You have found the old version of the online newsletter for the Chicago Waldorf School that detailed our community events for one year from January 2011 until January 2012.
This website is not active anymore and is being kept open for archiving purposes only.
If you would like to see the latest events and announcements that detail the life and community at our school please
Thanks so much for your interest in our school!
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.
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
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
For additional information please contact PTO Community Education Lead, Lisa Rekstad.
We also welcome submissions for future parent education event ideas.
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: www.mnwaldorf.org 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.
You can find out more information about the conference by clicking here for the event brochure.
Chicago Waldorf School
AWSNA Leadership Council
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.
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
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, email@example.com, Margaret McGuire, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Dru Muskovin, 773-772-4005, email@example.com
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!
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!
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 rolexblog.blogspot.com
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
Join us for a wonderful holiday celebration that is sure to be a favorite with your family.
Chicago Waldorf School’s 2011 Holiday Fair features unique vendors, fabulous food, candle dipping, crafts & activities, handmade holiday greenery for sale, a raffle (with a ticket included with each paid admission), puppet plays, a chess & game room, an alumni room for our CWS graduates. Look for old favorites including the Care to Share room, Waldorf Recycled (for gently used natural toys and items) and the always-popular Children’s House special treasures just for the little ones.
Holiday Fair Entertainment
11:00am Capoeira Performance with Rhea Yap
CWS students Eli Miller, Noah Teague and Morgan Reesh will be among the performers in this energetic mix of dance, performance and martial arts that is guaranteed to get you excited if not downright dizzy. Audience members will be invited onstage to try capoeira afterwards.
12:00pm African Drumming Class w/ Instructor Ernest Kinnison
High school students Gabrielle, Jenna, Quin, Claudia, Nora, Natalie, Jimmy, Mataline and Caroline
will be performing traditional African drumming. Wait til you feel the rhythms through your body. The huge sound of the drums will infiltrate your limbs, heart, and mind until you can’t sit still!
1:00pm Bass Clef Bandits w/Brendan Finucane
Six CWS strings students Olivia, Liam, Marci, Leo, Zane and Jessica are the Bass Clef Bandits with their CWS music instructor, Brendan Finucane. See what the mighty musical lessons have wrought from these enterprising and talented young musicians.
2:00pm The CWS All Dads Band
A “rock star” group of Waldorf Dads (Adam King, Heath Jansen, Joe Dennis, Matthew Zumann, Mike Rowe, Mark Miller & Tom McCarthy) take the stage to share pop & rock tunes, seasonal favorites and who knows what they surprise us with next? Spontaneous dancing has been known to break out amongst the crowd.
3:00pm Miss Aimee Leigh
CWS auntie, Aimee Cousineau will grace our stage and share her repertoire of quirky, caring and fun original kids favorites songs including Be True to You Teeth, My Brother the Pirate and Hey, Lunch Lady! and more. Especially great for the Early Childhood crowd; dancing will likely be involved.
4:00pm Holiday Fair Raffle
Come find out if you are the one who wins a week-long stay at a beautiful 40 acre brick farmhouse, tickets to a Cubs Game, YOGA lessons, Tea for Two at the Drake Hotel and more!
Waldorf Schools are getting a lot of national media attention these days as the leaders in a growing trend in education for a sensible approach to limiting technology exposure to younger children. A recent Sunday New York Times front-page article profiling a Waldorf school in the heart of Silicon Valley promoting this perspective has sparked a nation-wide debate over the role of technology and its value in educational institutions. (Note: links require you register–for free–with the New York Times for e-reading their articles.)
Since their founding over 90 years ago, Waldorf Schools have always subscribed to a “limited and developmentally-ready” approach to using technological tools–and now digital media–in the school environment. This means in more recent years a “restricted media” policy for the pre-K, kindergarten and early grades and an absence of computers, laptops, smart media devices, pop-culture media imagery, videos and other digital media in classrooms (until computers are introduced in age-appropriate High School classes).
