News, Notes & Updates 

March 2 0 1 4   V o l .  1

Imbue thyself

Housatonic Valley
Waldorf School
40 Dodgingtown Road
Newtown, CT 06470

In This Issue
PTA Meeting
Annual Appeal
Enrollment Reminders
Spring Benefit
Important Links

Visit the Gallery page of our website to see more!

Third Grade Shelters Block



Fourth Grade Class Play

Fifth Grade States Projects

Sixth Grade Geology

Sixth & Seventh Grade
Science Fair

Seventh Grade Physics Experiment

What a welcome I have received here at the Housatonic Valley Waldorf School! The warmth of the school community....and the "polar vortex" of Mother Nature! I am happy to say that the community has far overshadowed the weather and that I am very grateful for the opportunity to serve the students, staff, and families of our school.

My first few months have been very busy as I learn about the community of the school and work on making a home here. As our school has not had a School Administrator in several years, it has also been a time for you to learn about me and what my role at the school will be. As I stated at the State of the School Meeting in October, I strongly believe in servant leadership and seek to provide clarity and balance throughout the school. I have an "open door policy" and welcome your visits and your input.

One of my many responsibilities is to support the Board of Trustees in its work. This includes finance and budgeting, policies and procedures, HR and personnel, and fundraising, to name just a few. The Annual Appeal is every independent school's most important fundraising endeavor. It provides the funds to bridge the gap between what families pay in tuition and the school's actual cost to educate the students. At the Housatonic Valley Waldorf School, that gap is now more than $1500 per student! Another important aspect of the Annual Appeal is that it shows potential funders (foundations, etc.) that the members of the community support the school. So participation by everyone....board, faculty, parents, very important. If you have not already donated, would you please consider a tax-deductible gift to our Annual Appeal? You can donate online at

Thank you so much for your continued support of our develop each child's unique capacity to engage meaningfully in the world.
With warm regards,

Joanne Andruscavage

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Submissions to News, Notes & Updates are due the 1st and the 15th of every month. 
For a full calendar listing, please visit the Calendar page of our website.


Earth Day: Save the Date!



Newtown Middle School, Queen St.  

We are looking for volunteers to represent HVWS at our booth during Newtown's Earth Day celebration. Please e-mail Christina Dixcy at if you might be able to help!

From The Library Committee 

The children's and adult libraries at HVWS are no longer accepting book donations.  We will let you know when we are ready to accept more. 


Thank you!


Language Assembly: Save the Date!



Newtown Middle School, Queen St.  

**Grades 3-7 required to attend**


Family, friends, and Grades 1-2 are welcome to attend, to enjoy a celebration of German and Spanish language and culture! (Assembly dress required; no boots, no jeans, no t-shirts.)


Poster Distribution Volunteer Needed


Do you live in or around Monroe and would you be willing to distribute posters for HVWS events to local businesses?  If so, please e-mail Allison Valentino at



Seventh Grade Class Play:

Eleanor the Queen



Eurythmy Room, Lower Level, Compass Hall  

This play is based on the life of Eleanor of Aquitaine, who lived during the Early Renaissance and was determined to make a mark for herself and her children. Two of her sons served as King of England: King Richard the Lion-Heart and King John.
Annual Appeal: Matching Gift 

We have received a generous, anonymous matching gift for our Annual Appeal!  HVWS can receive an additional $25,000 if we can raise $25,000 -- this is a one-for-one match.  Every dollar donated becomes $2 with the matching gift. 


Help us reach our goal of 100% school community participation by making a tax-deductible donation today!


Register Online for the second session of Parent-Child classes.



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 currently looking for new, energetic committee members!  If interested, please contact Jeff James at




This year we are excited to offer an online auction that will precede the Benefit evening.  Then on May 17th, enjoy delicious food, lively music, dancing, the opportunity to bid on unique items in the live auction, and more!


Time, Talent, Treasure 
Our school community is wonderfully rich in the diversity of backgrounds and talents found among our parent body. We each have a gift that could add to the success of this year's Benefit: volunteer time and energy, expertise in a given arena, auction donations large or small.  How can YOU help?

Would your family or company like to sponsor the Spring Benefit? Sponsorship levels include online promotion, an advertisement in our Program for the evening, and Benefit tickets. If you'd like to learn more, please contact Marisa DelMonaco at


PTA Meeting


MARCH 14, 8:30 AM 

Administrative Cottage  

The PTA meets the second Friday of each month.  All are welcome!

Inside the Classroom


Rose Kindergarten

The Rose Class enjoyed Valentine's Day. Birdseed hearts were made as family gifts. A tea party including delicious tarts made by Stephanie Romano was a 'sought after' treat. Yummy! Our Valentine story was La Cucarachita. Little brown ant bought herself a red hair ribbon after finding a small coin. She washed and dressed herself nicely to watch the world go by. Everyone who saw her fell in love with her and asked for marriage. She asked how they would show their love to her, and each animal  -- bull, rooster, dog, cat, pig -- made its animal sound. Oh, how she covered her ears and asked them to move on. Mouse, too, asked for marriage and showed her he would gently stroke her face and look into her eyes. Cucarachita agreed to marry mouse, and if they haven't moved, they live happily together still! Circle time has a theme about the gnomes working under the hill cleaning the roots, polishing the stones, and feeding all a big pot of broth. The North Wind Doth Blow is our most popular song for this past January and February.   


