The Waldorf Weekly

September 17, 2014

A Message from the Leadership Team

Forging Connections

The first full week of school finished with a great celebration at the Welcome Back Picnic on Friday afternoon. Our community is certainly growing as we begin our journey toward adulthood in our 18th year, all the while changing and developing in every sphere of the school. It was with a lump in my throat that I asked everyone to take a moment on Friday afternoon to look around at our cherished Big Field and the people we have shared it with for so long. On Friday we held our last Back to School Picnic at this campus. This year will be bitter-sweet, filled with anticipation and excitement for our move and with sorrow as we say goodbye to our present home. We have the whole school year to create more memories with great friends and families. We look forward to bringing those memories with us to our new home and building upon them as we set down our roots in Germantown.

This fall has us busy forging connections both within and beyond our school community. This week we will welcome back representatives from Rudolf Steiner Foundation Social Finance (RSF), a non-profit socially-conscious financial services company that supports projects and enterprises that seek to improve our society. The organization lives its values through investments, lending, and giving. Some of the individuals and organizations that RSF supports include organic farmers, food distributors, Waldorf schools, ecological stewards, and social entrepreneurs.  We look forward to showing our friends at RSF how much we’ve grown since their last visit a few years ago, and the steps we’re taking on our journey to becoming a well-established, mature Waldorf school.

This week we also welcome Meredith Johanson, the accreditation official from the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America (AWSNA), in which we are a candidate for full membership. This is an initial visit that will provide an overview of the accreditation process that we will undertake this year and into the 2015-16 school year. Ms. Johanson will tour our current campus and 6000 Wayne during her visit as well as attending meetings with the Leadership Team, faculty, and board members.

We will continue to update the community with developments at 6000 Wayne in the Waldorf Weekly and in our bi-weekly Loving Learning blog posts dedicated to such information. Feel free to contact any member of the Leadership Team with questions or concerns as the year progresses. Please help us welcome our visitors this week and throughout the year with all of the warmth that makes The Waldorf School of Philadelphia such a special place for all.

Best wishes for another great week with gorgeous weather and happy children!

– For the Leadership Team, Kerry Hoffman, School Chair

Full Circle Fundraising

Community Design Collaborative Grant

The Waldorf School of Philadelphia is the recipient of a planning grant from the Community Design Collaborative (CDC) to assist in the conceptual design of a master plan for the school’s new outdoor space at 6000 Wayne Avenue.

Through generous professionals volunteering The Waldorf School of Philadelphia will receive the time and expertise of landscape architects, storm water management experts and others who will focus on designing a tailored outdoor space that considers and integrates the many needs of our academic curriculum and diverse community.

The staff of the CDC will spend the next six months consulting with key representatives of the broad community including faculty, parents, administration, neighbors of 6000 Wayne Avenue, alumni, and the Board of Trustee through a Community Task Force designed to plan for and integrate both the daily and long term needs of WSP. From the practical to the prophetic, the Community Task Force will respond to questions ranging from drop off and pick up, traffic flow and even composting.

The Waldorf School of Philadelphia is grateful to the Community Design Collaborative for their choice in supporting our project. It is hoped that this grant is the first of several that add to furthering our Full Circle Fundraising efforts on behalf of the school. If you have any questions or ideas related to the development and fundraising for our school, please contact Director of Development, Allison Budschalow, at


Let’s Ride Together

Practice ride, September 28th, 10.00 a.m.

Meet at Fort Washington State Park in the bike path parking lot on West Valley Green Rd in Flourtown, opposite the country club.

A 6-mile loop to Fort Washington State Park will pass lovely scenery of the middle Wissahickon Valley as we ride from Flourtown to Militia Hill in Fort Washington State Park.

The trail is a well maintained mix of asphalt and gravel and will be great practice for the Ode to JoyRide. There are some hills and the option to climb to the hawk watch, where we will hopefully catch a glimpse of the annual Hawk Migration.

Bring snacks and water along for our break at the halfway point.

This ride will be cancelled in the event of serious rain.

Questions? Contact Kim Mills

Contact Allison Budschalow for more information about getting involved with the Ode to JoyRide at

2014-2015 Annual Fund

Did you know that every independent school must raise nearly 10% of their annual budget each school year?

And did you know that most of that percentage comes from generous parents, grandparents, teachers and staff?

Contribute to the Annual Fund and help keep us moving forward. Next week look out for members of the Development Committee, the Leadership Team, and the PA outside of the main entrance to Eagles for your chance to engage and learn more about the Annual Fund.

Questions are always welcome,

Community Meetings

Strategic Planning Retreats

Save the Dates:

• Thursday, October 9th, 6.30 p.m. – 9.30 p.m.

• Sunday, October 12th, 2.00 p.m. – 5.00 p.m.

A very swift five years have elapsed since WSP last formulated its strategic plan. Many of the goals and objectives of that plan have been met; some need further refinement and re-shaping. Now is the time, though, for envisioning where our school is headed over the next five years: what will be our focus and our goals? What is important to our community? These are just two of the questions we will discuss at two community-wide retreats this year, the first of which is scheduled for next month.

