Free Puppet Play for Children April 12 at Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School

Waldorf Education in the Berkshires for over 40 years

Media Contact: Robyn Coe
marketing@gbrss.org
c: 818.287.1237

(Berkshires, MA) April 2, 2014—Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School (GBRSS) presents “Akimba and the Magic Cow,” a puppet play based on a folktale from Ghana, Saturday, April 12 at 10:30am in the Early Childhood building on the school campus at 35 West Plain Road, Great Barrington. This special puppet play for children up to seven years old will be performed by early childhood teachers, followed by playtime and an opportunity to learn more about early childhood programs at the school. Free. For more information, call Tracy Fernbacher, 413-528-4015, ext. 106 or visit gbrss.org.

GBRSS Early Childhood teachers present Hollyhock Dream  puppet play

GBRSS Early Childhood teachers present Hollyhock Dream puppet play

Early Childhood at GBRSS—The Early Childhood program at GBRSS is based on the simple yet profound concept that young children learn most effectively through imitation, imagination and meaningful activity. GBRSS early childhood teachers, puppeteers for “Akimba and the Magic Cow,” often use puppetry in their classrooms to help stimulate and develop students’ capacities for imagination, creative play, movement and language. Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School’s warm, developmentally appropriate, hands-on education for students from preschool through early adolescence starts with parent-child classes for babies and toddlers, two nursery (pre-K) programs for young children and mixed-age kindergartens. Early childhood classrooms are situated in their own building, equipped with natural playthings and surrounded by gardens, fields and woods. Tuition for nursery and kindergarten programs is based on a sliding scale, and new early childhood openings are available for Fall 2014. For more information, call Tracy Fernbacher at 413-528-4015, ext. 106, or visit gbrss.org.

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Interviews and high resolution images are available. To schedule an interview with GBRSS Early Childhood teachers, please contact Robyn Coe at marketing@gbrss.org or (818) 287-1237.

Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School and Good Purpose Gallery Host Benefit Art Show March 15

Waldorf Education in the Berkshires for over 40 years

Good Art for a Good Cause at Good Purpose Gallery

Contact: Robyn Coe
c: 818.287.1237 marketing@gbrss.org

(Berkshires, MA) February 21, 2013 – Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School (GBRSS) invites the community to a benefit art show March 15 through April 28 at the Good Purpose Gallery, 40 Main Street in Lee, Massachusetts. Works for sale include paintings, photographs, drawings and ceramics by artists in the community, with proceeds to benefit the programs of the Good Purpose Gallery and the Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School. All are invited to meet the artists at the opening reception Saturday March 15, 5-7pm, and join in the festive atmosphere of good works with good purpose, including wine and small bites during the event. To learn more, visit gbrss.org or goodpurpose.org

Art Show Starts Online – The art show will preview online from March 3 – March 14 on paddle8.com, an online auction site. Anyone can register and bid online, and bids will transfer to the gallery on opening night, March 15th. More artwork will be available on the site than the gallery has room to display, so interested art shoppers should be sure to visit both the online and live components of the show. Visit paddle8.com beginning on March 3, and search for “gbrss.”

GBRSS Art Show at the Good Purpose Art Gallery

The Good Purpose Gallery is helping to connect art and education in a meaningful way by integrating the Berkshires’ growing art scene with young individuals on the autism spectrum and other learning differences. The gallery is a component of College Internship Progam (CIP), whose motto is “You were made for good purpose and are inherently valuable.” Founder psychologist Michael McManmon, an artist all his life, had the inspiration to use the creative arts as a mechanism for teaching, learning and growth with CIP students, enriching students’ lives through arts and creativity and providing the opportunity for professional artists to share their skills with workshops, lectures and exhibits. Good Purpose Gallery hours are Monday, Wednesday and Thursday 9am-4pm, Friday and Saturday 9am-5pm and Sunday 9am-3pm.

Waldorf Education in the Berkshires—Voted Best School in the Berkshires in 2013 by Berkshire Record Readers’ Choice Awards, the Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School provides a warm, developmentally appropriate, experiential approach to learning for students from early childhood through early adolescence. Pre-K and Kindergarten classes take place in a specially designed early childhood building equipped with natural playthings and surrounded by gardens, fields and woods. On the other side of the 32-acre campus, the elementary school for first- through eighth-graders (from the Berkshires, northern Connecticut and New York’s Columbia County) provides a balance of rigorous academics and the arts, preparing students for their choice of high school and college. One of more than 1,000 Waldorf schools worldwide and part of a movement of independent schools developed in the early twentieth century by Austrian scientist, educator and philosopher Rudolf Steiner, the Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School operates from the core understanding that engaging all aspects of the human being—intellectual, physical and spiritual—provides a truly well-rounded education.

