The Waldorf Weekly

October 22, 2014

A Message from the Leadership Team

The Power of Community

At The Waldorf School of Philadelphia we often say we’re more than just a school; we are a community with a school.  I usually tell new parents that we’re not the kind of school where you simply drop off your child for the day and then come back to take him or her home at dismissal.  We expect more of parents and you, having chosen our school for your child’s education, have expectations of us as well.  Together we form relationships, and those relationships lie at the heart of Waldorf Education and the Philly Waldorf community.

Communities are usually formed around similar interests and ideas, and being part of one can be a powerful experience, particularly when you are having a rough time or you’ve made an unpopular choice.  Communities also celebrate together and, at The Waldorf School of Philadelphia, we can always find reasons to celebrate both the everyday and special occasions.  This week we have three different opportunities to celebrate our community and we hope you will plan to join in at least one of these upcoming events: the Ambassador Program; the 8th Grade Coffee House; and the Fall Family Open House.  Allow me to say a word about each event.

The Ambassador Program offers parents an opportunity to better understand Waldorf Education, how our teachers work so that you can confirm your choice of The Waldorf School of Philadelphia as the best school for your child, and be able to articulate your understandings to others.  If you wonder why our kindergartens are play-based or why Handwork is part of the curriculum, the Ambassador Program will help you to discover the answers.  And with those understandings you will also discover what rich education Waldorf pedagogy offers to your child.

Coffee Houses are organized by the students of the eighth grade. They all about showcasing your talents in a community that supports and appreciates them.  A Coffee House brings our community together like no other event (except the Holiday Fair).  You can expect to see students and families from every grade at a Coffee House along with a number of our graduates, who have fond memories of the Coffee Houses their classes organized when they were students here.  On Friday night at 7 p.m., the 8th Grade invites you to a Halloween-themed Coffee House.  Come in costume (there’s a prize for the best!) or come as you are.  All members of the family are welcome.

Finally, on Saturday morning our school and our community have a chance to shine as we welcome prospective families to our fall open house.  Offering informal guided classroom tours, helping your Kindergarten teachers, setting up beforehand, or bringing flowers and refreshments are just some of the ways you can help.  Where your help is really needed, though, is in being on hand to speak with parents who want to learn about our school from current parents.  There’s no better source of learning than your own experiences.  Come share your Waldorf stories – what led to your decision to enroll your child here and how our school serves your child and your family. Experience the power of community for yourself this week, and share it with others, too.

– For the Leadership Team, Brenda Ridley, Director of Administration

Community Meetings


Rock your T-shirt and Volunteer!

photo-86We Need YOU!

Open House Volunteers
October 25th
9.30 a.m. – 12.30 p.m.

Admissions is looking for greeters, bakers, florists, and parents to hold conversation and tours with prospective families. You can really make a difference! Please show what a truly amazing community we are by supporting the Open House.


Parent Handwork

Free Knitting Classes
Monday mornings in the Applied Arts Room
8:15 am – 10:00 am

Learn to knit one of Miss Patricia’s adorable gnomes using Miss Nicola’s plant dyed yarn. The gnomes will be contributed to the Parent Handmade table at the Holiday Fair. All you need to bring are size 4 knitting needles.  Come to knit, or come for the company and coffee – all are welcome.

Questions? Linette Kielinski at

Handwork Classes

Learn How to Knit with The Waldorf School of Philadelphia

JacobMonday and Wednesday – all grades
3.15 p.m. – 5.00 p.m.

Students are welcome to work on their current project, a project presented in a previous year, or something new. Students from other schools who come for the first time usually start with a small knitting or crochet project.

Drop-in rate $12.00
10 classes paid in advance $100.00
Full year, unlimited attendance on any days that classes are held, includes on parent for Saturday class, $300.00

Saturday Classes
10.00 a.m. – 1.00 p.m.


