The Current | VWS News & Events | Issue 3
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September 27, 2018

Community * Respect * Integrity * Commitment * Reverence

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"We can find nature outside us only if we have first learned to know her within."
~ Rudolph Steiner
We are celebrating our Michaelmas festival tomorrow. In preparation, our students are rehearsing their play and baking dragon bread. Above is a sample of drawings made by Grade 2 with their new beeswax crayons.


Next Week

Monday, October 1
Orange Shirt Day: Every Child Matters
Gr 12’s attending College/University Fair Collingwood School
Flower Bulb Sales at pick-up 3:00 pm, GS

Tuesday, October 2
Waldorf Welcome 8:45 am, GS
Grade 12 Treat Sales at pick-up 3:00 pm, GS
Girls Volleyball Games Ecole Secondaire Jules Verne
• VWS vs DLS 5:00 pm
• VWS vs EJV 6:00 pm
First 7 Years Seminar Series: 12 Senses 7:30 pm, ECC

Wednesday, October 3
Q&A with the Board 7:00 pm, TBD

Thursday, October 4
Girls Volleyball Practice 3:30 pm, HS

Friday, October 5
World Teachers' Day
Harvest Lunch GS
*there will be no Coffee Morning this week as the kitchen will be in use.

ECC - Early Childhood Centre | GS - Grade School | HS - High School


Thanksgiving Holiday - Monday, October 8
Parent Education: Mindfulness & Anxiety - Wednesday, October 10
Gr 6 Class Play: All Roads Lead to Rome - Thursday & Friday, October 18 & 19
GS Panorama Photo & Individual Retakes - Friday, October 19
VWSS AGM - Wednesday, October 24
November Break - November 12 → 16
Parent/Teacher Interviews - Tuesday → Thursday, November 13 → 15
Find the full calendar in your Parent Portal or on our website.


Sarah Debelle - Grade 1 Class Teacher
I was born and raised in Toronto Ontario in an artistic family. My mother is Cambodian and my father is Canadian with British descent. When I was 16, I began my journey on the path of Yoga, I became vegetarian and by age 19 I was a Hatha Yoga instructor. At 21, during my gap year, I visited my first Waldorf School and knew that I would be a Waldorf teacher. I travelled East to my motherland, Asia, where I lived many winters there studying and returned in the summers to Vancouver BC to work. When I was 25, I taught English in Taiwan for one year and soon after began my Waldorf teacher training. I lived in India in the villages where I studied Brajavasi folk music and pilgrimaged to holy places experiencing the heart and soul of village storytelling through music and dance. Last winter I did my Waldorf teaching practicum in South India where I had a rich cultural experience of the Waldorf curriculum. I travelled to the village my mother was born in, and it has taken years to uncover the layers of who I am. Through my travels, my heart has been touched by everyone I have met in the villages with a kind of joy and love that is beyond language.

This summer I turned 28, finished my Waldorf teacher training, and moved to North Vancouver to be a part of this amazing Waldorf School. I've come with my husband, whatever I could fit in two suitcases and a heart full of rich stories and songs from my world travels to share. I look forward to all the adventures that life on the North Shore brings and plan to only travel as far as my paddleboard will take me.


