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Ru d o l f S t e i n e r S c h o o l

B ULLETIN

A REPORT FROM THE NAIS CONFERENCE FEBRUARY 25 – 27, 2009

CALENDAR HIGHLIGHTS: 4/7

Working with Student’s Learning Differences-A presentation with Brooke Brosenne; 8:30 am

4/8

Book Fair

IN

CHICAGO

BY IRENE MANTEL, DIRECTOR OF LOWER SCHOOL ADMISSIONS AND TIM HOFFMANN, FOURTH GRADE CLASS TEACHER

Working with Students’ Learning Differences-A presentation with Brooke Brosenne; 7:00 pm

School Closed

April 2009

4/9 & 4/ 10 4/17 & 4/18

For a complete and up-to-date Calendar of Events for the month of April logon to www.steiner.edu. Attn: MUSICAL STUDENTS GRADES 3 - 8 SUMMER INTERLUDE June 15 - 26 Join us for two weeks of chamber music, jazz band, orchestra, and musical theatre. Placement Auditions in April SIGN UP TODAY! For a brochure, please ask Ms. Bachleitner or check at the LS Front Desk. For any further inquiries or questions, please contact Anna-Maria Baeza at abaeza@brearley.org

When our former Rudolf Steiner School staff member Satira Bushell, now Associate Director of Annual Conference, invited us to offer a workshop on parent education at the annual NAIS conference, we were very excited to be able to put Waldorf education and our School in particular on the NAIS map. Members of NAIS (National Association of Independent Schools) come in all shapes and sizes. There are military academies, progressive and traditional boarding schools, Montessori and of course Waldorf schools. The only true common denominator is that all schools are independent—or private! The days of the conference were divided into sessions for smaller workshops as well as large presentations by the star attractions. Our workshop was sandwiched between a lecture by Michael Thompson, author of Raising Cain, and the closing remarks by Oprah Winfrey, who offered her gratitude to the educators who have guided her in starting her own school for 150 girls in South Africa. All keynote speakers challenged the attendees to be original in their advertising and in their mission statements. We all cringed when Dan Heath, author of Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die , put some well crafted but familiar mission statements on his power point. The generic nature of such statements— think “whole child,” excellence, creative, etc.—leave them bland and ultimately meaningless. The challenge is to distinguish oneself. Guy Kawasaki encouraged us to be daring with our PR and not to fear controversy. If some love you, while others hate you that is not a bad thing. If anything, indifference is to be avoided. As can be imagined, the relevance of the presentations to our own work varied greatly. In general, where we found our own experience of school life corroborated by others, we also felt encouraged. One presenter, Michelle Rhee, Superintendent of the D.C. public schools, took our breath away with her honesty and drive to improve the lot of children in Washington. She emphasized that she didn’t mind whether or not children get their education at public schools, at charter schools, or at independent schools, she just wanted them to get a great education. She is undaunted by the gargantuan challenge she faces. Her motto is powerful in its simplicity: Don’t turn a blind eye to what happens in the classroom in order to maintain harmony among adults. Continued on page 2...


Ru d o l f S t e i n e r S c h o o l A REPORT

FROM THE

NAIS CONFERENCE

Page 2 IN

CHICAGO CONT.

Our own workshop was called “Parent Education: What Schools can offer Parents?” We were asked to address the question of how best to engage parents in pedagogical discussions. The anxieties of modern parents were the focus of a number of other workshops; I believe we offered a helpful model for other schools. The two of us took turns in our half hour presentation and then answered questions. It was noteworthy that only about one third of our audience of approximately 60 attendees, were teachers. The majority were administrators. Since the efficacy of our RSS series depends to some extent on the participation of teachers, it was hard to imagine just how a community education program might thrive in a school where the traditional division between faculty and administration persists. Certainly the tone of our events would change if a financial incentive were required for our own teachers to participate. Members of the workshop were intrigued to hear the extent to which our parent association managed the community education program, and we felt confident that many of them will take new ideas back to their schools. We also realized once again that one really needs some distance in order to appreciate fully just what has been created here at RSS. As to the location: In the southern end of Chicago not too far from Chinatown, among some old jazz clubs and alternative arts venues surrounded by some dilapidated warehouses, one comes to the McCormick Conference Center, site of this year’s conference. Three-thousand educators assembled to compare notes, to learn from one another and to enjoy the entertaining keynote speakers. The Conference Center—all glass, concrete, and steel—is a commercial place. It is a setting far removed from the classroom experience, and we wondered together whether the mood would have been much different if this had been a convention of pharmacologists, publishers, politicians, urban planners, or whatever. On Sunday a snow storm was threatening to hit New York, so we headed to O’Hare four hours early in the hope of catching an earlier flight. No such luck! Some flights had been cancelled, so those travelers had first bids for stand-by seats. So we camped out, with the rich impressions of the conference, the marvelous early skyscrapers of Chicago, the few old ones that had survived the devastating fire of 1871 and, of course, culinary surprises. It was great to watch Satira, who started her independent school career at RSS as the assistant to the School Administrator in 2000. She is thriving in her profession with her inimitable charm, style, and grace. I can still picture her carrying sunflowers to the assembly with Pedro Genao. For further reading, may we send you to NAIS.org. We recommend Dan Heath and Guy Kawasaki, you will find them under 2009 annual conference keynote speakers.

