Tuesday News - December 6, 2011

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


Important Notices:

Change to School Calendar: It has come to my attention that an error was made on the school calendar. Since New Year’s Eve falls on a Sunday, Monday, January 2 is a federal holiday and all local schools will be closed. Therefore, Classes will resume at Merriconeag after the winter break on Tuesday, January 3rd. We are very sorry for any inconvenience this causes in planning childcare. Hopefully, everyone will enjoy a day to play in the snow! Christine Sloan

Parking Problem: The grades school drop off and pick up lane have been working well this year, providing a safer parking lot situation for our students and a less congested "circle" for our parents. However, one area is still a problem, both in the morning and afternoon. Parents who wish to leave their cars to walk up to the classroom buildings with their children, must park in the parking area provided in the center of the drive circle, not along the curb. Cars may only pull up to the curb for drop off or pick up, not for parking.
      With harsh weather on the way, our parking lot will present greater challenges. Please respect these few guidelines for the safety and ease of all members of the school community. Christine Sloan


Waldorf Education in the National News - Again!

Last Wednesday evening, November 30, NBC Nightly News featured The Waldorf Way: A Silicon Valley School Eschews Technology. If you missed it, you can watch the clip, by clicking here.

On Monday, December 5, Silicon Valley School: No Computers in Classroom was featured on CBS! View that clip by clicking here.


Upcoming Events:


Our Annual Winter Concert is this Wednesday, December 7,

at Freeport Performing Arts Center, 30 Holbrook St., Freeport:

Join us for a delightful evening of music. The concert begins at 5:30 and all students in grades 2-12 are expected to arrive no later than 5:15 with all necessary music and instruments. Upon arrival, students should bring their string and wind instruments backstage to the band rehearsal room.
Students in grades 5 - 12 dress in black and white. Students in grades 3 and 4 may wear concert attire in festive colors of their choosing. Students in grade 2 will wear their Santa Lucia attire. Jordan Seavey





Crafty Afternoons with Sandy Pearson

Mittens by Christmas: We will continue on work on mittens (and scarves) Wed, Dec 7 (Winter Assembly that evening)) and 14. Sandy Pearson Sandpear55@aol.com
      Watch for future Wednesday afternoon crafts in the NEW HANDWORK ROOM after the holidays!



Shepherds Play, Friday, December 16, 11:00 a.m., Community Hall: We warmly invite the entire community to join us to witness this simple, yet profound offering which speaks to what it means to be truly human. The play will be performed by our 11th Grade Class.

Why you might want to come out to see the Shepherds Play by David Barham:Read more.

Caroling in downtown Freeport, Saturday, December 17, 4:00 p.m.,

gathering in front of the L.L. Bean boot: Come spread the holiday cheer and represent the Merriconeag Community in downtown Freeport with an evening of caroling. Two years ago, an impressive group of Merriconeag students, friends, and parents (dare I estimate, 70+) journeyed up and down the streets of Brunswick, caroling for any and all who would listen. The evening was such a great success that we decided to continue on with the tradition, this year taking our seasonal strains to the streets of Freeport. We will gather in front of the L. L. Bean boot on Saturday, December 17 at 4:00 and proceed about town. Please invite friends and family to join! Caroling books will be provided. If you are able to attend, an RSVP sent to Jordan Seavey, jordan.seavey@maine.edu would be appreciated.
      Last year, caroling needed to be canceled because of inclement weather. In the event of snow on the 17th, please check the MWS website for a cancellation notice. Thanks. We hope to see you there! Jordan Seavey


From the Development Office

Thanks to some hardy volunteers, fueled on treats and camaraderie, and led by the patient and talented project coordinator, Chris Gormley, one-third of the new Handcraft Building’s deck was completed this weekend.
      Gifts to help us complete the fundraising for this new Handcraft Building are arriving daily, from grandparents, alumni families and current families. If you have not yet given a gift to the building and want to be on the list of those who made it possible, please do so today! As explained in the recent mailing, we hope every family will contribute to the Annual Appeal at last year’s level or higher. If you can stretch and give an additional gift to the Handcraft Building, it would help us finish the fundraising for this project and we would all be deeply grateful! Submitted by Sarah Pierce and Lynne Espy


Annual Appeal: How much to give?
      People have been asking, “how much should a family be donating to the Annual Appeal”? The answer is both simple and complex. Simply, give at a level that feels comfortable, yet generous. You will feel good about your gift if you follow this guideline, and you will help us achieve 100% participation which is crucial for qualifying for outside funding.

     For a more analytical answer, we can look at the finances: on average, through the Annual Appeal, we need to raise an additional $1,200 for each student at Merriconeag, to close the gap between tuition revenues and total school expenditures. We have many families for whom the tuition alone is beyond their reach, therefore, we must rely on the generosity of our families who are able to make a larger gift.

