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"This school has given our daughter an opportunity to not just stretch her mind, but to engage her whole being in her education.  She enjoys the hands-on nature of the Waldorf school, with arts, crafts and music; and I appreciate the attention to her emotional development in addition to her academics."
Lux Karpov-Kinrade
Contents 
Calendar of  Events
Calendar of Events

Admistrator's Updates

School News

Community Events

Classroom Corner - Grade 3/4


Alumni Spotlight - Calvin Turnwall

Recommended Reading

Gratitudes

Parent to Parent Sharing
September 25th - Michalemas Festival
10:30am - Kindergarten
11:30am - Grades

See details below in the "Community Events" section

October 7th - School Picture Day
Photographs by Ron Greystar Photography
Look for order forms coming home with your child the week before pictures

October 9th & 10th - Strategic Planning
Parents are welcome to attend this important planning meeting   

October 14th - Pumpkin Patch
All Grades Field Trip

October 19th & 20th 
Parent Teacher Conferences
NO SCHOOL

October 31st - Pumpkin Path
More details about this magical evening coming soon

  

Welcome to all our First Grade students who crossed the Rainbow Bridge on September 1, 2015:

Larsen Brunner, Corrine Goldenghost, River Gray, Orion Katz,
Shiloh Laughton, Anya Logg, Gigi Sikkila
 
Administrator's Update
 
This is the Waldorf School of Mendocino County's 44th year!  I am pleased to welcome 14 new families and to offer a warm welcome back to our returning students and community members.  Hearing the voices of children on campus again and catching up with parents brings life back to the work we've been carrying on over the summer months.

Our school sustained a significant amount of change this year; we said goodbye to beloved Faculty members and classmates moving on to other schools.  Those of us who remain are wholeheartedly taking up the challenge of creating a structure that fits our enrollment: mixed grade classrooms.  Combined, these changes are deeply felt.

What has not changed is equally powerful: the deep dedication of our Faculty and Staff, the beauty and vigor of our students and the strength of the Waldorf curriculum to bring these together and educate the whole child.

As we look around and take in the shape and feel of our smaller community, our first festival of the year, Michaelmas, comes at an apt moment with a timely message:  it is time to embody the Michaelic archetype which transforms darkness and fear through intelligence, strength and courage. 

Several parents have commented after recent Class Meetings that there is a strong feeling of commitment and unity amongst parents and Faculty.  Although we do not now exactly what challenges lie ahead, we can, together, strive to meet them with care and creativity.  

Waldorf education echoes the essence of Michaelmas. Each and every person has a gift to bring to the world.  Can we learn to recognize and have interest in each other's gifts, and encourage each other toward our full human potential?  Being human is not merely physical qualities related to skin and bones, but is essentially the process of individual spiritual transformation leading humanity toward its future evolution.  Overcoming our antipathy and self-centeredness, and meeting each human being with interest and recognition as a fellow human being: this is what Michaelmas celebrates.  It is a festival of what is truly human.  So too with Waldorf education, which strives to teach children not by merely imparting facts and information, but by recognizing the impulse and gifts within each child and nurturing them towards full expression.  In this process,a genuine interest and care for the world unfolds into a lifelong love of learning.

As the parents and leaders in our community, it is our work to take up courage and commitment as we continue fearlessly towards the most shining school we can become.
School News

Dress Code
Copies of WSMC's dress code went home to each student in the Back to School Packet.  The dress code is designed to reduce distraction in the classroom and to enable students to move and play freely.  The free uniform exchange rack will be up for another week - feel free to bring in clean clothes to pass on, and to take clothes that your child can use.

Please take the time to read our dress code thoroughly and support your child by helping them to follow it. Small things, such as jewelry, temporary tattoos and nail polish are noticed by observant students.

Cell Phones
WSMC adheres to a strict policy of no cell phones on campus.  This enables everyone on campus to give their full attention to the children, and the conversations at hand.  If a parent needs to use a cell phone on campus they are welcome to do so in the office.

After School Pick Up
Preschool and Kindergarten classes are over at 1pm daily.

Grades 1 - 6 finish at 3:30 Monday through Thursday and at 1:20 on Friday.  Parents of First Grade students are encouraged to pick their children up at 1:20 for the first half of the school year when possible. This allows them to rest and renew themselves in the afternoons as they adjust to the new rigors of academic work (such as it is in First Grade).  For students who do stay until 3:30, the afternoon is structured so the students enjoy more restful/less demanding activities.

For families that need it, Aftercare is available for PreK - 6th grade students.  

