Nelson Waldorf Parent Handbook 2016/17

 

 Mission Statement

The principal mission of the Nelson Waldorf School is to provide an education that matches the natural development of our students over the years and grades.  

We are committed to provide scholastic excellence through a comprehensive academic, creative and artistic program stimulating a sense of purpose and self-worth.  

We strive to enliven and enhance the social and cultural life of our school and the surrounding community through school festivals and artistic and academic presentations.  

We recognize our role in the economic life of the community and strive to develop and strengthen its health and diversity.  

We attempt to make it possible for any family to enroll in the school.

We participate in sharing human and material resources in a wider field of service through affiliation with the regional and international Waldorf movement.

We are guided by the work of Rudolf Steiner and the evolution of Waldorf curriculum worldwide.


TABLE OF CONTENTS

Introduction

Values and Beliefs

Learning with purpose and meaning

Educating the whole child

Educating the whole child

The teacher as mentor, role model and guardian

Community and Diversity

Consensus 

                                                                                                 

Principles and Curriculum

Parent & Child, Childcare & Kindergarten

Classes One through Eight

Class 1

Class 2

Class 3

Class 4

Class 5

Middle School Classes

Class 6

Class 7

Class 8

Visual Arts and Modeling

Music

Eurythmy

Handwork

Woodwork/Clay

Physical Movement/Education

French as a Second Language

Festivals and Celebrations

Opening Rose Ceremony (First Day of School)

All School Welcome

Autumn Equinox – Festivals of Harvest

Michaelmas

Halloween (All Hallows’ Eve)

Martinmas

Winter Solstice – Festivals of Light

Advent

Advent Spiral

Saint Nicholas Day

Winter Faire

Santa Lucia

Hanukkah

Christmas and Shepherd’s Play

Carnaval - Mid Winter Celebration

Spring Equinox to Summer Solstice - Festivals of Renewal

Earthday

Mayfest

Closing Rose Ceremony

School Life – Daily Rhythms

School Hours

Grade School Daily Schedule

Daily Rhythm

Sunday Evenings

Arrival and Opening Rhythm for Classes 1-3

Classroom Daily Rhythm

Opening

Snack and Lunch Time

Inside at Recess

Bathroom Visits

Closing

Dismissal Classes 1-3

Dismissal Classes 4-8

NWS Bus Service Guidelines

Bus Service

Child Progress and Attendance

Communication with Your Child’s Teacher

Class Teachers Welcome Parent Communication

Individual conversations with teachers at the school

How to reach your child’s teacher

Meeting as Adults

Parent Teacher Conferences

End of Year Reports

What to Leave at Home

What must stay in backpacks and not be seen or used during school hours nor on the bus.

Late Attendance - past 8:10 a.m.

Absentees/Late Arrivals

NWS Illness Guidelines - Staying Healthy

Guidelines for Parents

Procedure for notifying the parent or emergency contact to pick up a child.

Determining your Child’s Wellness

First Aid Emergencies

        

Structure, Governance and Roles

Administration/Governance

Three-Fold Governance Model with Administrative Council

Who are the people on the Administrative Council?

To whom on the Administrative Council does a parent speak and about what issues?

Non-Profit Society

NWS Board of Trustees

Business Director

NWS Faculty

NWS Pedagogical Steering Group

Education Director

Parent Realm Involvement and Support

Community Development Director

Parent Council Vision

Mission

Core Values

Structure and Membership

Parent Council Activities

Regular Meetings

Webpage and News E-zine

All-School Welcome and Celebration

Applying for Grants

Festivals and Events

Building and Grounds Projects

Class Rep - Job Description

Essential Parent Support - Written collaboratively by Parents and Faculty

Supporting Your Child

Supporting the Curriculum and the School

Supporting Communication and Relationships in the School Community

Financial and Fundraising Support

Community Building Hours

Parent Participation and Volunteering Opportunities

Class Volunteer Opportunities

Seasonal Celebrations Volunteer Opportunities

School Communication Protocols and Procedures

NWS Respectful Communication Guidelines

Email Communication Protocol

Concerns and Complaints

Definitions

Gateways for Parent Concerns

Step 1:   Communicating a Concern

Guiding Principles in NWS Concerns Process

Step 2:   Complaint Policy

The Complaint Process

Introduction

Receipt of Complaints

Complaints about Failure to Follow the Complaints Procedure

Appeal Procedure

Policy Review

Timelines

Communications

Care Group

The Care Group and Support Teams

Definitions

NSW Care Stream Process

Therapeutic Referrals

Social Services

Assessment Referrals

Code of Conduct and Behavioural Support

What is Expected of Teachers/School

What is Expected of Parents/Guardians

What is Expected of Students

Rules and Expectations

Discipline Policy

Protocol for Severe Infractions

Protocol for Serious Infractions

Step 1.  Meetings of Preparation

Step 2:  Following an incident

Step 3:  Following a second incident

Policies, Protocols and Expectations

NWS Dress Code policy

Lower School Appearance and Dress Code (Classes 1-5)

Upper School Appearance and Dress Code (Classes 6-8)

Movement Education Clothes

Festival Dress Guidelines

Procedures - Breaches of the Appearance and Dress Code Policy

Classes 1-3

Classes 4-8

Media Policy

Media Policy Goals

Kindergarten - Grade 5

Grade 6 -8

Media Policy Procedures

Photography and Video Taping at the NWS

Head Lice Policy

Treatment

Playground Expectations and Rules

Lower Field Guidelines

Upper Field Guidelines

Winter Condition

Social Inclusion Approach

Social Inclusion Motto

NWS definition of the Social Inclusion Approach

Social Inclusion Approach

Social Inclusion (SI) Process

Definition of Bullying

Social Inclusion Response Levels

Level 1

Level 2

Level 3

Level 4

Ready for Change Meeting

No Blame Meeting

Definition of Terms

Creating a “Truth-Telling Culture” at the NWS

How We are Creating a “Truth-Telling Culture”

How to Support your Child in Telling about Socially Difficult Situations

Code of Compassion

Tuition and Supply Fee Guidelines

Nelson Waldorf School Supply Fees

Nelson Waldorf School Administration Fee

Nelson Waldorf School Tuition

Nelson Waldorf School Society Dues

Tuition Modification/Scholarship Program Guidelines

Tuition Modification Program

Tuition Reduction Program

NWS Tuition Modification Policy

Policy

Eligibility Criteria

Application Process

Tuition Reduction Approval Process

Guidelines for Tuition Modification Award Process

Meeting Dates

Appeal Process

Morning Verses

Nelson Waldorf School “Song of Peace”

Introduction

We warmly welcome back many long standing families and faculty as well as welcome new families and faculty who are bringing their fresh perspectives and energies from many parts of the world.  While we all share the common values upon which Waldorf education is founded, everyone who is drawn to this amazing community constantly influences the continuing evolution of our school’s life.  

History of Waldorf Education

The Nelson Waldorf School is part of a growing community of schools, known as “Waldorf” or “Steiner” schools, that embrace the educational philosophy of Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925).

The first Waldorf School was founded in 1919 in Stuttgart, Germany by Emil Molt, the director of the Waldorf Astoria Company, out of his concern for the new generation of school children emerging from the devastation of WWI.  If these children were to develop capacities that would allow them to transform society, they would need to be taught in a new way – one that addressed their essential humanity that enhanced their concern for other people, and that fostered a sense of responsibility for the earth.  They would need an education that went beyond dry, intellectual schooling, an education that would cultivate their artistic abilities and develop their practical skills and above all, one that would nurture the capacities that would allow them to adapt to a rapidly changing world.

Molt approached Rudolf Steiner to develop a form of education to meet these needs. Born in Austria and educated in Vienna, Steiner, already recognized as an editor of Goethe’s scientific works, had become increasingly well known in Europe as an author and lecturer in many areas of study.  In 1919, at Emil Molt’s request, Dr. Steiner developed a curriculum and trained the teachers for the first Waldorf School.

Waldorf education is based on a developmental approach, addressing the needs of the growing child.  It strives to transform education into an art that educates the whole child – the head, the heart, and the hands.  Its highest endeavour is to “develop free human beings who are able of themselves to impart purpose and direction to their lives.”

Because of its philosophical base and its innovative teaching methods, the original Waldorf School quickly grew, gaining international recognition and inspiring the establishment of new schools.  There are now more than 2500 schools and kindergartens in over 65 countries.  Many of the over one hundred schools in North America are members of the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America (A.W.S.N.A.).  Each school is an independent, self-governing entity. The Nelson Waldorf School was initiated as a Kindergarten class in a living room in Nelson, B.C., in 1983 by a group of parents seeking Waldorf education for their children. Since these small beginnings many dedicated hands have helped to build the thriving Nelson Waldorf School of today.

Values and Beliefs

The goal of Steiner/Waldorf Education is to enable young people to go into the world with a sense of their own unique destiny, able freely and confidently to give direction and purpose to their lives.

Learning with purpose and meaning

Rudolf Steiner, the founder of Waldorf Education, believed that life is infused with higher purpose and meaning.  We honour and respect this core spiritual nature of each individual and of all life and strive to infuse this in our teaching.

Educating the whole child

Our aim is to foster a child’s lifelong love of learning.  We strive to meet the needs of the whole child: the realms of thinking, feeling, and willing or doing-head, heart, hands.  We meet these through a balanced curriculum and by challenging students academically, artistically, and physically.  The care, effort and thoughtfulness experienced by the child, as well as the concepts and facts learned, bring meaning and value.  We follow a pedagogy that meets each child’s uniqueness in developmentally appropriate stages.

The teacher as mentor, role model and guardian

Teachers strive to teach with imagination, to make use of creative skills and talents, and to be active learners in the subject areas they teach.  Class teachers, in teaching the same class of children for a cycle of time, build a strong relationship with each child. This allows the teacher to recognize the child’s full potential, enabling the child to flourish.

Community and Diversity

Our school is a community with the children at the centre. We value and welcome diversity in all areas that include: cultural, spiritual, economic, ethnicity, race, gender, sexual orientation, and gender identity.  Everyone is respected for individual gifts and differences.  Supportive and respectful relationships are valued amongst the adults and are modeled to the children.  We see that the children benefit from parents and teachers striving together in support of Waldorf education and learning in a school environment that is respectful, safe, caring and orderly.

