Sunfield Waldorf School
Parent Handbook 2017-2018
The mission of Sunfield Education Association is to provide programs in education and sustainable land stewardship that engage the hands, awaken the mind, and nurture connections between the earth and its inhabitants.
Sunfield offers educational programs for all phases of life that enliven understanding through activity, recognize connections, harmonize academics with artistic and social activity, and kindle wonder. Sunfield educators honor the individual spirit and recognize the developmental needs of each student they teach.
Our biodynamic farming principles are a model of sustainable agriculture. We strive to enrich and replenish the soils, nourish a diversity of crops and animals, and work to restore ecosystems to their natural state. The fields, forest, and wetlands of Sunfield serve as a learning environment that demonstrates a healthy balance between nature and humanity and allows participants to serve as stewards of the land.
Sunfield Waldorf School operates as an entity of Sunfield Education Association, a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation. In our communication, the organization is referred to as Sunfield Land for Learning, a name that encompasses not only the school and farm but also our community education programs.
Sunfield Waldorf School is a developing member of the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America.
Sunfield Education Association
P.O. Box 85
Port Hadlock, WA 98339
We are located at 111 Sunfield Lane off of Rhody Drive between Circle & Square and Fiesta Jalisco.
History of Sunfield Land for Learning
For over a decade, many dedicated individuals have worked together to create and nurture what has become Sunfield Land for Learning. With commitment and perseverance, these individuals have all shared the goal of bringing Sunfield to its fullest potential as an educational and agricultural resource for Jefferson County and beyond.
The inspiration for Sunfield Land for Learning began on Helen Curry’s idyllic Tomten Farm on Marrowstone Island. Here, a group of homeschooled children came together in September 1995 to begin a weekly Waldorf-inspired festival and drama class called “The Children’s Circle.” The following year, in 1996, children ages three- to six-years old arrived on the farm to attend Helen’s newly-formed Waldorf-based kindergarten.
With the growing awareness of Waldorf education in the community, Helen, local Waldorf teacher Isolde Perry, and kindergarten parent Michael Hamilton, began an initiative to start a full-time Waldorf school. They founded the Trillium Waldorf Education Association, and in 1999, successfully opened Trillium School. A vacated Adventist school house on Marrowstone Island served as a temporary location until a permanent and more centralized location could be established.
In 2000 a second Waldorf kindergarten, started in Port Townsend by Jeannie Ceis, contributed to the steady growth of the local Waldorf movement. In this same year, Trillium’s founders established the organization as a nonprofit and formed a broader vision: the founding of a permanent Waldorf school on a working farm. The farm was envisioned to be more than an educational resource for the enrolled children: it would provide educational opportunities in sustainable agriculture and land stewardship for people of all ages outside of the immediate school community.
Purchasing Our Land
Providentially, an eighty-one-acre piece of property in Port Hadlock—a former dairy farm slated for development into sixteen five-acre home sites—came on the market in 2001. Immediately, the board recognized the potential of this land as a site for their school, as well as the importance of saving the property as farmland. As the board deliberated on how they could raise the funds for the purchase price of the land, local supporters of Trillium’s mission voluntarily stepped forward to secure the acreage for the association, and in 2002, entered into a three-year lease and purchase agreement with Trillium: the property would be taken off the market until 2005, giving Trillium three years to raise the necessary funds.
Seeking a name that would reflect the land itself, the founders renamed their nonprofit organization Sunfield Education Association and called the initiative Sunfield Land for Learning; soon after, they received their first grant, enthusiastically awarded by PCC Farmland Trust. With the inspiration received from PCC, board members approached Jefferson Land Trust for assistance, and through grant writing and grass roots fundraising, the two organizations forged ahead in partnership to purchase the land.
Most notably, grant funds included a substantial award from the USDA Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program in 2003 that placed the land—with the exception of five acres for educational facilities—under a conservation easement, preserving twenty-six acres of forest, eight acres of wetlands, and forty-two acres of agricultural land in perpetuity. The federal grant required a funding match; this was provided through the Jefferson County Conservation Futures Fund. In addition to the grant awards, the generosity of many individual community supporters enabled Sunfield to purchase the land in 2005.
Developing the Farm
After the land was purchased and protected, Sunfield began to seriously pursue the development of a working biodynamic farm that would serve as a model of this curative method of agriculture for the entire region. Within the first year of land ownership, Sunfield successfully secured a USDA grant to fund start-up costs for reestablishing the farm and for developing community education programs.
The grant allowed for the hiring, in 2006, of a full-time farmer and a community education manager. A farm apprenticeship program, a Summer Outdoor Learning (SOL) program for teenagers, and a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program were put in place.
In 2007, over 7,000 pounds of food were grown on the farm and sold through the CSA program and at the Port Townsend Farmers’ Market and the Port Townsend Food Co-op.
Community volunteers, faculty, staff, and board members formed committees to carry out strategic planning, obtain building permits, and set up fundraising campaigns. In addition, many individuals donated hours of physical labor to continue improvements on the farm and to prepare the site for school buildings. In 2012, Sunfield received its certification as an organic farm, and in January 2017, it received its biodynamic certification.
Development of the Waldorf School Community
Throughout the years of purchasing and developing the farm site, Sunfield endeavored to keep the previously begun Waldorf grade-school program active amidst an evolving community of teachers, parents, and children. The school had left its temporary site on Marrowstone Island in 2002; without a secure location, keeping sufficient enrollment in a full-time program was a challenge.
While a full-time school would not open again until the fall of 2006, several programs successfully endured: two small classes of eighth-grade students graduated from part-time academic programs in 2001 and 2006; the Children’s Circle class, begun in 1995, stayed together as a group for six years; a second Children’s Circle class, which had been formed in 1998, stayed together as a group for nine years and became an active drama troupe; and the Waldorf kindergarten programs, begun in 1996 and 2000, thrived in their respective locations.
On the farm, community education programs had successfully started in 2006, but the infrastructure for the school was not yet in place. As there were a growing number of families with children—many of whom had attended Tomten Farm or Wild Roses kindergartens—anxious to provide their children with a full-time Waldorf education, Sunfield rented two classrooms at nearby Chimacum School: in the fall of 2006, Sunfield began a full-time school with a first-grade class and a combined second- and third-grade class. Each week, the two classes traveled down the road to Sunfield’s land for an afternoon on the farm, visiting the animals and engaging in various farm activities.
The following year, a conditional use permit was finally secured for the construction of the school on the land, the infrastructure was placed, and a new modular with three classrooms was moved onto the land. In September 2007, faculty, parents, and students celebrated as Sunfield School moved onto the farm.
In 2008, a building for two kindergarten classrooms and a building for the Sunfield office were placed on the land, and the following spring, Sunfield School became a developing member of the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America (AWSNA), enabling the school to use the name Sunfield Waldorf School.
Sunfield’s Future Vision
Sunfield is working to become a center of cultural life available to all. We look forward to designing and
building a sustainable campus that will not only enhance learning and nurture our staff and students but will also allow us to expand our role as an educational and cultural resource. A hall for community events, lectures, drama, art, and music will be an integral part of our future campus. Our growth will include a retail space for selling farm produce and Waldorf supplies and books. Small workshop spaces where artisans and craftspeople can work on-site—modeling their skills in weaving, blacksmithing, caning, shoemaking, and other crafts— are also included in our vision. Our future campus will provide overnight accommodations and enable us to add a Farm Stay and summer camp programs for visiting schools, community groups, and individuals. While spending time learning and working on the farm, visitors will share meals made with ingredients harvested on the farm.
Our plans are ambitious, but as we look back on our accomplishments, we know that steadfast determination reaps bountiful rewards. Now as we look forward, we are certain that the ongoing creativity, passion, and hard work of the growing Sunfield community will continue to bring our dreams to fruition.
The first Waldorf School was founded in Europe in 1919 by Austrian philosopher and scientist Rudolf Steiner. In the aftermath of the First World War, Steiner sought a new social order that would create a strong sense of ethics and a less damaging way of resolving conflict. With a deep understanding of the human spirit and human development, Steiner believed that a unique form of education was required to create this social order, and he developed a curriculum that would nurture the essential humanity of each individual, while developing compassion for others and a sense of responsibility for the Earth. Today the Waldorf movement is one of the fastest growing independent school movements in the world; currently there are approximately 870 Waldorf schools worldwide.
Beauty, Truth, and Goodness
All Waldorf schools strive to bring the ideals of beauty, truth, and goodness into the world of childhood and the maturing adolescent. These ideals permeate all aspects of a Waldorf education at Sunfield—from the creativity of our integrated curriculum and the close relationship between teacher and students to the aesthetic furnishings of the classroom—allowing students to cultivate all of their inherent capacities: physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual.
Education for the Whole Child
Waldorf education offers a developmentally appropriate, experiential approach to education that engages all aspects of a child’s being: the hands, the heart, and the mind. Rudolf Steiner believed that all learning must be balanced in these three realms to enable each child to fully develop physical will and artistic sensibility alongside intellectual capacity. To achieve this balance, the arts and practical skills are integrated into every element of the academic curriculum, and at Sunfield, the curriculum is further enhanced with practical work on the farm.
Drawing, painting, modeling with beeswax or clay, singing, poetry, movement, and drama engage the children’s active and creative participation. In addition, a broad range of crafts and handwork are included in the comprehensive curriculum. Younger students develop manual dexterity with knitting and weaving, and as they progress through the grades, their artistry is developed further with more advanced skills in crafts and handwork, including basketry, woodworking, and sculpting.
In Waldorf schools, the arts and practical skills are not considered luxuries, but play an essential part in the educational process and are believed to be fundamental to human growth and development.
Meeting the Needs of the Growing Child
Waldorf education respects the unique qualities of each child while recognizing that all children pass through naturally unfolding stages of development. Rudolf Steiner developed the Waldorf curriculum based on his perception that children have distinct physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual needs as they progress through these developmental stages. He stressed to teachers that the best way to provide meaningful support for the child is to comprehend these phases fully and provide age-appropriate content that nurtures healthy growth. At Sunfield, this includes integrating age-appropriate farm responsibilities and learning experiences into the academic content of each day.
The first seven years: Movement and Imitation
During the first seven years—preschool and kindergarten— the child is a being of will and movement and learns best through imitation. The young child mimics everything in his or her environment uncritically, not only the sounds of speech and the gestures of people but also the attitudes and values of the adults in his or her world. In the Waldorf preschool and kindergarten, the teacher strives to emulate all that is good and engages in domestic, practical, and artistic activities that the children can readily imitate.
From seven to fourteen: Feeling and Imagination
During the second phase of a child’s life—the grade school years—the child develops a new and vivid life of imagination and a readiness for more formal learning. Consciousness is now largely pictorial; living most strongly in the senses and emotions, the child learns and remembers best whatever has sparked the imagination. The class teacher strives to bring beauty into the life of the child, and timeless stories—from fairy tales, legends, and fables through ancient mythology, biography, and epic sagas—are presented in a lively, artistic manner.
Around age twelve, the child’s thinking and reasoning capacities gradually become more active. At this time, the transition is made to actual history and science, and the curriculum—while still being presented artistically— increasingly relies on direct observation, objective description, and reflection of all subjects.