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Interviews and high resolution images are available. To schedule an interview with GBRSS Development Coordinator Jenna Lamond or Good Purpose Gallery coordinator Eileen Mahoney, please contact Robyn Coe at marketing@gbrss.org or (818) 287-1237.

Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School Announces First Grade Teacher Pamela Giles

Waldorf Education in the Berkshires for over 40 years

Media Contact: Robyn Coe
c: 818.287.1237 marketing@gbrss.org

Pamela Giles - Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School(Berkshires, MA) February 18, 2014—<a href=”http://gbrss.org/”>Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School (GBRSS) welcomes Pamela Giles as first grade teacher for the 2014-2015 school year. An experienced master teacher, Mrs. Giles has been a GBRSS faculty member for over 25 years, successfully graduating three eighth grades, and has served on several pivotal Board committees. GBRSS Interim Faculty Administrator Krista Palmer comments, “As a teacher, Mrs. Giles brings not only her deep insights of the students, but also her passionate vision for the future of our school. By virtue of her experience, she’s building for the future right from the beginning, fortifying her students’ capacities for imagination and learning. She is also wonderfully artistic, connecting all aspects of the curriculum to the child’s feelings and bringing subjects to life, so students are touched by what they learn.”

GBRSS is now accepting student applications for early childhood through eighth grade for September 2014, and will hold a “Meet the Teacher” evening, with an opportunity for current applicant families to meet Mrs. Giles, Wednesday April 2 at 7pm. To learn more, call Tracy Fernbacher at 413-528-4015 x 106 or visit gbrss.org

Primary Education at GBRSS—Pamela Giles grew up in New York City, where she was a student at the first Waldorf school in North America, the Rudolf Steiner School, from kindergarten through twelfth grade. She attended Colby College in Maine and received her Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Empire State College, SUNY Albany. She completed her teacher apprenticeship at the Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School while teaching handwork, and is an accomplished knitter and avid gardener. Mrs. Giles is involved in the wider development of Waldorf education as a teacher at conferences, as a mentor and evaluator, and this year, pioneered GBRSS’s Teacher Apprenticeship Program. All three of her children also graduated from GBRSS. Mrs. Giles adds, “Here’s what I told my current eighth graders: ‘You’ll be moving on to Algebra II in 9th grade, but I’ll be moving forward by going back to the beginning, to the alphabet, straight and curved lines, and stories.’ I am thrilled about taking a new first grade. I so much look forward to meeting and getting to know the Class of 2022 and their families.”

Waldorf Education in the Berkshires—Voted Best School in the Berkshires in 2013 by Berkshire Record Readers’ Choice Awards, the Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School provides a warm, developmentally appropriate, experiential approach to learning. Students stay with their community of teachers from first through eighth grade, in a progressively deepening relationship that builds on each child’s natural curiosity and the unfolding of each child’s capacities. In accordance with educator, scientist and philosopher Rudolf Steiner’s insights into human nature and the developmental stages of childhood, the study of literature and cultural heritage, consistently integrated with fine and practical arts, provides a balanced and engaging education that prepares students for their choice of high school and college, while teaching them to care for themselves, one another and the world.
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Interviews and high resolution images are available. To schedule an interview with Class of 2022 teacher Pamela Giles or Interim Faculty Administrator Krista Palmer, please contact Robyn Coe at marketing@gbrss.org or (818) 287-1237.

Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School Presents Annual Student Science Fair Feb 26

 

Waldorf Education in the Berkshires for over 40 years

Media Contact: Robyn Coe
c: 818.287.1237 marketing@gbrss.org

7th and 8th grade students deliver unique Chemistry, Biology and Physics Projects

Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School Annual Student Science Fair(Berkshires, MA) January 30, 2013—Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School (GBRSS) welcomes the community to the 5th annual Student Science Fair and Open House, Wednesday, February 26 at 7pm in the school auditorium at 35 West Plain Road, Great Barrington. Independent science fair projects, in which students work with a mentor who has expertise in their area of interest, allow a student to choose their own topic from earth science, physics, chemistry or biology. Their project can be an experiment (How do different fertilizers affect plant growth?), an exploration (What are the therapeutic applications of hypnosis?) or a design project (constructing a robotic arm). This year, close to 50 GBRSS 7th and 8th graders will demonstrate projects on diverse topics, including many that concern conservation and “green” solutions to everyday problems, such as how pollution affects coral reefs, building an underwater house and creating a model ecosystem–providing a firsthand opportunity to explore how students learn science at GBRSS. To join the open house the same evening, contact Tracy Fernbacher at admissions@gbrss.org or 413-528-4015, x. 106.

In the GBRSS classroom, science is first and foremost observation—Leading the Science Fair this year is Waldorf teacher Rick Shrum, who studied Marine Biology at University of California at San Diego, and worked as a marine biologist at Scripps Institute of Oceanography. He received his MA in Neurobiology from University of California at Santa Cruz. Beginning his PhD, Shrum found out about Waldorf education by attending a Waldorf school fair, where he saw students’ main lesson books open on a table and thought, “Wow, this is a whole different way of looking at science!” He started his career as a science teacher in the Rudolf Steiner High School in Manhattan, and joined the faculty at Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School in 1996, where he specialized in middle school grades, as well as working in the Great Barrington Waldorf High School. Shrum says GBRSS teachers approach science in the classroom “by taking a phenomenological approach, starting an experiment—let’s say the production of hydrogen gas—with the experience of a phenomenon. Students make a detailed observation, and from there, draw conclusions, formulating a concept based on their experience rather than starting with a concept as a given, which keeps their sense of wonder and imagination active. I tell the students, ‘It all starts with a question, and your curiosity.’”

Authentic Learning in the Berkshires—Voted Best School in the Berkshires in 2013 by Berkshire Record Readers’ Choice, the Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School provides a developmentally appropriate, experiential approach to learning for students from early childhood through early adolescence. Parent-Child, Nursery and Kindergarten classes take place in a specially designed early childhood building equipped with natural playthings and surrounded by gardens, fields and woods. On the other side of the 32-acre campus, the elementary school for first- through eighth-grade students (from the Berkshires, northern Connecticut and New York’s Columbia County) provides a balance of rigorous academics and the arts, preparing children for their choice of high school and college. One of more than 1,000 Waldorf schools worldwide and part of a movement of independent schools developed in the early twentieth century by Austrian scientist, educator and philosopher Rudolf Steiner, the Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School operates from the core understanding that engaging all aspects of the human being—intellectual, physical and spiritual—provides a truly well-rounded education.

Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School Teachers Create Original Book and Puppet Play, The Hollyhock Dream


Waldorf Education in the Berkshires for over 40 years

Media Contact: Robyn Coe
c: 818.287.1237 marketing@gbrss.org

Early childhood teachers from the Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School (GBRSS)  create an original story book, The Hollyhock Dream(Great Barrington, MA) December 10, 2013— Early childhood teachers from the Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School (GBRSS) have created an original story book, The Hollyhock Dream, about a girl and her little brother who venture through the forest in search of the flower their mother dreams will make her well. The fairy tale debuted as a puppet play at the school’s Holiday Handcraft Fair in November, and teachers will perform it again for the community at Mason Library in Great Barrington, Saturday, March 15, 2014, at 11:15 a.m. The Hollyhock Dream storybook, created locally in the spirit of giving to the community, is available for holiday giving at Matrushka Toys & Gifts, 309 Main Street, Great Barrington. Autographed copies of the book are also available through the school at 35 West Plain Road, Great Barrington. For more information, visit gbrss.org or call (413) 528-4015.

The Hollyhock Dream was written by teachers Trice Atchison, Beth Oakley and Jo Valens. “We went to a workshop led by author and storyteller Nancy Mellon last spring and, as part of the evening, wove together a story on the spot,” says parent-child teacher Trice Atchison. “We were so inspired by the process, we decided to collaborate on a new fairy tale for our Holiday Handcraft fair’s puppet play.”

