Announcing Dr. Linda Williams as our new 1st grade teacher!

The Detroit Waldorf School is pleased to announce Linda Williams as the teacher for next year’s first grade.

Dr. Williams is a long-time member of the Detroit Waldorf family.  She served as a Class Teacher for grades one to five from 1987-1992, spent a year opening DWS’ 3-year-old Kindergarten and then taught grades one to three at the Urban Waldorf School in Milwaukee.  Upon her return to Detroit, she became the Elementary Program Director of the Waldorf Institute of Southeastern Michigan.  She remained in this role while also serving as a Class Teacher for grades two through eight.

After graduating her last class from DWS in 2006, Dr. Williams became a professor of Teacher Education at Eastern Michigan University, where she taught undergraduate and graduate courses in elementary literacy and urban education.  At EMU, Dr. Williams is part of the Southeast Michigan Stewardship Coalition that helps community partners and schools enact place-based, environmental curriculum.  She also has served as an Honors College Fellow and has assisted the Upward Bound program.

During this time, Dr. Williams also served as a teacher mentor and teacher evaluator for several Waldorf schools.  She helped to develop curriculum for a public Waldorf initiative and she worked with several Waldorf schools on issues of diversity and inclusion.

Dr. Williams received her doctorate in Curriculum, Teaching, and Educational Policy, with a cognate in Literacy from Michigan State University.  Her M.A. was earned in Waldorf Education from Mercy College, and her B.A. was received from Justin Morrill College at Michigan State University.

Dr. Williams decided that she really missed teaching children, and is very grateful for this opportunity to serve as a Class Teacher again. 

Posted on June 5, 2014 .

Example of Waldorf's Approach to Science in 2nd Grade

Today, we talked about what sap is. The children used their innate curiosity and observational skills to discover for themselves a truly scientific understanding. Without reading in a book or asking a human expert, they came to the conclusion that sap is water and sugar, that it runs up the tree from the roots and out to the branches on warm days, carrying needed energy for the formation of buds and leaves. They concluded that sap would "boil down" into syrup when the water boiled away and the sugars were left behind, and that the syrup turns brown because the sugar is cooking. Wow! Let me break down for you how that conversation went because it's such a fabulous example of phenomenological science in the second grade.

It was Felix who said that water came from a well, Gabriel who added that the well water was running underground. Then Henry reckoned that the tree was somehow drinking underground water through its roots. Beatrix said that the tree may be pulling the water upwards like our blood comes up from our feet toward the heart, then Rolan added that leaves are wet inside when you rip them, so he knew that the water was going out the branches to the leaves. Johnathan mentioned that in the fall, the sap must be draining back down toward the roots or drying up -- that the tree stops drinking, so the leaves dry up and fall off. India had noticed that the sap was clear like water, but tasted a little sweet -- that it must have sugar in it. Ari added that sugar makes him go, "Oh, yeah!" and that he gets hyper when he has it, and Cass further defined this quality as energy. David and Elof compared what the tree was doing to the tree feeding itself a good meal to give it energy to do its work. Nathaniel said that when you boil water, it steams up and evaporates, but that sugar does not, so if you boiled sap, it would leave the sugar behind. Anisa said that when sugar cooks, it makes caramel and turns from white or clear to brown. And in one conversation, we went from "What's that stuff we see dripping?" to a clear and concise understanding of the maple-syrup-making process!

This kind of investigation dovetails nicely with our language arts work. We have been exploring stories with interesting content, asking questions, and using clues in the passage to answer them. On a smaller (more foundational) scale, we are exploring new words by "sounding out," which uses the same problem-solving skills.

Written by Kate Sandler, 2nd grade class teacher, Detroit Waldorf School

Posted on May 13, 2014 .

What do parents have to say about Detroit Waldorf School?

Every child should have the opportunity to attend the Detroit Waldorf School and every parent should have the opportunity to learn from the superb faculty and staff at this fine institution. It is, hands down, the best environment to nurture a child and prepare them for a happy, healthy and productive life. My daughter attended a Waldorf pre-school program and then all eight grades at DWS. She learned to work well with others while being encouraged to develop her own unique talents and gifts. Today she is a thriving adult and we both credit her success in life to the foundation she received at the Detroit Waldorf School.

Read More Reviews

Posted on May 1, 2014 .