Most important during these years is for the child to experience love, reverence, and wonder for the world, and each teacher endeavors to impart these qualities by example.
From fourteen To Twenty-one: Truth and Discernment
As a young person enters the high school years, powers of thought and independent judgment unfold, and a search for truth begins. During this phase, the student learns best through the intellect. Waldorf high school teachers furnish guidance in mastering the powers of thinking and discernment. Appropriate challenges are provided to develop idealism, capacities in analysis and synthesis, and the ability to consider issues from multiple points of view.
Integrating Farm and School
The benefits of integrating farm and school are many. A working farm provides healthy outdoor activity for children and brings balance to the activities that take place in the classroom. A sense of compassion and responsibility for all living beings is developed when working with animals, and tending the land deepens each child’s connection with nature and understanding of earth stewardship.
Each day, Sunfield students spend time engaged in farm chores and physical activities. Younger children awaken to the wonder of nature on their daily explorations through the fields and forest. They visit the farm animals, and they discover the joy of caring for the land as they develop a small garden plot. Older children learn invaluable life skills as they are given more responsibility for taking care of animals and cultivating plants. Hands- on agricultural and environmental learning experiences that take place on the fields, in the forests, and around the wetlands of Sunfield’s eighty-one acres bring deeper meaning and comprehension to the children’s studies in the sciences, including zoology, botany, ecology, geology, physical science, and chemistry.
All of the practical lessons learned on a farm prepare children for many diverse tasks in life by contributing to the development of a well-balanced individual: guiding, nourishing, and educating the whole human being— hands, heart, and mind.
Waldorf Early Childhood Education
Play is the work of young children, and imitation is their special talent and natural way of learning. In the Waldorf preschool and kindergarten, play and imitation are carefully nurtured through daily and weekly activities that happen in a predictable, regular manner.
The daily activities at Sunfield include circle time, singing, nursery games, storytelling, indoor and outdoor creative play, and nature exploration. These are enveloped in a weekly rhythm of domestic, practical, and artistic activities that the children can readily imitate – handwork, baking, painting, crayon drawing, beeswax modeling, and gardening. These secure and familiar rhythms help to foster the young child’s healthy growth and development. As the daily and weekly activities are adapted to the changing seasons and the festivals of the year, the larger rhythms of nature embrace and nurture the child.
The children wholeheartedly reenact the day’s guided activities in their free, creative playtime. Simple toys and playthings of natural materials, such as pine cones, shells, and stones, not only beautify the room but also allow each child to fully develop the power of imagination. Within this secure and predictable environment, the children can joyfully express wonder and enthusiasm for life.
The following activities in our early childhood program provide the foundation for academic excellence:
- Daily songs and nursery rhymes cultivate intimacy with language, building literacy skills and the ability to use speech effectively.
- Listening to stories, watching puppet shows, and engaging in dramatic play strengthen the powers of memory and imagination, which build the capacity for dynamic and original thinking.
- Counting games and rhythmic activities build a solid foundation for mathematical skills.
- Activities such as sewing felt objects, baking bread, and gardening develop coordination and the ability to concentrate.
- Nature explorations awaken a sense of awe and wonder, laying a firm foundation for a respectful treatment of the natural environment and developing the critical faculties required for future studies in the sciences.
The Waldorf Grade School
The Class Teacher
In Waldorf schools, the class teacher will ideally take the same group of children from first through eighth grades. This gives children continuing security and guidance and allows teachers to become well-acquainted with each child as a unique individual. As each child matures, the teacher gains insight on how best to encourage the child to unfold his or her innate gifts.
Teaching in a Waldorf classroom is a creative process in which the teacher transforms education into an art. With an imaginative approach to education, the teacher strives to awaken each child’s inner faculties while daily presenting Main Lesson blocks in social science and literature, geography, mathematics, language arts, and the natural sciences.
Certain subjects, such as foreign languages, handwork, woodwork, eurythmy, music, and physical education, may be taught by specialists in these fields. These subjects are taught once or twice a week. Sunfield, as a growing school, presently offers one language specialty. Other specialty subjects are offered by class teachers within their strengths, experiences, and abilities.
In Waldorf schools, each school day begins with a two- hour lesson called Main Lesson, which focuses on one academic subject for a period of four to six weeks. At the end of this block of time, a new topic is begun. This immersion approach allows the teacher ample time to integrate a wide variety of cultural, artistic, and practical activities into the presentation of the lessons, enabling the children to fully experience and deeply comprehend the subject material.
Main Lesson in the Classroom
Each day, Main Lesson begins with movement and rhythmic activities such as recitation, singing, or playing recorder, followed by a review of the previous day’s work and a presentation of new material. The children give artistic expression to all Main Lesson subjects—including mathematics and science—through drawing, painting, modeling, or sculpting.
With an interdisciplinary approach to education, the teacher may support Main Lesson by incorporating the subject material into activities that take place in the afternoon, bringing a strong cohesiveness to the day. For example, while studying North American culture, students may sew a Coast Salish button blanket in handwork class; while studying Medieval history, students may prepare and perform a traditional Mummer’s play in drama class.
Main Lesson Beyond The Classroom
Learning Main Lesson material also takes place outside the classroom. At Sunfield, many Main Lesson subjects are enhanced with agricultural and environmental learning experiences that take place on the farm. Venturing off the farm, field trips are made to relevant sites in the local area that give context to the students’ studies. Trips may include a meditative retreat at a Buddhist monastery on Whidbey Island during the study of Buddha, a stay at a Benedictine convent on Shaw Island during the study of Medieval history, or a visit to a Seattle mosque during the study of Islamic culture. In all Waldorf schools, certain Main Lesson subjects culminate in a special event in which regional Waldorf schools participate. At the end of Native American studies, fourth- and fifth-grade students in Washington State attend a three-day potlatch on nearby Whidbey Island; while studying Ancient Greece, fifth- and sixth- grade students train for a weekend Olympiad. Sixth- and seventh-grade students attend a Medieval gathering, and seventh- and eighth-grade students participate in the Renaissance Fair.
Main Lesson Books
In Waldorf schools, textbooks are not used by the students as primary sources of information. Instead, the teacher orally presents Main Lesson and students create their own books, known as Main Lesson books. On the first day of a new Main Lesson block, each student is presented with a book of blank, drawing-quality paper. At the end of each day’s lesson, the children record and illustrate what they have learned onto the pages. As the children’s writing skills progress, they write poetry, compositions, and research reports; these are all entered into their books. Main Lesson books will also include detailed diagrams and observations.
Each page of writing or observation is embellished with the child’s own illustrations, borders, and form drawings. Great effort and care is exercised while artistically crafting Main Lesson books, and each bound book becomes the student’s own textbook—a treasured record and artistic presentation of all that has been learned in the classroom.
Main Lesson Subjects
Social science and Literature
This rich and extensive curriculum serves to develop a deep appreciation of the foundations of Western
culture and introduces children to stories from around the world, embracing the development and diversity of humankind. As the children progress through the grades—from folk and fairy tales and Old Testament stories in the younger grades to the history and literature of ancient cultures in the middle grades to studies of the ages of exploration and revolution in the upper grades—their own development is reflected in the subjects that are studied.
Children are introduced to geography in their house building studies in third grade. In third and fourth
grades, students begin to map their immediate surroundings. By pacing the boundaries and fields
of Sunfield Farm, they each create a pictorial map. Exploratory field trips are taken to interesting features
of local geography. As the students progress through the grades, geography studies expand to incorporate studies of Washington state and North America and eventually embrace all of the earth. Geography studies are interwoven with history as well as natural sciences, such as botany and geology. Through the study of geography, children are able to gain appreciation for the connections between the earth’s resources and human activity.
In Waldorf schools, arithmetic begins in first grade when the children are introduced to the intrinsic quality of each number and to the concept of how each number proceeds from the number one. A lively, multi-sensory approach using natural manipulatives, rhythmical counting, number rhymes, and memory games reinforces number patterns.
Beginning in first grade, the four processes of arithmetic—addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division—are taught simultaneously through imaginative stories. Using activities such as clapping, hopping and skipping, tossing bean bags, and forming geometric shapes, the multiplication tables are learned, beginning in second grade.
Engaging all of the child’s physical and mental faculties deepens the child’s comprehension of the interrelationships between numbers, making mastery of the multiplication tables easier to accomplish. Fractions are introduced in fourth grade, followed by decimals and percentages in fifth and sixth grades, respectively. Geometry, algebra, and related higher mathematics are introduced in sixth through eighth grades.
In addition to math Main Lesson blocks, ongoing practice work in math alternates with practice work in the language arts throughout the school year.
The language arts curriculum begins in first grade with a pictorial introduction to the alphabet. Before teaching sound and word recognition, first-grade Waldorf teachers tell imaginative stories and poems about the shape of each letter. For example, when teaching the letter W, the fairy tale “A Fisherman and His Wife” may be told, and a tongue twister about a watery wave may be learned. Each child illustrates the waves in his or her own Main Lesson book, forming the letter W within the waves. Words and simple sentences are written down next to the illustration. There is a sense of ownership as the young students read the words that they themselves have written in their own books. These activities help to build a child’s love of language.
In the younger grades, grammar, spelling, and composition are practiced in imaginative,
playful, and colorful ways so that the children grow to appreciate and understand the joy and beauty inherent in language. As students progress through the grades, writing skills are developed through poetry, compositions, research reports, and creative writing.
The sciences begin with daily nature walks in the early grades, awakening wonder for the natural world, and advance to rigorous studies in the older grades, developing the skills for accurate observation and exploratory thinking. Throughout all of the grades, Waldorf students spend ample time exploring and learning outdoors.
The Waldorf science curriculum relates many of the studies in science to aspects of the human being. For example, when studying zoology in fourth or fifth grade, children consider the metabolic system of the cow, the circulatory system of the lion, and the nervous system of the mouse and become aware that each animal exhibits one part of the human being in a highly specialized form. When studying plants in fifth grade, students consider their own respiratory systems while learning about the biological processes that take place in the plant’s leaf. This method of presentation helps children gain an appreciation of the deep connection between humanity, all other living beings, and the earth. From sixth through eighth grades, students use direct experience to discover scientific concepts. The students will perform an experiment and closely observe the results. On the following day, they will discuss their findings, seeking to discover the physical laws or formulae that govern the process. Through this method, the skills necessary for scientific thinking, precise reporting, and sound judgment are developed.
Environmental and ecological awareness are nurtured throughout the entire Waldorf science curriculum, fostering the respectful treatment of the natural world. At Sunfield, our eighty-one acres of fields, forests, and wetlands provide numerous opportunities for hands-on agricultural and environmental learning experiences that enhance many of our studies in the sciences, including zoology, botany, ecology, geology, physical science, and chemistry.
In all Waldorf schools, seasonal activities and celebrations embracing the natural rhythms of the year serve to deepen the beauty inherent in the natural sciences.
After Main Lesson, the remainder of the morning hours are filled with art, farm activities, and foreign language studies. In the afternoon, a weekly rhythm of handwork, music, art, drama, and physical education completes the school day. When possible, the class teacher incorporates Main Lesson content into these special subjects.