Early childhood teachers from the Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School (GBRSS) create an original story book, The Hollyhock DreamWriting a new story allowed the teachers to consider themes such as how there can be more than one right way to a destination—sometimes with the least likely person leading the way; how benevolent help can show up during moments of confusion; and how the natural world is full of wonders, including plants that heal. When they finished the tale, the group decided to publish it as a storybook, with nursery teachers Jo Valens and Beth Oakley together illustrating the book with color pencil drawings. Jo Valens has previously illustrated The Waldorf Kindergarten Snack Book, The Waldorf Book of Bread, The Waldorf Book of Soups and Tell Me a Story, a collection of nursery and kindergarten tales from Waldorf teachers around the world, to which she also contributed several stories. Trice Atchison contributed to and co-edited A Warm and Gentle Welcome, a collection of articles about Waldorf early childhood education.

When it came time to adapt the story as a puppet play, kindergarten teachers Somer Serpe and Michelle Kuzia joined the collaboration, making silk marionette puppets to represent the mother and children, along with a grandfather rod puppet of felted wool that can move with expressive gestures. Teachers brought the story’s animal friends to life, too, and created a puppet stage for the characters’ adventures using silk cloths and simple props. Michelle Kuzia composed two songs to accompany the performance and Veronica Horowitz, nursery assistant, joined in as a puppeteer. Feedback has been positive, according to the teachers, with children re-enacting parts of the story in their free play and conversation, and parents mentioning that their children are asking for the story to be read again and again.

The Early Childhood program at GBRSS
is based on the simple yet profound concept that young children learn most effectively through imitation, imagination and meaningful activity. Teachers strive to create a nurturing and rhythmical environment in which the young child’s senses, imagination, and awareness of self and others can flourish. This developmentally appropriate and secure beginning provides a strong foundation for later academic and artistic learning in the grades and beyond. Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School’s developmentally appropriate, experiential approach to education for students from preschool through early adolescence starts with a warm welcome to learning in parent-child classes for babies and toddlers with a caregiver, two nursery (pre-K) programs for young children and mixed-age kindergartens. Early childhood classrooms are situated in their own building, equipped with natural playthings and surrounded by gardens, fields and woods. Tuition for nursery and kindergarten programs is based on a sliding scale, and new early childhood openings are available starting January 2014. For more information, call Tracy Fernbacher at 413-528-4015, ext. 106, or visit gbrss.org.

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Interviews and high-resolution images are available. To schedule an interview with Rhyme Time teacher Trice Atchison or GBRSS School Administrator John Greene, please contact Robyn Coe at (818) 287-1237 or marketing@gbrss.org

Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School Invites Families To 41st Annual Holiday Handcraft Fair November 9


Waldorf Education in the Berkshires for over 40 years

Media Contact: Robyn Coe
c: 818.287.1237 marketing@gbrss.org

(Berkshires, MA) October 25, 2013 – Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School (GBRSS) invites the community to the 41st annual Holiday Handcraft Fair Saturday, November 9, from 10am to 4pm at the school, 35 West Plain Road, Great Barrington. A creative welcome to the holiday season with family fun including puppet shows, hayrides, candle dipping and gifts to make and give, the GBRSS Holiday Handcraft Fair celebrates the joys of a handmade holiday. The event is held rain or shine; free parking and admission. For more information, call 413-528-4015, or visit gbrss.org.

Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School Holiday Handcraft Fair 2013 - Students and Maple Sugar Cotton CandySharing Delights of the Season – Every family in the GBRSS community comes together to create this festive winter village, from knitting quilt squares to form the Community Quilt–one of many unique items available in the Fair’s Silent Auction–to crafting small gifts for the Little People’s Shop, where children third grade and younger can choose gifts for friends and family. The Handcraft Room, the centerpiece of the Fair, offers a large selection of warm, soft handmade items, including baby booties, winter accessories, soft toys and classic Waldorf dolls. The Country Store also stocks one-of-a-kind gifts and gourmet treats (with Italian specialities this year), and the cafe serves lunch, warm drinks and desserts. Other highlights include carnival games, maple sugar cotton candy, a photo booth with dress-up costumes, the children’s craft room where youngsters can make presents themselves, and the Pocket Lord and Lady, whose many pockets are filled with small gifts.

Playtime at the Fair – GBRSS Early Childhood faculty will perform an original puppet play, “The Hollyhock Dream,” with multiple performances throughout the day. And Misfit Farms, the rescue petting zoo, will bring their family farm to the Fair this year, with piglets, goats, rabbits, a calf and turkey chicks to pet, feed and hold.

