The Current | VWS News & Events | #4
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Dear <<First Name>>,

Nearing the end of my workday, I took a walk around the campus after realizing that I hadn't done so in quite some time. What struck me was just how beautiful our school has become over the past few years, thanks to a combination of Grade 3 building projects and the ingenuity and passion of our dedicated community of volunteers and school leadership.

There is a feeling of love and care around every corner. As I strolled through the garden beds, over to the willow cave (and yes, I climbed inside that magical structure), past the new seating areas, then over to the new play structure, I was reminded of my privilege and that I shouldn't take any of this for granted.

As we look forward to the season of giving thanks, I want to also express my gratitude for the abundance provided by the land we're situated on and to the First Peoples who inhabited this land long before settlers ever arrived.

There are photo archives of what our campus looked like long ago when the Early Childhood Centre and the 2-3 play yard were still forested. There was a time when I had to stretch to see the beauty, but not anymore. I am beyond grateful to everyone who has contributed to bringing out and enhancing the natural beauty of our school; as we restore the grounds with native species, pollinator-friendly plants and shrubs, and care for the trees that grow tall, my hope is that we can continue to do this work with a reverence for the land and its history.

I really do wish that we could invite you back onto the school grounds to experience this feeling firsthand, but in the meanwhile, I hope you'll be satisfied with our written, photo and video offerings.

Thank you for reading.

Laura Bergstrome
Communications & Events Coordinator



Tuesday, October 6

The First 7 Years Seminar Series: Twelve Senses 7:30 pm, GS Hall

Thursday, October 8

Plum Cottage Parent Evening 7:00 pm, GS Hall

Friday, October 9

Harvest Lunch GS
Thanksgiving Lunch HS

On the Horizon

AGM October 28

ECC (Early Childhood Centre) | GS (Grade School) | HS (High School)


Click to view


REMINDER - A reminder to all Early Childhood and Grade School parents that in order to keep us all safe, remaining to mingle or to let children play on the school property and in the playgrounds throughout the day or at pick up or drop off is not permitted. Please refer to the section on Physical Distancing on page 16 of our Health & Safety Plan: COVID-19.

HIGH HOLIDAYS - We wish to recognize the families and community members who, over the past two weeks, have been observing Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. May this coming year be as sweet as apples and honey.

TEAMS - We have relaunched our Microsoft Teams learning platform for use if your child is absent due to illness for three or more consecutive days and for our Elementary Transition Support Program. Grade School parents, please watch for an email with login details for your children.

MICHAELMAS - On September 29th, Waldorf schools all over the world celebrate the festival of Michaelmas. In our latest blog post, we share an excerpt titled Against Fear: The Michaelmas Call, from Nancy Blanning's book Walking With Our Children: The Parent As Companion and Guide.

COMMUNITY MARKETPLACE & CLASSIFIEDS - A new workshop and a request for a DIY circus project items were just added to our classifieds page! Come take a look.

REMEMBERING ELAINE & GUNTHER - We wish to thank everyone who shared their writing and photographs for this small offering of remembrance. Click to open

RICE LAKE WALK - The Development Committee is looking to start a Friday morning hike to replace Friday Community Coffee. We invite you to join us next Friday, October 9, at 8:45 am at the End of the Line General Store for a walk around Rice Lake. Rain or shine, unless very heavy rain. No need to RSVP but please do respect DNV Parks, Trails & Recreation signage regarding park usage.

VOLUNTEERS - Are you looking to get involved again with the VWS, but with restricted campus access don't know how? We would love a team of parents to help support parking lot safety. Contact Mary Henley at if you want to join!

RETURN TO SCHOOL Q&A - Anonymously ask your burning questions on all things "Return to School". Can we help to clarify any pieces that have been missing from our communications? Or are you unclear why certain things are done the way they are done? We will do our best to answer in an upcoming Current newsletter or future Town Hall session. But we need to hear from you first. Your thoughts are important to us and we are grateful to you for sharing your quandaries, questions and concerns.

HEALTH & SAFETY UPDATES - We have created a new page on our website to house all updates related to school safety and COVID-19. We recommend that you read through the recently updated Health & Safety Plan COVID-19, included the updated Daily Health Check on page 23. All the updates are highlighted in yellow. As well on this page, are links from the Province and the BC Centre for Disease Control.


We joined millions of Canadians by wearing our Every Child Matters orange t-shirts on Wednesday, September 30. Orange Shirt Day is a day dedicated to acknowledging the survivors of Canada's Residential School System, as well as remembering the children who never made it home. The event grew out of Phyllis Webstad's story of having her shiny new orange shirt taken away on her first day of school at St. Joseph Mission here in BC. We encourage you to learn more about Orange Shirt Day by visiting

Trigger warning: readers are advised that the following section deals with the subject of Canada's Residential School System. Anyone experiencing distress or pain may contact Lorna Fortin, Principal, at or the 24hr Indian Residential Schools Crisis Line at 1-866-925-4419.

