Celebrating Cultural Traditions
As we approach the Winter Solstice, the darkest time of the year, people of many traditions celebrate with festivals that bring light into the darkness. Be it an oil lamp that stayed lit for eight days, the return of the sun, or the birth of the Christmas child, all came at a time of darkness. Lighting the Advent, Chanukah and Kwanzaa candles, the Yule Log, and the Christmas tree, all remind us of a miracle of light.
Next week we join Waldorf schools and cultures around the world celebrating with two very special events. We will walk the spiral pathway in the Winter Garden on Tuesday and Wednesday, December 4th and 5th and enjoy the light brought by the 5th to 8th grade musical performances at the Festival of Light Concert on Thursday evening, December 6th.
The Winter Garden and the Festival of Light Concert, as well as stories and festivities shared in classrooms, give us a window into the rich traditional heritages of others and, we hope, a mirror in which we can see our own traditions reflected.
At this season of Thanksgiving
I wish to express my heartfelt gratitude to our committed and passionate community of faculty, parents, children, and friends. Between us, we have created and cultivated a thriving school community, dedicated to educating and inspiring each child with purpose and love.
It takes a Waldorf Village:
The Blame, Shame, & Put Down Diet
“If you were to ask a child or teen “where does bullying begin?” many will tell you that it is with verbal and body language language put downs that are not disapproved of, and corrected …. They will probably go on to say that the child doing the put downs see this as permission to keep going or do worse things.” Kim John Payne
“Parents and teachers alike are alarmed by the culture of disrespect and put downs that pervades society as a whole and moves by osmosis into our classrooms.” Kim John Payne
All students and their families are introduced to the Put Down Diet in fourth grade. This year is no exception. However, as Ghandi put it “we must become the change we want to see.”
In recognition of this the Waldorf School faculty spent yesterday evening reviewing and exploring Kim John Payne’s program to shift behaviors around disrespect, shaming, and blaming. Led by Cate Mulvihill (Student Life Director) we committed to a three week program:
- Week 1: becoming aware of the put downs we use – verbal and non-verbal.
- Week 2: bringing consciousness to put downs that form in our thoughts and feelings.
- Week 3: trying to intercede and shift conversations where put downs are used.
I invite parents to take up ‘the Diet’. Attend the next Parents Association Meeting (8:30 AM on December 14) and find out how.
Sex Educator Gulie Fager held three sessions of “Making SMART Choices - Rights, Respect, and Responsibility: A K – 12 Curriculum” with our 7th and 8th-grade students.
Making SMART Choices
These discussion groups focused on gender roles/identity; healthy relationships and personal safety; setting boundaries; online safety and how to find accurate information, integrating technology into friendships, relationships, and social life.
Ms. Fager has more than 15 years’ experience providing sex education and training to students and professionals in a variety of settings, including universities, health care facilities, middle and high schools, and faith communities. She has deep expertise in sex education pedagogy, group facilitation, evidence-based strategies, and behavior change theory.
Ms. Fager received her Master of Public Health in Sexuality and Health from Columbia University in 2007, and a Bachelor of Arts in Latin American Studies and African American Studies from the University of Virginia in 2002.
This year’s Harvest Dance and Auction was a sparkling Waldorf celebration. Many thanks go to the hardworking group of parents and Angel Donor who made it all possible. With their help we raised funds for student scholarships and professional development. We came together to welcome and get to know new families, to celebrate, eat, and dance.
As I reflect back on the Harvest Dance and look forward to the annual Waldorf Fair this weekend, I am thankful for the gifts of love, care, and hard work that brings us these and many other inspiring events throughout the year.
Thank you one and all for being part of our healthy, happy, and thriving school.
Waldorf School of Baltimore
Braving the elements
in Forest Aftercare!
As the weather turns colder, forest aftercare is adjusting To a new season.
Campfires, hot cider, and stargazing are perfect for cool nights. Building a fire also builds an appetite of course, so we have to make time to roast marshmallows over the fire for our s’mores!
Understand Each Other.
Celebrating Día de los Muertos: why, how and when? Our theme for the year - See Ourselves. Understand Each Other - joins us to Waldorf schools across the US, celebrating and learning about cultures and experiences different from our own.
Our goal is for students see their identity reflected throughout the community while they are supported and challenged to look outside themselves to understand, respect, and appreciate others. We provide curricula-based opportunities for students to learn about diverse identities, experiences, and peoples. We support them as they engage in and learn through age appropriate materials and discussions. Día de los Muertos (pronounced DEE-a day loss MWER-toss) provides a living opportunity to bring a cultural experience to the grade school.