Authentic Learning in the Berkshires — Voted Best School in the Berkshires in 2013 by the Berkshire Record Readers’ Choice, the Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School provides a developmentally
appropriate, experiential approach to education for students from early childhood through early adolescence. Parent-Child, Nursery and Kindergarten classes take place in a specially designed early childhood building equipped with natural playthings and surrounded by gardens, fields and woods. On the other side of the 32-acre campus, the elementary school for first- through eighth-grade students (from the Berkshires, northern Connecticut and New York’s Columbia County) provides a balance of rigorous academics and the arts, preparing children for their choice of high school and college. One of more than 1,000 Waldorf schools worldwide and part of a movement of independent schools developed in the early twentieth century by Austrian educator, scientist and philosopher Rudolf Steiner, the Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School operates from the core understanding that engaging all aspects of the human being—intellectual, physical and spiritual—provides a truly well-rounded education.

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Interviews and high-resolution images are available. To schedule an interview with Rhyme Time teacher Trice Atchison or GBRSS School Administrator John Greene, please contact Robyn Coe at (818) 287-1237 or marketing@gbrss.org

Rhyme Time Returns to Matrushka September 10


Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School ~ igniting a lifelong love of learning for over 40 years

Media Contact: Robyn Coe
c: 818.287.1237 marketing@gbrss.org

Matrushka Toys and Gifts, Great Barrington(Berkshires, MA) September 4, 2013 – The Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School (GBRSS) announces the return of Rhyme Time, a song and story circle for young children with a parent or caregiver. Starting September 10, Rhyme Time will take place every Tuesday, 10:30 am, at Matrushka Toys and Gifts, 309 Main Street, Great Barrington. All are welcome to this free, weekly drop-in event. Led by Waldorf parent-child teacher Trice Atchison, Rhyme Time engages babies and young children in seasonal songs, nursery rhymes and simple puppetry.

Matrushka Toys and Gifts, located at 309 Main Street, Great Barrington, provides children with a wide array of high-quality, “child-powered” toys. The selection includes Waldorf toys, art supplies, games and books that inspire imagination, learning and fun, along with natural baby gifts and children’s clothing. Matrushka is open Monday through Saturday 10am to 5pm, Sunday 11am to 4pm. For updates about Rhyme Time, please call (413) 528-6911.

Cultivating Connection and Creativity – The Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School recognizes the importance of the early years to children’s healthy development and lifelong well-being. Puppetry, stories and singing are some of the ways Waldorf early childhood teachers foster imagination, strengthen the ability to concentrate and inspire a love of language. GBRSS early childhood programs include Parent-Child Gardenfor babies and young children ages 6 months to three and a half years, with a parent or caregiver; Nursery for children ages two years and nine months to four years; and Kindergarten for children ages four to six. Tuition for Nursery and Kindergarten is based on a sliding scale. For more information, please call Tracy Fernbacher at (413) 528-4015, ext. 106, or visit www.gbrss.org.

Trice Atchison has taught parent-child classes at GBRSS for six years, after creating and leading a program in northern Vermont. She earned her teaching certificate from Sophia’s Hearth Family Center in Keene, NH, a leading training institute for teachers working with children from birth to seven in a Waldorf setting. Trice also holds an MA in writing from Emerson College, a BA in philosophy and psychology from Wheaton College, and is currently studying healing puppetry for young children through Juniper Tree School of Puppetry Arts. She is the co-editor of A Warm and Gentle Welcome, a book of essays on caring for young children, published by the Waldorf Early Childhood Association of North America.

Authentic Learning in the Berkshires—Voted Best School in the Berkshires in 2013 by the Berkshire Record Readers’ Choice, the Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School provides a developmentally appropriate, experiential approach to education for students from early childhood through early adolescence. Parent-Child, Nursery and Kindergarten classes take place in a specially designed early childhood building equipped with natural playthings and surrounded by gardens, fields and woods. On the other side of the 32-acre campus, the elementary school for first- through eighth-grade students (from the Berkshires, northern Connecticut and New York’s Columbia County) provides a balance of rigorous academics and the arts, preparing children for their choice of high school and college. One of more than 1,000 Waldorf schools worldwide and part of a movement of independent schools developed in the early twentieth century by Austrian educator, scientist and philosopher Rudolf Steiner, the Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School operates from the core understanding that engaging all aspects of the human being—intellectual, physical and spiritual—provides a truly well-rounded education.

