Saltwater School Newsletter
Greetings Saltwater family and community. This newsletter will provide you with information on some upcoming events including our speaker evening with Kathy Brunetta (AWSNA) this week and our spring fundraiser on March 20th at the Chophouse. Lucia Perez Britos tells us about her home in Uruguay and how she came to be in Canada. There are also a number of important announcements. Stay tuned for our Special Edition newsletter which will detail our plans for the Fall 2014. We hope you are having a wonderful long weekend!
1. School Planning and Information Session - January 31
The Saltwater Planning and Information Session was well attended last Thursday, January 31. The evening was facilitated by Arlene Trustham (school Board Chair) and Sohlea Rico (Guiding Positive Change and friend to Saltwater school). We began with presentations which provided a framework for the meeting. Rebecca Watkin discussed the scope of classes presently at the school. She included information on specialty classes and ideas for programming for the Fall 2014. Arlene Trustham discussed how we can meet our Saltwater children's needs within the framework of our staffing and budget realities. Jennifer Irwin described what it means to be an independent school. She talked about our umbrella organizations including AWSNA, WECAN, the Ministry of Education and FISA and why these are important to our school. Julie Mills discussed how many children we have presently and our goals for future enrolment. Adam Morden (School Treasurer) and Pam Munroe (member of the Finance committee) concluded with an explanation of the budget including our current budget realities.
The next part of the evening involved breakout groups which addressed the following questions:
This meeting was very positive and constructive and the results from this meeting are being collated. They will be available to all families and interested community soon.
- What have we already done that has provided an excellent learning environment for children?
- How could we provide exceptional services for Grade 1 and Grade 2 students within the space, staffing capabilities, and financial realities of the school?
- How can we gather enough volunteers to support the school and renovate a second space?
- How do we want the larger Comox Valley to view the Saltwater School? What impact would that image have on enrolment?
Thank you to attendees for your input and contributions:
Laura Henderson, Brian Passaro, Melanie Devine, Jane Gadsby-Jones, Colin Taylor, John Milligan, Fabien Gendron, Emma Hutchinson, Marussia Nesling, Aaron Dowker, Chris Nagle, Alison Hunting, Michelle Nagle, Rebecca Watkin, Wendy Poole, Lucia Perez Britos, Amy Wells, Niels von Meyenfeldt, Eric Alexandre, Pam Munroe, Adam Morden and Jennifer Irwin.
A special thank you to our facilitators and planners for the meeting:
2. New building purchased
Arlene Trustham and Sohlea Rico.
We are very excited to announce that our school benefactor has purchased another building in Tin Town at 2398 Rosewall Crescent to address our growing school population. The school board will keep parents updated on what programs will be housed in this building. This building will need to be renovated at some point. We are hoping to call upon our talented Saltwater School community to assist with renovations where needed. Stay tuned for more information.
3. Tuition Hikes for the Fall 2014
The Saltwater school board approved a 7% tuition increase for the Fall 2014. Tuition has increased to address our rising operating costs and to ensure we continue to provide quality services and education. Currently the Saltwater School receives 50% of our funding through the Ministry of Education. We rely on tuition from our Saltwater families for the remainder. The Saltwater School has a program of Tuition Assistance to help offset costs for families in need. For more information on the fee schedule and on our Tuition Assistance program please see our website at: www.saltwaterschool.com.
Kathy Brunetta (Association of Waldorf Schools) Speaker Evening - February 12
Hello Saltwater families and community. We have an exciting event coming up at the Saltwater School. As you all know our school is in it's third year of operation here at our current Tin Town location. Our school community has grown to 55 students and 39 families and we are changing quickly. What is the next step for us? For the last year, the Saltwater School has been in the process of applying for Waldorf Developing School status with an organization called the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America (AWSNA).
AWSNA oversees all Waldorf schools including those who are in various stages of development. This week Kathy Brunetta, an AWSNA representative, will be coming to do a site visit at our school. She will talk to all of our staff, observe classes, talk with the Board, look at our budget and make a general assessment of our current state. When she is finished she will send her site visit report to AWSNA and recommend that the Saltwater School be called a "Developing Waldorf school". The benefits of this are many including mentorship, global connections with schools worldwide and the ability to officially call ourselves a Waldorf School. We will also have access to many useful publications and research to help us grow our school.
As part of her site visit, Kathy Brunetta will be giving an evening talk on Wednesday, February 12 from 7:30 to 9:30 pm. The topic will be: "Understanding your Child: Exploring Child Development from a Waldorf Perspective." This talk will happen at the Saltwater School. We ask that as many families as possible come out for this talk. It will be wonderful to show our school's community spirit and to support Kathy's talk. There will be some good food and good conversation. This is a very exciting time for our school. Please RSVP to Julie - this will give us an idea of attendee numbers for this event.
Spring Fundraiser Event - March 20
The Saltwater Parent Group (SPG) and the marketing committee are organizing a silent auction and dinner fundraiser on March 20th at the Prime Chophouse and Wine bar in Courtenay. There will be two aspects to the fundraiser:
1) The dinner will be made and served by the restaurant and $5 will be donated to SPG for every plate sold. There will be a vegan option!
2) The silent auction will be made up of donations from our community, and that is where you come in!
Do you have any items you would like to donate? Auction items can range from artwork, services, goods, and gift certificates from people and businesses in our community. We hope that the items will represent the wealth of skills, talents and services within our community. For example, we have had donations of a beautiful Waldorf style doll, new skis and snowboard, and some artwork. If you have any items to donate please bring them to the school. The items will be stored until this event. If you have any questions call or email Bobby Boyd at 250 898 9422 or email@example.com.
Did you know? Lucia Perez Britos talks about her life in Uruguay
Hola! For those of you I have not met yet, my name is Lucia and I am the ECE Program Assistant. I work alongside Olivia during the mornings in the Kindergarten, and spend my afternoon in the Preschool program with Wendy. In my spare time, I can be found playing disc golf , reading, riding my bike and as of late, needle felting.
My very fondest memories (which are still imprinted as emotions) date back to my early childhood years: the first time I mixed painting on a canvas and, much to my surprise, it turned brown!, learning my first words in English, the colours (Spanish is my first language), and nursery rhymes which sounded so beautiful, I could see why people still repeated them hundreds of years after they had been invented.
I spent most of my time in Uruguay, my home country, a beautiful country with long, sandy beaches and flat, endless fields. My family and I can proudly claim we have been to every "province" in Uruguay and explored it's hidden natural treasures, a journey my parents began when we three girls were born. Time spent at the farm and remote corners of the country created a great balance between life in the capital city and quality downtime in nature.
My love for languages and a love for teaching led me to take and Teacher Training course and I had the pleasure to teach English at the school I had assisted to as a child. Here I was mentored by a very inspiring and innovative teacher who showed me "half of being a teacher is allowing your love of learning to shine through".
I left this school to move to Canada to join Adam, my husband, and almost by chance, discovered my passion for early childhood, that magical stage in every human being's life where the world is just unfolding. I heard about the Saltwater school shortly after moving to the Comox Valley, and even though it would be three more years until our paths were united, a seed had been planted in me. I am very grateful for being part of this wonderful school and community, and look forward to seeing our children and school grow.
Did you know that we have a well-stocked parent library in the office and in the main foyer? We have information on any Waldorf subject including curriculum, a wide variety of parenting books, crafting and much more. We also have some wonderful children's books. Parents are welcome to sign out any books they are interested in. For more information talk to Alison Hunting.