First & Second Grades Have Half-Days Sept. 5, 6 & 7
|Peek into the Classroom:|
First Lesson Blocks
We talked to the class teachers about what they had planned for their first lessons this year. Here's what they said!
Grade 1: We will begin our wonderful journey with a form drawing block. Form drawing requires concentration, neatness, hand-eye coordination, and spatial orientation, and it is the foundation of both writing and mathematics. The main theme of first grade is to learn the art of sharing and working together as a group. Rhythm and structure are essential in first grade. First graders will learn the basics of being a grade school student. My best wishes for the year to come!
Grade 2: The second grade will spend the first few weeks of school revisiting the form drawings of first grade and venturing into new forms in preparation for learning their lowercase letters. End-of-summer stories and poems will be told and recited, and new songs and dances will be learned.
Grade 3: Third graders embark upon this year's journey by discovering the stories of the Hebrew people. These tales from the Old Testament will be further explored through painting.
Grade 4: The fourth grade will begin their year with a creation story, only this year it will be the creation story from Norse mythology. What a different picture this will be! The students will also begin to take a more conscious role in the writing process as they are asked to write paragraph-long portraits of some of the Norse gods and goddesses.
Grade 5: The year kicks off with a math block, working with parts of a whole: first fractions, then decimals, with the sixth grade year (percentages and drawing connections among all of these mathematical expressions) in mind.
Grade 6: One intention of the geometry block this year will be to discover spatial relationships found in nature each day, and to understand the mathematical principles and patterns that govern them. Previous years' observations awakened the students to the beauty of a sunflower's seed pattern, or the hexagonal perfection of a beehive. This year we will "create" or replicate these forms ourselves using
the compass and straight edge.
Grade 7: We will start the year with chemistry: combustion; the salt-forming process; solutions, solvents, and catalysts.
Grade 8: "Give me a place to stand and a lever long enough, and I will move the world," said Archimedes. Thus, the eighth graders will begin their year investigating the world of physics. Optics, acoustics, magnetism, electricity, hydro- and aerodynamics are among the subjects to be explored.
by Ray and Judy Chin
"At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us." ~Albert Schweitzer
This summer, our family truly has cause to give our deepest gratitude to all those who have kept our flame lit. We feel immense gratitude especially for the WSP community because the students, families, faculty and staff at WSP shared their light and carried us through our crisis. This community served as the core of the support we desperately needed when our eight-year-old daughter, Sophia, suddenly became afflicted with a life-threatening illness. One day, our family attended end-of-year school festivities, and the next day we were thrown into the turmoil of caring for a child who was struggling for her own breath.
Experiencing your child so gravely ill and unexpectedly can be unbearable and incapacitating. Thankfully, the WSP community sustained us during the most intense moments of our circumstance. Members of the school orchestrated their efforts so that our entire family, including our six-year-old-son, Cameron, was supported adequately during Sophia's two months of hospitalization. The community came together immediately with fellow WSP parents arriving in the wee hours of the first night to provide us with nourishment for our bodies, mind and heart. They ensured we had food, blankets, healing resources and the emotional support needed to deal with the intensity and uncertainty of the situation. From that moment onward, we always felt that we were traveling on the most challenging journey of our lives accompanied by true friends and people who cared and loved us genuinely. Many of these friends were new friends, as we had just joined the school this year.
Read the rest of the Chins' letter here.
|This and That|
Project Waldorf Therapy Babies
A former WSP staffer is beginning a new initiative and asks for support. Click here to read more about her project; her handwork is very beautiful and her heart is filled with much compassion. That she cares to bring healing to a child's world through her dolls says it all!
WSP Alumni Available for Babysitting
WSP alumni Chiara Nodari '09 is available to babysit evenings and weekends. Fun, artistic, and imaginative; can drive; speaks Italian and French as well as English. Lives in Pennington. Call 609-851-0941.
Campers in this summer's From Farm to Fun session proudly display the bounty of the WSP garden at their own market.
We have, at Waldorf School of Princeton, a term we use for our regular school-wide staff meetings: plenum. As our plenum co-chairs shared with us this past work week, the word plenum has several meanings; namely, it is a general assembly where all members of a body are present. But another definition jumped out at me even more: it is the quality or state of being full.
