The Leaflet a newsletter for parents and friends of Ashwood Waldorf School

December 4, 2013Join Our Mailing List
From the Director
Administrators on the Road

Last Friday, Judith, Tamara, and I journeyed down to our sister school, Merriconeag, in Freeport, Maine for a regional DANA meeting (Development and Administrators Network of AWSNA). During the visit we had the opportunity to tour the high school at Merriconeag and see the inspirational student work. Waldorf schools from all over New England were represented at the meeting, which focused on the enrollment challenges that most independent schools in New England are currently facing. Each school had the opportunity to pose spontaneous questions and get a "read" on how things work at the other schools. Then we broke into job-alike groups and discussed areas specific to our own responsibilities at our individual schools.


In the directors' meeting we found that our job descriptions are very similar. Larger schools have resources for larger administrative staffs, and therefore, more specialization in administrative duties, while smaller schools make due with fewer administrators, each with a broader range of responsibilities. We found that our governance structures are mostly similar, and we discussed communication challenges within the collaborative leadership structure that Waldorf schools pride ourselves on. 


We reviewed our outreach and enrollment processes, including details about how we conduct tours of the grades and the generally agreed-upon wisdom of replacing open houses with more specific events, such as Ashwood's Tea and Puppets. We also discussed the potential benefits of collaborative programming opportunities, such as having speakers and other special guests visit more than one of our schools when trekking up to Maine to give presentations. We also considered whether it would be wise to conduct mutual advertising campaigns, for example on Maine Public Radio.


At the end of the day we had all learned something, but most of all we were reminded that each of our individual schools is part of a much bigger movement that we are proud to be part of, and that we are respected for our contributions to this movement. While each school is unique we have much in common, and have much support to offer one another. Ashwood shares the same challenges as our sister rural schools as well as the same gifts that come with our intimate community and exquisite natural surroundings. By the time we returned to Rockport, Judith, Tamara, and I were all happy to be home, rejuvenated by the camaraderie we had shared with one another and with our colleagues across the region, and ready to get back to work.


--Jody Spanglet


Grade School News
"Why Waldorf?" "Wow, Waldorf!"

Seeing our children and their teachers at work during a main lesson is a rare delight not to be missed. You'll have an opportunity on Wednesday, December 18, from 8:15 - 10:30 a.m.during our monthly Tour of the Grades. Featured this month are Robert Kaczor's grade 3-4, Lesley Finlayson's grade 5, and Amy Watson's grade 7. Please join us, and invite your friends! Let Waldorf education speak for itself: it does, eloquently!


Every morning, in more than 1,000 Waldorf schools worldwide, the day begins with a dynamic and interactive main lesson

where academic subjects are brought to life through storytelling, movement, experimentation, and the arts. In this tour you will wind your way through three grade-school classrooms, seeing firsthand how Waldorf works from the early elementary grades through the middle school. 


After the tour there will be time for questions and conversation. Advance registration is required: or 207.236.8021. Free of charge. All are welcome!  


--Judith Soleil 

Revel and Rejoice!
We can already hear the distant bells as the Winter Revels assembly approaches! Again, this is a wonderful event for family and friends; let's pack the hall as we deck the halls!


Early Childhood
Winter Spiral

EC families, please save the date (Thursday, December 19, 4:15 - 6:30 p.m.) for our Winter Spiral and Early Childhood Community Candlelight Potluck.  For those of you new to our Early Childhood program, the winter spiral is a lovely tradition celebrated in Waldorf schools around the world. The theme for us here is nonsectarian, and embraces all beliefs in the simple honoring of the light each of us brings to the world, particularly when we share that light with others. We need this especially as the days grow shorter and the light wanes earlier and earlier each day.


