We are excited to share with you our latest edition of Confluence, our online magazine. This edition invites us to look back at the early years and courageous pioneers of our Public Waldorf work and of the Alliance. We trust that you will find inspiration in these offerings.
Mark your calendars for the 2019 Alliance National Conference to be held for a second year at George Washington Carver High School in Sacramento.
We will be addressing the theme of Widening the Circle for a third and final year and are excited to pick up crucial themes of diversity, inclusion, and access to our education.
It requires courage to develop an alternative path on behalf of our children. Join us to explore the importance of inclusive, accessible whole-child education for all children. Participants are invited to reflect and to engage around topics of equity, race, inclusion and the policies needed to support Waldorf education in the public sector.
Dr. Jonathan Raymond, former superintendent of Sacramento City Unified school District, and author of Wildflowers. Dr. Raymond will address the perseverance and strategies needed to establish and sustain our schools and the importance of whole-child education for every child.
Luis Versalles, of The Pacific Education group will lead us in an exploration of our inner beliefs and attitudes about race, equity, and inclusion. His work focuses on helping educators to engage in and sustain conversations about race.
We continue to collaborate with AWSNA and WECAN (early childhood) on planning for Waldorf 100, the celebration of 100 years of Waldorf education, and on preparations for a major joint summer 2020 conference in honor of this anniversary. Save the date for June 22-25, 2020, in Chicago! The conference will focus on the theme of innovation as we look towards the next century of Waldorf education. We hope that many Alliance teachers and administrators will attend this conference.
We will be warmly encouraging your school to get involved in Waldorf 100 activities. Many schools have been participating in postcard exchanges with schools across the globe, giving a unique perspective on mapping the world. There will be four major areas of focus for the year of celebration:
- Green Bee Wildlife Web: world-wide school activity to support pollinators, bees, butterflies and birds. Watch for more information on activities and curriculum ideas for this important ecological theme.
- The Waldorf Chronicles, a Story Corps project that will record stories of many aspects of Waldorf education. This will begin with the theme of “founders” this Fall – and Alliance Advisory Board member Betty Staley will be one of the first to tell her story.
- Hand in Hand Community Engagement: a wide range of community/school projects.
- Celebrations and Events: school-based, local, national, and international.
Watch for more information on each of these and prepare to join with schools across the globe in celebration and action!
Front row from left to right: Mary Rudd, Helene Brodsky-Blake, Cassandra Bridge, Mary Goral, Rainbow Rosenbloom and Charles Burkam. Back row from left to right: Victoria Temple, Chamomile Nusz, Liz Beaven, Daniel Bittleston, and Chris Topham.
The Alliance Board of Directors and Advisory Board members met for the annual Spring board meeting to guide the work of the Alliance into the 2018/19 school year.
Items on the agenda included a review of all Alliance work, a focus on the ongoing Path of Membership process, and a review of the status of the first schools to complete the process: Desert Marigold School in Phoenix, AZ and Sebastopol Charter School in Sebastopol, CA.
Also, Mary Rudd was appointed to join the Alliance Board as a new member at this gathering. Welcome, Mary!
Alliance Mini-Grant Awarded to Birchtree Charter School in Alaska
This year’s Alliance Mini-Grant was designed to fund projects fostering inclusion in Alliance schools of any age or stage of development. The grant was awarded to the Birchtree Charter School in Palmer, Alaska. The decision was difficult with so much innovation and development around inclusion taking place in Public Waldorf schools around the United States.
Thank you to all the schools that submitted applications; there is no shortage of inspiring projects around inclusion and we wish we could help fund them all.
Birchtree Charter School will be utilizing the funds to develop a ukulele program to help bring the joy of playing an instrument to students who struggle with fine motor skills and playing the violin. With a population projection of over 20% special needs students for the 2018/19 school year it is the goal of their music teacher to meet the needs of all of her students no matter their learning challenges. The inclusion of ukuleles will deepen the theory and practice of Public Waldorf education for the over 400 students who attend school at Birchtree. The Alliance is excited to fund this innovative project that works to expand inclusion for struggling music students.
The new fall edition of Confluence features seven articles by seven members of the Alliance Board or Advisory Board on the seven Core Principles of Public Waldorf Education. To subscribe and receive Confluence in you email inbox sign up here.
At the Annual Conference in 2017, a Friday night keynote address was given by Alliance Board President Liz Beaven on the Core Principles of Public Waldorf Education. A colorful poster articulating the seven Core Principles was distributed to each attendee. Copies had been mailed to all member schools. Small group discussions were organized for participants to reflect on two of the Core Principles and share how they are in evidence in their school community. The Core Principles will now serve as the centerpiece of the Alliance’s Self-Study process that member schools will conduct on the Path of Membership for a sub-license as a Public Waldorf school.
BEST OF CONFLUENCE
A 32-page Special Best of Edition of Confluence, the Alliance’s twice-yearly news magazine, featuring articles reprinted over seven years of publication from 2011-2017, has been printed in hard copy. To view the magazine on-line click here. To order copies for your school library or quantities for distribution, email the Alliance office at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Alliance’s 2018 conference took place over MLKing Jr. weekend on January 12-14, continues the ongoing conversation about widening the circle of students served by Public Waldorf education through a deepening of our knowledge and experience with culturally relevant practices. This year keynote speaker Kim John Payne will ask the question: Who’s in the Classroom? in order to address the needs of diverse learners. Kim is also offering a Pre-Conference Workshop on Friday afternoon on The Three Streams of Healthy School Culture that involves building an integrated support process for social inclusion, restorative discipline and learning support.
On Friday evening, we offered an interactive evening of presentation and conversation on the surprises, opportunities and challenges of our Expanding Field of Public Waldorf Education. A free Post-Conference Workshop with Charles Burkam took place on the Steps to Membership: Learning Who We Are on Sunday Afternoon as we move toward the final from and launch of the Path of Membership process.
Our traditional Sunday morning Rudi Talks offered A Report on Current Public Waldorf Research by three educators in the field. An Alliance Annual General Meeting will also take place at the close of the conference on Sunday afternoon to which everyone is welcome.
A host of exciting Workshops and Breakout Groups took place at our new Public Waldorf school location. We gratefully thank the staff and students of George Washington Carver High School of Arts & Sciences, for their support making this conference possible.
HONORING BETTY STALEY
A Celebration of 50 Years in Waldorf Education
On March 4, Lindon Hall at the Sacramento Waldorf School was the scene of a retirement party in celebration of the extraordinary life of Betty Staley. In attendance were Betty’s three children, dozens of colleagues spanning her years of teaching children and adults, and a room full of Betty’s students from across five decades. It was a joyous evening full of story telling and a slide show depicting the founding of the high school at the Sacramento Waldorf School.
Click here to read a biography of Betty’s life in Waldorf education that was published in booklet form as a gift for all attendees at the celebration. It includes a the covers of many of the books Betty has published over the years to share her leanings with colleagues and parents.
You can also read an interview with Betty in the Spring 2017 issue Confluence about the significance of the Waldorf high school curriculum and experience.