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February and March Events and Dates

Our spring bulb sale is HERE!  Everyone should have received their order forms (there are more in the office if you need one).  All orders should be returned to the office by March 4th with the money collected.  This is a wonderful way to make Taos Beautiful and raise money for our school at the same time! 
The 8th grade is hosting a fundraiser for their class trip to Chicago.  There will a yummy pancake breakfast on March 9th at Applebees.  Tickets are only $7 and available from any of our 8th graders — please come and support their fundraiser!
Come and learn about the importance of birth order in our families, plus it is lots of fun meeting others in our community while enjoying coffee and a sweet!  Did you know that your birth placement in your family holds clues to your personality and who you are!
Our school year book is going to be amazing!  It is time to order your yearbooks to get the best deal — if you order by March 15th yearbooks will be $35.  After March 15th all yearbooks will be $45.  Order forms will be out at classroom doors and in the office from March 4th through 11th.  These beautiful keepsakes are invaluable treasures!
We are incredibly excited and privileged to be hosting Bob Monsen from the Institute for Social Renewal!  He will be here March 8th and 9th working with the entire school community to help us move towards our commitment to depth, vitality, and energy for TWS and its future.  He has helped over 27 Waldorf schools over the past 20 years turn around financially — we are looking forward to benefiting from his wisdom and suggestions! All TWS parents are strongly encouraged to attend.
Enrollment for all grades and early childhood will begin in March.  We are looking at a strong future for our school and growth in our community!
What does Advancement mean? It is all of the work that we do to move the school forward, including fundraising, community outreach, advertising, enrollment drives, and anything that helps us share the excellence of our school with the outside world while advancing our mission to provide the best education possible for our children.
Our spring fundraising drive is getting underway!  TWS will be reaching out, not only to the school community, but also to our friends and supporters everywhere for funding support of our operations and expansion.   Each member of the Board and Faculty has committed to donating at least $20, and we are asking every family to do the same!  If you are able to donate more -WONDERFUL!  If you are unable to donate $20 at this time – NO PROBLEM, BUT PLEASE DO DONATE WHAT YOU CAN. 
This spring our goal is 100% participation by TWS families!
We are taking pre-orders for  our incredibly beautiful and artistic Easter Egg Trees.  These trees will be beautiful works of art.  They are $100.00 a tree with 10-12 hand decorated eggs.  PLEASE BRING IN ANY ORDERS TO THE OFFICE BY  MARCH 4TH.  THEY WILL BE DELIVERED MARCH 15TH.   If you are unfamiliar with the TWS Easter Egg Tree there are pictures in the office.

All School Meeting Minutes

Andy: State of the School report
Andy expressed appreciation to all that parents and affirmed our school’s focus on transparency and financial stability.  The school has been able to handle the job of moving into stability even with unexpected bills.
Advancement Team report
The school is on target with fundraising, having raised about $35K to date.
The fundraising schedule for the rest of the year has been revised due to shortage of time/personnel.  The team has lost some members and needs more help – please see Silke to volunteer.  
A reminder that tuition is due on the 1st of the month because that is when we pay the teachers – please pay on time.
Spring fundraising drive:  we want 100% participation because this affects the cohesiveness of the school. .All board members are paying $20 each to kick off the drive, followed by all teachers & staff.  Everyone else will be asked to contribute after that.  
We are in the process of setting up the budget for next year. Bigger enrollment will help the most of all. Tell your friends and the people you connect with your good experience at our school.   
We are going to ask 1 person from each class to join a budget focus group.
And remember, Andy is in the school office every Thursday 8:30 – 10:30 am to hear any concerns parents have.
Coordinator’s Report
The finance team is working hard.
Brief “biography of the year” presented, ending with our current AWSNA Developing Waldorf School status.  We put in an AWSNA application 18 months ago, and are in the process of becoming accredited as a Waldorf school. This is a 3 year process, so we look forward to being accredited in another 1 1/2 years.  
There will be an WECAN/AWSNA site visit on Thursday. AWSNA has mentors to help guide us with best practices to help the school take shape.  If you want more information on AWSNA, go to www:whywaldorfworks.com
(Meeting attendee question about the mortgage)
We have a forbearance agreement with the Steiner Foundation through the 2013-14 school year. As enrollment goes up we will talk with them about re-negotiating our contract. We are making our payments on time and demonstrating to RSF that we are fiscally responsible.
In the interest of furthering the school’s road to health, and also improving our financial base, we have connected with Mr. Bob Monsen, who founded the Institute for Social Renewal. He has helped 27 Waldorf schools to financial stability and abundance, and he is willing to teach us how he did it.   Bob is coming to the school on Friday March 8th and Sat March 9th. On Saturday he will teach us about conscious communication as a way to expand the school. And it is open to all, not just parents.

