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September 2014 Newsletter
Mulberry is Twitter-less
Michaelmas Games of Courage

Upcoming Dates

Oct. 13 Thanksgiving 
School Closed

Oct 15 Cross Country Meet, Grades 4 -6
Oct 20, 3:30pm Board Meeting. Please sign up in advance for After Care
Oct 24, 3:45 pm Grade 7/8 Working Group
Oct 27, 3:30pm Parent Rep Meeting – Please sign up in advance for After Care
Oct 28, 6:45pm Early Childhood Parent Evening 
Nov. 3 PA Day No Classes. Please sign up for Parent/Teacher Interviews
Nov. 4, 6:30pm Mulberry’s Annual General Meeting – All parents encouraged to attend.  Please sign proxies otherwise
Nov 5, 3:30pm Bake Sale
Nov 10, 3:30pm Board Meeting – Please sign up in advance for AfterCare

Nov. 11 Lantern Walk
Nov 14, 3:45pm Grade 7/8 Working Group
Nov 17, 3:30pm Parent Rep. Meeting – Please sign up in advance for After Care
November 28 at 3:45pm               Grade 7/8 Working Group

Nov. 28 6 - 9pm Mulberry After Dark!  
Nov. 29 10am - 3pm Winter Fair


Mulberry parents and children enjoy the Bake Sale

What’s New at Mulberry?
 
by Peelu Hira, Administrative Head and Alumni Parent
Usually when someone says what’s new at the beginning of a school year, it’s a new teacher.  This year, we are fortunate to have some new faces as well as a number of incredible building upgrades.  As we can all imagine, maintenance of our beautiful building, the former St. John’s School built in 1932, is inevitable!  One of the biggest upgrades is a completely new roof!  Thanks to many individuals in our school community who had researched the various roofing options and companies and obtained advice and quotes.  Skot Caldwell and a number of parents from the Property Committee helped the school settle on our best option.  We are happy to share that we have since received an unexpected and incredibly generous private donation which covered the cost to replace the roof!  We are humbled by, and grateful for, this gracious gesture.
 Please see Jessica Bosso’s article below for more information. 
The second upgrade is the completion of the Clover Garden washroom.  Wreceived a generous grant from the Cawthra Mulock Foundation for $16,000 in 2012 for the renovation of the kitchen and construction of washrooms.  The kitchen was fitted with an industrial dishwasher in 2012.  This year, 
thanks to the expertise of Ewen MacKinnon (Mulberry parent and owner of MacKinnon Construction Ltd.) and Rick Leduc (Mulberry parent and owner of Leduc Electrical), the washrooms are finished complete with three wee toilets and three wee sinks!  This means that the Clover Garden children no longer have to parade downstairs to use the washroom!  Also now, all three early childhood classrooms have their own washrooms. 
The third upgrade is the hand washing stations for the Grade School.  We received a recent grant also from the Cawthra Mulock Foundation for $13,000 to install three hand washing sinks.  Many of you have seen the MacKinnon’s truck at the school as Ewen is putting the finishing touches to the three stations – one in the Grade 1/2 class, one in the Grade 5/6 class and the last one in the hallway (which includes a new janitor’s sink).  As many of you know, washing hands before this year was a scheduling nightmare during snack and lunch times. Now each class has access to a hand washing sink.  As well, teachers are able to use these large sinks for access to water for weekly water colour painting.  
The fourth upgrade is the ventilation of the main floor bathroom and both the girls and boys bathrooms in the basement.  We owe thanks again to Ewen and his colleagues for this as well as the renovated ceiling in the girls bathroom.  This has made a huge difference in air quality in the basement.  Please feel free to offer your thanks to Ewen when you see him the halls at pick up time!  
As a community-based school (as well as a not-for-profit and charitable organization) we are so very thankful to all of our donors, partners and members of our committees.  As we approach the Thanksgiving weekend, it truly feels like we are surrounded by abundance. 
Check out the new roof!
by Jessica Bosso, Mulberry parent and Board Member 
As many homeowners have experienced, there are “sexy” renovations that one can show off to visiting friends and family, like a gorgeous new kitchen or bathroom that looks like it is out of the pages of a magazine; at least until the kids use it!  And then there are the other, necessary, but not so interesting renovations that often cost a lot of money but that you may not even get to see.
It has been on the school’s building committee radar that the lifespan of the roof was coming to an end.  Then we had the crazy ice damming that occurred over the December holiday period which had numerous staff and volunteers cleaning up water damage to the school when the roof drain froze. Rick Leduc (Mulberry parent and owner of Leduc Electrical), was very responsive and quickly put in a heating coil to keep the drain clear and to prevent any further damage. 
After assessing the damage, an analysis of possible options was conducted by the Board and it was decided to redo the roof over the summer.  With the crazy weather this summer, unfortunately the project start date was delayed until the last week of August, so some families saw the scaffolding and junk bins surrounding the school while the work was ongoing. 
Fortunately the work was all completed in time for classes to start the first week of September.  Although few of us will ever get to see the roof, rest assured it looks great, and will keep the school warm and dry for years to come.
 

