Whether you are new to the school or a veteran parent, it can sometimes be difficult knowing where to best spend your time volunteering. Many hands make light work, and everyone has a gift to offer. We look forward to spending time with you!
Below are some Frequently Asked Questions from parents about service hours.
Why are service hours important?
Service hours help reduce overall operating costs for the school while providing students with a positive role model of community service. They also build our community by providing opportunities for parents and teachers to become better acquainted in a supportive, informal setting. Our record of service hours is also meaningful to foundations and other community funders that offer grant support.
How many service hours are required?
The number of service hours required is based on the student’s enrollment status and is indicated in the contract. A buy-out option is available; contact the Finance Director for more information. The maximum service hour requirement for families with one or more full time students is 30 hours.
What are work days?
Work days hours are spent doing cleaning, maintenance and general upkeep of the building and grounds. Work Days are scheduled according to the season and to the building’s needs, and they are announced to the community by email. The Parent/Guardian Contract requires each family to complete 20% of their Contract Service Hours on scheduled work days. For most families, the work day commitment is six hours.
Where can I learn about service hour opportunities?
We communicate service opportunities on the website, in the Tuesday Note, and on the chalk board near the school store. If you have questions about how to fulfill your service hours, please ask a member of the Administrative Team.
What tasks count toward service hours?
Helping with the Annual Auction Benefit, the Children’s Festival, classroom laundry and other classroom tasks, baking for school events, work day hours, participation on a committee (Site, Festivals, Parent Council, School Store), office tasks, and grounds support are all ways to fulfill hours. Please let us know if you have a special skill or expertise. Our Board of Trustees is always interested in talking with volunteers with finance, legal, human resources, marketing, or development skills.
Where will my hours be most effective?
Of the 30 hours for most families, 6 hours are required to be work days. We recommend a minimum of 3 hours for the auction, 3 hours for the Children’s Festival, and 3 hours in support of classroom.
How do you track service hours?
Parents are responsible for keeping track of their service hours by documenting them in the Service Hours binder located in the school office. Record your activity as soon as possible to keep your record up-to-date.
What happens if I don’t complete service hours?
Parents are billed for unfulfilled service hours at a rate of $30 per hour.
At Spring Garden, like at all Waldorf schools around the world, The Rose Ceremony takes place on the first day for all students. But this traditional event is most influential for the incoming first grade and last year students at the school.
Our First and Eighth graders are embarking on milestones in their school careers and we mark this important transition with our annual Rose Ceremony. Pairing young incoming students with their responsible eighth grade buddies, is a milestone for both young people in the pairing. The young children are entering a new phase in life — where schooling and community, away from parents, will support their budding sense of self, learning and individuality. The older children are entering into young adulthood and are ready to be leaders and guides in their own life and in their community.
Eighth grade students will guide their first grade buddies throughout the year including helping the first grade during assembly, having a caregiving presence at other festivals and celebrations, and chaperoning and teaching the young children to ice skate during our spring field trip.
This reverent event is a reflection of the beauty, kindness and care given to all students, each year, at Spring Garden.
Here are some photos from this year’s event:
- Monster Dash: 9:15 a.m.
- Trick-Or-Trot: 9 – 10:30 a.m.
This spirited costumed run is only $25, and the Trick-Or-Trot is free. All proceeds benefit Spring Garden Waldorf School.
Register by Saturday, August 22, and you’ll be entered to win a FREE race registration for a friend.
Q. When did you first become interested in Waldorf Education and why?
A. In 1996, I was introduced to Biodynamic Agriculture while studying Horticulture at OSU/ATI in Wooster, OH. I was pretty passionate about the Philosophy and spoke with everyone about it. I had just met my husband and he explained that he lived with his Aunt in CA for awhile who was and continues to be a Waldorf teacher. I fell in love with the approach to both Education and Agriculture. I discovered that a Waldorf School existed in NE Ohio and my mother (also a teacher) and I visited Spring Garden Waldorf School together in 1997. During my undergraduate work I studied in VT and CA interviewing Waldorf Garden Teachers. I compiled a garden curriculum and distributed it back to the teachers who shaped it. I worked and interned at the Sacramento Waldorf School and Rudolf Steiner College for 5 months before moving to Pacific Grove, CA for my student teaching semester and to finish my thesis.
Q. What is your teaching and education background?
A. I graduated with my BA in Education in 2001 and was offered a position to teach 4th grade at Monterey Bay Charter School (A Waldorf Inspired Charter). I met Cate Hunko at the 4th grade summer intensive training at Rudolf Steiner College. I taught 4th grade and then decided to begin my Waldorf Teacher Training at Antioch the following summer. I taught 4-6th grade at Monterey Bay Charter School. Then a few months before our Ohio wedding we decided we really wanted to be closer to our families again. We moved to Akron, knowing we would be close to a Waldorf School, were wed, I finished my summer sequence Waldorf training in NH, and then spent a semester writing my thesis and waiting tables. I completed my Master’s degree in Education in 2004.
