Community Events to engage the head, heart, & hands

Archive for January, 2012

Come see the 6th Grade Play this Saturday!

Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! (A Medieval Tale)

Saturday, January 14th at 7:00 pm, Auditorium

The 6th grade class will be performing Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! Voices from a Medieval Village written by Laura Amy Schlitz. A librarian at a Baltimore County, Maryland school, Ms Schlitz wrote this engaging book as a piece to be performed by children. It contains nineteen monologues and two dialogues spoken by young members of a medieval village, making it the perfect ensemble work. Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! was well received and won the 2008 Newbery Medal for excellence in children’s literature.

Mark your calendars, support the fine actors of this ensemble, and learn about what life was really like in 1255–fleas, poverty, hard manual labor, and more! See history come alive through this costume drama, with song, dance and the fine art of the monologue.


PTO Sponsored Events for January

Window Into the Waldorf World

Saturday, January 28 from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm

Register Now for these weekend workshops at the Chicago Waldorf School

Want to experience a day in the life of a Waldorf student? Become a student!

Explore what our children experience every day when they enter Chicago Waldorf School. Learn about the Industrial Revolution, Color Exploration, and the approach to creative uses of Technology within Waldorf Education. Experience a lesson in Physics, German, Singing and much more. Get to know Chicago Waldorf teachers by asking questions and engaging in dialogues. Become a student for a day! Mingle with other parents and strengthen your community ties.

Curious about “what’s ahead” for your child?
See for yourself!

Parents are welcome to attend one educational session or stay for the whole day. Online registration will be made available for individual sessions with limited seating. On-site childcare is an option for an affordable fee.

8:30-9:00 Auditorium/ Registration & Social Time
9:00-9:30 Auditorium/ Singing with Jeff Spade
9:30-9:45 Auditorium/ Introductions to the day’s events

Session 1: (10:00-11:30)
Auditorium/ EC Winter Circle
Physics Room across the street/ John Trevillion, Brian Gleichauf, Jim Kotz
2nd grade classroom/ Nancy Szymanski
North Handwork Room/ Nancy Matson
1st grade classroom/ Lara Brackett

Session 2: (11:45-1:15)
Auditorium/ EC Winter Circle
Physics Room across the street/ John Trevillion, Brian Gleichauf, Jim Kotz
Gymnasium/ Claude Driscoll
English Room/ Diane Meinke

Lunch 1:15-2:00

Session 3: (2:00-3:30)
English Room/ Diane Meinke
1st grade classroom/ Lara Brackett
North Handwork Room/ Nancy Matson
6th grade classroom/ Ileana Valencia

3:45-4:30 Lower Eurythmy Room/ Closing Question and Answer Session

Please Reserve your Space Now

For additional information please contact PTO Community Education Lead, Lisa Rekstad.
We also welcome submissions for future parent education event ideas.

Attend the AWSNA Great Lakes Conference

Thursday-Saturday, February 23-25th, 2012

The Minnesota Waldorf School is hosting the 2012 AWSNA Great Lakes Conference. The theme is Building Regenerative Communities and Michael D’Aleo will be returning as the keynote speaker.

The conference is co-sponsored by AWSNA, the Central Regional Council of the Anthroposophical Society and the Mid-States Shared Gifting Group of RSF Social Finance. We’ve arranged some very exciting workshops that will be led by John Bloom (RSF Social Finance), Albert Linderman (Theory U), Kathleen Bowen and Leah Walker (Center for Biography and Social Art), Ken Patel (Ecology Democracy Network) as well as Practicing a Holistic/Artistic Approach to the Works of Rudolf
Steiner by CWS’s very own Frances Vig and Michael Holdrege!

See the link below for the brochure for the conference which is also posted on the Minnesota Waldorf School’s website: This conference is open to all members of our CWS communities: faculty, staff, board members, parents and friends.

This promises to be a very exciting weekend which we’re hoping will bear much fruit for the future! I hope you’ll be able to attend.

Reduced Registration Fee before January 30th

You can find out more information about the conference by clicking here for the event brochure.



Colleen Everhart
Chicago Waldorf School
AWSNA Leadership Council

Parent Education Evening: Meeting the Adolescent through the Middle School Curriculum

For parents who want to learn what makes the middle school years (grades 6, 7 & 8) different from the early grades. Please attend:

Wednesday, February 8th, 7:00-9:00 pm

In the Lower Eurythmy Room

This evening will provide parents with a developmental picture of the adolescent and describe how the academic, artistic and practical arts curriculum prepares and inspires students for more advanced levels of inquiry and analysis.

This event will create a forum for dialogue and provides answers to parent questions about the strengths of our middle school program. Many age relevant issues will be addressed including: How do Waldorf schools understand and approach technology in Middle School? How do the changes in adolescence effect students’ learning, socializing and emotional interactions? How does the curriculum meet these developmental needs? How does the Middle School curriculum prepare students for High School? These are the kinds questions we will explore in dialogue after being presented with examples of school lessons in distinct presentations from John Trevillion, 8th grade teacher, and Brian Gleichauf, high school science teacher.