In many ways, the two work weeks leading up to this new year felt tangibly full. In between the many necessary meetings, members of the faculty, administration, and staff could be seen scurrying in all directions to attend to countless tasks: steam cleaning bathrooms, setting up classrooms, giving last-minute tours, or preparing first lessons. It was wonderful to see all of the families (several of whom are new to our school) who joined us for Community Work Day, pitching in to ready the play yards or prune a hedge or spread some mulch. After the joyful season of another Waldorf summer camp, the energy on campus was redirected to patching the parking lot, lazuring classroom spaces, cleaning floors, and much, much more.
However full this time might feel, though, there is one crucial piece missing: our children. Wednesday will feel more like a true plenum, when our grade school families will join their teachers in starting this next year together, but until our littlest ones arrive later in the week, we will not truly be full.
Let us begin the 2012-13 school year full of all that matters: full of gratitude, and anticipation. Good intentions and even better plans. When it comes to blessings, let there be no room left for more.
Here's to an excellent year!
Grade School Opening Day Ceremony/
First Day of Classes
Wednesday, September 5, 9:00 a.m.-12:40 p.m.
WSP Garden; reception to follow under the Garden Tent
All children should arrive no later than 8:45 a.m.
The opening day ceremony is a wonderful way for our community to mark the start of the school year together. We welcome parents to attend this special event, during which each of the grade school teachers presents a brief picture of the upcoming year and our new students and first grade class are introduced. A few important reminders:
- There is no grade school after care program on this day.
- Students should wear assembly dress. See the parent handbook for more details.
- We ask that parents of younger siblings who need to stretch their legs visit the Sheep's Pen rather than the early childhood play yards, to manage noise.
- We have chosen an official photographer to document this event so that parents may enjoy being present in the moment. Please refrain from personal photography/videography during the ceremony itself.
- All students except first grade children should begin the day in their classroom. First grade families should go directly to the garden.
Children's Garden Opening Day
Thursday, September 6, 9:00-11:00 a.m.
Morning Garden Parent-Child Classes Begin
Friday, September 7, 9:00-11:30 a.m.
New Parent Welcome Tea
Tuesday, September 11, 8:30-9:30 a.m.
Under the Garden Tent
We extend our warmest welcome to new families attending our school this year. Please join us after dropoff for some mingling and light refreshment. Members of our faculty, board, parent council and administration will be on hand to chat informally about the many facets of our vibrant community. Young siblings are welcome to attend.
Parent Council Meeting
Tuesday, September 11, 7:30-9:30 p.m.
Eurythmy with Susan Eggers 8:15-9:20 p.m.
Grade School Photo Day
Wednesday, September 12
Look for order forms to come home with your child on Friday,
Handwork Circle with Ms. Daley
Tuesdays beginning September 18, 8:30-10:00 a.m.
Meet new friends and connect with others who share a love of handwork. This weekly gathering is open to parents of all skill levels; bring a work in progress, start a new project, or finish that one piece once and for all!
Grade School Michaelmas Celebration
and Waldorf One World Day
Friday, September 28
Michaelmas will be here before we know it. Celebrating Michaelmas is like the wind at your back pushing you forward toward your goals and inspirations of the year. Saint Michael is the archangel who engages with the earth, especially at this time of year and this era in human history. Through his deeds the bad is not eradicated, but rather transformed into what is good. Saint Michael is our example of creativity, perseverance and courage.
Michaelmas is explained through the story of Sir George and the Dragon, a legend depicting the bravery of Sir George, who battles the dragon to save the young princess and is elevated to Saint George. Our day at the grade school involves cooperative work and athletic challenges, and culminates on the lower field.
Read more about our students' celebration of this festival here.
For details of school events, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
FROM THE OFFICE
Revised Forms Available on Website
Visit the site to access the updated pizza form, academic calendar, and enrichment program schedule.
Staff and Faculty News
A warm welcome to new teachers Maria Cardenas and Clare Waite, lead after school program teacher Nora Sheehan, and new assistants Ayako Anan, Adriana Nevers, Karrin Pearson, Ryan Sarno, and Jessica Stack. We also welcome Jamie Quirk, Joy Sayen, and Paola Tayvah in their new roles as communications and outreach director, and staff educational support providers, respectively. EC teacher Amy Shor will also be working in the faculty chair office one day a week.
