Community Events to engage the head, heart, & hands

Parent Education

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

The Value of Politeness and Courtesy

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:

PTO Sponsored Events for October

Celebrate the Fall and the coming of All Hallow’s Eve in the October Commons on the Corner events!
Join us in the Parent/Child room on Friday mornings after drop-off for a coffee klatch and discussion sessions with these excellent workshops:

Halloween Costume Making Workshop with Lisa Zweben

Friday, October 7th and 14th at 8:10am

Parent-Child Room: #1301 (SW corner of Loyola & Lakewood)
Lisa Zweben has been making her children’s’ Halloween costumes by hand for years. Please join her as she answers your “how to” questions and goes over costume making ideas. Lisa will bring in several costumes she has made to demonstrate her technique, and will also show us some simple tricks to get the job done easier. Bring your materials for some social time and costume building. Lisa thinks the key to a successful costume is to recreate with what you already have, and remember simplicity works!

The Origins of Halloween

Friday, October 21st at 8:10am

In the Early Childhood Wing
Come explore the essence of this ancient tradition as seen from many cultural expressions, with Hazel Archer Ginsberg, a non-denominational minister ordained at the Spiritual Science Center, a school dedicated to teaching comparative religions, philosophy, and service to humanity.


Tuesdays and Thursdays in October & November

Children’s House and the Care to Share Committee will be crafting together every Tuesday and Thursday from 8:15am-noon in the Early Childhood Common Room. We are hoping to build a vibrant community of crafters where we can share our ideas and our skills. Come and learn how to make fairies, wands, dolls, magic rocks, cute mice, gnomes, finger puppets and much more. If you are not skilled, we will gladly teach you. If you are skilled, please share your working hands along with your crafty ideas.

Crafting starts on Tuesday, Sept. 27th and continues until the Holiday Fair. Small Children are welcome. Come and join us.

Submitted by: Dru Muskovin, Care to Share Committee

Weekly Adult Eurythmy Group

Wednesdays 8:15-9:20am

Want to start your day off feeling refreshed and harmonized? Join us in the upper eurythmy room on Wednesday mornings after drop off. We will explore artistic movement to beautiful poetry and magnificent music through eurythmy and rediscover our connection to beautiful sound and gesture. All levels of experience welcome. Wear clothes you feel comfortable moving in and bring eurythmy shoes if you have them, otherwise, socks are fine too. Suggested donation of $5 per week to help defray the costs of music accompaniment.

Questions? Contact Sue Hiertz.

Canamac Productions Presents “Defamation” at CWS

Monday Oct 24th at 1:30pm

Performed for 9-12th grades
in the CWS auditorium

Defamation, written by Todd Logan, is a take-no-prisoners drama exploring the timely issues of race, class, and religion. In the play, Regina Wade, an African American businesswoman from Chicago’s south side, sues Arthur Golden, a Jewish real estate developer from Winnetka, for defamation. And there’s a twist: the AUDIENCE IS THE JURY. This compelling play offers a fresh approach to generate constructive dialogue about the ways we continue to be divided along the deeply personal, highly charged issues of race, class and religion, as well as how they impact the legal system.

“In a speech in February 2009, Attorney General Eric Holder made the ‘controversial’ comment that in spite of Obama’s election there continues to be a serious racial divide in America. I believe Holder is right,” said Logan. “For several years I’ve been trying to write a play that deals with the question ‘what does it really say about ourselves about where we go to bed at night?’ I finally found a dramatic way into the subject through a story about a professional African American woman, a successful Jewish businessman and a watch.”

This event is open to all members of the CWS community and our neighbors, the students and faculty from the Global Citizenship Experience High School who will be joining us for the play and interactive discussion sessions. This Fall, Defamation is on tour throughout the Chicagoland area. For more information, visit their website

This event is sponsored by the CWS Inclusion & Diversity Committee. In partnership with the Global Citizenship Experience High School. If you would like more information about the Inclusion & Diversity Committee contact Jennifer Zielinski at

Building Intentional Community Targets Bullying

The Building Intentional Community (BIC) Committee invites families to discuss teasing with their children as a proactive way of bullying prevention. Anna Carlson’s recent article in Chicago Parent magazine provides a useful sidebar of tools and tips to dicuss teasing and bullying with your children… (read the entire article at its source). Here are some excerpts:

Judy Freedman, author of Easing the Teasing: Helping your child cope with name calling, ridicule & verbal bullying, says, “Although kids cannot control the actions or words of the teasers, they can learn to control their reactions to the tease.” If kids learn how to handle teasing early on, it will prevent bullying in the future. In the article, Freedman offers 10 Strategies to ‘Tame the Teasing.’

“In many situations, if kids are empowered with these strategies, the teasing stops,” Freedman says. Practicing these strategies at home will help the children feel confident in using them in actual social situations. Also its important to support your child’s self-empowerment, otherwise, “When children are being teased and their parents step in and solve the problem for them, children get the disempowering message that they aren’t strong enough to solve the problem themselves.”

Parents play an important role in teasing prevention. Freedman reminds parents that kids look to them for guidance and imitate their behavior. It’s important to make sure teasing is not allowed in the home and to discuss teasing with your kids.