 These are the most important meetings of the year.  
Please come!  

 We are streamlining necessary school functions into four basic positions, renumerated via tuition remission (rather than monetary pay).  Each position will be half-time, will have a direct reporting relationship, monthly work plans, and will be responsible for managing volunteers.  The positions are as follows:
1. Grounds and Garden Specialist          
2. Housekeeping Lead
3. Events Coordinator
4. Office Manager
Positions are open to any qualified school parent.  A standard interview process will be conducted by the Hiring Team, and a second round of interviews if necessary.  If you are interested in any of the aforementioned positions, please reply to this e-mail with a request for a job description.   Those who indicated
interest during the meeting need not reply again; descriptions will be sent out this week.
There will be a monthly roundtable group for the parents, focusing on topics relevant to school experience.  Groups will be facilitated, and at least one Board member will be present – groups to commence in March.
Building and grounds report
Miss Michelle says thanks for your patience dealing with the plumbing issues. We do want feedback from you because our land is underutilized. We will have exciting choices as to what direction to take the school in the future.
Parent Council Report
Parent council members assist teachers and help with communicating. This is open to the entire parent body, and meets once a month at 8:45 am.
Communication Flow:  presented by Miss Beasley
What to do if you have a concern/question/need:
         First go to the person concerned.
         THEN if not resolved, go to the relevant school person
         Do this in person, NOT in emails, and NOT in the parking lot.
Announcements and Miscellania
We are considering starting a study group to learn more about anthroposophy.
If interested in after school care, talk to Michelle.
Bulb sale:   These bulbs are primo quality and they produce big, healthy flowers. Order forms are available in office or classrooms. Don’t forget to share this with friends and neighbors.
Idea:  Earthship interns to come here?
We did an exercise in which every person present thought up one way they could help the school. People came up with amazingly creative ideas, and each one will follow through with those ideas.
Meeting was adjourned with much anticipation for a good future.


Important Dates


Hooray for Aydin Gates!!!  He won the Taos County Spelling Bee!  He will be representing Taos County at the State Spelling Bee in March.
Snow Days   

In general, Taos Waldorf School follows the Taos School District snow closures/delays.  We will always call into KTAO and send out an email announcing if we are closed or have a delay.  Please check in the mornings if there snowy weather.  If there are more than 3 missed days due to weather we have built in make up days in the spring.

Frozen Pipes Update
Many hours and plumbers later we are waiting on the insurance company to finish paperwork.  All of the plumbers are lisensed.  Before the classrooms are opened up to student use we will make sure all repairs are made — carpeting will be replaced and pipes upgraded.

Cleaning at our school

School upkeep is a coordinated effort with many parents working hard to ensure that our classrooms are a beautiful environment for our children to learn in.  There are cleaners scheduled to clean every classroom and bathroom every day of the week.  In addition to daily cleaning there is a Deep Clean that will happen on Friday.  We are meeting once a week as a cleaning group plus having email check-ins.  We are excited to contribute to our beautiful school.  If you have any questions about the cleaning please contact Emily in the office on Wednesdays.



