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                      Around the School Newsletter                       Week of November 6-10

“In our increasingly diverse society, we all need to be able to create authentic, healthy, equitable relationships with people unlike ourselves, whether our colleagues, coworkers, fellow students, or families of young children.  I always want people to be heard thoroughly, without interruption. If you can hear someone regardless of their story, that’s a doorway into understanding your own humanity. I want to set judgments aside and let people and their thoughts progress naturally. If we can give each other more space to be human, to not always have the right answers, we might make it easier to communicate.”
– Dr. Intisar Shareef

Upcoming Events

Kindergarten Lantern Walk
Thursday, November 9th | 4:30 PM

St. Martin's Pageant Grades 1-3
Thursday, November 9th  | 4:30 PM

High School visits: 
Brooklyn Museum & Botanical Garden
Thursday, November 9th | All Day

Anthroposophical Psychology Lectures: 
"Anthroposophy, Psychology, Sofia" & "Psychology and the School of Michael"
Thursday, November 9th | 7:30 PM

Veteran's Day Observed
Friday, November 10th | School Closed


Kindergarten Parent evening
Wednesday, November 15th | 7 PM

High School Parent Teacher Conferences
Wednesday, November 15th | 7 PM

The Evolutionary Task of Illness – Understanding Children’s Resilience and Health
Wednesday, November 15th | 7 PM
  • Please join us for this essential evening as Dr. Kathleen Lazare, Cathy Sims-O’Neil, D.O. and Jude Neu, RN, present from their experience of practice an understanding of essential qualities of resilience in children’s health.

Parent Assembly
Tuesday, November 21st | 1:30 PM

Dismissal for Thanksgiving Recess
Tuesday, November 21st  | 3 PM


Thanksgiving Day
November 23 | All Day

Dear Families,

Each November as the days grow shorter and darkness lengthens, Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School holds a Lantern Walk and Pageant in celebration of Martinmas.  Our festival honors the light of compassion necessary at all times but especially so as we prepare ourselves to experience the dark and cold of our winter months.

Please join us on Thursday, November 9th at 4:30PM (*Note the time change - both the Kindergarten Lantern Walk and the Martinmas Pagaent from Grades 1-3 will begin at 4:30) to honor the light that resides within each of us. In the challenge of the times we live in, it is increasingly important to look to the light and beauty that our shared lives can create.

Children should report to their classrooms between 4:00-4:15. Parents will gather on the playing field near the four-square court. After the performance, Early Childhood families should return to the Kindergarten yard for a gathering specially designed for the younger ones. Families with children in the lower school will follow a procession of their children's classes across the bridge and into the woods, turning toward the swim pond.  Please help us to keep the mood of this reverent event by joining us in song and not talking at all during the walk through the woods. Please also help us by making sure that all cell phones are turned off. To ensure that this is a safe event for all, make sure that you accompany your own children back through the woods on your way home.
Dress warmly and wear good walking shoes… we look forward to sharing this wonderful festival with all of you!


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

Don't Forget to check out our Community News and Classifieds page!
The school Lost & Found (by Turose) is overflowing! Please check in to retrieve lost items. After Thanksgiving Break the clothing will be donated to the Yuletide Fair Hand to Hand Charity Room.
It's Gingerbread Time!

For the 33rd year in a row, the school's assembly hall will be transformed into a gingerbread wonderland! These entries are then donated to the school, to be auctioned off to the highest bidder at the Yuletide Fair.

Now is the time to think about your gingerbread creation for this year's contest. Do you remember some of the entries of past years like various gingerbread houses, a castle, train, igloo, bird house, outhouse, ship, lighthouse, carousel, airplane, farm, general store? There are no limits to your imagination!

