AWOCS Founding Report
We are happy to announce the founding of the Association of Waldorf-Oriented Charter Schools! (This is only the working name of the new organization).
The AWOCS Founders' Meeting was held over three days in Fair Oaks, California. An informal dinner on Wednesday, February 22nd, preceded the official meeting that convened at Rudolf Steiner College on Thursday, February 23rd. About twenty participants attended, representing schools from California, Oregon, and Arizona. We met throughout the day on Thursday and held a final session on Friday morning.
Our achievements included producing a draft mission statement, organizing the structure of the association, and determining a first order of business.
Our working draft mission statement reads:
"We are an association of publicly-funded schools committed to and practicing Waldorf education. Intrinsic to this approach is a common picture of healthy child development as articulated by Rudolf Steiner, expressed through specific curriculum and teaching practices that integrate the arts as key to the learning process. Member schools demonstrate collaboration among teachers, administrators, and parents in guiding the school, cultivating community, and honoring diversity and shared values."
The founders chose to create three AWOCS regions: North, Central, and South. At least one member of the AWOCS steering committee will represent the association in each region:
North - Martha Collins, of the Village School in Eugene, OR
South - Tim Connolly, of Journey School in Aliso Viejo, CA
Central (the largest region) -
Caleb Buckley, of Yuba River Charter School in Nevada City, CA
Susan Olson, of Sebastopol Independent Charter School, CA
Bonnie River, of Live Oak Charter School in Petaluma, CA
Additionally, steering committee members Rainbow Rosenbloom of Live Education! and George Hoffecker of Charter School Consultant Services will participate in meetings, whenever possible, in each of the regions.
We hope these regional groups will be able to convene on a monthly basis (or as often as possible), allowing AWOCS to benefit from a continuous dialogue on issues of importance to the community.
As the first order of business, AWOCS will seek to build a strong bridge to the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America (AWSNA). We hope to diffuse threats of litigation over control of Waldorf methods by representing AWOCS member schools as a united group of sincere, responsible Waldorf educators.
There is great enthusiasm for forming this association, and we look forward to working together for the benefit of all Waldorf-Oriented Charter Schools.
George Hoffecker will lead an administrative seminar at Woodland Star Charter School, in Sonoma, CA, on Wednesday, March 15th. All member school administrators are invited to attend. It will be followed by a Steering Committee meeting in the afternoon. If you would like to participate, please contact George at (530)878-9095 or firstname.lastname@example.org.