The Rose Ceremony occurs on the first and last day of school. On the first day of school, the 12th graders welcome the incoming first graders. Leaving kindergarten and entering first grade is an enormous shift for children. Each high school senior meets a first grader on stage of the school’s Eurythmy Hall in front of the assembled student body and presents the first grader with a rose or another flower. The new first grader then puts the flower into a waiting vase. By the end of the class’s procession onto the stage, there is a whole bouquet, which the first-grade teacher then brings back to their classroom for the first day of school.
On the last day of school, the ceremony format is reversed and the first graders, now rising second graders, present each graduating senior with a flower to say, “goodbye” and to remind them of their days in this childhood home of their school. The Rose Ceremony provides a full circle experience through the welcoming and farewell roses exchanged between the first and twelfth Graders.
On September 29th, WSOC celebrates Michaelmas. Michaelmas (pronounced MI-kel-mus) was originally a Christian festival in Western Europe during the Middle Ages. It is the feast day of the archangel St. Michael, and is celebrated on September 29th each year. Michael is an archangel in Judaism, Christianity and Islam, but his festival is one that can be observed by people of all faiths and spiritual paths. (Moon Child Blog, blog.bellalunatoys.com, 2017).
The festival includes the entire student body, grades 1-12. The grade school children participate in a series of challenges that the high school students set up. The Festival concludes with the second graders who perform a play of St. George taming a fiery dragon with the spiritual help of the archangel, St. Michael, who gives them courage. The story of St. George taming the dragon symbolizes the inner courage it takes to face our human challenges.
On the Friday before the Thanksgiving holiday, we open our doors to our grandparents and special friends for this special event. Our students invite relatives, including grandparents, extended family, and close family friends who are significant in their lives, to see their school. The event includes classroom visits, coffee and light snacks, and a beautiful program of verse, song and movement from students in grades 1-12.
Winter Festival is an annual curriculum event held on the first Saturday in December. Our community joins forces for this on campus event to enjoy student musical performances and Festival Singers, participate in crafts and booths for each grade, and celebrate togetherness in the holiday season. In our school, the grades students gather each Monday morning throughout December for a special story to set the mood for the week. Each week honors one of the kingdoms of nature – the minerals, the plants, the animals, and humankind – and this is brought into classroom activities and decoration as well.
May Faire, as a school wide festival, is a mandatory curriculum event that generally occurs on the first Saturday in May. It is a time where our community joins together to create a beautiful event; everyone’s participation is vital and valued. We wear white or light pastels to serve as a backdrop for the splendid beauty of the flowers that adorn our campus. Our children wear flower crowns and dance and weave ribbons around the May Pole. We play games and music, do crafts, frolic with our kids and enjoy homemade treats with our friends and neighbors. This celebration of spring ties us to our greater human family, past and present, in a tangible and powerful way.
The Annual Auction & Gala is one of WSOC’s flagship fundraising events, bringing together members of our community to support our school in an amazing evening of music, cocktails, dinner, dancing, and exciting silent and live auctions. The Gala occurs each Spring at a beautiful off-site venue with themes that change from year to year as part of this community celebration and experience.
The Spring Concert is an annual curriculum event for WSOC Grades 4 through 8 held in late May during which our community is invited to enjoy musical performances by our students in choir, recorder, band, strings and orchestra. The concert takes place in the beautiful St. Andrews Presbyterian church in Newport Beach.