At Sunfield, gardening and caring for animals are incorporated into the daily schedule of the entire
Waldorf curriculum. Each class holds the responsibility for farm chores appropriate to its development. For example, younger children tend the flock of chickens and their own garden plots, while older children work with the sheep, milk goats, and assist the farmer in planting, cultivating and harvesting. Throughout the grades, students learn to make artistic and practical products from farmed materials, including weaving and felting sheep’s wool and making yogurt and cheese from goat’s milk. Practical hands-on experiences on the farm provide healthy outdoor activity for the children and bring balance to the school day.
A Waldorf education provides children with a broad and stimulating depth of experience in many forms of art. Art is integrated into the entire academic curriculum, and the students fill their Main Lesson books with beautiful illustrations and designs. In addition, the teacher gives regular instruction in drawing and watercolor painting throughout the grades.
In the younger grades, children practice the freehand drawing of animals, human beings, and various objects. A myriad of forms with straight and curved lines are also drawn; these forms are the foundation for learning handwriting. By third grade, the forms become quite complicated and help to develop the child’s spatial orientation and sense of balance and proportion. In fifth grade, the children practice free-hand geometry, and as they reach the higher grades, more advanced artistic skills are introduced, including precise geometric compass drawing, perspective drawing, charcoal drawing, and pastel drawing. Artistic activities also include modeling with beeswax in the younger grades and clay modeling in the older grades. Beginning in fifth grade, children learn the art of woodworking and carve various objects such as spoons or bowls.
Foreign language is taught beginning in kindergarten or first grade. Children learn about another culture and foster a love of the language through songs, verses, stories, and games. Gradually the written language and its grammar are introduced, culminating in reading, writing, and conversation in the middle school years. Learning a foreign language is a natural way to develop respect for other cultures.
Handwork classes are an integral component of Waldorf schools from kindergarten through high school.
Children learn to knit in first grade and crochet in second grade, creating items such as recorder cases,
pencil bags, pot holders, and puppets. As the children progress through the grades, their creativity is developed further through handwork activities such as cross- stitching, four-needle knitting, doll making, and hand-and machine-sewing. Engaging in handwork activities encourages patience and perseverance while developing fine motor skills and coordination. Through this practical work, children appreciate the value of creating with one’s hands and gain a sense of accomplishment and pride as they create useful and beautiful items.
At Sunfield, the cultivation of each child’s natural sense of music is begun in kindergarten through singing simple songs. Beginning in first grade, the child’s musical abilities are further developed by learning how to play a wooden flute. Young children are naturally imitative; they easily learn how to play the flute by listening to the teacher play simple melodies and recreating what they hear. In Waldorf schools, learning to play music by ear is a skill that is believed to be an important development before learning musical notation, which is taught in third grade.
The flute is chosen in Waldorf schools not only for its beauty of tone and the joy it brings in ensemble playing but also for the strengthening effect playing a wind instrument has on a young child’s breathing. Recorders are introduced as the children progress through the grades, and by seventh grade, students play Renaissance quartet music with bass, tenor, alto, and soprano recorders.
Singing is also an integral part of the entire Waldorf curriculum. In first and second grades, children sing simple melodies in unison. By third grade, the children learn to sing in rounds, and by seventh grade, the children are able to sing complex choir harmonies with three or four parts.
Drama is woven throughout the entire Waldorf curriculum, serving to build self-confidence, develop
strong social skills, and deepen the appreciation of Main Lesson subjects being studied. First grade students may reenact a fairy tale heard in morning Main Lesson block; second graders may develop a skit based on the mathematical processes of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division; and seventh graders may reenact a debate between Renaissance astronomers during their Main Lesson block on the Renaissance.
Each class will put on an annual class play and participate in puppet shows and presentations for seasonal festivals. Older grades engage in exercises and theater games to develop their skills in acting and their abilities in theatrical character development.
In the early grades, children participate in traditional games, such as jump rope and hopscotch, that allow
Them to experience balance, rhythm, and movement in space. Such activities are linked to better performance in academics and foster the encouragement of healthy social interrelations. In fifth grade, the class practices the five Greek exercises—running, long jumping, wrestling, and discus and javelin throwing—in preparation for the Olympiad, a once-a-year event in which fifth-grade students from regional Waldorf schools participate. From sixth grade on, the students may engage in sports such as soccer, volleyball, and softball.
Overview of the Sunfield Waldorf School Curriculum by Grade
In addition to the subjects listed by grade below, Spanish is taught each year, and drama is woven into the curriculum throughout the grades as students prepare presentations to perform at festivals and assemblies.
Social Science & Literature: Fairy tales from around the world enlivened with observations on the farm; animal tales and fables from around the world inspired by farm animals and wild animals on the property Mathematics: Qualities of numbers; numerical patterns & sequences; rhythmic patterns; four processes: addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division; multiplication tables; place value
Language Arts: Letter forms and sounds; phonics; beginning writing and reading; grammar; poetry; speech and recitation
Natural Sciences: Imaginative nature stories and nature studies through explorations on the farm
Farm Activities: Simple feeding and watering of animals; preparing and tending small garden plots; planting and caring for two to three apple trees; participating in seasonal projects such as harvesting squash
Visual Arts: Watercolor painting; block crayon drawing; straight and curved line and symmetrical form drawing; beeswax modeling
Handwork: Knitting and wool crafts
Music: Two-tone flutes
Physical Education: Games
Social Science & Literature: Study of house building around the world and how it relates to climate and natural resources; animal fables; legends of the saints; Hebrew stories
Geography: Introduction to geography through house building studies
Mathematics: Multiplication tables; long division; place value; time; continued work with the four processes
Language Arts: Reading; writing; cursive writing; grammar; poetry; speech and recitation
Natural Science: Human activity in nature; practical studies in farming and gardening; hands-on experience with building (e.g., construction of cob oven)
Farm Activities: Taking full responsibility for a flock of chicks; tending rabbits and sheep; planting a grain plot; developing and cultivating school gardens
Visual Arts: Watercolor painting; block and stick crayon drawing; colored pencil drawing; radial symmetry form drawing; beeswax modeling
Handwork: Knitting and crocheting
Music: Choroi flutes
Physical Education: Games
Social Science & Literature: Old Testament stories and celebration of Jewish festivals; multi-cultural studies observing food and clothing; beginning Norse Mythology; early settlers; local natural resources, including familiarity with edible wild plants on the farm
Geography: Geography of local surroundings; mapping of
Mathematics: Multiplication tables; long division; weights and measures; borrowing and carrying; fractions; factoring; continued drill work
Language Arts: Reading; writing; cursive handwriting; composition; spelling; grammar; poetry; speech and recitation
Natural Science: Human activity in nature: practical studies in farming, gardening, grains, clothing; human and animal studies enlivened by practical experience working with farm animals
Farm Activities: Chicken project with class flock continues; tending sheep and rabbits; grain plot taken through stages of planting, cultivating, harvesting, threshing, grinding, and baking; cultivating school gardens; food preservation
Visual Arts: Watercolor painting; colored pencil drawing; braided design form drawing; beeswax modeling Handwork: Cross-stitch weaving
Music: Choroi flutes
Physical Education: Games
Social Science & Literature: Norse mythology; Native American culture, myths, and legends; local natural resources, including familiarity with edible wild plants growing on Sunfield Farm; class trip to Washington State Waldorf Schools’ Potlatch
Geography: Study of local surroundings, Washington State, and North America; field trips to local sites of geographic interest through N.O.S.C. Dragon Tracking Project relating to local watersheds
Mathematics: Fractions; factoring; decimals; averages; introduction to geometry; continued drill work Language Arts: Reading; writing; composition; letter writing; creative writing; spelling; grammar; poetry; speech and recitation
Natural Science: Botany: studies enhanced by studying ecosystems on Sunfield Farm and examining plant life throughout the property; utilizing plants grown on the farm for making crafts
Farm Activities: Accounting and caring for class flock; milking and tending goat herd; tending sheep; cultivating dye garden; working with Sunfield farmer to tend to compost and crops
Visual Arts: Watercolor painting; colored pencil drawing; freehand and measured geometric designs; clay modeling; woodcarving
Handwork: Cross-stitch embroidery; Native American crafts; Salish weaving; spinning and wool crafts
Music: Recorder harmonies and rounds, music notation
Physical Education: Games
Social Science & Literature: Ancient mythologies and histories: India and Hinduism, Persia and Zoroastrianism, Mesopotamia, Egypt, and Greece; class trip to Washington State Waldorf Schools’ Olympiad
Geography: Mediterranean area and South American geography; mapmaking
Mathematics: Decimals continued; ratio and proportion; profit & loss; percentages; interest and discounts; estimation; metric system; geometry; continued drill work
Language Arts: Reading; composition; spelling; grammar; poetry; speech and recitation
Natural Science: Geology, including geology of area and examining soils on the property; physical science: sound, heat, light, magnetism, and static electricity enhanced with practical experiences on the farm
Farm Activities: Accounting and caring for class flock; milking and tending goat herd; animal husbandry projects: taking full care and responsibility of larger animals; tending of fruit-bearing trees; developing and cultivating flower plot and dye garden; three-year crop rotation/soil development; compost making; cultivating crops with Sunfield farmer Visual Arts: Watercolor painting; colored pencil drawing; geometric drawing with compasses; clay modeling; woodcarving
Handwork: Four-needle knitting; weaving and wool crafts
Music: Three-part harmony; music notation and theory; strings program
Physical Education: Greek games: running, jumping, wrestling, discus and javelin throwing
Social Science & Literature: The Romans, history and mythology; the Middle Ages, Mohammed, Buddha, and Christ; visits to Buddhist and Christian monasteries and Islamic Mosque; class trip to Washington State Waldorf Schools’ Medieval Gathering
Geography: European and Asian geography Mathematics: Introduction to algebra; graphs; geometry; continued drill work
Language Arts: Reading; composition; spelling; grammar; poetry; speech and recitation
Natural Science: Astronomy; physical science; human physiology; health and nutrition enhanced with growing, harvesting, and cooking nutritious meals
Farm Activities: Large animal project continues; utilization of farm-grown products; developing row crops for food bank; practicing crop rotation; tending fruit trees; creating value-added products; cultivating medicinal herbs Visual Arts: Watercolor painting; charcoal drawing; form drawing; pastel drawing; detailed compass drawings; clay modeling; woodcarving
Handwork: Hand sewing stuffed animals for service project; hand sewn garment; broom making
Music: Soprano, alto, tenor, and bass recorder quartets; strings program
Physical Education: Track; games
Social Science & Literature: The Age of Exploration, the Renaissance, and the Reformation; class trip to Washington State Waldorf Schools’ Renaissance Fair
Geography: World geography
Language Arts: Reading; composition; spelling; grammar; poetry; speech and recitation; debate
Mathematics: Algebra; geometry; graphs; practical applications; continued drill work
Natural Science: Animal physiology; physical science continued: astronomy, meteorology; human anatomy and physiology; chemistry: studies include chemical analysis of food crops and products, and testing and amending the soil (acids/bases)
Farm Activities: Large animal project continues in conjunction with studies of animal physiology and nutrition; utilizing animal products such as milk paint and egg tempera; making cheese and yogurt; working in the greenhouse; saving seed; tending row crops for food bank; pruning fruit trees; marketing
Visual Arts: Watercolor painting; perspective drawing; pen, pencil, and pastel drawing; woodcarving; sculpture
Handwork: Machine stitched garment
Music: Recorder quartets and harmonies; music theory; strings program
Physical Education: Track; sports; games
Social Science & Literature: The Age of Revolutions, American History, and Modern World History: 18th–20th centuries; History of Art
Mathematics: Algebra; geometry; continued drill work; preparation for high school transfer
Language Arts: Reading; composition; grammar; poetry; speech and recitation; debate
Natural Science: Human anatomy and physiology continued; physical science; chemistry
Farm Activities: Large animal project continues; utilizing farm products; marketing; service projects; working with Sunfield farmer: cultivating and marketing farm products; developing value-added products
Visual Arts: Watercolor painting; perspective drawing; pen and ink sketching; pastel drawing; woodcarving; sculpture
Handwork: Machine stitched garment
Music: Recorder harmonies; guitar; modern and folk music; music theory; optional strings program
Physical Education: Track; sports; games
- The daily and weekly schedule is determined by each class teacher and shared with families at the beginning of the school year. Specialty teachers will be indicated on the schedule.
