I am preparing to walk my daughter down the aisle. Luckily, neither of us tripped!" -Ed Feck, high school physics teacher
"Portugal and Spain were extraordinary places for my family to enjoy street art this summer."
- Linda T., Marketing Director
Grades resource teacher Tom Corcoran vacationed in Sweden.
High school science teacher Kim Eijpen enjoyed a family getaway in Aruba. "We loved the warm, clear water, and to see the coral and sponges and all of the fish and sea turtles that live in the ecosystem. It was truly amazing!"
Company of Angels' head Angel Nona McConville and her husband took in the natural beauty of the Oregon coast after visiting their daughters in Cayucos and San Luis Obispo, CA (Nona pictured here with their dog Winston).

School Administrator Kevin McDuff traveled to Portland, Oregon with his wife and also caught some beach time in Corona del Mar with his adult son, Ender.
What do you do when you randomly run into your high school Spanish teacher, Sra. Rey, in the middle of nowhere (Lava Beds National Park, actually)… Have a vertical jump contest of course (Pictured with Max S., rising G 9)
Company of Angels
Dear families,

The Company of Angels is now entering its 31st year of operation alongside The Waldorf School of Orange County. We are here to add a bit of beauty, support and help along the way. As I have mentioned in the past: this store is owned by our school and all net profits go to the operating budget of the school. 

I am thrilled to guide this store through another year of holidays, birthday baskets (come in and ask if you don't know what these are), gift giving help, school supply questions, coffee and tea chats and just being with this wonderful community. Wow...I viewed oodles and oodles of new and beautiful items for this season at a recent trip to a gift show in Las Vegas and I cannot wait to share it all with you.

Please introduce yourselves to Pam and I...enjoy a cup of tea or coffee! Happy Fall!

With love,
Nona and the Angels
Scrip News
It's a new Scrip year and we want everyone to get started off successfully. Scrip is an annual fundraising program for the Waldorf School of Orange County in which every family participates.

Here’s how it works:
  • The school buys gift cards at a discount.
  • Families purchase these Gift Cards (Scrip) at face value.
  • The difference between the cost and the face value is the school’s profit
  • Each family has a minimum annual commitment to earn $275 of profit (not sales) per year. If you don’t reach your family minimum by July 31st at the end of the school year, you will be invoiced for the balance.
Here’s how you can participate:
  • Sign up for scrip at raiseright.com. Be sure to sign up for presto pay. This enables you to place your orders online and have instant access to e-cards and reloadable gift cards.
  • All orders for physical cards placed by Monday at noon will be available for pickup in the school store (The Company of Angels) on Wednesday.
  • We stock a limited number of physical cards for popular local merchants (e.g. Mother’s Market; Fermentation Farm) as well as a variety of frequently purchased gift cards in the Company of Angels.
WSOC Calendar
Tue 9/6 • First Day of Classes: Welcome Back!
Tue 9/6, 8:00a - 9:00a • Welcome back Social for new and returning families
Tue 9/6, 6:30p - 7:30p • Grade 5 Parent Evening
Wed 9/7, 6:30p - 7:30p • Grade 2 Parent Evening
Wed 9/7, 6:30p - 7:30p • Grade 3 Parent Evening
Mon 9/12, 6:30p - 8:00p • Grade 8 Parent Evening
Tue 9/13 & Wed 9/14 • SCHOOL PHOTO DAYS (for grades PK - 12)
Tue 9/13, 6:00p - 8:00p • All High School Parent Social and Meeting
Wed 9/14, 6:30p - 7:30p • Grade 1 Parent Evening
Wed 9/14, 6:30p - 7:30p • Grade 6 Parent Evening
Fri 9/16, 5:00p - 9:00p • WSOC Adult Education Program Grades
Fri 9/16, 6:00p - 7:00p • Nursery Parent Evening
Fri 9/16, 7:00p - 9:00p • WSOC Adult Education Program Foundation Studies
Sat 9/17, 8:30a - 5:00p • WSOC Adult Education Program
Sat 9/17, 9:00a - 11:00a • RIE class


WSOC has a new photographic partner - Swing Set Images. A detailed schedule with your class' day and time will be sent soon. In the meantime, mark your calendar (and give your students a heads-up.)

