Learning from a distance... but with a difference!
Whatcom Hills Waldorf School’s focus is on experiential learning — an active approach to academics using different senses and subjects like arts, music, movement and ‘hands on’ pursuits to enliven and encourage retention of information. The Waldorf classroom experience is designed to build strong relationships, enhance social and emotional learning, and create community bonds through seasonal events, festivals, assemblies, plays and more.
Since in-person learning is currently not an option at this time for Grades Two through Grade Eight, our teachers and faculty are forging new pathways to engage and reach students and parents through our distance learning program. Our grades teachers are working in partnership with parents to help deliver the curriculum with imagination, inspiration, and intuition, while encouraging the older students to take more ownership of their learning, with growing maturity. Second through Eighth Grade programming continues to develop a comprehensive, intentional approach to connect with students and their parents, balance the need for technology, while minimizing screen time.
In this unprecedented time, one thing remains true: parents want their children in a warm and nurturing environment where their child is truly known.
Distance Learning Outline
Grades Pre-K -Grade 1
These grades fall under the licensing of the Department of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF). Considered 'early learners', these students will be able to attend school on campus following all health and safety mandates and recommendations.
Grades 2 - 4
In grades 2 - 4, children are in a transition period towards independent learning and will need your support for their productivity in a graduated way: more in Second Grade and less in Fourth Grade. Main Lesson material each day will include a written story or presentation of new material. Some portions may be in an audio or short video format. This will depend upon the material and the best way to deliver it. You will see daily language arts, math and reading practice activities. Artistic and movement activities such as bean bags, clapping games, drawing, speech, poems, singing, and flute will also be included weekly.
Grades 5 - 8
In grades 5 - 8, students are much more accountable for their own work. Their ability to read and follow directions is more developed, but parents may still need to support them with assignments. Generally, this is graduated and you can assume that a fifth grader will need a bit more support than a seventh grader. In these grades, the teachers may employ Zoom "whole class" meetings during the week. There may be additional meetings in smaller groups, if the teacher feels it to be necessary. Students can expect to have daily Main Lesson assignments, and regular math, and reading assignments. Supportive artistic activities will also be offered. We plan to hold optional pod sessions of 4-6 students on campus. Each student will have the opportunity to come to school for two hours once per week. We hope to build on this as health mandates allow.
As the eighth graders prepare for high school, the teacher may add additional assignments, Zoom classes and small group meetings for academic support. Events specific to Eighth Grade such as student projects and graduation may need to take a different form, but the school will endeavor to make them as rich and meaningful as possible.
These subjects are integral to Waldorf education, and deeply enrich the curriculum on a daily basis while the students are in school. Our specialty teaching staff has been reduced during COVID-19 but our teachers will continue to offer weekly assignments for each specialty subject that we are able to offer.
Teachers will make themselves available to speak to parents or students during pre-arranged “office hours” via email, video or phone calls.
*Please note that this is subject to occasional updates.