Summer issue of Alabama Waldorf newsletter now available!

The summer issue of Alabama Waldorf School’s newsletter, the AWS Awareness, is available now on our website,!

This is a big issue, featuring:Screen Shot 2015-06-30 at 1.00.17 PM

  • Poetry by the AWS 8th grade class about their trip to Oaxaca (photo of that paradise at right!)
  • articles about our Screen-Free Week challenge and “Raising Children in a Digital Age”
  • photos of class plays, Handwork projects, and more

One of our grades teachers, Crystal Gibb, even reviews the philosophy of another non-mainstream school founded by Marietta Johnson.

Click here to download the newsletter.

Click here to browse past issues of the Awareness on our website.

Happy reading!

Leonardo da Vinci in Grade 7


In the 7th grade in Waldorf schools, the students no longer have to accept the teacher as the sole artist authority and, in fact, are allowed to draw after looking at work from the masters. As part of their history block, AWS 7th graders re-created Da Vinci’s “Head of a Woman.”

Find more student and teacher artwork, along with the following articles, in the April/Spring 2015 issue of the AWS Awareness: Happy Holi! Celebrating Culture in the Kindergarten, Knitting Socks in Grade 5, Watercolor Painting in the Kindergarten, Mathematics in Grade 4, and Russian in the Grades.

Past issues of the newsletter can be found on our website,

The February Issue of the AWS newsletter available now!

The February 2015 issue of Alabama Waldorf School’s newsletter, the AWS Awareness is now available on our website, This is a big issue! Check it out for articles on the importance of play, how science supports Waldorf methods, Creative Writing in 7th & 8th grades, a special section on our 2015 Gala Fundraiser, The Edge of Chaos on 2/28, and much more!

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Featured Auction Items Sneak Peek!

Edge of Chaos gala pdfEach year Alabama Waldorf School hosts a gala fundraiser to support the operating budget of the school. The annual gala is important, not just because it helps keep the doors open at Alabama’s only Waldorf school, but also because it highlights the artwork, services, and products of business owners and artists who donate to our cause. Through our silent auction, we are proud to showcase the local talent — whether artsy, crafts-y, or business-savvy — of our awesome Birmingham community!

And this year’s auction fundraiser is no exception! “The Edge of Chaos” will be held on Saturday evening, February 28th, 2015. Ticket holders will enjoy hors d’oeuvres provided by the culinary genius of local restaurants and chefs, bask in the glow of awesome playlist generator DJ Supreme, Jon Malone, and peruse an auction chock-full of unique items like jewelry, top-of-the-line services, and handmade and locally-sold goods. Stay tuned to our blog and facebook page for previews of the awesome silent auction spread that awaits ticket-holders on Feb. 28th.

Here’s a peek at some of our featured auction items, some of which extend beyond Birmingham!

W. Robert Spiegel, M.D.

Concierge Medicine Package — One-year concierge medicine membership with Dr. Rob Spiegel of Signature Health. At a value of $1500, those who have used Rob before (including AWS parents and staff) can tell you it’s worth far more. The personal, immediate 24/7 attention is something you just don’t get from any doctor, especially when it comes to help with chronic medical conditions, help with aging grandparents and parents, etc.

From “Signature Health limits the constraints associated with traditional medical practices. In today’s traditional medical practices, each physician serves thousands of patients, often as many as 40 patients a day. With only a limited amount of time to devote to each scheduled appointment, it is difficult for a physician to address all of a patient’s concerns or questions during an office visit.”

Summer Camps Beyond the Ordinary — Tired of the same ole’ summer camps? Give your middle schooler a new experience and bid on one of these packages!

  • Soccer Camp at the University of Connecticut — one spot for a girl or boy at one of UConn’s soccer camps for children entering grades 6 through 12 in the fall.
    UConn’s men’s soccer program has produced the #1 draft pic for the MLS for two consecutive years. Led by National Champion Collegiate Coach and Four-Time Coach of the Year Ray Reid, the camps focus on helping each player improve and develop his/her skills in a challenging but fun environment.
  • The winning bidder will choose one from several day and overnight camps available:
    For boys, ages 9-18 — Elite Academy, a week-long boarding camp valued at $625 (includes lodging and meals), two sessions: July 12 – 16 or July 19 – 23. Also available as an Extended Day camp.
    For boys or girls ages 6-13 — The Ray Reid Young Stars Camps are week-long, 3-hour day camps (no boarding). Several dates to choose from.
    For boys and girls, ages 7-12 — A Co-Ed Developmental Training Program, July 13th-17, extended day program only

Learn more about these camps at

  • Camp Mowglis – All-inclusive 7-week camp for boys ages 7-15 on Lake Newfound at 100+ year old boys’ camp.
  • Value: $7,000.
  • Dates: June 27th-August 16th, (option to attend 4 weeks if seven is too long). 
  • Camp Mowglis’s staff frequently work with Waldorf Schools, and their values are tenable to Waldorf (it’s an unplugged camp!). The Camp Director is even a Waldorf parent. There are plenty of great testimonials on their website (along with pronunciation: Mao-glee), like this one: “Camp Mowglis helped my boys understand their strengths and overcome their weaknesses, taught them to make the best out of every possible situation, encouraged them to learn new things and to have a positive attitude, all through activities that are fun, unique and well rounded.”