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Interviews and high-resolution images are available. To schedule an interview with Rhyme Time teacher Trice Atchison or GBRSS School Administrator John Greene, please contact Robyn Coe at (818) 287-1237 or marketing@gbrss.org

Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School Students Win National Poetry Laurels


Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School ~ igniting a lifelong love of learning for over 40 years

Media Contact: Robyn Coe
c: 818.287.1237 marketing@gbrss.org

4th Grade Poets - GBRSS

4th Grade Poets

(Berkshires, MA) May 15, 2013—As an exciting highlight of national poetry month in April, six fourth grade students at the Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School (GBRSS) have learned that their original poetry will be included in the national anthology Young American Poetry Digest 2013, according to congratulatory letters sent to the students individually by the National Schools Project, Boise, ID. Now in its nineteenth year, the National Schools Project was created to share creative work that represents the best of American students and to provide publishing opportunities for young poets. GBRSS fourth graders created the selected poems during a three-week poetry block. Some of the winning poems were haikus, a Japanese form that focuses on rhythm rather than rhyme, and is the theme of this year’s anthology. GBRSS fourth grade teacher Kirsten Suberg submitted interested students’ poems for national consideration along with curriculum support teacher and GBRSS co-founder Jean Zay. Ms. Suberg points out that her students adopted the haiku poetry form with gusto, as Waldorf students work with rhythm in many aspects of learning from their very earliest years in preschool. She added, “This class really loves to write, and they are really writing. I was impressed by the quality of work coming out of our fourth graders.”

The National Schools Project selection panel is made up of educators who select the best poems submitted from teachers and librarians countrywide, ones that are especially well-written for the age level of the student. According to the National Schools Project website, “Poetry provides a means for students to express themselves and to develop their creative talents. We want kids excited about writing!” This year’s Young American Poetry Digest will be published in October. There is no charge to the student for publication. A free copy of the book is sent to the participating school library, and any school can request a complimentary copy at any time. For more information about the National Schools Project, or to order this year’s anthology, visit www.youngpoets.org

Authentic Learning in the Berkshires—Founded in 1971, the Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School provides a developmentally appropriate, experiential approach to education for students from preschool through early adolescence, starting with a warm welcome to learning in parent-infant/toddler classes, preschool and kindergarten. Early childhood classrooms are situated in their own building, equipped with natural playthings and surrounded by gardens, fields and woods. On the other side of the 32-acre campus, the elementary school for first through eighth grade students (from the Berkshires, northern Connecticut and New York’s Columbia County) provides a balance of rigorous academics and the arts, preparing children for their choice of high school and college. One of more than 1,000 Waldorf schools worldwide, a movement of independent schools developed in the early twentieth century by Austrian educator, scientist and philosopher Rudolf Steiner, the Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School operates from the core understanding that engaging all aspects of the human being—intellectual, spiritual and physical—provides a truly well-rounded education.
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Interviews and high resolution images are available. To schedule an interview with GBRSS School Administrator John Greene or GBRSS Fourth Grade teacher Kirsten Suberg, please contact Robyn Coe at (818) 287-1237, or marketing@gbrss.org

Great Barrington Waldorf Schools Now Certified to Enroll International Students

Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School ~ igniting a lifelong love of learning for over 40 years

Media Contact: Robyn Coe c: 818.287.1237 marketing@gbrss.org

Frau Wirth with visitors from Mainz,  Germany

Frau Wirth with visitors from Mainz, Germany

(Berkshires, MA) May 1, 2013—Great Barrington Waldorf High School (GBWHS) and Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School (GBRSS) jointly announce that as of April 2013, the U.S. government has certified both schools to establish exchange and visiting student programs. The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security approved the schools’ application to issue forms I-20 to international students admitted in grades 1-12, so that they may apply for student visas to study at either school.

Tracy Fernbacher, Admissions Coordinator at the Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School, who shepherded the schools through the certification process, commented, “This certification makes it possible to attract and enroll motivated students from other countries. This is the beginning of a valuable process of cultural exchange.” Stephen Sagarin, Great Barrington
Waldorf High School Faculty Chair added, “We anticipate that this international certification will strengthen our relationships with Waldorf and Steiner schools in Germany and South America.” In the past, the Great Barrington Waldorf High School has hosted visitors from Munich, Germany, Lima, Peru and Cali, Colombia, but foreign students could only stay for 90 days on visitors’ visas, and could not officially enroll in school. With this certification, GBWHS and GBRSS can now enroll students from all parts of the globe as full-time students.

