515 Cougar Ridge Drive S.W.     
Calgary, Alberta, Canada T3H 5G9     
Phone: 403-287-1868  |  Fax: 403-287-3414     
Info@calgarywaldorf.org     

Alumni

ALUMNI
              


Click here for the current issue of Inform from AWSNA

SCHOOL NEWS
ONGOING BOTTLE RECYCLING FUNDRAISER FOR THE SCHOOL
Grade 9 invites you to help us with the school's Field Trip Fund by leaving your empty beverage containers for us to recycle. Here's what we are proposing:
  • The drop-off day is Thursday only.
  • Bottles and other beverage containers can be left on the East (staff parking lot) side of the fenced garbage collection area, in bags or in boxes – not in front of the doors to the garbage collection area.
Please note that this plan can only work if the bottles are left properly, that is, only on Thursday and neatly. We thank you for your support.

Jack Searchfield and Grade 9 Students and Parents


KUDOS FOR THE CROSS-COUNTRY RUN/WALK
For 160 CWS community members, an amazing morning was spent out on the trails of Canada Olympic Park last Saturday for our 28th Annual Cross-Country Run/Walk. It was a fun event brought together by all of the enthusiasm of our participating families and friends, and through the efforts of our wonderful parent volunteers. Thank you to everyone who made this somewhat chilly and damp Saturday such a warm-hearted experience. To our many volunteers on-site at COP who made the actual run/walk part of the event possible, thank you for keeping us organized and on track, especially Stefan Price, our long-serving Chief Marshal. To our many set-up, clean-up, kitchen/lunch helpers, and soup-makers, thank you for your hard work and the nourishment we were all able to share together at the lunch following the run/walk. It's the combination of a run through the autumn trees and hills with the social, home-made lunch afterwards that's made this a 28-year success story for our school.

We want to send HUGE thanks to Michael Wetherup, our Race Director, and to Kim Kemper, our Kitchen/Lunch Coordinator for taking on and carrying out the event's biggest roles with their commitment, their enthusiasm, and their dedication to getting everything right. It's the care and attention Michael and Kim bring to the big picture and to the small details that makes the whole thing work so well! Thank you, Michael and Kim.

Regarding the Founders' Cup: Well done, third place Class One with 48% participation, second place Class Three with 56%. And congratulations to Class Two and Mr. Carter for winning the 2014 Founders' Cup, with 69% participation in the run/walk. We believe that Mr. Carter now holds the CWS record for most Founders' Cups won by one teacher's classes – at 5 wins, during his 11 years teaching here. Thank you, Mr. Carter, for your long-time support for our annual run/walk, as well as your special gift for leading the race warm-up with your Interpretive Dance routines.

Next year promises another ever-changing Calgary forecast, lots of fun, and even more cheers and high-fives at the finish line.

Thank you, one and all.
Sierra Maidlow (Special Events Administrative Support) and Cathie Foote (School Administrator)


THE WALDORF FAIRE IS ON THE HORIZON
30th Annual Waldorf Faire
Saturday, November 22, 2014 – 10 am – 5 pm



CALL FOR PERFORMERS!
We are looking for performers to showcase their talents at this year's Waldorf Faire. If you or someone you know is a singer, plays an instrument, performs in a choir or band, is a dancer, or exhibits another gift in the performing arts, please consider being a part of this special day. We encourage all children and adults from budding artist to well-seasoned entertainers to participate.

If interested, please contact Sierra Maidlow, Special Events Administrative Support at s.maidlow@calgarywaldorf.org or leave me a voicemail at the school 403-287-1868 ext. 317 and I will gladly provide more information.


CHILDREN-ONLY STORE
Glenda and I have been busy planning what we will be showcasing in this year's Children-Only Store for the Faire.  We have a couple of new ideas and some great favourites that we look forward to sharing with you all.  If you are able to help this year, we would love to hear from you.  All abilities are accepted and needed, as we have many things to create, from crocheting to gluing to cutting. 

Suzanne D. (CWS Mom) has graciously donated her home again for Craft Central on Thursday mornings, from shortly after drop-off until 11 am.  We will have a whole lot of things to do, so come on out! We had an EPIC year last year thanks to all of you who helped and we would love to have an even better year this year!  Look forward to hearing from you.

Happy Crafting, Tanya Massey and Glenda Koppe


ARE YOU A STORYTELLER?
Do you tell stories to your children at night or on trips? Do you like to perform? Or do you know someone else who does? The Waldorf Faire Story Garden is looking for storytellers to fill our children's hearts and minds with wonder at our school's annual Festival of Joy. If you or someone else you know has a story to tell, or if you just like telling stories, please consider telling a story for the Story Garden at this year's Faire.

If you're interested or for more information, contact Annie and Howard at ahava27@telus.net or 587-988-0094. We hope to listen to you at The Faire.


