Reopening Task Force Update • June 8

June 8th, 2020 | Announcements, Parents, Programs

Reopening Task Force Update • June 8

The focus of the task force’s initial work has been to seek out resources from the CDC, state and credible organizations to help guide our preparations. At this time the state has not shared guidelines specific to reopening in September.

However, we have received guidelines specific to summer camp and are awaiting clarification on questions of wearing masks and maintaining social distancing. This will help us determine if we can move forward with summer camp and programs.

We have also been steadily procuring supplies that have been difficult to get due to high demand. This task has been something that we have been working on since the closure in March. Jack Hogan, Facility Manager, has been working hard to get us on multiple waitlists for needed supplies and he is getting quite adept at finding ways to procure hard to find items. Luckily we have been able to get a good supply of disinfecting wipes and spray, as well as contactless thermometers. All of which will be necessary to implement daily onsite screening and increased cleaning procedures. This week we received confirmation that the electrostatic sprayer (that was purchased in the first week of March) is set to arrive in the next week or so. This is great news as it is no longer available for purchase anywhere. This piece of equipment is used in the professional cleaning industry and is the most effective way to kill bacteria in buildings such as a school setting.

We are also drafting an end of the year parent survey. This is something that we have done in the past and will be especially helpful this year as we review how the spring went with distance learning, parent support, and ongoing communications. We also anticipate that we will have a follow-up survey later this summer to gauge how people are feeling about returning to school in the fall. It is important to us that we first seek input on how the spring went, and then turn towards the future and planning for the fall with all of the feedback taken into account.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns please reach out! You can email info@waldorfmoraine.org and your question will be directed to the right person.

Sincerely,
Coleen Ryan, Reopening Task Force Chair

A Note From AWSNA

June 8th, 2020 | Announcements

Read the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America’s full statement. 

WSMF Family & Teacher Hold Vigil

June 8th, 2020 | Announcements, Building Together, Outreach

Waldorf music teacher, Marshunda Smith, joined new family member Dr. Kenann McKenzie this weekend to host a vigil in remembrance of those who have lost their lives to racism. Their vigil had poems, music, children book reading, and poignant educational messages from artists from Washington DC, Illinois, and Lynn. You can view the recording on our community Facebook page.

Youth Invited to the Race Amity Festival on June 14th

June 8th, 2020 | Announcements


Click Here for Updates & Information

 

Big Sean, Detroit Waldorf School Alumnus & Rapper, Speaks

June 8th, 2020 | Announcements

Big Sean Speaks Out About Protesting in Powerful Video Message: ‘I Don’t Feel Equal and I Don’t Feel Free‘.

6/2/2020 by Glenn Rowley

Big Sean took to social media on Monday (June 1) to express his feelings about protesting with the Black Lives Matter movement in the wake of George Floyd’s death and his identity as a Black man in America.

“Clearly we got the whole world’s attention, obviously,” the rapper said in a video posted to his Twitter and Instagram feeds. “And justice has to be served. Period. And if it’s not, I don’t think things are going to change or get better.”

Sean also opened up about his experiences participating in protests over the past few days. “I know I been protesting, I know a lot of us been out on the streets protesting,” he said, “And it’s been a lot of unity, but I also see a lot of people with ulterior motives that look like undercover cops. I don’t know if they are undercover cops, but like, you know, starting a lot of the conflict, a lot of the issues. And we’ve all seen places where they’ve got them bricks conveniently located to wreak havoc, and I don’t know what the ulterior motive is.

“I don’t know if it’s to make us look like we wild beasts or don’t have control, but we clearly are not wild beasts. We’re extraordinary, talented magical people that if you took us out of the equation, the world would be very, very bland.”

Sean then touched on the long history of slavery and discrimination throughout U.S. history, saying, “Our ancestors built this country for free, OK? So I’m just talking from the heart right now but one of my biggest issues is that…this current government, and country, is built on a racist foundation. A lot of us know this. You want to talk about systemic oppression, you want to talk about the justice system being targeted to people that look like me.

“And it’s impossible to get out of once you in there, you know?…Some of the first police forces ever was made during slavery, down South, in them Southern states. And their main focus was to capture, apprehend, beat, discipline slaves, rip them apart from their families, keep them apart and God knows whatever else.”

“So that’s what I’m saying, that’s how deep it goes back,” he continued. “So no wonder that a cop feels like they could kill a Black man or woman and feel like it’s a way of life.”

In a followup video, Big Sean candidly spoke about being a Black man in America today. “So you want to talk about land of equality and freedom?” he asked. “I don’t feel equal and I don’t feel free. Of course let’s speak up and be heard, but things have to change.”

