Waldorf School at Moraine Farm | Blog

Middle School Brings Math Outdoors on Pi Day

Pi Day Photo 1

Last week the seventh and eighth grades celebrated Pi Day, marking the once-in-a-century 3-14-15, with some scientific, artistic, and culinary experiences. 

Our main activity was a project to estimate the age of trees on part of our campus. Armed with tape measures and field guides, we went outside to record the DBH, “diameter at breast height,” for a range of trees on the property. Of course, we did not want to cut down the trees to measure the diameter of their trunks, so we measured the circumference and divided by pi to get the diameter. We then multiplied the diameter by a species-specific growth factor to get an approximate age of each tree.  In the process, we needed to solve several challenges we encountered, especially given the extensive snow cover—measuring the circumference at 4.5 feet (the standard for “breast height”) while standing on several feet of snow, and identifying the tree species without leaves and cones to examine. We resolved to return again in the spring to verify and augment our data!  Pi Day Photo 2

Back in the classroom, we explored properties of irrational numbers in general, and we heard music based on pi (which some of the students played for us) and looked at some creative data visualization techniques, also based on the digits of pi. And, of course, we ate some pie—chocolate cream and apple, to be

exact. Thanks to Daniel Foster (not only our Spanish teacher but also an environmental educator) for suggesting the idea of measuring DBH, and to Mrs. Babcock for baking the pies!

—Mrs. McGaunn and Ms. Helmick

Support the Annual Fund and You Could Win 4 Tickets on Cape Air!

about-cape-airMake your gift to the Annual Fund for Waldorf School at Moraine Farm by March 31, 2015, and earn your chance to win 4 airline tickets on Cape Air.*

All who make a pledge or donation to the Annual Fund by Friday, March 31, will be entered automatically into a drawing to win four tickets on Cape Air, thanks to a generous donation from Stella and Don Wolf of Cape Air Airline. Tickets are good anywhere Cape Air flies; no restrictions or blackout dates. Those who have contributed to this year’s Annual Fund since July 1, 2014, are already entered in the drawing.

The next few weeks are all about achieving 100% parent participation in the Annual Fund and reaching our goal of $50,000. For easy online giving, click here and make a gift today. Questions? Email Scott Smith at developmentoffice@waldorfmoraine.org.

Good luck, and thank you for your support.

*No gift or pledge necessary to enter. Pledging does not increase the chances of winning. To enter the drawing without making a gift or pledge, please submit your name, address and telephone number to Waldorf School at Moraine Farm, 701 Cabot Street, Beverly, MA 01915, ATTN: Scott Smith and note “Cape Air Drawing” and the date. All entries must be received by March 31, 2015. Click here for official rules.

Waldorf School at Moraine Farm & Tuition Adjustment in the National News

Jenny Helmick was interviewed by U.S. News & World Report last week for a story on the affordability of a private school education. Throughout the interview, Jenny was able to talk about the new Tuition Adjustment Program. It is wonderful to see this school’s forward-thinking approach to tuition highlighted nationally. It is also wonderful to be reminded about the fundamental ways in which this new program is so firmly rooted in the values and ideals of this school. As U.S. News & World Report notes, “the approach has allowed a more economically diverse student body to attend the school, which the staff sees as a major plus.”

Tuition adjustment is a means to help the school fulfill its educational and social mission. Vibrant, inclusive classrooms, where people from different backgrounds work and learn together, benefit every student and the whole school community.

We extend our thanks to Jenny for all her work on the Tuition Review Task Force and for generously spending her time working with the reporter at U.S. News & World Report.

To read the U.S. News & World Report article, please click here. For more information about the Tuition Adjustment Program, please visit waldorfmoraine.org.

Waldorf Community Association – Upcoming Events

From the WCA, Our School Parent Association


The Waldorf Community Association (WCA) is looking forward to a full 2015.  Please take advantage of these offerings and please consider getting involved to help move the WCA into 2016 and beyond.

Winter Festival Feb. 28  Yes, our first ever Winter Festival! A hot fire, warm soup, perhaps some cross-country skiing and/or a winter walk, and more. We’ll make snowmen if King Winter obliges. Please plan to join us for weekend fun here at school.

Talk: Parent-Teacher Relationships at a Waldorf School Torin Finser is the chair of Waldorf teacher education program at Antioch University New England and is author of several books, including School as a Journey: The Eight-Year Odyssey of a Waldorf Teacher and His Class, and his most recent book, A Second Classroom: Parent-Teacher Relationships in a Waldorf School, which was written with the help of our very own first grade teacher, Ana Reiselman. Please join us in March (date to be determined) for a presentation and discussion with Mr. Finser.

Foundation Studies: Delving into Waldorf Education This is an invitation to participate in an extended inquiry into the ideas and practices of Waldorf Education. In this twice-monthly class, we will look at curriculum, try our hands at painting, music, movement, and other arts, and read some of the texts central to the Waldorf philosophy. September 2015 through June 2016 (with year II to follow). Please contact Colleen Ryan or James Kennedy today and look for more information in future Newsletters. Contact: cryan@waldorfmoraine.org and newsletter@waldorfmoraine.org.

Lazure Workshop: Ensouling Your World With Color The WCA is working with artist Charles Andrade of www.lazure.com to bring this spring painting workshop to our school. The lazure technique uses very thin layers of color over a white surface to reflect light such that the color appears to be floating in space rather than sitting on the wall. “It can achieve aesthetically beautiful results AND act as a powerful healing influence amid the stress and tension of modern life,” says lazurebylogsdon.com. Keep an ear out for our weekend workshop date this spring.

What Could the WCA Do for You?
Leadership in the Waldorf Community Association is in transition. As we continue to look for ways to educate parents and otherwise support the school, now is the perfect time for interested individuals to reach out with ideas for the future.  Please contact Laura Freysinger, Stacey Fischer, or Jocelyn Schaeffer!

Winter Wonderland

Two feet of snow fell on Tuesday and Wednesday, giving the children not one, but two snow days! Here is how the campus looked on Wednesday night, all ready for a day of school on Thursday.





The Pop-Up Enchanted Caravan is Back!


There were audible “oohs” and “aahs” during a sneak peek into The Enchanted Caravan, the school’s store.  If you missed your chance to shop during the Holiday Fair, our “pop up” store is located across from the Handwork Office, just off the main hall. The store has a number of calendars, hand-made items, arts & crafts materials, books, and more.  Please stop by soon!

December hours:  

Monday– Friday, 8:30 – 9:45 am

Saturday, Dec. 13, 9am – 1pm

Friday, Dec. 19, before and after the assembly (until 1pm)

Store closed over school break; January hours tba

We hope to add some afternoon hours, too – please check the door for the latest. 

Our thanks to Heather Collis Puro for keeping the idea of the store alive and for helping it open again.  And to Christine Garcia Akers, store manager, for her creative design and enthusiasm for this project! – Kristen Fehlhaber

Waldorf School at Moraine Farm

701 Cabot Street
Beverly, MA 01915

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