Thank you for learning more about the unique, holistic, Waldorf-inspired education you’ve specifically chosen for your child at Winterberry. It’s somewhat different from current mainstream schools because everything that happens at Winterberry is guided by the natural timeline of child development. For example:
Winterberry's state-approved charter specifies that our school serves children Kindergarten through Grade 8. This span affords families belonging and familiarity. Waldorf methods are responsive and relational. Teachers typically progress with their class from Grade 1 through Grade 8, which gives teachers deeper insight into their students. Kindergarten learning is play-based, full of fresh air, movement and offers parents an option for early-release days. Families are asked to give their children the gift of screen-free school nights. Students leave cell phones at home. In school, chalkboards take the place of screens. Academics looks a bit different too: tuned-in teachers make lessons come alive through storytelling, art, drama, poetry, history and deep observation. Students keep track of learning in "Main Lesson Books" – essentially composing their own artful textbooks. A predictable, consistent, “inhale-exhale” rhythm of activity carries a class through days and weeks. The school’s physical environment imparts a low-stimulus sense of simplicity and beauty to curb distractions. Collectively, the school community strives to practice nonviolent communication, to seek first to understand, to connect before we correct and to inquire with appreciation. As is uttered often at Winterberry – practice makes progress. "It's in the striving."
Weave Together a Strong School Community
There are many ways to weave a strong connection of interdependence with your school community and build the village it takes to raise and educate children.
- Prioritize Parent-Teacher Conferences: Twice a year, discuss the development and well-being of your child with their teacher.
- Get a Glimpse at Open House: Parents rotate through dynamic, teacher-led workshops to experience elements of a Waldorf-inspired school day.
- Enjoy Parent Nights: Teachers welcome parents and caregivers to school three evenings a year to learn about developmental stages of childhood, classroom activities and progress.
- Support Your Child's Class: Respond to teacher requests for field trip support, special supplies, class projects or class events.
- Attend Student Showcases: Students proudly perform during Winter Assembly. In the spring, enjoy class plays, Grade 8 presents a Circus followed by a beautiful graduation ceremony.
- Volunteer at Fundraisers, School Festivals and WPG Events: Clean up, set up, offer point-of-sale skills, organizational abilities, elbow grease and muscle work. Volunteer during schoolwide events and festivals. School picture day orchestration, play yard improvement, annual school clean-up events, organize twice-yearly seasonal gear swap, make food for weekly staff meetings, support faculty-organized festivals.
- Give to Fundraisers: Support WPG's October GARDEN fundraising campaign and spring "Head, Heart and Hands" auction. Patronize Eighth Grade Trip fundraisers.
- Participate in Parent Workshops: Participate and offer your own skills, activities, expertise, or fun project to parents who gather regularly to keep learning together. “Enliven and empower parents with Waldorf inspiration. We’re in this together.”
- Serve on Winterberry's Boards: Winterberry Charter Council (WCC) makes policy decisions and hires the principal. Winterberry Parent Guild (WPG) organizes fundraisers to train Waldorf teachers and improve the school for our children. Boards meet monthly during the school year.
- Read Winterberry Business: The school sends weekly, official e-newsletters on Thursdays. Read it to find important updates, event dates and details for festivals, parent workshops, school happenings, school guidelines, safety news, volunteer opps and links to most-used resources.
- Read the Family Handbook: Peruse the primer onlinle to orient to Winterberry's ways.