Waddell Apples: Field Trip with Meadow and Clover Gardens

by Sarah Hutchinson, Meadow Garden parent

 

“Little by little, summer’s green fruit is changed, ripened, brought to a fullness of being.”

 

I joined the Meadow and Clover Garden classes along with several other parents for a morning of apple picking at Waddell Farm.  The mood of the morning was calm and relaxed, with flecks of excitement and sweet curiosity.  It was wonderful to see the easy transition of the children throughout their activities, simply by familiar songs and the calm lead of the teachers.  At the orchid, the children listened attentively to Farmer Charlie as he described how to pick the apples from the trees and they quickly filled their bags with the delicious fruit.  In the activity room, Farmer Marita talked about bee-keeping while the children watched the observation bee hive with fascination.  Every moment of the morning, the children were living perfectly in that moment; neither anticipating the next activity nor lamenting the passing of the previous.  As I observed the joy and contentment of the children with their friends, teachers and activities, I felt grateful to be surrounded by such a wonderful community of families, and the caring pedagogy of the school. 


Michaelmas
by Carlina Heins, Faculty Chair
On September 29, midway between the northern hemisphere's summer and winter solstices, the ancient festival of Michaelmas is celebrated.  As summer's warmth fades, and the cool crispness of autumn falls upon us, mother nature's fruits and vegetables ripen for harvesting. Her gifts help sustain us through the dark cold days of winter and remind us to summon our own gifts and inner strength to help balance our internal light with the darkness of the season.   
Stories of good versus evil or light versus dark are often told to illuminate the balance of light and dark that we all must strive towards mastering.  One favorite Michaelmas story is that of St. George taming the dragon with the sword of justice and courage given to him by the Archangel Michael.
A celebration of strength and courage, of facing dragons both internal and external, Michaelmas is a great time to ponder our own inner dragons and to cultivate the courage and strength necessary for self development. 

At Mulberry Waldorf School, we celebrate Michalemas in the classroom in various ways including verses, songs, and dramatizations of St. George’s battle with the dragon.  This year, the grade school participated in a sharing of these songs and verses as well as “Games of Courage” organized by the grade 5/6 class. Celebrations finished with a shared meal of soup and bread.


Thank you from Fare Well Farm!  

by Crista Thor, Mulberry Board Chair
For those of you who aren't familiar with us, Mike and I operate a small market garden in the East End.  We grow over 40 types of vegetables and 200 + varieties, all open pollinated, and many from seed we save here at the farm.  We offered our second season of CSA shares to 120 members this year and are already looking forward to the 2015 season.  We greatly appreciate the support we get from our school community.  Many of our members live in the Mulberry area which makes the school an ideal pick up location for our CSA.  We set up each Wednesday over the 18 week duration of our season and would like to express our gratitude to Mulberry for offering us the outdoor green space of the school during that time.  



Michaelmas Three Legged Race

Bake Sale
by Patricia Weidmark, Receptionist and Mulberry parent
Our first bake sale of the new school year, held on Wednesday October 1, was a delicious success! We raised over $200.00 dollars to purchase a new set of bowls for the Meadow Garden classroom. A very special thank you to all our fabulous bakers and helpers, and to Rain Lill for assisting with cash and set up.  The next bake sale will be held on Wednesday November 5 at 3:30pm. Proceeds for the next sale will go towards paying for the new carpet in the Grade 1/2 classroom as well as a Grade 5/6 field trip. Please drop by the office and let Patricia know if you are interested in donating baked goods.
 