Families gather and sit on one side of a darkened room (we will use the unused early childhood room this year); the children sit on the other side with their classmates and teachers. As soft music plays, each child receives an apple "candleholder" bearing a taper. A large spiral of evergreens is laid on the floor, adorned with golden stars. In the center of the spiral a tree stump supports a lighted candle.  The children walk, one by one, (we hope to have an older child serve as an accompanying "angel" to guide them) from the spiral's entrance to the center of the spiral and light their candle from the central flame, then turn and walk back, setting their candles down on a golden star along the way. One by one, each child's small light lights up the entire room.  The energy as the room grows bright is quite palpable, creating a memory we hope will linger with you and your family.


After everyone has walked the spiral, we will share a candlelight potluck dinner together. Class parent Erin Brainerd will post a sign-up sheet outside the door so that we can have a variety of dishes. We ask that you bring dishes, silverware and cups for your family.


The evening will end at 6:30 as the holidays are busy for all of you and children will be tired.  This will be the last time many of us will be together until we return to school after the Christmas break.


We hope that everyone will be able to attend this magical festival; it happens to be my personal favorite!


--Ms. Beth

Ten Beautiful Mornings! 
Parent-Child Classes Begin January 27.

Spend 10 beautiful mornings with your child in the company of a dynamic group of parents, led by our veteran early-childhood educator, Cherry Short-Lee.

Ashwood Waldorf School's Parent-Child classes are designed for children from 18 - 36 months and a parent. We're offering two six-week sessions on Mondays: Jan. 27-March 10, and April 7-May 19. Sign up for one or both! Discount applied when you sign up for both sessions in advance (each session costs $150; discount is $25). Registration deadline for the first session is Friday, January 17. 

Please pass this news along to your friends with young children!

PCC News
Community Cottage Shop

Hello Ashwood families! The holiday season is fast approaching and I am happy to announce that the school store will be opening Thursday,Dec. 5, and remain open every Thursday till Christmas break, 8:30-9:30 a.m. and 12:30-1:30 a.m. It's located in the Community Cottage, the building on your left as you enter the school driveway. 


We supply a wonderful assortment of crayons, colored pencils, modeling wax, and more. Come on in and check it out. I would love to hear from parents about what other things they would like to see for sale. I am currently looking into supplying more locally made craft like wool, soap and wooden toys. Feel free to email me with any of your ideas or questions.


Thank you, and I hope to see you all at the store soon!!


-Jessica Wheeler  


In This Issue
Important Dates

Friday, December 6

Assembly (Grades 1-2)

8:40 a.m. 


Thursday, December 12

Board Meeting

6:00-9:00 p.m.


Friday, December 13

No Assembly. Santa Lucia Festival.

8:40 a.m.
Wednesday, December 18
Tour of the Grades
8:15-10:30 a.m.
PCC Meeting
6:00-8:00 p.m.

Friday, December 20
Winter Revels
9:30 a.m.
Camden Opera House

Printable Calendar

Community Announcements
We publish community-service announcements from and for Ashwood community members at no charge (50-words max.). 
Send to: Judith Soleil
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Why Waldorf?

In this short video, Eugene Schwartz describes how vital movement is for learning to read. Click on the title, above, or this link.

Do you have a story to tell about Ashwood? A review of a book or an event? A reflection on Waldorf education? Photos you've taken?
A question about the Leaflet?
Send us an email! We would love to hear from you. The next Leaflet will be published on Wednesday, December 18. Deadline for submissions is Monday, December 16 at 9 a.m.

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Thank you!

Inclement Weather

School cancellations and late start days are announced on the school's answering machine at 236-8021, and on 102.5 FM, WCSH6, News 8 WMTW, and the Knox County Village Soup website, Please note that the school answering machine can be unreliable when there is a high volume of calls flooding the system and will not respond during power outages. Parents may also choose to sign up for automatic text messages on the WCSH6 Storm Center websiteEvent cancellations will be announced on Ashwood's answering machine. We respect each family's individual decision about whether to attend school on snowy days when school is in session. Please use your own discretion when making this decision.


To avoid confusion please note that when SAD #28 is canceled, Ashwood Waldorf School is canceled as well. When SAD #28 is delayed, Ashwood Waldorf School is delayed as well. 



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