Welcoming Back our Alumni

Great communicators.

Problem solvers.

Good listeners.

Open-minded thinkers.

These are just a few of the traits unique to Waldorf graduates according to alumni from The Denver Waldorf School. To kick off the new year, we welcomed back a panel of our alumni and hosted a discussion featuring graduates from classes spanning 1995 to 2019.

The panel’s composition reflected the diverse interests and talents of Waldorf students—including a Ph.D. candidate in Chemical and Biological Engineering, a student pursuing a Master’s from The Juiliard School, an IT and software engineer, a Waldorf educator and coach, and college students studying subjects ranging from musical theater to chemical engineering to veterinarian medicine to psychology.

Although their individual journeys differ, the panelists pointed to their Waldorf education as an inspiring, confidence-building and mind-opening force in their lives. Waldorf pushed each of them to be “full people” through a diverse liberal arts curriculum, they suggested.

Through its core and elective courses, our school exposes students to disciplines in the arts, sciences, mathematics, literature and poetry, history, fine arts, practical arts, industrial arts, music, movement, world languages, theater and beyond. The graduates noted that this diversity of education endowed them with an appreciation for, not only their chosen profession or studies, but their peers’ paths as well.

In addition to crediting diverse fields of study with their citizen-of-the-world outlook, the graduates also identified Waldorf’s small class sizes as a strength that gave them the confidence to find their niches in the bigger world.

One graduate explained that he knew how to create strong bonds with his peers and teachers, and therefore he confidently headed into a much larger college. Another panelist noted that her college professor expressed her appreciation for Waldorf graduates in her classes for their ability to think critically and communicate effectively. The small size of Waldorf schools— with a focus on building strong relationships within the student body—prepared these students to thrive.

The students’ work outside the classroom also prepares Waldorf students to find their place in the broader society and contribute to their communities. Beginning in third grade, Waldorf classes experience annual overnight trips, sometimes to learn from Mother Nature’s goodness, sometimes to be in service to others.

Slowly but surely, the class trips move farther away from Denver, from Colorado, and even from the United States, and all the way to transformational senior trips to Australia, Costa Rica and Peru (to name a few). These trips build community, at home and abroad, and allow students to see themselves as citizens of the world.

With an education that celebrates tradition, provides a rhythm of thinking, feeling and willing, and encourages students to experience the curriculum deeply as tools with which they can build their lives- our alumni shine brightly in the broader world. We always feel grateful to welcome them back home to DWS and enjoy hearing of their journeys, seeing their lives in motion.

Members of the Class of 2019 gather with a couple old friends from the Class of 2020, sharing wisdom of their days beyond DWS!

Fall 2013 Middle and High School Cross Country

Fall 2013 Middle and High School Cross Country

runningclubCalling all runners!

The Denver Waldorf Middle and High School Cross Country teams are beginning to gear up for the fall season.

Our inaugural season last fall was a success and we’re looking for our second year to be even better. If you are interested in participating on the Cross Country team next fall, please let Jennifer Parker know at communicate@denverwaldorf.org so that we can add you to our email distribution lists.

All you need is a pair of good running shoes!

Informal, optional practices for both Middle School and High School runners will begin on Tuesday, July 23 and will occur every Tuesday and Friday morning from 7:00 am ~ 8:00 am.

The team will meet at the Boat House at Washington Park. Just show up when you can. Depending on the interest, we may increase the frequency of the runs after the first couple of weeks.

Formal practices will begin Monday, August 19 (time and location TBD).
The first race of the season is Thursday, Sept. 5.

For questions or summer workout ideas, please contact any of the coaches:

Oza and Milan Klanjsek – oza_miki@comcast.net
Tim Williams – timbobwilliams@gmail.com

We hope to see you there!

Preschool/Kindergarten May Day Celebration!

Preschool/Kindergarten May Day Celebration!

Celebrating the coming of spring every year means so much to the children in our nursery, preschool and Kindergarten classes. Each day the children go outside for their nature walk and observe the buds sprouting and the flowers blooming. This sort of experiential observational learning forms the basis for math, science and physics classes in later Waldorf education.

These photos were taken courtesy of Larkspur Preschool/Kindergarten parent and photographer Ingrid Welch (http://www.gypsymamaphotography.com/).












The Denver Waldorf School End-of-Year Sale

The Denver Waldorf School End-of-Year Sale

by Ben Drotar, Development Director

2012-11-08 11.50.27

Don't miss The Denver Waldorf School Store End-of-Year Sale on Thursday, May 30 and Friday, May 31!

The Sale will feature over-stock inventory items including toys, art supplies, projects and fashion items. We will be selling used books at great used-book prices.