Satira Bushell, former RSS Administrative Assistant.

Many thanks to the Steiner faculty and staff for allowing us to attend.


Ru d o l f S t e i n e r S c h o o l

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BLESSINGS AND GRATITUDE;REFLECTIONS DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE

BY CHAIR,

FROM THE

JOY PHELAN-PINTO

Spring Benefit, The Economy, Our Community Last year our Spring Benefit raised $140,000. For the past eight years, it has dependably raised over $100,000 every year, making it an indispensable component of the school’s operating budget. Given the bad economy, what can we expect from this year’s Spring Benefit? Only time will tell, but I do know this: - The Spring Benefit is not only the largest fundraising event of the year, but also the biggest and most entertaining community event as well. As always, reduced rate tickets are available to those on tuition assistance in the hope that everyone will attend. - We are striving to include lower priced items in the auction as well as high ticket ones. - Fun-filled contests and games are planned to entice everyone to make merry in the process of supporting the school. - Small contributions are as important and appreciated as large ones. - Your presence is even more important than ever. - Dancing under the stars on the flower-bedecked terraces of Tavern on the Green with your friends and fellow-parents will be a fabulous occasion! Some financial realities the Spring Benefit addresses: - Tuition alone does not cover the cost of educating a child at RSS. Fundraising through the Spring Benefit, together with the Annual Appeal and the Fall Fair makes up the difference. - The exceptional planning by our business office and finance committee notwithstanding, operating costs unavoidably increase every year. - There will also be, inevitably, increased requests for financial aid by families hard hit by the recession—requests that were not budgeted for. The school stretches to assist all families, keeping classes together, intact and healthy. All of which makes the Spring Benefit an enormously important event from a fundraising perspective. &&& Yes, the Spring Benefit will take place and let’s make it a great big joyful party, in spite of the recession. After all, we have much to celebrate: our exceptional institution, our beloved faculty, our children and each other - our community of friends and colleagues. So whether you join us to bid big or take home even the smallest show of support, it will be an important contribution amidst an evening of great fun. In the process, and with a bit of luck, we will also come close to filling that placeholder in the budget labeled “Spring Benefit!” See you on Friday, May 15 at Tavern on the Green!


Ru d o l f S t e i n e r S c h o o l

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COMMUNITY MARKETPLACE This innovative concert series is conceived and hosted by Steiner alumna Victoria Bond ’63. Cutting Edge Concerts New Music Festival 2009 INSPIRATION: WHAT SPARKS THE IMAGINATION? Cutting Edge Concerts presents a month-long festival devoted to inspiration: composers whose music is inspiring and who have in turn inspired others. How is this spark transmitted? Conceived and hosted by composer/conductor Victoria Bond April 6, 13, 20 and 27, 2009 at 7:30 p.m. (Pre-concert panel discussion with composers at 6:30 p.m.) The Leonard Nimoy Thalia at Peter Norton Symphony Space Tickets: $20/$15 for students (212) 864-5400; www.symphonyspace.org

WALDORF INSPIRED SUMMER CAMP/VACATION IN COSTA RICA Unique opportunity for the whole family to become involved in an organic farm in Costa Rica. The set-up is beautiful, with waterfalls on the property and 70 degree temperatures. The Caribbean coast is only 1 ½ hour drive away, so a trip to the beach would be part of the experience. Waldorf based activities for each age level, as well as a terrific bilingual community experience. Contact Pilar (410.764.5646 or safepassagespilar@verizon.net) for brochure. Registration deadline is May 15th.

ANNOUNCING THE CLASS OF 2009'S SENIOR PLAY

You Can't Take it With You ! A Comedy by Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman Public performances: Thursday night, April 30 at 7pm Friday night, May 1st at 7pm Saturday matinee, May 2nd at 2pm Bring the whole family for hilarious fun! Admission is free.


