News, Notes & Updates

May 2014, Vol. 2

Imbue thyself

Housatonic Valley
Waldorf School
40 Dodgingtown Road
Newtown, CT 06470

In This Issue
Spring Benefit
Puppet Show
Bake Sale
School Store Notice
Library Notice
Poster Distribution
Annual Appeal
Reverence, Gratitude, and Compassion
Inside the Classroom
Important Links

Visit the Gallery page of our website to see more photos!

May Fair

Early Childhood Mother's Day Tea

Second Grade at Riverbank Farm

Third Grade Builds A Bell Tower

Third Grade Farm Trip

Fifth Grade Learns About Bees

Seventh Grade
Renaissance Artists

Have you taken a peek at our Spring Benefit Online Auction yet?  Time is running out!  The auction closes TONIGHT, Friday the 17th, at 10 PM sharp.  If you can't be at your computer tonight there are two ways to bid in advance:
  • Proxy Bidding--set your upper bid limit & let the system bid for you as needed. It won't exceed your limit, and it won't bid for you unless another bidder exceeds your current bid.
  • Buy It Now--forget the bidding and secure your win!
The Spring Benefit is such an important fundraiser for the school, not the least because it brings so many helping hands together! After the Online Auction closes, I look forward to seeing many of you on Saturday at our Spring Benefit evening and Live Auction.  The food, drink, and music are going to be fantastic, and of course, you'll get to see (and bid on) the BEAUTIFUL classroom projects in person!

Warm regards and happy bidding, 

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. 
For a full calendar listing, please visit the Calendar page of our website.
Online Auction Closes TONIGHT at 10 PM
The online auction IS this year's silent auction!





Puppet Show


Lower Level, Compass Hall, 1 Jacklyn Rd., Newtown


The HVWS Puppetry Committee presents The Little Light Horse by Susie Konig.
The puppet show in the Waldorf tradition features hand-sewn puppets, sumptuous plant-dyed silks, and a simple, age-appropriate performance style suited to young children's attention spans and level of awareness. A peaceful and enchanted mood prevails. Our Puppet Shows are appropriate for 3-8 year-olds. 


Puppet Shows are free, however The Puppetry Committee will happily accept a goodwill offering to support Women for Women International, an organization helping women survivors of war rebuild their lives:


Sweet & Savory Bake Sale



Save your dollars for the Seventh Grade's Sweet & Savory Bake Sale on the last day of school!

Rainbow Garden School Store Notice

  • The school store will closing for the season on WEDNESDAY, MAY 28.
  • Last day open for sales is 5/28.
  • Please stop in prior to 5/28 to get your supplies for the summer.
Thank you for your support!

Summer Camp

Register now for Summer Camp at HVWS! Camp begins JULY 7. 


Library Note


Dear HVWS Library book borrowers,

With the end of the school year fast approaching, we would like to remind you that all borrowed books are due before summer break. We have return baskets in each library location: 

  • Sundial House, 
  • the Administrative Cottage, 
  • Rose Garden. 

Thank you, everybody, for following our Library procedures.  As you know, we are an all-volunteer service, and we depend on all of you to use our honor system when signing out and returning books.


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
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. 


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


Reverence, Gratitude, and Compassion


Teachers and parents work collaboratively and intentionally in Waldorf schools to practice reverence, gratitude, and compassion so that children will learn these important virtues.  In Aristotle's Nichomachean Ethics, the question is asked whether virtue can be taught.  The entire basis of Waldorf education is to cultivate ethically and morally sound human beings.  As technology invades the personal and emotional side of our lives, we must be vigilantly conscious and conscientious as to how we are protecting and teaching our children.  We must teach and model to children how to acknowledge an adult, to be gracious and courteous, to know how to wait, and to have reverence, gratitude, and compassion.


The faculty at HVWS have been reviewing and identifying these basic and fundamental virtues which are at the foundation of our teaching. Practicing simple deeds like opening the door for an adult or holding the door open for one another; being polite; acknowledging an adult; taking good care of one another by assisting a peer who needs help; taking care of our surroundings, for example, by planting flowers or cleaning the counter; being generous to one another; being conscious of personal space; being responsible for one's actions and taking responsibility for what has been asked of us; being compassionate for others' pain; being grateful; and being reverent are qualities that teachers and parents strive for in our children. How we cultivate this in a caring and conscious way as adults will provide a quality in our children that will last their lifetime, and be passed on to their children.


How can we work intentionally, consciously, and collaboratively?  Asking the question is a first step. We welcome all parents to join us consciously and intentionally, using every opportunity that we can find. 



Inside The Classroom

Rose Kindergarten

Everything in nature is waking up and has lots of energy for the Rose children! We have been little brown brothers cozily asleep in the dark and then we jump out of bed; frolicking lambkins, galloping horses, clucking hens, ambling cows, hopping frogs, and humming bees. 'The Girl Who Spun Gold', a West Indian fairy tale, is similar to Rumpelstiltskin. Queen Quashiba herself was what the tiny shade fellow wanted yet Quashiba guessed his name: Lit'mahn Bittyun! He exploded like hot grease in a wet skillet and all that was left was a million bitty flecks of gold and a scent of burning feathers.   


