Thursday, September 2013
by Lauren Johnson Pilgrim, 3rd grade parent
The sukkah, a temporary structure, is built during the Jewish harvest festival of Sukkoth to remember the dwellings of the ancient Israelites during their exodus from Egypt. As architecture critic Paul Goldberger explains, “The sukkah is one of the very few times where Jewish liturgy and tradition has an architectural expression.” Thus the sukkah structure encourages those who experience it to dwell on–and in–the qualities of transience and impermanence.
Working with the class on Tuesday morning, it was easy to see just how many things have been in transition over the last few years. As parents of children in first grade and older, we don’t often find ourselves in the side yard where the young children play. Several of the third grade parents remarked how they missed beginning their days there and everyone appreciated the opportunity to visit with each other like we used to. When several of us noticed an early childhood student tenderly kissing his mother’s fingers, we silently acknowledged how much had changed since the last time we were in the side yard together.
Yet another reminder of the transformation underway was how our third grade children bounded into the side yard brimming with ideas and plans.
There was also no denying how strong, confident and mature my son and his friends looked as they carried in the wooden beams that would be used for the sukkah’s structure. Then there were the students tasked with starting the art panels that would form the sukkah’s walls. These panels depicted the creation story, Adam and Eve and the serpent, and Noah and his ark.
Because the students took turns working on each panel, the whole effort became a collaborative art project with all the social challenges this entails. The students discussed the important aspects of each story and tried their best to resolve any “artistic differences” diplomatically. When a historical anachronism was identified—a cat with a flea collar—they discussed whether this was very important and if anything should be done about it. Amidst their purposeful work, the third graders still had time for make believe. One student decided the sukkah needed to have a guard and began solemnly marching back and forth with a plastic rake over his shoulder!
As an object of impermanence, the third grade’s sukkah will remain in the side yard just through the end of Sukkoth on Wednesday evening. Please stop by before it’s gone!
To learn more about the construction of a sukkah, including what professional architects and designers came up with when challenged to build one, visit www.sukkahcity.com
Wednesday, September 2013
Cracking the Codes: The System of Racial Inequality
Monday, October 7th, 6:30pm, Lower Eurythmy Room
Join us for this community event hosted by the Chicago Waldorf School’s Inclusion & Diversity Committee. Attend a screening of “Cracking the Codes: The System of Racial Inequity” a film by Shakti Butler, that asks America to talk about the causes and consequences of systemic inequity and is designed to deepen the conversation on race. Rooted in love and justice, Cracking the Codes, can provide an honest, heartfelt starting point for conversation. For more information and to RSVP please contact Jennifer Zielinski at firstname.lastname@example.org
“Cracking the Codes is the most dignified and evidenced response possible to the blithe assertion that we now live in a ‘post-racial’ America.”
- Yes Magazine
Tuesday, September 2013
The Boulder Waldorf Kindergarden and Shining Mountain Waldorf School have both been hard hit along with many residents and local organizations in the areas of Colorado recently overwhelmed with unexpected floodwaters.
See the photos of the devastating floods.
Currently, the school’s administration is working with the Boulder County Health Department to asses all campus buildings and facilities.
You can visit their website shiningmountainwaldorf.org or Facebook page for more information. Also the Boulder Waldorf Kindergarten's Early Childhood classroom was entirely underwater and the classroom furniture, toys and materials are ruined. The school is in great need of replacement supplies and financial support. Supplies can be sent directly to Suzanne Down / 1604 Whitehall Dr. / Longmont, CO 80504 or here is the link to paypal for donations: http://junipertreepuppets.com/donations-needed-for-flooded-kindergarten-in-boulder-colorado/
And finally, CWS's own Christine Culbert is collecting any donations of age-appropriate toys, materials and money to help refurbish their flooded EC classrooms. Contact her at email@example.com.
Monday, September 2013
We are grateful to all the new parents and parent ambassadors who participated in the welcome event on September 3rd. If you were unable to attend please stop by the Enrollment Office to pick up your Welcome packet.
On behalf of our faculty and staff, thank you for choosing the Chicago Waldorf School and best wishes for a wonderful school year!
Here are all the new families who have joined, or returned to, our community this year.