Rudolf Steiner encourages teachers, in Physics instruction, to show the link between scientific knowledge acquired through experimentation and its technical applications in the modern world. Mr. Trevillion and Mr. Gleichauf will demonstrate and discuss a series of experiments that explore the invention and demonstration of engines and that are a theme introduced in the 8th grade (as external combustion steam engines) and picked up again in curriculum that has continuity in 9th grade Thermal Physics (with internal combustion engines).

Parents will have ample time for Q & A and discussions about the transitions into Middle School—and then into High School—curriculum.

For more information about this parent education evening please contact
Katherine Rogers at or Lisa Payton at

Report From the Admissions Office

Welcome! New Families Join Chicago Waldorf School

We warmly welcome seven new students and their families to the Chicago Waldorf community: Nora Lubin in 11th grade, Robin Huff in 5th grade, Euphemia “Fay-mi” Rough and Adah Dupor in Ms. Culbert’s Blue Bells, Frida Bataller Bailey and Henning Reinprecht in Ms. Votanek’s Rose Garden, and Emory Grider in Ms. Donkel’s Sweet Peas.

Spread the Word! Invite More Families To Our School

Thank you for sharing the wonders of Waldorf education with others. Parents and students are our best ambassadors, and word of mouth is the most effective way to raise awareness about our school. We would greatly appreciate your continued support in expanding and strengthening the 2012-13 applicant pool by sharing your insights and experiences with others.

Please encourage prospective families to ‘experience’ Waldorf by inviting them to a play or community event, and by handing out at least five of our School Tour & Orientation postcards (Upcoming tours are: Jan. 12, Feb. 9, Mar. 15, May 3). We are also offering scholarships to ninth grade applicants. Postcards for the Tours & Orientations and the Class of 2016 Scholarships are available at the Main Office and in the Admissions Office. We are especially seeking applicants for early childhood, first and fifth grades.

With much appreciation,
Lisa Payton & Jennifer Zielinski
Admissions Department

All About Caring and Sharing

The Care to Share Committee would like to thank everyone who supported our international outreach efforts at the Holiday Fair in December. It was a joyous day.

Care to Share is a school wide committee that connects our CWS community with financially struggling Waldorf schools and other support initiatives around the globe. We nurture this connection through correspondence between CWS students and other students throughout the world, and by contributing funds to Waldorf schools and other teacher, and class, chosen initiatives. It is amazing how far a few US dollars can go in other countries. Our funds are raised with the help of CWS parents, teachers, staff and students creating handcrafted goods in workshops and classrooms or donating their handwork for sale in the Care to Share room at the Holiday Fair and May Fair.

The 4th and 5th grades continue to exchange letters, drawings, paintings and photographs with the 4th and 5th grades at the McGregor Waldorf School in South Africa. They are learning about the seasons in the different hemispheres, rondavels and the family life of the students. Last year our donation of $2000 to McGregor provided for the purchase of Stockmar paints, the organization of pottery classes, the class camp and the assessment of four children by an educational psychologist with some funds left over for additional projects. Our funds for McGregor go through Waldorf for Africa. We encourage you to look at these websites. And enjoy these beautiful artworks shared from the McGregor Waldorf School students.

The 3rd grade–inspired by their farming block–will purchase two goats through Heifer International in support of others.

How can you become involved? Later in January we will begin a doll-making workshop on Tuesday mornings and needle felting and other handwork and crafting projects on Thursday mornings. We will be meeting from 8:15 – noon in the nursery classroom in Early Childhood.

If you are looking for gift ideas for children such as handmade dolls or learn to knit kits, our Care To Share inventory is currently available just down the street at XORO, 1228 W. Loyola. All sales go to Care to Share. So please stop in, do some shopping and support our global initiatives as we strive toward our goal of becoming an international Waldorf school.

If you have any questions or would like to join our workshops or make a donation please contact; Laura Donkel,, Margaret McGuire,, or Dru Muskovin, 773-772-4005,

True abundance is not in what we keep. It is in what we are able to give away to empower the values and visions we hope will shape the future. It is about legacy. It is about making a difference. It is about keeping the energy moving. -Rev. Linda Weaver Horton

Thank you for Caring and Sharing!

A Letter of Thanks

As part of last year’s Year of the Teacher fundraising at the CWS Gala, new funds have been established to support CWS Faculty’s educational development.

Waldorf German Teacher, Ashley Gambill, reflects on the value of her recent Professional Development Course

“Leave the party while you’re still having fun,” was one of the most fruitful pieces of advice I took away from my Renewal Course about Teaching World Languages with game, song and story. For professional development I traveled this past summer with other language teachers to the Center for Anthroposophy in Wilton, New Hampshire.

