News, Notes & Updates 

S e p t e m b e r     2 0 1 3    V o l .  1

Imbue thyself

 40 Dodgingtown Road
Newtown, CT 06470
In This Issue
Our Gratitude
Michaelmas Festival
Class News and Reminders
Parking Changes
The Rainbow Garden School Store
Coffee And Conversation
Alumni Highlight
Regional Alumni Event
Articles of Interest
First Day of School


Important Links
Housatonic Valley Waldorf School 
 Submissions to
 the 1st and the 15th of every month


School year 2013-14 is off to a great start.  Our 19th Rose Ceremony was beautiful; the youngest among us thoroughly enjoyed their drop-in days at the Early Childhood program as well as their first weeks of school; and we had a packed house for our first Parent Enrichment Lecture of the year, "Tango on a Tightrope: Adolescents on the Path to Freedom," by Douglas Gerwin.


Please be sure and share the information you receive in News, Notes and Updates with friends and family so they can also benefit from the wide variety of enrichment opportunities offered at HVWS.  And make sure you "like" the HVWS Facebook page, so more and more people can learn of Waldorf Education and HVWS.






Therese Lederer 

Enrollment Director

Like us on Facebook 



Follow us on Twitter 




Our Gratitude
Thank you to the Whelehan family for donating a lyre to our music program; to all the Sunflower parents for helping making aprons for the children, and special thanks to Alex Exley for sewing not only aprons but placemats for the classroom; to Jo Hurley for once again starting up the Rainbow Garden School Store to benefit our school; to the 7th Grade students and families and the PTA for supporting the Rose Ceremony, and the 2nd Grade parents for hosting the new 1st Grade parents after the ceremony.  Thank you to the following people for help with moving furniture out of and back into the four Upper Grades classrooms: Kira and Marisa Schoenberg; Jeremy, Dillon and Rosemary Larkin; Dennis Hyde; Maya Goode and Marcela Perez; Sanni and Lisa Cohn; and Leslie and Dylan Lew.  These hardworking volunteers made quick order of moving a lot of furniture.  Thank you to Leslie Lew for organizing and cleaning the Admin Cottage kitchen; to Laura Selleck and Bill Hill, and Linda Straub, for their help and hospitality in support of our Administrator Search process; to alumni parent Ed Wittkofski for bringing the staff an in-depth briefing on campus security during the back-to-school meetings; to Melissa Merkling for organizing the former Faculty room in the Admin Cottage.

"Unselfish and noble actions are the most radiant pages in the biography of souls." 

~David Thomas

Newtown Arts Festival
Sept. 21
HVWS will again have a booth at this second annual celebration of the arts.
Volunteers are needed to staff the school table where student work will be displayed and items from the Rainbow Garden School Store will be for sale.
Faculty will offer a beeswax modeling workshop for children.  As soon as we get the details from the festival organizers we will pass them along to you.
In the meantime, come on out and celebrate art and support Newtown!
Please consider volunteering for a 2- (or more) hour shift.  Email Christina Dixcy at
Michaelmas 2013




Mother Earth, wearing her mantle of yellow, red and golden brown, spreads before us the fruits of the harvest.  Then her life forces recede.  She reflects quietude, an inward turning, as the leaves fall and die.  The equinox is for the human being a turning point, a change in the relation of light and darkness in the world around us.  In many cultures, this is marked by the beginning of the New Year.  It is the time of an inner awakening, a time of conscious selfhood, when we celebrate the building and strengthening of our own inner life and the dying away of that which we want to change.


Earth and sky can present a picture for the future of the human spirit.  The fields of corn become the sheaf in the hands of Nature.  The sun enwraps the constellation Virgo, the heavenly mother of the spirit, who is protected by the Archangel Michael, bearing in his hand Libra, with her heavenly scales of Truth.  We are led into the darkness of winter, not a spiritual darkness, but a ripening of inner Light where we can see the influences of the heavenly within the earthly. 


On September 27th, the autumnal festival traditionally known as Michaelmas is celebrated.  Michael is traditionally portrayed as brave, shining, glittering in his armor to subdue the dreadful dragon with his guiding sword of Light.  During this time, children hear about the battle between good and evil through legends like the story of St. George, a brave knight who saves the villagers from the dreadful dragon, or stories of Michael who walks the earth.  Housatonic Valley Waldorf School will celebrate this festival on Friday, September 27th. Watch for details.

Class News and Reminders

Rose Class

Rose Class has been opening up like a golden flower in the sun!  We play games during circle time to pair off in dyads, games to learn each other's names, and we walk through the meadow and visit Whisky Frisky, our favorite squirrel. Squirrel Nutkin gathers his nuts and stores them for the winter in the ground and in the holes in the trees.  Diggity, diggity, dig, puts his nut in the ground, and shuttety, shuttety, shut, covers the nut with dirt. Story time has been the Tale of the Little, Little Old Woman.  She catches kitty drinking all her milk and gets upset. Oh, the nature of the cat!  All is forgiven, though, by supper time when she calls the cat home.