Throughout the year, the Sunfield community comes together for seasonal festivals. Each of the festivals is a celebration of a specific turning point in the year, and recognizing these seasonal turning points is one way the school establishes a yearly rhythm for the children. In preparation of each festival, children and teachers work together rehearsing seasonal songs and preparing plays or presentations, then gather on the farm with family and community members to share their creative work and partake in the festival’s celebratory activities.
Harvest and Michaelmas Festival
Harvest represents a culmination and Michaelmas marks a time of new beginnings. As nature moves into winter rest, the spirit of Saint Michael urges inner wakefulness and strength. Saint Michael champions truth and subdues the force of darkness, symbolically pictured as the dragon. Saint Michael is a celestial personage found both in Christian and Judaic tradition.
For this festival, we come together to celebrate the harvest and share an autumn potluck meal. Following the meal, children experience their own sense of balance and strength and learn to help each other overcome obstacles as they make their way through a challenge course set up on Sunfield Farm.
Lantern Walk Festival
November 11 marks Martinmas, in honor of Martin, a Roman soldier elevated to sainthood for his selfless kindness. Martin is the patron saint of beggars, outcasts, the poor, and the homeless. He is known for his gentleness, his unassuming nature, and his ability to bring warmth and light to those who are in darkness. On the evening of Martinmas, Martin’s deeds of goodness and acts of kindness are remembered with singing and a festival of lanterns. During the weeks preceding this festival, each school child constructs a beautiful lantern in the classroom. Children, together with teachers and families, gather on the evening of Martinmas to walk through the fields and woods, singing traditional lantern songs. The glimmering lanterns carry light into the approaching darkness.
The legend of Saint Martin tells of his meeting with a beggar shivering at the gate of Amiens. The saint cut his own cloak in two, giving one half to the pauper. By this gesture he recognized the equality of the human spirit in everyone.
Winter Spiral Festival
In the winter season of long dark nights, many festivals of light are celebrated around the world in all faiths. In its beautiful simplicity, the peaceful celebration of the spiral of stars embraces many symbols of ancient traditions. It is also a visual representation of the return of light as the days grow longer. It allows us to observe and contemplate in quietude, offering a picture of simple beauty and mindful space; for the child it is a journey full of wonder.
During our winter solstice festival, each child is invited to walk into a spiral of evergreen boughs, carrying an unlit candle. At the center of the spiral is a burning candle from which the child lights his or her own candle. Walking out of the spiral, the child places the lit candle on a star amidst the boughs. After all the children have completed their journey in and out of the spiral, we have a beautiful garden of light.
The spiral of evergreens is a reminder of the earth’s green life, prevalent even in the cold of winter. We spiral inward, seeking the birth of light in the surrounding darkness, and we spiral outward, carrying our light into the world.
May Day Festival
In the ancient agrarian cultures of Europe, May Day was a joyful gathering to celebrate new growth after the hardship of winter. In the Celtic tradition, May Day is connected to Beltane, a festival sacred to the sun—“Bel,” the sky god, and “Tane,” fire. The stamping of feet in the dances awakened the earth and assisted the great fire of the sun to rise into summer. The ribbons woven around the maypole represent an ancient talisman of protection to ensure the wellbeing of the newborn season.
Our May Day Festival brings the community together to celebrate the coming of summer. We honor this traditional celebration by the raising of the maypole, bedecked with fresh flowers and ribbons. A family picnic, garland-making, guest musicians, and maypole dances add to the gaiety of the day.
- Festival dates are included on both the printed school calendar and the online events calendar. Prior to each festival, a festival notice with specific information is sent to all fami
- Families are encouraged to attend all festivals as well as to share in all Sunfield community even
School Routines and Policies
Morning Arrival and Afternoon Departure As the grade school children arrive at Sunfield in the morning, the teacher personally greets each one with a welcoming handshake. Each class then begins the day with a group recitation of the Waldorf school morning verse. The kindergartners arrive shortly after and begin their day with circle time. Both the morning verse in the grades and circle time in the kindergarten are important components of the day; therefore, it is essential for children to arrive on time. In each classroom, the children conclude their school day with a recitation of a Waldorf closing verse.
Buttercup Parent-Toddler Class
Thurs. or Fri., 9:00 AM- 11:00 AM
Swallow’s Nest Preschool
Mon.–Wed., 8:45 AM–12:45 PM
Mon.–Fri., 8:45 AM–12:45 PM
Tues.-Fri., 8:45 AM-12:45 PM
Mon.–Thurs., 8:30 AM–3:15 PM
Fri., 8:30 AM–1:00 PM
General Policy for Arrival and Departure
- Grade school classes begin promptly at 8:30 AM;
parents may drop grade school children off no earlier than 8:15 AM.
- Kindergarten classes begin promptly at 8:45 AM; parents may drop kindergarten children off no earlier
than 8:30 AM.
- If your child will arrive late, please call the office. If arriving after school starts, you will need to sign
your child in at the office.
- While teachers are happy to address parents’ concerns, mornings require their complete focus on the
children, so we ask that parents arrange for communication at other times.
Safety Policy for Arrival and Departure
- All children must be dropped off and picked up on theSunfield campus in front of the school
buildings. Do not drop off or pick up students outside the property, near SR-19. Violation of this
stipulation may result in the revocation of Sunfield’s Conditional Use Permit issued by Jefferson
County. The school cannot operate on Sunfield Farm without this permit.
- The circle drive in front of the school buildings is for drop-off and pick-up only. There is no parking allowed in the circle at any time, and drivers must stay with their vehicles when waiting in the circle. The circle is a fire lane and cannot be blocked.
- Children are not allowed to play in the circle drive or other parking areas during drop-off and pick-up times (or at any other time during the day) and must be under adult supervision when vehicles are present. It is imperative that your child follows this rule.
- Parents are fully responsible for children on the school grounds prior to established drop-off times (8:15–8:30 AM for grade school children; and 8:30–8:45 AM for kindergarten children), and in the afternoon after school is officially dismissed.
Regular attendance is important for class unity and continuity in the curriculum; therefore, please avoid excessive absences. Attendance is taken throughout the school year and recorded. If unavoidable or special circumstances require your child to have a long absence, please consult with his or her teacher to make arrangements to keep up with school work.
Absences: Regular attendance is valued. When your child is absent from school, please call the office (385-3658) each day before school starts, describing the reason for the absence. If your child has a contagious illness, the school must be notified immediately.
Planned Absences: While the school expects that children will be at school every day (except in cases of illness), we recognize that there are other times when children miss school. If your family is planning a trip or other event that will cause your child to miss school, please write a letter to the office including the dates of absence. Parents are responsible for notifying the class teacher, in writing, of any planned absence.
Please understand that it is not possible for morning lesson work to be duplicated in the same form that the child would have received it if s/he had been in attendance. Follow-up conversations with your child’s teachers concerning missed work are the parent’s responsibility. If extra tutoring is advised, arranging this is the responsibility of the parents.
If extended absences affect student progress, parents must meet with their child’s teacher to discuss
catch-up tutoring and/or continuation in the grade level.
Tardiness Policy: Late arrival at school is not only a disruption for the tardy child, but a disruption to Main Lesson, and so a disturbance to the whole class.
Grade students may arrive 10 minutes before class; grade school children must be ready at 8:30 a.m. for class to begin.
Children who arrive late must wait to enter the classroom until the teacher invites them in. If your child is late, a parent must go to the office to confirm attendance by completing the late arrival sheet. Tardiness is noted on the student’s Progress Report.
Repetitive late arrival will result in the following process:
- A phone call from the teacher or administrator.
- A meeting with the Administrator and teacher. The goal of this meeting will be to find a way to have the student arrive on time. Because it is not possible for morning lesson work to be duplicated in the same form that the child would have received it if s/he had been on time, it is important to be on time.
- If continued tardiness affects student progress, parents must meet with their child’s teacher to discuss catch-up tutoring and/or continuation in the grade level. Ensuring that missed work is adequately covered is the parents’ responsibility.
Snack and Lunch
Please send your child to school each day with a healthy morning snack and lunch.
When packing meals, please follow these guidelines:
- We do not provide refrigeration for student lunches.
- Wholesome and nutritious food enhances the child’s learning capacities; include whole grains and
fresh fruits and vegetables in your child’s meals.
- Excess sugar can interfere with learning; therefore, we request that no candy, chocolate, or sugary desserts and drinks be sent with your child to school. In addition, please refrain from energy bars that have a high cocoa or sugar content.
- No chewing gum is allowed while at school.
- A bottle of water should be included each day.
- Use a plain lunch box, basket, or bag without media or corporate logos.
All kindergartner and preschool children engage in daily outdoor nature activities and grade school students go outside for farm chores and recess every day. Outside activity is considered a crucial element of your child’s school day. If your child is well enough to be in school, we believe he
or she is well enough to go outside. Speak to your child’s teacher for any exceptions regarding this philosophy.
Teachers are outside during outdoor periods to provide supervision and direction. Children working or playing outside must be within view of a teacher.
Personal Toys and Electronics at School
Sunfield’s policy on toys and electronics at school includes the following:
- Children’s personal toys should not be brought to school. However, on special occasions, if arranged in advance with the teacher, children may bring a game or toy that can be used in a class activity.
- Electronic games or iPods are not allowed at school.
- Cameras are permitted only if being used in the classroom for a specific project.
- If you feel that your child needs to bring a cell phone to school, you must first contact your child’s teacher.
- Any toys and electronic equipment—including cell phones—that are brought to school must be given to the teacher during the school day.
Dressing for the outdoors and active play Students should dress neatly in simple, comfortable clothing that allows for active play. Since all students play outside every day (even in cold and rainy weather), it is of utmost importance that suitable clothing is worn.
