Important EdChoice Scholarship Information

»Posted by on Jul 22, 2015 in School News | 0 comments

800px-Pencil_sharpenedThe timeline for the EdChoice Scholarship decisions from the Ohio Department of Education is as follows:
EdChoice Traditional Scholarship award letters are currently being mailed to families. When you receive your award letter, please sign and return it to SGWS as soon as possible.
EdChoice Expansion Scholarship award letters will begin to be issued next week. When you receive your award letter, please sign and return it to SGWS as soon as possible.
The Ohio Department of Education deadline for EdChoice scholarships is August 7. Students must be accepted and enrolled at SGWS before this date, in order to process the EdChoice application and have it received by the Ohio Department of Education by August 7.
If you have any questions about enrolling for EdChoice, please call or email Amy Hecky or Tyra Scott.

Cuyahoga Valley Summer Workshop

»Posted by on Jul 13, 2015 in Just For Fun | 0 comments

CellosDoes your grade 4-8 student play an instrument? How about a stimulating week of music camp August 10-14? The Cuyahoga Valley Summer Music Workshop will be held in Akron, Ohio and runs Monday-Friday from 9:00 am until 3:00 pm, with aftercare available 3:00-5:00.

The camp is for students in grades 4-8 who play string instruments, flute, and clarinet. The five-day workshop is tailored to beginning and intermediate students who will be inspired and challenged in a supportive environment.

Camp includes participation in group classes, ensembles, chorus, creative expression with percussion instruments, eurythmics, and musicianship. Private lessons will be available after camp, for $25, for any who are interested. A final concert for family and friends will be held August 14th at 3:00 pm in the sanctuary.


  • Early-bird pricing through July 16, 2015:  $210 per student
  • Regular pricing due by July 23, 2015:  $225 per student
  • Aftercare is available from 3-5 pm for $5 per hour.  We will play outdoors, explore the onsite playground, and enjoy indoor activities.

For more information visit the website HERE at or jump directly to FAQ or Registration.


Welcome Back Dinner

»Posted by on Jul 13, 2015 in School News | 0 comments

dinnerThis year’s Welcome Back Dinner for parents will be August 25th at 6:30 pm.  Save the date! Join us in the SGWS school gymnasium for an evening of fun, with a little information sprinkled in, as we gear up for another exciting school year at Spring Garden Waldorf School!

The menu will be grilled chicken over mixed greens (with vegetarian and vegan option), plus toppings, bread and dessert (with gluten free option).

New parents are invited to come by for a brief orientation before the dinner.  Please note that this is an adults-only event, and childcare will not be provided. Please RSVP HERE by August 20th. See you on Tuesday, August 25th.

SGWS Alumni: Senior Students in the News

»Posted by on Jul 13, 2015 in Alumni, School News | 0 comments


SGWSGradFashionCollectionOur first senior in the news is Spring Garden alumni Jenna Skye Furpahs, who graduated this year from Kent State University’s School of Fashion.

Jenna displayed her design work at Kent’s 2015 fashion show, FS2: Visionnaire, which featured 17 collections and 55 individual looks created by 58 student designers.

Jenna’s collection “Brazen” earned both the $1,500 Best in Show Award and the $500 SUEDEsays Award (sponsored by “Project Runway” star Suede, a Fashion School alumnus).

Congratulations Jenna on your amazing fashion sense and your big senior win!


HarleyOur second senior is Harley Moyer who has graduated from Firestone High School with a 4.25 GPA as a National Honor Society member. Harley was also an International Baccalaureate Diploma recipient, Akron Council of Engineering and Scientific Societies Math & Science Student of the Year Award winner, and French Club Vice President.

Harley also excelled in athletics as a cross-country runner and track and field competitor. For cross-country, he was an Akron City Series champion as a senior, Firestone’s MVP for three years, and a Division I regional qualifier as a senior; he posted a career-best time of 16:52.79 at the regional meet.

In track and field, Harley helped Firestone win Akron City Series team championship as a senior by winning the 1,600-meter run (4:26.41), the 800 (2:03.22), and the 3,200 (10:25.18). He placed 10th at the Division I State meet in the 3,200 in at 9:27.10, a career best and a school record.

Harley plans to run at Washington & Jefferson College in Pennsylvania. Congratulations Harley! You’re clearly running towards great success!