The sale starts at 2:00 pm on Thursday, May 30th and will continue before the Grades 3~5 Evening Strings Concert.

The sale will open again at 8:00 am on Friday, May 31.

Do you have used books that need a new home? Donate them to the school by May 29th to be included in the sale.

The Class of 2013 Presents 'The Matchmaker'

The Class of 2013 Presents 'The Matchmaker'

DWS Parent Bruce Kelley shared these amazing photos of The Denver Waldorf School Senior Class Play "The Matchmaker" by Thornton Wilder.

The Class of 2013 performed "The Matchmaker" on Friday, May 17 and Saturday, May 18 at The Bug Theatre in Denver, CO.




































Parent Survey: 93% Report Overall Satisfaction with The Denver Waldorf School

Parent Survey: 93% Report Overall Satisfaction with The Denver Waldorf School

by Judy Lucas, Administrative Director

This year we asked the parent body for assistance in identifying our strengths as a school, and areas for improvement or priorities and strategies for change. We are mandated to survey our parent body as part of our re-accreditation process with the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America and the Association of Colorado Independent Schools.

Here are some of the findings, as identified by administrative staff and members of The Denver Waldorf School Strategic Planning Committee.

Several survey invitations were sent out to over 1,500 people in our community over a five-week period in January and February, garnering 142 individual responses. Thank you to everyone who participated.

Overall Satisfaction

The survey found that 93 percent of parents surveyed reported mid-high to high overall satisfaction with The Denver Waldorf School.

ACIS pie chart1

Specifically, 68 percent of parents rated their overall satisfaction with the school as "high," while another 25 percent rated their satisfaction with the school as "mid-high."
Another 4 percent rated their satisfaction with the school as "mid," 1 percent gave a "low-mid" rating, and only 1 percent rated their overall satisfaction with the school as "low."

Of the parents surveyed, 85 percent said the school has met, more than met or exceeded their expectations on a list of areas including educational philosophy, parent-teacher relationships and experiential education.

When it came to selecting a school, 93 percent of parents surveyed reported The Denver Waldorf School was their first choice.

Responses varied as to the most important reasons for choosing The Denver Waldorf School.

ACIS pie chart2

Approximately 20 percent said "educational philosophy" was among the top five most important reasons.
Another 12 percent said it was the "sense of community" that was the most important; 12 percent also said "experiential education." The "breadth of curriculum" won 11 percent.

Overall, a majority of parents agreed that "teaching at the school is of a high quality."
Another majority of parents agreed, "my child has a positive attitude toward the school."

Strongest Attributes
Parents offered many comments about the school's strongest attributes, which included a sense of community, quality of education, curriculum, respect for the children and experienced, caring faculty who get along well with each other.

Among areas for improvement, parents highlighted the lack of a gymnasium and proper performance space, the campus facility and trying to do too much with too little. Others mentioned inadequate parking, not enough racial/ethnic diversity, new parent orientation, security and the length of time it takes to make decisions.

The Strategic Planning Committee is identifying the appropriate groups within the school to take on the specific areas of concern. Thank you to everyone who participated in the survey.

DWS Featured on NBC 9News!

NBC 9News: Technology can impact brain development in good, bad ways

5:23 PM, May 20, 2013

ARVADA - Kim Myers teaches kindergarten at Allendale Elementary in Arvada. She is proud to use iPads, laptops, and an electronic whiteboard to help her kids learn with the latest tool at a young age.

"I bring technology into every content area," Myers, kindergarten teacher, said. "It's more engaging for them to be able to put in on a computer, to be able to use an iPad, to be able to use a clicker and answer questions in class."

But, is what Myers doing, the right thing to do?

"So many of us have concerns that if these young children are immersed in all the technological stimulation at a young age, that may be problematic for their brain development," Dr. Gary Small, neuroscientist from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Dr. Small wrote a book called I-Brain: Surviving the Technological Alteration of the Modern Mind.

"When they spend a lot of time with the technology searching online, they're sort of training their brains to teach the way they search," Small said.

When young kids use technology, Small says it does strengthen information processing in the brain.

"The downside is, our face-to-face human contact skills; looking someone on the eye, noticing the emotional expression on a face; those neural wires are weakening," Small said.

That's why in Laurie Clark's classroom, you won't find any laptops or iPads. Instead, you'll find ribbons to braid, bread to make, and chalk art instead of white boards.

"I think technology certainly has its place," Clark said. "But, I don't think it belongs in early childhood."

In fact, you won't find a computer in any classroom at Clark's school until the ninth grade. She teaches at the Denver Waldorf School where Administrative Director Judy Lucas says they focus on brain development at young age.