Please follow these guidelines:
- A warm coat, hat, gloves or mittens, and boots must be worn in cold weather.
- Full rain gear must be worn on rainy days.
- Sun hats are strongly recommended on warm, sunny days.
- Since we work on the farm each day, we recommend that children with long hair keep it tied back.
Dressing for Special Occasions
Dressing up for assemblies, festivals, and other public gatherings enhances the special nature of important events. From time to time, the children will be asked to wear special clothing for an event.
Please make sure that your child has the following:
- One pair of boots that remain at school to be used when working with the animals (required in order to ensure biosecurity)
- Closed-toe shoes for working outdoors
What not to wear
Class teachers reserve the right to determine whether clothing and appearance are acceptable. When necessary, children may be respectfully asked to modify their appearance.
Please follow these guidelines:
- Avoid clothing with media or corporate advertising images.
- Avoid distracting clothing, hairstyles, or jewelry.
- Older children should not dress in immodest or revealing clothing.
- Young children should not dress exclusively in black.
Early childhood and grade school children must bring a complete set of extra clothing (including underwear and socks) in a cloth bag to be kept at school. The selection of extra clothing should change with the seasons.
Please label the bag clearly with your child’s name, and remember to replace any item that is brought home.
Lost and found
Unidentified and unclaimed clothing is placed in the lost-and-found basket. Items not claimed by the end of each month are donated to a local thrift store.
Sunfield Waldorf School follows the Chimacum School District’s decisions concerning school closures due to inclement weather. When weather conditions are questionable, parents are responsible for checking possible closures for Chimacum School District #49 at http://www.csd49.org/. School closures or delays will be posted on our Facebook page, our answering machine and teachers will inform parents by calling the class representative to initiate the phone tree.
All Hazards Safety Plan
An All Hazards Safety Plan has been created by the administration and faculty and is posted in each classroom. The plan is reviewed regularly and will be followed in the case of fire, earthquake, or emergency lockdown.
The school holds fire and earthquake drills at regular intervals during the year.
Child Abuse Policy
The school is required by law to notify state authorities if there is knowledge or suspicion of child abuse in or outside of school. Sunfield complies with this law and cooperates with authorities in investigations.
Special Class Events
Birthdays are celebrated uniquely by each class teacher. Parents may be invited to join the class for a small celebration. Please discuss the celebration with your child’s teacher at least one week before the birthday.
Field Trips and Outings in the Grades
Field trips and outings are an integral part of the Waldorf curriculum. Parents may be asked to chaperone
or drive. Drivers must be insured and provide proof of insurance as well as pass a background check. Children must wear seat belts or, if appropriate, be in booster seats. If you have a passenger air bag, please remember that children under twelve cannot sit in the front seat. Emergency forms and first-aid kits are taken on all class outings.
Grade School Assemblies
Parents are invited to attend assemblies, which are held throughout the year and offer an opportunity for classes to share presentations: a short play worked in Main Lesson, verses, or songs. Dates and times are on the school calendar and will be posted in the bulletin.
Children with Special Needs
Sunfield accepts students with a wide range of capabilities. As of yet, we generally cannot provide support for children with serious remedial needs, however we will collaborate with parents to accommodate as wide a range of students as possible.
If you enroll your special needs child in Sunfield, you may choose to pay a professional for additional tutoring or remedial work. Supplementary services might include one-on-one or small group tutoring sessions with a remedial teacher or therapist to work on academic skills and therapeutic exercises. We will assist the family in contacting their public school district for an evaluation and possibly special education services.
The Waldorf curriculum is designed to accommodate students with a wide range of talents and gifts. Children are not separated according to their abilities. Waldorf schools provide many creative opportunities for gifted children that increase the potential for “self-actualization” and balance the development of intelligence. It is found that the emphasis on artistic and creative methods keeps all children interested and engaged in school throughout the years. Integration of the three functions of thinking, feeling, and willing creates optimal development of children at all levels.
If your child has transferred from another school system, his or her teacher is committed to help ease the transition. While it may take some extra work to adjust to the Waldorf curriculum, most children thrive with the farm activities and the increased emphasis on the arts and practical skills that are integrated into every element of the academic lessons.
Aftercare is provided for kindergarten children ages five and older four days per week, Monday through Thursday, between the hours of 12:45–3:00 PM on days that school is in session. A minimum of four students is required for kindergarten Aftercare to be provided.
Aftercare Enrollment Policies
Reserve monthly times for your child by filling out the Aftercare Enrollment Form located in the Sunfield office and in the kindergarten. Changes to your scheduled times are allowed at the beginning of each month.
Behavior and Discipline
Discipline is achieved through establishing love and respect between children and their teachers. Behavior guidelines and consequences are outlined in this section and will be discussed at parent meetings and as necessary throughout the school year. All adults should be conscious of modeling respect and kindness when with children.
Discipline Outside of School Hours and at School Events
While parents defer discipline to teachers during school hours, they are personally responsible for disciplining their own children on the school premises at certain times. It is a common misunderstanding that parents should stand back whenever parents and teachers are both present at school gatherings and festivals. However, it is essential that you are especially vigilant during these times in regards to your child’s activities and whereabouts.
Parents are fully responsible for disciplining their children at the following times:
- In the morning prior to 8:20 for grade school children and prior to 8:35 for kindergarten children
- In the afternoon after school is officially dismissed (see page 12 or Appendix A for dismissal times)
- At festivals, work parties, and special events
Discipline in the Kindergarten
The aim of the kindergarten is to surround the children with a rhythmically consistent, safe, and nurturing environment. All teachers strive to be worthy role models so that through imitation, the children will learn to be respectful of themselves, others, and their surroundings.
Feelings are strong in childhood, so we encourage expressing feelings in helpful ways. In most cases, children respond well to redirection or pedagogical story telling. Redirection is a simple expression of what “we do” as opposed to what “we don’t do.” Waldorf teachers do not physically punish or verbally shame children. They avoid negative statements and strive for calm composure and matter-of-fact fairness.
In situations where a child repeatedly shows inappropriate behavior and does not respond to redirection or storytelling, the teacher may sit quietly with the child for a short time, apart from classroom activity. The teacher does not lecture or shame; this allows the child to become calm and consider the behavior that led to his or her removal. In extreme or repeated cases, parents will be called and asked to take their child home for the day.
If a child continually shows distress through aggressive behavior, the teacher will meet with the parents to gain a deeper understanding of the child and possible causes of the problem; if deemed necessary, the teacher may refer the family to external support or resources.
Sometimes the first six weeks of the school year are considered a trial period during which there is dialogue between teacher and parents regarding the readiness of a child to continue in the class.
Discipline in the Grades
Discipline in the grades is rooted in respect for the individual. The goal of discipline is to help each child develop the attitudes and skills necessary to act responsibly. Teachers quietly but firmly insist on a certain standard of behavior. This standard will provide the framework within which each child will be able to guide his or her own adventurous spirit.
As the children get older, class council meetings are an effective method for resolving conflict. Teachers also may create pedagogical stories for specific situations that subtly suggest possible solutions. These stories give children strong, moral pictures that are more effective than moralizing, confrontation, or criticism.
Rules of Behavior
Sunfield Waldorf School strives to promote a nurturing atmosphere and a safe environment conducive to learning and based on mutual respect.
All children must comply with the following rules:
- Avoid being late for school (it is disruptive to the class)
- Follow the directives of the teachers at all times
- Be kind in thought, word, and deed
- Treat others with respect
- Respect personal and school property
When minor infractions of required behavior occur, students will be given logical consequences. In the upper grades, these consequences are meant to raise the child’s awareness, to foster reflection on the deed and the effect it has had, and to make amends in constructive ways. When severe infractions of required behavior occur, Sunfield will follow the disciplinary policy described in the next section.
Sunfield Disciplinary Policy
Sunfield’s procedure and response for handling severe disciplinary incidents is as follows:
If a student exhibits behavior that is severely disruptive or inappropriate, or an incident arises where a student intentionally causes physical harm and intends or threatens to cause such harm to another person, the teacher has full authority to take appropriate and swift action and the student will be sent home immediately. Parents of all students involved will receive a phone call, informing them of the incident and its handling, by the end of the school day. At that time a follow up discussion and conference will be scheduled with the parents at the teacher’s and parents’ earliest convenience to fully discuss the situation. Teacher, parents, and student(s) will draft an appropriate agreement of action, consequence, or restitution (if needed) in order for the student to have a healthy return to the class. In drafting the agreement, the student’s stage of development and individual growth will be taken into account.
Suspension or Dismissal
The school reserves the right to suspend a student for any violation of rules deemed sufficient by the class teacher. Suspension might result from damaging property, maliciously injuring another person, or using tobacco, alcohol, or drugs. Teachers might give an in-house suspension, during which time the student is isolated from his or her class. The suspension serves as a warning that if matters do not improve, dismissal may follow. Before re-admission to school, a meeting of the teacher, student, and parents will occur. A record of the suspension and the student’s intentions upon returning will be put in writing and kept in the student’s file.
A student who is chronically disruptive to the learning of other students or becomes a danger to him- or herself or others may be asked to leave the school. Except in extreme cases, dismissal would only occur after the student and parents received three documented warnings.
Dismissing a student is a very serious matter. It requires a careful discussion with the student’s parents, and the unanimous agreement of the faculty, who will thoroughly review the matter before reaching a decision.
- The school reserves the right to remove any individual from the premises who appears to be
a threat to the physical or psychological safety of our students, and to determine when and whether he or she can return to school.
- Verbal or physical bullying is not tolerated and must be reported to the teacher immediately.
Illness and Exposure Guidelines
Your child’s teacher and the school share a deep concern for the overall health of your child. During the cold and wet seasons, a well-rested and well-fed child dressed warmly in layers is best prepared to withstand colds and other ailments. However, it is normal for children to get sick occasionally. In order to prevent the spread of illness and to promote healing, we request that parents follow certain rules.
Guidelines for preventing the spread of illness:
- Do not bring children to school who have cold or flu- like symptoms, including a sore throat, heavy cough, headache, stomach ache (nausea), or fever.
- Children with head lice, pink eye, or parasitic illnesses must remain at home.
- Your child may return to school twenty-four hours after the last major symptoms of an illness has
- If your child is taking antibiotics for a bacterial infection, he or she must stay home for twenty-four
hours until non-contagious.
- If treatment for a bacterial infection involves homeopathic remedies, please keep your child home for
ten days to two weeks.
- All parasitic conditions (lice, pin worms, scabies, etc.) must be treated before your child may re-enter
If your child becomes ill during the school day, we will contact you to bring your child home as soon as possible.
Lice outbreaks among school children are common, but can be prevented and controlled by implementing the guidelines below. If evidence of lice is detected on a child while at school, he or she will be sent home. Treatment will be required and the child will be rechecked by school staff before re-entering school.
For lice prevention and control, follow these guidelines:
- Early detection is important: check your child’s head for lice at least once weekly.
- For best lice removal, thoroughly comb wet hair with a special nit comb, and methodically search hair
for any remaining nits and lice.
- Thoroughly recheck infested head daily for two weeks.