Consensus

We value the opportunity to use consensus in the adult realm wherever possible. The Faculty works collaboratively and makes decisions practicing a consensus format.  Each person’s contribution is valued and considered because we believe consensus decision-making leads to outcomes that are greater than the sum of the contributions.

Principles and Curriculum

Waldorf Education offers an integrated and developmental curriculum that prepares students to successfully meet the challenges of a changing world.  Our teachers strive to foster genuine enthusiasm for learning, respect for the world, and a healthy sense of self. The curriculum is based on a holistic approach designed to present a balance of the sciences, the humanities and the arts.  Appreciation and reverence for the natural world and the cultural heritage of humanity form the core.  The curriculum follows all the Ministry of Education guidelines, and  is presented in a unique order to meet the developmental needs of the children intellectually, physically, socially and artistically.

Waldorf education approaches the education of the whole child, from Kindergarten through High School, as a gradual awakening of a full and complex adult consciousness.  What the young child needs is understandably different from what is needed by the adolescent. From birth through ages six or seven, children absorb the world through their senses and respond primarily through imitation.  As they enter the primary school years, they are centered more in feeling and imagination. Then, as they continue their journey into the Middle School, rational, abstract thinking begins to emerge. The curriculum respects this developmental process and gives it substance.  Based on the idea that a developing child goes through the phases of human cultural evolution, children at different ages study what is appropriate to their development.  

Parent & Child, Childcare & Kindergarten

Young children are filled with wonder.  They see beauty and purpose in everything.  They are curious about all that comes to meet them.  It is this natural sense of wonder that opens young children to the world around them.  

Children learn about life first by seeing and then by imitating what they see.  Therefore, great care is taken to surround them with as many life-filled experiences as possible.  Free play, singing games, stories, puppet shows, crafts, baking, gardening, nature walks, eurythmy, drawing, painting and beeswax modeling are natural activities for children from two and a half to six.  The foundation for later learning is firmly laid through imitative play.

 

The role of the Waldorf Early Childhood Educator and Kindergarten Teacher is to create beautiful environments in which to foster the child’s natural curiosity and wonder. At the Nelson Waldorf School, Parent and Child, Childcare and Kindergarten classes are held in the Cedar Forest Kinderhouse and in the lower level of the main school building.

Classes One through Eight

The curriculum of the elementary school is rich and diversified, offering humanities, mathematics, sciences, movement, and the practical and fine arts.  Mastery of the traditional academic disciplines is interwoven with artistic and practical activities to provide a rich and varied educational experience for every student.

Each morning begins with a two hour Main Lesson, and is taught by the class teacher.  During this time the class teacher leads the students in a rhythm including movement and verse and then presents the current academic subject, which the children question and discuss.  The teacher engages the students with a variety of approaches: scientific, literary, historical and artistic and imaginative.   Each student creates a record of main lesson work in books that are filled with compositions, observations, maps, diagrams and illustrations. These colorful Main Lesson books are carefully crafted with attention to detail and artistic presentation.  They are a unique and vital element of Waldorf education.

A recess and shorter lesson periods follow the Main Lesson with specialty subjects such as French, Choral and Instrumental Music, Handwork, Woodwork, Form Drawing, Painting, Movement Education, Math and English Skills and Eurythmy (a form of movement). Thus, the rhythm of the day alternates between the work that requires intellectual focus and physical activities that engage the body and hands.

The following is a brief summary of the Language Arts, Mathematics and Science curriculum presented in Main Lesson, grade by grade.        

Class 1 - In Class One, fairy tales, folk tales and nature stories are the literature base. Students prepare to read by first discovering the forms of the letters in nature and related visual images and through writing.  In their main lesson books that are their own textbooks, crayoned pictures of mountains and trees metamorphose into the letters M and T and form drawings of circles and polygons become numbers.  They experience the qualities of numbers and the four operations in arithmetic (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division). They learn to knit and play the recorder in first grade as well as begin French.

Class 2 - In Class Two, students will hear fables, legends and stories of saints and heroes from different cultures as they continue their academic work in writing, reading and arithmetic.  This year the children begin cursive writing from a solid foundation of form drawing which develops eye-hand coordination and mental flexibility.

Class 3 - In Class Three, the students study the ancient stories of the Old Testament.  The study of practical life includes farming, gardening, housing, wool spinning and weaving. Through many and varied practical activities students experience how human beings in many different cultures and climates transform the raw materials of nature to meet their needs. In Mathematics, measurement, time, weights and money are learned.  Grammar and composition now enter the curriculum.  Students often make a number of field trips during this year such as planting and reaping wheat at a local farm and a year-end farm field trip.  

Class 4 - Class Four students hear the epic tales of the North, the Finnish Kalevala and Norse mythology.  Zoology, local geography and map-making as well as local history of First Nations peoples and early settlers are central to this year’s themes.  Fractions are added to earlier math skills.   A holistic approach to the study of the animal kingdom occurs over the year. In form drawing students draw complicated weaving forms such as Celtic motifs.   In handwork they learn cross-stitch embroidery. The trip related to the curriculum for this grade is to historic Fort Steele.  

Class 5 - Class Five students study the history and mythology of the ancient cultures of India, Mesopotamia, Persia, Egypt and Greece as well as the geography of Canada. This year, students study the science of botany and in math, are introduced to decimal fractions.  They learn to knit with four needles, play 3 recorders (alto, tenor, and soprano) and start Woodworking classes. The class trip for this grade is the participation in a Waldorf Olympiad with other regional Waldorf schools at a collaborative location.

Middle School Classes

Our Middle School program (Classes 6, 7 & 8) offers expanded opportunities such as Friday Main Lesson enhancement (skills like calligraphy, poetry, writing, table tennis, soccer, dance); and special extended project days  twice a year with workshops in (e.g. songwriting, musical instrument, blacksmithing, felting, fly-fishing, marionette making). The beautiful setting of the Nelson Waldorf School also leads us naturally to focus on outdoor education as a valued component of the curriculum through these three years.  

Class 6 - After a 3-day backpacking trip to Kokanee Glacier to begin their middle school experience, Class 6 students are ready to embark on a diverse curriculum.  In addition to their first Physics lessons (sound and light, heat, static electricity and magnetism) the students study Geology, Roman and Medieval History, Astronomy, Geometry, Business Math (interest and percentage), ratio and proportion. The year ends with a multi-day local bike and camp trip.

Class 7 - In Grade Seven students begin more specialized math lessons, including algebra, geometry and business math (profit/loss).  The sciences include Inorganic Chemistry, Human Physiology (health and nutrition), and Physics (mechanics, electricity and magnetism).  Creative writing, Geography, History of the Renaissance and the Age of Discovery are also explored.  Students complete a  felting project in handwork and, at the start of the school year,  experience a low ropes course The year ends with a wilderness adventure such as the skill and character-developing Tipi Camp.

Class 8 - The Class Eight students do a major dramatic production, study the History of Revolutions including French, American and Industrial revolutions; World Geography; Physiology (human skeleton); Physics (electricity and hydraulics); Algebra; Geometry; Organic Chemistry; Meteorology; and the Short Story and Poetry (epic and dramatic). Each student researches and works with a mentor to present an individual project in the spring.  The final year-end trip varies with a focus on a strong experience, more recently this has been an exchange program with another school community through “Experiences Canada”.

Visual Arts/Modeling

In every subject and at every grade level in the school, art is seen as an essential instructional tool. In the early years, artistic work precedes academic work.  Instruction in drawing, painting and modeling happens daily in the grades.  The first medium the children use for modeling is beeswax, a natural material that warms to the touch. Children in the early grades delight in creating beeswax plants, animals and human characters.  In drawing, children in the early grades begin to bring forms out of the colours: mountains, trees, horses and people.  In addition to the artistic work the students do in Main Lesson, First grade through Fifth grade students have a weekly double period of Watercolour Painting.  By the Middle School years, students are drawing in perspective and practicing the challenging tasks of drawing portraits and the human figure in proper proportion.    In these middle school years, charcoal, pastel and clay are also introduced in the classes’ weekly Art Lessons.

Music

Music is an important part of the Waldorf School curriculum from Kindergarten through Eighth grade. The children sing with their teachers and in First grade begin to learn the interval or pentatonic flute or soprano recorder. In Third grade and Fourth grade there is a focus on singing rounds, which brings the children smoothly and easily into harmony singing in the older grades. There is also a focus on learning to read music and developing a weekly recorder home practice to support this. By Fifth grade the students can read music well enough to begin to play recorder pieces in two-part harmony and by the end of this year are ready to take up either the alto or tenor recorder if they wish. From Sixth grade through Eighth grade the students play soprano, alto and tenor recorders in three-part harmony and sing many of their songs in two and three-part harmony as well. The songs and styles of music chosen enhance main lesson curriculum throughout the grades.

Eurythmy

Eurythmy is a relatively new movement art introduced by Dr. Rudolf Steiner in the early 20th century.  It has been a vital part of the Waldorf School curriculum since the opening of the first school in 1919. At NWS, Eurythmy as a subject is taught from Kindergarten through Eighth grade. This unique art, a form of dance, is speech and music made visible through movement. In the early grades, as they explore "moving stories and fairytales” the natural play of the child is led into formed movement, acquainting the child with his own body through imitation of the teacher’s movements.  In later grades the child is guided toward more exact movements in rhythm with the spoken word. The movement and quality of speech is explored through letters, allowing the child to experience letter sounds with the body and then carried further via poetry and verse.

In the higher grades the student learns to move more consciously.  Exercises with copper rods help the body and mind cooperate and bring about greater strength and accuracy.  The sounds of the words in poetry and the tones in musical intervals determine the movements. Group formations teach students to consider the movements of others and to harmonize his/her own movements with the group.

Handwork

At NWS, students begin their formal handwork lessons in First grade and continue with two lessons per week throughout the grades.  Handwork teaches the children to carry through with a task, a practice that is essential to the development of thinking. In First grade, boys and girls learn to knit, developing their hand-eye coordination while bringing together a long string of yarn to make a recorder case or a small animal. In Third grade, the students crochet a bag or a winter hat. By Eighth grade the students learn machine sewing and are making personal clothing items.  Other skills are also taught throughout the years, including hand sewing, felting and embroidery.  Students complete many beautiful projects that are of a practical nature yet each piece is always done with an appreciation for and development of aesthetic qualities.

