Urban Prairie Waldorf School
Administration Weekly Update - July 19, 2017
School News   (5)
School Calendar

The calendar is subject to change throughout the year.  During the next month, events for the coming year will be added to the online calendar, and you will be prompted to subscribe to that calendar.  Please click the link to find the calendar.   2017-18 calendar

Student Health Form Requirements

As you prepare for the school year, below is a schedule by grade of required health forms and due dates.  All examination forms are attached or should be available at your child’s doctor office.  If you choose to waive the immunization requirements, the dental exam and/or the eye exam for clinical or religious reasons, the waiver must be signed annually in accordance with state law and submitted to the school.  All forms can be submitted to Administration in hard copy form or via e-mail to administration@urbanprairie.org.

All Grades

  • Illinois State Health Examination Form – Due by September 30, 2017

o   To ensure we are in compliance with State regulations, we are requesting an immunization form or waiver for each student.  The form may have been completed during any doctor office visit during the last 12 months up to September 29, 2017)




  • Allergy and / or Food Intolerance Forms – Due September 1, 2017

o   If your child has any physician-diagnosed food allergy, please have your physician’s office complete our Allergy Form.

o   If you child has a known intolerance to a food (i.e. they are not allergic to gluten but chose to be gluten free due to the physical or mental effects on their body), please complete the Food Intolerance Form.



1st Grade

  • Eye examination form due by September 30, 2017

2nd Grade

  • Eye examination form due by September 30, 2017 (unless already on file with  the school from 1st grade)
  • Dental examination form due by May 1, 2018

3rd, 4th & 5th Grade

  • No other reports are due to the State, but you may be contacted by Administration to complete an eye examination report or dental report if your child does not have one on file.

6th Grade

  • Dental examination form due by May 1, 2018
  • Eye examination form due by May 1, 2018 (if you do not have one on file with the school at this time)

7th Grade

  • No other reports are due to the State, but you may be contacted by Administration to complete an eye examination report or dental report if your child does not have one on file.

8th Grade

  • No other reports are due to the State, but you may be contacted by Administration to complete an Eye examination report or Dental report if your child does not have one on file.
Faculty Updates

As many parents are aware, we were still filling positions after school ended in June. We formally announced the updates to the parent body in each grade, but we wanted everyone to be aware of our new faculty members and some internal faculty changes.

1st Grade

Our incoming 1st grade, teacher is Amanda Poll. Ms. Poll was referred and highly recommended by Chicago Waldorf School where she worked has their primary substitute teacher for the last two years.  She holds a BS in Early Childhood Development from Ohio State University where she was part of the NCAA National Champion Women’s Rowing team.  She also holds a MS of Child Development and Education from Oxford University in England and MS in Elementary Education from Northwestern.  Ms. Poll spent the past year at Ogden International School as a Student Teacher in 2nd grade. Ultimately, her time teaching at Chicago Waldorf School and seeing how the curriculum is aligned with child development led her to pursue a career as a Waldorf teacher.

During our time with Ms. Poll, it became clear that she is passionate about the Waldorf educational philosophy and believes in its potential to shape children’s lives.  She appreciates how the integration of movement, music, the arts and the outdoors into the curriculum creates a holistic education experience that not only fosters academic growth but emotional and spiritual growth as well.

4th Grade

Our incoming 4th grade teacher is Megan Cather.  Ms. Cather has taught for the last 10 years as a Bilingual Class teacher at Chicago Public Schools and comes highly recommended.  She holds a BA in Spanish and Writing / Communication from Maryville College in Tennessee and a MS in Education from Northern Illinois University. Ms. Cather is a fellow at the Institute for Teaching Science Excellence. She has also pursued continuing education on how to differentiate and deliver curriculum to a wide range of learners especially with regard to mathematics.

Ms. Cather first learned about Waldorf education in the early days of her teacher preparation.  Attracted to the Waldorf philosophy because it takes into account the needs of the whole child, she has continued to read about Waldorf pedagogy throughout the years.  She has been waiting for an opportunity like this and is excited to make the move to Urban Prairie now.  A guitar player, she is especially eager to integrate her love for music, storytelling, and the visual arts into her teaching.

5th Grade

Ms. Hartz will be our 5th grade teacher.  The last two years she has played a very important role for the school as Pedagogical Director, and while we will miss her on the Administrative team, she will be an outstanding leader for the class.

Other Faculty Updates

Ms. Ingold will join Ms. Johns in the 2nd grade classroom as a co-teacher and is beginning courses for her Waldorf degree. Ms. Ingold has been a true team player over the last four years and stepped into every classroom, led aftercare, after school programs and been the face of our office. She will be missed in this role but we are thrilled to have her in the classroom.

Our new Administrative Assistant is Sophie Huckabay. Sophie is a former Chicago Waldorf School student and graduated with a BA from Kalamazoo College. Sophie is joining us from SmithBucklin where she worked as a Coordinator overseeing events, volunteer coordination, data base management, and much more.

After an amazing eight years as class teacher and graduating the first class for Urban Prairie, Ms. Kiefer is handing over 8th grade Main Lesson teaching to Ms. Merchant. This change will allow her time to usher in a new 8th grade curriculum initiative, Expedition Learning, and she will continue to teach some 8th grade skills classes. This change will also allow us to put her experience and knowledge to use throughout the grades in a variety of ways, such as working with gardening in 3rd grade, form drawing in 1st grade, and mentoring new faculty.

As mentioned above, Ms. Merchant will lead the 8th grade class in their final year, giving her the opportunity to teach a class that she feels very passionate about and lend her expertise in practical arts.  With this, her Social Inclusion and Three Streams of Student Support work will be taken up more fully by committees that involve all faculty and allow us to better utilize the skill sets of the group.

As mentioned in an e-mail this spring, Ms. Miller will be transitioning to a Handwork teacher and Ms. Baba will join us as our Eurythmy teacher.

Please join us in congratulating our new and current faculty members on their exciting opportunities as we continue to grow Urban Prairie.


Daily School Schedule

Our daily school schedule is as follows:

Arrival Time                                                             7:45 a.m. – 7:55 a.m.

School Day Starts                                                    8:00 a.m.

* If your child arrives at 8:00 a.m. or after the parent or driver will have to come to the office to sign the tardy slip for the child.


Monday – Wednesday and Friday                  3:25 – 3:40 p.m.

Thursday                                                               2:30 – 2:45 p.m.


School Directory

The school directory can be found by logging into your BigSis account and clicking the “Parents” tab on top and the “School Directory” on the left. You can filter by grade or name.  You can also click on “Class List” for more specific listings.

Please note: the school directory is not yet updated for the 2017-18 school year as we continue to make updates to BigSis.  It will be updated in mid August, if you have an questions about fellow parent / student information please let us  know.