- Check and treat all family members of infested person.
- Thoroughly wash all bedding and clothing of infested persons.
- Vacuum all furniture and car upholstery in which the infested person’s head has been in contact.
- You will be notified if a child at school has lice and must then begin checking your own child’s head
daily for two weeks.
Washington State law states that students cannot carry any medication to school with the exception of inhalers and epipens, both of which require a form signed by a medical doctor. All medications and doctor’s instructions on administering must be discussed with the class teacher.
The state of Washington does not require immunization for children attending school. However, parents must claim specific exemptions, either personal or religious, and obtain a doctors signature on the back of the State Immunization Record, which is required for every student in attendance. Forms are filed in the school office.
Accidents and Emergencies
Teachers are certified in CPR and trained to administer simple first-aid in case of a minor injury or accident, however the school is not staffed with medical personnel. In case of emergency or serious injury, teachers will also call parents, their doctor, and/or 911. If head injury is suspected, the child’s neck and head will be immobilized while waiting for emergency help.
The school uses the information that parents provide regarding emergency contact numbers, physician’s name and number, and specific instructions. In the event that no parent can be reached, the parents’ signed consent allows the school to give the injured child the medical attention he or she might need. Accident report forms will be completed and sent home with the child that day.
Integrating Waldorf Into the Home
The Waldorf philosophy embraces principles that foster healthy child development. The work that is done in a Waldorf classroom is enhanced when these principles are also integrated into the child’s life at home. Especially important to continue at home include following a daily rhythm, using natural toys that encourage creative play and, depending on the age of the child, limiting—or avoiding completely—television viewing and other media interaction.
Daily Rhythm in the Home
Children are carried along by the rhythms of the world in which they live, from the ongoing rhythms of
breathing to the daily rhythms of sleeping and waking to the yearly rhythms of the seasons. Therefore, children flourish when their daily activities have a rhythm that reflects the natural order of life.
Just as children are nourished by the regular rhythms of the school day, so too are they nourished by regular rhythms at home. Parents can create rhythm in many ways, such as providing an after-school nap or rest time for kindergartners or arranging for predictable and regular after-school activities and play dates for grade school children (for children in the early grades, it is healthiest to limit activities to once or twice per week). Playtimes can end with children putting away their toys. Parents can create a consistent shared meal together each night, and at bedtime, prepare children for bed with comforting rituals, such as a warm bath, quiet conversation, or a story by candlelight. Rhythm and order at home that ensures children are well fed, have a good night’s sleep, and consistently arrive on time to school results in a more joyful and productive school day.
There are endless possibilities for creating rhythmic patterns in family life. Simple habits that are easy to maintain in your family will create a rhythm and a solid foundation for the elementary years and into adolescence.
Young children project fantasy and imagination into their play and their toys. The ideal toy is one that is made of natural materials, is pleasant to touch, and imposes little limitation on the child’s imagination. Giving children suitable toys at home and limiting the number of them helps develop the child’s sense of order and appreciation.
Media: Television, Movies, Computers, and Electronics
In the younger grades, Waldorf schools do not use computers or electronics. The Waldorf principle is that in the early years foundational academic and human skills could potentially be undermined by the early introduction and use of electronic tools. However, by eighth grade, some Waldorf schools introduce the use of computers and calculators for developing skills in word processing, research, and math, and in many Waldorf high schools, students learn how to build computers. Parents can support this approach for children under the age of twelve by limiting the use of calculators and computers.
It is advised that children doing research on computers have adult supervision.
All Waldorf schools also urge parents to not allow children under the age of twelve to engage in television viewing and other media interaction. It is suggested that children over twelve who are allowed to engage in media activity not do so from Sunday evening through Friday morning.
Research studies revealing the harmful effects of the media on children support the Waldorf approach on this issue. Subtle effects of media viewing may include lack of attention span or perseverance, inability to sit still during a story or lesson, or general uneasiness. The school day can become a stressful experience, and the beneficial work that is being carried out in the Waldorf classroom is undermined.
Media influences can also affect a child’s ability to engage in imaginative play. Waldorf teachers have observed that children who regularly watch television and movies, or play video games, tend to mimic media characters and stories rather than develop their own creative faculties. In addition, unsettling or violent images on the screen can be carried into the child’s sleep and linger in the mind the following day, interfering with the child’s ability to concentrate.
- Please refer to Appendix C for a list of resources offering suggestions on integrating Waldorf into the home. Your teacher is also a resource and can help you choose appropriate informatio
Communication Between Teachers and Families
The relationship between teachers and families is carefully nurtured in all Waldorf schools. In the grades, the children ideally will remain with the same class teacher for all years, and the teacher not only develops a deep interest in each child’s well-being but also strives for a positive, cooperative, and respectful relationship between school and home.
Personal Communication with Your Teacher
At the beginning of the school year, your child’s teacher will inform you of the hours when you may contact him or her in person at school, or by telephone in the evening.
Printed Communication from Your Teacher
Newsletters, printed materials, and notes from the teachers will be posted on the kindergarten bulletin board outside the classroom.
Printed materials and notes from the class teacher will be sent home with each child. Teachers may choose to send class information via email to those parents who provide an email address.
Parent meetings are scheduled before the school year begins, enabling families to plan accordingly. Parent meetings are essential for cultivating the well-being of the class; therefore, regular attendance is of utmost importance. These meetings offer an opportunity for each teacher to demonstrate current material being taught in class, provide insight on the developmental stages of the children—and how the curriculum is meeting the needs of these stages—and offer a time for questions and group discussion. Planning for upcoming class activities and special school events also takes place at parent meetings.
Parent-teacher conferences for kindergarten children are held once each school year. Conferences for grade school children are held at least twice per year. Meeting privately with your child’s teacher gives you the opportunity to discuss your child’s progress and class work, and address problems or challenges. Conferences are approximately one-half hour long.
In Waldorf grade schools, narrative descriptions of the child and his or her work take the place of assigned letter grades. At the end of each school year, teachers complete a written report for each child. Since the reports are time-intensive, teachers are given one month after the school year ends to complete them. The reports are mailed to each child’s home by July 20.
Student reports provide extensive summaries of the school year, including a description of each Main Lesson block and work done in all other subjects, and a characterization of the child and his or her attitude, effort, and progress. In the upper classes (sixth through eighth), grades are occasionally given on individual tests, projects, or Main Lesson books. In general, all students are encouraged to make their best effort in school and are expected to complete the work that is assigned to them each year. Graduation from the school depends on this last criterion being met.
For first through fifth grades, the teacher’s report is meant for parents only. For sixth through eighth grades, a report per Main Lesson block may be given, and the entire report may be shared with the child.
At the end of each school year, each child brings home a portfolio of the years’ work.
Each classroom teacher has a parent who serves as a representative and helps with communication between the teacher and families. The class representative provides support to the teacher and also helps with organizing class events and field trips.
You may observe your child’s class—and confer with the teacher before or after the observation—by making arrangements with your child’s teacher in advance. Sunfield classrooms are not open to casual observation.
During the school year, you may wish to invite your child’s class teacher to your home. This is an excellent opportunity for the teacher to get to know your family. Home visits are informal and should be arranged in such a way as to be comfortable for both the teacher and your family.
- It is essential for families to make parent meetings a priority in their schedules throughout the school yea
Communication Between Sunfield and Families
Sunfield is committed to clear and open communication among faculty, staff, the board of directors, parents, and volunteers. The administrative staff and faculty continually strive to enhance communication and welcome your feedback.
At the beginning of each school year, a school calendar is sent home with each child. Seasonal festivals, special school events, board meetings, parent meetings, parent-teacher conferences, staff meetings, and “no school” days are listed on the calendar. The school calendar is also on the Sunfield website, titled “Events Calendar.”
Bi-Weekly School Bulletin
The bi-weekly school bulletin is the primary source of communication between the school and families. The school bulletin is distributed via email. Teachers will provide a printed bulletin to parents who do not have an email address on file.
Bulletins contain notices of upcoming events, school activities, meetings, and special classes. The bulletin is also our means of communication for reminders on policies, for words of appreciation to volunteers, and for other pertinent information. It is essential that parents refer to these bulletins.
We hope that each family will explore our website to fully understand all that we are doing. However, in order to ensure that every family has an opportunity to read Sunfield’s history, and our information about Waldorf education and the curriculum on Sunfield Farm, the web copy for these topics has been included in the beginning of this handbook. While the website serves primarily as a marketing tool, it includes an up-to-date events calendar, and relevant news items are posted on the home page.
Please consider sharing your best photos of Sunfield (children playing on the farm, children’s presentations, festivals, field trips, etc.) for possible use on the website or in printed materials. Photos should be emailed to the office.
Other Printed Communication
Festival dates are included on both the printed school calendar and the online events calendar. Prior to each festival, a festival notice with specific information, including what each family should bring to the festival, is sent to all families.
The annual report includes our financial statement for the fiscal year and provides an overview of the year on the farm, in the school, and in the community education program. The annual report is mailed to our donors and posted online; hard copies are available to families upon request.
Corporate Bylaws, Board minutes, and Board Committee minutes
Sunfield Education Association’s corporate bylaws, board minutes, and board committee minutes are on file in the Sunfield office and are available upon request.
We are a diverse community and our ongoing efforts to engage in healthy communication is an integral component of Sunfield’s continued success. However, when conflicts do arise, the combination of open communication and constructive resolution helps to create a strong, healthy school and community.
The following guidelines are important components of resolving conflicts at Sunfield:
- Children—and the protection of their childhood and their education—remain our first priority.
- Parents must relate to their children’s teachers with respect, and encourage their children to do the same.
- Open communication and positive action are crucial for resolution of conflict and coming to agreement.
- Faculty and staff must remain open to suggestions for new ways of thinking and organizing in an effort to create positive change.
- Faculty and staff must monitor repeating patterns of conflict and create long-term, systemic solutions.
- Conflicts must be resolved promptly by the parties involved to prevent them from escalating into a crisis for the involved parties or the school.
- Everyone involved in the school controls its reputation in the community: avoid bringing conflicts outside of Sunfield and into the wider community. This has a negative impact on our school.
- Forgiveness of one another and ourselves is an important part of conflict resolution.
Parents are encouraged to discuss concerns about their child, the classroom, or the curriculum directly with their child’s teachers. When necessary, parents may put their concerns in writing for the teacher and set a time to discuss issues privately. The teacher or parents may request a more formal meeting with an agreed upon mediator. When resolving issues, the school avoids putting the child in the middle of conflict and supports mutually respectful interactions that build strong relationships.
School Policy Concerns
Parents may bring questions or concerns about school policies and implementation or other serious matters to the school administrator, the leadership team, or the board of directors. The administrator or governing body will work to resolve all parents’ concerns, and will share resolutions with parents within a reasonable time.
Formal Conflict Resolution
In the event any conflict cannot be resolved by other means, a formal conflict resolution will be implemented, which includes the following steps:
- The interested person(s) will articulate the conflict and present it to the appropriate body (administrator, faculty, leadership team, or board of directors).
- If timely consensus cannot be reached, a meeting will be scheduled with an outside mediator to be agreed upon by the parties.
