Weekly Notes November 2-6

Reminder about forgotten items
Please remember that we are making an effort to not have adults outside of school staff enter the school building this year. One area where we are still seeing a lot of parents come to the school, is where students have forgotten something at home, and the parent brings it to the school later in the day. In an effort to uphold our rule of no parents coming into the school, we are seeing this as an opportunity for students to learn to remember what they need before coming to school in the morning, and also to learn to be resilient about getting along through their day even if they have forgotten something.

If a student has forgotten a water bottle, we have water bottles at the school that can be borrowed, and which of course get thoroughly washed after a student has borrowed it for the day. If a student has forgotten their sack lunch, their teacher will ensure that they get a school lunch that day. If a student has forgotten their musical instrument, they will be allowed to sit through strings class without playing.

Please help us by helping your student to build the skill of remembering what they need each morning. Ask them what they need before you leave the house, and ask them to check their seat area in the car before they get out when you're dropping them off. Our rule of thumb this year is, if they forget something, that's okay, they'll make it through the day without it. Thank you for your help on this!

Reminder About Lost and Found
Please remember that students are not allowed to look through the Lost and Found themselves this year, for sanitation reasons (we do not want students digging through piles of other students' clothing, water bottles, etc.). To make things work in this unique year, our wonderful Lost and Found Committee (manned by parent volunteers) has created a process that allows us to avoid students digging through piles of items. Of utmost importance, parents are responsible to claim their students' lost and found items. Here is how to get back your lost items:
1. Go to the school's Lost and Found Instagram. The Lost and Found Committee volunteers are taking photos of all found items, and posting those photos on Instagram. If you are missing something, scroll through and see if you can find it here: The ONLY things that are in the lost and found bins are what is shown on Instagram. If you don't see a picture of your lost item, it is not in the bins.
2. If you see your item on Instagram, you (the parent) can come to the school on any Thursday between 3:30pm and 4:30pm. Parents only, students will not be allowed to look through the bins or claim items.
***Items that are labeled clearly with a first and last name will be returned to the students in their classrooms during the week.
***After three weeks, unclaimed items in the bins will be removed and sold as part of the school's fundraising efforts.
***If you have questions about Lost and Found, email Holly:

Tip: If you get in the habit of asking your students in the morning, if they have everything they need for school, then a good practice at the end of the day would be to ask your student, when they are getting in the car at pickup, if they have their __________ (jacket? gloves? water bottle? etc.). If this reminds them of something they have left, they can go back into the school to retrieve it.

Lantern Walk on November 11
Our wonderful Festival Committee has determined that there is not a feasible way for the school to hold our beloved Lantern Walk in the traditional format this year (at a school location, hosted by the school, for full grade levels at a time), because of current gathering size restrictions. In place of the traditional school Lantern Walk, we invite you to participate as a family in a neighborhood Lantern Walk of your own, on November 11. You may receive more information from your class teachers, but here is a summary of what you need to know to create your own Lantern Walk:

Martinmas, or the festival of St. Martin, is celebrated around November 11 in Waldorf schools with a nighttime lantern walk–often with songs followed by autumn treats.

Like Halloween, Martinmas is rooted in Christian ritual but is now more of a cultural event, anticipated by children in many European countries. The essence of the holiday—marking the end of the fall harvest and the advent of snowy weather—reminds us that through all of life’s outward changes we maintain within us the warm light of our spirit.

Today in many European countries, the Martinmas festival culminates in a lantern walk at night, followed by a bonfire and songs. Traditionally the lanterns were carved out of newly harvested squash gourds, and illuminated with a candle—the origin of our jack-o-lantern—but can also be made of paper or jars. The lanterns and the bonfire symbolize light in the darkness of winter, and give hope to the poor through the good deeds of St. Martin.

In America the holiday is not commonly observed, although some cities do hold lantern walks in parks.  The tradition of Martinmas has been maintained in the New World primarily by Waldorf schools.

This year our school will celebrate Martinmas by asking you to walk in your neighborhood between 6-6:30pm on Wednesday November 11 with your family.  While we may not be able to walk side by side at school, we can take comfort knowing that our city will be filled with our lights shining brightly all at the same time.  Imagine the beauty of our collective radiance.  

Please take a picture of your lanterns in front of your house or in your back yard fully illuminated (no people in the photo) and send the photo to your class teacher.  

From a child’s point of view, the best part of Martinmas may be the sweet treats at the end of a lantern walk. In some countries, children go from house to house with their lanterns, “begging” for treats—certainly the origin of our modern Halloween ritual.

Last, but not least, don’t forget to have some treats ready when you come inside to get warm after your walk, like hot cider, ginger cookies and apples.
May the generous spirit of St. Martin be with you through the season!

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