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Around the School Newsletter
Week of January 15-19
Upcoming Events

 8th Grade Class Meeting
Thursday, January 18  | 7 PM


3rd Grade Class Meeting
Friday, January 19 | 7 PM

Middle School Science Fair
Friday, January 19 | 10 AM-12 PM & 2-3 PM

Rising 1st Grade Teacher: Meet & Greet
Saturday, January 20 | 9-11 AM 

10th & 11th Grade College Application Evening with Melissa Robinson
Wednesday, January 24 | 7 PM


4th Grade Class Meeting
Thursday, January 25 | 7 PM


Community Center/Gym Update
Date Change | TBD

American Red Cross Blood Drive *Sign-up
Monday, January 29 | 1-6 PM

Dear Families,

We live in a time of polarity. Most immediately and obviously we see in our recent weather changes the swing from icy cold and snow, to warm and rainy, and back again to cold within a few short days. I was on the recess field on Friday, drawn by the sound of the rushing water in the creek, as were many of the children. The fallen rain combined with the snow-melt on the frozen ground to produce a torrent of water, chunks of ice, and dead trees racing down the swollen, muddy river.  As I write this on Martin Luther King, Jr’s birthday, it’s about 20 degrees outside, the stream has receded to its usual crystal-clear flow, and the sky is a brilliant blue. 
Dr. King drew our attention to polarities and contrasts repeatedly in his speeches and sermons: between right and wrong, violence and nonviolence, justice and injustice, light and darkness. Beyond simply pointing out injustice and wrong in the world, he maintained that human beings hold the power to transform themselves and the world. What is this power that can drive out hate, transform an enemy into a friend, that rejects revenge, aggression, and retaliation? Dr. King said it stood at the center of non-violence-- the principle of love.

Warm regards,

Simon Frishkoff
High School Chair


Snow Day 
Wednesday, January 17 | School Closed 

Don't forget to check out our Community News and Classifieds page!
School Enrollment 

Dear School Parents,
As we huddle together in the cold grip of winter it may seem like the beginning of the next school year in the late summer heat is light-years away, but the re-enrollment season has begun! Much early work must be done each year to prepare for the next and that includes the signing of new enrollment contracts and submitting tuition adjustment applications.

Families with children returning next year will all be sent an email letter outlining the details of the upcoming contract season. The main points to keep in mind are the upcoming dates:
  • Full Tuition Contracts have be sent out on January 16, 2018, and are due back by February 15, 2018. If you will not be able to meet this deadline please contact me.
  • Tuition Adjustment Applications - fully completed applications submitted through are due by February 15, 2018.
    • Please read the TA instructions carefully. All TA information, FAQ, and forms can be found on the school website.
    • If you received an adjusted tuition for the current year and will not be needing to apply for an adjusted tuition for next year please contact me to be sent a full tuition contract.
Please contact me with any questions regarding re-enrollment.
On behalf of the faculty and staff we thank you for your continued commitment to HVS.

Amy Flaum
School Administrator
518-672-7092 x114
Parent Child Classes
Winter Classes Begin | January 18-20

Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School's Early Childhood Parent Child program is accepting applications for the Winter session which begins in January. Join us as we explore the potentials of parenting within a community that inspires a love for learning. Offerings include:

The Baby Garden
 | Mondays, 9-10:30 AM
Tea and conversation centered on child development, health, nutrition, and life rhythms.

Robin’s Nest
 | Thursdays or Fridays, 9-11 AM
Parents and children (18 mos to 3 years) are warmly invited to a morning of play, song, and puppet stories. 

Bluebird’s Nest
 | Saturdays, 9-11 AM
Parents and children (18 mos to 3 years) are warmly invited to a morning of play, song, and puppet stories. 

Click here for applications!
Rising First Grade Teacher- Meet and Greet

I am pleased to announce the wonderful news that Kevin Kilb will be next year's first grade class teacher. We are grateful that Kevin, with his wealth of experience, expertise and huge commitment to Waldorf Education has been inspired to continue to teach and carry the education and development of the new rising first grade students.
The school will organize a
'Meet the new first grade teacher' event on Saturday, January 20 from 9-10:30 AM, which will be hosted by our kindergarten teachers and take place in the 1st Grade Classroom. 