Studies of technology in the classroom have not produced compelling evidence of it being an enhancement to learning, and many schools relying on media and technology aids have show a stagnation of test scores and other performance metrics. The Waldorf approach to restricting media and technology is based on many research supported studies that show that physical movement, social interactions and activities of independent self-authorship with manual, artisanal, and traditional forms of communication, creative expression and interaction provide the most invigorating and engaging learning environments and have distinct benefits on child development and learning.
Finally, Greg Simon, a Waldorf parent, succinctly expressed this view in a letter to the New York Times saying:
As one of my favorite Waldorf teachers has written, “Waldorf is a choice that earnest parents have made, parents who have confidence in technology, who see it as part of their children’s future, but who feel that the natural creative and imaginative capacities of children can best be developed through an immediate connection with nature, art, storytelling, movement, music and drama.” Case in point: My own Waldorf-educated son is graduating with a degree in systems engineering from the University of Pennsylvania this year…There will be plenty of technology later in children’s lives. Why not let them begin life experiencing the magic of the world and their own imagination rather than holding a mouse and watching electronic magic unfold before them?
The networks are clamoring to cover the Waldorf School in this ongoing news story.
(Monday Dec 5th)…and now this just added: CBS News has also profiled Waldorf Schools and their “news-making” approach to technology. See the CBS2 News broadcast at this link or click on the video image below.
In it Waldorf English teacher, Deborah Newlen–reflecting on the Waldorf human interaction-centered perspective–says, “A computer is a good tool, its a fun toy, it can even be a tutor, but its NOT a teacher.” Interestingly, the news anchors at the start of the piece are calling this a movement that has “gone retro,” not realizing that this has been a consistent core value of the Waldorf education for nearly the last 100 years. This model has withstood the test of time because it works.
And here is another NBC News profile that has interviews with Waldorf students and teachers talking about their views on the value of technology and its place outside of the classroom.
It matters not if the debate of the value of computers and hi-tech in education is unresolved as long as the desired learning outcomes are clear, and as these students demonstrate, they are confident in their education. The interview ends with a student making a compelling point that “Waldorf is the future for education. Because Waldorf really focuses on skills that we’re going to need for the 21st century, skills like analytical thinking, creative thinking, and having imagination…” – Jack Pelose, Waldorf student
In this active time of the year, there are many opportunities to join with the children, faculty and staff in community and ritual events and celebrations. Please note that you can check the school’s web-based calendar for the most up-to-date information about these festivals.
We invite you to join in this season by celebrating with us to appreciate the values that we hold dear as a community. Here is a brief overview of upcoming events:
Festival of Lights Season
These festivals, presented in series, remind us of the light shining within each individual in the midst of the encroaching darkness of the season. School begins each Monday morning with a silent assembly that honors the power of light and community. These assemblies are not appropriate for children younger than 1st grade. All those attending are asked to enter in silence.
1st Festival of Light
Monday, Nov. 28, 8:15am, Auditorium
A peaceful, candle-lit celebration, for ages 3 & up. Parents are welcome to attend.
Tuesday, Nov. 29, Auditorium Stage
EC, 1st, 2nd, 8th & 12th grades – classes take turns throughout the day journeying through the spiral. Evening spiral will be open to the community, for ages 3 and up.
A Waldorf tradition made up of a simple pathway of pine boughs leading to a candle in the center. This is a way of experiencing the time of year through movement and reflection. As students take individual turns walking a path into and out of the center of the spiral a candle apple is placed on a star to illuminate the new pathway. Teachers tell stories, and quiet music is played.
Chicago Waldorf School Holiday Fair
Saturday, Dec. 3, 10:00am-5:00pm, throughout the school
This school fair is open to the entire community, friends and neighbors, for all ages.
