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Around the School Newsletter

Week of October 17 - 21
Photograph by Dune Ackley, Grade 6

By Joan Mitchell

The rusty leaves crunch and crackle,
Blue haze hangs from the dimmed sky,
The fields are matted with sun-tanned stalks –
Wind rushes by.
The last red berries hang from the thorn-tree,
The last red leaves fall to the ground.
Bleakness, through the trees and bushes,
Comes without sound.

The author of this poem, Joan Mitchell (1925-1992), was a graduate of Smith College who was best known for her Expressionist paintings. Born in Chicago, she later moved to New York and eventually settled in Vetheuil, France. While Mitchell was not known for her poetry, her mother was a poet, and Mitchell’s paintings were described “more like poetry” - there’s something to the conflation of the two medium, poetry and works on paper. And what makes the above poem stand out is that Joan Mitchell wrote and published it (Poetry, December 1935) when she was just a child of 10 years old! 
Reading this poem with the knowledge that it was written by a child gives the reader a new perspective. Children, as we know, are observant, curious, and gifted. The children around the campus grounds and woods could very likely share a similar observation this time of year about the “rusty leaves” that “crunch and crackle.” In Waldorf schools, we strive to bring the artistic into everything we do, so that the students learn in a way that resonates with them through thinking, feeling, and doing. 
As the autumn leaves begin to fall and the days turn colder, we know that winter is soon on the horizon. In our community, we have several special days that mark out calendars as winter approaches, and we celebrate them as festival days. Upcoming next week, we will bring back our beloved Halloween celebration for the youngest children, when we celebrate in school as well as on the night of Halloween. The path to the bridge will be decorated with glowing Jack O’Lanterns, first picked by the high school students, then carved by the grades 1-8 children, where they might have a chance to see Baba Yaga herself! 
In early November, as the days continue to grow shorter and the air becomes crisp and cold, we will celebrate another favorite festival - Martinmas. That evening, the grades 1-3 children will perform the traditional pageant, followed by a walk through the woods, illuminated by hundreds of luminaries. At the Swim Pond, we will join together to sing and to watch the sky lanterns as the light drifts off above the hills. 
In early December, we plan to bring back our Yuletide Fair. That first Saturday of December, our school is transformed into a Winter Wonderland, where young children can fetch a treat from the Pocket Person, when everyone can be inspired by the Gingerbread House collection in our Hall, and when wandering minstrels make merry throughout our school grounds. 
As we prepare for these festivals (just to name a few - there are more throughout the fall and winter!) - we at the school are so happy that we can once again open our doors to the community in a way that we have not been able to in the past few years. We also know that, as the last of the autumn leaves fall to the ground, that winter’s chill will often keep us indoors, somewhat apart from one another. Until Spring comes again and we celebrate the warmth of the sun and being together again at our Mayday!
Wishing you moments of sweet observations of “the last red berries” with a child that you love. And glowing warmth as the days grow longer and colder!

Meaghan McKenna
Lower School Chair

EC Parent Meetings
October 26th

Grade 8 Play 
October 26th - 29th

Grade 3 Play 
October 28th

Makers Market @ Hawthorne Valley Farm Store
October 29th

In School Halloween Celebration
October 31st

Parent Teacher Conferences in EC, LS, and MS - NO SCHOOL for EC, LS, and MS
November 1st

HS in session as usual
November 1st

November 5th

High School Parent Teacher Conferences @ 6pm
November 9th

LS Martinmas Pageant and Lantern Walk @ 4:30pm
November 10th

Veterans Day - SCHOOL CLOSED
November 11th

EC Lantern Festival 
November 11th
For more detailed information visit the calendar page on our website, here.
4th Grade trip to High Falls
I'm one with a tree
And I'm one with the water
'neath the sun and sky.

A haiku by Sammy Brodsky, 4th grade, written on the High Falls field trip.
As part of our Local Geography/Local History block, the Fourth Grade took a trip to High Falls in Philmont this past Tuesday morning. We learned about how the Agawamuck Creek behind our school runs down through those falls, and what those falls may have meant to the Indigenous Mahican people (good fishing, having to portage canoes and therefore probably a good place to camp) who called this area home long before European settlers arrived.
While on our hike, we took opportunities to study different parts of the landscape, and spent some time drawing and writing about what we observed. It was truly beautiful autumn day in the forest, and we had a wonderful time. As one fourth grader put it, " I wish we could come here every week!" 