Pick up time is a natural moment for socializing.  WSMC encourages this!  We do ask that all children and families not staying for Aftercare leave campus by 4pm and observe all school rules the entire time they are on campus.  This supports our Aftercare program and all the children participating in that program.


One Call Now
We are retiring our old Phone Tree method of contacting parents and moving to a new system called One Call Now.  This 3rd party system allows the office to call, email and text each parent of each student enrolled at WSMC.  Because this is our Emergency Information system it is not possible to opt out.  If you have questions or concerns, please speak with Lorelei or Ms. Senerchia.

There will be a test of this system on Tuesday, September 15th.  In the test the office will send a text, email and phone call to each parent for whom we have contact information.  The number calling will begin with (877), so don't be alarmed if you receive a call from this number.  It will mostly likely be a text to voice call, so it will sound computer generated when you answer.  If you do not receive this test via one or more methods, please contact Lorelei in the office so she can ensure there are no gaps in case of a real emergency.

We have found that many parents are easily available through text.  Therefore, we are considering using this system to remind parents of important school events such as Picture Day and Field Trip return times.

Calendar on Website
Our WSMC Calendar is now available, in real time, on our website: http://www.waldorfmendocino.com.  All school events, including scheduled Parent Evenings, Field Trips and Festivals can now be viewed online.

Class Parents
Thank you to the dedicated and organized parents who have agreed to serve as Class Parents.  The Class Parent from your class serves as an important link between the parents in your class and the Class Teacher and Office.  Please support your Class Parent by offering your help when asked.
Rosebud - Andria Ford  andiehart@hotmail.com  (707) 272-1913
Primrose - Jenny Grissom   jennygrissomwrites@gmail.com  (707) 391-7400
Redrose - Mindy Kelley gratefulmama10@yahoo.com  (707) 357- 1063
Class 1/2 - Allegra Foley  allegrafoley@yahoo.com  (707) 548-0968
Class 3/4 - Megan Prout  meganprout@gmail.com  (650) 863-6484
Class 5/6 - 


Income and Ethnicity Verification Form
We know that a family's income and ethnicity are very private matters.  There are several valuable funding opportunities available to WSMC that are based on this data.  This money is used specifically to benefit students.  If you haven't filled this form out, please take a moment to do so.  They are coming home with students this week and have also been emailed to families for whom we do not have information.  All information is STRICTLY confidential, read only by Ms. Senerchia.  Thank you for your help to take advantage of this relatively simple fundraising opportunity: no baking, no volunteering, no phone calls, no expense - just fill out your sheet and turn it into the office by MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 14th.

Directory
The Office will be printing a 2015/16 School Directory.  It will be ready for distribution in mid-October.  If you have changes to your contact information, please be sure to let the office know as soon as possible so you can be reached by our school community.  If you would like to advertise in the Directory, please call Lorelei in the front office to get more details.  There is a small fee scale for specific ad space.  If you've already submitted your interest, the deadline for business cards, and/or your graphic will be October 2nd.

New Newsletter Name

We did it!  We have a new name for our school newsletter.  After considering many different options, Heartbeat was the best fit for our school.  We were looking for a name the encompassed heart, active, flow, grounding, and Heartbeat does just that!  It's a name that we can carry through these next years in establishing our way for sharing rich and substantial school information with our dedicated families.  We hope you like it!  Some of our runners-up were:  The Pulse, On The Pulse, Happenings, The Buzz, Our Buzz, High/Low Tide, and The Scoop.
Classroom Corner

Hands-on Learning in Class 3/4
by Ms. Austin

The third and fourth grade class wasted no time getting into the curriculum. We started off with a Language Arts block with a focus on the rhythms of the year and farming. Next week we will be going to Live Power Farm in Covelo for three days. Harvesting, composting, feeding the animals, plowing the field, and chopping wood are some of the activities that are taken up. We are reading Farmer Boy and the farm trip will bring to life what hard work and cooperation can accomplish. In the weeks to follow we will visit the Frey ranch to pick and stomp grapes to make juice to share at our Michaelmas festival, and go to Filigreen farms to help with the apples. We are also gathering apples at school to can in cooking class and to slice and serve with honey on Rosh Hashanah.  If you see these young farmers walking around the school, you will likely see them on the nice oak stilts that they are making in their Practical Arts class. And of course daily we draw from our experiences to enrich our Math and Language Arts lessons.


Alumni Spotlight

My name is Calvin Turnwall.  I grew up on Greenfield Ranch just outside of Ukiah.  I was a student at Mountain Meadow Waldorf school in Calpella from 1980 to 1986 before it became the Waldorf School of Mendocino County. 

