by Pedagogical Administration Team
This year our senior class selected the theme of togetherness to open the new school year for the high school, and we have taken up their inspiration to bring togetherness to all that we plan and create together as an entire school community. We hope you will feel the intention in the many ways we connect with one another.
The rhythms and routines of the school year provide an essential unifying thread at the Waldorf School of the Peninsula. Our rich festival life is well underway. During our first-day-of-school Rose Ceremony, our seniors welcomed our new first graders and the teachers shared the exciting plans that they have for each grade – expressing the essence of each grade’s unique developmental moment. From the emphasis on play for the children in the early childhood program to the differentiation and assimilation of the most senior students, our faculty bring their creative forces to generate age-appropriate learning for all ages. On September 29, the school will bring to life the festival of courage, working with the story of bringing all available resources to fight a fierce beast. Beasts show up for all of us in a number of ways, and this festival helps prepare the children to connect to their own courage and true will to face whatever challenges come their way.
We worked together this summer to prepare both campuses for our students. At Los Altos, the children have a variety of enlivened and re-imagined spaces to explore and transform, such as the upper field, the backyard of the kindergartens and the backyard of the grades classrooms. On the Mountain View campus, we created a new studio space where our students have been playing guitar, rehearsing their plays, and exploring a variety of recipes in our cooking classes.
To help deepen togetherness in our classes, several teachers have taken the very first few weeks of school to venture out into the world together on field trips. In addition to the all-high-school retreat, classes five, seven, and eight have ventured to various locations in California forming bonds through important encounters with the natural world.
One of the most basic places we come together is around food. Not one human being can live without it and so our high school has endeavored to weave the food thread into many different classes this year. Currently the twelfth grade students are working on developing a business plan for a coffee cart that will help generate funds for the Food Justice program – they are exploring values and ideas around profits and sustainability. The eleventh grade students are trying out recipes in their cooking class to determine what sorts of menu options would be feasible and delicious. In Research Methods, the tenth graders have been working on developing letter writing skills to help solicit donations of excess produce from the neighborhood (see how you can help their efforts below).
It is in our coming together – parents, students, and staff – that we build the school year upon year. We are excited by the possibilities and prepared for the challenges and trust that together we will create a memorable year where our students feel met and seen and heard through our healing education. Welcome to 2021-2022!