Tuesday News - October 26, 2010

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All submissions for the Tuesday News should be sent to publicrelations@merriconeag.org by Friday at 3:00 pm.

IMPORTANT REMINDER: School  is closed for parent-teacher conferences Thursday & Friday of this week!

From the Development Office


- Grandparents & Friends Day Hugely Successful

     We hosted 150 grandparents and friends for Grandparents and Friends Day last Friday, with a reception, a slide show, a talk by David Sloan*, class presentations by grades 2-12, and a visit to the classrooms.  It was wonderful to be able to express our gratitude for all that this generation does for our school, and their feedback was overwhelmingly positive.  I heard multiple times that David Sloan’s talk, summarizing “The Wisdom of Waldorf” was an articulate, engaging, and convincing case for Waldorf education.  Several grandparents who have been coming for 10 years said this year’s class presentations had the best variety. Everyone who came felt welcomed and appreciated, and the campus and classrooms looked beautiful.  Most important, we heard from our parents that this event deepened the grandparent’s understanding and appreciation of Waldorf education.

     An event like this does not happen this seamlessly without a lot of background work, and I want to express special thanks to the dozen volunteers who helped pull together the many pieces Friday morning, to David Sloan for his inspiring talk (which we hope to record and post on the website), to the class teachers and special subject teachers who took a lead role in the terrific class presentations, and to the students for offering their very best work to these wonderful grandparents and friends. 

*To read a transcript of David Sloan's Grandparents Day Address, click here.

Lynne Espy, Development Coordinator, 865-3900 Ext. 116, developmentcoordinator@merriconeag.org




Fall Fair and Open House Updates


Fair: Saturday, November 6, 10 am - 3 pm /

 Craft Preview Sale for Adults:

Friday, November 5, 6 - 9 pm


Changes to the Fair this Year: We are going back to having the crafters in the Community Hall and The Falling Leaves Cafe in the Gallery. Ticket Bracelet Sales and School Information will return to the 3rd grade classroom.

     A significant change is that  both the Puppet Shows and Squirrel’s Attic will be in the Lower Grades Building in the 1st and 2nd grade classrooms. This means the whole Fair will be consolidated on the Grade School Campus.   

    It is our pleasure to introduce two new food items this year. The French Department will sell fresh crepes near the “keyhole” in front of the Middle Grades Building and the German Department will be selling delicious German sausages near the bell tower.

Fall Fair Craft Preview Sale for Adults: Friday, November 5, 6 - 9 pm, Community Hall: Come out with friends and get the jump on a little shopping before the hubbub on Saturday. This adult shopping evening is a warm and welcoming tradition topped off with refreshments provided by the 7th grade families. We have 18 fabulous crafters who will be displaying their wares. This adult event is open to the public and we encourage you to help us spread the word by inviting your friends and neighbors. We will include a complete list of our crafters in next week's news.

Fall Fair Staffing:  (Coordinators should have had their events staffed and lists sent to Pat by the end of the day on Friday, October 22nd.) Our 2010 Fall Fair and Open House is a little over a week away and for it to run smoothly, all shifts need to be filled. Check the staffing list by following this link. If your class activity is fully staffed, please sign up for a different activity. Our Fair is special because of how our parents and teachers work together on Fair day, so don’t miss out. Please make Pat Sanford's job easier by contacting her today with your desired shift. 207.730.1750 or pbsanford@gmail.com

Squirrels need your goods:

There are two weeks left and we still need volunteers to help supply the "Squirrel's Attic" with goods for the Fall Fair (small, natural/handmade items that are sold for $1.00 or less).  Please leave your treasures in the basket for donated craft items in the ECC.  Questions: contact Aly Fullagar, Maleah Webb, or Sarah Currie (846-7818).  Thank you!

Don't Forget to Recycle Those Old Pocket People Presents: Please deliver any appropriate pocket people presents from previous years (that your child can stand to part with) to the boxes in either office. If you have new trinkets of natural materials you'd like to donate, we'd like those too.

Decorations for the Fall Fair Wanted: Do you have any mums, corstalks, hay bales, etc. that you would be willing to donate/lend as outdoor decorations for the Fall Fair & Open House? We also need donations of felting wool, yarn and large pieces of fabric in a neutral palette.

The Falling Leaves Cafe needs the Whole School Community: We are calling on your inner chef or baker to lend a hand in the creation of both savory and sweet delectables to be sold in individual servings at the Fall Fair.  Dig deep into your recipe index and share to the benefit and appreciation of us all!  Please contact Carina Wishman Freedner at 725-7507 or epicurious.crow@gmail.com.  Thank you so very much for your time!  


From the Board

Snapshot of the Merriconeag Community: We need the next 60 sec of your day (then you're free): Last week we sent out our first (EVER!) Snapshot of the Merriconeag Community census. To date, we have received survey responses from just about 30 percent of our families. Before the results can be useful for longterm school planning, we need responses from at least 60 more families.  If you have already sent yours in, pat yourself on the back. If not, please click the following link: www.surveymonkey.com/s/YD9ZMYF. The survey is completely anonymous and takes just 60 seconds to complete. If you're reading this, seize the moment! (Then, pat yourself on the back.) Alternatively, paper copies are available in the school office. Just fill one out and drop it in the sealed box. If you have any questions at all, please call Michael Stefanakos at 917-279-4646. Thanks so much for your help and participation.




