A Letter from Our Head of School
Dear WSP Families and Friends, My heart is heavy as I write this letter. Prior to Tuesday, I was looking forward to sharing with you the amazing success of May Fair, of more than 500 community members coming together to celebrate spring and raising funds for our tuition assistance program. I was so proud to watch our middle school students perform their production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream on the Heartwood Annex stage. I was eager to tell stories of the moving experience of our Rising Ceremony: A Sixth Grade Rite of Passage and of our Fifth Grade Pentathlon. So many celebratory moments that we have experienced together this month. I’m still deeply grateful for all of this, but I feel the impact of others’ losses. Since Tuesday, I’ve been thinking of the families at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas who have lost 21 loved ones in a school shooting. Schools across the country and beyond feel the ripple effect of this. We still feel the effects of the racially motivated mass shooting in Buffalo, New York just two weeks ago. These events bring us pause. I think about the successful completion of our safety audit in June 2021, the additional cameras installed on campus two years ago, and our intentionality around safety procedures. I think about how hard we work to help our students and teachers feel safe and cared for when they are at school. After the news of Robb Elementary broke, I received messages of grief and support from both of our accrediting bodies: the Pennsylvania Association of Independent Schools (PAIS) and the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America (AWSNA). From the Executive Directors of the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America (AWSNA), the following statement resonated deeply with me: “AWSNA reaffirms our unwavering commitment to educate children to become adults who are able to impart purpose and direction to their lives through imagination, a sense of truth, and a feeling of responsibility for the respect and dignity of every life. It is also our responsibility to not become numb to these acts, and to support and strengthen the development of a society that no longer resorts to violence. Let’s all, as individuals and organizations, find our unique contributions towards a peaceful and just world.” Below are two resources that have been shared with me. I pass them along in case they are helpful to you; however, please reach out to your child’s teacher for assistance if you want to discuss the specific developmental needs of your child during these times.
Helping Children Navigate Scary News Stories (PBS Kids)
Helping Kids After a Shooting (American School Counselor Association)
In partnership towards a peaceful and just world, Kirsten Christopherson-Clark Head of School