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Unexpected Gifts

A Letter from Our Head of School

Dear WSP Families and Friends,

I remind myself daily how fortunate I am to be living through this momentous time with our WSP Community. As I have told you before, the dedication, generosity, courage, and compassion that has been exercised to date by our community has been extraordinary. While it is no stretch to say that 2020 was the most difficult year schools (and many families) have experienced thus far in this lifetime, I am struck by the unexpected gifts we have received in going through this together. We all have our personal stories, but I thought I would share a few from the perspective of the whole school.

The first thing that comes to mind is the use of outdoor classrooms. While Waldorf schools are known for their strong relationship to nature since we spend more time outdoors than most other schools, we have come to cherish having a designated gathering space for each class as an extension to their indoor classroom. In prior years, a few play yards were shared by all. By removing cars from the campus, we find there to be far less energy required to coordinate spaces. We have discovered new ways of using the 2.4 acres of green space we have in the city. Furthermore, the relationship we have to the natural world has grown even deeper.

As you will read in this newsletter, WSP has made a significant investment in air quality enhancement throughout our buildings. While this was motivated by an effort to reduce transmission of COVID-19, the air filters we have will serve us well beyond this critical time as we will continue to use them in the future to remove pollutants in the air. As one of our consultants shared with us, the air that comes out of the filters is the cleanest air on Earth. It is cleaner than the air on top of Mt. Everest!

Another gift has been our ability to gather as adults virtually. Teachers have noticed increased consistent attendance at parent evenings. Meeting virtually has its limitations; however, being able to join a meeting without securing childcare means more of us can see and hear from one another. Families, teachers, and administration can stay connected and share in these important educational and community building experiences in a way we had not considered in the past.

What surprising findings, new experiences or unexpected gifts have you received during this time? Surely, we will have a mix of positives and negatives, but let’s remember both in the years to come and never lose sight of the spirit our school has shown during this significant time in history. With gratitude, Kirsten Christopherson-Clark Head of School

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