Sports Fans Dream Offers at the Auction This Weekend

Hey sports fans, check out some of the great tickets available at this Saturday's auction. We've got 18 tickets in a luxury suite to the June 4th Tigers game. And 4 Tigers tickets for the May 22 game along with a $100 gift card for SLOWS BAR BQ. If you like basketball, we've got two tickets just behind the Pistons bench with appetizers, dinner and dessert in the VIP Club and private parking. Or those season U-M football tickets for 4. Or two 'on the glass' Red Wings tickets with dinner at Angelina Bistro, dessert at 24grille, and an overnight at the The Westin Book Cadillac Detroit. Wow!

Posted on April 2, 2014 .

AVALON donates a "Breadhead" membership

There are so many things to love about Avalon International Breads - delicious bread, wonderful baked goods & hot coffee. Up for bid at the DWS auction - a "Breadhead" membership - one loaf of bread every week for one year! A "Buzzclub" membership - one coffee every single day for a year (wow!). And a Treat of Day - one baked good every day for one year at Avalon on the Boulevard.

Posted on March 31, 2014 .

Love Food? Love to Cook?

Love food? Love to cook? We have some great cooking classes up for bid at the DWS auction. Learn how to prepare an unforgettable dinner for all using the recipes of Madame Charity Suczek, who was a Cordon Bleu trained chef. This class will be taught in her style in a beautiful home in historic Indian Village. Or how about Italian? Join chef Dave Mancini, Supino Pizzeria, to prepare and enjoy a four-course meal with paired wines!


Posted on March 28, 2014 .

Magical Evening at the DSO & Backstage Visit

Available at the DWS Auction - a magical evening of music with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra & Leonard Slatkin. This live auction item includes two box seat tickets, pre-concert and intermission appetizers and drinks in the VIP Lounge, and a backstage visit with Maestro Slatkin after the concert! Choose from Bronfman plays Beethoven on May 16, 17 or 18 OR Mahler's Third Symphony on May 30 or 31.

Posted on March 26, 2014 .

Weekend Getaway to Chicago

How about a weekend getaway to Chicago? Two nights in a retro Chicago apartment for 5, one 60 minute private yoga class or Thai massage session, admission to the Art Institute of Chicago and brunch at a neighborhood restaurant. You can bid on this item at the DWS auction on April 5th.

Posted on March 25, 2014 .

Bankole Thompson: Honorary Chair of this year's Spring Benefit Auction

Bankole Thompson, Presidential Author & Editor of the Michigan Chronicle will serve as Honorary Chair for this year's Spring Benefit Auction "Cultivating Excellent Education in the Heart of Detroit".

Thompson is the author of a series of books on the Obama presidency including Obama and Black Loyalty (2010) and Obama and Christian Loyalty (2011).  He is also a political news analyst at WDET-101.9FM and a member of the weekly "Obama Watch" Sunday evening roundtable on WLIB-1190AM New York.  

"It is my distinct pleasure to serve as the honorary chair for the 2014 Spring Benefit Auction for Detroit Waldorf School, an institution that has long been defining educational excellence in the city," Thompson said.  "There is no greater commitment to public service in the history of humankind than one that calls us to serve and to secure the future of our children."

Posted on March 13, 2014 .

Parent Spotlight - Cassie Laymon

If you have attended any festival at DWS, such as Michaelmas or May Day, you will see DWS parent Cassie Laymon very busy taking pictures. Cassie's photography displays DWS students in true form and her talent for capturing the moment is something to treasure.  Several of the photographs on this website are part of Cassie's collection.

Check out Cassie's gallery from the 2013 Michaelmas Festival.

Posted on February 10, 2014 .

Parent Spotlight - Chris Reilly

You may have sampled Chris Reilly's amazing cheese or ice-cream at a school event, as beer and cheese master extraordinaire for Detroit's Traffic Jam & Snug restaurant, he donates his time and talents in many ways around the school.  In addition to his culinary efforts, he volunteers for grounds projects and has served as an outstanding spokesperson for the school. 

Chris and his wife Gabrielle are parents to Beatrix and Delaney, second grade and kindergarten.

You can hear from Chris in this video and read more about it at this story that appeared in Education Detroit, Contribute to and Volunteer at Your Child's School Your Way.

Posted on January 15, 2014 .