In the Sunflower Class at circle time, we all want to be a knight like Michael too, and shine our crown to a golden hue. We want to ask the gnomes for iron to mine that falls from the stars to theearth so fine, to bring to the blacksmith who with all his might will make us a sword so shining and bright. To be able to do this we have to go through many adventures, but in the end we are able to help Michael conquer the dragon. For our Michaelmas celebration we are makingfelted shooting stars.


Grade 1

First Grade is moving straight ahead with Form Drawing and learning the magic of straight line and curved lines. We have had lunch and project-making with our Seventh Grade Buddies,and we are looking forward to numbers, letters and nature stories.


Grade 2

This month, the Second Grade is reviewing their alphabet and learning about consonant blends. Each day we review a consonant blend and construct colorful flowers with the letters in the center. Then we make words with the blend by planting a garden of other letter flowers around our blended sound. We have also begun our journey with Fables and Saint stories. We continue to explore lesson content through seasonal activities, field trips and cooking.


Grade 3

Third Grade is in a Creation block, painting daily, and as Father God creates we likewise have received creations in the classroom - from bountiful plants to our two newest classmates, Lotta and Daniela, our African tortoises.  We have also been gardening on school grounds, weeding and transplanting. Compostingbegins tomorrow.


Grade 4

The Fourth Grade has begun the year with the dramatic tales of the Norse Myths.  This week we learned about the creation of the world from out of the depths of the Ginungagap, the birth of the life-giving Ash tree Yggdrasil, and the many follies of the Aesir Gods.  As the temperature crept back up to a stifling 90 degrees, we tried to cool off with the tales of ice giants and frost trolls, but Thor's fiery temper and stormy disposition overtook us, and we succumbed to a last farewell to the blazing summer heat.  In the weeks to come, we will feel the world becoming colder and darker as we explore the tenuous fate of Asgard and its inhabitants, and grapple with the eternal battle of good and evil in the land of the Norse.


Grade 5

The Fifth Graders welcomed Lily Mikita to the Class of 2017 as we began our new school year together.  The students have begun their Fifth Grade year with the study of Botany - observing the leaf, stem, flower and seed of the sunflower to start.  They will learn about the various kinds of leaves, stems, roots and flowers, as well as both the higher and lower plants. If you see the Fifth Graders running on campus, don't fret, they are not running away from their teacher!!  They are preparing for the Olympiad which every student so looks forward to in the Fifth Grade.


Grade 6

We are in the middle of a three-week Geometrical Drawing main lesson block.  After five years of freehand form drawing, we are extending our limbs with compasses and straightedges to construct angles, parallel and perpendicular lines; and this week, the division of circles into three, four, six and eight parts.  We will unleash the colored pencils to color in the exciting designs. We have seen how geometers have discovered precise geometrical patterns in the world's flowers: Forget-Me-Nots, Lilies and Roses are a few that have amazed us. 


Grade 7

The Seventh Grade began the year with a block on Late Medieval History. We learned about the life of Eleanor of Aquitaine, the Gothic Cathedral and the Magna Carta, and will be hearing the biography of Joan of Arc. The students were interested to hear that the Magna Carta has had an impact not only on European laws and governments, but also on the governing bodies and processes of the early American colonies.


As the class settles into the role of lead class at HVWS, we want to thank the community for supporting our fundraising efforts by ordering pizza, purchasing items at our weekly bake sales, and utilizing the babysitting services that will be provided in November during Parent-Teacher conferences.  Thank you very much!


Parking Changes

HVWS has a new rental agreement with the Dodgingtown Fire House for parking. If you must park in the Fire House lot, please only park in the spaces in the back facing Jacklin Road. We will not be parking in front of the Fire House, or on the far side of the back lot.


There is never any parking in front of the bay doors or along the back of the building.


Dismissal time can be very busy. Please consider not parking your car and just driving through to pick up your child. If you have school business, please park in the Taunton Hill Road lot and use our crosswalk to access the South (Grades) Campus.


This parking agreement is in place for evening events as well.


When we have special events that require use of all the Fire House's parking spaces, we need to ask them beforehand to make sure they're available, and pay an additional fee.


Thank you for your cooperation!
The Rainbow Garden School Store will reopen Monday, September 23rd.  The store is 100% volunteer-staffed, which means all the proceeds go directly to the school as parents give generously of their time. 
Store hours:
 Right after drop-off,
 8:20-9:00 am,
Monday through Friday
Stop by and enjoy the lovely atmosphere along with lots of new inventory!

Spread the word. Gift registries for birthdays or holidays available at the school store. Pop in, fill one out and tell your friends and family to do their shopping with us... with ease and for a good cause! 

Got Questions about Waldorf High School?
Once again this year Deb Abrahams-Dematte from High Mowing High School will join us for coffee and conversation.
Wednesday, October 2 at 8:30 after drop-off
in the Admin Cottage
Please RSVP by email or phone 203-364-1113.
Alumni Highlight

Schuyler Milone, HVWS Class of 2009, graduated Danbury High School seventh in his class of 625 with a GPA of 4.57.  He was in the "Top Ten Students" for all four years.  He was one of only nine "Distinguished Scholars," meaning he had straight A's for four years.


