early childhood

Madrona School Alphabet (N)

N is for nurturing….nurturing that underlies education at Madrona School. From our youngest students, introduced to a school setting through the sweet unfolding of a parent-child class, to the relationships that develop between students and teachers in both our early childhood program and our grade school, our faculty work hard to see each individual child and meet them where they are.

Our parent-child program offers a small child, ages 18-36 months, a home-like introduction to school and a social setting. Our teachers set up the room with care, selecting toys and activities, as well as parent education materials. This is often the way a family learns about Waldorf education. We run this program in two sessions, fall and winter/spring. If you know a family with young children, invite them to inquire about this most nurturing of classes!

Our preschool and kindergarten classes are both mixed-age, allowing for teachers to get to know a young student over two or more years together. Our teachers value their role as a parenting ally, and our students have a real opportunity to connect with another loving adult.  

This continuity is also an important nurturing element in our grade school. Class teachers move up through the grades with their students, getting to know a family over time; and our specialty teachers also enjoy building relationships. The teachers really get to know a family and their student, able to see growth from year to year, able to foster interpersonal relationships in the classroom, able to be another regular relationship in a young person's life. 

Teachers are, by definition, nurturing folks. At Madrona School, they gather for a morning verse of their own, a daily reminder of our school's focus on each student, on partnering with families to teach each child and see them go on into the world to become a whole and contributing member of society!

Finally, and not at all least, our parent community strives to nurture one another, through regular events like parent meetings and parent society, volunteering in the classrooms to share talent and time with teachers and students, and in helping when a family needs a little extra help. We invite you to enter into the school community in whatever way feels comfortable for you. Join us!

—adapted from our school newsletter

Madrona School Alphabet (M)

Our celebration of what makes a Madrona School Waldorf education unique continues with… M for music!

Music in its most basic rhythmic form surrounds us from our earliest days -- heartbeat and breath, and eventually those sweet, simple lullabies from our parents and caregivers. There are many books and articles to explain different ways our brains benefit from music, its relationship with math, with memory, and on and on. Music infuses our curriculum at Madrona School too. There are songs for all the work and transitions in our early childhood classes, and during circles throughout the grades. We sing as classes and at assemblies, we play flutes and recorders, and 4th graders choose a stringed instrument, playing and reading music together through 8th grade. Music helps our students practice pattern recognition (good for reading and math!), creativity of expression, and collaboration through ensemble work, not to mention improvement through the discipline of a daily practice. Music offers an expression of joyful organization and speaks to us on so many levels; its daily integration in the curriculum is truly something to treasure!

—adapted from our weekly email newsletter

May Day 2019

We really enjoy our school-wide festivals as an opportunity to gather together for seasonal fun. May Day is particularly beloved as a celebration of spring and the re-awakening of the natural world around us. It is particularly photogenic too, with flowers and brightly colored ribbons. Our school traditions include making flower crowns, a cake walk, bubbles, lemon peppermints (a peppermint “straw” inserted into a whole lemon), a community picnic and dancing around a maypole.

Lowery Farm Campaign Update: Mark Your Calendars for November 28

Dear Madrona Families,

This is a very exciting time in Madrona School’s history. With our 20th anniversary just around the corner, Madrona School has a unique opportunity to create a legacy of Waldorf education on Bainbridge Island with the purchase of the Lowery Farm property. This very special piece of land has become an integral part of our school’s curriculum and culture, serving as our second kindergarten classroom, providing gardening and outdoor space for our 1st through 8th grade students, and hosting many of our lively school festivities.

Many people in our school community have been hard at work on a long-term plan to purchase the Lowery Farm property with the ultimate goal of building a new home for Madrona school on the site in the years to come. While that is still very much our goal, the reality is that without the farm we could not even continue to serve our current students and families—we quite literally do not have enough rooms in our current building for all of our students!

As we move closer to the 2019 deadline for purchasing the land, many of you have asked where we stand in the process. While the Board and Lowery Farm Acquisition Committee have been hard at work putting into place all the pieces that will go into making this dream a reality, nearly all that work has been “behind the scenes.” We’d like to take this opportunity to share with you our progress and alert you to some upcoming opportunities for greater involvement that we believe will be of interest to you.

To date, the Lowery Farm Acquisition Committee has been meeting weekly to accomplish the following items:

• Explore various financing options for the land purchase

• Develop a timeline for the land acquisition and corresponding capital campaign

• Lay the groundwork for an initial capital campaign focused on the land acquisition, including researching campaign consultants

• Work with the City of Bainbridge Island regarding the additional traffic study requested during the Conditional Use Permit proceedings

• Work with the architect on construction budgets and timelines for each of the three phases

While this is by no means an exhaustive list of all our activities, it does provide a snapshot into the work that has been going on behind the scenes to make Lowery Farm a permanent part of Madrona School’s future.

You can be involved as well! As we transition from planning to launching the campaign, we are looking for volunteers in the areas of construction, finance, fundraising and marketing to serve on active committees. The input from these committees will be crucial to the long-term success of the campaign.

To bring more transparency to the process and share additional details about the upcoming campaign, we hope you’ll join us for a Community Info Night on Wednesday, November 28 from 7-8pm in the EHCC Fellowship Hall. We’ll be presenting information on plans for purchasing the farm property, details on the capital campaign launch, and leave plenty of time for Q&A.

Rudolf Steiner said, “Man is not a being who stands still, he is a being in the process of becoming. The more he enables himself to become, the more he fulfills his true mission.” The success of the campaign and the acquisition of Lowery Farm will enable Madrona School to become more than we ever thought possible and fulfill our mission of bringing the joy of Waldorf education to generations of local families now, and in the future.

Cindy Smith
Chair of the Madrona School Board