• Ms. Matson’s Sunflowers: Arri Boyce, Silas Daut, Liam Foley, Abigiya Shawgo-Manley,
Sebastian St. John, Heidi Zhang, Woody Zhang & Isaac Zumann
• Ms. Morrison’s Sweet Peas: Oscar Booth, Mason Kuck, Marquise Lane, Ella St. John & Cody Thomas
• Ms. Votanek’s Rose Garden: Sahra Cohen, Calum Daut, Adrienne Hurn, Mari Kottke,
Julian Palmowski & Gwen Ramesh
• Ms. Barron’s Morning Glories: Julide Buersmeyer, Levant Buersmeyer, Hannah Gordon, Henry Jenkins,
Dayton Kim, Ioanna Kouchoukos, Liam Lockwood, Henry Morgan-
Browning, Henry Luttschyn, Joshua Mulherin, Fiona Mulherin,
Hazel Palka & Olive Palka
• Ms. Assirati’s Bluebells: Seline Allmer, Abril Braekke, Sasha Hirsch-Arnett,
Eme McIntosh, & William Shanley
• Grade 1 — Mr. Kuck: Brogan Bell, Marcus Flamme, Patrick Merrill, Adel Pierce, Francesca Wildi
& Odessa Winn
• Grade 2 — Ms. Rotko: Anton Braekke, Maeve Brogan, Carlo Hague, & Wiatt Hague
• Grade 4 — Ms. Szymanski: Averie Piehl (welcome back!)
• Grade 6 — Mr. Trevillion: Maddie Abraham, Eitann Mallin (welcome back!), Aaron Ramesh &
Ewan Rasmussen (welcome back!)
• Grade 7 — Ms. Hartz: Alek Piehl (welcome back!)
• Grade 8 — Ms. Sullivan: Ayastan Sherniyazov
• Grade 9 —Sr. Correa & Ms. Huckabay: Genevieve Antic, Yaakov Bockian, Eden DeJesus,
Dana Flores & Cherokee Sperry
• Grade 10 — Ms. Vig & Mr. Welcher: Nikolai Gorman & Maddie Kelson
• Grade 11 — Ms. Goodwin & Mr. Holdrege: Gregory Levinson (welcome back!)
- submitted by the Enrollment Department: Lisa Payton and Jennifer Zielinski
Friday, September 2013
Michaelmas & the Harvest Festival
Please join us this Friday, September 27th for our community-wide festival
Harvest Festival – 10:30-noon
For Early Childhood and Parent-Child parents. You are invited to attend with any younger siblings to enjoy the festival’s seasonal crafts and dance to the traditional folk music of Jutta & the Hi Dukes.
Michaelmas Assembly 12:30-2:45
Begins in the Auditorium, followed by the outdoor Dragon Pageant and singing in the parking lot; then a trip to Albion Beach for dragon sand building and a school-wide relay run.
An Introduction To Michaelmas by Andrea Shaffer, Gym & Movement Teacher
To understand the approach to festivals in a Waldorf school it is helpful to know that Summer is considered the season of sleep, and Winter the season of wakefulness. In Summer life rises into the hot air while the earth sleeps, just as our dreams take us on adventures while our body lays still. In Winter there is less apparent activity, yet below the earth's surface amazing work is being done. This is why in the Early Childhood, Mother Earth and the gnomes go underground and do their work and reappear in the Spring.
Michaelmas then, is a "re-awakening to the self" after the dreaminess of Summer.
It is a time for conscious action and a time to welcome challenge. This celebration takes a different form each year, but is centered on themes of bravery and acts of physical challenge. We will sing, work and eat together, and ready ourselves for the year of work ahead, as well as prepare for the concentration and reflection that Winter brings.
As the bright light of summer begins to fade, the colors of the leaves begin to appear, and the wind begins to swirl, our school celebrates Michaelmas and the Harvest Festival each year. Much of the school's celebration is centered around the tale of St. George and the Dragon, and especially on the bravery and strength in the story. We take on other activities (like neighborhood clean-up in teams) for conscious action and to engage in physical challenges as an outer expression of the mental wakefulness we need for the school year ahead. In the Early Childhood the Harvest Festival is a celebration tied to the bounty of the natural world, and is also a preparation for winter and another growing season. (photos: 2012 Michaelmas Festival)
Tuesday, September 2013
Above: 8th grade, Civil War & Revolutions / Inset: 5th grade, calligraphy research report / Bottom: 2nd grade, the King of Ireland’s Son
Waldorf Curriculum Night / Thursday, September 19th / 7:00-9:30pm
An evening for parents to learn about the Grade School & Middle School curriculum
Hear from the main teacher about each grade’s highlights and themes for the year. Then meet your child’s special subject teachers and learn how their lessons complement, enhance and extend the themes of the morning lessons.
Learn how the curriculum is meeting your child’s developmental needs, and what that means in the classroom, in social situations, and at home.
Discover what you can do to support your child developmentally and academically at home.
We strongly urge ALL parents to attend this once a year Parent Curriculum Night. It’s an opportunity to ask questions of the Special Subjects, Grade School and Middle School teachers and learn about the class curriculum in your current or upcoming grades. Early Childhood parents are also welcome to attend to learn about Waldorf education in the Grade School and Middle School.
Meet ALL Grade School & Middle School Teachers on-
Thursday, September 19th / 7:00-9:30pm in the grade school classrooms and the gym
PLEASE RESERVE YOUR SEAT TODAY
We invite at least one parent from each family to participate in this important curriculum event.
