On behalf of the board of trustees, faculty and staff, I am delighted to welcome all families to River School for the 2019/2020 school year. I hope your summer break has been enjoyable and allowed rest, prompted adventure, and created renewal. Golden Valley River School will be celebrating its 20th year along with the centennial celebration of Waldorf education. It is an honor to be of service to this community during a year held in high esteem by Waldorf schools worldwide.
We have been preparing all summer long for your return. The middle school and grade 3 have new desks and chairs, and we prepared both room A and B for student use. Room A will be used to teach age-appropriate mindfulness, stress reduction and long-term coping techniques. It will be a place for supportive, calming, and meditative games and activities. In addition, during scheduled appointments identified children will work to learn techniques for self-regulation, focus, and coping with stress. Room B will be used for home study Spanish, small reading groups, one-on-one assessments, and more.
The breakfast program will begin September 3rd, and we have been working with SJUSD to plan for all foreseen challenges. SJUSD runs very successful breakfast and lunch programs at their mainstream schools, so we trust they will be able to work out all kinks here as well. As long as every student gets breakfast, at home or at school, teachers will be happy. Teachers have spent much of their summer at training for the upcoming school year. In addition, they come to school in early August to prepare their rooms "just so." I know the children are happy to be back at school, because I have spent recess and lunch with them for the past week.
Teachers in Building Bridges Waldorf Training will continue their second year for certification. We also have two teachers who will begin their foundation year in September. Fortunately, we are able to provide training in Waldorf methods through Antioch University. In the meantime, mentoring continues for all new teachers. Ryan Sutton will mentor the upper grades 6-8 and Allie Brooks will mentor the lower grades 1-5. Teachers collaborate after our faculty meetings on Thursdays, and mentoring among peers provides valuable support to all.
The centennial of Waldorf Education leads me to reflect on our school's accomplishments, our future, and our commitment to our school's mission: "We prepare our students to consciously engage with our evolving world by inspiring a life-long passion for learning." I am grateful for our community members, because they engage in joyful service and respectful relationships to support our faculty. As faculty, we work diligently to cultivate excellence, and the resilience of our community reflects their commitment to holistic Waldorf education.
Here's to another 20 years of Golden Valley River School and 100 years of Waldorf Education. Stay posted for celebratory events for both anniversaries!