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The Current | VWS News & Events | Issue 27
May 22, 2020
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Distance Learning at the Vancouver Waldorf School

4th Grade quilting and fractions coming together beautifully!

Dear <<First Name>>,

The Waldorf classroom experience is designed to build strong relationships, enhance social, emotional learning, and create community bonds through seasonal events, festivals, assemblies, plays and more. So what does that look like now, with distance learning underway and students learning at home?

Through our Distance Learning program and on-campus Learning Centre and Preschool for essential service providers, our teachers and administrative staff have been working creatively to bring our multisensory, multi-faceted, human-centred curriculum to students. While this approach will never replace face-to-face connections, our students continue to thrive.

Earlier this week we shared two documents with families as we strive to embody compassionate-community. For your reference we have included them here again. Netiquette for distance learning at home and VWS Code of Compassion.

Distance education and digital learning are as new for us as they are for our students, and we are indebted to our enrolled families for the grace, encouragement, and advice that we have received. We have come a long way in the 6 weeks since we launched. Though students will have the option to return part-time to the classroom on June 1, we aim to continue to improve the distance learning experience for all.

While we will continue to use the Microsoft Teams platform for all classes, including for the submission of class-related materials and assignments, we are pleased to announce that we now have access to a Zoom license via the Ministry of Education. This license complies with B.C.’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, as it is routed through a Canadian server and includes added encryption which addresses the need for exemplary privacy, safety, and security measures. The Zoom platform will only be used for larger virtual gatherings, such as parent meetings, social/celebratory events, presentations, and even for class plays. Students, parents or community members wishing to attend school events hosted virtually via Zoom are not required to sign-up for a Zoom account.

Thank you again for your patience, partnership, and goodwill. And thank you to everyone who provided content for our newsletter this week. Your contributions are warmly welcomed, please send submissions for future newsletters to me at lbergstrome@vws.ca. Please enjoy!

Blessings,
Laura Bergstrome
Communications & Events
2020 - 2021 VWS CALENDAR

Creativity is very much alive and well in our distance learners. From spelling to shelter building to physics, Waldorf education continues to enrich and inspire.

EARLY CHILDHOOD

Kindergarten children have been receiving their weekly distance learning package which includes a story, crafts and finger games. Children in Red Rose have had a distance visit from their teachers and Plum Cottage children meet weekly online for a social with their teachers.

Our Preschool has been running five mornings per week for essential service workers and it has been going great. The children are happy to be at school and we're happy to have them! 

GRADE 1

Filled with creativity and curiosity, Grade 1 students have kept themselves busy with letters, stories, gardening, puppet plays, and even building a crane! We even have some lucky cousins who have been able to "double bubble" and do their lesson work together.

GRADE 4

Grade 4 students have taken up birdwatching and have spotted some wondrous sights! Read to the end of the newsletter to find out whose bird song this is.

CLICK AND GUESS THE BIRD CALL

GRADE 5

In Grade 5, students have been studying pollinators, botany, poetry and the early strife between the French and the British. Click on an image to enlarge.

GRADE 6

The Class Play block didn't stop this Grade 6 student from coming up with an experiment using electricity to power a motor from under water! I've been assured by his parents that the low voltage is perfectly safe.

GRADE 7

Grade 7 has been studying the wonders of the Renaissance. I hope we will see more from their Art Projects in the coming weeks!

HIGH SCHOOL

Distance learning continues to be full and fruitful in the High School with the exceptional efforts of our High School students and their dedication to making the most of our new learning platform. Grade Nine has been busy in their Permutations & Combinations Main Lesson exploring how day-to-day situations hold a large number of options; for example, a playlist of 10 songs can be arranged 3,628,800 different ways! Grade Ten has been working on Energy Transformations through the construction of roller coasters made at home out of available resources. They are able to identify the transformation from potential energy into kinetic energy and to calculate that energy in Joules using the principles of Conservation of Energy. Phew! Grade Twelve is deep in thought studying the Transcendentalist Movement and analyzing the literary works of some of its greatest players. This unit reminds us, especially in these exceptional times in our learning, to remain steadfast and true to ourselves and our capacity for universal wisdom. As Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “Adopt the pace of Nature. Her secret is patience.”

Students designed roller coasters in Grade 10 Science.


“Tell me, what do you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

~ Mary Oliver

GRADE 12 PROJECTS

Grade 12 students adapted to physical distancing to host TED Talk-style presentations to global audiences via webinar from their homes in North Vancouver, Shawnigan Lake & South Korea.

On May 8 & 9, our graduating class of 2020 delivered their Grade 12 Project Presentations to virtual audiences of over 80 families, friends, community members, schoolmates (current & past) and teachers from around the world. Historically held in a presentation hall, the students demonstrated their ability to adapt and develop new skill sets to give engaging and compelling online presentations of their research, practical, and artistic components of their chosen topic.

Topics ranged from the place of horror movies in society, to introversion in a time of crisis and an exploration of the impact of music on the brain. Practical experiences including a look at slow fashion as a student converted $4 of thrift shop clothing into four new items of on-trend fashion and designing a cookbook to encourage group preparation as a way of strengthening family bonds. Artistic components included a massive painting and virtual tour of the psychology behind dreams and another unveiled his vision for a new logo for the school athletic department whilst looking into the changing place of sport in society.

Students encouraged direct participation through real-time polls providing immediate feedback and fielded a question and answer period following each presentation.

Bravo Grade 12!

Grade 12 student, Reina L, at home working on the artistic component of her project “The Manifestation of Self in Cognitive Dreams”.

POLLINATORS

"Over the near 50 years of the Vancouver Waldorf School many parents, teachers and students have designed and cared for the gardens of our school. In the past two years, like Waldorf schools around the world, we have been focusing on the 'Bees and Trees' program. But did you know that also includes butterflies and other pollinators? This spring, we joined the 'Butterflyway Ranger Project' that is sponsored by the David Suzuki Foundation and we have been planting a variety of native plants in our gardens, while imagining the homes and food we are providing for our honey bees, native bees, butterflies and other insects. We are grateful custodians of this land."

~ Bonnie Gosse, Alumni parent, grandparent and volunteer extraordinaire

LEARNING CENTRE

This week we opened our Learning Centre and welcomed students from Kindergarten up to High School. Oh, how good it feels to have young people back on campus.

HEALTH & RETURN TO SCHOOL RESOURCES

Join us as we Run! Skip! Dance! across the continent until the 100+1-year anniversary of Waldorf education in September. The goal is to make our way, through logged miles from participants in our active school communities, from Waldorf school to Waldorf school throughout North America.

LOG YOUR KILOMETERS HERE!
BIRD CALL - Did you guess Thrush? Then you're correct! This is like the thrush who visits the Grade 1 yard.

Find the calendar in your Parent Portal or on our website.

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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