Sunflower Kindergarten

In the Sunflower Class, the children who are preparing to go to First Grade are very busy working on their boats and dolls. In the first days of March we will have our monthly field trip to Warrup's Farm. The children will have the opportunity to observe how Farmer Bill makes maple syrup. During circle time we all help Farmer Bill to roll the logs to a site, saw them into pieces just right, and bring them to the maple sugaring house. Then we drill the holes and hang the buckets to collect the sweet sap. When the sap is ready, we put it in a big kettle, boil it, and make maple syrup.  


First Grade

Having just completed a Letters block, First Grade is now entering a Numbers block and we will be working with the four math processes. We are so excited to continue exploring the world of numbers!  


Second Grade

Second Grade just finished a Language Arts block. We learned the parts of speech and several saint stories. This block we are practicing our play, "The Lost Children," and practicing our multiplication. We are also fervently working on our auction projects! 


Third Grade

Third Grade has been in a Shelters main lesson block. After remembering Adam and Eve and their cave home, we learned about the various types of natural indigenous homes built in the jungle and in the Andes. We then continued around the world, learning about shelters built using dirt (cob, sod, hogans, earth-berm, adobe); trees, saplings, and reeds  (tree houses, wigwams, Long Houses, log cabins); water (igloos and houseboats); and materials from animals (Tipis and Yurts). We learned about the geography of each area and why a type of home might be built there. Finally we learned about the steps of modern housebuilding, followed by an excursion back into Nepal to learn about a new combination of traditional building (cob) coupled with recycling wine bottles from Katmandu's embassies to build inexpensive "green" houses! Our last week included oral presentations by the children describing the shelter projects they built themselves.

To complement their Shelters block the Third Grade created self-portraits in beeswax (our bodies being our first home).


Fourth Grade

The Fourth Grade is in their second Human & Animal block.  We are looking at the nature of tamed and domesticated creatures in comparison to wild animals. This offers us many debates on the benefits of captivity versus freedom, as well as the complexities of human power and responsibility towards our animal brothers and sisters.


Fifth Grade
Fifth Graders have swung into a new Mathematics block, bouncing multiplication tables with the greatest of ease, and applying this knowledge to finding Lowest Common Denominators of Mixed Fractions while subtracting, changing Mixed Fractions into Improper Fractions to multiply and divide, and then learning to change fractions into Decimal Fractions. Yes, it's Fraction City in the Fifth Grade, though fractured by too many freezing snow days! 


Sixth Grade

The Sixth Grade has completed their Physics main lesson block with the Sixth and Seventh Grades' Science Fair. We demonstrated color and light phenomena, such as rainbows and color from chromotropes, and answered the questions, "Why is the sky blue?" and "Why is the sunset red?" Do you know what color you will see if you stare at green for a long period of time and then look away? (Hint: It will not be green!) We also showed how heat can crack marbles, can come from sawing wood, and can reveal the conductivity of metals. Magnets are always fun and we had two demonstrations in this category of Physics. In Acoustics, we demonstrated the Doppler Principle and how sound travels underwater. We are glad that we have two more Physics blocks in Seventh and Eighth grades! Thank you all for attending our Science Fair.

Seventh Grade

Seventh Grade spent early February in the study of Physics. The culmination of our block was our Sixth & Seventh Grade Science Fair, held last Thursday morning in the Atrium. The students offered demonstrations in the subjects of optics, heat, magnetism, electricity, and acoustics. In class we discovered the world of mechanics. Ask a Seventh grader what kind of machine a see-saw is!



The students are now practicing for our play, "Eleanor the Queen." This play is based on the life of Eleanor of Aquitaine, who lived during the Early Renaissance and was determined to make a mark for herself and her children. Two of her sons served as Kings of England: King Richard the Lion-Heart and King John. Please join us on Wednesday, March 19 at 11AM and 7PM in the Eurythmy Room.

Our Gratitude


Thank you to Lena DeFeo for baking for the First Grade Readiness Evening.


Thank you to Cathy and Scott Whelehan for their hospitality: they recently provided housing for a student in the HEART program and for our professional mentor, Kathleen Young. 


Thank you to Stephanie Romano for making Valentine's Day tarts for the Rose Kindergarten!


Thank you to the many parents who have prepared delicious faculty 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!


Suggested Links:


Waldorf Reading
Waldorf Reading


Students may be disadvantaged by starting school at 5 years old 

The Sydney Morning Herald


Playing in the dirt may make you smarter


A Viable Alternative or a New Age Luxury?

Families Upon Thames


We Are Just Not Here Anymore 



Children 'need lessons in how to concentrate' because of impact of social media 

The Independent


The Snowy Day 



What is Waldorf? 

San Diego Family Magazine


8 Ways Screens Are Ruining Your Family's Life 

The Huffington Post


The disturbing transformation of kindergarten 

The News-Times


What Exactly is Waldorf Education?


Boulder Waldorf Kindergarten Reborn After Flood 

Waldorf Today 


Parent Development



Study: Babies Can't Learn to Read

The Atlantic


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.