Greetings MLWS Families…
Welcome to the merry month of March! It is almost time to shift the clocks forward by an hour, the days are perceptibly growing longer and Spring will be upon us shortly, along with warmer temperatures, wet weather and mud. Please read on to find out what is blossoming within our school community! We hope you enjoy this issue of our newsletter, which includes a Parent Council update, highlights the activities of various classes and other school-related topics, offers Classified listings, and provides information about upcoming events in the MLWS community.
Parent Council Update
- Friday, March 19, 12:30-1:30pm
- Friday, April 16, 12:30-1:30pm
- Friday, May 21, 12:30-1:30pm
Welcome New Families
If your family is new to Mountain Laurel Waldorf School and you are looking for support as you find your way, please reach out to the parent rep for your child’s class (your child’s teacher can tell you who it is!) and/or contact MLWS Parent Council at firstname.lastname@example.org and request to be paired with a mentor family. Our monthly Brown Bag Series, Basket Craft events and Parent Council meeting are all wonderful ways to strengthen your connection as well!
News & Happenings
Introducing MLWS Basket Craft Series!
- $10 Materials Fee for a supply kit that includes printed instructions, 6 sheets of kite paper and a glue stick (All proceeds go to MLWS fund)
- $5 Optional Fee for additional materials (Crafting with your child(ren) is a lovely, bonding opportunity to share your new craft skills with your child(ren) on a lazy weekend afternoon.)
Announcing March’s Brown Bag Lunch:
“The Role of Music at Mountain Laurel and in Waldorf Education”
with Steve Bernstein and Mark Bernstein, MLWS music teachers
Join us on Tuesday, March 9, 1:00-2:00 pm for an exploration of the role of music in the Waldorf curriculum and at Mountain Laurel in particular, which has a robust and notable program. “According to Rudolf Steiner, the human being is a musical being, and the making of music is essential in experiencing what it is to be fully human. Music in the Waldorf curriculum awakens and nurtures the deep inner life of the child.” (Waldorfmusic.org) We welcome Steve Bernstein, chorus and recorder ensemble director, and Mark Bernstein, orchestra and ensemble director, both beloved and long-standing teachers at our school.
Through the Brown Bag Lunch Series, we are hoping to create a stronger and more connected parent body at our school by offering opportunities to connect socially while providing information about our school, Waldorf education and the broader community of like-minded organizations and individuals. We offer a special welcome to new families, as this is a great way to get to know our community and the educational model. Each meeting will feature a speaker on a given topic.
** PLEASE NOTE: Due to the very wintery weather in February, we were unable to hold our talk with Prim Ormanovich on The Importance of the Lower Four Senses. We have rescheduled this conversation for April 13th. Hope to see you there!
Please save these dates! Join us on the second Tuesday of each month, from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm, as follows:
- April 13: “Early Childhood and The Importance of the Lower Four Senses” with Prim Ormanovich, MLWS Kindergarten teacher
- May 11: “The Governance and Structure at MLWS” with TBD
- June 9: “Celebrating the Journey: Reflections on the Year and the Class of 2021” with Takken Wish, MLWS Eighth Grade teacher (and rising First Grade teacher!)
MLWS Parent Council Spreads the Love!
On the Thursday before Valentine’s Day, Parent Council gifted all of the wonderful MLWS teachers and staff with MLWS water bottles, to show our appreciation and LOVE for all of their incredible work, patience, flexibility and heart that have been so vital to the success and enjoyment of this school year. Each one had a water-colored heart, a pink ribbon and a note that said “Thank you for all that you are and all that you do”.
A Peek Into the Classroom
Offering a glimpse at the work of two of the classes in our school community…
Ms. Prim and the Mountain Garden Kindergarten class:
Mr. Evans and the Sixth Grade class:
The Sixth Grade is studying economics. During this block, the students will learn about historical trade practices, commodities, and currencies. We will explore cultural economies like that of the Yap people (who today live in the UFS of Micronesia). The Yapese used carved stones as currency, and these stones were not pocket-sized. Some measured 11 feet across and weighed as much as 4.5 tons. How did they exchange these massive coins? The Mayans used a certain seed as a form of currency that is still highly valued today: cacao seeds. We will explore economic traditions from around the world, and the students will compare and contrast the various economic systems and discuss the positives and negatives of each. In addition, we will create our own class economy, beginning with bartering and moving to commodity and then currency-based systems. We will also start a class business, in which the students will manufacture and market a product or service and handle all of the book-keeping. A portion of the proceeds will go to a charity of their choice.
Our Remote Students:
Although we have all enjoyed the essential social emotional benefit of on campus learning, celebrating our 100th day of in person learning on March 3rd, two students in the middle school have been participating in their class remotely, for main lesson as well as special subject classes, since opening school in September.
Ethan is a beloved 6th grade student in Mr. Evans’ class. His bubbling personality brings light and joy to everyone who meets him and we are missing his presence very much.
Ethan recently presented his beautiful State report to his classmates and teacher, with a life size cutout of his smiling self.
Essential Waldorf Reads
Whether you are new to Mountain Laurel and the Waldorf philosophy or you have been a student of Waldorf pedagogy for many years, here are some of our favorite books that we recommend:
by Kim John Payne
A Family Guide
Pamela Johnson Fenner, editor
A Healthy Recipe to Try at Home!
Note: The following recipe is shared for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for professional medical, health or nutritional advice, diagnosis or treatment.
- 2 tablespoons sprouts
- cool water
- sprouting lid or cheesecloth and rubber band
- sprouting stand
- wide-mouth quart mason jar
- Soak desired sprouting seeds in wide-mouth mason jar for 4 to 12 hours in a warm and dark location. Smaller seeds require less time, while larger seeds such as adzuki, garbanzo, soy, etc. require about 12 hours.
- Drain the jar using a sprouting lid or secured cheesecloth.
- Rinse the sprouts twice a day (morning and evening), allowing the jar to rest upside down on a stand or propped at a 45-degree angle. Soybeans need to be rinsed four times a day.
- When sprouts reach about an inch long, between 3 to 6 days depending on the seed, they are ready to eat!
- Place the jar of sprouts in sunlight for a few hours to green the leaves.
- The sprouts can be refrigerated for up to a week. Enjoy!
- Sprouts can be eaten raw, added to salads, sandwiches, soups, and smoothies.
- Grocery store sprouts have been linked to outbreaks of salmonella and e.coli. Getting a food-borne illness is greatly diminished when sprouting at home. Just practice cleanliness when handling the jar and seeds. If you are still worried, sprouts can be lightly cooked.
- Sprouted kidney beans should not be consumed raw; boil for 10 minutes before consuming.
- Remove hulls of alfalfa and radish sprouts (because they will rot) by agitating them in water.
- Save the rinse water for cooking, plants or animals!
- Sulforaphane is a chemical found in cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, cauliflower, kale, brussels sprouts, cabbage (red and white), arugula, bok choi and watercress. For more scientific research on the benefits sulforaphane found in broccoli sprouts, clock on the below link: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/?term=broccoli%20sprouts
- Mucilaginous seeds such as chia and flax are tricky to sprout.
- Cruciferous vegetables may develop a light sulfuric smell this is normal!
- Rye, wheat, einkorn, etc. can be sprouted, dehydrated and milled to make your own homemade sprouted grain flour!
- Bad sprouts smell “off” and rancid and can develop a rusty or brown color.
The Fund for Mountain Laurel
T-shirts, water bottles, kids’ face masks and now tote bags are all available to purchase at Mountain Laurel’s online school store!