Coffee Lecture:  Media and Storytelling
Thursday, Jan. 31st, 9am

Join Miss Beth for an intriguing conversation on the effects of media on our families, and to gain a deeper understanding of the value of storytelling.  All Welcome!  Coffee and baked goods plus great company

Peruvian Cultural Evening
Thursday, Jan. 31st 6-8pm.

You are invited for  a night  of  music  and  story telling,  come hear  stories  from  our  sister school  in the  Sacred  Valley in  Peru!  Check it out on http://www.kusikuwsay/
There is so much  we can learn  from  listening  to the stories which  Roman  and  Fielding have to share.
Roman  is  a natural  story teller,  a musician. You can  bring your  children  and  enjoy  community.

Non-Violent Communication Workshop
This Friday, Feb. 1st 6-8pm.

This workshop will focus on Practicing NVC skills.  It will build on our October workshop, however newcomers to NVC are welcome and encouraged to attend.  Cost: $15 per person – or pay what you can. All money raised will be donated to TWS.

Cake Decorating Workshop with Mikayla and Nancy
Friday, Feb. 8th, 12:30-3:30 in the School Kitchen

Pre-register by February 1 (this Friday).  Learn how to decorate a cake, cupcakes – have fun with frosting!  Learn how to make those cupcakes that always sell right away at bakesales.  Suggested donation of $15.

Patricia Griffin and Fiona (1st/2nd) and Rhodri (Gnomes)

Judit and Carlos and Teresa (4th/5th)

Many warm greetings to our new school families.  Please say hello and see what you can do to offer some help when you see them around the campus!
Thank you
A special thank you to Leah Wilde who is always willing to help with whatever needs to be done!

A Peek into our 1st/2nd grade Curriculum 

We have enjoyed our math block this month.  We have been working on memorizing odds and evens, skip counting, and multiplication.  We have been living in the world of the math gnomes – Blue – as a crisp, clear sky (Subtraction Gnome), Red – the shade of an apple in autumn – (Division Gnome), Yellow – as warm as the sun (Multiplication Gnome), Green – the color of a blade of grass (Addition Gnome) and Purple – the color of King Equals.  Those gnomes must spend a great deal of time organizing the beautiful minerals that they mine.   

Taos Waldorf School

Next month we will take a peek into the 8th grade curriculum!

Upcoming Events for January and February.

Coffee Lecture: Media and Storytelling with Ms. Beth
Thursday, January 31st 9am
All welcome!
Come enjoy coffee and a baked good while learning more about the Waldorf curriculum and being part of our community!
Peruvian Evening
Thursday, January 31st 6-8pm
At Taos Waldorf School
Peruvian   music, stories  about  our sister school.    
Cake Decorating Workshop with Mikayla and Nancy
Friday, Feb. 8th 12:30-3:30 in school kitchen
Pre-Register by Feb. 1st (this Friday)! Learn how to decorate a cake, cupcakes – have fun with frosting!
Suggested donation of $15.

An Evening of Non-Violent Communication


Presented by


Rebecca Porter
I have been a NVC practitioner for over 6 years. I have attended the CNVC International intensive training, The Living Energy of Needs training and more recently, completed the Compassionate Leadership training. I am mother of a 2 year old and have spent the last 8 years as a Child care provider and instructor here in Taos. I am currently part of a weekly NVC practice group and consider the NVC language to be a vehicle to the trans formative consciousness. I strive to bring presence to my parenting and daily life by connecting with the life energy that flows through each of us in the form of feelings and needs. This is my first offering of NVC to parents and I am excited about the opportunity to share my knowledge and experience.

Joanna Magee
I obtained my Master of Social Work degree at the University of Toronto in Canada in 1999. I practiced social work with adolescents and children and their families for seven years, both in Toronto and here in Taos, in a variety of settings using a number of different therapeutic interventions and paradigms. When my first son was born almost four years ago, I choose to stay home to raise him and his little brother. I have been practicing NVC for the past year and a half as a member of a NVC practice group. While I have facilitated parenting groups in the past, this will be my first time running a NVC workshop. I look forward to introducing NVC to you.