     As a community, we are enormously indebted to every family who chooses to make a generous donation to the annual appeal. In gratitude, Lynne Espy developmentcoordinator@merriconeag.org 865-3900 Ext. 116



High School News

The High School is coordinating an Advent Food Drive. Collection Boxes will be in the High School, Upper Grades Building, Lower Grades Building, and Early Childhood Center. The boxes will be in place by Wednesday morning, Dec 7th. The last day to donate food will be Monday, December 12. On Tuesday, the 13th, the high school will deliver the food to the Good Shepherd Food Bank in Auburn which supplies food pantries all over the state. Please consider donating non-perishable food items. Jeff O'Brien

High School Reports: The high school sent home quarterly reports via email this past Friday. The email contained a link to your report, with links remaining active for 2 weeks. If you didn't get the report email, had any problems with the link, or wish to receive a paper copy of your student's report, please contact Susan in the high school office at 688-8989 or highschool@merriconeag.org.


High School Forum Speaker, Dr. Josie Skavdahl:

     Doctor Josie Skavdahl, naturopath and midwife, came to the high school as a Forum speaker on Thursday, Dec. 1st. Under her arm, Dr. Josie carried a small clear plastic box. This was her traveling birth kit. Dr. Josie began by telling the students that as a teenager in South Dakota, she had never heard of naturopathic medicine. Following her interest in nutrition brought Dr. Josie to Bastyr University in Kenmore, Washington, where she finished her undergraduate in nutrition. It was also at Bastyr that Dr. Josie was able to pursue her doctorate in naturopathic medicine. Bastyr is one of the few accredited naturopathic medical schools in the United States.

     The high school students listened with interest as Dr. Josie recounted her personal story. Then, turning to her small plastic box, Dr. Josie pulled out two homeopathic remedies to share with the students. She passed these around as she explained the remedies’ various qualities. Pulsatilla for weepy patients and the popular Arnica for bumps and bruises of all kinds. Both are useful remedies for the birthing room. Dr. Josie clearly explained the premise for homeopathic medicine, and even shared her initial feelings of doubt over the efficacy of such remedies. With her logic, it was impossible for Dr. Josie to explain how these remedies work on a patient. Dr. Josie now is confident that homeopathy offers relief to her patients as she has seen the effects first hand. Students were told that each remedy is unique to a certain set of symptoms and constitutions, and were free to try each remedy without fear of adverse effects. Students tested with gusto! Read more.


School Community Updates

Accreditation update: We recently learned that the chair of the team coming to visit our school in March will be Mara White. Mara is the Administrative Director at the Waldorf High School of Massachusetts Bay and has been involved with non-profit organizations for more than 30 years. She was the Administrative Chair and Community Relations Coordinator at Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School, was a founder of DANA, the Development and Administrative Network of AWSNA (Association of Waldorf Schools of North America), and has taught Waldorf School Administration and Community Development at both Sunbridge College and Rudolf Steiner College. Mara will be visiting our school soon to discuss all the details related to the team visit in March 2012. Barbara Guffin

Wreaths are ready: If you pre-ordered a wreath, the 8th graders have decorated one for you and it is tagged with your name and awaiting pick-up outside the upper school building. Beeswax candles will be available for purchase in the office prior to winter break. Thanks to all for supporting our class! The 8th Grade




Alumni News

Alumni Parents Find Gnomes, Elves and Fairies in Forest:
Merriconeag alumni parents, Iwona Tarling and Arabella Eldridge, walk their dogs daily at Twin Brook in Cumberland. Last August after Hurricane Irene, they found that the forest floor had become a haven for an unbelievable variety of mushrooms. Inspired, they hauled out their Ostheimer collections of wooden toys from their days at Merriconeag and photographed these “friends” in the natural world. The result is a collection of whimsical cards that made them “laugh and wonder” and are sure to do the same for you. Their new business is called Blue Moss Arts and from now until Winter Break you can view and purchase a sampling of their Waldorf inspired cards in the Early Childhood office.

Alumni Celebration: On Thursday, December 22, 4:00 - 6:00 p.m. we are hosting a celebration of our new Handcraft Building for our post high school alumni (ages 18 and older) and their parents. This is a change from previous years when we have hosted a holiday party for all of our alumni. The Alumni Committee is working on a plan for an event in the spring for our alumni who are under the age of 18 so stay tuned.


Read (Listen to or Watch) This

The 5 Best Toys of All Time
If you were wondering, what the five best toys of all time really are, then this article will answer that question once and for all. Jonathan Liu reviews books, toys and gadgets. From his experience, he's assembled a list of five toys that no child should be without. You may be surprised.
By Jonathan Liu, Wired



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