- At the mediation meeting, parties will present their grievances and have an opportunity to answer the mediator’s questions.
- Other meetings and information shall be provided as necessary for the mediator to reach a decision about the conflict.
- A final meeting will be scheduled at which time the final decision of the mediator will be presented. All parties agree to abide by the final decision of the mediator.
- All communication regarding conflict and concerns may be delivered in confidence, but anonymous communication will not be accepted.
Administration and Organization of the School
Sunfield Waldorf School is overseen by the administrator and faculty with the support of Sunfield’s leadership team, and board of directors. Committees, parents, and other volunteers carry out many school functions.
The faculty consists of class teachers who are joined by specialty subject teachers. Class teachers meet weekly to study the educational works of Rudolf Steiner, to practice the various arts taught in the school, and to discuss the children and their progress through the curriculum.
The faculty has the sole responsibility of developing the school curriculum. Students are admitted to the school, disciplined, and evaluated by the faculty. The faculty works with the administrator, the leadership team, and the board of directors in issues concerning policy making, budgeting, personnel relationships, and school site development. In conjunction with farm staff and the appropriate committees, the faculty plans festivals, events, and educational programs.
The faculty hires and evaluates new teachers—a new or inexperienced teacher may be assigned a mentor. All teachers perform self-evaluations, as well as peer reviews each year.
The administrator works in close collaboration with the faculty and leadership team to support the curriculum and pedagogical vision of the school and to make decisions concerning the day-to-day running of the school. Providing strategic leadership, operational accountability, business oversight for school functions and activities, and general supervision of administrative tasks and personnel functions (including those of volunteers) are roles of the administrator.
The administrator also implements the goals and objectives of Sunfield Education Association, while providing support and leadership to faculty and administrative staff and reporting directly to the board of directors. Through the overseeing of the long-term and day-to-day implementation of Sunfield’s programs, the administrator enables the board to fulfill its governance function and ensures the fulfillment of Sunfield’s mission and vision.
The farm administrator works in collaboration with the organizational administrator and farm staff to ensure that the farm and school remain educationally and strategically linked according to Sunfield’s mission and vision.
The leadership team meets weekly and is comprised of members representing the primary realms of Sunfield. They work together to integrate the individual parts of Sunfield into a well-synchronized whole. Each brings a different perspective of Sunfield to the team.
The leadership team focuses on the organization as a comprehensive whole, while also handling operational details and decision making. To this end, the team functions as the gatekeeper, directing projects and concerns to the appropriate entity, such as the board of directors or one of other Sunfield committees. The leadership team meets weekly throughout the year to ensure that all concerns of the organization are addressed in a timely manner.
Minutes of leadership team meetings are kept and forwarded to all members of the board of directors. Meeting minutes, minus those of personnel issues that arise during leadership team meetings, are sent to the faculty to apprise all faculty members of Sunfield’s concerns.
- Please see ABOUT US at sunfieldfarorg for biographies of faculty and staff.
Board of Directors
The board of directors is legally responsible for the assets, finances, fundraising, long-range planning, and outreach of the school. To this end, the board oversees many functions of the school, including all financial and business matters, the development and administration of school policy, and the creation and implementation of short- and long-term goals.
The board works to attract new families to the school, supports the school with fundraising activities, and acts in an advisory capacity to the faculty and the leadership team. The board assists in the hiring and evaluating of administrative staff. In legal matters, all school personnel are accountable to the board of directors.
According to its bylaws, the board of directors tries to make decisions via consensus rather than vote. The board considers consensus not as unanimity, but as the integration of the group’s will. It rests on the belief that every person in a group holds a portion of the truth, and the best decision emerges after every one hears each other’s views, while keeping an open mind and heart. In such meetings, individuals suspend preconceived solutions because there are many right answers. Through gut feelings, practical considerations, and sudden inspirations, the best course of action becomes evident. Ideally, everyone in the group will be satisfied with the decision. Only in the case of deadlock regarding important issues will the board vote.
- Board meetings are held on the third Wednesday of the mont To put an item on the agenda, contact the administrator five days before a meeting.
- All parents are welcome to attend board meetin
- Board minutes and Sunfield Education Association’s corporate bylaws are available upon reques
Parents give input, support, and direction to the school through their participation on the board of directors, board committees, or subsidiary committees.
The contributions and expertise that parents provide to our school community are essential ingredients in making Sunfield Waldorf School successful. Our events and activities depend on the involvement of parents.
Other ways in which parents can participate and support Sunfield Waldorf School include the following:
- Help your child attend school regularly and punctually
- Create a rhythm in your child’s day
- Support the recommendation that children have little or no exposure to media
- Familiarize yourself with the philosophy of Waldorf education through workshops, articles, and books; suggested references are listed in Appendix D
- Help with the classroom as needed; be a class representative and help your teacher with the administrative work of the classroom
- Volunteer to assist with one festival per year
- Volunteer to tend a certain area of the school campus
- Help with fundraising and outreach activities
- Attend board meetings
- Make a financial contribution to the school through
- Speak positively about the school and each other in the wider community (Remember, everyone involved in the school controls its reputation in the community— what we say should reflect an interest in attracting others to Sunfield.)
- Pursue resolution of concerns through healthy communication and conflict resolution (see page 29)
Each school year, parent are encouraged to serve on one of the following committees. Each committee has a contact person who can tell you about the committee’s duties and responsibilities.
Sunfield’s board committees include the following:
- Community Education Committee
- Capital Campaign
- Farm Committee
- Finance Committee
- Outreach Committee
- Site Committee
Subsidiary committees are committees that may form to facilitate a special project or special need of the
organization. A subsidiary committee may only meet for part of the year to perform an annual function; for example, the quilt raffle committee meets for only a few months of the year. When a project is completed, or a need has been met, a subsidiary committee may cease to exist.
- Board committee minutes are available upon reques
- Please see Appendix A for board committee contact nam
Registration and Enrollment
It is not merely an act of compliance with federal law, but of free, willful, and deliberate policy to offer Waldorf education to families who desire it for their children, regardless of race, color, national or ethnic origin, class, gender, or sexual orientation.
Admission to School: Minimum Age
Your child must be three-years old by June 1 and independent in the bathroom. Admission is subject to
Sunfield kindergarten classes are mixed age classes. The kindergarten and preschool teachers work closely to find the best placement for each child.
The Sunfield faculty believes that most children who are six-years old by June 1 are ready for first grade. However, we evaluate all children with May birthdays to confirm first-grade readiness. A child with a June, July, or August birthday may possibly be considered ready for first grade after an evaluation by the faculty (see below).
Success in school depends in part on timing. Children who are too young for a class may encounter difficulties and create a pattern that may trouble them throughout school years. Studies suggest that children who are approximately four months past their sixth birthday transition well into school. The cut-off date for entry into first grade is a general guideline based on observations that younger children generally benefit from an extra year of learning.
Some indicators of school readiness include the following:
- Asking for instruction (i.e., “Show me how you do that.”)
- Showing more directed will (i.e., getting an idea and carrying it out)
- Physical changes, including the emergence of adult teeth, lengthening limbs, more adult proportions, and more individualized facial features
- More complex and grounded artwork
Children are evaluated for readiness by the kindergarten class teacher and/or through a parent-child interview with the first-grade teacher. Teachers consider not only academic readiness but also physical and emotional development and social skills. In the case of developmental concern, it may be better to err on the side of caution, especially with boys, in judging first- grade readiness.
If possible, children should be unaware that placement in kindergarten or first grade is a question, and free of expectation of either.
New and prospective parents interested in Sunfield Waldorf School are encouraged to attend open houses or Waldorf informational meetings. Once an application is submitted, an interview and classroom visit with the teacher can be scheduled.
Financial Goals & Tuition Policies
Sunfield Waldorf School is an independent educational institution, an entity of Sunfield Education Association, a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation. The board of directors, in consultation with the faculty, the leadership team, and the parents, determines financial decisions and policies that affect the economic health and viability of the school. While the individual financial records of families are confidential, the general financial statements of the school are available to all parents in the board meetings’ records. Questions regarding financial policy should be directed to the board of directors.
Waldorf schools view tuition not as a fee for service, but as a way of supporting people who are engaged in the art of educating: “making gifts from the economic sphere to the cultural sphere.”
Sunfield’s underlying values and economic reality are factors considered when establishing tuition rates and tuition policy. To achieve financial security while continuing to uphold our values, we have set the following goals:
- To make education at Sunfield available through the Adjusted Tuition Program whenever possible
- To make financial and tuition policies and requirements that treat families equally
- To recognize that all levels of tuition payments and other financial contributions to the school increase our financial health
- To have a clear and efficient process for determining tuition levels
- To receive all tuition payments in a timely manner
- To have stability and predictability in our tuition income
Payments are due on the twenty-fifth of the month and are considered late on the second of the following
month. If the twenty-fifth falls on a weekend or holiday, payment is due the day after the weekend or holiday. A $25 late fee will be charged to balances after the 25th of the month. A $50 fee plus applicable late payment charges will be charged for any returned checks.
Withdrawal from School
The tuition contract covers tuition payments from August through May for the entire school year. There is accordingly no discount, refund, or credit for absences. In the event of the withdrawal of a child from Sunfield Waldorf School, a notice of such intention must be presented to the office in writing, thirty days prior to the withdrawal. If such notice is not received, the parent(s) or guardian(s) agree to pay one additional full month’s tuition. Any applicable late payments, returned check charges, or Aftercare bills are due at the time of withdrawal from the school. A withdrawal on or after March 25th will require full tuition due for the remainder of the year. In the event of withdrawal at the request of a teacher, the thirty-day notification period will not apply.
Families with accounts delinquent in excess of 60 days past due shall be asked to keep their children at home until they:
- Meet with the school administration to reformulate monthly payments to take into account all late fees.
- Pay at least one month’s worth of the late tuition owed including late fees.
Families who miss a reformulated payment will be asked to keep children at home until they catch up on these payments.
Giving to Sunfield
All families are strongly encouraged to help maintain the quality of education we offer by supporting Annual Giving. Parental support for Annual Giving is the first step toward developing support from outside our immediate school community. When potential supporters, grantors, and other funding sources ask, it is critical that we can report we have 100% financial support through our Annual Giving program.
Annual Giving is conducted the last three months of the calendar year, but families may contribute monthly, quarterly, or at any time during the school year.
This jog-a-thon event includes all students as well as a number of teachers, parents and friends of Sunfield. This event is designed to introduce and welcome people to Sunfield, encourage exercise and fitness, and raise funds for the organization. Participants solicit pledges and /or donations based on the number of quarter mile laps they complete.
Sunfield’s Safety Policies
We continually endeavor to ensure that the school buildings and the playground are safe places for children to work, learn, and play. We also expect parents to do their part in keeping themselves and their children safe while at Sunfield.
Understanding and following all Sunfield’s safety policies, using common sense when on the farm, and enforcing these policies with your children will help to keep you and your family safe.