Woodwork/Clay

The formal woodworking curriculum begins in Fifth grade, when students develop a feel for their material by rasping and sanding a darning egg out of a square block of wood.  Once this project is completed, the students can move on to concave shapes like bowls, which involve digging into the wood.  Sixth grade projects, typically forks and spoons, begin to reflect the style of individual children.  The student’s woodwork experience culminates in the Eighth grade with the building of a piece of furniture, often a three-legged stool.  Clay work may also presented through grades Five to Eight with the children learning how to work with this medium to find expression and give form to their ideas and visions.

Physical Movement/Education 

Classes One through Eight receive Movement Education as an essential component of their curriculum.  Our goals and objectives are to develop:

French as a Second Language

French is taught twice a week and begins in Class One.  In the Early Grades, children are immersed in the French language through songs, games and stories.  In the Middle Grades children learn conversational French through practice reading, short plays and writing small skits, which they enjoy performing for their peers.  In Class Eight, students deepen their learning with more formal applications of language and writing.  As well, the study of French culture is introduced where students look at places in the world that French is spoken and how and why languages enrich our life. French culture is studied in numerous creative ways, with the hope that the students will travel and use their French in the future.

Festivals and Celebrations

Seasonal festivals renew our awareness of the rhythms of the year and foster the children’s relationship to the world into which they grow. Many festivals are celebrated during the school year. Certain festivals may be observed differently according to the grade and teacher and others are celebrated only in the Kinderhouse or by individual classes associated with the historic and cultural period of their curriculum. The whole school also gathers for regular assemblies, Eurythmy and Music performance and Class Plays that span history and cultures of the world.

Opening Rose Ceremony (First Day of School) 

The first day of school is a rite of passage for the incoming Class One children.  This is the beginning of their journey through grade school.  All of the grade classes assemble along with parents, faculty and staff.  Kindergarten parents and children are also invited. Each Class One child is welcomed to the school by receiving a rose presented by students in the oldest grade.

All School Welcome

A welcome gathering and potluck for new and old families is held in the first week or two of school to set intentions, dance and feast together to start the new school year.

Autumn Equinox – Festivals of Harvest

Michaelmas

This festival focuses on strengthening our will forces & facing our fears as we enter the days of the year with less sunlight. The younger classes present a traditional play about St. George taming a dragon. The dragon is harassing villagers & dwarfs forge a sword of light made with meteorites sent by St Michael to assist St George in his courageous quest to offer a deed of Light to the villagers. This festival also actively involves the children's & communities will forces in a community work morning to prepare the school grounds for winter. Parents & Children collectively prepare Community Harvest Soups & the making of “dragon bread” to be shared by all.

 

Halloween (All Hallows’ Eve)

This festival originates from the Celtic New Year celebrations, Samhain, as the season moves into the darker, inner winter time of the year's cycle. The children enjoy pumpkin carving, sharing their costumes and the Halloween Journey. The Halloween Journey takes place on Halloween night, when the veils between worlds are thinner and one can see into the Magic world. On this journey, small groups of children and parents are guided on an enchanting non scary passage along a pumpkin lit path past various scenes and characters. At most scenes they receive a simple gift that is symbolic of what they experienced. This is a silent journey that holds a mood of reverence to better witness the magic of this autumn night. This event is one to which the greater Nelson community is invited.

Martinmas

Martinmas, which honours the life & deeds of St. Martin, is celebrated when the days are growing shorter & the nights colder. St. Martin of Tours was born in 316 & died Nov. 11, 397. One cold night St. Martin, a Roman soldier, was riding his horse through the gates of a town and saw a beggar shivering. He did not have money to offer the beggar, so instead, took off his own thick red cloak & tore it in two with his sword. He then gave half of his cloak to the cold beggar. Children, who witnessed his kindness, ran back through the streets with their lanterns to tell the townspeople. On St. Martin’s Eve it is a tradition all over Europe for children to carry lanterns through the streets singing and telling the story of St. Martin’s deeds of kindness and compassion. According to these old European customs the lanterns carried by children in the streets serve as symbols of our inner light shining forth to be seen & shared by all. St. Martin's story is one of many stories in all cultures of the world that celebrates sharing of our spark of humanity with the world in our expressions of brotherliness, sisterliness & compassion.

Winter Solstice – Festivals of Light

Advent

Advent, “Adventus”; the arrival of the spirit of inner joy and peace in the darkest part of the year is celebrated with the many festivals of light of many traditions. Each Advent week is represented by one of the four kingdoms: mineral, plant, animal and human. The festivals of light of other cultures/traditions, such as Hanukkah, may also be honored through story, song or ritual.

Advent Spiral

At the beginning of the “Advent” Season, the youngest children in the school (Kindergarten to Class Three) walk through an Advent spiral garden, accompanied by the simple music of a lyre or harp.  In this “garden” the children experience a mood of quiet and darkness which enhances and parallels their experience of nature at mid winter.  In the darkened room they begin their walk at the outer spiral of sweet smelling cedar boughs, hold their unlit candle and walk towards the centre where the flame of a larger candle glows. They each light their little candle from the center candle and walk with their piece of this flame until they find the spot where they wish to place it within the spiral.  In so doing they bring their own light into the darkness, and light the way for the next child. The room gradually fills with the light of all the children’s candles. During the spiral walk, the young child experiences, in an outward way, the inner light which we are seeking during this time of outer darkness.  In cultures all over the world people celebrate festivals of light at the darkest time of the year.  This celebration marks the beginning or advent of our festivals of light- Hanukkah, Christmas and Solstice.

Saint Nicholas Day

Saint Nicholas Day, traditionally on Dec 6th, is a European tradition in which children place their shoes outside the door hoping Saint Nicholas will leave a treat. At school Saint Nicholas leaves treats in the Kinderhouse children's shoes, and visits the upper school classrooms, reading from his golden book about the good deeds of children and leaving treats for each child.

Winter Faire

In the darkest part of the year when candles and fairy lights remind us of our inner light glowing, the school hosts the Winter Faire. This is a wonderful community seasonal celebration and fundraiser for the whole school and wider Nelson community. The school is transformed into a Winter Village with a bakery, candle dipping room, a children only store, wool works room, cafes, the Silver King Artisan Market, winter crafts, music, a central fire and the cookie kingdom.

 

Santa Lucia

According to the old Julian calendar, December 13th was the longest night of the year. Ancient people, aware of the diminishing daylight and fearing the cold and possible hunger that accompanied the sun’s decline, yearned for a friendly spirit to intercede, restoring the light to the earth. One spirit of light is personified in St. Lucia, the Queen of Light and celebrated commonly in Sweden on St. Lucia’s Day. Class Seven offers the St Lucia celebration with one of the oldest girls dressing as “Lucia” and collectively singing the ancient Sicilian song “Santa Lucia” and bringing the story in verse.  Dressed in white and wearing a crown of lighted candles, Lucia presents tea and buns to the school community in a lovely ceremony of sharing and gratitude.

Hanukkah

Near the time of the winter solstice, the people of the Jewish faith celebrate Hanukkah or the Festival of Lights in remembrance of a miracle that took place in Palestine over 2100 years ago.  This festival is a re-dedication of the Jewish people to the ideals of religious freedom and political liberty under their God.  The Hanukkah festival lasts eight days.  The principle ceremony is the lighting of the Menorah candles, following the same ritual as in the original ceremony. The candles symbolize faith, freedom, courage, love, charity, integrity, knowledge and peace.

Christmas and the Shepherds’ Play

In the Christmas festival the image is of a birth surrounded by love with the Christ child in the stable with his mother and father, the shepherds and animals.  In the dark of winter the birth of a son, “a light for the world”, born just after the winter solstice is paralleled to the birth of the sun in the deepest darkness of the year. Some years, the Faculty and Staff may perform a humorous medieval nativity play, “The Shepherds’ Play”, as a gift to the students and school community.  This tradition of “The Shepherds’ Play” is observed in many Waldorf schools throughout the world.

Carnaval - Mid Winter Celebration

The very word "Carnaval" brings to each of us a riot of images-crowds of merrymakers in the street, pirates and clowns, a King and Queen of Carnaval in colourful parades, ice sculptures, BonHomme, masquerade balls, laughing, shouting, singing and feasting. In many Spanish, Italian, French and Portuguese speaking countries, Carnaval celebrations sometimes last for days beginning in early February and growing more and more boisterous until they reach their peak on Shrove Tuesday-Fat Tuesday-Mardi Gras. Famous Carnaval celebrations are in Venice, New Orleans, Rio de Janeiro and Quebec City. The school has a French Winter Carnival, with a visit from "Bonhomme", a French assembly, co-operative Winter Carnaval team games and delicious crepes.

Spring Equinox to Summer Solstice - Festivals of Renewal

Earth Day

Many walk and bike to school for Earth Month and the community renews and expands active commitments to living Earth Day everyday in our lives at home and at school. Celebrations vary year to year.

Mayfest

Mayfest celebrates the sun's return and the earth's renewal of all its wondrous colours and life. In the upper school the children make flower garlands, present class dances around the Maypole and enjoy strawberry shortcake. The Kinderhouse hosts a celebration for young children with the wider Nelson community engaging in activities such as nature crafts, flower garland making, a puppet show, May pole dancing and enjoying strawberry shortcakes.

Closing Rose Ceremony

To end the school year the whole school gathers for the Closing Rose Ceremony. The Class One students present a rose to honour each of the graduating Class Eight students who will be moving on to High School. The Class Eight students gift the school with a parting gratitude. The ceremony closes with the "All Community Handshake" in which all students, teachers, staff and parents in a reverent moving circle, shake hands. This is followed by the final goodbyes for the summer from class teachers to their classes and an ice-cream cone for everyone on the Upper field.

School Life – Daily Rhythms

School Hours

Marigold & Daisy Licensed Childcare

8:00 a.m. –12:00 noon & 12:00 noon–4:30 p.m.