New Student Welcome - Please help us to extend a warm welcome to Nicole Zhylina who is joining our Grade 6 class.
Harvest Lunch - On Friday, October 5 at 11:40 pm, the Grade School students will sit down to a festive Harvest Lunch. If you wish to contribute to our harvest soup pot, a table with baskets will be set out in the front entranceway for the purpose of collecting the vegetables beginning next Monday. A few parent volunteers will be needed to assist from Grade 4 - 8, please watch for a message from your Class Teacher or Class Rep.
Student Photos - Student photos have arrived from Lifetouch. If you wish to order individual pictures of your child/student, you may do so online or bring in your order to the class teacher by the order deadline of October 2, 2018. Ronaye will send in the bulk order the following day.
Photo retakes will be on the morning of October 19. Please let Ronaye know if your child/student requires an individual retake. Weather permitting, we will also have a Grade School panorama that day!
School Bus Service - The schedule will be reverting back to what it was last year in October. The last day of the trial return route will be Friday, September 28. This means there will be no afternoon service from the High School. Students who have Practical Arts class at the Grade School on Monday or Wednesday are welcome to take the bus on those days.
Lice in the Grade School - It's that time of year... please check your child for lice and nits as there has been a case of lice in the Grade School (the families in that class have been notified). We appreciate you letting us know if any lice or nits have been found so we can continue the checking process. Find linked the Lice Policy and Protocol for your convenience. Keep checking!
Attendance Policy Update - Our attendance policy has been updated. Please familiarize yourself with the policy here: Student-Attendance-Policy-2018.pdf. Students who do not have their instrument will be marked as absent from that class. A doctor's note is required when missing 3 or more days if requesting an extension on class work. Requests for extended absence are to go through Pedagogical Manager, Malcolm Nash
Grocery Card Program - Get started now! Last year, only 20% of VWS families participated in the program and raised around $8,000. Our goal this year is 50% participation to raise $20,000! Order online quickly and easily at and support the growth of our school! Congratulations to September winner Michelle Mason - come select a $50 card to your grocery store of choice!
Absentee Students - Please phone or email the school by 8:45 am to report absentee students.
  • Grade School (604) 985-7435 x 5 or
  • Early Childhood (604) 985-7435 x: Mulberry & Dandelion PS x 101, Sunflower PS x 104, Red Rose KG x 103, Plum Cottage KG x 102
  • High School (604) 986-2922 or

Community Marketplace - We've added a new section to our Community Classifieds for Ride Share. Click any of the tabs to expand and read the listings. Then keep scrolling to see VWS Community Business Listings! read more
Upcoming Community Events - Cambridge Music Conference: Migration versus Multiculturalism; Spacial Dynamics, the Wild Salmon Caravan; a Community Craft and Cuisine Celebration; 5th Annual PROUD2BE; Vancouver Opera Tickets; Pentathlon Training for adults; and a Gutsy Girls Adventure Film Tour! read more


Indigenous families, parents and guardians of Indigenous students, including former students, alumni and members of the wider VWS community, are warmly invited to an informal weekend gathering in October (date and location to be confirmed) to meet, connect and discuss the formation of an Indigenous Council at the VWS. This gathering is the first of its' kind at the VWS and is specifically for Indigenous families, including non-Indigenous parents and guardians of Indigenous children.

The Council is being formed in support of the Indigenization of the VWS and the implementation of the new Ministry of Education curriculum requirements, and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's Calls to Action.

At this initial gathering, participants will have the chance to share experiences and stories, to get creative about what the Indigenous Council will look like at the VWS, and to decide upon next steps. Everyone in the VWS community is kindly requested and encouraged to help support this special gathering by spreading the word and reaching out to old classmates and extended family and guardians of old classmates to let them know about the formation of an Indigenous Council and the event.

Mary Henley, Community and Resource Development Manager, will co-host the gathering with Jennifer Williams and Merrill Bullied, parents of Raven in Grade 3 and Nicodemus Redcloud in Kindergarten. Their Nation is Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation and Jennifer is a Board Trustee. Children of all ages are welcome and refreshments will be provided. Please email or call 778-863-6279 for more information. Please complete this poll by October 9 to let us know what time and date work best for you


Our participation in the annual Orange Shirt Day: Every Child Matters is intended to honour and show our support to the survivors of Indian Residential Schools System (IRSS), Indian Day School survivors, current Indigenous children in care, and many Indigenous families who continue to experience the inter-generational impacts from the IRSS.

By taking part in Orange Shirt Day: Every Child Matters, and wearing our orange shirts on October 1, the VWS is actively showing respect for and support of Indigeneity, Indigenous families at the VWS, and the ongoing work of reconciliation through our engagement in meaningful conversations to promote reconcil-Action.

Please read about Orange Shirt Day: Every Child Matters and Phyllis (Jack) Webstad’s story here


Each year our High School embarks on a series of fundraisers in support of the High School Year End Service Trip, this year is no exception! Our 9th Grade Class is launching a Flower Bulb “Flash Fundraiser” through Vesey’s Bulbs, which will be open from now until October 10.