Drop-off and Pick-up of Children at School
- All children must be dropped off and picked up on the Sunfield campus in front of the school buildings. Do not drop off or pick up students outside the property, near SR-19. Violation of this stipulation may result in the revocation of Sunfield’s Conditional Use Permit issued by Jefferson County. The school cannot operate on Sunfield Farm without this permit.
- The circle drive in front of the school buildings is for drop-off and pick-up only. There is no parking allowed in the circle at any time, and drivers must stay with their vehicles when waiting in the circle. The circle is a fire lane and cannot be blocked.
- Children are not allowed to play in the circle drive or other parking areas during drop-off and pick-up times (or at any other time during the day) and must be under adult supervision when vehicles are present. It is imperative that your child follows this rule.
- Parents are fully responsible for children on the school grounds prior to established drop-off times (8:20–8:30 AM for grade school children; and 8:35–8:45 AM for kindergarten children), and in the afternoon after school is officially dismissed (see page 12 or Appendix A for dismissal times).
- All minors are required to be under the supervision of an adult at all times while on Sunfield’s
- Parents are fully responsible for their children before and after school hours, and during festivals, work parties, and other events.
Except during public events, all visitors to Sunfield Waldorf School must register with the office and staff.
All vehicular traffic (including farm vehicles) must be confined to designated areas when children are present, and children must be under adult supervision when they are in areas with vehicular traffic. Drivers and parents must be diligent about watching for children during drop-off and pick-up times (see drop-off and pick-up rules above).
Bicycles must be parked during the day except when needed for transport, which must be guided by a teacher.
Dogs on Sunfield property
- Dogs are not permitted on our five-acre school site except for certified therapy, service, or guide dogs.
- Dogs on leashes are welcome on Sunfield Farm, outside of the five-acre school site.
- All owners must clean up after their dog and dispose of the waste properly.
Personal Pets at School
Personal pets are only allowed in the classroom when a teacher determines that a child’s pet may enhance a lesson; for example, a pet hamster may be observed when studying Human and Animal in fourth grade.
The teacher will give advance notice to all parents if an animal will be in the classroom.
Animal bites will be reported to the Sheriff’s Department. If possible, the animal will be caught and held for assessment.
The “Sunny Farmer” sign designates working areas on the farm. All working areas of the farm are off-limits to everyone except faculty or farm staff and those engaged in activities organized by faculty or staff.
Only designated workers are permitted in construction zones.
Restricted Play Areas
Children are not permitted to play in the following areas:
- On deck railings (no climbing on or swinging from railings) or underneath the deck
- On gates or fences (no climbing on or over gates or fences)
- In the barns, storm drains, or landscaped beds
- Near power poles or meter boxes
- Around irrigation and other farm equipment
Children are not allowed to play or walk around with sticks except if engaged in a specific project under the close supervision of an adult.
As part of Waldorf philosophy and our general responsibility to one another, weapons play (including the use of toys from home or sticks resembling guns or knives) is not allowed on the school site or on the farm.
Students, parents, faculty, and staff are required to treat one another in a respectful manner. Abusive and/or profane language or gestures, intimidation, harassment, or assaulting behavior will not be tolerated.
- All farm and office staff, faculty, students, parents, and visitors are required to wash their hands after handling animals, eggs, or manure, after being in animal
areas, and before working with farm produce or food products.
- All students are required to wash their hands before returning to the classroom after farm activities.
Footwear and Biosecurity
- Closed-toe shoes or boots are required to be worn by all faculty, staff, and students when working around animals or on the farm.
- Farm work requires suitable footwear to be worn. Children without suitable footwear (or clothing) will not be permitted to engage in farm work.
- Bare feet are permitted in the school yard only, and at the discretion of the teacher. Bare feet are not allowed on the farm or in the garden beds.
- To avoid transfer of manure-borne organisms from outside sources into animal enclosures, students are required to keep a pair of boots on site for use on Sunfield Farm only.
- Before entering animal enclosures, visitors will be required to sanitize footwear or put on suitable boot covering.
Farm Product Handling
- All precautions must be taken to avoid transfer of soil borne organisms, such as E. coli, into farm food products.
- Areas where manure is generated or kept need to be well separated from areas where food products are stored or handled.
- Farm animals are allowed to be handled only under the guidance of trained farm staff or faculty observing all necessary safety precautions.
- Children under nine-years old are not permitted to handle large animals (cows, horses, goats, and sheep).
- With the supervision of Sunfield staff or faculty, children under nine years old may feed the animals and tend to stalls provided that the animals are secured in a separate area.
- Minors are not permitted to operate or ride on mechanical farm machinery, and children are not permitted to climb or play on farm machinery.
- Farm staff are not permitted to operate farm machinery in the close vicinity of children
Rodent and Pest Control
Rodents need to be eliminated through means that do not pose a hazard to humans or livestock.
Farm staff are responsible for maintaining control of rodents and pests by taking the following precautions:
- Maintain a clean environment
- Ensure that food and feed waste is composted in closed containers
- Control garbage
- Store feeds and foodstuffs in rodent free areas
School staff are responsible for maintaining control of rodents and pests by taking the following precautions:
- Maintain a clean environment
- Ensure that foodstuffs in the classrooms are in sealed containers
- Readily dispose of garbage
- Place compost collections into designated sealed areas
Sunfield staff and faculty will guide the correct and respectful use of farm tools.
- Farm staff are responsible for maintaining the safety of farm buildings and fencing, and farm implements, equipment, and machinery.
- School faculty and staff are responsible for maintaining safety of the school buildings, play area, and parking area.
- Hazards must be immediately cordoned off and action must be taken to correct the situation.
- A list of safety hazards will be recorded for attention.
- Farm staff and faculty are responsible for maintaining first-aid kits in easily accessible locations.
- Fire extinguishers must be maintained in suitable locations.
- The Sunfield administrator determines when a situation is deemed unsafe and takes necessary action to rectify the situation.
Accidents and injuries will be recorded on accident report forms and reported to parents.
Staff Background Checks
All faculty, staff, and apprentices on Sunfield Farm who work with children are required to have background checks.
Sunfield prohibits all who enter the property—with the exception of police officers and security guards—from carrying a weapon of any kind.▷ Sunfield Farm is a smoke, drug, alcohol, and weapons free environment.
Mon-Thurs 8:30 AM – 4:00 PM
Fri. 8:30 AM – 2:00 PM
Abra Derbis – Interim Administrator
Emily Henry – Office Manager
Traci Meacham – Bookkeeper
LB Rust – Support Staff
Beth Ann O’Dell – Farm Administrator
Abra Derbis – Sunfield Administrator
Koshalla Flockoi – Kindergarten Teacher
Board of Directors
Sym Sebastian – President
Coco Dupont-Huin – Vice President
Abra Derbis – Interim Treasurer
Stephanie Drexel – Secretary
Helen Curry – Member
Seedlings Parent and Infant Class
Thurs 11:45 AM– 1:15 PM
Buttercup Parent and Toddler Class
Thurs or Fri 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Swallow’s nest Pre-School
Mon – Thurs 8:45 AM – 12:45 PM
Tues-Fri 8:45 AM -12:45 PM
Mon – Fri 8:45 AM – 12:45 PM
Mon – Thurs 8:30 AM – 3:15 PM
Fri 8:30 AM – 1:00 PM
SCHOOL CLOSURES: Sunfield Waldorf School follows the Chimacum School District’s decisions concerning school closures due to inclement weather. Parents are responsible for checking possible closures for Chimacum School District #49 at www.schoolreport.org.
Seedling Parent Infant class
Molly McGregor Seedling teacher
Buttercup Parent Toddler Class
Thurs & Fri – Molly McGregor Buttercup teacher
Swallow’s Nest Preschool
Katie Boyle – Swallow’s Nest Preschool teacher
Haley West – Trillium Kindergarten teacher
Koshalla Flockoi – Sunflower Kindergarten teacher
Karli Elliot – Sunflower assistant
Beth Ann O’Dell – First/Second grade teacher
Leaf Lovetree – Third/Fourth grade teacher
Helen Curry – Fifth/Sixth grade teacher
MaryAnne Hinton – Seventh/Eighth grade teacher
Monica Van Loon – Spanish teacher
John Staley – Upper Grades Math teacher
Tuition & Fees*
Early Childhood Programs
Seedlings – Free for infants and caregivers
Buttercup – Fall session: $256* for 12 weeks Winter session: $274* for 22 weeks
Spring session: $174* for 8 weeks
* (Price includes $40 supply fee)
Preschool and Kindergarten
Days per week: 3 4 5
Annual cost: $3,265 $4,203 $5,076
Monthly: $327 $420 $508
Grades One Through Eight
Annual Monthly (Paid Aug thru May)
Adjusted tuition Program
Sunfield Waldorf School is committed to providing a program that is accessible to all who would like to attend. Tuition adjustment is available to families of children in first through eighth grade and is based on need. Please contact the office for tuition adjustment application if interested.
In addition to the annual tuition
New student registration
(One time per family)…………………………..$50
Preschool/kindergarten supplies fee…………………..……………..$150
Grades 1-5 supplies fee…………………………………..$250
Grades 6-8 supplies fee……………………………………$275
The registration fee is non-refundable. Supplies fee are refundable if a family withdraws their child’s application prior to school start. Miscellaneous fees for special trips, musical instruments, etc., will be assessed as they arise.
The first sibling of an enrolled student is eligible for a 20% discount on tuition costs, the second sibling a 30% discount, and the third sibling 40% discount.
The school depends upon volunteer effort in the areas of fund-raising and school activities. Each family is asked for a commitment of time during one or more of the school festivals or programs; each family is required to give 24 hours of service during the school year. Participation also involves financial contributions to the Annual Giving Fund as families are able.
*All rates apply to the 2017-2018 school year only.
Where to Go for More Information on
WEBSITES TO VISIT
(click on directory for a listing of sites selling books, toys, crafts, clothing and school supplies)
- A Child’s Seasonal Treasury by Betty Jones
- All Year Round by Ann Druitt
- Children at Play by Hiedi Bitz-Crecilius
- The Children’s Year by Cooper Fynes-Clinton and Rowling
- Education Towards Freedom by Rudolf Steiner
- Endangered Minds and Failure to Connect by Jane M. Healy
- Festivals, Family and Food by Diana Carey
- Festivals Together by Fitzjohn, Weston and Large
- Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television by Jerry Mander
- Lifeways by Gudrum Davy and Bons Voors
- Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon
- Renewal Magazine, published by the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America (AWSNA)
- Rhythms of Learning: Selected Lectures by Rudolf Steiner; edited by Roberto Trostli
- Teaching as a Lively Art by Marjorie Spock
- Towards Wholeness by M.C. Richards
- School as a Journey by Torin Finser
- Seven Times Around the Sun by Shea Darian
- Storytelling with Children by Nancy Mellon
- You are Your Child’s First Teacher by Rahima Baldwin
WALDORF SCHOOLS IN THE PUGET SOUND AREA
- Bright Water School (Seattle)
- Madrona School (Bainbridge Island)
- Olympia Waldorf School
- Seattle Waldorf School
- Three Cedars Waldorf School (Bellevue)
- Whatcom Hills Waldorf School (Bellingham)
Whidbey Island Waldorf School