Kindergarten Monday - Thursday          

8:00 a.m. – 2:45 pm  (Full-day program)

Classes 1 - 8  Monday - Thursday

8:10 am - 2:40 pm

Classes 1 - 8  Friday

8:10 am – 12:40 pm

Grade School (1-8)  Daily Schedule

MONDAY - THURSDAY

FRIDAY

Main Lesson  

08:10 - 10:10

 8:10 - 10:10

Snack  

10:10 - 10:20         

10:10 - 10:30

Recess

10:20 - 10:30         

Shortened  Period

10:30 - 10:50

Period One

10:55 - 11:35

10:30 - 11:15

Period Two                  

11:40 - 12:20

11:20 - 12:00

Lunch  

12:20 - 12:30

12:05 - 12:30 Assembly

Recess

12:30 - 1:00

Period Three

01:05 – 1:45

Period Four

01:50 – 2:30

Clean-up & Dismissal

02:30 - 2:40

12:30 - 12:40

Daily Rhythm

Rhythm is a fundamental principle of all life.  Humans experience the rhythm of the year in the cycle of the seasons, the rhythm of the month in the cycle of the moon and the rhythm of the day in the passage from darkness to light. Our bodies are also attuned to the rhythms of our breath and our heartbeat. Young children are very sensitive to the inner and outer rhythm of life. Establishing a sense of continuity and order in their daily lives gives them a sense of security and well-being. In order for children to come to school rested and refreshed, teachers encourage parents to maintain a calm, orderly rhythm for going to bed in the evening and rising in the morning. Many parents find that a regular nightly routine of story, song or quiet conversation eases the child’s transition into sleep.

Sunday Evenings

Teachers also ask that special consideration be given to Sunday evening. In the Waldorf School, the Main Lesson given on Monday mornings lays the foundation for the entire week’s work. For that reason, it is requested that families plan weekends to allow for some “settling in” time on Sunday and a special commitment to no media on this eve.

Arrival and Opening Rhythm for Classes 1-3

Classroom Daily Rhythm

Opening

Snack and Lunch time

Inside at recess

Please send a note to the class teacher if you feel it necessary for your child to be kept in during recess or outdoor activities. Note: Kindergarten classes do not have a stay inside option for recess.

Bathroom Visits  

In order to reduce class interruptions, children will be encouraged and reminded to use the bathrooms during snack/recess. Children have bathroom opportunities during class time with permission from the teacher. Also, breaks in class activities offer bathroom break times.

Closing

Dismissal Classes 1-3

Students are ready to be picked up at dismissal time in the lower field and gathering place at 2:40 p.m. Monday to Thursday and at 12:40 p.m. on Fridays.  Supervision ends in the lower field and parking lot at 2:50 p.m. Monday to Thursday and at 12:50 p.m. on Fridays.

The swings and all playground structures are not in operation nor supervised during arrival and dismissal times as these are busy transition times and the focus is on a safe and conscious hand-off.   After 2:50 pm, children are solely in the care of their parents.

Dismissal Classes 4 - 8

Students go down to the lower gathering area and wait for parent pickup or line up for the bus.

Late pick up: Any students not picked up by these times are considered a ‘late’ pick-up and will wait at the School Office where supervision continues until parents arrive.  

Dismissal Kindergarten Classes

Children are ready to be picked up, from their classroom, at 2:45 p.m. dismissal time Monday to Thursday.

NWS Bus Service - Guidelines

Bus Service

Child Progress and Attendance 

Communication with Your Child’s Teacher

Class teachers welcome parent communication.

Waldorf parents and teachers share a special partnership in the nurturing and development of the children in their care. As partners, there is a need to be in close touch. Parents are the “eyes and ears” at home, just as the teachers are the “eyes and ears” at school. Teachers encourage parents to share their insights, questions and goals regarding their child’s development. Regular communication and meetings as needed with the teacher help strengthen this partnership.

Individual conversations with teachers at the school

Arrival and departure times at the beginning and end of the day is a time when teachers have their attention on the collective needs of all the children and all parents in the class.  It is not a time that is adequate to have an individual conversation with a parent, other than inclusive conversation that is appropriate for the ears of all students and parents.  Please arrange a meeting time with the teacher for these conversations.   Ask your child’s teacher for any special protocol the teacher may have, such as handing a teacher a note at the beginning of the day with a simple message.  

How to reach your child’s teacher.

Phone the school office at 250-352-6919 and leave a message either on voicemail or with the front office secretary asking your teacher to call you.  Please phone to cancel a meeting that has been pre-arranged.

If you are at school, go to the school office and write a short note and give it to the school secretary who will put it in the teacher’s box in the staffroom or she will bring it to the teacher directly at a suitable break if it is urgent.  Teachers check their box at the end of each day (sometimes during the day). The teacher will call you within 24 hours for either a brief conversation or to plan a time to schedule a longer phone-call or an in-person meeting.  

 

Phone during your teacher’s specific office hours.  Teachers give parents in their class specific times during the week when they available during school hours for a short (20 min) in person meeting (pre-arranged) or an impromptu phone-call.  If teachers are on another call, leave a message with the secretary.

 

Teachers are not available by email for conversations about your child. NWS Teacher use of email is only to prearrange an individual meeting, class meetings, class letters, distribution of class scheduling, class information and sign up lists.  Please do not use email for canceling appointments.

Teachers are not available by home phone or cell phone. (school policy)

If the teacher or a school employee needs to contact a parent

The teacher will leave a phone message during the day before 5 pm (if possible) Mon-Fri, or as otherwise arranged with you.  Teachers expect a return phone-call from you to the school within 24 hours.   Please share with your child’s teacher any phone availability constraints you may have so an alternate arrangement can be made.

Meeting as adults

If parent(s) and the teacher are meeting as adults to discuss adult matters,  please leave younger siblings at home as the conversation is not suitable for young ears. Babies, however, are always welcome, at your discretion. Sometimes plans for childcare do fall through of course so please call the school to reschedule to another time.  

Parent/Teacher Conferences

Parent/Teacher conferences are scheduled at least once per year. These conferences are held to discuss the development and well being of each child.  The teacher presents a progress report and provides an opportunity to exchange ideas and questions.

End of Year Reports

The End of Year report is a detailed written report prepared by the child’s class and specialty teachers, describing each child’s academic and social progress over the course of the year. This report is an official transcript of the child’s elementary Waldorf education.

What to Leave at Home

What must stay in backpacks and not be seen or used during school hours nor on the bus

Late Attendance - past 8:10 a.m.

Children must be ready at 8:10 a.m. for morning handshake. Grades 1-3 gather with their teacher on the lower field between 8:00 a.m. and 8:10 a.m.  Grades 4-8 enter at the classroom door between 8:00 a.m. and 8:10 a.m. For grades 4-8 this means  outdoor clothes and footwear off, indoor shoes on, a visit to the washroom completed and lunch in hand or in a cubby.  

If your child is late he/she must first go to the office to confirm attendance by getting a late slip before going to the classroom. Consistent late arrival will result in the following process:

Absences/Early departures/Late attendance

 If your child is going to be absent, please call the school before 8:10 and leave a message. Teachers submit attendance slips by 8:30 each day.  If your child is marked absent and a phone call has not been received by the front office, the secretary is legally required to phone you to confirm your child’s absence.   Phone messages can be left at any time of the day, so please ensure you let the office know. 

If your child will be leaving the school grounds at any time during the school day prior to dismissal (an early departure), he/she must report to the office before leaving the school grounds.  For children in classes  K-3, the parent must report to the school office prior to a child leaving.  If a child who was in attendance in the morning does not report to class after lunch and no absentee notice has been given, our search procedure will be implemented to locate the missing child.  Please recognize the magnitude of inconvenience this procedure would cause the school if it was done unnecessarily. 

  

NWS Illness Guidelines - Staying Healthy

Staying Healthy is a goal of the school community. This is especially true with the onset of the cold/flu season.  There are two ways to cut down the chances of getting these germs:

Guidelines for Parents

Contagiousness is high at the beginning of an illness, so please keep your child home if they seem unusually tired, listless or low energy, no appetite, stomach aches, up through the night; i.e. before full-blown symptoms appear.

Please keep your child at home or seek alternate care arrangements if your child is experiencing the following conditions:

In summary, a child must be kept at home (or be taken home) when the child:

The deciding factor is the question: Is your child able to participate in all aspects of school with energy and interest? Ultimately, the care of a child who is ill is the parent’s responsibility. Bringing a child into the school with any of the symptoms listed above puts other children and staff at risk of getting sick.

Procedure for notifying the parent or emergency contact to pick up a child:        

Determining your child’s wellness

First Aid – Emergencies

All parents/guardians are required to complete/update the medical information form in the registration package each year including the name of an emergency contact for their child.  This person will be notified if a child is sick and the parents/guardians cannot be reached. Homeopathic remedies may be used, with parent/guardian permission. Our staff is trained to deal with emergencies, however, should your child require medical assistance, she/he will be taken to the hospital by ambulance.

Structure, Governance and Roles

A Partnership between Parents, Faculty and Administration.

 

Administration/Governance

Three-Fold Governance Model with Administrative Council

In the spring of 2016, the Board and Faculty of NWS approved a “three-fold” governance model that reflects Waldorf principles.  This model provides a strong structure with clear areas of responsibility and routes of communication that allows the three realms of Faculty, Board, and Parents to work together in the community of Waldorf education.    Each realm works independently, autonomously,  and the Administrative Council works collaboratively in the day to day running of the school.  In our early months of working in these changes, a wonderful positive atmosphere in the school has been created.  

How does the new three-fold governance model change how the school is run?

Who are the people on the Administrative Council?

Donna Switzer - Education Director (part-time)

Danny (Diana) Finley - Interim Education Director (part-time) and Student Support Coordinator (part-time)

Fernando Loureiro - Community Development Director (part time)

John Leishman -  Interim Business Director (almost full-time)

Erica Maclennan - Early Years Liaison (part-time) and Manager, Lead Teacher of the Childcare Centre (full-time)

 To whom on the Administrative Council does a parent speak and about what issues?

