Friday Message from the WSOC Leadership Team
Andrea Hubert, College of Teachers Chair
Megan Brown, Board of Trustees Chair
Douglas Garrett, School Administrator
Dear WSOC Community,
Waldorf education was founded in 1919 as a response to a world then in crisis. Its purpose is to heal the future through educating the children who are that future. Your children are our future.
We write to you today with news for us as individuals, and as a school community, about our next steps together. We will provide you updates each Friday.
Update on Learning Beyond the Classroom…
“It is most important that there is always contact, and that teachers and pupils form a unity.” ― Rudolf Steiner
This sentence encapsulates the essence of Waldorf education – forming a deep, meaningful and lasting connection between teacher and student that is not limited to external encounters around town, at the park, or even in the classroom.
So, what do we do these days, being made to remain at home? Quite simply, the same thing. We stay in touch – externally – through technology: Assignments can fly back and forth instantaneously, videos can show the likeness of faces, we can chat and speak on the phone. But it is really the spiritual encounters that can give us strength and courage in these times. What we provide, what we do, how we teach – even in the current situation – is guided by considerations of how to best meet our students’ unique needs.
Another hallmark of Waldorf education is rhythm. The first few weeks of Learning Beyond the Classroom were an exercise in flexibility, trial and error, adjustments and improvements. Now that we have made the difficult but responsible decision to keep the campus closed through the end of the academic year, our task will be to keep the momentum going, settle into a healthy rhythm for another number of weeks, and foster our sense of connection and a strong community to carry us through. We get to make the best of the situation and begin dreaming into our return to campus.
We have all adjusted amazingly well on both sides of this new educational experience, out of necessity. A reliable information flow is now established; we know how to communicate back and forth. At the center of our efforts remains the commitment to serving our students in a way that safeguards their health and wellbeing, within the parameters of the unique circumstances. We would like you to know that your feedback, concerns and suggestions have been considered and taken up. Our faculty meets regularly as a whole and in smaller working groups with the goal to review, discuss and further improve the LBTC curriculum.
Your feedback is appreciated and welcome; please let us know how you are doing and what we can do to further support your children and you. Please direct your questions, comments and suggestions regarding your child’s learning experience to these faculty members:
Who to contact: Please contact your teacher first with questions and/or concerns.
If additional help is needed: Early Childhood – Barbara Cubanski firstname.lastname@example.org
Grades 1- 8 – Brooke Natzke email@example.com
High School – Gina Garrison firstname.lastname@example.org
Returning to our campus…
As we follow the developing guidance from regional and national agencies, we have begun to explore our strategies for reopening the campus. We are excited for the day when students, teachers, and all of us, will be together as we return to a “new normal.”
We can have confidence in our flexibility and creativity to adjust our campus return strategies, finding a balance between the evolving public health guidelines and our freedom as an independent school. Your College of Teachers and Faculty work daily to stay connected with the students, and will decide how to best continue this hallmark of Waldorf education.
We are starting to look at what activities might occur in June, what programs are appropriate for the summer, and what does a return to campus in September look like. The questions are many and we are examining the health and safety protocols that will be necessary for all possible scenarios. We have also stayed connected with AWSNA, our Waldorf school association, and our sister schools around the country, to share ideas and strategies.
Our community has been diligent thus far in our own independent decision-making, weighing public health guidance and the unique needs of our own community. This will continue as new decisions and plans are made.
Please continue to share with us your questions and viewpoints as we move forward together.
Who to contact: Douglas Garrett at email@example.com, or 714.746.5033.
“If humanity is to live in the future in a socially right way, humanity must educate its children in a socially right way.” – Rudolf Steiner
Community Health: Announcing The North STAR (Stand Together Assistance Relief) Fund
In times of uncertainty, returning to one’s fundamental values becomes a North Star of sorts, a guiding light for one’s course. It is the commitment of the Waldorf School of Orange County to weather this COVID-19-induced storm as a community, though we are all in our own boats, guided by our North Star value:
Keeping Our Community Intact
We are traveling through this storm together as a single fleet, yet the turbulent waters are impacting each of us in different ways. We recognize that many in our community, among our fleet, are struggling…. we need to follow our course — our North Star. In our commitment to keep all of our students enrolled and engaged in our classrooms, the Board of Trustees and College of Teachers are digging deep to find ways to weather this storm.
We have just launched ‘The North STAR (Stand Together Assistance Relief) Fund: an initiative to help those families in our community who have been hurt financially and are unable to pay tuition costs at this time. Any family who is struggling with tuition costs for the remainder of this year can apply to receive these funds. Decisions will be made on a case by case basis by a team who, to the applicants, will remain anonymous, and will strive to limit any bias.
Families that are experiencing difficulty are invited to seek assistance by submitting a STAR Application Form – which will be sent to you on Monday – to Jeff Barth at firstname.lastname@example.org or fax to 949-574-7740.
The North STAR Fund will consist of generous gifts from both within and outside of the community, as well as by a specially appointed fund approved by the Board of Trustees. Please consider supporting our community if you are in a position to do so.
Together, we can find a way to keep this one great fleet united and afloat. We know that every dollar makes a difference! A donation page will be up on our website shortly. In the meantime, immediate donations can be mailed to the school, ATTN: North STAR Fund or by calling Jeff Barth at 949-574-7775 ext. 208.
Thank you to our Parents, Students, Faculty, and Administrative staff for navigating these turbulent seas during such stormy weather, as well as for continuing to keep our school community engaged. Thank you, also, to our family, friends, alumni, community members and donors for your continued support during this time.
Thank you for being a part of our community, our fleet – there has never been a time more than now that we need, are grateful for, and rely on you.
Stay safe, stay healthy, and stay in touch!
In these turbulent waters our commitment is to keep all of our students enrolled and engaged in their classrooms, and to gather once again on our beautiful campus.
We welcome any additional support or ideas in this unprecedented time. Please contact our school administrator, Douglas Garrett email@example.com with any questions, comments, concerns or ideas.