NATURE GARDEN TREE DISCS
Alongside the very sad fact of many trees downed in the recent snowstorm, comes the ideal chance to have easy access to some wood for this year's Nature Garden activity at The Waldorf Faire in November. If you have a chainsaw and are cutting up a tree, would you please consider cutting us some discs that are 5" - 10" in diameter and 2" thick. We need about 350 discs in total.

Please leave a message at the school for Linda if you can help to provide some of these tree discs. Thanks.


NATURE GARDEN MATERIAL
Now that fall (winter?) has arrived and you are cleaning up your gardens and yards, please consider bringing in your berries, pine cones, dried flowers, and seed tops for us to use in the Nature Garden activity at The Waldorf Faire. Even if you are not sure whether we can use them, just bring them in to the school anyway. If possible, cut stems to about 12 inches maximum length. Mountain ash and other berries, dried flowers, seed heads, bunches of long grasses, and large pine cones are always in great demand. Also, if you get a bouquet of flowers and can dry it when it's almost done, those are much appreciated too. Items can be left outside the office BEGINNING MID-OCTOBER.

Please leave a message at the school for Linda if you have any questions or if you need me to pick up your items. Thanks.


FROM THE FACULTY
AUTUMN REFLECTION #3 FROM A FACULTY MEMBER AWAY THIS FALL
I do feel much more "away" this morning as I sit down to write. This is likely because it's Thanksgiving, and I am alone in the quiet of a small Cambridge, Massachusetts apartment sipping Trader Joe's pumpkin spice coffee and feeling thankful: thankful that I have the time and resources to share a Canadian Thanksgiving with my daughter who's at University in Boston.

And this theme of gratitude or thankfulness filled my heart as I met with my Class last Friday evening - a little over one month into their High School experience. Those doubts that I spoke of last week, the ones I carried all through the nine-year journey, relaxed a little. I spent the evening with an amazing group of young people. They talked about High School from a solid, grounded place and I let out a breath that I had not even been aware I was holding.

I did say last week that I was going to talk about the parent-teacher relationship and about trust. I will get to this important topic, but this morning I am realizing that I must enter into this weekly writing process authentically. And that will mean being open to inspiration on the road. I am inspired now by the fact that I am late submitting this to the Wednesday Notice, and I'd better get something sent.

I think of my CWS colleagues now, standing before their classes and I am filled with gratitude. Gratitude for their striving, each and every day, to meet the needs of the children before them. This is love in action. I will now take you all with me as I walk the streets of Central Square and the banks of the Charles River here in Boston.

Until next week,
Christina MacWilliam


AUTUMN REFLECTION #2 FROM A FACULTY MEMBER AWAY THIS FALL
Autumn is drying and dying and flying right before my eyes here in Canmore. The winds give chase to the falling leaves and the snow line descends down the mountains as the light recedes behind. I am filled with a mixture of inspiration and melancholy – the perfect cocktail for a good song. Or perhaps, an article in the Wednesday Notice!

Mixed feelings (much like what many of us have about the coming of Autumn) is perhaps the best way to begin my musings about the journey of Class Teaching. Because although I sit here today having completed nine years with an incredible group of students and parents, I would be lying if I told you that the journey was without mixed feelings or without conflicts at times.

I remember the first day that the Grade One classroom door closed behind me and I was alone at the front of the room with 27 pairs of eyes looking up at me - looking at me to take the helm. I was terrified. What had I taken on? Could I navigate these seas? Was I a teacher? [And to be totally honest, I continued to ask myself these kinds of questions regularly for the next nine years.]

I apologize if these observations undermine your confidence in teachers, or just your confidence in me in particular, but the truth is that my journey as a teacher was filled with questions and uncertainty. Perhaps this helped me to realize early on that the journey of a Class Teacher in a Waldorf School is one of partnerships: partnerships with Class parents, with colleagues, with mentors, with the unseen forces of the universe, and eventually with the students themselves.

The pivotal relationship in the early years of teaching my class was with the Class Parents. Building trust is a delicate dance. Next week I will reflect upon the steps which I think build respect and trust into the parent-teacher relationship. Christina MacWilliam, Class Teacher for the June 2014 Graduating Grade Nine Class


AUTUMN REFLECTION #1 FROM A FACULTY MEMBER AWAY THIS FALL
For the last 14 years I have been either a parent or a staff member, or both, of the Calgary Waldorf School. This Fall I find myself neither, and with this pause in our relationship, I have time to reflect upon and to appreciate just how much this complex relationship has changed my life, my daughter's life, and the lives of my students.

My daughter started in the Kindergarten with Miss Vivian. I remember dropping her off at school early on in the new year and being struck with the realization that there was no other place I would want her to be spending her days. The warmth and loving guidance within those simple portable structures (back at the "old" school site) felt like a godsend to Tala, and therefore to my single-mother's heart.