ADMINISTRATIVE COUNCIL

PERSON

TITLE

REALM

Service

RESPONSIBILITIES

Donna Switzer

Education Director

Faculty

Administrative Council

Pedagogical Steering

Faculty/Teacher Mentor

Principal to the Ministry of Education

All aspects of your child’s education, all K-8 teachers, specialty teachers, curriculum K-8

Danny (Diana) Finley

Interim Education Director

in absence of Donna Switzer

Student Support Coordinator

Faculty

Administrative Council

Pedagogical Steering

Vice Principal to the Ministry of Education

Education Director issues

 in absence of Donna Switzer

Students with extra needs;

Teaching assistants

John Leishman

Interim Business Director

Board

Administrative Council

Board of Trustees

Tuition, fees, facility, grounds, maintenance, caretaker, front office, bus,  contractors- janitorial, bookkeeping

Fernando Loureiro

Community Development  Director

Parents

Administrative Council

Parent Council

Enrolment, parent council, marketing, website, fundraising

Erica Maclennan

Childcare Manager

Lead Teacher/Mentor

Early Years Liaison

Child

care

Faculty

Administrative Council

Early Years Faculty

Childcare centre: teachers, education, facility

If you have concerns about a member of the Administrative Council, speak with the Board Chair, Jane DiGiacomo.

Non-Profit Society

The Nelson Waldorf School is a registered non-profit society and is governed by an elected Board of Trustees.  Meetings at the Nelson Waldorf School strive to use the consensus model of decision-making.

NWS Board of Trustees

Parents are elected to be Board Trustees at the Annual General Meeting as per Society By-Laws. Faculty members are appointed by the Faculty to sit as members on the Board. The Business Director organizes and sits in on Board meetings. The mandate of the Board is to be responsible for the financial and legal health of the School. The Education Director also attends Board meetings.

Business Director

The Business Director is accountable to and reports directly to the Board of Trustees of the Nelson and Area Waldorf School Association. Under the direction of the Board, the Business Director is responsible for ensuring that the operational requirements of the Nelson Waldorf School are met in accordance with the stated goals and objectives of the organization.

NWS Faculty

The faculty represents the educational and cultural realm of the school. It is held by the philosophy of “freedom”.

The Faculty circle (salaried teachers) meets once a week.  In addition to teaching, the sphere of this group includes all aspects pertaining to the learning environment; conducting class; child and curriculum studies; overseeing school festivals; developing personnel, policy and finance recommendations to the Board; as well as participating in the day-to-day administration and long-range vision of the school.  Anthroposophic study and professional development underlie the work of the Faculty.

NWS Pedagogical Steering Group

The scope of this committee is Pedagogical Administration. The Steering Committee manages pedagogical issues and topics; prepares Faculty meeting agendas and is a voice of the Faculty. The Committee “steers” work to various mandate groups as it arises and ensures follow through. The Pedagogical Steering group also collaborates with the Administrative Council, taking up assigned work from the Personnel Committee.  

Education Director 

The Education Director is responsible for providing pedagogical leadership, representing the voice of the faculty of the Nelson Waldorf School in accordance with the stated mission, values, principles and goals of the Society and the requirements of the B.C. Ministry of Education.  The Education Director may delegate duties as appropriate but retains full responsibility for the delegate’s performance. The Education Director is a member of and in service to the Faculty but is accountable to the Board of Directors of the Nelson Waldorf School. The role of Principal to the Ministry of Education is held by the Education Director.

Parent Realm Involvement and Support

The Parent Realm represents the economic sphere of the school community, the sphere of fellowship and support and leadership in festivals and school community events.

Community Development Director

The Community Development Director represents the voice of the parent body and Parent Council on the Administrative Council. The Community Development Director is accountable to the Board….

Parent Council Vision

The Nelson Waldorf School Parent Council (NWSPC) embraces the vision of an engaged and valued parent body in service of the actualization of the school’s mission.

Mission

The mission of the NWSPC is to guide and facilitate the participation of parents in partnership with the Faculty and Board of Trustees of the Nelson Waldorf School (NWS).

Core Values

The NWSPC adopts as its fundamental values a commitment to working with the underlying principles of Waldorf Education as developed through the Faculty & Board, and a commitment to generate, welcome & honour parents’ participation in the life of the school.

Structure and Membership

All parents of children enrolled at the NWS are General Members of the NWSPC.  General Members can be involved with the NWSPC in a variety of ways, including attending meetings; taking on active roles in NWSPC activities and projects; bringing suggestions and concerns to the NWSPC steering group or alerting the NWSPC steering group to fundraising opportunities or other ideas.

Parent Council Activities:

Regular Meetings 

All parents are invited to attend NWSPC meetings which are expected to take place approximately once a month during the school year.  Steering Group members will typically attend most meetings as will a member of the Faculty (in the role of Faculty-Parent Council liaison) and the General Administrator.  Specific roles at each meeting (e.g. Chair, minute taker, time-keeper, etc.) can be rotated among current Steering Group members.  One role that should remain constant throughout the year is that of Treasurer who manages the NWSPC’s finances, budget and bank account. It is also ideal to have a relatively consistent chair to prepare agendas, review minutes, chair meetings, open and close meetings with some form of reverence and facilitate using principles of consensus and collaboration.

Webpage and News E-zine 

a parent may wish to take on a regular Parent Council electronic newsletter linked to the NWS website. The E-zines newsletter could contain interesting and useful information about parent activities and opportunities at the school and links to further information about Waldorf education

All-School Welcome and Celebration

Members of the NWSPC Steering Group often work with Faculty to support the All-School Welcome and Celebration at the beginning of each school year.

Grocery Card Program – Parent Council helps to support and organize various grocery card fundraising projects.

Applying for Grants

NWSPC members seek out and apply for grants and other funding opportunities, for example, the $20,000 grant acquired in 2009 to build the lower school natural playground and the annual community gaming grant for Parent Advisory Councils (application deadline: June 30 each year).  

Festivals and Events

The NWSPC Steering Group solicits parent volunteers to provide leadership in the organization of parent-led school Festivals and Events, such as the Halloween Journey and the Winter Faire.

Building and Grounds Projects

NWSPC members volunteer to organize and carry out specific projects associated with the NWS buildings and grounds.  Examples include: the Kindergarten, lower and upper School playgrounds, a NWSPC display area, festival supply room, costume room and parent room.

Class Rep - Job Description

The responsibility for the success of every activity of a class lies with the teacher.  However, the quality of that success is greatly shaped by the support that teacher receives from the school and from the parent body.  Parents have a wealth of experience, talent and dedication to offer a teacher. As a way to best access this resource, the school-wide practice is that a teacher have one or two Class Parents designated as Class Representatives (Class Reps.). The role of Class Reps is to hold, organize, and designate tasks related to class activities and events.     

In the hands-on arena, it includes calling on class parents to help:

with the class play

In the ears and eyes arena – being a listening antenna and speaking partner for the teacher.

Essential Parent Support - Written collaboratively by Parents and Faculty

Building healthy community, both within the classes and within the whole school, honours the vision of the Nelson Waldorf School (NWS), where everyone including teachers, parents and administration participate together.  Teachers, parents and administration are asked to commit to cooperating in a climate of mutual respect, support and healthy communication and to strive to continue developing a deeper understanding of the principles of Waldorf Education.

For parents, this involves supporting their child to learn and participate fully in the school and supporting the school in the following areas: the curriculum in the classes;school codes of conduct; school activities and festivals; school fundraising; communication, and conflict resolution. These efforts may require some reflection and some adjustment in lifestyle choices.  Each parent should also feel that their voice and gifts are heard and all parents should find for themselves what they are comfortably able to contribute to the whole. Below is a list of ways that parents can participate and provide support to their children and to the Nelson Waldorf School. This support will allow the teachers to be freer to teach, allow the children to be freer to learn and allow the building of a healthy school community.  May this be a helpful and inspiring guide.

Supporting Your Child

Supporting the Curriculum and the School

Supporting Communication and Relationships in the School Community

Financial and Fundraising Support

Community Building Hours

Building healthy community, both within the classes and within the whole school, honours the vision of the Nelson Waldorf School (NWS), where everyone, including teachers, parents, and administration, participate together.  Teachers, parents, and administration are asked to commit to cooperating in a climate of mutual respect, support, and healthy communication, and to strive to continue developing a deeper understanding of the principles of Waldorf Education.

For parents, this involves supporting their child to learn and participate fully in the school, and by supporting the school in the following areas: the curriculum in the classes; school activities and festivals; school fundraising; school codes of conduct, communication and conflict resolution. These efforts may require some reflection and some adjustment in lifestyle choices.  Each parent should also feel that their voice and gifts are heard and all parents should find for themselves what they are comfortably able to contribute to the whole.

In this effort to build our NWS community, Parent Participation is an integral part of the NWS experience, helping to build a school community that supports the children and that thrives socially and financially with wonderful curriculum enhancement possibilities.  Parents may participate in various areas of the school community’s functioning, visioning and growth. The success of most school activities and celebrations depend on active and broad parent participation.

We recognize that family life, work and health circumstances vary and impact how parents can contribute time and energy to the school. However, each family’s commitment to being involved in the school in some way is crucial to the full functioning of the NWS community.  

Families pledge to keep track of their community building hours by one of the following:

If, due to personal family circumstances, your family cannot commit to the minimum of 30 hours over the course of the year, you may request the Tuition Reduction Committee to review those circumstances, and to help resolve impediments to this commitment.  

Many families will spend many more than the minimum 30 hours over the course of the year.  Thirty hours represents the time that the vast majority of families already spend on activities in which parent participation has always been necessary, such as Winter Faire, Class festivities, Class Parent meetings, and Class Fundraising.  There is much more that can be done in addition to these activities, work that benefits not just an individual class but the whole school.  The full spectrum of ways to get involved is set forth in the basic categories stated here.  NWS also welcomes families to create new ways of getting involved.

We hope that parents will also individually explore how they are inspired to offer their time, skills, gifts, thoughts, food, creativity, organization, etc., throughout the year and throughout different stages of their child’s journey in the school.  Each contribution is unique, valued, and enhances the whole; many hands make light work.  

Parent Participation and Volunteering Opportunities

Class Volunteer Opportunities

Seasonal Celebrations Volunteer Opportunities

School Communication Protocols and Procedures

The school welcomes any constructive input about programs or policies.

NWS Respectful Communication Guidelines

The NWS is committed to ensuring school communication involves mutual respect, collaboration and honesty with the highest interest of the children in mind.

~ It is healthy and necessary to acknowledge a communication breakdown and to seek appropriate support ~

Email Communication Protocol 

School Email Communication is a convenience regularly used. However, we do not use email for indepth discussion  Our relationship for discussion regarding concerns begins when we talk in person.  Email is therefore a tool for arrangements such as meetings, confirmations and information.   We do not register complaints/concerns on email.  Email communication is to be used for relaying routine information pertaining to school and class business and is not to be used for student specific information or issues needing discussion.