Visit Waldorf Alum Big Sean’s Twitter page to hear more of his thoughts

 

WCA Update: Week of June 8, 2020

June 8th, 2020 | Announcements, Students, Waldorf Community Association


Family Update 

The Spodick Family: A New Rhythm

Our minds search to find a new rhythm as our lives have ground to a halt and we find ourselves in lockdown with our families, faced both with one another and the question of what to do.  Being blessed with time at home together, we have found ourselves doing more cooking, creating, cleaning, and connecting.

Etta has always enjoyed baking, so with her newfound time she has been keeping us fat with what she calls ‘The Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Ever’ recipe. It has been wonderful to have a sweet treat to add a little sunshine to our day. Happy to share the recipe.

In the creative realm, Etta has been refurbishing old discarded skateboards. With the help of her father, she has learned to disassemble the boards and replace/restore the hardware. Then, she designs her own graphics and paints them on herself. She has been up to this for a while and has done several as gifts for friends and one which she is currently working on as a commission!

Spring and cleaning always seem to go hand in hand. We have been taking this time to clear out closets, drawers, and that box that has been sitting in the corner all year. It makes our space feel good, fresh, and lighter. Surprisingly, Etta has cleaned her room a record amount of times since the lockdown. Her parents have never been so impressed! Of course, it looks like a cyclone hit it by the next day, but it’s the effort that counts.

One of our newfound favorite things to do is connecting on Zoom with our family and friends. Who knew video chat could be so much fun? Though as the days in lockdown turn into months we are reminded that nothing really replaces human contact and seeing our loved ones in person. But, since that isn’t allowed at this time Zoom will have to do, and we are thankful for it.

In addition to connecting with others, we have been connecting with nature. Most days in which weather allows we find ourselves on another trail along the Ipswich River. This is one of our favorite places to hike. The abundant wildlife and lush forestry is both relaxing and grounding for our family. Even on days in which our situation seems impossible, being in nature helps to melt our stress away as we wander the paths deeper and deeper into the forest. I highly recommend time in the woods to cure just about anything that ails you.

We really miss our Waldorf family! Until we can be together again, remember the words a very wise man once said:

Happiness can be found in the darkest of times,
if one only remembers to turn on the light.

—Dumbledore

 


 

Teacher Appreciation 

We hope you had a chance to pick up packets of wish flags and safety pins at school over the weekend. Many thanks to Gretchen MacKilligan for cutting the fabric for us. 

Please use these flags to write a sentiment of gratitude for your child’s teacher/s. Fill out an extra flag for the eighth grade as we usher them onward to high school. When you have completed your flags you may return them to school and hang them up on the first and second-grade playground. These flags act as our cards to our teachers for a year of loving and challenging work. If we all fill them out they will also act as our reminder of the strength of community acting together. Come visit the flags over the summer to enjoy this gift. 

 


 

Supporting Each Other

There is still time left in this school year to contribute a gesture of giving towards a fellow Waldorf family. Many have lost income. If you and your family are in the fortunate position of financial stability please consider donating a grocery gift card. These are being distributed with discretion and dignity to families who have given so much for our school over the years. If you are aware of anyone in the community who would benefit from this gift we are committed to standing beside them and reminding them that they are worth every kindness. Let us know. 

Contact WCA@waldorfmoraine.org and we will be happy to assist this heartfelt gesture.

 


 

Family Freecycle

Along the lines of families boosting families (and Mother Nature at the same time) we have enjoyed a couple of instances of organized clothing giving in the past. All of our students are outgrowing clothing. We could all benefit from sharing items in good condition for re-use. Let’s take care with this gorgeous planet and each other at the same time! 

Would anyone like to help organize a Family Freecycle for the upcoming summer season? Let us know! WCA@waldorfmoraine.org 

 


 

Send us your updates and your photos!

There is still time to tell us about your family’s newfound patterns of life. Send a couple of paragraphs to us and tell us what you have been doing to pass the time. What has surprised you and what has challenged you. And include photos. We miss you and would love to hear what you’ve been up to. 

Send entries to wca@waldorfmoraine.org and we will share them here. 

 


 

Book Group

Our next book is called Cutting Stone by Abraham Verghese. Next Zoom gathering TBA. Let us know you want to join the discussion by writing to Deann Reyes-Wangh at dreyeswangh@waldorfmoraine.org 

 

New Entry Food Hub: Job Posting

June 8th, 2020 | Announcements

We are looking for someone to staff the site for the 10-week summer season or the full 20-weeks. This would require you to be at Waldorf from 2:30–6:30 every Tuesday, check off members as they come to get their share and clean up. In exchange, this person will receive a free CSA share and access to any produce that is not picked up. If you are interested in this, please respond, or better yet, please pass this on to anyone you know who may be out of a job and in need of fresh produce. The contact person is Cyrena Thibodeau, New Entry Food Hub Coordinator, Cyrena.thibodeau@tufts.edu or foodhub@nesfp.org. Her phone number is 774-271-1144.

