News, Notes & Updates 

O c t o b e r     2 0 1 3    V o l .  2

Imbue thyself

Housatonic Valley
Waldorf School
40 Dodgingtown Road
Newtown, CT 06470

In This Issue
Fall Fair and Craft Market
Study Group
Eurythmy Spring Valley Ensemble
Regional Alumni Event
Fall Admissions Events
Fall Clean Up Day
Fall Fair Volunteers
Parent Enrichment Committee
Pocket Man
Parent-Child Classes
Steiner Books Orders
Classroom Updates
Dia de los Muertos
Important Links

Rose and Sunflower classes go apple picking...

















As I begin my first News, Notes & Updates welcome letter, I would like to assure all of you that while I am taking over production of this newsletter, Therese Lederer is still our Enrollment Director and I am sure she will continue to contribute to News, Notes & Updates from time to time! She may still be reached in our Administrative Cottage and at

Autumn is my favorite time of year -- the time I most love living in the Northeast, and one of the times I am most thankful my children are able to attend Housatonic Valley Waldorf School.  The teachers and curriculum pay such reverence to the rhythm of the seasons and the children feel it deeply. 


In recent years, Mother Nature has thrown us some autumnal meteorologic curve balls, but this year has remained...calm.  The leaves are already glorious and falling, yet on many an afternoon this October we have found ourselves surrounded by remnants of summer warmth.  We hope the mild days will continue through our Fall Fair and Craft Market the first weekend of November -- and that this year's event will be hurricane- and snowstorm-free!


Our volunteer parents have been hard at work preparing for the Fall Fair.  I'd like to extend a special thank you to Fourth Grade parent
Yolie Moreno who has put great energy and thought into gathering an amazing group of craftspeople from the greater Newtown area to offer their wares at our Craft Market.  The Market will open Friday night, November 1st, with a reception -- adults-only -- from 6-9 pm including wine from Fountainhead Wines, food by La Zingara Ristorante, and music by Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter, Milton. Secure your babysitter if you now!

On Saturday, November 2nd, each of our classes is organizing an activity for our Fall Fair (parents, if you have not already spoken to your class parent about volunteering -- please do -- we need you!). We'll offer crafts, activities, and food for the whole family from 10 am to 3 pm (and the Craft Market too, of course). This year our Fall Fair coincides with the Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), a festival the Second Grade will be celebrating with a display in their classroom which will be open to all during the Fair. Personally, I can't wait to see it! You can read more about this celebration, as well as updates from all of our classes below. 


If you have not already, please take a look at our new website: There you will find Fall Fair and Craft Market updates on our Events page, as well as regular Blog updates, links to news stories, our online calendar, and much more.  Enjoy the glorious weather! 


Warm regards,

Christina Dixcy
Communications and Outreach Director

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Submissions to News, Notes & Updates are due the 1st and the 15th of every month. 
Upcoming Events

Study Group: Study of Man

Mondays, October 21st & November 4th
7 pm at the Community House

Meeting Mondays, every other week beginning in October, several teachers are studying Rudolf Steiner's Study of Man. These lectures were given to teachers of the first Waldorf School in Stuttgart, Germany in 1919.  Regarding the human being as 'a threefold being of body, soul and spirit', the lectures begin with a survey of the human being 'from the soul which stands between body and spirit.' If you are interested in Waldorf teaching anytime in the future, or are currently a Waldorf teacher, you will find these lectures enlightening. If you simply want to deepen your understanding of Waldorf education, you may find that this helps to shed light on this holistic education.
Please contact Amalia Pretel-Gray with any questions.

Eurythmy Spring Valley Ensemble to Perform for HVWS Students
Thursday, October 24th
In-school Field Trip--parents interested in attending should contact Laetitia Berrier Saarbach at Space is limited!!

When Rudolf Steiner created eurythmy, he envisioned it for three specific venues: the pedagogical, the therapeutic, and the stage performance.The Eurythmy Spring Valley Ensemble is one of the only touring professional eurythmy stage groups in the United States. These ten dedicated eurythmists work daily to bring the highest quality stage eurythmy to the community of Spring Valley, NY and we are lucky to be able to welcome them to the Housatonic Valley Waldorf School!
On Thursday, October 24th, they will bring two programs to HVWS students:

For our Fourth through Seventh Grade students: the legend Gawain and the Loathly Lady. It is Christmastide at Camelot, and all the knights and ladies surrounding Arthur and Guinevere are celebrating. But suddenly in rides a noble lady and tells her woes of the giant of the northern waste who challenges Arthur to fight: and so Lady Adventure visits and Arthur must ride forth. Soon his life and honor are forfeit to a most loathly lady, and none of his gallant knights seem able to help him ... except for one. Thus this new tale draws us into the rich pageantry of one of the classic Arthurian legends. This tale is preceded by Rhapsody in E Flat by Johannes Brahms, one of his ballades which is played less often. It opens at a strong, quick rhythmic pace and, via many contrasting sections and a beautifully lyric center, leads to a rousing finish - in minor, of course.