  • No pre-paid envelopes required!
  • Multiple picture selections
  • Outdoor, natural background
  • Editing options - crop, color, B&W, sepia
  • Secure online ordering
  • Affordable packages, a la carte prints, digital files & specialty items available

All students - Nursery through Grade 12
will be photographed
News & Announcements
Congratulations to the Fabia-Bentley Family!
Our WSOC community is excited to welcome Dragon George Fabia-Bentley, born July 28, 2022. 7lbs, 11oz, 20 inches. Congratulations to big sister Peribeau and to parents Natalia and Jay! Welcome to Earth, sweet Dragon!
New HS Student Orientation
On Thursday, Aug. 25, WSOC high school faculty, staff, and current students welcomed new high schoolers and their families with a special on campus orientation. The event included tours, games, conversation and a very refreshing ice cream social to top off a very toasty summer day!
New Family Welcome
WSOC's annual New Family Welcome took place on Thursday, Aug 25 in Meadows Hall. WSOC faculty and staff welcomed 50 new families with beautifully curated homemade treats and lemonade and each introduced themselves and their roles on our campus. Welcome to the WSOC family!
Start time ASAP! Click image for more information!
Join us for Foundation Studies Fall 2022!

Have you ever said, I wish I was the one going through Waldorf Education! Or perhaps you would like to learn more about why Waldorf teachers bring subjects to their students in a particular way. With Foundation Studies, you can! Waldorf School of Orange County’s two-year program enables participants to experience many of the subjects their child learns, including a study of great literary works such as Parzival, form drawing, wet-on-wet watercolor, projective geometry and more. Additionally, courses include Child Development and the Basics of Waldorf Education, a Biography Workshop, and other fundamentals of Waldorf Education. Faculty members from WSOC support the program, as do several guest teachers from the wider Anthroposophical movement.

WSOC’s Adult Education program is directed by Chris Bennett, who joined the faculty of WSOC in September 2009 and is the former director of Kula Makua Adult Waldorf Education in Honolulu, and was an instructor at the London Waldorf Teacher Training Seminar (UK) for many years before that. He served as WSOC class teacher from 2009- 2017, when his class completed 8th grade.

What does the Foundation Studies program have to offer WSOC parents? "A deeper understanding of the education their children are receiving and its basis in Anthroposophy, and the reasons we teach what we do when we do, and also why and how we do it," says Chris. "In addition, participants get to try out a lot of the wonderful arts and crafts their children experience throughout the school. It is of great benefit to the school community as a whole to have a group of parents within it who have this comprehensive understanding of Waldorf Education."

Added a graduate of the two-year program, "Being a student in Foundation Studies was a transcendent experience for me. Not only did I get a deeper understanding of how and why subjects are brought to our children, I got to experience so many lessons firsthand. I got to build with clay, immerse in paint, learn how to draw in new ways, study great artists and architects and writers. We sang together with Mr. Bennett around a piano, we shared so much about our lives. I became very close to my group. Additionally, we got to delve into early childhood development, the roots of Anthroposophy, and experience powerful inner work such as biography studies. It gave me new insights into parenting and helped me support what was happening in the classroom. In addition to enrolling your child, this is the best way to get the most out of Waldorf education!"

This is a two-year, part-time adult education study program. A monthly payment option is available. (September-June). Please click here for brochure and registration instructions.
The Educator as Artist
Art teachers get to have fun. They teach through play, spread joy, and get their students' creative juices flowing. While we may acknowledge, theoretically, that joy, creativity, and learning are related, the daily reality of teaching appears to...
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Waldorf Alum Connections

Support alum businesses and share with your community the alum business directory.

Here is a direct link to join: https://alums.waldorfeducation.org/
For more information on the above activities, or to join the monthly alum networking calls, connect with Nita June at alumrelations@waldorfeducation.org.

  • 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