Concerns and Complaints

Definitions

Gateways for Parent Concerns

Step 1:   Communicating a Concern

When there is a concern about a school-related topic, parents have the following options:

Guiding Principles in NWS Concerns Process

Concerns or complaints do not necessarily signal a crisis. The Nelson Waldorf School approach to concerns and complaints is based on a belief that concerns and complaints are a natural outcome of providing care and offer an opportunity for change and improvement.

Wherever possible, concerns should be resolved by the affected parties. Parties affected by a concern should, wherever possible, participate in addressing and resolving the concern among themselves directly and in person.

Organizations and people act in good faith. NWS will approach concerns with the assumption that all parties are acting in good faith.

Concerns will be treated with consistency. Not all concerns will be alike. However, we will strive to treat concerns that are similar in nature in a consistent manner.

The response to concerns will be timely. Review of a concern will begin as soon as practical after it has been received and concerns will be addressed in a timely manner.

Concerns will be treated with fairness. The actions of the NWS will be guided by what is fair and reasonable and the validity of concerns will not be prejudged.

Concerns will be treated confidentially. Subject to applicable legal requirements, all concerns will be treated as confidential.

Step Two:  Complaint Policy

If Step One is unsuccessful in resolving the concern or if the issue is of a severe or urgent nature, a formal written complaint may be initiated according to the Nelson Waldorf School’s Complaint Policy.

Nelson Waldorf School’s Complaint Policy

The Complaint Process

Introduction

The Complaint Process should generally be followed only if the “Concerns Process” has been found to be ineffective.  Complaints must be received in writing. The person lodging the complaint may receive assistance in writing the complaint but must sign it and take responsibility for the content of the complaint.

Each complaint will be directed to a “Complaint Manager” who will have the authority and knowledge necessary to deal with the complaint.  Depending on the issue, the Complaint Manager may be the  Education Director, the Business Director, the President of the Board or the Childcare Centre Manager. Where complaints concern one of the potential Complaint Managers, please refer to the Table below to help identify the appropriate person to direct the complaint to.  A Complaint Administrator will be able to provide guidance on how to lodge a complaint and will help identify an appropriate Complaint Manager.

The progress of each complaint will be monitored by the Complaint Administrator who will keep appropriate records of the receipt of complaints, track the progress of response to the complaint and provide summaries of basic statistics regarding complaints to the Board, General Administrator and Pedagogical Administrator on at least a quarterly basis.  The information provided would include but not necessarily limited to the number received, the number dealt with within the specified time frame and the number pending resolution.  The purpose of this reporting is to allow the effectiveness of the Complaint Procedure to be monitored.

Complaint Management and Administration

COMPLAINTS CONCERNING

COMPLAINT MANAGER

(responsible for resolution

of the complaint)

COMPLAINT ADMINISTRATOR

(responsible for tracking the progress of the complaint)

Most Issues

Education Director

Business Director

Community Development Director 

or the Childcare Centre  Manager

Education Director

Education Director

President of the Board

Vice-President of the Board

Childcare Centre Manager

Education Director

Education Director

Business Director

President of the Board

Education Director

Community Development Director

Education Director

Education Director

Board Member

(not including the Board President)

President of the Board

Business Director

President of the Board

Vice-President of the Board

Business Director

 

Receipt of Complaints

Complaints about Failure to Follow the Complaints Procedure

Appeal Procedure

Policy Review

The Complaint Procedure will be reviewed annually by the Board.

Timelines

Communications

Care Group

“Our task as educators is to be removers of hindrances so that each child’s spirit may enter in full freedom into life.”    

Rudolf Steiner

The Care Group is a small circle of teachers who carry questions about the deeper issues of child development, the learning process and the general well-being of our children. Care Team also enhances the work of teachers as educators.  

The Care Group meets weekly for the on-going study of therapeutic topics as well as to:

Support Teams are made up of a child’s parent(s), the class teacher and a member of the school’s Care Group. They sit together with trust, respect and confidentiality. A specialty teacher and community resource people sometimes join these teams.

A Support Team can only function when it rests on a foundation of a strong teacher-parent relationship.  When this exists, members can create a vessel where the interest and compassion for the child can thrive, helping to create openness to inspirations for helping the child reach his or her potential.

When families access and utilize Care Team support, they are expected to:

When families access Care Team support, they can expect the faculty members of the team to endeavor to:

The three streams of student support in our school (Social Inclusion, Discipline and Care) are very connected, especially Social Inclusion and Care.  For example, a child with a persistent problematic social pattern receives Social Inclusion attention but can also be referred to the Care stream for deeper support.

Definitions

Child Study – By carrying an individual child through observation and discussion in Faculty meetings over three weeks, a child study helps teachers understand child development in general as well as sheds light on that child’s deeper needs.

Class Study – In the course of each year, the Faculty studies the health, challenges and needs of certain classes as a whole as they journey through the school.

Support Circle Meeting  – The format used by Support Teams to deepen their understanding of a child’s situation, to brainstorm supportive actions and to create a follow-up procedure for full support.

NELSON WALDORF SCHOOL CARE STREAM PROCESS

Referrals to Care Group come from…

Parents - after a parent-teacher conversation and/or…

Teachers  - after a parent-teacher conversation and/or…

Students  - self-referral

Care Group documents all requests with a Referral Form

Gather observations from all teachers and from parents

(including a Case History for early years information)

Create a Support Team and hold a Support Circle Meeting

(Parents are given Support Circle and Care Stream descriptions beforehand)

Care Team Recommendations

(Parents are active participants in the care circle)

Therapeutic Referrals  - School Services  -  Assessment Referrals

(See following for examples of each category)

Therapeutic Referrals:

School Services

Assessment Referrals

*Contact information for community resources is available from the special needs

            teacher.

Code of Conduct and Behavioural Support

At the Nelson Waldorf School, we regard every human being not only as a citizen of the world but also as a soul and spirit-being living in accordance to inner laws that manifest in the physical world.  As educators, our task is to form an orderly school life out of which children can cooperatively unfold their individual gifts, free themselves from encumbrances and grow outwardly independent and inwardly strong. These are some of the tenets that rise from our study of Anthroposophy and the indications of Rudolf Steiner. With this as our common view, we recognize that a positive, wholesome learning environment requires the well-intentioned collaboration between Faculty/Staff, Parents and Students.

The following expectations and guidelines represent our overall Code of Conduct:

What is Expected of Teachers/School

What is Expected of Parents/Guardians 

Provide a home environment that works collaboratively with Waldorf pedagogy:

Student Discipline Policy

Rationale

At the Nelson Waldorf School, we regard every human being not only as a citizen of the world but also as a soul and spirit-being living in accordance to inner laws that manifest in the physical world. As educators, our task is to form an orderly school life out of which children can harmoniously unfold their individual gifts, free themselves from encumbrances and grow outwardly independent and inwardly strong. These are some of the tenets that arise from our study of Anthroposophy and the indications of Rudolf Steiner. With this as our common view, we recognize that a positive, wholesome learning environment requires the well-intentioned collaboration between Faculty/Staff, Parents and Students. The Nelson Waldorf School references the BC Ministry of Education Independent Schools Branch Best Practices – Procedural Fairness Guide.

Student Behaviour Expectations

NWS “SCHOOL” Code of Compassion

Share fairly

Communicate with care

Help build trust

Offer respect to all

Openly welcome everyone

Listen with interest

School Rules

Respect for self, others and the learning environment is expected of all students. In addition to the norms of respectful behaviour and language necessary to ensure the physical and emotional well-being of all our school community members, students are expected to demonstrate respectful consideration for all school property.

              These items, can be confiscated and parents will be asked to collect them at the Front Office.

Classroom practices and Social Inclusion practices (see Policy) are used by teachers as a first response to less serious rules that are broken and behaviour that is inappropriate.  Every opportunity is given to have a student correct their behaviour and return to class.  the Student Discipline Policy comes into effect when either an incident is SEVERE or SERIOUS, as defined below.

Student Discipline Policy

      The purpose of the Discipline Protocols is to support safety for all students in maintaining a healthy, safe, orderly and respectful learning environment.   The following section describes the disciplinary protocols that will be taken in the case of repeated incidents of behaviour and the disregard of school rules.

       There are two protocols. The first Discipline Protocol is for incidents that are deemed SEVERE.  The second Discipline Protocol is for incidents deemed SERIOUS.  Factors such as severity, frequency, conscious intent and endangerment are considered when defining SERIOUS infractions. Serious infractions are incidents that affect the emotional and/or physical well-being of the student, teacher or class.  NWS reserves the right to define situations as SEVERE or SERIOUS and to determine cause for suspension or expulsion.  

The welfare of the student incurring the Disciplinary protocol action will be supported with respectful authority, according to the guidelines of Code of Compassion. The Class Teacher will support the student throughout the protocol. In all cases, the student (s) involved in disciplinary action will be given a chance to explain and reflect on the incident.

The Discipline Council is a designated group that includes the Education Director, and a member of the Pedagogical Steering Group.

DISCIPLINE PROTOCOL FOR SEVERE INFRACTIONS

SEVERE infractions include:

DISCIPLINE PROTOCOL FOR SEVERE INFRACTIONS

  1. Student will be accompanied with supervision to the Front Office or to a designated space.  The student will be supported by an adult through the experience.  
  2. Student is provided the opportunity to explain and reflect on the incident.
  3. Consequences for actions:
  1. In-School consequence: working with Class Teacher, Student Support and Discipline Committee Member.  
  2. Out of school consequence:  Should it be deemed that the student is a safety threat to him/herself or to others in the learning environment and/or the action was an illegal act, an ‘out of school suspension’ will begin.

 

In-School Protocol:

  1. Student will be accompanied with supervision to the Front Office or to a designated space.
  2. Parent(s) or Emergency Contact will be called to advise immediately.  It will be determined by the Discipline Team whether a student needs to go home or can continue until the end of the day for pick-up.
  3. A Notice of Discipline form will be completed by the Class Teacher and a copy given to the Discipline Council and put on Student’s file.
  4. A member of the Discipline Council or Class Teacher will call the Parents to explain the circumstances and arrange a meeting between Parent(s), the Discipline Council, the Class Teacher and other school personnel as deemed.
  5. At the meeting, a plan from the Discipline Council and Class Teacher will be brought to Parent(s) for agreement.  Options considered include: Student re-entry plan, community service, suspension, expulsion.
  6. Should agreement not be met or expulsion is decided, a Meeting of Closure will be offered.

