Yellow Summer Flowers with bees feeding

Sustainability Corner

One of the goals of The Denver Waldorf School Parent Council for the 2022/2023 school year is to focus on sustainability at DWS. We have started this blog series to let our wonderful parent community know about sustainability efforts under way, spotlights on best practices or student stars who are making a difference, and sharing articles or tried-and-tested, eco-friendly recipes to spice up your meatless Monday.

In the works at DWS...

  • The parent council is committed to increasing sustainability education, awareness, and engagement among our student population.
  • Currently, the parent council is brainstorming age-appropriate ideas and projects to implement in the classrooms from ECE through high school.
  • In addition to these efforts, we have installed a snack wrapper Terracycle bin by the front office to reduce plastic waste from lunches and snacks.

Pin-worthy ideas

This is a great article about more sustainable options for the holidays:

Below is a great, plant-based Earth bread recipe that is a family favorite. I hope you’ll have a chance to test it out and let me know your thoughts.  Enjoy!!

Do you have an idea, recipe, or article to share? Would you like to bring attention to a Sustainability Student Star?  Please reach out to Emily Riccio or Jennifer Neeley. We’d love to hear from you!

Nene’s Earth Bread (Makes 1 Loaf)

Note: I use almond flour to keep the carbs down for our diabetic daughter, but if you prefer a gluten free or traditional flour, omit the oat flour or the bread will be too dry/dense.

1/2 cup oat flour
1 cup almond flour
1/2 cup brown sugar or honey
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
dash of salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp ginger
1/16 tsp cloves
1 cup grated zucchini
1/4 cup grated carrots
1/4 cup mashed banana
1/4 cup applesauce
1/4 cup coconut oil
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla


Set oven to 350.
Mix flours, sugar, salt, baking soda, powder and spices.
In the bowl of your mixer, been the grated veggies and fruits, oil, eggs and vanilla.
Slowly add the flour ingredients to the veggies/fruit ingredients.
Mix until incorporated.
Pour into a well greased or parchment lined bread pan and bake for 50 minutes to 1 hr or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Faculty & Staff Appreciation Week

As part of Teacher Appreciation Week this past week, our faculty & staff were showered with a new surprise each day as a token of gratitude from our parent community. Thanks to the generosity and thoughtfulness from our Parent Council Reps, parents, and families, they were treated with Summer Self-Care bags including goodies from Topo Designs, lunch in the courtyard from Cochina Taco, coffee cart & pastries, snack station & succulent plants, and for a grand finale, dinner gift cards and individual hand pies! Along with encouraging notes sprinkled throughout our hallways, there was certainly much warmth and gratitude in the air for all who make our community a beautiful place to learn and thrive.

Below is a letter from our school director, Kelly Church:

Dear Parents and Parent Council Reps,
The support you have shown to all of us here at the school this year has been amazing! Throughout the year, each time you have recognized our efforts it has put a new spring in step and a swagger in our walk! Your acknowledgement of our work in this challenging year has made a huge difference. We so love being with your children and we are honored to spend our days with each of them. Thank you for taking the time to share and show your appreciation, we feel truly loved.

With gratitude for you all,

There were many, many words of appreciation shared amongst our faculty & staff, including:

  • “Yummy, Yuuuuumy, Yummmmy! This is the best week ever!” – Christa Gustafson
  • “Thanks to Parent Council for all of your work on all of this” – Mike McHenry
  • “Many thanks to parent council for the goodies. I feel the love!” – Sarah Meyer
  • “The coffee lady had everything I wanted & more! I’m even trying something I’ve never had before, which is saying something because coffee is my religion!” – Brie Kaiser
  • “Thank you so much for all the surprises this week. They have really been helping me.” – Sarah Boyer
  • “This is the best thing that’s ever been done! The Topo bags are so cute and I need to get some for all my girlfriends! Amazing.” – Brie Kaiser
  • “The abundance is so striking. I’m speechless.” – Deb Wolf
  • “It sort of feels squishy, like being hugged by parent council!” – Dawn Archer
  • “Thank you, I feel so loved – this year has been so hard.” – (through tears) Milandra Pfister
  • “Your little gifts throughout the year were wonderful and greatly appreciated. Your support means a lot. Thank you.” – Faustina Pfister
  • “I feel so supported and seen. There was such thoughtfulness behind each surprise” – Jessie Cartwright
  • “With our hearts, hands, and bellies full, we feel so much love from this incredible community. Thank you!” – Jen Lamboy

This would not have been possible without Carrie Tentori & Nicole Reinan spearheading the efforts, Parent Council Reps collecting sentiments about all of our faculty & staff, and of course our caring parents & families for donating so generously.

We would also like to thank the wonderful businesses in our greater Denver community for helping make this week a success, including Cochino Taco, The Espresso Affair, Hinman’s Bakery, Topo Designs, Keith’s Coffee, Denver Beer Co, Mod Market, and also the following businesses from months past including Snarf’s Sandwiches, Phia Alchemy, Santiago’s, Tokyo Joe’s, Crock Spot, and Steam!

Thanks to all for the care, commitment, and intention that is shared within our wonderful community each and every day.

Parent Council Meeting: April 2021

For our last meeting of the school year, the DWS Parent Council was joined by Student Support Coordinator Dr. Sarah Boyer and Health and Safety Manager Christa Gustafson. Please enjoy the recording, minutes, and student support resources below.

We also came across this article you might find valuable from The Atlantic titled There’s a Better Way to Parent: Less Yelling, Less Praise.

Meeting Minutes

Click the button below to download the minutes from the April, 2021 Parent Council meeting.

Download the minutes

Recorded PC Meeting and Student Support Presentation

Student Support Resources from Dr. Sarah Boyer

Download Assistive Reading & Writing ToolsDownload Text-to-Speech and Speech-to-Text TechnologyDownload Graphic OrganizersDownload Editing Software

Parent Council Meeting: January 2021

For our first meeting of the new year, the DWS Parent Council was joined by School Counselor Jenny Thompson to discuss mental health through Covid-19 for both students and parents. Her presentation covered:

  • Mental health trends she’s seeing related to how COVID is affecting children
  • Tips to parents about how we can be one step ahead of these problems
  • Ways parents might engage in self care.

Following the mental health presentation and live Q&A, parents broke out into smaller groups by their children’s ages. Scroll down to watch the recorded meeting and presentation. Or visit Jenny’s Corner to access tips for parents and students, mental health resources, and more!

Resources for Talking About Racism

We also want to share some resources from the Center for Racial Justice in Education for talking with kids about race, racism, and racialized violence.

Meeting Minutes

Click the button below to download the minutes from the January 2021 Parent Council meeting.

Download the minutes

Recorded PC Meeting and Mental Health Presentation

Accreditation Discussion with School Director Kelly Church

We would also like to share a discussion on independent school accreditation with Kelly Church from a Parent Council meeting held last Spring.

Take a listen