Find your gingerbread information packet here

Yuletide Fair: Community Crafts
  • Kindergarten - “Tiny Treasures” crafting kits are available in the Kindergarten. Look out for the basket and make sure you sign the list so we can keep track of who’s doing what project. Don’t wait until the last minute! Note: It’s a great time to organize crafting parties with other parents. Please keep these crafts hidden away from the Kinders.
  • Community Craft Room – “Crafting Kits” are now available in the Main Lobby across from Emily Thorington’s office. Please pick one up, sign it out, make it and return it! Rinse and repeat!
  • Hand to Hand – Donations can be left in the Main Lobby in the bins provided or in the Teaching Kitchen. If leaving boxes or bags of goods, please label with “Hand to Hand”
  • Shift Sign Up – Will start this Friday 11/10. A link to the online Sign Up Genius will be emailed out to you. Your Yuletide Class Champion will also be checking in (if not already) and filling in the schedule.
Hand Work Open Barn
What: Crafting for the Community Craft Room
When: Saturday, November 18th from 1-5 pm
Where: 1423 RTE 7, Ancram
Hosted by: Ms. Conroe, Sarah, Renee, Leathem, Fiona and You!
*Help make Tooth Fairy Pillows, Bean Bags, Tie-Dye, Decoupage or B.Y.O.H.W!*

For more information on the Musicians, Gnomes, Silent Auction, Hand to Hand Charity Room visit the Festival Planning & Volunteering Page.


Hot Lunch Program

Chef Mara Simons, of Simons Catering strives to prepare food that nourishes kids in both, body and spirit. The Hot Lunch program at Hawthorne Valley features meals that are made from scratch with high quality, local, organic ingredients.

Hot Lunch will be served Monday through *Friday* starting in January for Session II. Stay tuned for sign-up information!

To see November's Menu click here.


Please return your WASHED uniform to Ms. Race by the end of the next week.

Girls modified basketball begins Monday, November 13th. You should have received an email from Coach Race with practice times/locations for the first week. If you did not receive an email or your child would like to join the team (7th and 8th grade) please email Ms. Race.
Boys modified basketball will begin next Monday, November 20th. If your child expressed interest in joining the team you will get an email next week.
All game schedules will be emailed out next week.

-Coach Race


Thank you to all the parents and staff that joined us this past Sunday for the Compassionate Communication Workshop, we will continue to focus on this inner development area within our community and plan a follow-up event.
Back by popular demand, Parent's hosting an evening discussion at their homes.  If you are interested in hosting an evening at your home please email Karine or call 518-392-1196.  You can recommend a topic or we can provide some ideas and coordinate the details.
PTA Coffee Hour for the Month of November will center around crafting for the Yuletide Fair's Community Craft Room.  Join us to craft together or take a project home to complete and return to Coffee Hour during the month of November.  Look on the Sandwich Boards for special topics of discussion while we craft.
If you have "Noble Work" ideas please email Karine, we are forming a group (parents, faculty and students) which will focus on stewardship of our buildings and grounds.  Ideas thus far:  Organize the attic in the Administration Building, Spring Gardening every Wednesday, Replace Curtains in the Kitchen.  Thank you for your ideas and willingness to participate at the level you can.
Save The Date:
-  Saturday, December 9th from 1-3 pm   "School Budget Update"
-  Saturday, January 27th from 1-3pm "Community Gym Center Update"
High school sitters will be available for both events for children 5 years and up, the HS students will be fundraising for their classes.  Suggested donation is $5/per child.  Look for RSVP emails closer to the events.


Peach Blossom          Rose          Morning Star

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

6th Grade          7th Grade          8th Grade 

9th Grade          10th Grade          11th Grade          12th Grade

Peach Blossom

"I go with my little lantern,
my lantern goes with me.
In heavens the the stars are shining,
on Earth my lantern shines for me.
The cocks do crow,
the cats meow,
Rabimmel, Rabummel, Rabumm....

-Miss Zay

"Who has seen the Wind-
   neither me nor you...
      It blows me in
 and it blows me out-
It blows above and below."

During Circle time, the Rose Children are meeting up with Squirrel Nutkin and carrying lanterns to prepare for this cold dark time of year.

-Ms. Disbrow

Morning Star

Jack Frost has been nipping at fingers and toes, and the Morning Star Children have been observing all of the ways that the elements of nature are coming to rest in the mantle of Mother Earth. This Thursday, we look forward to sharing hot cider (pressed by the Earth students) with our families when we gather in our yard after the Martinmas Pageant. Following will be our magical woods lantern walk … please join us!

-Mrs. Ping

1st Grade


This week in first grade, we have been busy continuing our work with the Quality of Numbers, rehearsing for our Martinmas pageant with 2nd and 3rd grades, as well as making our lanterns for the lantern walk on Thursday. 