Since then, I have lived in San Francisco where I worked as a bicycle messenger.  Waldorf education re-entered my life a bit later when I lived in Citrus Heights, while my girlfriend Alena Cochrane went to the Rudolph Steiner College in Fair Oaks.  Alena later taught at the Mendocino Waldorf School. 

I now live in Ukiah with my wife Stacey and my Daughter Tessa (4th Grade) where I am a graphic designer and a Capoeira teacher.

Waldorf education helped me cultivate my art skills which I use for my graphic design business.  Waldorf school also instilled in me a curiosity, I believe anything that I set my mind to can be accomplished.

 
Recommended Reading
 
Working Play for the Young Child by Nancy Blanning.  Featured in Lilipoh Summer 2015

If anyone had said that two plastic dishpans, a few unbreakable dishes and cups, soapy water, a dish brush or two, and old towels would provide the best day of play for our grandchildren, even I would have been skeptical.  Waldorf kindergartens are know for their natural materials, lovely toys, and beautiful silks to speak to the child's imagination.  I hade certainly seen those used to create happy play time and had provided an assortment  of these in our home.  But on this day,.... to continue reading:  
https://gallery.mailchimp.com/1e12bee2a44dd702c165a8c03/files/DOC090915_09092015095523.pdf

A Look at Waldorf and Montessori Education in the Early Childhood Programs by Barbara Shell.  

This comparison of Waldorf and Montessori educational philosophies is based on my personal experience as a teacher in both Montessori and Waldrof school systems.  I would like to preface my remarks by stressing that there can be much difference from one classroom to another in any philosophy, due to the style and interpretation of the individual teacher.  
Although the young child is viewed with great respect and reverence in both philosophies, there are several areas of contrast between Waldorf and Monetessori, including their approach to play, fantasy, toys, social development, structure and order, and intellectualism.

Play, fantasy and toys
In Montessori, there is a feeling that young children have difficulty distinguishing between reality and fantasy, and therefore fantasy should be postponed until..... to continue reading:
https://gallery.mailchimp.com/1e12bee2a44dd702c165a8c03/files/DOC090915_09092015101146.pdf
Community Events
 
Michaelmas Festival
WSMC will celebrate Michaelmas on Friday, September 25th with our annual pageant and shared soup lunch.  Please plan to attend this wonderful fall community event.

Sign up sheets will be up on Classroom Bulletin Boards next week, please sign up to help!

Beautification Day
August 16th was hot and smokey but we still had a great turn out for our Campus Beautification Day.
We accomplished many projects: the Kindergarten gate was rebuilt, new floors were installed in the Kindergarten slide house, both the Circle Garden and the new Corner Garden were weeded, the lawn was mowed, weeds were whacked, mountains of leaves were raked, brambles were trimmed and trained, the whole campus was generally tidied up and snacks were enjoyed.
  

A huge thank you to the following families for spending a precious summer Saturday building community and working hard:
Marlayna Duley
Mindy Kelley
Thaxter Family
Sam Senerchia
Noah Cornell
Jenny and Carter Grissom
Dylan and Wendy Harris
Anastasia and Jim Logg
Jeff and Eryn Brunner
Cyril Guthridge
Rachelle and Adam Coleman
Aaron Katz
Fischer Family
Moratti Family
Jami O'Connor
Lanae Lamkin
Stephanie Tebbutt
Amy Stocker
Debra McCarthy
Kelly Austin
Angela Oswald
Shannon Lappin
Kenai Ross and Ed Nieves

   
Thank you to Eryn Schon-Brunner for pictures!
Gratitudes

Ms. Senerchia thanks Noah Cornell for his creativity, dedication and generosity in building the new Kindergarten "Tree House".

Ms. Senerchia thanks Tristan Sharp for showing up in August to undertake ambitious site improvement projects and executing them with competence and an eye towards beauty.
 
Ms. Senerchia thanks Craig Keiser for dealing with all sorts of small and large tasks that were troublesome.  Craig offers so much good-natured time to keep our school looking good and running smoothly.

WSMC thanks the Pomilia family and Granite Construction for their generous donation and delivery of sand for all our sandboxes.
 
    
Parent to Parent Sharing
 
Share your small and large businesses with your school community.  For a small fee, you can advertise quarterly in the newsletter, or for the current school year in the directory.  Email office@mendocinowaldorf.org or call the front desk for more information.

Tara Moratti supports our school in so many ways:  As an active Board Member, Volunteer, and Parent to Mara (grade 6), and Leo (grade 3).  
 
"My child seems to find a new favorite thing about school each month.  This month he loves beeswax modeling class because the teacher is a "super storyteller."
 
Copyright © 2015 The Waldorf School of Mendocino County, All rights reserved.


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