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HVWS Is Counting Its Blessings



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To the Editor,

At the Housatonic Valley Waldorf School, we have so much to be thankful for as we enter the holiday season: a committed faculty and staff, an engaged and vibrant student body, a beautiful campus, invested parents and friends, a steadfast Board, a loyal alumni base. The list goes on. But this year, we are all counting our blessings with even greater gratitude.

All spring and summer, schools were inundated with a profuse amount information about COVID-19 from the Governor’s Office, the Department of Public Health, the Department of Education, the Center for Disease Control, the media, and of course concerned parents. School leaders and educators sifted through enormous amounts of new information about state and school mandates and health and safety measures to configure a plan for the return to school that prioritized the safety of students, teachers, and staff. In most cases, it took the entire summer to sort out. There is no one-size-fits-all solution. Schools still continuously revisit, monitor, adjust, and refine their plans according to the ever-evolving circumstances. Every expectation about running a school and teaching classes has had to be reconfigured to meet this historic moment.

When we set out in late August with the goal of remaining on campus for as long as possible, we knew there would be hurdles to overcome changes to teaching modalities, including teaching outdoors; modifications to our calendar, our festival life, fundraising events, and community gatherings; adjustments to our day-to-day interactions and behaviors. By all accounts our school community has met the challenges with resounding resilience.

I am in awe that not only our school has risen to the challenge, but so have so many of the schools in Newtown: Fraser Woods, St Rose of Lima, a myriad of preschools and day cares, and the Newtown Public Schools. Thank you, local teachers and school leaders, for your incredible commitment to students and your for grace under pressure.

As we prepare for the holiday break, the Housatonic Valley Waldorf School is happy to report that we have reached of our goal of providing in-person learning from September to December, 4 months, 15 weeks, 69 days! Our resolve is strong to repeat this accomplishment this winter into spring.

May all the students, parents, and school personnel enjoy a much deserved and needed break.

Watch for the light,

Therese Lederer, Enrollment Director

Housatonic Valley Waldorf School

40 Dodgingtown Road, Newtown December 25, 2020

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