Cost: $15 per person – or pay what you can. No one turned away. All money raised will be donated to Taos Waldorf School.

This workshop is based on Marshall Rosenberg Ph.D’s work Nonviolent Communication.

*Visit CNVC.org for more information on NVC*


January Taos Waldorf Newsletter


We will be sending out a monthly Newsletter — please let us know if there is any information that you want to see in next months!
Update on The Giving Letter and fundraising!We started the school year with a very conservative and tight budget.  This included specific fundraising goals throughout the year.  So far things have been going well and we are even a little ahead of schedule!  This is great news!   A huge thank you to everyone — folks recognize that we have something special and want to support it!
The Leadership Council met over the winter break.  Many things were discussed including redoing our school literature for next year, parent involvement and most importantly, where we see our school in three years.  The Leadership Council is a small group of parents and faculty who are in an advisory role — helping support the vision of Taos Waldorf School.
There will be several Coffee Lecturesover the next few months –please join us for these gatherings.  They are a great opportunity to learn more about Waldorf education and be part of our community.  There will also be tours of the classes which is a great way to see the curriculum in action and get a greater understanding of what your child will be learning in the next few years!

Water, water, water….cold, cold, cold….pipes, pipes, pipes….

After colder than usual temperatures, the pipes in our 8th/1st/2nd grade classrooms froze. Many plumbers and many hours later we finally have the pipes repaired. We are still waiting on the insurance to make additional repairs.  In the meantime, the classes have moved into temporary locations (1st/2nd is in the Golden Gallery and 8th grade is in the Music Room). We will keep everyone informed and updated.  A huge thank you to the many folks who have worked so hard on this — the Hammonds, Craig Simmons and others!

Library Display

There is a beautiful display at the Taos public library for the month of January. The display is of some of our students amazing lanterns and watercolors – joy, light and peace are being shared with our whole community.  We hope everyone can make it over to check it out! 

Santa Lucia

was celebrated before winter break.  The 8th graders made gingersnap cookies for everyone and went from classroom to classroom singing.

The Taos School District Spelling Bee
was on Friday, January 11th.  Congratulations to all of our spelltacular spellers who participated!  A special Congratulations to Aydin Gates, who won FIRST
place in the district spelling bee!   



to Chrystie Richardson and family, Harmony and Serena in the Gnomies, Edan in 1st grade and Kai in 4th grade. They have just moved here from Arizona.  Welcome to MacClaren Scott and Randy Roch and their daughter, Isla in the Gnomies!   Please give them a warm welcome when you see them around the campus!    


Thank you! A special thank you to the Zamani family for all of their hard work and involvement over the past few months! We wish you the best in Oregon.


Festival of Lights was a beautiful gathering before the winter break.  It was a wonderful way to start our holiday break and a great reminder of why we choose to send our children to Taos Waldorf School -Thank you to our incredible Teachers!


 A Peek into our 4th/5th grade Curriculum:  

After studying ancient India we moved to North America with the focus of taking in a full sweep of the whole continent with the different biomes from tundra, to taiga, to arid deserts, to tropical coastlands and the grasslands in between. The children studied some of the specific plants in these areas as well as animals typical to them.  We worked through some of the US and Canada’s landscape and culture with the juxtaposition of Native American legends and the travels of John Muir. Similar to our ancient cultures and civilization blocks, in geography we work with the idea of how a place changes people and how people change a place.


Freehand Geometry was a first for this year and the children did very well with it; having a background of form drawing for the last couple of years served them well. Some of the goals of this block included identifying and drawing lines, angles and polygons with accuracy (without a straightedge); working with the circle and degrees within them; they have started a growing list of geometry vocabulary that they will continue to build on; they explored a historical context for geometry (which means “earth measure” in Greek) and thourghly enjoyed the stories about the rope stretchers of ancient Egypt and about Euclid from Athens.