-Ms. Conroe

2nd Grade

The Martinmas pageant and lantern walk approach, and this year the second graders play the role of the beggar man. Our lanterns are ready and anticipation builds as Thursday evening draws near. 
We have started our second Language Arts block. The epic Irish fable, “The King of Ireland’s Son”, is our topic of story and study. 
“His hound at his heel, his hawk on his wrist; a brave steed to carry him whither he list and the green ground under him."

-Ms. Stone

3rd Grade

The third graders finished their last play performance on Monday of this week. As swiftly as the class play has ended, we now prepare for Martinmas and the pageant on Thursday evening. Please join us at 4:30!

In addition, the third graders are rounding out a Math block where we learned about adding and subtracting money. We also have been busy making calendars and exploring the use of numbers in that way.

-Ms. McKenna


4th Grade

The fourth grade began our first Human and Animal block by looking at the human being (head, trunk, and limbs). We then turned our attention to the animal kingdom starting with the cuttlefish and the mouse. The fourth graders were delighted to begin a week-long animal observation assignment which will culminate this week.

-Mr. Sansone

5th Grade

In fifth grade we are continuing to prepare for the grand opening of our class play, the Indian Epic story: The Ramayana.  In it, Vishnu comes to earth in the form of Lord Rama.  He and his monkey supporters defeat the 10-headed king demon of darkness, Ravana.  Look for our posters around campus!
Play times are:
               Thursday, November 16 at 10:30.
                Friday, November 17 at 10:30
                Saturday, November 18 at 4:30

-Ms. Almquist

6th Grade

This week, the sixth graders have formed a class government based upon the principles of the Roman Republic. We selected Senators, Judges, Consuls, and an Assembly of Citizens, and have held two official sessions of the government. Thus far the class has passed three laws, and considered the fair and just consequences to match. Within the proceedings, all members have been thoughtful, reasonable, and well-spoken. They are truly considering what it means to be a citizen of a community. 

After an enriching block of black and white drawing, we began painting for the first time this school year - introducing some new and exciting paint options, including green and purple. It was a colorful experience! 

-Ms. Lacey

7th Grade

In 7th grade physics we have explored sympathetic vibrations as it relates to sound, electromagnetism and are now immersed in a study of heat and how it affects the world around us.

-Ms. Weimer

8th Grade

The 8th Grade has been talking about John Adams and George Washington and leadership in general.  We've also been looking at some scenes from the play 1776 as part of our study of the American Revolution.  In English, we're working on writing personal statements of strengths and weaknesses, interests and goals.

-Mr. Kilb


"Our Geography studies have taken us far afield."

9th Grade


The 9th grade has been exploring physical phenomena of heat since they started their Thermodynamics main lesson block last week with Mr. Cronin. They have also started a new arts block working with hammer and anvil to shape red hot iron in their forging block with Mr. Madey. Their objective for this block will be to forge three identical hooks. In this way they will demonstrate and prove the skills which they are learning.

-Mr. Madey

10th Grade

In their midday English class, Grades 9 and 10 have begun reading Chinua Achebe's groundbreaking novel Things Fall Apart.  They will employ their developing annotation skills to engage in a close reading of the novel with attention to Achebe's use of literary devices to appreciate the story in its setting at the turn of the nineteenth century and discover the more universal themes they reveal.

-Ms. Kenyon

11th Grade

“When your maternal grandmother was carrying your mother in her womb, the egg cell that would eventually give rise to you was already present...” “Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting: The Soul that rises with us, our life’s Star, Hath had elsewhere its setting, And cometh from afar...” In our study of Embryology and Genetics, the 11th grade class is learning about our origins as individuals on the earth.

-Dr. Frishkoff

12th Grade

Last week the seniors began their economics block with Mr. Ping.  On Thursday Matt Stinchcomb, co-founder of Etsy and founder and CEO of the Good Work Institute, presented to the class what he learned while growing Etsy from an idea into a $2 Billion enterprise and his views on the importance of vocation, values, and integrity in co-creating an ethical, equitable, and regenerative economy.  

-Ms. Ambrose

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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