Tuesday, May 27, 2014

An Invitation to Join us on June 7th

Dear New Amsterdam Community,

Our faculty and board invite you to join us as we 
welcome Chris Schaefer to New Amsterdam 
June 7th from 1 to 5pm.

Chris Schaefer will lead us into discussion around 
building community.  We will look at some of the
current tasks the New Amsterdam Community has and how to address
the questions we are all carrying.

If you are a parent, friend, and or have served on committees it would be great if you were able to join us.

It is important to us that we know if you are coming.

by June 1st.

An agenda for the day will be circulated June 3rd.

Here is a link to an article about Chris Schaefer's new book " Partnerships of Hope: Building Waldorf School Communities" and his BIO.

Christopher Schaefer is a Waldorf graduate and a Waldorf parent and grandparent. He was a founding member of the Waldorf School in Lexington, Massachusetts, and has worked as a Waldorf school advisor on questions of school and community development in the United States and Canada as well as internationally. He was for many years a faculty member
and program director at Sunbridge College in Spring Valley, New York, where he founded and directed the program in Waldorf School Administration and Community Development. In Europe he was the co-founder and co-director of the Center for Social Development at Emerson College, as well as a founder of Social Ecology Associates, an international organization development
consultancy institute. He travels, consults and lectures extensively and is the co-author of Vision in Action: Working with Soul and Spirit in Small Organizations.

Blessings to you all,


Friday, May 23, 2014

New First Grade Teacher!

Dear New Amsterdam Community,

It is with joy in our hearts that we share with you the news that Jamie Loftus will be joining us as our first First Grade teacher.

Many of you had the opportunity to meet Jamie when he spent a week with our community. Jamie has graciously accepted our offer to join our school and help pioneer our first grade.

Jamie hails from Sydney, Australia, where he has taught in Waldorf schools for over 20 years. He will bring his adventuresome spirit to this task, and infuse the classroom with his inquisitive mind and joyful energy.

We are profoundly grateful to his commitment to our school and to our growth. And we look forward to many years of working together.

With Gratitude,
The Hiring Committee

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

5-10 Year Plan Committee

Dear New Amsterdam Community,


After our open meeting last Wednesday, The 5-10 Year Plan Committee would like to share an update regarding our work. We feel it is important to be transparent about the tasks that we will be working on in this committee and would like to share our mandate with you all. A mandate is an agreement with the decision-making bodies of the school (in this case the Faculty Circle and Board). Our mandate outlines the timeline, tasks, responsibilities, and articulates the goals of the committee. Please follow this link to find our mandate.


Also, we would like to invite all members of our community to participate in our weekly study for the remainder of the school year. Please join the 5-10 Year Plan Committee this week May 21, from 4:00-5:00pm. RSVP to Meaghan (Meaghan.witri@newamsterdamchildhood.org).


Thank you for your interest and we look forward to continuing our work together.


The 5-10 Plan Year Committee

Mandate for a 5-10 Year Plan Committee (Final Name TBD)
Members of the Mandated Committee
Patricia, Mayra, Meaghan, Brigitte and Lisa
Length of Mandate
This mandate would go through June 2015
Context and Background
These are times of intense growth for the New Amsterdam School. To coordinate the many aspects of this growth effectively a 5-year plan is needed. This fall, the Work-Pay committee found it difficult to develop models for a healthy salary structure because such a larger
plan was missing. A sketch of this plan was created. Having recognized the need, we would now like to work on it in earnest. Such a plan will make the work of all committees far more effective (and, in addition, it is something that any outside Waldorf agency, such as
AWSNA, will rightfully expect from us if we seek accreditation). We are committed to researching and developing ideas to help create a sustainable future and life at New Amsterdam.
The context for this work springs from the source of the social mission of Waldorf education: to build individual and group capacities, to develop gift consciousness and to bring about a renewal of education for human beings. Self-education is the doorway into understanding any structure or form, and Waldorf education can be the doorway to the future. Bringing these ideals into clearer and pertinent articulations can support this much larger task of our work in relationship to unfolding the future.
Our proposal is to start a new 5-10 Year Plan Committee, that would take up what has been developed by the Work-Pay Committee. We also propose ending (and, in a sense, merging with) the Towards Societal Wholeness group, so that we have more time to dedicate to this essential task. We also expect that some evenings and weekends will be required.
This group will be looking into the following aspects of the current plan: salary structure, tuition models, governance structure and the community life. Also, we will look into developing our school in relationship to, and including these foundational ideals: building capacities, gift consciousness, building partnerships, creating cooperatives.  We will be working primarily with Rudolf Steiner’s ideas and indications on these ideals brought to us out of Anthroposophy.
We take responsibility for facilitating this work between the faculty, board and committees as needed. We will report to the faculty on a bi-weekly basis and to the board monthly. As specific areas are identified within the plan, we will work directly with the individuals or groups involved. This collaborative effort will result in proposals made to the faculty and board for final decisions.  
Please find below some examples of the topics we will explore and the corresponding groups with whom we will collaborate.
Salary Structure ⇄ Faculty, Finance Committee and Hiring Committee
Governance ⇄ Board, Faculty, Parents, all Committees and Mandated Groups
Tuition (including finance, tuition assistance and admissions) ⇄ Board, Faculty, Parents
Community Life (this depends on what area but likely) ⇄ Faculty, Board, Parents
Peer mentoring ⇄ Faculty
College of teachers ⇄ Faculty, Board
Co-Teaching ⇄ Hiring, Faculty, Finance
Partnerships ⇄ Board, Faculty, Parents, Other Organizations
Cooperatives ⇄ Board, Faculty, Finance, Hiring, Parents, neighborhood community 