Remember this is available online. Find all of the facts you need here. An early childhood supplement is located here. Don't forget to refer to the packet that you received in early August for the back-to-school schedule!
Board of Trustees/Faculty Retreat
Saturday, September 22, 9:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.
Summer Camp Recap
This summer we had a wonderful six weeks of camp! Thanks to all the new and returning families who participated! We continue to be staffed primarily by current teachers and WSP alumni. In gratitude to these individuals, on July 25, Camp Director Deirdre Sciarretta and her husband, fellow WSP class teacher Peter Sciarretta, hosted an alumni and camp staff gathering. Attendees roasted s'mores and hot dogs over a rustic campfire, sang songs and played a camp favorite game of SPUD.
Like other years, camp was full of a variety of activities and special animal sightings. Our campers all participated in weekly assemblies, where they performed talented skits, learned songs, and pondered riddles. Each group had unique projects they worked on throughout camp, such as weaving, sewing, and painting. All three sessions of camp culminated in a festival day complete with games, face painting and hand-cranked ice cream!
In addition to our regular camp groups we also had specialty camps including acting, woodworking, sculptural arts, textile arts, nature, and, new this year, From Farm to Fun, led by WSP's gardening teacher, Suzanne Cunningham. The group finished their two weeks off by holding a successful farmer's market.
Thanks to everyone who helped create a memorable summer! We hope to see you next year at camp!
~Karrin Pearson, WSP Alumni '00, Camp Health Director
Student Enrichment Programs
As always, we strive to offer a colorful variety of classes to meet many interests, culling from the rich pool of talent and ability within our community. Included in this season's schedule are acting, hand-printed stationery, and chess to name a few.
Information about fall enrichment programs (running until December) is listed on our website and in the Golden House upstairs hallway.
Cross-Country Season Begins
Come support our Wildcats at home or away meets; find the schedule here. Practices begin Monday, September 10.
Running Late for Pickup? Don't Worry!
Our billing structure for aftercare has changed; see the website for a reminder of the new procedure.
Mindful Shopping with Scrip: A Simple Way
to Raise Funds for WSP!
Last school year our scrip program raised approximately $6,000 with the participation of 40 families in the WSP community. Many thanks to all those families! As the 2012-13 school year begins, our scrip program is once again open for business with the goal of increasing the number of participating families. Scrip is a simple program to access, and it allows you to help generate funds for WSP through your regular shopping - no additional fundraising or contributions required!
Through the Great Lakes Scrip Association (GLSA), we are able to sell gift cards for hundreds of retailers and restaurants, earning a rebate on each gift card sold. Simply put: you pay face value for a gift card to the retailer of your choice and WSP earns a rebate. Gift cards are available for just about any retailer or restaurant you can imagine; see a complete listing at www.glscrip.com. WSP is also fortunate to be able to offer scrip gift cards to terrific local businesses such as Whole Earth Center, Princeton Day Spa, jaZams, and Nomad Pizza.
Consider this in light of your regular household shopping . . .
You purchase WSP earns
$100 Whole Earth 5% rebate = $5
$200 Stop&Shop 5% rebate = $10
$100 Lands' End 16% rebate = $16
Many gift cards are kept in stock for immediate purchase. All others can be ordered and will be delivered to you within about 1 week. Many retailers through GLSA are now also offering the convenience of e-cards (delivered within 1 day) and reloading.
Any questions? Want to place an order? Come by the Community Kitchen on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, 8:30-9:00, to meet with Scrip Coordinator Marian Seliquini. An order form is available on the school website or can be picked up in the Golden House lobby, or simply e-mail Marian at email@example.com. We accept cash or check; credit cards are accepted for orders of $500 and above. Thanks for your support!
Windy Hill School Store
The store will be open after the opening ceremony on Wednesday, September 5. After that, hours are TBD. We are still seeking volunteers to help staff the store; please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org if interested in helping out.
Winter Garden Musicians Needed
Seeking musicians to accompany our annual Winter Garden Ceremony on Saturday and Sunday, December 1 and 2. Offer your music to our Winter Garden, and receive in return the experience of watching a single flame in a darkened room light, one by one, the candles of each child, until the whole room is aglow.