The children in Early Childhood through Third Grade will enjoy the fairy tale, The Donkey by the Brothers Grimm. A musical little donkey is born to a king and queen, and when he grows up goes out on grand adventures with his faithful companion, the lute. He soon finds himself in another kingdom where he falls in love with the king's daughter. After their wedding, he secretly sheds his donkey skin and appears in the form of a handsome royal youth. One night when they are both fast asleep, the king sneaks into their chamber to take the skin away, so the donkey is forced to reveal himself in his true shape, and is greatly rewarded in the end. This story will also be accompanied with a small Mozart piece and a little French poem about butterflies.
Regional Alumni Event
Saturday, November 9th from 6-8 pm
Visit the Event's Facebook Page


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 at:



Pageant Soloveev
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!


HVWS is delighted to be a sponsor.

For a full calendar listing, please visit the Calendar page of our website.
Fall Clean Up & Campus Work Day


Saturday, October 26th from 9-3 pm



Rain date, Sunday, October 27
  • Gutter and roof cleaning on all buildings
  • Pruning
  • A lot of leaf blowing
  • Plus other projects
  • Bring your gloves, gardening tools, and leaf blowers


A light lunch will be provided. Come for the whole day or part of the day, just plan to be part of the FUN!


~Many hands make light work~



Please RSVP by emailing Billy Middeleer at

or calling VP# 203-648-9247. You can also call the school office at 203-364-1113. 



Fall Fair and Craft Market
How can you help?


  • Class parents are looking for volunteers for their class activities -- please sign up early so our hardworking class parents are not scrambling for volunteers at the last minute!  It is FUN to help prepare for and volunteer during the Fall Fair.
  • On Friday afternoon, November 1st, we will set up a few tents in the Grades playground.  We need 4-6 volunteers to help with this project, which should only take 45 minutes.  Please contact Christina Dixcy,, if you are free to help.
  • Please turn in your Pocket Man donations!
  • Start thinking about what you will bake for the Bittersweet Cafe to serve at the Fall Fair!  


Calling Members for the Parent Enrichment Committee!


Young in its development, the Parent Enrichment Committee brings evening speakers to the HVWS community.  Recent examples include a panel of HVWS's Educational Support Group; Kathleen Young speaking on "dystopia versus utopia" in her talk, U TXT ME; Douglas Gerwin's talk on the teenager, Walking the Tightrope; and a study group working on "Overcoming Nervousness," one of Rudolf Steiner's lectures.

The Parent Enrichment Committee seeks to foster an understanding of the roots of Waldorf education among the HVWS parent body.  The committee hopes to support and to communicate closely with the PTA to create forums, panels, dialogue, discussions, Coffee Klatches, lectures, presentations, study groups, resources of books and articles, artistic events, and speaking engagements.

If you have an interest in developing an understanding of Waldorf education, please contact Amalia Pretel-Gray at for further information on the Parent Enrichment Committee.



The Capital Asset Strategy Team (CAST) supports the short-term and long-term development of our infrastructure, including all physical properties of HVWS.  CAST is currecntly looking for new, energetic committee members!  If interested, please contact Jeff James at


Pocket Man Donations Needed!


Parents, please remember to submit your Pocket Man donations in the boxes located in Rose Garden and the Administrative Cottage no later than October 25th!
E-mail Christina Dixcy with questions.



Steiner Books Order Deadline


TODAY, Monday, October 21st


The Rainbow Garden School Store will be placing an order for books from "Steiner Books - The Education Resource Catalog" on Monday, October 21st. Please look through the catalog included in your child's mail folder. Complete an order sheet and place your check, payable to HVWS, in the Rainbow Garden mailbox, located in the Administrative Cottage, by Monday, October 21st. You may also leave your completed order and check at the store. You will receive free shipping to the school and 10% off your order. Thank you for your support. All proceeds go to HVWS's 2013-2014 operating budget. Any questions please email January Cilento (

Families who have misplaced their order forms may download another on our website:


Classroom Updates 
Rose Kindergarten
Rose Class has enjoyed St. Michael!  We want to be like Michael too and shine our crown to a golden hue. We go to the gnomes for iron to mine. The gnomes ask us if we are good, kind and true, plus they ask us if we can hear the stars sing at night: Oh yes, we reply. The blacksmith makes us a sword. After slinging and clanging his hammer and sharpening the tip with a rickety, tickety, tickety, tick, we receive our sword. We promise to use this sword for the right and never for some silly quarrel or fight, but to drive away evil we will try and protect others who are weaker than I. Story time has included The Gingerbread Man, The Three Little Kittens, and Mary's Little Lamb.
Sunflower Kindergarten
At circle time, the Sunflower children go galloping, galloping with a strong pony to the orchard to look for apples. But on their way they find a squirrel looking for acorns and nuts to eat. Then they feel the strong wind that blows without a sound, blows them in, blows them out, blows below and above, blows in one side and in the other side. Of course with the wind blowing, the leaves fall to the ground and the children need to rake the leaves as they go around. In the end they find the apple trees and take the apples home in a wheelbarrow (the children take turns being the wheelbarrow). At story time they are listening to the Italian fairy tale, The Three Oranges. They are making a felted pumpkin; on our field trip to Warrups' Farm they will look for many acorns to fill their felted pumpkins.
First Grade
First Grade just completed our first Numbers block. The class learned about the different qualities of the numbers 1-12 and how many items compose each number. We celebrated with an End-of Block Tea Party! 
Second Grade

The Second Grade is reviewing the four processes in our current Math block. We have been hearing a mix of Saint and Fable stories and are learning how to shoot marbles. As we near the end of the month, we will begin preparation for Dia de los Muertos, the Mexican version of All Saint's Day which complements our Saints curriculum.

Third Grade
The Third Grade has just begun  a Measurement  block, starting with Time and moving on into Linear Measurement next week . We hear stories from the Old Testament daily and go to the farm to help harvest weekly.
Fourth Grade

The Fourth Grade has begun a Math review block.  We are sharpening our number senses through daily exercises in  times tables.  We will review the processes of adding with carrying, and subtracting with borrowing as well as lots of multiplying and dividing with numbers into the thousands!  A story each day continues to feed our imagination, and rewards this hardworking class.

Fifth Grade

Mixed number fractions, abundant and deficient factors, practicing all the processes and learning how to carry in fractions have become the new content as the Fifth Graders begin their first Mathematics block of this new school year.  Having climbed Mount Monadnock's 3626-foot ascent after a successful performance of the Michaelmas pageant on September 28, the Fifth Graders continue to take their morning run. They have been closely watching how carefully Misty (our pet variegated yellow canary) has been sitting on her four eggs in her nest and have caught glimpses of Breezy (our Gloucester male canary) sharing in this task.

Sixth Grade

Sixth Grade has been studying Ancient Rome, from its legendary beginnings with Aeneas, who escaped from burning Troy to found the city near the banks of the River Tiber, as well as the Kingdom of Rome and the Roman Republic. Some of the personalities we have encountered are Romulus, who gave his name to Rome as its first king; Tarquin the Proud, the last king; brave Horatius, who held the bridge against the entire Etruscan army; and other heroes of these early times before the Empire began.

Seventh Grade

After studying the world of animals (Fourth Grade), plants (Fifth Grade) and minerals (Sixth grade), the Seventh Graders are now learning about the inner workings of the human body in great detail. We have learned about the digestive and respiratory systems and will continue with the study of the human heart, the eye and the ear. Do you know why the epiglottis is so vital? Ask a Seventh Grader!


Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos) 
Dia de los Muertos is a Mexican holiday observed in November. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember loved ones who have passed away. The celebration takes place on November 1st (a day devoted to departed children) and 2nd (a day devoted to departed adults) in conjunction with the Catholic holidays of All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day. A tradition commonly practiced on Dia de los Muertos is the creation of private altars honoring the deceased. Sugar skulls, marigolds, and favorite foods and beverages of the deceased are often placed on the altar. Photos of the departed loved ones, as well as some of their possessions, are also left out to welcome spirits to the celebration. Although skulls or skeletons are traditional images during this festival, the celebrations are joyful in nature and the spirits welcomed are not thought to be malevolent.


This year, the Second Grade will be building their own altar for Dia de los Muertos to honor the saints that they have studied so far this school year. The children will make garlands, paper marigolds and lanterns for their saints. We would like to invite all members of the community to add remembrances of their own to our altar during this year's Fall Fair. Please drop by the Second Grade to see our work or to participate in our celebration by adding the name of a loved one to our book of saintly thoughts and deeds. You may also add flowers, photos, or candles to our display while it is open for viewing.

Our Gratitude

Thank you to Yolie Moreno, our flower fairy, for beyond-the-call groundskeeping and property beautification. Thank you to Christina Dixcy for donating the delicious honey to the Sunflower children, who love it.  As always, thank you to our wonderful HVWS parents who cook for our post-faculty meeting meals! 



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

~David Thomas




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!


New on our Blog

Remembering Else 


Just one in five children connected to nature, says study 

BBC News


Waldorf Graduate Wins Nobel Prize!

Thomas Südhof wins Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 

Stanford Report


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.