The retreats are designed to engage every member of our community in discussion and collaboration around an issue of focus for the school. In this transitional year planning for the future seems an apt focus, so we hope you will join us in these important discussions.

The fall retreat is divided into two parts, beginning on Thursday, October 9th, 6:30 – 9:30 p.m., and continuing on Sunday, October 12th from 2 – 5 p.m.

On Thursday evening the discussion will reflect on the strategic plan for the 5-year period that ended in June of this year. On Sunday we’ll look ahead by listening to what’s important to each of our constituencies – parents, teachers, board members and staff – and generating ideas for the future. A second retreat in the spring (March 7, 2015) will bring back a draft of a new plan for feedback from the community. All three sessions will be facilitated by Gabrielle Wanamaker, Chief Change Agent for TrustWorks, a Germantown-based consulting firm “dedicated to helping organizations succeed by using trust and collaboration in the workplace.” Ms. Wanamaker has over 20 years’ experience working with nonprofits and for-profit corporations on strategic business issues. Some of her clients have included universities, large healthcare organizations, and Fortune 500 companies. She and TrustWorks are drawn to working with WSP because they see “…an inspiring and highly competent organization serving a great need in our community.” We look forward to working with Ms. Wanamaker and TrustWorks but, most importantly, we look forward to working together with you on planning WSP’s future.

The October sessions will be held in the Fellowship Hall at Germantown Mennonite Church, 21 West Washington Lane. Click to RSVP 


- Brenda Ridley, for the Leadership Team


Developing Diversity – Annual Survey

Since its inception The Waldorf School of Philadelphia has been striving to support the development of an authentically diverse community, one that reflects the community within which the school resides.

To this end, a dedicated committee of teachers, administrators, parents and board members have been working to establish a strategy for growth and development in this mission critical goal, including:

• The development of the curriculum
• Critically reviewing feedback from parents
• Building mutually beneficial relationships with local community groups
• Researching mission-led financial supports with specific diversity objectives

To support this work we need data and feedback from the parent body which is why we ask that you complete and return a Diversity Survey - please complete one questionnaire for each child you have enrolled at WSP.

Thank you in advance for your participation – this two minute investment can have a profound affect

Click Here to complete your two minute survey.

The WSP Diversity Committee thanks you: Debra Basso, John Berkowitz, Alex Borders, Jennifer Persinotti, Elena Winston

 The healthy social life is found when, in the mirror of each human soul, the whole community is living, and when, in the community, each human soul finds its reflection.
– Rudolf Steiner


Parent’s Association Meeting

Saturday, September 20th – 9.00 – 11.00 a.m.

The meeting will be held in the Sixth Grade Classroom. Items for discussion include volunteering opportunities, and 6000 Wayne Avenue updates.

Babysitting is offered free of charge for all currently enrolled children.
Questions? Contact Alex Kujawa, or Jamie Seibert,


The Star of Your Family Culture

photo-84A Lecture for Early Childhood Parents
September 22nd, 7.00 – 9.00 p.m. in the School Auditorium

The first in a series of lectures by the Early Childhood Faculty at The Waldorf School of Philadelphia. Explore in depth the many elements that combine to form family culture, including family rhythms, work and play, artistic expression and discipline. The lectures will include topic presentation, interactive experience, individual assessment and visioning time through note taking or journaling, small group discussion, and a whole group conversation. Share this event with friends.

Questions? Contact Oak Tree Lead Teacher, Patricia Cornelius at

School Fundraisers

School Event

So Noted...


In the News

This Week’s Top-Ranked Education Articles

Creativity IS a teachable skill. In Waldorf schools creativity is methodically cultivated from pre-school through the grades.
WHYY Radio Times, Marty Moss-Coane, Teaching Creativity

High-tech parents but low-tech parenting – a number of technology CEOs have opted to significantly limit screen time for their kids. New York Times, Steve Jobs Was a Low-Tech Parent

Musical training doesn’t just improve your ear, it also helps kids’ brains process language. All Waldorf students play musical instruments from first through eighth grade.
NPR – This is Your Brain. This is Your Brain on Music

Waldorf kids begin mental math in First Grade. Just one more reason to choose Waldorf Education!
PBS Newshour – Why is Math Easier for Some Kids Than Others?

For daily updates Like us on Facebook












20   PA Meeting
23   Bio-dynamic Study Group
25   School Closed: Rosh Hashanah
26   School Closed: Rosh Hashanah


3   Sibling Enrollment Deadline
11   Germantown Admissions Open House
15   Coffee and Conversation
19   Germantown Sunday Stroll




Diversity Survey

Sibling Enrollment Deadline
Sibling Enrollment Deadline



The Waldorf Weekly is published every Wednesday during the school year for the parents and friends of The Waldorf School of Philadelphia. 

Please email submissions to Deadline is Friday at 3.00 p.m. 

Disclaimer: Items and advertisements appearing in this newsletter may be the opinions or beliefs of their contributors, and may not necessarily reflect the policies or ideas of The Waldorf School of Philadelphia.