School Community Updates

An Important Message from Robin Ivy Photography: School Portrait Orders due by Friday, Oct. 29th!

     Your child's proof envelope has been delivered to the school.  If you are interested in placing an order, simply choose the package(s) on the insert inside the proof envelope.  Circle the package(s) you would like below the proof on the outside of the envelope.  Please write any checks to Robyn Ivy Photography.  We offer credit card payment as well, just fill out the information at the bottom of the insert.

Return the envelope with payment to the school on or before Friday, October  29th.   Any orders placed after that date will have a $15.00 late fee applied and will  need to be ordered directly through Robyn Ivy. 

     We hope you are happy with the proof of your child.  If you would like a re-take for any reason, please return your proof envelope with a $10 re-take fee.  Robyn will be at Merriconeag Waldorf School on Monday, November 1st to pick up the orders and to take photographs of children that were absent (you do not need to pay for re-takes if your child was absent) and any re-takes.

     Thank you so much for the opportunity to photograph your child! 

Please contact us directly with any questions or comments: robyn@robynivy.com, 401.527.9453 or check us out on the web, www.robynivy.com

High School Theme Days, Ethnic Diversity in Maine: The high school students are enjoying a 3 day week of theme days entitled, Ethnic Diversity in Maine. The eighth graders joined the high school for this session which began on Monday and will end at 12:30 on Wednesday.

     The keynote speaker for the Theme Days is Adelaide Manirakiza. Mrs. Manirakiza is a war widow from Burundi. She works for an organization called Living with Peace. Living With Peace addresses issues and concerns that affect the ability of immigrants to acculturate to their new lives in Maine and to successfully orient to the social, economic and cultural aspects of life in Portland and Lewiston. Living with Peace is a dynamic, community organization that seeks to invest in the future of our immigrants by building and sharing resources with a coalition of support providers. Living with Peace is a network of resources to ease and smooth the way in this new world for all newly immigrated people to Maine from any country.

     In addition to the keynote speaker there are eight workshops with an international theme (each student will be taking two). The workshops are:

  • Carving Totems with Eric Ritter (Art Room)
  • Improvisational Drumming with Rick Cormier (French Room)
  • Shibori, Japanese stitching and dyeing, with Kelley Barham (Science Room)
  • African Dance with Regina Kusche and AnneGret Baier (Sage Room)
  • The Effects of the Drug Trade on Columbian Families with Adelaida Gaviria (Science Room)
  • Capoeira (Brazilian Martial Art) with Joao Carlos Bordallo (Sage Room)
  • World Drumming with Shamou (French Room)
  • Wall Murals with Johanna Flath and Rosemary Burwell (Art Room)

Seniors Study Transcendentalists: As part of their study of the American Transcendentalists, the senior class sauntered down to Concord, Massachusetts on Sunday, October 17 through Tuesday, October 19. Meeting up with their senior compatriots at the Waldorf High School of Mass Bay, the students explored the haunts and homes of two of the more famous of the nineteenth century writers, Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson. 

              Stepping into the recreated cabin in the parking lot of Walden Woods on Monday morning, the students were instantly transported back to the year 1846 and a young Henry David, one year into what would become his two year, two month and two day sojourn at the pond, met them and engaged them in discussion and question answering. We followed Mr. Thoreau into the woods and to the actual sight where his cabin had been built 165 years ago. At that point the historian playing Henry broke character and answered a wider range of questions about Thoreau and his times. This was followed by the reading of a children's book at the actual cabin sight (Henry Builds a Cabin by DB Johnson) and a period of quiet contemplation and journal writing. Few things in life are as pleasant as a walk along the shores of Walden Pond on an autumn afternoon... To read the whole article & see more photos, please follow this link.

Passamaquody Lives:  In our first high school forum of the year, students had the great honor to welcome Passamaquody Storyteller, Allen J. Sockabasin, author of An Upriver Passamaquody  and of the delightful children’s book Thanks to the Animals.  Mr. Sockabasin started by showing our high schoolers a 30-minute film on the history of Native Americans, particularly of the Passamaquody people of Maine, stressing the importance of language preservation. The Native Americans for centuries lived in villages that depended on subsistence living through gathering, hunting, fishing and working in the woods, with an emphasis on sharing and helping one another. They met many hardships through racism and dubious “progress” that brought an end to their traditional way of life, especially their language, their religion and their self-governance.

       Mr. Sockabasin’s spoke with great sadness as he talked to a subdued audience about his life-long struggle to try to preserve the traditional language and cultural way of life of his Passamaquody ancestors.

     After an hour of reflecting and answering numerous questions asked by the high school students, who seemed

very moved and keen to understand his struggles, Mr.Sockabasin grabbed his mandolin and invited our students to join in an impromptu musical fest... To read the whole article & see more photos, please follow this link.


ANOTHER SURVEY?!? As part of our accreditation process with the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC), we are asking all families to complete a survey about our school.  Information from this survey will be used to help assess the effectiveness of our school programs and policies.

