by Hazel Emery M.Ed.
Spring Garden Waldorf School was fortunate to be gifted an original P.R. Miller sculpture for our grounds. Miller — a.k.a. “The Grizzled Wizard of Waste Not, Want Not” — is renowned for creating unique works of art using recycled and reclaimed materials. Miller is the artist-in-residence for Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens, and his installations can be seen throughout Akron.
P. R. Miller has had a long relationship with Spring Garden. His children Sarah and Alex, as well as his grandson Graye, are SGWS alumni, and he has continued to support our school in many ways since they graduated. Most notably, he visited the school in 2008 and enlisted the help of students and their parents to create bugs and butterflies from recycled plastic materials for his installation at Stan Hywet. We are grateful for his continuing involvement with Spring Garden Waldorf School and for this amazing, unique sculpture that will grace our grounds for years to come.
Spring Garden Waldorf School and Crown Point Ecology Center are partnering to offer Nature’s Children Parent and Child Class. Nature’s Children is a one of a kind offering for parents and/or caregivers of children ages 18 months to 4 years. This summer session will be offered almost entirely outdoors and will allow children and their parents to experience a Waldorf approach to early childhood education together.
An experienced early childhood teacher will lead the class through seasonal songs and games, artistic activities, nature walks, free play as well as story time with puppetry. Young children learn through imitation. As the children “work” and play together, the parents engage in and model purposeful work for the children such as working in the garden, feeding the chickens, preparing snacks, & creating seasonal crafts to take home.
Crown Point Ecology Center offers a unique site to host this outdoor focused experience with beautiful organic herb and vegetable gardens, wooded trails, barns, wetlands, a pond and more. Experiencing the out of doors offers a wonderful opportunity for discovery, conversation, and play. The Nature’s Children Parent and Child class is a perfect stepping stone into the Waldorf Preschool Program. We hope you will join us.
This class is a once weekly program offered once weekly for six weeks on Thursday, Friday, or Saturday from 9 a.m.- 11:30 a.m. Classes begin the week of July 12th. Cost per session is $180/parent and child and $100 for each additional sibling.
To register for the Thursday Session – Click Here
To register for the Friday Session – Click Here
To register for the Saturday Session: – Click Here
The safety of our students is a very high priority. Over the last several years, we have been evaluating a number of safety improvements at SGWS. As part of this effort, Mr. Vargo and I have participated in a variety of safety seminars, met with local law enforcement, reviewed safety concerns from parents from our annual survey, and received input from the AWSNA accreditation team and fellow Waldorf schools. As a result, we are in the process of implementing the following safety related improvements:
- Front Door Security: Our school has been awarded grant money for improvements to our main entrance door. Starting this summer, there will be remote access to the building. This means that during school hours, all the exterior doors will be locked. Parents, guests, and visitors will be buzzed in through the main entrance, which will be equipped with a video camera and intercom.
- Intercoms: Also this summer, we will be installing intercoms in all classrooms and the gym. In addition, we will be installing loudspeakers on the exterior of the entrances to each wing. These improvements will provide the ability for two-way communication with the office in the event of an emergency.
- Medication: During our AWSNA accreditation visit, it was recommended that we end the practice of providing over-the-counter medications. We are reviewing our medication policies and will be implementing changes effective with the 2015-2016 school year.
- Background Checks for overnight chaperones: In March, SGWS implemented a policy requiring background checks for all overnight chaperones. For this school year, the policy affects the chaperones for the Renaissance Faire and the 8th grade trip. The Parent Handbook will be updated to include this policy, which requires all chaperones providing overnight supervision on school-sponsored trips to pass a Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) check. Examples of overnight school-sponsored trips include camping trips, the Renaissance Faire, and the 8th grade trip. More information will be communicated in preparation for the 4-6th grade fall camping trip.
- New safety drills: The state of Ohio has made some changes to safety drills for Ohio schools. We have been meeting with members of Copley police and fire department to improve our drills and implement changes.
- Safety Tip Line (844-SaferOH): SGWS has joined 844-SaferOH – Ohio’s new school safety tip line. This line gives parents and students a way to anonymously report safety threats to school officials and law enforcement officers. This tip should be used if there are safety concerns that affect the whole school or the safety of individual students. Trained professionals at Ohio Homeland Security’s Threat Assessment and Prevention (TAP) unit answer all calls and texts to 844-SaferOH. When action is needed, TAP staff immediately forward information to our school. Local law enforcement agencies or others may also be notified, if the situation warrants. Tip line staff will follow up quickly with our school and law enforcement agencies to make sure the incident was investigated and the outcome was tracked. The tip line serves our community 24 hours a day, whenever a student or concerned adult senses a threat to student safety. The call center guarantees the anonymity of the person who calls or texts. Tip line workers may ask for additional information, but the one who calls or texts may remain anonymous or leave contact information for follow-up. The tip line was established as a result of research that shows that in 81% of violent incidents in U.S. schools, someone other than the attacker knew something but didn’t report it for fear of being identified. The tip line number is 844-723-3764.
Thank you for your support as we implement these important and helpful changes. Please contact me if you have any questions.
Tracy Edwards, Administrative Team Leader
by Hazel Emery M.Ed.
During the first week of May, the fullness of spring and the impending arrival of summer are celebrated by cultures around the world with flowers, music, dancing, and singing. The Chinese and Thai New Year, the colorful Indian festival of Holi, and Walpurgis Night in western Europe are but a few of the diverse observations of this delightful period of renewal and hope. In ancient Europe, May 1 was considered to be the first day of summer, called Floralia by the Romans and Beltane by the Celts. This timeless celebration has evolved into modern May Day celebrations, with the maypole as a representation of the tree of life and the flowers and ribbons adorning it symbolizing fertility and rebirth.
At SGWS, May Day is one of our most cherished festivals. Early Childhood students dance around a Maypole early in the morning, while students in the grades wait until after Main Lesson, when an all-grades procession is led to the Sportsman’s Club adjacent to our property. There, students gather together to enjoy lunch and share lemon cupcakes lovingly made by class parents. After lunch, all students participate in a scavenger hunt, with teams made up of students from each grade. Following the scavenger hunt, students in the lower grades weave ribbons around Maypoles while students in the upper grades play madrigals on their recorders. When the dancing is complete, the celebration ends with a communal Blessing of the Garden.
Though it occurs during the course of a school day, we welcome families to our May Day Festival each year — we hope you can join us on April 29! Here is our schedule of events:
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