“Just like you might talk about drug prevention and safety tips, parents need to talk about bullying prevention,” Freedman says. “It may not happen to [your child], but explain, ‘This is what teasing is, what bullying is.'”

Submitted by: Hazel Archer Ginsberg, BIC parent member

PTO Sponsored Events for September

Commons on the Corner

Fridays at 8:10am in the Parent-Child Room

The Parent-Child Room is located at street-level #1301 on the SW corner of Loyola & Lakewood.

We’re starting the school year off with three Commons on the Corner events!
Join us in the Parent/Child room on Friday mornings after drop-off for a coffee klatch and discussion sessions with these excellent speakers:

SEPTEMBER 16th: Lattes with Luke
CWS Administrative Director

Our own Administrative Director, Luke Goodwin, will ring in September with an introduction to the new school year. Luke often hosts Commons on the Corner sessions to answer any questions you might have or discuss the latest topics and projects relevant to the school’s operations and initiatives. Find out about upcoming events, or ask questions about specific issues. Luke offers an open door and attentive ear to all members of our community for focused discussion.

SEPTEMBER 23rd: Making Healthy Lunches with Kim Lutz

Kim Lutz is the author of Welcoming Kitchen. With food allergies, sensitivities, and restrictions becoming increasingly common, creating a welcoming kitchen—a place where friends and family can all come together and share a meal—has become a challenge. Kim will share her expertise in serving delicious, nutritious meals that everyone can enjoy.

SEPTEMBER 30th: Vermicomposting with Stephanie Davies

Create your own home composting program with guidance and tips from an experienced expert. Community educator, entrepreneur, author, and health care professional, Davies revels in the wisdom of the red wiggler composting worm. As the founder of Urban Worm Girl, she educates the urban community about the ease and benefits of recycling kitchen waste by composting with worms. You’ve always wanted to start vermicomposting, so come and learn how easy, clean, and virtually odorless it is. Come and do the worm!

For more information about these PTO events, and to RSVP, please contact PTO communication lead, Kelly Aaron at

Simplicity Parenting Workshop with Susan Bruck

Simplicity Parenting Workshop

runs weekly, October 1st – January 7th

Today’s busier, faster society is waging an undeclared war on childhood. With too much stuff, too many choices, and too little time, children can become anxious, have trouble with friends and school, or even be diagnosed with behavioral problems. Now internationally renowned family consultant Kim John Payne helps parents reclaim for their children the space and freedom that all kids need for their attention to deepen and their individuality to flourish. Simplicity Parenting offers inspiration, ideas, and a blueprint for change.

CWS Early Childhood teacher, Susan Bruck, will be leading a workshop designed to help parents understand and achieve the goals outlined by Kim John Payne’s approach. All of the sessions will be held in the Parent-Child Room.

Attend our Free Introductory Session: Saturday Oct. 1st

*Session 1 is a Free introductory workshop but registration is required.

Session 1:*
Session 2:
Session 3:
Session 4:
Session 5:
Session 6:
Session 7:
Session 8:

October 1
October 15
October 29
November 5
December 3
December 17
January 7


The cost for the entire workshop series is $100 (price includes the Parent Workshop Handbook). Please register with the Main Office. Questions? Contact Susan Bruck at

Puppetry & Storytelling for Young Children

Puppetry Workshop for CWS Parents and Friends

Friday, October 7, 8:15am – 12:00noon

Join us for an exploration into the delightful and meaningful world of storytelling and puppetry for young children. We will create a needle-felted pumpkin house and a hedgehog, and with them develop a magical seasonal puppet story that will warm hearts and help children feel that all is right with the world. You will leave this workshop with many ideas, and a puppet story ready to share with your children! This workshop welcomes beginners and seasoned storytellers alike.

All children love stories and a puppet show!

Suzanne Down is Director of Juniper Tree School of Story and Puppetry Arts based in Boulder, Colorado. She travels internationally bringing delightful workshops like this one to schools and other organizations! Learn more about her work at

The Puppetry & Storytelling Workshop cost is $35 plus $10 for materials – Pre-registration is required. To pre-pay and register please contact the Main Office.

For Questions, contact Susan Bruck, or 773-465-2662, ext. 8301

Researchers Offer More Support: “Respect for Recess”

In a recent New York Times Op-Ed, authors Sandra Aamodt and Sam Wang discuss the connection between the modern rise in near-sightedness and our increasingly indoor lifestyle:

Researchers suspect that bright outdoor light helps children’s developing eyes maintain the correct distance between the lens and the retina — which keeps vision in focus. Dim indoor lighting doesn’t seem to provide the same kind of feedback. As a result, when children spend too many hours inside, their eyes fail to grow correctly and the distance between the lens and retina becomes too long, causing far-away objects to look blurry… (read the entire article at its source)

Further evidence that kids benefit from outside play!

Sandra Aamodt, is a former editor in chief of Nature Neuroscience, and Sam Wang, an associate professor of molecular biology and neuroscience at Princeton University. They are co-authors of the forthcoming Welcome to Your Child’s Brain: How the Mind Grows from Conception to College.