I was then a substitute at SGWS and surrounding schools for 2 years before I took a first grade at SGWS in 2006. I taught a wonderful group of children from 1st – 3rd grade at SGWS until my eldest son was born.
Q. How do you feel about teaching the same group of students for 8 years?
A. I love teaching the same group of children over a span of years. It is a very special and unique task to hold a group and watch them change, grow, and succeed. Due to life circumstances I haven’t yet experienced the entire span, but I will consider it a special gift when I am able to complete a cycle.
Q. What do you most love or look forward to about teaching at a Waldorf School?
A. It is a beautiful curriculum! Every year I teach, I find joy in the stories and methods. I was so moved by the stories of 5th grade that I wrote my Master’s thesis about the Creation Myths from around the world and the influence of storytelling. As a Waldorf teacher we read stories all the time! Then we are blessed to experience the magic as we share them with the children and watch them work through the morals, concepts and themes.
Q. What is your favorite quote about teaching or education?
A. Rudolf Steiner has so many! Here are two from him:
“Our highest endeavor must be to develop free human beings who are able of themselves to impart purpose and direction to their lives. The need for imagination, a sense of truth, and a feeling of responsibility—these three forces are the very nerve of education.”
“A healthy social life arises when the whole community finds its reflection in the mirror of a person’s soul, and when the virtue of each person lives in the whole community.”
Thanks for sharing Andrea!
Beforecare begins at 7:15. Beforecare is located in the Second Grade classroom with teacher Marie Paul. At 8:15, children will put on their outdoor clothes with the help of the Beforecare teacher, if needed. Early Childhood students will then be walked to their class teacher, and students in the grades will be sent outside for morning recess.
Children are dismissed at 3:20 every day. Any child not picked up by 3:30 will be taken to Aftercare, which is held in the gym or out on the playground. Please come in to sign your child out of Aftercare.
Children in our Aftercare program spend much of their time outdoors engaged in free play, supervised by caring adults with childhood education or care experience. During inclement weather, structured indoor play opportunities are also available such as basketball, board games, and puzzles. Playground and gym equipment is provided to the children, and quiet areas are also available for students wishing to do homework.
We are dedicated to keeping this offering affordable for our community. Our program costs only $5/hour for the first child; additional children in the family are $4/hour. Hours are 7:15-8:15 in the morning and 3:30-6:00 in the evening. Please note that Beforecare and Aftercare is available only to Spring Garden Waldorf School students.
We here at SGWS have developed, as required by law, a new allergy policy to manage students with allergies. The Board of Trustees approved an allergy policy on August 10, 2015. This policy affects all members of our school community. The policy focuses on education about food allergies as well as reducing risk of allergens at SGWS. The full policy, which is included in our parent handbook, can be accessed here.
The key details are as follows:
SGWS is now a nut-free environment. The Board, faculty, and administration reviewed and researched the legal and practical issues associated with food allergies and made the change to a nut-free environment for the following reasons:
– Tree nut and peanut allergies are on the rise and present in 7 of our 11 classes
– Nut allergies tend to elicit more serious reactions
– We don’t have a cafeteria: Our children eat in the classroom,which is the very environment we are expected to keep students safe from allergens; additionally, our students enjoy food as part of the curriculum across the grades
– Our students, from Early Childhood through Grade 8, share the same facility and are encouraged to interact across the grades
Parents of students with anaphylactic allergies must have a current allergy action plan and signed waiver in place prior to the start of the school year. SGWS will contact you regarding any missing paperwork.
The approved policy clearly delineates the roles and responsibilities for parents, teachers, administration, board members, and students.
We recognize that changes of this magnitude take time, diligence, and communication to implement. We need all our parents’ help to implement this policy that affects many of our children. Your class teacher will be providing some addition information about food allergies in your child’s classroom. Click here for nut-free suggestions for lunch and snack ideas.
The PC is a supportive body of the school that promotes community enrichment and communication. It also acts as a constructive link between the Board of Trustees, the Faculty, and the parent body at large. Each representative acts as the voice for the entire class he/she represents. The President and President Elect each serve on the Board of Trustees.
Each representative is responsible for communicating pertinent information gained at each monthly Parent Council meeting to his/her respective class.
Here are the Parent Council Representatives for each Class this year:
Ms. Kathy – Susie Yoder
Ms. Julie – Kara Hoffman
Ms. Olga – Debi Huselton
Class 1 – Susan Hudson
Class 2 – Lisa Friel
Class 3 – Still Needed
Class 4 – Kelly Urbano
Class 5 – Rocky Lewis
Class 6 – Robin Anselm
Class 7 – Ann Denney
Class 8 – Julie Norman
Parent Council spearheads volunteer efforts for each of the following events:
- Welcome Back Dinner
- Children’s Festival
- Annual Auction class projects
- Parent Appreciation event.
Parent Council also facilitates minor fundraisers such as the Renaissance Faire Lunch and Silver Graphics, creates forums for parent enrichment and community building, and coordinates the production of a yearbook.