"What we teach at our school is human interaction, social skills, social-emotional," Lucas said.

What they do at their school is tie different parts of the brain through movement and information.

"The more that the students have to make alternative routes or alternative paths, the more they develop these paths; the neural connections in brain," Lucas said.

Clark says teachers like to teach life, not computers to kindergartners.

"So, what we're trying to do in early childhood is make a foundation for learning to take place," Clark said.

Clark says students learn to struggle. They learn to solve problems. They learn grit.

"How much more will they remember that? How much more real with that be to him than simply Googling out an answer that comes and goes?" Clark said.

So, is what Myers doing at Allendale Elementary wrong?

"I use technology in my classroom because I can't assume a kid sees technology at home," Myers said.

She teaches to a student population of a lot of low income families.

"By incorporating laptops and all these resources, why not take advantage of it?" Myers said.

Small says bringing computers into young classrooms can be an important tool, if used properly.

"The technology is not the enemy. The enemy is too much technology," Small said. "They have to bring [computers] in the classroom. They have to be innovative in how they deliver the curriculum."

That's why Myers does. She combines computer assignments with creative ones. She gets students to work together and communicate with each other to tackle challenges on the computer. Don't forget, her kindergarten students can barely read, so forcing them to type out their answers on a laptop can strengthen their reading skills, according to Myers.

She says computers help her students develop their brain power.

"Technology is going to be resource to them," Myers said. "It's not going to be a crutch."

(KUSA-TV © 2013 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

Parent Review of 'The Matchmaker' Senior Play

Parent Review of Senior Class Play 'The Matchmaker'

by Lauren Choate, Denver Waldorf School Parent

Greetings Parents,

Go to the Bug Theater tonight. 7 pm. Just go.

I just got home from the Senior Play -- The Matchmaker.

Go. Go see it. Go see what our school does and what our kids do. Go be inspired and amused with the amazing words written by Thornton Wilder.

When I was on the Board, I went to as many plays as I could to show my support as a Board member. I quickly realized what a gift it is to attend. I go now because I love going.

Mr. Johnson is masterful at picking plays. If you start attending as many plays as you can, over the years, you will witness not only the maturation of our children, but amazing plays and stories that move your heart, mind and soul. That's what live theater does. That's the gift you can give to yourself, your family and friends.

Go. Go to as many Waldorf plays as you can. Bring your kids unless an age is suggested.

Have an adventure. And for those of you who know the play, yes, it's pudding.

Lauren Choate
Nick's mom (9th grade)

Mr. Reinhart's Book of Poems

Mr. Reinhart Authors 'Missals From Space'

coverMr. John Reinhart, Denver Waldorf High School Language Arts Teacher, has published a book of poetry.

"I remember once informing my parents that I wanted to be an astronaut," writes Mr. Reinhart, "NASA is unlikely to ever clear me for space flight, but these poems are my exploration of space, inner and outer."

The first printing is limited to 100 copies, handbound with handprinted covers.

Dawning light of grace
speaking in the stillness
forgotten between bursts
of neon and promise,
grant me strength of patience
for my work yet undone.

Mr. Reinhart is a graduate of The Denver Waldorf High School. He earned a BA in political science from Hampshire College, specializing in social and political movements. He completed his Waldorf teacher training at Antioch University in New England, and received his Master’s in Education in December 2007.

Three years ago, Mr. Reinhart finished assembling and editing a cookbook of his grandmother Natalie Reinhart's recipes. Almost two years ago, Mr. Reinhart and his brother, Patrick, sat down to record a second album of traditional fiddle tunes. Now comes "Missals From Space."

To purchase the book, please click here.

Miss Rose's Photography is Part of Denver Exhibit Near The Bug Theatre

Miss Rose's Photography is Part of Denver Exhibit Near The Bug Theatre

by Miss Rose, Starflower Nursery Nap Assistant

-2Going to The Bug Theatre tonight or tomorrow for the senior class play?

As an artist I was part of a photography exhibit in the neighborhood of 36th and Navajo St.( near the Bug Theatre.)

One of my entries to this world exhibit is wheat pasted on the wall alongside some incredible artists.

This is an excerpt from The Big Picture blog which is part of the Month of Photography celebration in Denver:

"This show of grand scale contemporary photography exposes the possibility of images as art via email instantly exchanged globally and blown up to large mural proportions. Images gathered from photographers
around the world will be expanded as large Xerox prints and displayed inside galleries as well as posted in approved outdoor locations throughout the city of Denver and sister cities around the globe."

The exhibit features artists from Syria, Germany France, Italy and across the United States.