Opening Day, Rose Ceremony
A beloved tradition to celebrate the start of a new year. The entire school community gathers under the canopy behind the Margaret Preston Administration Building. Second graders welcome our new first graders as they begin their journey through the grades. We honor the incoming Senior class with roses. The faculty gives a musical offering to the community and we recite the “Bell Ringing Verse” together. Parents linger after the ceremony to greet old friends and welcome new families.
The ancient festival of Michaelmas celebrates harvest, human courage, and the triumph of light over darkness. Grades two through twelve participate in a pageant on the athletic field. Each class has its appointed role and children eagerly anticipate their future. The sixth grade takes the role of the fierce, fire-breathing dragon. The beast is created in secrecy over many weeks, to emerge and challenge the assembled crowd. Two members of the Senior class are chosen to portray Michael and St. George; endowed with heavenly strength and light, Michael and St. George subdue the mighty dragon for the good of all.
For more than 45 years SWS has put on a Harvest Faire with a tradition of community engaging activities for all ages. Try your hand at candle dipping or shop The Country Store for handcrafted jams, home goods or toys – there is even a special Children’s Store just for kids. Musical performances will run throughout the day with treats available from Café Waldorf. If you work up an appetite from zip lining, gourd painting, or from shopping at the many craft vendors, there are plenty of satisfying options at the food court. Entrance is free. Activity-tickets may be purchased at the Faire entrance.
The Pumpkin Path is a magical evening of beauty and light generally on or around Halloween where children will meet many characters as they journey through our kingdom. Angel guides accompany small groups of children and adults through the campus, which is transformed into a pageant of stories and wonder. Many parents are grateful to have the chance to share in an evening of delight and magic.
Held in mid-December, the Winter Concert showcases our talented students from third through twelfth grades. Dressed in holiday finery, they perform songs, instrumental pieces, Eurythmy, plays, speeches, and skits. This event is always packed as families gather to celebrate the season together and enjoy the extraordinary talents of our students.
Grand May Day
May Day celebrates the spring and the transition of our eighth graders from Lower School to High School. The eighth grade performs traditional, intricate maypole dances. As they dance their way around the maypole, they greet one another again and again. Their individual strands weave together to form a brilliantly-colored, complex cloth. This symbolizes the rich journey they have taken together over the years in the Lower School. Classrooms are open, displaying a full year of student work. High school students sell a variety of foods.
Our children eagerly anticipate Grand Day! On this special day, grandparents and other loved ones are our honored guests for the morning. The day offers a combination of classroom visits, student performances, campus tours, and a delicious lunch prepared and served by our Senior class. Grand Day recognizes the importance of these special relationships in the lives of our children.
John Mack Art Show for Waldorf Schools
The Annual John Mack Memorial Art Show is typically held in conjunction with Sacramento Waldorf School’s May Day Celebration. It is usually hung along the walls of Linden Hall and is available to the community to browse throughout the day. The show highlights the art of students, faculty and members of the Waldorf community in the Sacramento region.
In the wake of COVID, we endeavored to maintain the tradition of the show by moving it online. While a virtual format provides a much different experience than an in-person one, it does enable more to enjoy the beautiful art work of our school community. The 2021 virtual show is available at: The John Mack Memorial Annual Waldorf Art Show
John Mack was an amazing man. He worked at the Sacramento Waldorf School from 1988 to 2007 as our Facilities Manager. This show is named in his honor, not only because of the countless gifts his enthusiasm and hard work, his smile and his wry wit left in our community, but because it was his initial interest and excitement about the arts at Sacramento Waldorf School that led to the initial show!
Senior Benefit Concert, Senior Play, Senior Send-Off Concert, Senior Walk-Through
We mark the end of our students’ remarkable journey with a series of events. The Senior Send-Off Concert showcases our music program — members of the twelfth grade select their favorite pieces for choir, orchestra, or jazz to be performed. The Senior Benefit Concert shows a more contemporary side of their talent — twelfth graders perform a variety of skits or music as a benefit for their Senior trip. In Senior Walk-Through, held on the final day of Lower School, every child in the School gathers to honor and celebrate our graduates. Beginning in the Kindergarten, the Senior class is greeted with song or verse and an offering of fresh flowers. As they make their way from class to class, they retrace their own journey through the grades. The journey ends where the school year began, under the canopy behind the Margaret Preston Administration Building. The Class is greeted with tremendous applause. Seniors then lead the School in reciting the Bell-Ringing verse and the school bell tolls one last time. Graduation will follow one week later, after completion of the Senior trip.
Eighth Grade Promotion and Twelfth Grade Graduation
Traditionally the eighth grade promotion is held on the day after the last day of lower school and is hosted by the seventh grade. The twelfth grade graduation is held on the day after the last day of high school and is hosted by the eleventh grade. Both days mark the beginning of new chapters in our students’ lives and are celebrated in unique Waldorf style.
Class Plays and Concerts
Waldorf students are talented and confident performers, as is evident in the class plays and concerts performed by classes throughout the year. From a young age, they participate in a variety of class plays and concerts, giving them poise, grace and confidence. Class plays reflect the curriculum, from simple puppet shows in Kindergarten to full-length plays as part of the culmination of eighth and twelfth grades.