Intentions and Tasks
Specifically, we propose the following:
·        Focusing our work on the 5-10 year plan that the Work-Pay group has developed, while still including broader questions around social hygiene and societal context
·        Continuing with the same schedule as Towards Societal Wholeness (Wednesdays from 4-6pm), but more intensively - meeting weekly with some additional evenings and weekends as needed.
·        Keeping the group open to faculty, parents, board members, and friends of New Amsterdam, and to anyone we feel is connected to the school and these questions, with the requirement that all participants are excited by this work and want to make the above time commitments.
-              If anyone has individual constraints that would prohibit their participation, we ask them to speak with us about their needs (childcare, finances etc.) and we will find a way for them to join us.
-              We will also strive to include those who can't make such a commitment with weekend workshops or open meetings.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Spring Fair May 17th

New Amsterdam School Spring Fair
Saturday, May 17th9:30 am - 12:30 pm at New Amsterdam, 1 Avenue B (at Houston) 
12:00 pm - 3:00 pm Picnic in El Jardin del Paraiso Community Garden, 4th Street bt. Aves C & D

Dear Friends,

Please join us on Saturday, May 17th for this joyous event in celebration of spring, our community and our wonderful school. 

The indoor portion of the fair will begin at 9:30 am at the school. Young children will delight in the many activities that we have planned. They will marvel at their school's transformation into Mother Nature's Garden, a Magical Meadow, and a mysterious Crystal Cave! They will follow the pocket fairy as she floats through the hall revealing beautifully crafted prizes from her pockets! They will watch in silent awe the enchanting puppet shows that our teachers have so lovingly prepared.

Parents will have the opportunity to shop at our spring fair market and purchase handmade toys lovingly crafted by the parents, grandparents, teachers and staff who make up our craft cooperative. They will also be able to bid on all the many delights we have to offer in this spring's silent auction, or stock up on Waldorf supplies at our first ever pop-up shop!
The day will culminate in a picnic and free play time at our school garden. The picnic will begin at 12pm. Each attendee will have his or her own bag lunch included with the entry fee, so please select the option you want (vegetarian or vegan) when you purchase your ticket. A true out-breath after the taking in of all the exciting new things at the fair--new sights and sounds, new crafting experiences, new toys, new people, and new fun, the garden portion of the event will nourish their bodies with a healthy lunch and nourish their spirits with carefree play. 
This year's fair will be particularly joyful as we celebrate the continued blossoming of our school and, in particular, the blossoming of our first ever FIRST grade! 
Buy your tickets online and join the celebration!

Indoor Activities 9:30-12:30 New Amsterdam School
1 Avenue B

Outdoor Activities  12-3
El Jardin del Paraiso Community Garden
4th Street between Avenues C & D

Admission (Entrance fee includes complimentary lunch--
choose from vegetarian or vegan option)
Child $5
Adult $10

Activity tokens are available for purchase online 
We are grateful to our generous sponsors:
Murray's Cheese

The New Amsterdam School Community


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Reuse, Reduce, Recycle Spring Fundraiser to Benefit our Garden!