What is Día de los Muertos?
It is a traditional Mexican holiday, celebrated in many Spanish-speaking countries and some states of the USA, on November 1st.
A central theme of the animated movie CoCo, the holiday focuses on family and other loved ones who have passed on. It appears in UNESCO’s Lists of Intangible Cultural Heritage.
How do we bring this to the children?
Beginning with its pronunciation, Señora Pasion brings stories and poems to each grade. Grades 1 to 3 hear about the excitement of a young girl helping her family with preparations for the upcoming festivities. Grades 4 and 5 use their Spanish Main Lesson books to write about why and how the day is celebrated. Grade 6 are working with Spanish poems - one about an old man who grumbles and complains about life, the 7th and 8th grades are reading the sad tale of the Weeping Woman, rich with historical and life lessons, and will watch some of CoCo the movie.
Each class will also assemble round a traditional “altar” (table) with Señora Pasion and their Class Teachers as a whole student community. They will be given the opportunity to place a photo or memento of a person or pet who has passed on being given the opportunity to say a few words about them back in their classrooms.
Of course all celebrations involve food! Hot chocolate, apple cider, traditional bread, and fruit will be enjoyed by the children … and we hope the faculty.
We are also inviting members of the community to visit the altar at the end of the day on Thursday, November 1 or the following day. Please collect all photos you have places on the alter by Tuesday, November 6th.
Save the Date
Friday, November 9
Waldorf School of Baltimore Attire!
Spread the Word.
On line sales, starting next Week!
Great Halloween Lantern Parade & Festival
3:30 p.m. Festival | 6:30 p.m. Line-up | 7 p.m. Parade
Our 5th grade will participate with our Egyptian mythological gods. Feel free to bring your own lantern and join the parade!
Blue skies, bright red everywhere, fiery dragon, warriors, farmers, townspeople, king, queen!
A pageant with a happy ending, games for all the children, bulbs planted around the trees, and ferocious tug-of-war. Followed by delicious ice cream for all.
What a wonderful
Festival of Courage!
Take a look at members of our multi-talented WSB community:
- 6th Grade Teacher Jake Ciofalo is the author of a number of books and articles. His most recent book, Civil Rights Heroines: A Family Road Trip through U.S. Racism (2018), is about a family trip to the Deep South to honor heroines of the civil rights movement. bit.ly/JakeCiofalo
- 5th Grade Parent Michael H. Allen's biography, The Strength from Within: Windows to My Soul (2015) tells the inspirational story of an inner-city boy using his education and intellect to pursue the American dream. bit.ly/MichaelHAllen
- 8th Grade Parent Kathy Macmillian is a writer, American Sign Language interpreter, librarian, and signing storyteller. Her debut young adult novel, Sword and Verse (2016) was a finalist for the Compton Crook Award, and its companion novel, Dagger and Coin (2018). kathymacmillan.com
Happy reading! #Waldorfeducation #MyBmore
The Waldorf School of Baltimore is thrilled to welcome back our 4 chickens!
After a summer break with one of our parents, Peanut, Fluffy, Midnight and Star are back home.
The hens give all of our students a fantastic opportunity to learn about life cycles, biology and ecology, and the responsibility of caring for another living thing.
Festival of Courage
Festival life at our school includes a special celebration for each season.
The Festival of Courage is the first festival of our school year and takes place on Friday, September 28th at 1:00pm (PLEASE NOTE THIS TIME CHANGE.) Our
elementary students (grades 1-8) gather on the recess field to present the Michaelmas Pageant. The pageant engages each grade, 2-8, in a way that reflects the deveopmental and curricular themes of the year.
Grade 1 students are involved as awe-inspired spectators.
The pageant is presented in the round with guests seated outside the circle formed by the students. The festival is geared especially for the elementary grades. Children's Garden children stay in their classroom and wait to participate the following week in the Children’s Garden’s Autumn Festival, created especially for them.After the Pageant, Grades 1-8 return to their classrooms to change out of their costumes, and get their team ribbons.
They come back out to the field to participate in games with their team (green, red, blue or yellow), followed by the Tug-of-War
in the center of the field. After dismissal, faculty, parents and students are invited to attend the Parents Association’s Ice Cream Social.
Families, please remind your elementary children to wear DRAGON-CONQUERING RED
and to bring garden or work gloves (if desired, for the tugs-of-war, younger students especially) to school on Friday, September 28. We ask that no cleats are worn during the activities. Pick-up is at the normal dismissal time for Children’s Garden and Elementary School (grades 1-8). We hope to see you celebrate this festival with us!
