The Waldorf Weekly (051414)

May 14, 2014


Sea Change at The Waldorf Weekly



William Shakespeare coined the term “sea change” in his 1610 play, The Tempest. A sea change refers to a major transformation or alteration. With this issue of the school’s newsletter, The Waldorf Weekly hails a sea change of its own. We have not only changed the newsletter’s format to a fully-digital one, the new Weekly signals a change in how we communicate with you about our school and which media we choose for those communications.

Much has changed at the Waldorf School of Philadelphia over its 16-year history. The Waldorf Weekly began fairly early in the life of the school and, until recently, it was the only source of school information for families. As the school has grown, so has the range of available tools we can use to make ourselves known to the community around us and to the world. Now, in addition to The Weekly, we use Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, our blog and our website to bring the school alive. 

The Waldorf Weekly will continue to be the primary source of need-to-know school-specific information, but we’ll use the other venues for different kinds of information:

  • Look for articles on parenting, Waldorf education, the curriculum, and anything of a philosophical nature on our blog, Loving Learning
  • Learn about events and snippets of daily school life on our Facebook page
  • Find events outside of school and ads of interest on the parents’ listserv, PhillyWaldorf Yahoo Group, if you are a member

Why are we making these changes? We are responding to your feedback that asked for clearer communications and a Waldorf Weekly that is a go-to reference for what is happening in school. All of these shifts are, indeed, a sea change. They reflect our transformation and maturation from a small grassroots organization to one that stands upright in the world.  Change of any kind is often difficult but it also presents opportunities. We hope you’ll come along with us as The Waldorf Weekly’s sea change provides more opportunities for our community to grow stronger and firmer in its “uprightness.”         

- Brenda Ridley, Director of Administration



Help Us Reach Our Goal

Thank you to everyone who has given to the Annual Fund this year!

Our goal is to raise $90,000 by June 30, 2014. We are at 60% participation from current families and know that we can reach at least 90% participation by June 30th. Your gift will make a difference - please give today! There are many reasons to give, including to offer tuition support to up to 40% of our families and to fuel our teacher development and training. There are also many ways to give including tax-deductible contributions. Find out more! 

As a special incentive, if you give 20% more than you gave to the Annual Fund last school year (or at least $25 this year if you did not contribute last school year) you will automatically be entered into a drawing for a prized quilt made especially for our school by the Philadelphia Modern Quilt Guild. The drawing for the quilt will be held on June 13, 2014.

Questions about our development work?  Contact Allison at



Open Board Meeting, May 21st, 7-8 p.m.

The Board of Trustees provides leadership of economic and community resources to support the school’s mission including strategic planning, governance, budget approval, fundraising leadership and our school’s legal affairs. The Board meets privately on a monthly basis, but once a year opens its meeting to the WSP community.

This month, WSP parents are invited to attend the Open Board Meeting when agenda items slated for discussion include the strategic planning process, school governance reviews, and 6000 Wayne Avenue updates. There will also be an interactive opportunity for parents to ask questions of Board Members about their respective roles on the Board of Trustees. 



School Photographs

Pre-register for school photographs with Pictage and not only will you be notified when school photographs are ready, but you'll receive a $5.00 credit on your order. School photographs can only be viewed and ordered online.  

Health Forms

Reminder for rising 3rd, 6th and 7th grade families: Book your dental and physical exams now for the 2014-2015 school year. Forms were mailed to you two weeks ago.

Two Orchestra Updates

Auditions for Orchestra Placement and Section Placement

Students interested in moving from Symphonia to Chamber should arrange to play a piece with Mrs Cole. Students already have the piece and are welcome to practice at home or in their private lessons. Mrs Cole will determine the make-up and seating for both Symphonia and Chamber orchestras for next year. 

Fourth graders who are taking group lessons have also received an audition piece. Mrs Cole will determine seating in Symphonia for next year on Wednesday, June 4th. Some students may move directly to Chamber based on their audition.

If students are not pleased with their audition performance, they will have another chance either this year or next fall. We do not wish this to be an overly stressful experience for the young musicians. 

Fourth Graders to Join Chamber for Concert

Parents of fourth graders take note that the lesson teachers have teamed up with Mrs Cole and the Chamber orchestra to play a piece for the Spring Concert on May 30th. Students should bring their instruments to the concert and may be asked to arrive early to prepare. More details to follow.



Spring Concert

...begins to whisper is an original composition by Peter Price supported by a grant from the American Composers Forum. Much of the electronic score is made from recordings of The Waldorf School of Philadelphia's choirs, string ensembles and ambient sounds in its classrooms and playgrounds. 

The theme of the work is the celebration of the sounds of the world and the new perceptions that attentive listening provides. One of Peter's main goals of the project has been to introduce the concept of active listening to the students. By listening to the sounds of their environment in a musical way, the students can begin to understand the notion that any sound can be material for musical creation.

Peter Price

In addition to singing together in ...begins to whisper, the 4th, 5th and middle school choruses will present other music, and the recorder ensemble and string orchestras will present a variety of beautiful music for your pleasure.

The Spring Concert will take place at Chestnut Hill Presbyterian Church, 8855 Germantown Avenue, Chestnut Hill, PA 19118 on May 30th at 7:00 p.m. Friends and family welcome. 




14   Ambassador Program
14   Spring Garden Cleanup
15   Fifth Grade Pentathlon
20   PA Meeting
21   Open Board Meeting
26   Memorial Day (No School)
30   Spring Concert


4    2nd Grade Play
5    New Family Orientation
6    Coffee House
8    8th Grade Graduation
12  Last day of School (1:00 pm dismissal, Early Childhood)
13  Last day of School (3:15 pm dismissal, Grade School)
13  Community Picnic


waldorf_weekly-bannerThe 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.