Traditions and Rituals in the Life of the School
Rites of Passage
At the start of each school year, the first grade is welcomed into the school by the eighth grade.
The ceremony begins with the first grade students sitting with their parents. As each student is called, they step forth and their eighth grade buddy walks them across the stage to join their first grade teacher.
Each fifth grade prepares throughout the year to attend the Pentathlon. In this event they join with other Waldorf fifth grade classes from the region to participate in an event based upon the early Greek Olympics.
Knighting Ceremony & Medieval Games
Each sixth grade participates in a knighting ceremony before attending the Medieval Games. In preparation, they make their own tunics, with symbols of their choosing, that they feel are representative of themselves. The parents who speak about their children attend this event. The specialty teachers are also asked to speak about the qualities of individual students as part of the ceremony. The students then attend the Medieval Games where they join with other Waldorf fifth grade classes from the region to participate in an event designed to challenge and strengthen their knighthood.
Eight grade Assembly and Rose Ceremony
Each year the students of the school put together an assembly to honor the eighth grade class.
Each grade offers a contribution and the culmination of the assembly is a presentation of roses to the eighth grade by the first grade students.
On the last day of the Kinderhaus, the rising first grade students fly away to their first grade teacher. The first grade teacher, after receiving the students, takes them to the first grade classroom where they are welcomed by the current first grade class. They are welcomed with a song, poem or flute playing and are then given a tour of the classroom
Each eighth grade teacher forms the graduation ceremony with the Graduation Committee according to tradition as well as the needs of their particular class. Elements that are traditionally included include speeches or artistic performances by each student, a speech from the class teacher and a specialty teacher, and an artistic offering by the faculty.
The Michaelmas festival includes a pageant performed by grades two through eight, a community meal and a game of challenge for all the grades.
The Kinderhaus students and the first and second grades students attend The Martinmas Festival. The evening includes a story, a lantern walk and hot cider for all.
The students participate in the Winterfaire, and it is considered a school day, even though it occurs on a Saturday. Activities appropriate for all grades are included.
All Kinderhaus and grades classes walk the Advent Spiral during the school day at the beginning of the Advent Season.
Advent Carol Singing
During the week before the Winter Break, a fire is lit in the play yard each morning and all students, teachers and parents are invited to sing Christmas Carols and songs of the season around the fire at the beginning of the school day.
Mayfaire occurs on a Saturday, but is considered a school day for the children. The day begins with the choosing of the May King and Queen by a chicken. Children hold a bit of chicken feed in their hands, and the chicken chooses by eating from the hands of a girl and a boy. Grades threethrough five perform spring dances for the community and all grades host crafts activities.
Each year grades one through seven perform in an assembly dedicated to the art of eurythmy.
Grade eight prepares a special eurythmy fairy tale or fable as a present for their first grade buddies that is presented in a dedicated assembly.
Class Trip Week
Each year a week is set aside as class trip week and all classes use this week for their class trips. This allows specialty teachers to participate in the trips and helps to create rhythm at the end of the school year. Eighth grade occasionally varies from this time frame.