Our early childhood faculty will offer childcare for families wishing to attend with children. 
Registration for childcare required*  
Please contact
Middle School Science Fair
Friday, January 19 | 10 AM-12 PM & 2-3 PM
*During the intervening hours, you are welcome to walk through on your own. 

The 6th graders have been compiling their research on every thing from tectonic plates to volcanoes, the end result of which will be on display.

The 7th graders have designed and built Rube Goldberg Machines, devices that through a series of steps, complete a simple task in a most inefficient way. These will be demonstrated and are fun to see in action. 

The 8th graders have focused on questions, and through experimentation or studies, sought answers. Their findings will be on display as well.
Please keep young children close as some of these projects are fragile and easily broken.
We hope to see you there!
High School College Application Evening
with Melissa Robinson, college guidance counselor
Wednesday, January 24 | 7 PM

With the start of the new year, it is a good time to begin looking ahead to next steps after graduation. The school will be hosting a class evening with Melissa Robinson, our college guidance counselor, for an introduction to the college application process. Both students and parents are invited to this event. 
For those students and parents who would like to have a follow-up meeting with Melissa Robinson, we will have individual meetings at the school January 29th, 30th and 31st in the afternoons and evenings. Meetings will last approximately 45 minutes and are available on a first come, first served basis.  (Additional meetings will be scheduled if there is the need.)

click here to schedule a meeting.

Winter Farm Week

Join the talented Children’s Program staff at Hawthorne Valley Place Based Learning Center for Winter Farm Week! This residential program is for children ages 9 to 16 during Hawthorne Valley School’s President’s Week Break in February. All HVS students receive a discounted rate of $500/child, a $150 savings. Learn more!

Winter Barn Party

Saturday, January 20 | 4-8 PM

Tickets on-sale in TuRose! We have a few tickets left for the Barn Party (childcare will be possible through a "Parent's Night Out" the seniors are hosting during the same time at school). If you would like to purchase tickets, see the associate at TuRose! Checks preferred.


A unique shoppe located in the heart of Columbia County. We offer a delightful selection of high quality toys, gifts, games, books and art, craft, and school supplies which support Waldorf Education. 

Hudson Valley's source for all natural fiber and plant-dyed craft supplies. Visit us while you're on campus!
Waldorf 100

Celebrating 100 years of Waldorf Education around the world. A painted mural from our 8th Grade class portrays postcards from Waldorf Schools around the world.

To learn more about Waldorf 100, click here to watch a short video!


Join us for Coffee Hour, each Wednesday from 8:15-9:30 AM. Stay a while, or just drop in for a bite to eat and an espresso to start your day! We often ponder questions together, craft, or just socialize. Theme discussions will be posted in the newsletter or on the sandwich boards.

Please let us know your thoughts on the new in-house farm-to-school lunch program proposal. Full details can be viewed at the beginning of the survey. Thank you in advance for your participation. 
Save the Dates: 

January 28 | 
Community Center/Gym Update: Due to the strategic significance and complexity of the details included in the community center/gym project presentation we need more time for internal presentations and feedback before presenting an update to the school community. A new date and time is forthcoming - stay tuned!

Saturday, March 3 | 4-6 PM
Family friendly potluck and Eurythmy overview with Karen Derreumaux and Sylvia Nordoff

Your PTA


Congrats to the boys varsity basketball team on their win against Doane Stuart on Friday!
Come out and support our basketball teams!

Upcoming games:
Friday 1/19 Boys Varsity @ Northville | 5:30 PM
Monday 1/22 Girls Modified @ New Lebanon 4:15 PM
Tuesday 1/23 | Boys Varsity @ Waterford | 6 PM
Wednesday 1/24 Girls and Boys Modified @ Simon’s Rock vs. Steiner 4 & 5 PM

Practice Schedules
See scores and more from our teams here!

Peach Blossom          Rose          Morning Star

1st Grade          2nd Grade          3rd Grade           4th Grade          5th Grade

6th Grade         7th Grade         8th Grade         EARTH

9th Grade          10th Grade          11th Grade          12th Grade
Peach Blossoms

One of our favorite winter songs:

Thumbs in the thumb place,
fingers all together,
this is the song we sing in mitten weather.