The ceremony takes place against a background of gentle, pentatonic music, produced by plucked strings. If you would enjoy helping to create the subtle, musical pulse that guides the reverent gesture of this ceremony, using your lyre, kinder harp, lap harp, celtic harp, concert harp, guitar, or other plucked string instrument, please contact Jamie Quirk by September 30, in order to plan rehearsals: email@example.com or x112.
(Both adults and children fifth grade and up are welcome to play.)
Fall Fundraiser for WSP: Howell Farm MazeDays
Saturdays, September 22 & 29
17 Valley Rd., Lambertville, NJ 08530
Help support the WSP gardening program! All you have to do is print out this coupon and bring to the maze; half of the admission price will be given to the school. This year's corn maze design and theme focuses on the important role that owls, swallows, bats and other wildlife play in helping farmers maintain sustainable production systems - both historically and today.
Waldorf Wednesday: WSP's Second Annual
Holiday Online Auction
Welcome back! Plans are already under way for our second online holiday auction opening the day before Thanksgiving, November 21. Skip the shopping lines on Black Friday and join us online for Waldorf Wednesday! Parent Amy Krause will continue to lead the effort with help this year from parent Chi Park. Everyone's participation is needed to make this a success, and we are asking each family to solicit or contribute at least two donations to the auction by November 2. It's easiest to ask for donations from businesses you patronize, but you can also offer a service or donate an item that you own.
Click here to download a donation form, or visit the table in the Golden House foyer to pick up a copy. Please contact Amy Krause at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions. Thanks so much, and good luck!
Jamie Quirk is looking for parents who might be interested in helping out with our Hopewell Harvest Fair booth on October 13, or a WSP community craft market in December. Please contact Jamie at x112 or email@example.com for more details.
We did it!! Every WSP family made a gift to last year's Annual Fund Campaign and we exceeded our $115,000 goal! Our new 2012-2013 campaign will get under way very soon. If you have ideas or would like to be involved, please contact Diane Barlow.
A new cycle of the Foundation Studies started this summer. A group of parents, people from the wider community, some couples, and some who were interested in becoming teachers all came together; it was a meaningful eight days. There are some changes in the structure so that people can finish in a shorter span of time. Elan Leibner is back from his work in other parts of the country and lectured on the book Higher Worlds and How to Attain Them by Rudolf Steiner. Participants experienced the material through eurythmy with Tertia Gale and watercolor painting with Pamela Shafer. With summer semesters, one could finish the five semesters in 15 months. The courses will run continuously, so it one misses a semester, it can be picked up later. The last three cycles ran for 2 1/2 years each with a more formal graduation. This fall, Elan will lecture on the book Theosophy, Susan Eggers will offer singing and Tertia will continue with eurythmy. Everyone is welcome. A fuller description of this adult education program may be found online. Contact Pamela Shafer at
firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
Montgomery Friends' Farm Market
Open every every Saturday, 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
Village Shopper, 1340 Route 206 South, Skillman
Click here for a $2 coupon!
Heavy Baby Workshop
Saturday, September 8, 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
Cost: $75 (includes materials, resource list and pattern)
Mimi's Designs, 109 Viola Rd, Phoenixville, PA 19460
We'll be making the millet filled, lavender scented dolls. Participants get to choose hair, skin and clothing color. For people with a child 10+, the child can participate, too. Everyone should bring a bagged lunch; tea and fruit will be available. E-mail Mary Hirsch at email@example.com to reserve your spot.
Waldorf Goes to Boston
Wednesday, September 19, 6:00-9:00 p.m.
355 Congress Street, Boston, MA 02210, 617-357-5825
Were you part of a Waldorf community - teacher, student, parent, graduate,staff, 21 & older? Then this party is for YOU! Buffet dinner and cash bar - good friends - many reunions - make new connections - share stories and Waldorf memories! RSVP to Patrice Maynard at the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America (AWSNA): firstname.lastname@example.org.
OASIS Garden Tours (including WSP!)
Sunday, September 30, 2:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m.
OASIS (Organizing Action on Sustainability In Schools), a non-profit consortium of 17 Princeton area independent and public schools, is hosting a tour of three school gardens. Transportation is provided; meet at Princeton Day School
At each stop, and on the bus in between, garden developers will share with us what has worked for them, what challenges have been, etc. Fresh garden snacks will be provided at each stop. Click here for flyer.