From the Principal
My heart leapt a beat on Tuesday when I realized December had come! It’s one of my most favorite months, full of traditions and celebrations, sparkling night skies, and bright sunny days. December is also the last month of the year, and I think you may agree that the end to 2020 cannot come soon enough! Next year will surely remain challenging, but I see some hope on the horizon.  

I marvel at the incredible dedication and collaboration of our researchers across the globe who have puzzled out the treatments and vaccines coming our way to deal with this terrible virus. As a scientist myself, I have a small insight into the focused devotion these medical researchers have poured into their work -- I think we are all grateful.

Every one of us who joins together to form communities are part of a larger story that we take part in and help create. These days, this story is often played out in video meetings, packet pick-ups, phone calls, family time at home, outdoor exploration, and quiet reflection. And we still stay connected. Parents are doing the impossible to help keep children connected during Remote Learning. Teachers and staff dig deep into their creativity wells to stay connected with students and families. Our sleeping garden still needs tending by our community. Our Mountain Song story was picked up and told this week on KOAA News5 (see below). Our Parent Council is also weaving many stories of connection, as you can also see below.   

These stories are ours -- we take part in them and create them. I love them and feel we are as deeply connected to what makes Mountain Song strong as ever.  

In gratitude, 
Dr. Teresa Woods
Mountain Song in the News … Again!
On Wednesday evening, the local KOAA News5 program featured Mountain Song’s Red Oak 3rd Grade Class in their Rebound series - click here for the full story. Ms. Ieeda Banach, Class Teacher, along with student, Owen Arzate, and his mother, Ellie, were interviewed and shown interacting online during Remote Learning. The Rebound series focuses on how businesses, organizations, and individuals in Southern Colorado are rising to meet this moment of challenge during the pandemic.  
 
The story on Mountain Song, “Waldorf school navigates virtual learning during COVID-19 pandemic,” provides a glimpse into how the Waldorf experience is unique among Remote Learning educational offerings, as well as helpful advice for all educators during this difficult time. We are proud of Mountain Song teachers, students, and families finding our way together, growing together, and as such, proving to be a source of inspiration and hope for our broader community. Be sure to check out the story here.
Also be sure to watch the video news story on the second slide of the story slideshow.
Mountain Song Winter Break 
December 21 - January 5
The last day of the first semester is Friday, December 18th, with Winter Break following. There will be no school from December 21st through January 5th. School resumes on Wednesday, January 6th.  
  
Mountain Song has partnered with Innovation Learning to provide child care during the Winter Break. Click here for schedule, programming and enrollment details. Deadline to register is December 11th.
Winter Holidays in 2020
As the winter holidays approach, we are faced with decisions about whether we should gather with family and friends, as well as figuring out how to celebrate during the pandemic. Some of the resources below may be helpful as you plan for this time this year.  

The Simplicity Parenting Podcast with Kim John Payne is full of practical parenting tips for helping children grow in developmentally appropriate ways, in offering security and love to them while also cultivating discipline, self-regulation, and resilience. Kim John Payne has been to Mountain Song several times, and is deeply aligned with Waldorf education.

The Child Mind Institute’s article on Holidays During the Pandemic offers suggestions from mental health experts on how we can reduce stress, help kids (and parents) cope, and form new creative traditions this year.

The Children and Nature Network Families Page will be music to many parents’ ears in showing how time in nature strengthens family bonds. This resource also offers numerous ideas, insights, and activities for enjoying the outdoors with your family (be sure to scroll down the page to see them all).  

Finally, we encourage you to check out the CDC guidance on Holiday Celebrations and Small Gatherings.  

We very much wish you a healthy and safe holiday break.  
FREE Health and Wellness Seminar
Attention Mountain Song Families! Please join the Parent Council next Friday, December 11th at 6pm for a free Health and Wellness Webinar led by Licensed Social Worker, Yoga Instructor and Breathwork Facilitator, Sarah Savino. 

We will be discussing ways to manage anxiety and stress during this challenging time, and you will receive some practical tools and resources to help you stay healthy in mind and body. 
 
Topic: Health and Wellness Webinar
Time: Dec 11, 2020 06:00 PM Mountain Time (US and Canada)
 
Meeting ID: 859 7251 9001
Parent Council -- Winter Gift Drop Off to Teachers
As the holidays and Winter Break approach, we want to take a moment to show our teachers how much we appreciate all of their hard work. The Parent Council will be collecting notes, cards, drawings, etc. for all of our teachers starting on December 8th. Please bring your gifts of appreciation to the school during packet pick-up (Tue/Thu 12-4pm), where we will have a gift bag for each teacher. Simply drop your item in the correct bag and we will see that your teacher receives it. We will collect these through the last packet pick-up on December 17th. Let’s show our teachers how much we value everything they have done to serve our children through this incredibly difficult time! 

Mountain Song Parent Council
Fond Farewell to Ms. Shannon Huard
We are sad to announce the resignation of Ms. Shannon Huard, lead teacher in the Lily Kindergarten, who has graciously given so much to Mountain Song in her various roles, and we are grateful for her dedication to the children at our school. We also honor and respect her decision, and wish her all the very best.
 