Join in a day-long festival including:
Live Music & Entertainment • Candle Dipping • Unique Artisan Vendors • Jump Rope Making • Crafts for All Ages • Games & Raffle Prizes • Handmade Holiday Greenery • Photo Portraits • Mouthwatering Food & Fresh Baked Goods • Children’s House & Puppet Show (for wee ones)
2nd Festival of Light
Monday, Dec. 5, 8:15am, Auditorium
11th grade eurythmy, for ages 3 & up. Parents are welcome to attend.
A Visit from Saint Nicholas & Rupert
Tuesday, Dec. 6 – to the 1st & 2nd grade classrooms
In Early Childhood, Saint Nicholas & Rupert leave treats in the children’s shoes but do not go into the classrooms to visit. But the 1st and 2nd graders not only get treats but also get a visit from these moral arbiters. This intentional focus is because children of this age do not have a well developed ability to self-reflect. It is the outside conscience that helps makes clear what is right and wrong. In this ritual, Saint Nicholas reads from his “Golden Book” and proffers sage admonitions to the children on how to act kindly and positively. As a model of the id and superego, in this tradition Saint Nicholas is the embodiment of the higher well developed self, whereas Rupert is a non-human, undeveloped, lower self who is very mischievous, offensive, and self-absorbed when left on his own.
Santa Lucia– 3rd Festival of Light
Tuesday, Dec. 13, 8:15am, Auditorium
2nd grade will be offering their Santa Lucia processional at the Festival of Light, for ages 3 & older. Parents are welcome to attend.
Based on the Swedish tradition honoring Saint Lucy (Santa Lucia) this candle-lit processional celebrates the gift of light in the time of darkness. Lucia’s name is derived from lux, lucis “light,” as she is the patron saint of those who are blind. The Second Graders will bring a beautiful gift of song and candlelight to the community. We have sometimes shared our Lucia celebration with community organizations like the Swedish American Museum. This integrates with the 2nd grade curriculum which usually includes stories of the saints.
Winter Music Festival
Wednesday, Dec. 14, 7:00pm, in the CWS Auditorium
Musical offerings from students and faculty to the community, for 1st grade and older. Parents are welcome to attend.
As a gift from our students, to our community, this song-filled event is a fun and beautiful evening of music and choral entertainment. The music program builds toward this opportunity for the students to sing en masse in varied groups, rounds and other choral arrangements. Traditional and holiday-themed songs are presented to paint the spirit of the season.
Wednesday, Dec. 21, studied/celebrated in the CWS classrooms.
Chanukah is also a festival of light and many classes observe the event, its ritual and its history with story, song, and the lighting of the menorah. The Jewish festivals are especially celebrated in the grade school along with studies of the Hebrew Bible in the 3rd grade class curriculum.
4th Festival of Light
Tuesday, Jan. 3, 8:15am, Auditorium
As a culmination of the season allowing community reflection upon returning from Winter break, the 11th grade presents a eurythmy performance for ages 3 & older. Parents are welcome to attend.
Essential life-skills go beyond formal protocol…for good reason!
Is being courteous too old-fashioned and outdated? Why must it still be taught to children? Look at the larger picture of child development…Children engage in desctructive behaviors for a multitude of reasons. They may lack empathy or impulse control. A child may have a hard time imagining how another person feels. High levels of anxiety may cause a child to engage in control seeking behaviors or they may imitate a re-enforcing culture of put-downs, gossip and cynicism.
Politeness and courtesy create a predictable form where we consider others before ourselves. It models empathy and reduces anxiety in social situations. It stands against a culture steeped in cynism, using put-downs and bartering in gossip. Socially mature behavior forces us to place emphasis on another person’s needs above our own. When a community practices courtesy and politeness, children take notice, and the incidence of teasing and bullying diminishes radically.
The above is a Building Intentional Community (BIC) editorial. BIC is a committee of parents, faculty & staff offering support and resources to the CWS parent community.
Submitted by: Hazel Archer Ginsberg, BIC parent member – – – – – Photo: qasimsahi.blogspot.com