Click here to reply to Phoebe Cape in the Main Office to reserve your seat & RSVP
(The RSVP deadline allows us to prepare enough copies of handouts to share samples with all participants)
Submitted by the CWS Enrollment Committee & College of Teachers
Tuesday, June 2013
You are invited to join CWS families and friends for the
2013 CWS Summer Parades and Festivals
These events are all a part of Chicago Waldorf School’s Summer Outreach events. In them Waldorf children, parents, faculty, staff and friends march, play music and jump rope for Pride Parade, they wave streamers and ride scooters and throw confetti in Evanston for the July 4th parade, they knit and construct toys at the Glenwood Avenue Arts Festival, the Glenwood Market and at the Renegade Craft Fair. And in all these events they demonstrate and share their love of CWS in talk with neighbors interested in finding out more about our school and the special aspects of Waldorf education.
Enjoy staying connected with Waldorf families
this summer and help us present our school to
Chicago’s neighborhoods and communities. This plays an essential role in our enrollment outreach efforts and its also just plain good
old summer fun for the whole family.
Come and join us for many, or even just one, of these events. You can march in the sun amid the cheering crowds for our parades (historically lots of costuming, face-painting and parade swag are involved- or wear your CWS t-shirt!). For those younger and older participants―or just the sun shy―we also have seating with cool drinks on the CWS bus which will drive in both parades.
Chicago Parades- Come March with Us!!
Sunday June 30th – 44th Annual Chicago Pride Parade (11:30am-1pm)
Thursday July 4th – Evanston’s 4th of July Parade (12:30pm-3pm)
To get involved, please contact Jason Greenberg at 312-405-6522 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions or would like to attend. RSVPs are important so we can provide adequate event materials and reserve seats on the bus.
Chicago Arts & Neighborhood Festivals- Come Attend with Us!!
August 17 & 18 – Glenwood Avenue Arts Festival (12pm-5pm)
August 25 – Glenwood Sunday Market (9am-2pm)
September 7 & 8 – Renegade Craft Fair (11am-5pm)
September 29 – Glenwood Sunday Market (9am-2pm)
Also don’t forget another fun way to stay in touch and enjoy outdoor play with other Waldorf families:
CWS Tuesday Beach Days at Albion Beach
All Summer Long - starting June 11th (10am-4pm)
Join the CWS Parent Ambassadors at Albion Beach any Tuesday (weather permitting) during the summer to meet new families, connect with current families and re-connect with any alumni families that may drop by. Look for the big red CWS sun umbrella. Sponsored by the Parent Ambassadors group.
Questions! Contact Jennifer Zielinski at 773-828-8468 or email@example.com
Tuesday, June 2013
Thank you to many students, teachers and parents who welcomed and supported our prospective and new families this year. Each of us plays a unique role in describing the value of Waldorf education, and we find that building enrollment in CWS is best achieved through the enthusiastic and collective efforts of the community. This year was an exceptional example of this collaborative work.
First and foremost, we thank our high school Student Ambassadors for their outstanding work this year: Anyah Akanni, Malcolm Collins, Juan Correa, Jeremy Marder, Claire Matthews, Bianca Moreno, Joanna Northage-Orr, Merci Randolph, Siubhan Stormont, Conor Sullivan, Shannon Sullivan, Elijah Teague, and Joe Wendy. Together, with the help of Isaiah Hasselquist, Taylor Jones, Juliet Kelson, Rebecca Lavin, Jenna Rogers, Sam Sendelbach and Becca Wright, they hosted hundreds of parents, 39 student visitors as well as our own 7th and 8th grade students. We are also very grateful to the student ambassadors for enthusiastically representing Chicago Waldorf at many high school fairs last fall.
Very special thanks to our Parent Ambassadors for their joyful presence and generous outreach to prospective and new parents: Megan Cummins, Piper Davis, Maria Gale, Christy Galyon, Cheryl Henley, Lisa King, Jessica McCarthy, Sarah McIntosh and Jennifer Zumann. They supported 52 new families this year, as well as assisted the Enrollment office with Tours & Orientations and other outreach events. If you are interested in serving as a parent ambassador, please contact Jennifer Zielinski at firstname.lastname@example.org or 773-828-8468.
Finally, we are deeply grateful to the Enrollment Committee chairs, Susan Mudd (committee chair), Katherine Rogers (Retention chair) and Lauren Pilgrim (Data chair) for their inspired leadership and ongoing dedication to this work; and to the members and special project volunteers, Catherine Boyce, Dawn Dingman, Jacque Harper, Dana Hegedorn, Rebeca Itzkowich, Michael Kahn, Clifton Muhammad, Lisa Rekstad, Judy Shaver-Chungbin, Anne Wagner, Sarah Wellington, Christine Wendy and Al Wyatt for their valuable contributions.
THANK YOU ALL for your generosity and commitment to the Chicago Waldorf School!
The Admissions Committee: Susan Bruck, Barbara Huckabay, Lisa Payton, Lauri Sullivan, and Jennifer Zielinski