When it is cold it doesn't matter the whether,
mittens are wool or made of the finest leather,
this is the song we sing in mitten weather.

Thumbs in the thumb place,
fingers all together.

-Ms. Zay
Our work and play on a very snowy day!

-Ms. Nancy

Morning Star

 Morning Star Tortilla Recipe ❤️

4 cups of stone ground whole grain wheat or spelt flour - save a 1/2
cup for rolling out
1 cup of Olive Oil
3/4 tsp salt
Water to mix to a smooth dough

Mix together the above ingredients and knead into a smooth dough.
Form into 2-3 inch diameter balls.
Roll the balls flat with a rolling pin on a floured surface.
Cook on an ungreased hot griddle, turning when bubbles form.

 Enjoy with cheese, beans, avocado, and sprouts!

-Mrs. Ping

1st Grade

First Grade received pentatonic flutes last week, after hearing a story of the old man who helped the people remember the beautiful music in their hearts, and the song in each tree, valley, mountain, stone, plant and animal. He carved a flute from a piece of pear tree branch under which he had slept and dreamt, and the wind showed him how the wood could sing...

We are also learning the foundations of instrument handling, beginning with oiling the flutes, learning how to clean and care for them, and the rules about when to rest our instruments and when to play them.

-Ms. Conroe

2nd Grade

A speech exercise from the second grade:
Swan swam over the sea
Swim swan swim
Swan swam back again
Well swam swan.
Each day, we work on speech either with a tongue twister and/or a poetry recitation. By doing this, we cultivate clear articulation of each sound and exercise the tongue and mouth, coaxing them to precision. Breathing is a big part of this morning routine. We must be present to our breath and vocal expression in recitation. Following Rudolph Steiner’s suggestion that artistic speech can harmonize body, soul and spirit, we readily stand and engage in these daily activities.

-Ms. Stone

3rd Grade

We were gifted a three-day weekend this week in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 

"The function of education, therefore, is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically...Intelligence plus character - that is the goal of true education." 
- Dr. Martin Luther King

We have a parent evening this week in the third-grade. Please join us at 7PM on Friday, January 19th. We will cover curriculum past and future, the farm trip, the temperaments, assessment and progress.

-Ms. McKenna

4th Grade 

Over the weekend, I attended the annual Hawthorne Valley Association retreat at the Lifebridge Sanctuary in Rosendale, NY. The content of the retreat was as inspiring as the views of the majestic Catskills. It felt very productive to work with colleagues from the other branches of the association around the strategic planning process. 

The fourth grade remains fully ensconced in Norse Mythology. Last week, we heard the story of Idunn and her golden apples of immortality. Idunn and her apples were taken away from Asgard. Without the apples, the gods and goddesses quickly grew quite old. This gave us the opportunity to discuss youth, old age and the idea of immortality. The children each wrote and illustrated a first person account of the story. When I read the stories aloud, a pin drop could have been heard. The children love to hear one another’s writing.

-Mr. Sansone

5th Grade

This week in fifth grade we have continued our examination of North American geography. In particular, we have been focusing on the Mid-Atlantic states. Some of the themes we have discussed are agriculture, transportation, and immigration. We have been considering how the more fertile soil of this region led to a surplus of food. The rivers and ports provided the first lines of transportation to move these goods and helped create a climate for cities to grow larger and more dense. The location by the sea and calm harbors and ports allowed for the trading of goods and the influx of immigration that helped lead to this region's diversity.

-Ms. Almquist

6th Grade

The sixth graders are excited to display their science fair posters this week. They have been hard at work researching, writing, drawing, painting, and selecting images to represent their subjects. Topics range from planets, asteroids, and the solar system, to earthquakes, rivers, and the ocean floor.  

In other project news, the students are moving along on this year's major handwork piece - stuffed animals. They have each completed a small practice animal, and are in the process of cutting and sewing the patterns for their large animals. It's exciting to see panda bears, elephants, goats, sheep, and a menagerie of other creatures taking shape! 