 

Remembering Class Teacher: Elizabeth Trocki

June 8th, 2020 | Announcements

Elizabeth Trocki
April 8, 1955 – May 26, 2020

Elizabeth Trocki was a Class Teacher at our school, then called Cape Ann Waldorf School. She joined the school in 1989 when the school was growing to include three grade classes, as well as our early childhood program. She took the 1st-grade class which she taught through 8th grade. She was instrumental in helping the school develop in its early years, especially caring for the health of the social life of the community. She will be greatly missed. We send our love with her as she journeys to new realms. You can read her obituary here.

I was united with you;
remain united within me.
We will converse
In the speech of eternal being.
We will be active
Where deeds take effect.
We will weave in spirit
Where human thoughts are woven
In the world of eternal thoughts.

Verse by Rudolf Steiner

 

8th Grade Presentations • Watch Live!

June 1st, 2020 | Announcements, Events, Parents, Programs, Students


Please join us on Tuesday, June 2 at 6:30 PM for the 8th-grade project presentations.

Students will individually present projects which they have been working on since September. Students have been working with mentors from our community, supported by their teachers to plan, design, undertake and present these unique and self-directed projects.

This is a first-ever virtual webinar event for our graduating 8th-grade class. All are welcome to watch! Each presentation is about 10 minutes, with the entire event running between 1½ to 2 hours.

This year’s program includes:

8th-Grade Project Presentation • LIVE Event!

Add Date & Time to Calendar — June 2, 2020 @ 6:30 PM (EST)
LinkLive Zoom Event (click to open Zoom)

Note: Please be sure to have the latest version of Zoom installed. Please do so well prior to the event, as the software update can take up to 30 minutes or more.

Captain Cully: a 6th Grade Radio Drama!

June 1st, 2020 | Announcements

Join the 6th-grade students for a Facebook LIVE event at 6:30 on Friday June 5! Popcorn and your ears are required. Your eyes are not required for this event!

 

Reopening Task Force: Weekly Update June 1

June 1st, 2020 | Announcements

The school’s Reopening Task Force has been researching best practices; understanding guidelines set forth by the CDC, state and Beverly Board of Health; planning and implementing new policies and procedures for the facility; and ensuring that the faculty are adapting their teaching methods and curriculum to meet the needs of this new environment. This is a significant task with many areas of work to consider and plan for – and we are taking an “all hands on deck” approach with the entire administrative staff and representatives of our faculty and board.

The first question that we all have is when will we reopen?

The state has set forth a four-phase plan to reopen. Massachusetts is now in phase one and, if things go well, we will move into phase two, which will include the opening of camps and programs. We are hopeful that our summer programs will be able to move forward as planned and will be instituting new policies and procedures for these programs.

Perhaps your next question is what will the new policies and protocols be? Right now, there are no hard and fast guidelines from the government on what schools need to reopen. However, we are looking at resources the government has provided, researching best practices, and receiving guidance from credible organizations, such as Association for Waldorf Schools of North America, Association for Independent School of New England, and American Camping Association, among others. That being said, we are anticipating that all schools, including ours, will:

While we are actively preparing for these changes, all the final protocols and procedures will be driven by state and local officials. We are committing to more regular communications, and at the same time, trying to be sensitive to all the information that is coming at all of us.

If you would like to read more click here

 

First Day of School 2020–2021

June 1st, 2020 | Administration, Admissions, Announcements, Faculty, Parents, Students

Mark your calendars! The first day of school is scheduled for Wednesday, September 2, 2020 — BEFORE LABOR DAY.

Please know that this date is subject to change depending on state and local authorities.

The last day of school for 2019–2020 is June 17th.

 

Cyberbullying – A Real Life Lesson in Comic Form

May 31st, 2020 | Announcements

 

Dirk Tiede, Cyber Civics teacher and visual artist, created a comic book about cyberbullying and digital drama to accompany a recent lesson. Countless research studies showcase the value of partnering creative content with academic work. Mr. Tiede uses the comic to tie together important lessons on the use of technology and social/emotional learning – against a backdrop of current events.