Out of School Suspension Protocol:

  1. Student will be accompanied with supervision to the Front Office or to a designated space.
  2. Parent(s) or Emergency Contact will be called for immediate pick up of the student.
  3. A Notice of Discipline form will be completed by the Class Teacher and a copy given to the Discipline Council and put on Student’s file.
  4. A member of the Discipline Council or Class Teacher will call the Parents to explain the circumstances and arrange a meeting between Parent(s), the Discipline Council, the Class Teacher and other school personnel as deemed.
  5. At the meeting, a plan from the Discipline Council and Class Teacher will be brought to Parent(s) for agreement.  Options considered include: Student re-entry plan, community service, suspension, expulsion.
  6. Should agreement not be met or expulsion is decided, a Meeting of Closure will be offered.

If a student incurs a second SEVERE infraction, they will repeat the above protocol. The school will likely deem NWS is unable to be successful in meeting the educational needs of the student, and recommend expulsion.

If a student incurs a SERIOUS infraction following a SEVERE infraction protocol, they will move to Step 2 of the Discipline Protocol for SERIOUS infractions.

 

DISCIPLINE PROTOCOL FOR SERIOUS INFRACTIONS

SERIOUS infractions are incidents that affect the emotional and/ or physical well-being of the students, teachers, class or staff.  These are behaviours that have been worked with through regular Classroom practices, Social Inclusion(see Social Inclusion Policy) practices and response levels, without resolution. Factors such as severity, frequency, conscious intent and endangerment are considered when defining SERIOUS infractions.   The Class Teacher and Discipline Council will determine a Student’s entry to the Discipline protocol for SERIOUS infractions, after a school process has occurred and parents have been involved.

SERIOUS infractions include:

Step One:  Meetings of Preparation.

A member of the Discipline Council or the Class Teacher will call the Parent(s) to explain the circumstances and arrange a meeting before Steps Two and Three of the Discipline Protocol for SERIOUS infractions are initiated.  In the meeting, issues will be discussed.  Previous supports, including Social Inclusion response levels and previous teacher communications with Parent(s) will be reviewed.  Steps Two and Three of the Discipline Protocol for SERIOUS Infractions will be discussed and agreed to by parents and school as a suitable next step.

For students in classes 5-8, a second meeting is held with the Discipline Council, Class Teacher, Parent(s) and Student to engage Student agreement and understanding.

Step Two:  Following an incident.

Step Three:  Following a second incident.

  1. Suspension   b. Expulsion

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Policies, Protocols and Expectations

NWS Appearance and Dress Code Policy  

In our school, beautiful images and objects surround the children. The clothing they wear can enhance this environment by setting a mood of preparation, calmness and respect for oneself and others. In welcoming the children into the classroom each morning and at the beginning of each special subject class, it is preferable that the teachers spend their time and energy on greeting each child rather than addressing appearance. The Appearance and Dress Code supports the child’s readiness for learning, movement and play and reflects consideration of the following:

It is the responsibility of parents/guardians, teachers and students to work together to uphold the Appearance and Dress Code. At the beginning of every year, the Appearance and Dress Code will be reviewed with the students and parents/guardians. We ask that you also read and discuss the guidelines with your child(ren) at home. If you have any concerns, please bring them to your child’s Class Teacher.

 

Lower School Appearance and Dress Code (Classes 1-5)

 

Upper School Appearance and Dress Code (Classes 6-8)

Movement Education Clothes

Clothes for movement education classes in the gym are stored in a breathable cloth or mesh bag that hangs in the coatroom in the class. Gym clothes are required to participate in gym classes. These include:

 

Festival Dress Guidelines

 

Procedures - Breaches of the Appearance and Dress Code Policy

 

For Classes 1-3

Breaches will be dealt with in an age-appropriate manner and will most often entail a discussion between parent/guardian and teacher.

 

For Classes 4-8

Media Policy

The Nelson Waldorf School is dedicated to nurturing the child’s capacities for imagination, healthy emotional development, independent thinking and positive action.

In recognizing the harmful effects that media have on the development of these capacities, the Nelson Waldorf School is committed to supporting the development and maintenance of media-reduced, age-appropriate environments for the children that attend our school.

Underlying this commitment is a firm belief that electronic media affects child development, regardless of the content. The passive condition and the electronic stimulation of these activities cannot be reconciled with the rhythms of nature. Electronic media lacks the human presence so vital to the nourishment of the child, replacing it with electro-magnetic forces that inhibit healthy sleeping and eating patterns. Children’s need for creative play and their ability to create images from within is suppressed by the mechanically produced imagery of the television or computer screen.

Experience at the Nelson Waldorf School (and other Waldorf schools) shows that individuals who are shielded from media at home are more likely to experience and contribute to positive learning and social interactions.

For the purposes of this policy, media is considered to include:

NOTE: While music itself is not “media,” parental discretion is expected in terms of music content and appropriateness within the child’s daily rhythm.

Media Policy Goals

Kindergarten- Grade 5

Based on this commitment to healthy experience, it is the goal of the Nelson Waldorf School that all children from Kindergarten through Class 5 be media free.

Grades 6-8 

It is the goal of the Nelson Waldorf School that all children in the Upper Classes 6 to 8 are appropriately limited during the school week (Sunday evening-Friday afternoon). in their exposure to media including television, videos, movies or other electronic media such as games, computers, internet, MSN chat lines and emails.

The Nelson Waldorf School fully recognizes that the challenge presented in the course of achieving these goals may be substantial and that it may vary significantly from family to family. The School also recognizes that achieving these goals in a satisfactory way will require an ongoing commitment of time and energy both on the part of the School and on the part of the parents.

With this in mind, the Nelson Waldorf School is prepared to work actively with parents and guardians to develop practical, collaborative solutions and meaningful, personalized support that will move us steadily closer to realizing a healthy, nurturing environment for our children.

Media Policy Procedures

Parents will be informed of the details of the school’s Media Policy at the time of registration and will be required to make a commitment to working towards its goals.  Teachers will have discussions with parents during parent meetings.  Teachers will speak with parents privately if there is ongoing concern for a child who appears to be bringing media influences into the class.

Photography and Video Taping at the NWS

We recognize the need and desire among ourselves to record that “special moment” so we can remember it in future years. Yet, we also acknowledge the distraction that picture taking and video taping pose for others, including the children who are most often the focus of this attention. We ask that the following guidelines regarding photography and videotaping of school events be followed:

Head Lice Policy

The collective goal of the NWS community is for nit-free classrooms.  This is seen as a communal effort.  It is agreed that the best way to eliminate the cycle of re-occurrence is for every family to help and support this goal.

Families are the first line in lice management and prevention.  However, the NWS will assist families in accessing supports, where requested or deemed necessary by both family and School.

Treatment.

In support, NWS adopts the following guidelines that allows for the ongoing detection/ treatment of lice and nits.

ADDENDUM: The above Policy/Practice has been written for Classes One to Eight.  Due to practices and classroom behaviours in the Early Childhood Programs, a review will be on-going. (This refers directly to the closeness of head-to-head contact, as well as the ‘dress-up’ play).

Playground Expectations and Rules

Lower Field Guidelines

Upper Field Guidelines

Winter Conditions

Sliding Rules

Social Inclusion Approach

The Social Motto

The healthy social life is found

When, in the mirror of each human soul,

The entire community finds its reflection,

And when, in the community,

The virtue of each one is living.

Rudolf Steiner

NWS definition of the Social Inclusion Approach: Accountability for actions in situations of social conflict through a no-blame, no-shame approach.

Social Inclusion Approach

The Nelson Waldorf School is committed to healthy social relationships between students, teachers and all members of the school community. This value is reflected throughout the curriculum and implicit in the working of the school.  In support of deepening existing practices, our school has adopted the Social Inclusion Approach brought to us in 2008 by Kim John Payne, educator and consultant, who is respected worldwide for his work in justice without blame, building self-esteem and helping children deal with conflict and social issues.

At the Nelson Waldorf School, we strive to create and sustain a healthy social environment - one that is safe, orderly, and respectful, conducive to learning.  We understand that conflict is a normal part of life and offers opportunities to learn about each other and ourselves.  Conflict is one catalyst by which we grow as social beings. How we handle conflict affects our relationships and our sense of trust and safety within our school.  Behaviours that include bullying, teasing and gossiping promote fear, blame and disrespect and will be actively addressed.

It is our goal to assist students to resolve and learn from their social conflicts.  The Social Inclusion Approach provides a structure whereby students experiencing social challenges can develop greater understanding and awareness of the implications of their actions.  A Social Inclusion Approach provides the opportunity to be accountable, to deepen relationships with others and to create the safety needed to allow a social situation to improve.  Teachers have on-going in class discussions monitoring the social health of their own class, in age appropriate ways.   Sometimes the Student Support Coordinator contributes to class discussions, and often becomes involved in specific incidences.

We, the students, teachers, staff and parents of the Nelson Waldorf School, are committed to a community that stands for love, truth and respect.  We are committed to meeting situations of conflict with compassion and a tone of interest and discovery, not blame.  We are committed to bringing change where needed.  The Nelson Waldorf School invites all students, teachers, staff and parents to actively participate in building and maintaining a healthy social life in our school community.

Social Inclusion (SI) Process

An interaction of bullying or teasing behaviour between a student and another student or between an adult and student is observed or discovered and reported by anyone.  Who can you tell?  Tell the Class Teacher(s) of the student(s) involved, or tell the Student Support Coordinator or the Education Director, who will bring it to the Class Teacher.  The student who has been targeted will be met with to discover what is going on.  Often other students will be met with to gain a broader understanding of the incident(s).  

The Class Teacher, in consultation with the Student Support Coordinator and Education Director, will then decide what to do about the problem. The Class teacher stays with the student throughout any process.  It may be decided that the teacher will address the situation within the class (the Classroom Approach) or decide that it is an issue that needs to enter one of the following school streams: Social Inclusion, Discipline or Care Team.  Sometimes more than one stream is followed.  The teacher can consult with the Student Support Coordinator, another teacher or the Education Director in making this decision.