     Survey forms will be available with class teachers during Parent-Teacher conferences and will also be available at the refreshments table in each classroom building.  Kindly take the time either before or after your conference to fill out the survey and put it in the NEASC Survey Response box which will also be near the refreshment table in each classroom building. Please enjoy a sweet treat from the refreshment table while you are filling out the survey. Also note that this is a DIFFERENT SURVEY from the Board survey above.

     If you have any questions or comments, please contact Barbara Guffin at 865-4488.

Thank you very much for your participation in this survey.

Wednesday Pizza is Back: The 8th grade will be coordinating pizza this year. Session 1 is a total of 10 weeks beginning November 3rd. and ending January 26th. Sign up for pizza will be for the entire session only. Pizza choices will be cheese, pepperoni, and pesto and the cost will be $2.00 per slice. The total cost of one slice of pizza per week during session one will be $20.00. As in prior years, students in grades 4-8 and faculty will have the chance to participate during session 1. Students will have the option to omit or skip a pizza day in the case of a known or anticipated absence (i.e.Dr.’s appt. or vacation). Please provide the date(s) of known absences. Adjustments or refunds cannot be made for unanticipated or last minute absences.

     To order pizza for Session 1, please complete an order form and return it with cash or check (made payable to MWS) to the basket outside the 8th grade classroom no later than Wednesday, October 27th at 8:20 am. Questions? Contact Mary Martin 865-0689. Click here for a printable pizza order form.

Portland Ovations Circus Arts Master class with world-renowned Circus Artist Jamie Adkins: Friday, November 12, 2010, 6:00–7:30 pm, MWS Community Hall, $15 per person. Class limited to 20 students (Ages 10 and up). An alumnus of the famed Pickle Family Circus, Cirque Eloize and a featured soloist with Cirque du Soleil, Jamie Adkins’ clowning and acrobatic pedigree is unparalleled. Jamie will come to Merriconeag to give a limited number of intermediate and advanced circus arts students the chance to increase their skills with a focus on character and narrative development. For more information and to register, contact Trace Salter at 207.756.9212, smirkus.freeport@yahoo.com

Circus INcognitus:  Saturday, November 13, 2010,1 pm & 3 pm, South Portland Auditorium at SPHS, South Portland, Maine, $10/person for general admission seating. Buy tickets. Appropriate for all ages.

Children and adults alike will revel in his unforgettable one-man comedy, Circus INcognitus, which brings to life the story of a man who has something to say, but can’t quite get it out. Whether precariously balancing upon a slack wire or deftly maneuvering a jaw full of ping-pong balls, Jamie Adkins leads audiences on a thrilling, humorous and ultimately inspiring adventure about having the courage to try new ideas, pushing them to their limits, and not giving up when all goes wrong. Jamie Adkins Circus Incognitus Show. Infinitesimal acts of imperceptible genius. — The New York Times. Submitted by Trace Salter


Athletic News - Sports Updates

High School in the News: Merriconeag's High School Cross Country Teams were featured in a Portland Press Herald article entitled A School with Fast Learners, Very Fast. Written by Staff Writer, Kevin Thomas, the article appeared on the front page of the Sports Section on Friday, October 22, 2010. If you missed it, you can read it here in two PDF's: Front page-Sports, continued, page 4.


High School Cross Country

Both the boys and girls cross country running teams did very well at the Western Maine (Class C) Regional Meet on Saturday in Cumberland.  Both teams qualified for the state meet next Saturday in Belfast. The boys finished seventh out of fourteen. Jack Pierce (14:47.10) was third in Class C! Tyler O'Brien also received individual honors, qualifying for the state meet as an individual. The girls team finished second (by one point) out of ten teams and received a plaque as Class C regional runners-up (our third plaque in two years). Zoe Chace-Donahue (22:22.50) was 3rd in Class C! Teagan Wu, Carlin Tindall and Emelie Chace-Donahue also received individual honors, qualifying for the state meet as individuals. The girls team is one of the top teams in the state and they are all 9th and 10th graders.

     More importantly, I had several people come up to me and say what great fans our school has. That our parents and students actually cheer on runners from other schools! What a wonderful reputation for our school to have. Please come to Belfast on Saturday to cheer our runners (and the runners from other schools) at the state championships. Our boys will run at 12:30 and the girls at 1:15.

     Congratulations to all of our runners for a wonderful season. Good luck on Saturday!


High School Sailing

Tim Morse was the sole Merriconeag sailor in the Sail Maine Regatta this weekend. Tim finished second in his races. Tim has one more race this season. Next Sunday is the "Ghosts and Goblins" regatta. If the trip up to Belfast is too much for you, consider a trip to Portland to cheer Tim on.


In the News

Intelligence and Rhythmic Accuracy Go Hand in Hand


ScienceDaily (Apr. 21, 2008) — People who score high on intelligence tests are also good at keeping time, new Swedish research shows. The team that carried out the study also suspect that accuracy in timing is important to the brain processes responsible for problem solving and reasoning.

For links to recent articles about technology and brain development click here

(Click blue to link through)


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