Continue reading (and see the full comic) on The Chalkboard…

 

Current Student Materials – Pickup & Drop Off

May 31st, 2020 | Announcements, Parents, Students

For current students and families, the last day for material pickup will be Saturday, June 6th. The last day to return material will be Saturday, June 20th. Please check with your class teachers for specifics.

 

WCA Update: Week of June 1

May 31st, 2020 | Announcements, Waldorf Community Association


Teacher Appreciation 

Of the many ways we have had the pleasure of witnessing the grace and aplomb of our teachers this year, their mettle was fully tested when the Waldorf School at Moraine Farm went abruptly to remote learning in March. 

None of us knew what to expect, including our dear teachers. Just a week beforehand we sat in the great hall during our last all community meeting surmising about the impact the virus might have. It seems surreal to recall a time when we could sit in one room together and actually see each other’s faces. We were stunned into the strangest era most of us have experienced as we isolated ourselves from just about everyone. 

Let’s not forget that we are all still here. We are only apart by miles. Our day to day eases and struggles are shared and they are real. It has been, at its core, disorienting and sad. When we go to school to pick up our children’s assignment packets, the quiet is filled with our voices. We can imagine the doors opening and children steering themselves, headlong into the sunshine. We remember the dyed silks patiently waving on a drying rack and the gardens accumulating beloved sticks from an early childhood walk. 

Through all of these images, there are teachers who accompany our children and guide them to learn. Those teachers, torn just as abruptly as the rest of us from this daily rhythm, were unflappable. They took a deep breath, set up a corner of their homes to use for zoom meetings and packaged their teaching to send to us, their proxies, in homes from the north shore to Boston. They taught us how to deliver their promises to our children. They delivered love through varied and heartfelt means. 

And we want to thank them. 

Our idea to thank our teachers is to make wish flags for them and hang them up at school. 

To best appreciate the historical legacy of this gesture let’s take a brief journey back in time. 

Approximately a decade ago (10 years in April 2021) the Cape Ann Waldorf School packed up and moved from Hale Street to Moraine Farm. In an effort to bring closure to our tenure there and to bring hope to our new home, we made wish flags that were hung at both our old school and at our new home. The wish flags bore gratitude for the memories at Hale Street and offered hopes and dreams for our new chapter at Moraine Farm. The flags were meant to wave in the wind until they disintegrated, rejoining the cycle of nature around them. They faded and they quietly observed our beautiful dance as we found our roots and carried on learning. We were living through a transition back then and we are living through a transition now. 

In the spirit of that unity, let’s find our gratitude for our teachers and once again, decorate our school with rows of wishes and thanks in the form of wish flags. 

Over the last couple of weeks of school, we will supply flags in the Trayes room so you can take them home and decorate them and then return them to school. Each class will receive more pointed detail from their class parents. Questions can also be directed to the WCA. 

So watch for email communication from your class parent and watch the newsletter for reminders that the flags are ready to be picked up, decorated, and returned to school to be displayed alongside the other flags. 

In that way the flags truly represent us. We may seem to be apart but we are still one big community. We are all invited to come and enjoy the flags as they are displayed from mid-June and well into the summer. 

Let the flags be the little voices we still hear on the playground and the lines of a play recited by middle schoolers, the songs of string instruments, and the parents greeting each other, exchanging ideas and friendship. Let our praise for our dedicated teachers be a gift to them and a reminder to us that such a special school does not exist without the hearts, heads, and hands of all of us. 

 


 

Eighth Graders

We promised there would be an opportunity to congratulate our eighth-grade graduates. They will have their own string of wish flags at school. We are all invited to take an extra flag to fill out for our graduating students. Write to one of them or write to all of them. Write to the teacher. Let them know that we honor the years they have spent in a school imagined and built by parents and teachers just like us and made whole by students just like them.  

 


 

Osprey Nest-Cam

The Essex County Greenbelt has set up a camera to view the Osprey nest in the salt marsh outside the LobstaLand Restaurant in Gloucester. There are two ospreys living there (names Annie and Squam) and more osprey on the way! Watch the progression of their daily life and the hatching of the young at Osprey Cam.

 

Send us your updates and your photos!

There is still time to tell us about your family’s newfound patterns of life. Send a couple of paragraphs to us and tell us what you have been doing to pass the time. What has surprised you and what has challenged you. And include photos. We miss you and would love to hear what you’ve been up to. 

Send entries to wca@waldorfmoraine.org and we will share them here. 

 


 

Book Group

Our next book is called Cutting Stone by Abraham Verghese. Next Zoom gathering TBA. Let us know you want to join the discussion by writing to Deann Reyes-Wangh at dreyeswangh@waldorfmoraine.org 

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