Enroll now for Fall 2015!

Registration for the 2015-16 school year is now open at Alabama Waldorf School! If you’re enroll now jpg1interested in enrolling your child in an AWS program (serving children ages 2 through Grade 8), contact Admissions Director, Rachel Baay to get started on the application process.

Still not sure about Waldorf? Check out any of the wide variety of resources below to find the answers you’re looking for, no matter what kind of learner you are!

For Audio-Visual Types — Check out this short video available on our website. Created by a former parent for our Capital Campaign efforts, it also gives prospective parents a quick glimpse into the kind of learning offered at Alabama’s only Waldorf school.

For Kinesthetic Learners — Come see our classes in action! Join us for a tour of the school, offered every week on Tuesdays from 9am-10am. Led by our School Administrator, Lisa Grupe, PhD, the tour is the most comprehensive resource tool available for seeing, hearing, and interacting with Waldorf education and philosophy as it’s carried out in Alabama Waldorf School classrooms.

natalie rosalyn readingThe tours are designed with parents in mind, but for your child, a kinesthetic learning opportunity is available to her/him on our Classroom Participation Days! These free events are designed to give interested students a glimpse into the Waldorf school day. Students in Kindergarten through Grade 7 are invited to join AWS students in their classrooms and participate in the joyful learning characterized by Waldorf Education. The next Classroom Participation Day is on Wednesday, Feb. 11th, 2015. Parents should contact Rachel Baay ( or call 2015-592-0541) to reserve their child’s seat in the classroom.

Mid Ages MapFor Visual Learners — Check out the Art Galleries on our website, where you can peruse student artwork, as well as excerpts from the student-made textbooks called Main Lesson Books.

Past issues of our school’s monthly newsletters, called the AWS Awareness, are available on our website, and a quick resources link is located on our About AWS page. Click here for a copy of our Frequently Asked Questions about Waldorf Education.

For Social Media Learners — No, it’s not a learning type, but in this day and age, you can’t deny that for adults, social media is a convenient way to stay in the loop. Scroll through our Facebook homepage to find links to past articles about everything from why the play-based preschool program is being embraced by educators nationwide, to information about our community friend-raisers, to how Waldorf alumni fare (and succeed!) in the “real” world. You can also follow us on Twitter and Pinterest.

For Auditory Learners — Give us a call! When you call the school to ask for information, you are getting answers from more than just qualified Office Staff. Admissions Director Rachel Baay has been at the school since 2007 and can speak of her experience as both a preschool parent and grades parent. She can also talk about the important role of the Family Association, of which every AWS parent is a member.

Our School Administrator Lisa Grupe, PhD, taught Kindergarten and grades one through eight before becoming our Administrative Director four years ago. She speaks of the effectiveness of Waldorf Education from a developmental psychology background. Dr. Grupe also leads our weekly Tuesday tours.

And, our Marketing Director, Opal South, has taught Kindergarten, Grades 1 through 3, and Music at AWS. From 2009-2012 she served as Enrollment Director and now leads the Marketing Committee. Call 205-592-0541 to speak to any of these qualified staff members about Waldorf education.

So, there it is! Four easy ways to find out if Alabama Waldorf School is right for your child and your family. We hope to hear from you/see you/interact with you soon :)

Fall Fun on the Kindergarten Playground

Mr. Huck and Ms. Andrea worked tirelessly in September to get the newest playground equipment installed on theKindergarten Playground, and the kids couldn’t be more pleased with the results. Who would’ve guessed that a lot of rope, some engineered rigging, and a few strategically placed tree stumps could be so much fun? It’s all part of the play-based curriculum of the Waldorf Preschool. Not only is the outcome of the teacher’s hard work a new toy for the children, but in the process of building the structure, children can see meaningful work modeled for them by their teachers — and learn a bit about engineering and physics, too.

Alabama Waldorf School’s playgrounds are stocked with just enough tools to contribute to the child’s imaginative play life. Tree stumps, two-by-fours, and shovels and wheelbarrows are just a few of these wonderful tools/toys! One of the major aims of the Waldorf preschool is to build the imagination of the child, which will attribute to their critical thinking and problem solving skills later on.

kg fun rope 2 kg fun rope 3 kg fun wheelbarrow track edited

2nd/3rd Grade Language Arts & Reading

Our new website also features student artwork in the Photo Gallery section. Recent additions to the gallery include work from 2nd/3rd grade Main Lesson Books (student-made textbooks) from their last Language Arts block. More information about Main Lesson Books and artwork can be found on our website

mlb lang arts 2nd A

To learn more about how reading is taught at Alabama Waldorf School, download the September issue of the Awareness for an article about how 2nd/3rd grade teacher Ms. Gibb recently answered the question at a parent evening.

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