We are so very excited to welcome each of you to Waldorf School at Moraine Farm (WSMF) for the new school year! Tomorrow marks our first day of school and the first day back as a community since March 16th. We have been dreaming of this moment for many months.
We are implementing our plan to reopen in person and provide a space for healing, care, love, and community for all our students. To do so, our unflappable teachers and administrators have:
- prepared to make even more use of our beautiful campus and will be teaching parts of the day in outdoor classrooms,
- developed and continuously update our 2020-2021 Reopening Guide to safely and carefully reopen our school,
- implemented new cleaning and sanitization protocols in keeping with state and nationwide guidelines,
- imagined an array of programming to continue to keep our community connected and together.
Our Reopening Task Force and faculty have been working hard throughout the summer to ensure a healthy, safe, loving, and comprehensive start to the school year. This year will look and feel a little different than past years. Through our updated safety guidelines, we will be building new ways to teach, gather, communicate, and uphold our traditions and Waldorf pedagogy. We know that we will have great successes and also realize that we will need to adjust and adapt as we learn. We ask that, together as a community, we continue to imagine what this “new normal” means for us at WSMF.
While researching our school’s history during my onboarding this summer, I was not surprised to find imagination and boldness recur as core themes, right from the school’s inception. While I was writing this letter, I often stopped to reflect on the essence of grit, imagination, flexibility, perseverance, and patience. No example that I found or thought of felt quite right for this letter. Then, this past Friday, I received a package. It was from Ms. Christine Huston, one of our school’s founders. She had stumbled upon an article written by Ms. Linda Finigan (another founder) called “In The Beginning: Looking back on the history of the school” and sent it to me knowing that I had been in search of WSMF’s founding documents. Ms. Finigan’s article describes the many incredible and joyful parts of running the school during its first five years: hiring the first teachers, holding the first holiday fair, making dolls with the first kindergarten class, finding a home for the school, and achieving many more significant milestones.
Her last excerpt left me in awe as it described what I had been searching for to articulate this chapter in our history:
I would leave you with the wrong impression to say that it was all highlights or fun or even at times particularly clear. It was never easy. It is indeed fortunate that in life we cannot look ahead to fathom the full measure of what will be asked of us, the depth of sacrifice. There were agonized decisions, divisions of opinion, uncertainty, crises… But through it all… — joyous and painful as births will always be — a Waldorf school has come into being in this part of the world. We have survived. In truly recognizing what it is a Waldorf school brings to our children and the world, there is no doubt that despite every obstacle, every shortcoming, the final result outweighs it all. [The result was] to build a beacon of strength and hope in our world. Recently I came across a verse from Goethe which was included in the school’s Fall 1985 newsletter. It was as much inspiration at the beginning as it is now, looking ahead to the next decade and all that lies before us: “Whatever you do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.”
Together, we will remember and draw upon the inspiration of our origins and continue to do the work that was set in motion more than thirty years ago. As we embark on the 2020-2021 school year, my hope and ask is that each of us practice and go forth with love, patience, grit, boldness, and, importantly, a mindset to imagine.
We are overjoyed that this week has finally arrived. We are ready, as our founder and father of Waldorf Education Rudolf Steiner says, “[to] receive the children in reverence, educate them in love, and send them forth in freedom.”
Welcome and welcome back to each of you!
With love and gratitude,