As my daughter's journey in the school unfolded, so did mine. After working as an Assistant in the Kindergarten and as the Community Development Coordinator on the admin team, I made the decision to pursue a Masters Degree in Education and my Waldorf Teacher Training Certification. I moved to New Hampshire for a year to make this plan a reality, and then I returned to Calgary to take on a Grade One Class of 27 students in the Fall of 2005.

What I have now, as I embark on this Fall sabbatical, that I did not have the past nine years (when I was a Class Teacher with my students for Grades One through Nine) is time to reflect and time to write. I hope that you, CWS parents and colleagues, will bear with me over the next several weeks as I take up themes which are emerging for me in my "Autumn Reflections".

I began my Community Development job at CWS by writing articles for the Wednesday Notice; "Let's Talk Community" was my byline. I think that I came to a better understanding of what it meant to be a parent in a Waldorf School through this writing process. Soren Kierkegaard said, "Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards". Perhaps now, writing about my Waldorf Class Teaching, I am trying to build a deeper understanding of the incredible nine-year journey I engaged in with my Class, while also moving forward.

I begin an eight-week road trip soon [this is the living forward part], and I see this writing commitment as my continuing anchor to CWS. As a sailor I know the value of a well-set anchor in a protected harbour.

I welcome dialogue/questions/arguments/comments about anything I write and I wish everyone an inspiring Fall term at the school.

Christina MacWilliam
(Class Teacher for last year's Graduating Grade Nines)


ANNUAL GIVING
Hello CWS community,
A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to accompany my daughter's Class to Heart Creek for an all-day hike. It was a cool, crisp, and sunny autumn day, and the kids were excited, bundled up, and ready to spend a day in the mountains with Mother Nature. They did brilliantly, like hearty little mountaineers exploring their natural-world classroom for the day. The most magical moment for me was stepping back and watching the kids march through an open meadow, with the blue sky, Rocky Mountains, and orange and yellow-coloured aspens blanketing the backdrop. To me, this is one of the foundations of Waldorf education, to forge within us an appreciation for the natural world, and to let the feelings of the changing seasons enter our spirits.

These moments are precious gifts to our children, and are only made possible with family support of time and money. This Thanksgiving Week marks the kickoff of our Annual Giving Campaign. By the time of our November Break, our goal is to achieve 100% participation and raise $120,000 to support our supplementary fund that makes things like field trips, teacher training, tuition assistance, and upgrades to the school possible. The Annual Giving materials are in the mail to you now. Please reflect on what inspires you to give, and join our CWS community in making this important event a priority for your family. Thank you.

Matthew Good
(CWS Parent, Board Member, and Fund Enrichment Committee Member)





FROM THE BOARD
GROCERY CARD SUCCESS STORY:
NEWS FROM THE FUND ENRICHMENT COMMITTEE

We have some great news from the Fund Enrichment Committee!  Fundraising via our school's Grocery Card Program has increased 69% thanks to you, our parents and staff. We have increased the number of cards distributed per month from 663 to 908, which is a 37% increase.  Also of note this year is that Calgary Co-op has raised the discount at which we buy their cards from 5% to 10.5% – which also increases our fundraised dollars with no extra cost to you. 

Overall we are projected to increase our annual revenue from all Grocery Cards to a total of $ 65,000 this year (compared to the actual $ 38,435 last year).  Thanks so much to everyone who continues to participate, to everyone who started participating this year, and to the many of you who order more than the minimum 4 cards per month.  

Fund Enrichment Committee
(Carri Clarke, Susan Dunn, Cathie Foote, Matthew Good & Eva Kelly)


DEAR PARENTS AND COMMUNITY MEMBERS
Our Calgary Waldorf School regularly invites guests from other Waldorf communities, for visits of a few days to sometimes a whole week, to support the pedagogical work at our school. These guests offer various things such as workshops for teachers and parents, lectures for the community, or one-on-one mentoring or evaluating support for our faculty.

We are urgently seeking individuals or families who could offer a bedroom with an en suite bathroom and the possibility of providing breakfasts for these guests when they are in town. The school will pay a daily rate for housing our guests.

If you are interested in assisting the school in this way, please contact Anna Driehuyzen, Pedagogical Administrator, at the school at 403–287–1868 ext. 150.


Inspiring Facts: Did You Know. . . . ?

We have a new 1½ minute video about where we can find inspiration in our school.



Please click here to watch it at youtube.

It stars a number of CWS parents and was created, directed, filmed, and edited by CWS parent and documentary film-maker, Matt Palmer, with original music by CWS parent and composer Mike Shields. Thank you, Matt, Mike, and all the mums and dads who were happy to be filmed!

How will you be inspired to give?
Thanks for making your donation to our Annual Giving Campaign today.
— From the Fund Enrichment Committee