Two SGWS alumni are graduating from Revere High School this year as well. Michael Miller is graduating in the top 10% of his class as a National Merit Commended Scholar.  He was also the National Honors Society President, a member of the Mu Alpha Theta Mathematics Honor Society, and winner of the OSHAA Scholar Athlete Award. Varsity Tennis player and National Art Honor Society Member Griffen Hansen is also graduated from Revere High School this year.

We wish all our seniors good luck in their upcoming endeavors! Do have alumni news to report?  Please contact Amy Hecky at

Communication at Spring Garden Waldorf School

»Posted by on Jul 7, 2015 in School News | 0 comments


StaffSchools are large communities with many people and many moving parts. Because of this, it’s often difficult to know whom to talk with when you have a question or concern.

We at Spring Garden Waldorf School have worked diligently to communicate succinctly and predictably with our community through our Tuesday Note, Friday Announcements, and Parent Folders, as well as through other means such as the Parent Handbook, our blog, or signs posted throughout the building.

If you have a question and are wondering where to go with it, here is a brief review of the ideal chain communication here at SGWS.

Questions about the Classroom:

This includes curriculum and pedagogical ideas used in subject and/or main lesson classrooms.   Please speak first directly with your child’s teacher. Should you feel that you have not received appropriate resolution to your question from the teacher, you should make an appointment to meet with the Administrative Team Leader, Tracy Edwards.

Questions about Financial Matters:  

This would include tuition payments, tuition assistance, MCA account charges, etc. Please speak with the Finance Director, Julie Marchetta.

Questions about Tuition Assistance:

The Board–directed Tuition Assistance Committee, not the Finance Director, is responsible for decisions concerning Tuition Assistance. Our Finance Director, Julie Marchetta, is able to answer questions about our Tuition Assistance Policy, including application deadlines to be considered for tuition assistance.

Questions about Service Hours:

If you are unsure how to fulfill your Service Hours, please ask your child’s teacher or your Parent Council Representative, or stop in the office and speak with our Administrative Assistant, Hazel Emery. Questioning about buying out hours can be answered by the Finance Director.

Questions about Enrollment:

Any questions regarding applications, the admissions process, and required paperwork can be directed to the Director of Admissions, Amy Hecky, or the Admissions, Marketing, and Development Assistant, Tyra Scott.

Questions about Ethics or Legal Concerns:

Should parents have an ethical or legal concern with respect to school activities, they should set an appointment to meet with the Tracy Edwards, Administrative Team Leader, who will work through appropriate channels and follow up with parents when the matter is resolved.

For more detailed communication information, please consult your Parent Handbook.


The Science Behind Waldorf Kindergarten Classroom Design

»Posted by on Jun 30, 2015 in Curriculum, Early Childhood, Research | 0 comments


Early Childhood classrooms in Waldorf schools look different. Some parents are initially surprised by the lack of primary colors and maps and charts that normally festoon the walls of “traditional” preschool rooms. Won’t the kids find this … boring?

According to recent research on the topic of classroom design, they won’t consider it at all, which is exactly the point. The teacher and the lessons – or, in Early Childhood, the play and cognitive, creative, and motor development – is what deserves the children’s focus, not the posters, mobiles, or charts.

Kindergarten-ClassroomAnd it turns out children do give busy decor a fair amount of their focus. This New York Times article, Rethinking the Colorful Kindergarten Classroom, reports on a recent early childhood study which found that “children spent far more time off-task in the decorated classroom than in the plain one,” as measured by time spent gazing at the walls and scores on a picture test about stories the teacher had been telling.

There is also concern that the material on the walls is simply part of a larger commercial agenda to sell teachers and schools pre-made banners, mobiles, and posters, when walls might be better served as display space of student work or functional space for teachers and students.

A comprehensive 2012 research study published in The International Journal of Building Science and its Applications conducted an extensive analysis and assessment of 751 students across 34 classrooms in seven different schools in order to isolate the characteristics of classrooms that “maximize pupils’ achievement.”ECWaldorf3

According to this study, a well-designed classroom:

  • Receives natural light
  • Is designed with a quiet visual environment
  • Uses warm colors on the walls and floor
  • Has a large area of free space for building and diverse learning/play
  • Has high-quality and purpose-designed furniture, fixtures and equipment
  • Allows ease of movement
  • Allows flexibility in learning varied activities
  • Contains ergonomic tables and chairs
  • Is modular, meaning the teacher can easily change the space configuration

While stepping into a Waldorf Early Childhood classroom evokes feelings of warmth, simplicity and comfort, careful analysis reveals that almost all of the above features have been accomplished in its design. Open areas are filled with natural light and materials that emphasize function over primary-colored form. This helps young children feel comfortable and focus on what matters — their creative play with peers, and time listening to and working with their teacher.