Schuyler is attending Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, CT, and was accepted into their Honors Program (approximately 40 students) and awarded the Presidential Scholarship. 


His declared major is Exercise Science, with future plans of getting a Masters in Prosthetics and becoming a Prosthetic Practitioner.  


He was also recruited by Sacred Heart University for their Men's Sabre Fencing team, winning an athletic scholarship.


 We love hearing from our HVWS Alums - please email us your news, give us a call 203-364-1113, or stop by and visit!

Annual State of the School Meeting
Thursday, October 3rd, 7pm
in the Atrium
Parents are requested to attend this gathering that will be social in nature, with a little bit of business: the "business" of welcoming our new Administrator, Joanne Andruscavage, and all of our other newly hired staff!
Looking forward to seeing you there.
Regional Alumni Event
HVWS is delighted to be a sponsor.

Join us for an evening of Waldorf Alums from 10 different schools!  If you graduated from The Waldorf School of Philadelphia, The Garden City Waldorf School, Waldorf School of Princeton, Kimberton Waldorf School, Hawthorne Valley School, Rudolf Steiner School of NYC, Green Meadow Waldorf School, Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School, Washington Waldorf School, Housatonic Valley Waldorf School, or any other Waldorf school - please join us on

Saturday, November 9 from 6-8 p.m.

at Pageant Soloveev,

607 Bainbridge Street,

Philadelphia, PA 19147 


The venue is an art gallery in the Bella Vista section of Philadelphia, and will host a national Waldorf art exhibit that will be on display from Nov. 9th through November 10th. This alumni event and art exhibit are all a part of The Waldorf School of Philadelphia's weekend event called the "Pop-Up Shop."  We can't wait to see a vibrant mix of alumni from our many schools to share stories, experiences, and memories.  This is a great opportunity to catch up with old friends and network with new connections.  Food, drink, raffles, and great conversation are provided.  Hope to see you there!

Waldorf Education Makes National News
Enrollment up in no-test, no-tech school
Enrollment Up In No-Test, No-Tech School
Sat21Newtown Arts Festival, town-wide event
Tuesday24New Parent Orientation; 8:30am admin cottage
Wednesday25Early Childhood Michaelmas; parents welcome at 11:45 am
25New Parent Orientation; 6:30pm admin cottage
Thursday26New Parent Orientation; 8:30am admin cottage
Friday27Michaelmas Festival; all HVWS families   
and friends welcome at 11:00 am. 
Early dismissal, no aftercare
Tuesday1School Picture Day (rain date Tuesday, 10/8)
Wednesday2Coffee and Conversation about Waldorf High School; 8:30am Admin Cottage
Deb Abrahams-Dematte from High Mowing High School 
Thursday3State of the School meeting, 6:30 pm
Friday11PTA meeting, 8:30 am, all parents and teachers welcome
Fri-Sun11-13HEART Program
Monday14Columbus Day, no school
The Educational Support Group
will now have a Coordinator


We are pleased to announce that Melissa Merkling, our Grades Assistant, has accepted the newly created position of Educational Support Coordinator at HVWS.  Our Educational Support program provides Music Therapy, Eurythmy Movement Therapy, and Orton-Gillingham Language-Based Instruction to students with educational or developmental challenges.  The new position has been created to help the program run more efficiently and effectively.   We welcome Melissa into her expanded role at the school.


The Teacher Search Committee  

(Connie Greguski, Leslie Lew, Amalia Pretel-Gray) 


"Just want to say that I read all the articles you offered....and fell in love with Waldorf education all over again! "


Ingrid Boedecker

Guidance Counselor, Bethel High School

and parent of a former HVWS student



Articles of Interest


Here are the most recent articles posted on the HVWS Facebook page.  If you haven't already, Like us on Facebook you'll never have to wait to read the articles we post!


 HVWS in the News

Rose Ceremony Welcomes New Housatonic Valley Waldorf Students

Newtown Bee


Connective Parenting Blog


HVWS is proud to be a sponsor of the Newtown Magazine Special Tribute issue, offered as a healing gift to the people of Newtown. 
 The aim for the issue is to:


- Celebrate the people, beauty, culture, and community spirit of Newtown

- Remember those we love and lost

- Give artistic expression to the grief we have shared

- Highlight the role of the arts in healing and the arts' ability to nurture our humanity

- Focus on our love, faith, and hope for the future.


The tribute issue will be revealed at the Newtown Arts Festival.

    The mission of the Housatonic Valley Waldorf School is to develop each child's unique capacity to engage meaningfully in the world.   
    Guided by the principles of Waldorf education, the faculty inspires in our students creative thinking, moral sensibility, and a passion for learning.  We offer a classical education that integrates experiential and artistic learning, in an environment emphasizing academic excellence, respect for diversity, and reverence for the natural world. 
    Our faculty, board of trustees and parents work together, with dedication and warmth, to support our school community.