Week 12

Dear Urban Prairie Families,

As we wrap up parent-teacher conferences and head into the holiday, I hope you experienced all over again what it means to invest in an education that is born from our belief that the child learns best who is seen and heard and loved. I know that’s the intention our teachers carry into every classroom, recess, and expedition for every student in our school.

With that spirit and GivingTuesday approaching, please consider – and make! – your gift to the 2021-22 Annual Fund. On behalf of the teachers, administrative staff, goats (Lefty, Poncho, Yang, and Holly), and proliferating roly-poly colonies of Urban Prairie Waldorf School, thank you.

Cheers to giving with goat-sto this season!

Sorry, I’ll stop being such a pill (bug).

Ok, ok, rolling along here….



This Weekly Admin Newsletter includes:

  • Calendar highlights

  • School News

  • News from

  • Community Connections Update

  • Important Reminders

  • UPWS Admin Contacts

Calendar Highlights

November 24 Independent Work Day – No School

November 25, 26 Thanksgiving Holiday

November 30 Giving Tuesday

December 1 Middle School Parent Chat: High School Process

December 8 First Friday Coffee

December 9 Board Meeting – via Zoom

December 16 Festival of Light Solstice Spiral

School News

Welcome to Dani Ruiz!

After the holiday, be sure to say hello to Dani Ruiz (she, her), who joins UPWS on Nov 29 in Kim George’s former role as Operations Coordinator. Dani’s hours are 10 am – 6 pm. She comes to us from Loyola University Health, where she has been scheduling patient care in a highly structured system. Dani is a master organizer and has a meticulous approach to completing tasks. She enjoys working with others, excels at customer service, and speaks Spanish. We are so excited to welcome Dani into our community.

Middle School Parent Chat: High School Process

Middle School Parents and Guardians, mark your calendars for Wednesday, Dec 1, 6:30pm. Grade 7 parent Jon Vigano will host a zoom chat create a space where families in grades 6-8 can:

  • share their process and experiences so far in navigating the Chicago high school landscape

  • access information about different schools

  • learn about admissions processes

  • share resources

  • ask questions

Vaccine Clinic at Urban Prairie (Take Two!)

We have been working with IDPH to reschedule our vaccine clinic, and it is on the schedule once again! They have been very careful in rescheduling, and it sounds like this is official. The clinic will take place Monday, December 6, 2021, from 3 pm – 6 pm in Cricket Hall. It is focused on providing 5-to-11 vaccine doses, but they will also offer adult booster shots (both Pfizer and Moderna will be available for adult boosters). This will be open to all members of our community, including extended families. The second shot clinic will be scheduled for Tuesday, January 4, 2022, from 3 pm to 6 pm. More information will be available next week, but please put it on your calendar now!

After School Programs Winter 2022

We are excited to announce two new after school program that will start in January. Sign ups are now active in Operoo (www.operoo.com). (You can clear this form from your Operoo account by clicking “Decline.”)

Circus Club

January 10 – March 9

Mondays: grades 1 and 2

Wednesdays: grades 3, 4, and 5

Pickup time: 4:30pm – $200

Join staff from CircEsteem and our very own Sophie Baumgartner in the UPWS gym for circus activities. Space is limited! In order to run these clubs we need enrollment numbers by December 10 – so please sign up early!


January 10 – March 18

Tuesdays: grades 6 – 8

Pickup time: 4:30pm – $160

Movement instructor Adriana Kondrat will run this Tuesday afternoon intramural basketball 101 clinic. Sure to be a favorite!

News from our Community

Successful Failures: Lumpen Turns 30

Grade 6 parent Ed Marszewski … artist, publisher, entrepreneur, restaurateur, breweur, often referred to as the Unofficial Mayor of Bridgeport … invites fellow UPWS fambos to purchase tickets to Successful Failures, his nonprofit’s gala on Dec 9th at the Chicago Cultural Center celebrating the 30th birthday of Lumpen Magazine and the 20th anniversary of the Public Media Institute. Can’t make that date? Make a donation or bid on some art!

Ed’s group has received a grant that matches all donations to the end of the year. Says Ed Mar: “It’s a huge thing for us. Check out the site: https://www.betterunite.com/lumpen30.”

Community Connections Corner

Sandbox Dig

A huge thank you to all the volunteers that participated in the Early Childhood sandbox dig! It took a lot of HARD work and community to make it look so beautiful. Our little ones in the Roots and Gardens are digging in for their turn at sandbox construction!

First Friday Coffee Save the Date: Dec 4th!

How did the hipster burn his tongue?

He drank his coffee before it was cool!

Join us on Dec. 4th for coffee, conversation, and maybe some jokes!

Parents! Yearbook Team needs your photos.

Photos, photos, photos! If you have any photos of any events last year (in-person or remote), we would love it if you could share them with us! Send them to me at anne.mc…@urbanprairie.org.

Let’s Get Together!

Looking for someone’s contact to build community, connect with other families, get your children together to play? Find each other here!


Volunteer Opportunities

Have some time to lend a hand? Community Connections is always building our volunteer team and would love to have you! Please email me at anne.mc…@urbanprairie.org or come to our 1st Friday Coffee on Dec 4th and we can chat.


New Attendance Procedure

After Thanksgiving break we will no longer require a daily health screening for students attending school. We will assume that by attending school your child is in good health and symptom and exposure free.

If your student will be late or absent from school please report this to the office as soon as possible. There are three ways you can report lateness or absence:

Please report the reason for an absence; if your child is experiencing symptoms we will continue to follow our current COVID protocols.

Lost and Found

We are amassing quite a collection of water bottles, gloves, garments, and miscellanea. The best way to help is to label everything you send to school with your kiddos!

We will work on sending out photos of what we have, but if you know your child is missing something encourage them to look through the lost and found!

All items will be donated on December 10.

Outerwear Guidelines

As the weather fluctuates wildly, please send your kiddos prepared with layers! Here is a quick temperature guideline, please dress for the low so they are prepared for whatever comes!

  • 70 degrees and warmer: Shorts, short sleeves

  • 65 – 70 degrees:  long pants required, short sleeves acceptable; long sleeves encouraged on cloudy and / or windy days

  • 50 – 65 degrees: long sleeves required; jacket layering recommended

  • 40 – 50 degrees: jacket required; additional layering recommended

  • 30-40 degrees: multiple layers required; outermost layer must include winter jacket, hat and gloves / mittens; scarf highly recommended for all ages / required for lower grades (EC – 3)

  • Below 30 and if snowy: snow gear required – winter jacket, snow pants, hat, gloves / mittens, and boots

Rain: Please send rain jackets, pants, and boots on rainy days! We ask students NOT to bring umbrellas as they present a safety concern on the play lot. It is always a good idea to send a full change of clothes that stays at school, especially for younger students.

Vaccination Status Updates

We will collect vaccination details for younger students soon. If your student is fully vaccinated, please complete this Google Form or email ad…@urbanprairie.org with your student’s vaccination dates.


For curriculum and classroom related questions and concerns, please start by contacting your class teacher or subject teacher.

Administrative questions may be directed to:

Sophie Baumgartner, Pedagogical Operations


AJ Lee, Director of Operations & Finance


Sharla Paul, Head of School


Jen Kang, Director of Curriculum & Instruction


Jenn Zielinski, Director of Enrollment Management