If the Class Teacher begins with the Classroom Approach, pedagogical, implicit and explicit methods can be used.  The SI Response Levels One and Two (see page 48 for Response Levels) offer the teacher more options. If the issue is resolved, no further steps will be taken.  If it is unresolved, then the teacher pursues another stream.  

When the SI stream is engaged, the concern is taken to the Student Support Coordinator and the Education Director. It is determined whether a child is able and willing to make a change through a Ready for Change meeting with the student and the Student Support Coordinator. The Class Teacher notifies the parent that SI work is beginning.

If the student is ready for change, then a Social Inclusion tool/format is chosen as agreed to by the Class Teacher, student and Student Support Coordinator. This could be a Circle of Friends, an Individual Change Plan, a Goals and Achievement Agreement, Social Coaching or a No Blame Meeting.

The Class Teacher supports the student within the Social Inclusion framework, guided by Response Levels. The Class Teacher and the Student Support Coordinator may recommend that another stream – Classroom, Discipline, Care Team, or a combination of these approaches - would be helpful. The parent is contacted and a meeting is arranged to discuss the situation.

If an incident occurs that is severe, dangerous, frequent or conscious, A student may simultaneously be in the Social Inclusion stream and the Discipline stream.

Definition of Bullying

(As defined by our students)

Any form of teasing becomes bullying when it goes too far. 

Picture 13

This is a picture of “Crossing the Line”.

“Joking” becomes “Teasing” when…

Bullying behaviour is persistent, prolonged and deliberate and includes:

In summary,

Bullying behaviour is persistent behaviour that is teasing, harming, threatening or excluding someone, often done with intention to harm.   A feature of bullying behaviour is that there is often a power difference, either perceived or real between the two parties.

 The following image needs to have the have the word: Student Support Coordinator, instead of Social Inclusion Coordinator.

Picture 15

image

Social Inclusion Response Levels

Level1 

This level is handled in the Classroom Approach. An informal private conversation will take place with the student(s) involved using the DADD (Disapprove, Affirm, Discover, Do-over) method.  This conversation is normally initiated by the Classroom or supervising Teacher but may include the Student Support Coordinator. A “Circle of Friendship” can be started as a social support network at any time with or without incident. Tools such as “The Way We See it” or “Crossing the Line”.

Parents may be informed.

Level 2 

This level is handled in the Classroom Approach. I t engages the Student Support Coordinator and informs parents.  A range of moderate intervention tools will be used with the student(s) involved, such as “Crossing the Line” exercises; “The Way We See it” artistic perspective-taking exercises; a referral to the “Outside-In Playground”;a “Goals and Achievement” card.   Which tools are used will depend on the nature of the incident and the age of the student involved.  Care team options are explored.  

If this level has not provided resolution, Faculty, Administration and Parents are informed.

Level 3  

A “Ready for Change” meeting occurs.  A “No Blame” meeting is held, which is facilitated by the SI Coordinator or Class Teacher. At this point a “Holding Group” may be formed consisting of an SICG member, the Class teacher, and other faculty.  There are three to four weeks of follow-up with the student(s).  outside community care measures may be decided.

If this level has not provided resolution, Faculty, Administration and Parents are informed and…

Level 4

The team meets, reviews and decides that the Social Inclusion methods have been fully tried without success.  it is then referred to the Discipline stream and is brought to the Faculty Steering Committee and Administration to determine appropriate next steps including the possibility of suspensions and/or conditional enrolment.

*If at any point in the Social Inclusion stream the student and/or parent is not    capable of proceeding, the Class Teacher and SICG may move directly to the Discipline stream. 

Ready for Change Meeting

The Ready for Change meeting is usually the first of any formal meeting and is used to prepare the ground for a No Blame meeting.  Sometimes accountability and reconciliation is reached at this stage in which case a No Blame meeting is not needed.  It may also become clear that a response of a different kind is needed.

Who is present at a Ready for Change Meeting?

The Goal of the Ready for Change Meeting

No Blame Meeting 

The purpose of a No Blame meeting is to bring students experiencing conflict together in a spirit of no blame and genuine interest in exploring solutions.

Who is present at a No Blame Meeting?

The Process of a No Blame Meeting 

Warmth

Light

 

Movement

Reality

Definition of Terms

Social Inclusion generates a common language throughout the school. These are some of the terms that are used.

Creating a “Truth-Telling Culture” at the NWS

How we are creating a “Truth Telling Culture” at the Nelson Waldorf School

Bullying and teasing are often underground issues.  In order to be able to resolve the problem, those involved need to feel free to tell the truth.  Truth-telling is different from tattle-taling. Tattle-taling gets someone into trouble; truth-telling gets someone out of trouble and gets to the heart of the issue.  Creating a truth-telling culture can only be done if confronting and reintegration are not confused with punishment and blame.

By not blaming… 

How to Support your Child in Telling about Socially Difficult Situations

Help them know when they need to ask for help. 

Talk with your child, “You know it is time to get help when…

Help them to know to whom they can talk.

           Talk with your child, “You can talk to and get help from…

Model and practice communication skills with your child that strengthen social responsibility.

        Ask yourself, “Do I….

Support your child’s foundation of resiliency and strength.

Ask yourself, “Am I supporting my child to…

NWS Code of Compassion

The Nelson Waldorf School Code of Compassion is a key component of the Social Inclusion Approach.  The Code of Compassion sets the tone and guides the intention of our interactions with each other at school.  It describes the behaviours that we expect from each other.   Every year, the teachers and students renew commitment to our Code of Compassion by working to enliven the principles.  The Code of Compassion is found in every classroom and in our common spaces.

The Code of Compassion was created in 2007/2008 by all the students of the school from grades 1-9, who gave their input to the Class 9 members of the Student Social Action Committee (SSAC).  The students met with small groups of children in each class and asked “How do you want your school to be?” The process took a full year to gather, consolidate and develop the Code of Compassion for our school.  If students had been away on the day their class was being consulted, the grade 9 students met with the students individually to glean their input.  The grade 9 students then compiled all the responses with every child’s input on large sheets of paper that were posted on the walls of the Eurythmy Hall.   The SSAC studied all the input, chose and developed the acronym “SCHOOL” with 6 principles to reflect the input from all of the students.   We are indebted to those students and all the students then for bringing NWS this solid footing for guiding our interactions with others, now and into the future.

This image needs to be changed

Tuition and Supply Fee Guidelines

The Nelson Waldorf School will strive to adhere to the principle that economic and financial considerations should not determine who can receive a Waldorf education, and to this end the following are the guidelines to ensure this practice.

BRITISH COLUMBIA PROVINCIAL MINISTRY OF EDUCATION FUNDING STATUS:

The Nelson Waldorf School is a fully accredited and recognized school by the Province of British Columbia.  According to the Legislation for the B.C. Independent Schools, NWS is eligible for and receives an operating grant for students eligible under the legislated guidelines.  

Students not eligible for the Government Grant – not meeting grant guidelines (ie. Canadian Residents/Citizens or parent visas for work or student visas) are required to pay the grant money as part of their tuition.

Nelson Waldorf School Supply Fees

Nelson Waldorf School Administration Fee

Nelson Waldorf School Tuition

Nelson Waldorf School Society Dues

For both returning and new students, attendance in class/registration is dependent upon completion of ALL financial arrangements and payments.

Tuition Modification/Scholarship Program Guidelines

Tuition Modification Program 

 

Tuition Reduction Program

Tuition Reduction process will consider the following situations:

NWS Tuition Modification Policy

The Nelson Waldorf School will strive to adhere to the principle that economic and financial considerations should not determine who can receive a Waldorf education, and to this end the following are the guidelines to ensure this practice. Tuition Modification arose out of the desire to make the education at the Nelson Waldorf School as accessible as possible within budget resources.  Tuition Modification is offered to those families unable to meet full Tuition or Tuition Adjustment* guidelines. (*percent of family income)

This policy and process will provide the Tuition Modification Committee with clear guidelines to ensure that all applicants have an equal opportunity to receive financial reduction.

 

Policy

Selection and Configuration of the Tuition Modification Committee.

 Tuition Modification process will consider the following situations:

Eligibility Criteria

Application Process

Tuition Reduction Approval Process

Once adjustment amounts have been determined by the Committee, the Administrator will issue a letter indicating to the applicant that they have either qualified for tuition reduction or not. If they have qualified, the letter will contain the reduction, and the deadline for payment prior to School commencement.

Guidelines for Tuition Modification Award Process: 

Meeting Dates

        

The Committee will meet at pre-set, advertised, dates and times in June and August.

Failure to comply with this agreement will result in loss of consideration for future year Tuition Reduction Award Process.

Appeal Process

Morning Verses

By Rudolf Steiner

Every morning, in every class, in every Waldorf School

around the world, versions of these verses are spoken:

Classes One through Four

The sun with loving light

Makes bright for me each day,

The soul with spirit-power

Gives strength unto my limbs.

In sunlight shining clear

I do revere, O God,

The strength of humankind

Which thou so graciously

Has planted in my soul,

That I with all my might

May love to work and learn.

From thee stream light and strength,

To thee rise love and thanks.

Classes Five through Eight

I look into the world

In which the sun is shining,

In which the stars are sparkling,

In which the stones repose,

Where living plants grow,

Where feeling animals live,

Where the soul-gifted human being

Gives dwelling to the Spirit.

I look into the soul

That lives within my being.

The World-Creator weaves

In sunlight and in soul-light,

In world-space without,

In soul-depths within.

To Thee, O Spirit of Light

Will I now turn myself

To ask that strength and blessing

To work and to learn

May ever grow within my inmost being.

Nelson Waldorf School “Song of Peace”

This is my song, O God of all the nations,

A song of peace, for lands afar and mine.

This is my home, the country where my heart is,

Here are my hopes, my dreams my holy shrine.

But other hearts, in other lands are beating,

  With hopes and dreams as true and high as mine.

My country’s skies are bluer than the ocean,

And sunlight beams on clover leaf and pine,

But other lands have sunlight too and clover,

And skies are everywhere as blue as mine.

O hear my song, O God of all the Nations,

A song of peace, for their lands and for mine.

May truth and freedom come to every nation!

  May peace abound where strife has raged so long;

That each may seek to love and build together,

A world united, righting every wrong.

A world united in its love for freedom,

Proclaiming peace together in one son.