~ Ms. Kozakeiwicz
HVS Cross Country has strong finishing kick to regular season
The Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School cross country teams travelled to Rensselaer High School for its largest and final meet of the Patroon Conference season on Tuesday.  The HVS modified boys team finished an outstanding season sweeping the top five finishes in its race against Loudonville, Taconic Hills, Rensselaer and Cairo-Durham.  The HVS girls modified runners - seventh graders LuLu Saunders and Madalynn Madsen - took the top two finishes in the girls race.  The boys varsity modified team was again limited to three runners due to illness and injuries.  HVS eighth graders Thomas Madey and Theo Bergquist, and tenth grader Idris Evans all finished with career best times in their final regular season race.  All three runners qualified for the Section 2 post-season race on November 5. The HVS varsity and modified runners head to Maple Hill High School next week for the Patroon Conference Championships. The race is slated for a 3:30 pm start on Tuesday, October 25.
Winter Sports sign-ups
HVS will be supporting its own boys varsity basketball team again this season.  Finally emerging from Covid restrictions, we will play our home games at our own gym for the first time in three years.  The team will practice and play home games at the newly renovated Hudson Middle School in Greenport.  This year's program will also offer a boys modified team. Coaches Charles Towe and Jason Middlebrook will be sharing the helm for both squads.  We will be sending out a more detailed update regarding tryouts and open gym schedules to families interested in participating in the basketball program this year.  Girls and boys in grades 7-12 are invited to come out for the teams.  Anyone interested in learning more please contact the coaches or me via email:;;

With another season of our soccer mergers with Taconic Hills coming to a close, HVS will also be offering girls and boys in grades 9-12 the opportunity to participate in two new winter sports mergers with Taconic Hills.  For the first time ever we will be supporting our student athletes interested in competitive swimming and competitive bowling.  For more information please contact Taconic Hills Athletic Director Angela Webster or myself via email:;
Lost and Found, and Dishes!
Our lost and found is getting quite full! If your child is missing something, please visit our lost and found in the back of Turose to take a look!

We also have a number of dishes and Tupperware containers at school from the recent meal train for Rachel Loshak and her family. They are located under the table just outside of the main office. Please come by to take a look and collect your items. 
Halloween is coming.... !
We are pleased to announce that this year Hawthorne Valley is bringing back the tradition of a Halloween Festival for families with young children that will be held on Monday October 31st , rain or moonshine, from 5:30 - 7pm. This will be the first time since the pandemic that we are holding this event. 
In this offering, a magical community experience that shies away from ghoulish imagery is created. Families are invite to come in costumes that are simple and preferably home-made - not too scary since our littlest trick-or-treaters will also be in attendance. There will be a Jack-O-Lantern path to Baba Yaga's hut and bonfire. Children can visit Mother Earth, the Wizard of the Wood, a Fairy Garden, toast marshmallows at the bonfire, and also see a puppet play. This year our student troupe, The Acorn Players, will present "Witchamaroo" at 5:30, 6, and 6:30pm in the Kindergarten.
Tickets for the puppet play are $4 each or $10/family and will be on sale next week in TuRose. These will quickly sell out so advance purchase is recommended! Proceeds help cover costs of the festival event. Donations are also appreciated.
For more information, or if you would like to volunteer to help, please contact Caroline O'Neill in TuRose. 
Maker's Market at Hawthorne Valley

October 29th from 10am - 4pm
We are excited to announce that Hawthorne Valley will be holding a monthly Maker’s Market at the pavilion outside the Farm Store. Our next market will be on October 29th from 10 am-4 pm! These monthly markets feature products made by Hawthorne Valley staff! We'd love to see you there!
Biodynamic events at Farm this season
All ages are welcome, children must be accompanied by an adult. No previous experience necessary, but an open mind is always helpful. Also helpful to bring are water bottles, clothing layers, boots, hats and gloves.
Dates are weather dependent. 
October 27, 2:30-4:30
Using the Biodynamic horn manure preparation on the pastures behind the barn.
The pastures behind the barn are part of the night pasture rotation, where cows have their supper and late night snacks during the spring, summer and fall. 
Come help stir and spray the Biodynamic horn manure preparation on these pastures. This is especially helpful after such a hot and dry summer. We will be stirring warm water with the preparation, and spraying it into the pasture using buckets and pine boughs.
These biodynamic events at Hawthorne Valley are offered by Farmer Katy, a friend of the farm and fellow Biodynamic peer that has volunteered to lead some seasonal events.

Please contact Linda Park if you have any questions.
An update! Join the Farm for garlic planting this week!
It has been such a delight, these past few weeks, to meet and work alongside parents and community members who have graciously volunteered their time at the Farm. Many have been asking for an on-going opportunity to continue helping at the Farm until the end of harvest season. So, if you haven’t been able to make it or you are looking forward to coming back, we will be gathering bi-weekly until the end of October.
Spend some time outdoors, get to meet our farmers and community members, experience the joy of meaningful work, and go home with some fresh biodynamic produce from our farm!
When: every Tuesday (1:30-2:30 PM)* and Thursday (8:30 AM - 10:00 AM)* UNTIL THE END OF OCTOBER
* please meet at the start time in order to get to the field
Where: meet at the apple tree by the school parking lot
Questions: contact Tessa Schmidt or Linda Park
Looking forward to getting together!
Thank you very much,
Hawthorne Valley Farm Team
Don't forget to check out our Community News and Classifieds page for more community announcements!

Click here to make a submission.
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 | Farm StoreFarmscape Ecology Program |Children's Programs PBLC| Center for Social Research | Alkion Center | Adonis Press  | Walking the dog Theater I Place Corps at Hawthorne Valley

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

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