-Ms. Lacey

Mr. Pewtherer's 6th Grade physics Main Lesson learn about sound waves.
-with Leander Hesse '24 and Mateo Medina '24.

7th Grade


Artistic geometric drawing of the relation between the pentagon and the pentagram, or five pointed star.

Diagram of a pentagon inscribed in a circle using the Durer method.

-Ms. Weimer

8th Grade


The 8th grade is looking at personal reflections of African slaves in the nineteenth century. The students are writing a paper about the unintended consequences of new technologies; the topic arose out of a discussion of the cotton gin, but was also applied to the smartphone. We are also working on a play about the signing of the Declaration of Independence. The students will also present the various experiments they developed for the Science Fair this Friday.

-Mr. Kilb


Education and Renewal through the Hands

Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School was originally called the Rudolf Steiner Farm School. It was envisioned to be a community of students, teachers, craftspeople, artists, and farmers where children learned first through their hands; as an antidote, to the increasing materialism and artifice of our civilization and the resulting alienation of children from nature. Nothing could have been more prescient. 

In 2010, 35 community members began a study of Karl Ege’s An Evident Need of Our Time. Out of the study, a place-based learning group was formed and from this, a founding team began to nurture EARTH.

The 10th Grade has just completed a weaving block. Each student learned to plan their project, chose materials and colors, wind a warp and prepare the loom. They all worked on four harness floor looms, and also dealt with the mechanics of these machines. Having prepared the loom, students chose appropriate weft fiber, and wove and completed a scarf or shawl.

-Ms. Christiansen
Sculpture: Life-size clay heads
The challenge of sculpting life-size clay heads is not only artistic, but also technical. The students will be shown how to build a structural form without a supporting armature by coiling a vase-like shape. We will spend some time practicing this technique on a model (about 6 inches tall), a common practice in the sculpture studio. Proportions are studied and observational skills are guided throughout the process by encouraging observation of the features of classmates, and also by turning the work and studying all angles. Details are modeled by adding or subtracting material with instruction on how to model ears, eyes, and lips. With the application of artistic details such as hats, clothing and hair detail, the heads emerge with their final personae.

Ms. Suter
Bridge Building:
In the Bridges arts block, the tenth graders have been building marvelous truss bridge designs, including one design by Magdalene Garrity using no glue! Gabriel Lopez has proven himself a master bridge artist with one design holding 1960 times its own weight, and Massimo Hamilton's (incredibly 4th) bridge design was as strong as it was elegant.

-Mr. LaFave
The 12th graders are preparing a fairy tale to be presented in Eurythmy to the young children. In this 5-week arts block, as part of their curriculum, the seniors "look back, give back". They remember experiences, stories, and images from their time here in the Waldorf school, and from a different perspective can now create and perform something for the little ones. We plan to incorporate the study of the zodiac with gestures relating to the months of the year as well as six short music pieces by Sergei Prokofiev.
-Ms. Stolfo
The seniors have completed part one of their self-portrait arts block, which is divided into two sessions. They will resume work on their paintings when we return from February break. We began our work with some preliminary sketches, first with charcoal and then with pastel. The use of pastels allowed the students to experiment with a wide range of bold color palettes before diving into oil painting. Here are some examples of their- warm-up sketches, some of which are self portraits while others are portraits of their classmates.

- Ms. Parrilli


We are grateful to Sara Parrilli for the watercolor images in this newsletter.
You can see more of her work by clicking here.

Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School Annual Fund

Contributions to the Annual Fund help to continue our work to nurture and grow our students and school. Join with the many HVS parents, faculty, alumni, family, and friends who support the School's Annual Fund. Make your gift today to ensure a vibrant and successful future at Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School.

Thank you for your continued support.

Donate to the HVS Annual Fund
Hawthorne Valley is a diverse non-profit 501(c)3 organization committed to social and cultural renewal through the integration of education, agriculture, and the arts. Initiatives include:

Waldorf School | Farm | Farmscape Ecology Program | Institute for Mindful Agriculture | Center for Social Research | Alkion Center | Adonis Press | Free Columbia | Walking the dog Theater

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Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School
330 County Route 21C
Ghent, NY 12075

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