Sunflower Kindergarten

The Sunflower children at circle time are following the story of a little girl named Mary who is playing with her golden ball. When she throws the ball, the ball falls inside a hole. Mary looks inside the hole and out comes a slithering snake, a rabbit, a snail, and a butterfly. She asks them to help her to find her ball, but none of them can help her. She begins to cry, when suddenly she hears a small voice which says: "I will find the ball for you". She looks inside the hole again and she finds a little dwarf. After he finishes hammering with his big hammer, golden hammer, and silver hammer he finds the ball and passes it to Mary. This makes Mary very happy and she comes back home skipping and singing May songs. At story time the children have been hearing the Grimm's Fairy tale of Mother Holle and The Three Billy Goats Gruff.






First Grade

The First Grade has been busy preparing for and presenting their class play, The King's Advisers. (Who are the King's Advisers?  Multiplication, division, subtraction, and addition!)  Soon the students will finish up their math block and begin a review of the year's work.  Then it will be time to pack up the classroom in preparation for moving into Second Grade!





Second Grade

The Second Grade is beginning our final block of the year. We will be reviewing our Second Grade curriculum, hearing some final saint and legend stories, and preparing our garden for Third Grade!


Third Grade

The Third Grade has had a very busy month! First we celebrated the Seder with Ms. Lederman, then we built our Bell Tower, then we went on our farm trip to Plowshare Farm (NH) where we worked with the animals; washed, carded, dyed, spun, and wove wool naturally; gardened; worked in the smithy creating nails; and built a bridge in full, from cutting down the saplings to setting the bridge in place. Right now we are working on our play which will be performed on May 30 (11 am ) and May 31 (6pm). 


Fourth Grade  

The Fourth Grade is finishing up their last fractions block.  We are getting familiar with improper fractions and mixed numbers, and all the ways in which fractions express themselves! We are also busy planning our upcoming rafting and camping trip.  A welcome reward for a year full of hard work and growth!



(Fourth Grade Door Chime Live Auction Project) 


Fifth Grade
Thanks to Patrick Cushing's expertise, the Fifth Graders had the privilege of learning, hands-on, about the life of bees, when they visited Riverbank Farm's hives. In our second block on the study of Botany, the students will deepen their understanding of the importance of bees and insects in pollinating flowers, the contrast between deciduous and coniferous trees, and the wide variety of flowering trees and plants through observation and identification of wildflowers and trees on our field trips to Flanders' Nature Center and to the arboretum in Redding. Look out for their contribution of paintings of botanical flowers for HVWS's live auction on May 17!!   



Sixth Grade

The Sixth Grade enjoyed producing and performing their Roman comedy, The Braggart Soldier, set in the ancient town of Ephesus where one of the 7 Wonders of the Ancient World, the Temple of Artemis, was located. The class drew the scene of the two houses with the household god, the Lar Familiaris, in the middle. A large canvas, 18 feet long, was suspended from the ceiling. The moving lips of the Lar (cut out of the canvas) were sometimes replaced with fingers, flowers or costumes during rehearsal time! This was a thoroughly enjoyable and memorable experience for all involved. 


Seventh Grade 

The Seventh Grade finished up a history block called the Age of Exploration. The students were very busy on two projects: a Renaissance project on an artist from this time period plus a project on an European explorer. This is a significant juncture in their lives where the curriculum meets them so well. As they are stepping out of their childhood into the early years of adolescence, they are explorers themselves, navigating the rough waters ahead to lands unknown. It is fascinating to watch this process.



On a recent Friday night, HVWS students Bayley Storrier (oboe), Sanni Cohn (clarinet), and Lena DeFeo (flute) played in the Westport Community Band concert:  "Play with the Band."  Students from 9 different area middle schools were invited to play for 6 weeks with the Westport Community Band culminating in a concert.  The goal of the program is to instill in these middle school musicians the belief that playing an instrument is a life-long adventure!

An outdoor Seventh Grade chemistry experiment.
 The Fifth Grade learns about making ravioli with the help of the Anconas.
Our Gratitude

Thank you to Mrs. Reznikoff, who once again offered the Handwork Room as a backstage area for the Sixth Grade performers! Thank you, Sixth Grade Parents, for your costuming and prop support.

Thank you, Seventh Grade Parents, for supporting a delicious Sweet & Savory Bake sale at the Mayfair! Thank you, HVWS Community, for supporting our fundraising.


Thank you, Kara Reese & Rosemary Larkin, for organizing our class car wash in Sandy Hook. Thank you, Seventh Grade Parents, for helping with this fundraiser. Thank you, Ms. Miller, for coming into the Seventh Grade to help support & educate the students!

Thank you to Jim Marcucelli of Berkshire Motors for hosting the Seventh Grade's recent car wash fundraiser.


Thank you to ClareAnn James for baking for Windows into Waldorf.


Thank you to Patrick Cushing for taking time to teach the Fifth Graders about bees.


Thank you to the Sunflower Parents for a delicious faculty meal!  
Thank you to Mark & Jacinta Ancona for sharing their ravioli-making skills with the Fifth Grade.


"Unselfish and noble actions are the most radiant pages

 in the biography of souls." 

~David Thomas


Condolences to the Disbrow family on their passing of Rich's mother. 




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:


The Telegraph


Raising a Moral Child

The New York Times


Now Is The Month of May



Reading and Waldorf Education
Reading and Waldorf Education


From the archives:


Children held back at school because their lazy lifestyles mean they can't stand on one leg

Mail Online


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.