Ru d o l f S t e i n e r S c h o o l On Friday, May 8th, 2009 we will be celebrating

Grandparents and Special Friends Day at Rudolf Steiner.

Page 5 SAVE THE DATE Tuesday, May 26 New Student Orientation

Grandparents of our Early Childhood children are invited to a festive day of crafting, performances, and a visit to the classrooms. If grandparents are unable to attend, a special friend, an adult who is dear to your child, is invited to attend.

RSS Upper School 6:30 Eat and Greet 7:00 Short Program introducing the 9th Grade Advisor and other HS Faculty

Grandparents and Special Friends Day Friday, May 8th, 2009 8:30 am to 11:00 am Rudolf Steiner Lower School 15 East 79th Street, New York, NY

Invited guests include:

Please contact Nadja Carneol with any questions at 212.535.2130 x250 or by e-mail: ncarneol@steiner.edu

Please contact Julia Hays with any questions at 212.879.1101 x340 or by email jhays@steiner.edu.

• • •

Spring Benefit Silent and Live Auctions!

All current 8th graders and their parents HS Faculty Members and any other interested Faculty All new High School students for 2009 – 2010

Going, Going, Gone!

Why? Last year the combined auctions raised over $100,000. Who? All families are asked to donate or solicit at least one item to be placed up for bid. What? Your favorite restaurant, salon or florist. Tickets to the theatre, a concert or sports event. Gift certificates to your favorite store. Airline tickets or vacation home. Celebrity Items. How? It’s easy! Most businesses allocate funds each year to donate to charities. All you have to do it ask! Donation forms can be found at the end of this document, picked up in the lobby of the Lower School, or emailed to you. Contact Shannon Williams at (swilliams@steiner.edu).


Ru d o l f S t e i n e r S c h o o l

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COMMUNITY MARKETPLACE In The Essential Green You!, the third volume in the New York Times bestselling Green This! series, Deirdre Imus shares tips on how to "green" the way you take care of yourself, whether with the food you eat or the clothes you wear, or the cosmetics, toiletries, and hair products you use every single day. Deirdre provides detailed, practical advice that includes: • • • • •

How to find everything from organic groceries to nontoxic personal care items Toxic ingredients to avoid in the products you use every day Where to find clothes that are both environment-friendly and fashionable Healthy alternatives to commonly used medications How to make better eating habits a priority and live more consciously

Living organically doesn't require a drastic overhaul and it doesn't have to be complicated or expensive -- Deirdre Imus shows how easy and important it is for women to "buy green, eat green, and be green."

Calling For Yarn Donations to Support New Knitting Club! Raven’s BYOKN Knitting Club. Knot just your average knitting club. Knit for charity and personal fulfillment! Choose to knit an item for charity with provided materials or bring your own project and knit with the group. (Nearly) professional knitter will provide assistance. All levels are welcome! Children 6th grade and under must be accompanied by an adult. Start date: TBA Upper School Building, Lower Level TUESDAYS 3:00-4:30PM Please drop off yarn donations at the front desk of the Upper School. Call 212-879-1101 x315 or e-mail mdelaney@steiner.edu for more details. Tea and coffee available for knitters from the faculty lounge. P.S. BYOKN = Bring your own knitting needles, please


Rudolf Steiner School Spring Benefit 2009 Auction Donation Form I am pleased to make the following donation to the Rudolf Steiner School Spring Benefit on Friday, May 15th, 2009. Name of Donor: ______________________________________________________________ Contact: __________________________Donor Signature: _____________________________ Address: _____________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ (street, city, state, zip) Telephone: __________________ Fax: ______________________Email: _________________ Description of Donation: ________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ * If available, please attach a brochure, photo, logo or artwork for display. You can also send via email to swilliams@steiner.edu.

Value of gift: ________ Restrictions: Dates available (if applicable): ______________________________________________ Item must be claimed/redeemed by (if applicable): ______________________________ Other: ________________________________________________________________ Volunteer Solicitors Name: ______________________________________________________ *For questions, please contact Shannon Williams, by phone (212-535-2130 x206) or email (swilliams@steiner.edu). Please return or fax completed form as soon as possible to: Mail: Rudolf Steiner School Development Office 15 East 79th Street New York, NY 10075

Fax: 212.717.6954

The children, parents and faculty of the Rudolf Steiner School thank you for your support!


Parent Bulletin, April 2009