Winter Fair
By Anne Marie Levac & Patricia Weidmark, Mulberry Parents
As the autumn leaves fall, plans are already in the works for Winter Fair 2014, Saturday November 29 between 10:00 – 3:00pm!  For those who are new to the school, it is a wonderful and magical gift to our children and our single biggest fundraising event. Classrooms are transformed into an artisan market, hallways turn into a silent auction and our gymnasium becomes a cafe offering delicious, healthy food!  The youngest partakers at the Fair may walk through a magical forest, make beeswax candles and create lovely natural crafts to take home. They also enjoy a puppet play performed by our Early Childhood faculty. 
Don't miss Mulberry After Dark, a licensed event on Friday November 28th, 6:00 -9:00pm which gives adults an opportunity to mix and mingle, enjoy a drink and appetizers and get in some pre-Fair shopping at the artisan market!   
None of this is possible without many parents, staff, alumni and friends contributing their talents, ideas, materials and time! Very soon, each family at the school will receive a link to our online Volunteer Sign up list and we encourage you to take this opportunity to give generously to our wonderful school.
Help us fill our magical forest by joining us for a gnome making craft circle on Wednesday October 15 at 9:00am at NGB Studios, 12 Cataraqui Street off of Rideau Street. Free Parking in the laneway right behind the Limestone Veterinary Hospital, please enter from the RED door and go down the hall to studio # 1.
Our next Winter Fair planning meeting will be on Monday October 20th at 2:15pm.

Pumpkin Mobile - made by Anna Marshall, Mulberry parent

WINTER CLOTHING COLLECTION FOR THE BOYARKA ORPHANAGE IN THE UKRAINE
Dear Mulberry Waldorf School Community, 
Cold weather is approaching fast in Kingston.  Half a world away the same is happening in the Ukraine, original home of our piano and voice teacher Nadia Itzbitskaya.  During her visit this past summer, Nadia visited the Boyarka orphanage in Kiev and noted a great need for good winter clothing for the children. She returned to Canada with the intent to help. 
It is Nadia’s hope that we can collect many gently used items for the children that can be send in time before the long winter starts.  Nadia expressed that she is willing to repair items, should this be needed.  There are 110 children in the orphanage, ranging in age from 2 weeks to 7 years.  Most of the children have disabilities. 
The list for clothing is as follows: Winter coats and pants, Sweaters and vests, Spring and summer items are also welcome, as are track suits. 
We will place bins in Mulberry’s main entrance to drop off your donations.  The last date for the drop off is October 31st.  
On behalf of the children at the Boyarka Orphanage we would like to thank you for your generosity. Should you have any questions, please contact Nadia Itzbiskaya.

A Mulberry reunion at Oktoberfest in Munich!   Abby, Mulberry alumnus, with Philipp, German volunteer at our school in 2012.


Welcome Back!

by Crista Thor, Board Chair and Mulberry parent
We've had a great start to the 2014-15 school year and are excited about the months ahead.  For those of you who are new to our school, or for those who need a refresher, below is a summary list of all the committees that make Mulberry work.  Our school depends on dedicated volunteers in all of the areas below to operate throughout the year, and we're always looking for folks who have time or expertise to lend support to the following groups:

Marketing:  This committee is responsible for keeping the Mulberry community informed as well as promoting public awareness about our school to the larger community of Kingston.  This committee supports the newsletter, website and facebook page.

Community Development:  Much more than Winter Fair and May Fair coordinators, this committee also organizes bake sales, workshops and other events within the school.

Human Resources:  This committee oversees all activities with regard to staff, such as hiring, evaluations, professional development, mentoring, contract and supply teaching.      

Health & Safety:  The main objective of this committee is to look at all regulated health and safety requirements by various levels of government.  As well, this committee works to identify situations that may put students and staff at risk and to implement corrective measures.  Currently, this committee is deeply involved with the required fire upgrades at our school.

Policy:  This committee is responsible for submitting draft policies in key areas of school function to the Board for approval.  The committee consults with board, faculty, administration and other specialists as necessary to draft policies that are in line with the school's mission and vision.  

Property:  Taking care of our home, the property committee oversees the development of plans for both outdoor and indoor use of space.

Finance:  This committee sets budgets for each year, provides financial statements to the board, provides financial and budgetary input to other committees as the need arises and puts proposals to the board regarding issues such as tuition rates and capital fund allocations.
 

 

Clover and Meadow Garden Go Apple Picking

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Our mailing address is:
25 Markland st., Kingston, ON
www.mulberrywaldorschool.ca