Grade 9 Students will be at the Grade School on Monday, October 1 at pick-up and are keen to take your orders! Bring cash or your chequebook. Otherwise, catalogues and order forms are available from Grade School & High School Reception or can be found online on our website. read more

Grade 12 Students will be at the Grade School on Tuesday, October 2 at pick-up with baked goods and treats. You'll find them weekly, so be sure to bring your loonies and toonies!


Christmas Fair Planning Committee - It may only be September, but some of us are already looking ahead to the Children’s Christmas Fair coming up on Saturday, November 24. This will be our 48th annual fair, and Mary and I are very excited about getting organized early and helping make this highly anticipated event memorable for all. On that note, we are on the lookout for our team to help plan the fair at a high level. Positions include:
  • Children’s Events Coordinator
  • Grounds Coordinator
  • Beautification & Decoration Coordinator
  • Food & Feasting Coordinator
  • Marketplace & Vendors Coordinator
  • Night Market Coordinator
  • Music & Entertainment Coordinator
As the point person/people for each of these areas you will be given autonomy to dream & create as you desire! Meetings will take place regularly to check-in, share reports on our progress, and support each other through any challenges.

Are you up for guaranteed fun, zero stress and celebrating our community? Contact Mary by stopping by her office or by emailing if any of these positions are of interest to you. We are looking to host our first planning meeting, after drop off, in the first week of October.
Gardening Committee - Are you keen to get involved in helping to beautify and maintain the gardens at the Grade School and Early Childhood Centre? The Gardening Committee is welcoming new members to join in light planting, pruning, and planning for spring. Contact Anne Pepper at or 604-709-8155 if you are interested in helping out.
Playground Committee - Have you noticed the playful buzz in the big play yard after school? The Playground Committee is re-convening to dream up new updates for our children, and are looking for new members to bring ideas. If you have a vision, or perhaps are better with tools, or you simply want to be part of a fun group to spearhead the next phase of playground improvements, contact Bonnie Goss at to get involved.
Chalkboard art from Grades 5, 6 & 8


Check our website to see other event planned for parents

First Seven Years

Laying the Foundation For Life
At the Vancouver Waldorf School, we understand that a child’s experiences in the first seven years set a foundation for life. What can parents and teachers do to support a child’s physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual development? Each session builds on earlier sessions, and we encourage participants to attend the series as a whole. Drop-ins are welcome, however, please adults only. RSVP HERE

Mindfulness & Anxiety

Facing Anxiety and Cultivating Resilience through Mindfulness
Brian Dean Williams (MA, RCC, CCC) helps raise awareness about anxiety, the causes & effects, and offers tools and resources to help manage. Understand the prevalence of anxiety in youth, and learn how to respond when your child expresses difficulty and how to recognize the signs in children who aren’t coping. RSVP HERE

Askable Adult 101

Build comfort in discussing and teaching challenging topics such as body science, safe and unsafe touching, appropriate behaviour, and sensuality and sexuality. Be clear on your personal values about relationships, safety, and sexuality and develop strategies to foster meaningful conversations with the children in your life. Build your skill and comfort to talk about sexuality and relationships as your child grows up!
Grade 7 student, Liam, working on a colourful portrait of Saladin, a benevolent man respected by Muslims and Christians alike


The humanities are becoming more important. Here's why - The tide now appears to be turning on the value of humanities. read more

Look up from your screen - Children learn best when their bodies are engaged in the living world. We must resist the ideology of screen-based learning. read more
Grade 8 student, Baya, works on an intricate 'paint by numbers' of van Gogh's The Starry Night


Did you know that we offer an afternoon program for students from Kindergarten through Grade 6?

The VWS After School Program offers a warm and engaging environment consistent with the values of Waldorf education. New for the 2018-19 school year, the program will be split into two groups, with Jenny Andrews holding the younger children’s program and Susan Caballero holding the older children.

Please note that the After School Program runs on VWS School Days only and is not available on Stat holidays, Professional Development days, Winter Break, Spring Break, End-of-Term partial-days, or during summer months.

For FAQ and Registration Details please visit our website at

Many blessings
Laura Bergstrome
Communications & Events
Did you see any errors? Or do you have something to contribute?
Contact Laura at

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