Welcome to First Grade

»Posted by on Jun 24, 2015 in Curriculum, School News | 0 comments

Rose2012-22Your little ones are off to first grade. It’s an exciting and important time for you and your child. They are now one of the “big kids” in “real” school.

At Spring Garden, this means transitioning from the Meadow and familiar Early Childhood teachers to a new classroom, new teacher, and new playground. There will also be a new rhythm to their day.

You will receive a supply list from your teacher, and all the outdoor gear requirements will look familiar if you’ve been at Spring Garden for early childhood. School age children play outside at least three times a day in all but stormy weather. The other supplies will include extra clothes and some other items for class.


The First Day of School:
We suggest you park and walk into school with your first grader. The first grade teacher will give more specific information about first day drop-off specifics, but most parents stay that morning to see the Rose Ceremony, which takes place on the first day for all studentsRose12. This ceremony accentuates the special significance of transitioning to first grade. 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.

During this ceremony, Spring Garden pairs incoming first grade students with their responsible eighth grade buddies — a milestone for both young people in the pairing. Eighth grade students will guide their first grade buddies throughout the year in various ways, including helping the first grade during assembly, having a care-giving presence at other festivals and celebrations, and chaperoning and teaching the young children to ice skate during our spring field trip.

After the Rose Ceremony, a regular school day will commence and children can be picked up at 3:20pm.


The First Week of School:

suppliesChildren can be dropped off or walked into school by their parents between 8:15 and 8:30. Grade 1 and Grade 2 students will always have their teacher present during morning recess.  For the first few days, please walk your first grader out to greet their teacher. Once your child is comfortable coming into the school, hanging lunches outside their classroom, and putting on their outdoor clothing to go outside then they may do it on their own. If you arrive after 8:30, you must walk your child into the office to sign in and get a late pass.

Children will wear their outdoor gear every morning, including rain pants and boots, even on sunny and dry days. This is because they are welcome to sit in the wet morning dew and stomp in morning mud puddles! Being dressed in gear first thing means they are ready for play.

After the morning bell rings, children will come inside in a classroom line, take off their gear, and begin their day. For the first grader, Main Lesson begins with circle time, movement, and song. Then, when children are ready, they sit for the day’s lesson on a main subject. The main subjects (language arts, math, history, etc.) are taught in blocks that last for a set amount of weeks.  Main lesson is two hours per day and includes many activities to encourage multidisciplinary learning, including music, storytelling, writing, drawing, and conversation.

Once done with Main lesson, students enjoy a snack around 10:30 and then have their second recess time of the day. When they return from the outdoors, they begin their subject lessons with subject teachers; the schedule varies by day but is consistent each week. Your teacher can provide a subject lesson schedule, which will include Spanish, handwork, movement, music, gym, painting, lunch, recess, and in older grades, woodwork and orchestra.


Other FAQs:

Is there Before Care?

Before Care begins at 7:15. Before Care is located in the Second Grade classroom. At 8:15, children will put on their outdoor clothes with the help of the before care teacher, if needed. Early Childhood students will be walked to their class teacher, while students in the grades will be sent outside for morning recess.

Where do I park?

SlowChildrenIf you’d like to walk in with your student, come to the School Store, or speak with faculty or staff, please park in the lot on the right (near the Meadow & fence) or park to the far left against the grass near the Sports Club pavilion property. Please do not leave unattended cars in the circle drop-off area.


Where do students and/or parents walk in?

Please have students walk into the front door only, located under the overhang adjacent to the circle drop off area. The door in the Early Childhood wing is locked and is not for general entry. It is used only to take young children to and from the Meadow, and Early Childhood teachers kindly ask that students use the front door only for entry.

What if we’re late?

Children coming in after 8:30 must get signed in at the office with their caregiver and receive a late pass. Children who are tardy should proceed to their classroom once they are signed in and have a pass. They should knock on the classroom door and wait patiently to be let in.  The teacher will not disrupt the morning opening but will let the child in once opening is finished. They may need to wait a few minutes.

We look forward to seeing you on August 27th!