On the first day of school in September, the entire school gathers to welcome the new first grade children. First grade families are welcomed to join as the faculty sing, and the first grade children each take the pathway over the rainbow bridge where they are greeted by an eighth grade student and a rose. On the last day of school in June, the Rose Ceremony is relived, but this time for the eighth graders to receive a rose from the first grade students, as the school and the eighth grade families send them with love on their journey to high school.
There are two music share events during each school year at Mountain Laurel Waldorf School, one on the last day of school before the winter break in December, and another on a Friday in May. Every child in the grades participates in the music shares, with grades one through three sharing with their grade, then grades four through eighth sharing in the various ensembles, choirs and orchestras that are a thriving part of the curriculum at Mountain Laurel. The music shares are typically held at 7pm in the New Paltz High School auditorium, where there is plenty of room for parents, family and friends to enjoy the children’s wonderful performances.
Work shares are an opportunity for parents to see what their child’s class has been working on, including but not limited to verses, circle, songs, skits, foreign language songs or verses and eurythmy. Handwork from each grade is displayed for parents and children to view. The first work share is held on the Tuesday afternoon before the Thanksgiving break in November, and the second is held before the noon dismissal on the last day of school, both generously hosted across the street at St. Joseph’s Church.
Through the year the Mountain Laurel Waldorf School community comes together in different ways to celebrate the seasonal and spiritual festivals of Michaelmus, Martinmus (the Lantern Walk for grades one through three), Advent and May Day. Each festival holds it’s own mood and reverence and is enjoyed by all.
Over the course of the school year, each grade at Mountain Laurel Waldorf School presents a play for the school and school community. The plays themes are taken from the language arts curriculum for each grade and are often written by the class teachers. Plays are generally presented in the mornings for the school and in the evenings for the parent community.