You can view photographs of our Festival life on our Facebook page
or click here
to learn more about our how Waldorf celebrates Michaelmas-Festival of Courage and each class’s role in the play.The rain date is Friday, October 5th at the same times.
SCHEDULE OF THE DAY
1:00 p.m. Michaelmas Pageant performed by Grades 2 - 8
1:45 p.m. Games Tug-of-War
3:20 p.m. Regular Dismissal and Pick Up
3:30 p.m. Ice Cream Social with the PA
Weather Related Information
As we watch the progress of hurricane Florence and consider implications for our city, I wish to provide you with information about how we communicate emergency closings or delays due to inclement weather or other events.
For emergency school closings/delayed openings we notify WBAL by 6:00 a.m. the morning of the event to make an announcement under the name of “Waldorf School of Baltimore” on the WBAL website. If you register with WBALTV, an automatic message will be sent to you via text message or email – your choice. In addition, the school answering machine (dial ext. #3) provides the latest information about closings or late openings.
Two hour delay, children who are enrolled in full day programs (CG or the ES) should arrive between 10:00am and 10:15am. Classrooms open at 10:00am and lessons begin at 10:15am. Early Birds starts at 9:45am. Children who are enrolled in the half-day program in the CG are welcome, but are not required, to attend.
Weather or other conditions vary across the Greater Baltimore area. It is the responsibility of each family to determine whether travel conditions from home to school are safe. Please inform the school if you decide to keep your child home for weather or other safety related reasons.
We do not dismiss early due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances. However, if you wish to pick your child up early for any reason please phone the office first. When you arrive at school a member of the faculty will collect your child from their class.
Watch us grow!
We are thrilled to welcome 59 new students
to the 2018-19 school year!
Thank you for embracing our new families into our community!
The word is spreading about this inspiring, meaningful Waldorf experience.
Please continue sharing your "stories" with friends, relatives and co-workers AND invite them to our first Windows into Waldorf Tour on September 18 at 8:30am. YOU are our most powerful ambassadors!
This year's Middle School Student Council
From 8th Grade: Harper P. Arthur S., and Ben K.
From 7th Grade: Arielle J., Nadya L., and Nico S.
From 6th Grade: Grete S., Jourdan T., and Sara W.
Noris Friedman, former WSB Eurythmy teacher, hosts a parent education book club discussion in the library that is open to all.
For Book Club this year we are going to go back to the source, Rudolf Steiner himself, with The Education of the Child. This booklet provides a basic understanding of the underlying philosophy of Waldorf education.
Repeats every Tuesday for 10 weeks.
Tuesday, September 25
8:30 a.m. - 9:25 a.m.
Contact is: Noris Friedman email@example.com
As confirmed by the show of new families that
raised their hands at our Back to School picnic,
the Waldorf School of Baltimore is growing!
As an active member of the community,
help us keep the momentum going inTWO easy steps:
Looking for a friendly neighborhood soccer league?
Post a positive review of our school online
Invite other parents and families in your network to a Windows into Waldorf tour.
- These one-hour, parent-led tours happened twice a month and really bring Waldorf education to life! Delve into WSB's unique approach to engaging students through their heads (intellectual involvement in a subject), hands (experiencing a subject by doing), and hearts (living into a subject in an emotional sense to connect it to a broader narrative), fostering the desire for lifelong learning.
- Perfect for external families in the school search process, and internal families that want a brush-up on all things Waldorf.
Please contact Outreach Director Stacie Henderson for more information on referrals, or Admission Director Ilene Wise for next steps with our Windows tours.
Thank you in advance for your ongoing support. It is going to be another amazing school year at WSB.
Stacie Henderson, MS, MBA
Waldorf School of Baltimore
410-367-6808 x 212
Classifieds starting October 5th
The next issue will be on October 5th. Please send your entry by October 1st, with a brief description, price, and contact information. You may also include a photo or logo. Use attached form to submit your entry.A link will be added to the Waldorf Weekly page on the website.
To fill out the form, download the PDF, open the Acrobat Reader program, click on file/open and locate the form saved on your computer hard drive. Fill out the form in Acrobat Reader independently from your browser or your internet connection. Then save as Waldorf Community Classifieds your name, and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Registration is still open for Mt. Washington Soccer Club! Mt Washington offers several recreational divisions: Clinic (U5/U6), U8 Girls, U8 Boys, U10 Girls, and U10 Boys. We are particularly eager to recruit to our U10 Boys recreational teams. Clinic and U8 teams have practices/games on Saturday mornings at Northwest Park on West Rogers Avenue. U10 teams have one weekday practice and games on Saturday mornings at Northwest Park. For further information please contact the league administrator.