There was a story about Euclid teaching a geometry class on parallel lines in Alexandria and how the then-ruler, Ptolemy the 1st, came to a beginning lesson and in frustration said, “A king doesn’t toil like an ordinary slave! Teach me a geometry lesson fit for a king!” And Euclid calmly replied, “There is no royal road to geometry; the lesson is the same for all — we all start at the beginning. Have patience.”  

It was beautiful to see how the children found ways to measure the freehand drawings we were doing to create not only beautiful geometrical drawings, but ones that they could accurately measure and check without outside measuring instruments. Our ladder broke on the play yard and they jumped into a rebuilding project with enthusiasm; there was a wonderful moment after we had a lesson on the 3, 4, 5 knotted rope that the rope stretchers of ancient used to find a perfect right angle: we were outside with pencils and papers to draw out and measure what we would need for the new ladder and I asked the children to find where the right angle would be and they were having a hard time at first. Then one child shouted out that there was an “invisible” angle formed from the ground and that the ladder was the hypotenuse; when they all noticed this they set into a flurry of work to draw out their ladder plans with vigor and excitement.


From Geometry we moved into ancient Persia and heard the stories about the god of light, beauty, and goodness — Ahura Mazda — and his follower Zarathustra who struggled against the evil forces of Ahriman. In these stories the children heard about the struggles, resistance and polarities the people found in their transition from a nomadic life into a settler’s life in a dry land that would only yield fruit through hard work and dedication. Irrigation, domestication of animals and transformation of the land only came through that hard work and devotion to their god.

We continued eastward into what was called Mesopotamia, “the cradle of civilization,” located in the fertile land between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. With this richness in land man shifted into a mercantile culture — a shift from the very spiritual world of ancient India into this world, still influenced by gods, but in a different and more material way. They heard about the strict and clear laws of Hammurabi, how scribes recorded the movement of the stars and planets to form the calendar, and then they heard one of the oldest written-down stories, The Epic of Gilgamesh. The children were drawn into this story of friendship and begged to have stories told into snack time. The whole class mourned when Enkidu died and later when Gilgamesh died of a broken heart in his search for the meaning of life after death.


Next month we will take a peek into the 1st/2nd grade curriculum! 

Happy Holidays December Announcements

Monday, December 17th At 5:30.  Festival of Lights All classes perform. Plus a Yummy Bake Sale.  At St. James Episcopal Church.

Reminder, there is school for the rest of the week after the Festival of Lights thru 12/20. We will resume school on Monday January 7th, 2013!

The Annual Giving Letter has been sent to all of our friends and supporters.  We have raised more than $12,000 so far!  Please take a moment and make a donation too – any amount is appreciated and makes a difference!

If you are making any purchases from Amazon please go through TaosStore.com and at no extra charge to the purchaser Amazon will donate a percentage to Taos Waldorf School.  Spread the word.

Hello from Taos Waldorf School Board of Trustees

Of course, we all understand that these times are financially challenging for many of us, so if you can’t make your tuition payment on time, please let Allison or Judith know, and we will all work hard to find a solution that works.

I’m taking the time to send this message out repeatedly because we really do want to keep the school functioning as well as it has been. This has been a very successful year, given the circumstances that we inherited. Most families have been able to pay on time, we’ve made payroll every month, we’ve met every fundraising goal to date, and so far we’ve been operating under our projected budget.

As I mentioned in my last letter, we owe great thanks to Jesus Hernandez, who came in during the summer and helped the finance committee decipher the records from years past and create our budget for this year. Now we also owe great thanks to Lizzy Hendricks, who joined the board a few months ago and who has graciously volunteered to act as our interim treasurer.

Please don’t forget to start all of your on-line shopping at TaosStore.com. TWS earns a percentage of every purchase made, and the percentage increases for every item bought within the calendar month. December could be a great month for us, especially if we get our number of items purchased up early in the month, before people start making those large Christmas purchases. We love free money for our school, and this is a really easy way that you can help.

Thank you all so much for being such a wonderful community.

Andy Salamone
TWS Board of Trustees President