My course was well attended by mostly Waldorf world language teachers encompassing Spanish, French, German, Chinese and Japanese who came from various Waldorf schools throughout the US. Our instructors were two language teachers who, together, had over 40 years of Waldorf education experience. Each day they provided new topics and materials they use in their classrooms, initiated discussion and welcomed our questions. Most importantly, we were all given the opportunity to practice these methods of play, of story-telling and of communication, as both teacher and student, in front of other participants. It was strange how we clung to our notebooks during these moments of free practice so as not to forget any of the new and inventive activities. One game in particular was memorable because of its simplicity (materials included just a chalkboard eraser and group of students) and because it was adaptable to various language levels. We practiced together, each teacher using his or her native language, so it would actually foster a challenge for a German teacher having to listen intently and feel a little pressure (as our students feel) to speak in a foreign language such as Chinese. As the game came to an end, we all were chiming in with ways to continue the game and helpful additions to create further play and learning for our students. Yet, in order to cover all their materials, the instructors had to, with much reluctance, halt our discussion and play by explaining why it is important to “leave the party while you’re still having fun”, as just exampled by our fervent comments, excitement for the game and our yearning for more.

[It challenged me] having to listen intently and feel a little pressure (as our students feel) to speak in a foreign language such as Chinese.

The experience was invaluable to my professional development as a Waldorf language teacher, and the new collegiality and connections will only strengthen my communicative abilities at a school where social interaction is paramount. I even showed-off some of the performance skills of our ever-popular CWS Circus club at the Renewal talent show. At the end of the five days, I felt renewed and rejuvenated, ready for a new school year. This opportunity was all provided for me thanks to the generosity of the parents, CWS staff and attendees at the Gala last March. Thank you all for your continuing support!

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. – Agent of Change

Mention Martin Luther King, Jr.’s name to anyone walking down the street and you’ll often hear a similar theme—he was a powerful force that fought for equality and justice. Ask a 5th grader from my mother’s class (she’s a teacher) in a rough socioeconomic neighborhood just outside of Detroit and you’ll hear themes of inspiration, hope, and role model. An 11-year old boy told my mother that King gives him hope that the world will continue to change for the better; his work inspires him to be respectful and act with dignity toward all human beings. Powerful words from an 11-year old boy who doesn’t know if he’ll be in the same home each week. He clings to the lessons learned from King’s struggle and attempts to remain a positive change agent within his own family and community.

“The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically… Intelligence plus character—that is the goal of true education.”

Festival: Join CWS on Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Friday, January 13th, 2pm in the school auditorium

Born in January 15, 1929, Martin Luther King, Jr. was an American clergymen and leader of the African-American Civil Rights Movement. Using nonviolent methods such as peaceful marches and sit-ins to seek equality and justice for all human beings, he challenged American society, desiring to put an end to racial segregation and discrimination. He also worked to end poverty and war through education. King continues to be a powerful force 44 years after his assassination. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a federal holiday established in 1986, is more than a day off from school or work. It is meant to commemorate the sacrifice that King and his family made to secure freedom, justice and a higher quality of life for all mankind.

To celebrate King’s life and work for human rights, Chicago Waldorf School is celebrating King with a special assembly organized by the Inclusion and Diversity Committee (IDC) on Friday, January 13th in the school auditorium. Special reflections and musical offerings will be performed by students and faculty. This year’s theme comes from a letter written by Dr. King while he was imprisoned in a Birmingham jail. In it he wrote:

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”

The entire school community is invited to attend and share in this school-wide event. This assembly is appropriate for children over 6 years in age.

Submitted by: Lori Browder, Marketing Volunteer Photo from

Waldorf Community Provides Connection & Support

Thank you to our many generous community members who reached out from their heart by taking a star from our Holiday Fair Giving Tree. Each star represented a family member from the Heartland Alliance Marjorie Kovler Center located on Albion Street, just behind our school. The Center is a treatment program devoted to the recovery and healing of individuals, families, and communities affected by torture. Kovler clients come to Chicago from all over the world to rebuild their lives. Chicago Waldorf School has many ties with the Kovler Center from mutual support and participation in the Ruby Garden to high school service projects.

Thank you for your generous spirit of support.
That spirit brings hope and builds community.

The Giving Tree held the names of 64 children and young adults ranging from 2-months to 25-years old who were in need of seasonal presents. Many of these young adults are alone and living in shelters or sleeping with friends of friends in crowded apartments. Chicago Waldorf School families and Holiday Fair visitors each selected a star in the Care to Share Room to help a person find solace and healing in their new country. On December 14, we delivered 64 gifts to the Kovler Center. The Giving Tree gifts not only brightened someone’s day who is far away from their native homeland but also kindled hope for a new life.

Care to Share Room Leads: Laura Donkel, Dru Muskovin, Margaret McGuire, Helena and Cynthia Joho