Woodworking Classes


After-School Classes
Grade 4 and up
Thursdays, 3.15 p.m. – 4.00 p.m.
$10.00 per session

Evening Classes
Adults and Children 14 and above
Thursdays, 7.00 p.m. – 8.30 p.m.
$20.00 per session


All classes are open to the public. Bring a friend and learn something new together.


Developing Diversity

Diversity in the Curriculum

How does the Waldorf curriculum support and build up each child as an individual, and in doing so, strengthen the entire class?

How does WSP value social justice and teach each child to be a responsible community steward?

How does the Waldorf curriculum foster education and awareness around diversity and inclusion?

Join the Ambassador Program on Wednesday, 22nd October at 7.00 p.m. – 8.30 p.m. and discover the answer to these and other questions. The Ambassador program is designed to equip Waldorf parents with the information and knowledge about the three hallmarks of The Waldorf School of Philadelphia – Community, Love for Substantive Learning and our Culture of Creativity.

7.00 p.m. Community in the Early Childhood Program
7.30 p.m. “Relationships” through the Grades
8.00 p.m. Diversity in the Curriculum
8.30 p.m. Close

Join Faculty Chair, Erin Semin, Fifth Grade Teacher, Cynthia Way and Director of Admissions, Alex Borders.


Full Circle Fundraising

Holiday Fair

November 21st and November 22nd

It takes a village for the Holiday Fair to be successful. As such, every parent from every family is requested to give at least 2 hours of time to work at the Holiday Fair. You can volunteer on the sign-up sheets which are located on the bulletin board of the main school entrance. Your Class Reps will also be in touch with more information and reminders.

Questions? Maggie Davis, Holiday Fair Chair


Another Way to Give to Our School is WHILE YOU SHOP!

Did you know…

  • Amazon will donate 0.5% of your purchase costs when you connect your account to the AmazonSmile program? You can use all features: Wish Lists and Prime – just click HERE to get started.
  • Target will donate up to 1% of your purchase price to our school when you link your REDCard. The Waldorf School of Philadelphia’s Group ID is 126486. You can link your card online or at a kiosk at any store.

Share these shopping tips with friends, grandparents, aunts, uncles and neighbors for more impact!

Buy what you need, give to our school.

Health Advisory

School Event

So Noted...

School Fundraisers

Coffee House

Organized by the eighth grade, Coffee House is a signature community event at The Waldorf School of Philadelphia, held three times a year. It helps to raise important funds for the eighth grade trip and also bring our community of parents, teachers and students together for an evening of fun, entertainment and sharing!

The Coffeehouse is this Friday, 24th October at 7.00 p.m.

COSTUME CONTEST! Good food, great entertainment.

All are welcome.



8th Grade Yard Sale

Saturday, October 25th
8.00 a.m. – 1.00 p.m.
27 E. Mermaid Lane, Philadelphia, PA 19118

Drop donated items now through Friday anytime between 3 and 4 p.m. at 27 E. Mermaid Lane.


In the News

Loving Learning

When parents are researching private schools, the myriad of options and different educational philosophies can sometimes be overwhelming. Many prospective parents are considering transitioning their children from mainstream school into Waldorf Education. And so, the question becomes, “What exactly is the difference between my child’s current experience and Waldorf Education?”

A Comparison of Waldorf and Main Stream Education here on Loving Learning


Read Wired magazine’s article, American Schools Are Training Kids for a World That Doesn’t Exist. Failing to create a new way of learning adapted to contemporary circumstances might be a national disaster.


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25   8th Grade Yard Sale
27   Parent Handwork
28   Biodynamic Study Group


8   PA Clothing Exchange
7   School Closed – Conferences
10   School Closed – Faculty In-Service
15   Lantern Walk
21   Early Dismissal – Holiday Fair
22   Holiday Fair
26   Early Dismissal Thanksgiving
27   School Closed – Thanksgiving
28   School Closed – Thanksgiving




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.