Support the children’s experience in nature by
Transforming Your Children’s Clothes Into Gold For The Garden  
April 30th - May 7th
in the Parent lounge/Crafting room at our 1 Avenue B location. 
Clothing Donations accepted NOW!
This Reuse, Reduce, and Recycle week long event begins with parents (yes this means you!) doing your spring cleaning.  As you begin to sort through your children's seasonal, out grown clothing, please put aside several pieces of very gently used, good quality clothing items and donate them to this event for another child to enjoy!

Our fundraising pop-up shop is based on your generosity.
The shoes and clothing are not priced, you may pay as you wish, however the suggested donation is $5.00 per item, so please donate the quality of clothing that you would willingly pay $5 or more for … and that you’d personally dress your child in.

This event is held for a full week so everyone has a chance after morning drop off or right before pick up to continue to donate, browse, and shop for your family and friends.
You may always choose to generously contribute monetary funds in cash or check to the school into our "Golden Dreams for the Garden Donation Basket" located in the shop.

We hope you will join us transforming clothing into gold for the garden …

You may begin to drop off your stain & rip free clothing beginning now and continuing throughout the event  at the Front desk. 

Many Parents may not know that it is only through our involvement,
parent sponsorship, and funding that our garden committee’s work is done
and that our nursery and kindergarten children have the chance and privilege to visit
El Jardin del Paraiso with their friends on their many nature adventures
throughout the seasons in this magical garden that is a public place.

Thank You To a Special Person in Our Community

As you have learned from the news published in this newsletter, our friend and colleague Karen Talluto will be resigning from her position as Director of Admissions for New Amsterdam School. Karen has been an integral part of the success and growth of the school and we are truly thankful for her many years of hard work and dedication and for her kind and generous spirit. It is with a heavy heart that we see her go, but we are excited and encouraged by Karen's continued support of our school and by her next steps into a deeper exploration of the Waldorf pedagogy. 

Please know that for the remainder of the year, the hiring committee will work hard to find a candidate who can step into the role of Admissions Director bringing a high level of knowledge, warmth, and enthusiasm to the job. We aim to find a person committed to working out of anthroposophy and excited about working integrally with our community.
In the meantime, members of the hiring committee will fulfill all admissions-related responsibilities that require attention. Please feel free to reach out to anyone listed below for any questions or concerns you may have regarding admissions, tuition assistance, forms, medical forms, contracts, tuition and payment schedules.
  • Karen Talluto and Joe Robertson will continue to oversee Tuition Assistance.
  • Lisa Bono will for the interim preside over Parent Child Admissions.
  • Kaarin Von Herrlich will serve as interim Admissions Parent Volunteer for Bridge, Nursery, Kindergarten and 1st Grade and will host upcoming open houses with the support of the grades committee and faculty. 
  • Howard Dulaney will manage all forms, contracts and schedules and provide any necessary administration.  He will also address any questions current families may have pertaining thereto.
  • Meaghan Witri and  Samantha Barnard will provide logistical and advisory support for the above volunteers. 

We will work as a team to continue the work Karen previously spearheaded in marketing, communications, and all admissions related events.


We would like to thank you for your patience and support. We want to assure you that we will continue to grow and fortify our school with mindful, effective and intelligent next steps as a group, working with our hands and hearts and minds out of the impulses of anthroposophy and a deep reverence for our community and our school. 

Spring Fair!

Spring Fair Committee Meeting
This Friday at 10:15 am 

Please come and add your voice!

Dear Parents,

We are hoping you had a joyous spring break and have come back to school to see Spring finally, truly upon us! The flowers have blossomed, the birds are singing and the trees are in full bloom!

At our school the children are joyous, the songs are loud and clear, the boots are muddy, the sun is peeking in!

The sounds of needles felting, knitting, sewing in the parent lounge; the purr of sewing machines, the clicking of knitting needles in the homes of our school's grandmothers; the plotting, planning, ordering voices of the spring fair committee add to the song of spring and signify that our spring fair, our celebration of this this joyous season and our wonderful school, is just around the corner!

Please add your voice! Come plan with us this Friday at 10:15 am in the parent lounge. The meeting will be held during our regular Friday crafting hours. 

The spring fair requires 100% participation in order to be a successful event. Your assigned duty will be revealed to you soon by your parent rep. Come add your voice to the planning and give 101%. Help us make this year's fair the joyous celebration of the flowering growth of our school! 

If you have time and want to help but can't make the meeting, please email 


With Warmth and Gratitude,
The Spring Fair Committee