Great Barrington resident Lelia Bruun, coordinator for international student exchange programs such as PAX (Program for Academic Exchange) and USAI (USAImmersion, in programs with camps such as Hi-Rock, and Academic Year) which hosts students from Europe, Latin America and Asia, as well as primarily Muslim countries and the former Soviet bloc, commented on the impact of the schools’ new status as international student visa providers: “Any time there is an exchange, there is understanding; out of that comes compassion and a sense of commonality. While all Great Barrington Waldorf High School students have the opportunity to study internationally as part of their curriculum, with this new certification, the reverse is also true: the world can come to both GBWHS and GBRSS. Now every experience for these students will be bigger. When an international peer talks to them about sports or academics in their home country, it puts it in their perspective. All of a sudden, students in the Berkshires start to understand a world different from theirs. It’s like traveling the world without a passport.”

Authentic Learning in the Berkshires—Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School and Great Barrington Waldorf High School are independent, coeducational day schools, part of the movement of more than 1,000 Waldorf schools worldwide based on the educational principles of Austrian educator, scientist and philosopher Rudolf Steiner. GBRSS, founded in 1971, educates students from preschool through 8th grade, and GBWHS, which grew out of the lower school in 2002, educates students grades 9 through 12. Both schools operate from the core understanding that engaging all aspects of the human being—intellectual, spiritual and physical—provides a truly well-rounded education.

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Interviews and high resolution images are available. To schedule an interview with GBRSS Admissions Coordinator Tracy Fernbacher or GBWHS Faculty Chair Stephen Sagarin, please contact Robyn Coe at (818) 287-1237, or marketing@gbrss.org

Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School Invites Berkshire Community to May Day Celebration May 1

Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School ~ igniting a lifelong love of learning for over 40 years

Festive Maypole dancing with live music, spring blossoms, games

Media Contact: Robyn Coe c: 818.287.1237 marketing@gbrss.org

May Day Celebration at Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School(Berkshires, MA) April 17, 2013—Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School (GBRSS) invites the community to celebrate the delights of spring on the school grounds at 35 West Plain Road, Great Barrington. The ancient spring festival of May Day is brought to life at the school with fiddlers, flutes and dancing around the Maypole. Festivities begin at 11:00am, with country dancing by elementary students and performances by local Morris dancing teams. The May Day celebration continues with games and picnics on the lawn. The community is invited to bring family and friends, blankets, hats, sunscreen and picnic baskets to welcome summer in! The school will also host an open house and informal tours the same morning. For more information, contact Tracy Fernbacher at 413-528-4015 x. 106 or admissions@gbrss.org

Waldorf schools all over the world celebrate festivals from many heritages throughout the school year. At the Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School, during February and March, 4th through 8th graders anticipate the end of winter by learning country dances using ribbons, bells and wooden sticks to wake the earth. The 5th graders perform dances that weave bright ribbons around the 25 foot-tall Maypole. 8th grade teacher and May Day master of ceremonies Christopher Sblendorio comments, “It’s important to mark transitions in the seasons of life with festival days. Celebrating that we’ve made it through another New England winter connects us to the earth, our human past and our human present, our community. And it’s so much more fun to celebrate together.”

Authentic Learning in the Berkshires—Founded in 1971, the Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School provides a developmentally appropriate, experiential approach to education for students from preschool through early adolescence, starting with a warm welcome to learning in parent-infant/toddler classes, preschool and kindergarten. Early childhood classrooms are situated in their own building, equipped with natural playthings and surrounded by gardens, fields and woods. On the other side of the 32-acre campus, the elementary school for first through eighth grade students (from the Berkshires, northern Connecticut and New York’s Columbia County) provides a balance of rigorous academics and the arts, preparing children for their choice of high school and college. One of more than 1,000 Waldorf schools worldwide, a movement of independent schools developed in the early twentieth century by Austrian educator, scientist and philosopher Rudolf Steiner, the Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School operates from the core understanding that engaging all aspects of the human being—intellectual, spiritual and physical—provides a truly well-rounded education.
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Interviews and high resolution images are available. To schedule an interview with GBRSS School Administrator John Greene, or May Day Master of Ceremonies Christopher Sblendorio, please contact Robyn Coe at (818) 287-1237, or marketing@gbrss.org