We offer our gratitude to the Nishnawbe Aski Nation, for sharing the following stories as part of the Healing the Generations curriculum for High School students. The illustrations are by students in our Grade 11 class.


"I went to the Pelican Lake School in 1948 when I was 15 years old and I was there for three years. Every day we had to make our beds, put her clothes away and clean up the washroom after everyone had finished washing and brushing their teeth. Once a week, usually on Saturdays there were lots of chores to do. Some of the students had to clean the washrooms while others had to scrub the floors. I used to clean up outside and do a variety of work in the yard. I also worked on the garbage crew from time to time."


"A part of the weekly routine at the Anglican residential school I attended was participation in religious activities. When we went to class in the morning we started the day with the “Lord’s Prayer”. We had to say our prayers every day before we went to bed. We knelt at the side of our beds and recited the “Apostles Creed”, the “Lord's Prayer”, and a number of other prayers. We had to attend mass at the church every Sunday evening and Sunday morning. At times like Christmas and Easter we seemed to be in church all the time. We were expected to participate in church life. Every spring, several of the boys and girls participated in a ceremony called "First Communion". In the summer the Bishop would come to the school and conduct a “Confirmation” ceremony for the older boys and girls. Everyone was expected to participate in religious activities."


"I had a difficult time getting used to the daily routines when I first attended residential school. At home we really did not follow a routine. When we got up we ate and then attended to our chores. At residential school, every aspect of our life was controlled by some routine. Everything was so regimented. I got up at seven o’clock in the morning. After I got out of bed I went to the washroom, washed my face and hands and got dressed. I would get my numbered clothing out of my little closet, put them on and then put on my little numbered shoes. After I made my bed, swept the floors and help to clean up the washrooms. I lined up with the other students for breakfast, after which, I attended classes from 9:00 am until 4:00 pm with an hour break for lunch. After school I had to work at homework until supper time. After supper, if I did not have any homework I could go outside in the playground. I brushed my teeth, washed up and had to be changed into my pyjamas and be ready to go to bed by 9:00 pm. At bed time I had to kneel, as did the other boys, and say my prayers."


"I went to the Pelican Lake Indian Residential School when I was nine years old and I was there for four years. One of the things I remember about school was that there was a routine for everything. For example, our bed-time routine was that we all went upstairs to our dormitory, changed into our pyjamas, folded our clothes and put them away. Then we went to the washroom, brushed our teeth, washed our hands and face and cleaned up the sinks after we had finished. Then we went to our beds, knelt by the side of our beds, said our prayers and got into bed. After all of the girls were in bed the dorm supervisor turned out the lights and we were expected to go to sleep right away."


"When I was nine I went to the St. Anne’s Indian Residential School in Fort Albany. I remember that all of the students had chores to do at school. There were daily chores and weekly chores. What I remember most is that every Saturday morning I was on my hands and knees scrubbing floors along with several other students. We could get pails full of hot soapy water and add some kind of disinfectant, such as Lysol, to the water. We would get down on our hands and knees and scrub the section of the floor that had been assigned to us with a brush which had stiff bristles. Then we had to wash the floor with a cloth and hot soapy water and then rinse it with clean warm water. All of this was done on my knees and I remember how sore they used to get. My hands also hurt because they would get soft in the water and they always got scraped on the floor or the brush. When you had a cut on your hands and put them in the hot soapy water with the disinfectant in it, your hands would really sting. After lunch when the floor had dried we had to get back down on our hands and knees and wax the floor. The wax was that hard stuff in cans that you had to put on a cloth and rub into the floor. After the wax dried then we had to get back down on our hands and knees and polish it. I was on my hands and knees for so long it felt like I had been praying in church for a week. So that is why I don’t like to kneel."


"Everyone had chores to do when I was at the Pelican Lake Indian Residential School. I liked my chores and I worked very hard at them. One of my chores was cutting firewood for the school. I helped a man cut firewood for the furnaces at the school. Two or three other boys also came out to cut wood with us. I liked cutting wood because I got to go outside and into the bush. I did not like class because the teachers were always mean to the students and gave them the strap when they made a mistake. The man I worked with was very nice. He liked me because I worked so hard and I spent most of my time at school cutting wood with him. I also liked cutting wood because by doing so, I avoided going to classes. The man even let me drive the horse now and then and let me feed them. The man was nice, and the horses were nice."

The Vancouver Waldorf School is situated on the unceded ancestral territory of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish) and səl̓ilwətaɁɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.

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