Mrs. Jennifer Grimmett and Ms. Gina Nicoletta-Budler have since welcomed the Lily students and families into their own Kindergartens for the rest of the year. Ms. Janelle Pelletiere, assistant in the Lily Kindergarten, will assist both teachers, and we are pleased that she is helping to provide stability during the transition.
 
Please join us in sending our appreciation and best wishes to Shannon as she moves into her next steps.

Packet Pick-Up
Packet and supply distributions resumed this week. Pick-up will occur Tuesdays and Thursdays between 12pm-4pm.

Teachers will communicate directly with you about any supplies available for pick-up weekly. 

If you need to pick up packets or supplies, please carefully observe the following protocols. It is imperative that we follow strict safety procedures.

Drive-Through Instructions
  1. From Kiowa Street, drive through the parking lot next to the gym.
  2. Stop your car by the picnic table next to the gym door.
  3. You must stay in your vehicle.
  4. If no attendant is visible - give one short beep on the horn to let the attendant know you are there.
  5. Roll down the passenger side window - to keep social distance and communicate the name(s) of student and the teacher’s name.
  6. Attendant will hand the packet(s) through the passenger side window.
  7. Drive straight through the backside of the school and exit onto Bijou Street.

Teachers will email you directly if packets or supplies are prepared and are ready for pick-up next week, Tuesday, between 12pm-4pm.
Ag Arts Needs Spice Jars!
The harvest of summer and fall will season us this winter! 

We need clean, glass spice jars! We have plucked and picked, snipped and dried herbs and spices such as dill, fennel, rosemary, sage, bay, lavender, and lemon verbena. We will be preparing them for packaging soon. Agricultural Arts plans to sell our harvest by the jar this winter. There will be single harvest jars and some wonderful blends. So, let’s reuse some of those expired jars in the pantry! Please send in your clean glass spice jars today! 

Label your donation “Ag Arts” and drop them off at the gym during supplies pick up Tuesdays or Thursdays 12pm to 4pm. We will get them from the gym and start filling them from our garden harvest!

The more jars we receive, the more we can fill. 
The more we fill, the more we can sell! 
Thank you for supporting Ag Arts!
December Farm Volunteers Needed!
Our garden has gone to sleep except for some greenhouse plants. We need volunteers to help us keep our animals fed through December. We have 2 bunnies, 4 chickens, and many fish that require our warmth and attention.

Now that we are in full Remote Learning again, we need volunteers daily. We have slots open for December Farm volunteers! If interested, please volunteer via our Sign-Up Genius.

This is a wonderful way for you and your family to safely engage with our school garden. If you haven't volunteered in the garden before, please contact Mr. Adam at awright@mountainsongschool.com so he can arrange a time for you to be trained.

2020 Annual Appeal: November 15 – December 31
The Mountain Song Community School Annual Appeal is an important time for Mountain Song Community School where we ask families, friends, and other members of our community to support the school with a philanthropic gift. This year we are continuing to ask families, faculty and friends to join others in considering giving the gift that keeps on giving by signing up for a small monthly recurring gift.
 
Signing up is simple on Mountain Song Community School's secure online giving page. Just select an amount to give per month and click on “recurring donation." Those who sign up for a monthly gift will be honored with a special Waldorf star in the school, and will receive a SY20-21 Mountain Song Community School Monthly Donor decal.
 
Together, small recurring automatic gifts can really add up, and - combined with others - a monthly gift of just $10, $20 or $50 can provide significant and transformational resources for our school to support. End-of-year one-time contributions are also simple to make and have an immediate impact.
 
Please consider joining the Song by signing up for a monthly recurring gift. Together we can truly make a difference!

Sincerely,
The Mountain Song Community School Development Committee
 
Parent Council Meeting Dates
Please support Mountain Song by joining one of these Parent Council committees. 
It counts toward volunteer hours!

Health and Wellness/Hospitality Committee 
Meets 2nd Tuesday each month at 4pm
Meetings at 4 pm on this Zoom link

Festivals Committee 
Meets 2nd Wednesday each month at 4pm
Meetings at 4pm on this Zoom link
 
Parent Council 
Meets 3rd Thursday each month at 4pm
Meetings at 4 pm on this Zoom link
Parent Council Seeks Treasurer and Committee Volunteers
Parent Council is seeking a Treasurer and all Parent Council committees seek volunteers. Did you know that involvement on the Parent Council committee satisfies volunteer requirements for Mountain Song?

Please reach out to Cambria at pcchair@mountainsongschool.com if you are interested. 
Federal Impact Aid Forms 
Are Due December 11th
If your family is connected to a federal organization or property, please complete and return the survey by December 11 so you can be counted. Mountain Song can benefit from Federal Impact Aid Funds which help level the playing field. Read here for more information. 

Click HERE to fill in the Federal Impact Aid Form 2020.

Every year, we survey our families to count how many federally connected students are enrolled in our school. Why? Because the federal government reimburses schools for loss of tax revenue for families that are federally connected (the federal government is exempt from paying property taxes). Be sure to be counted so Mountain Song can benefit from these efforts to level the playing field!

Federally connected students are those connected to members of uniformed services, to federal properties such as Indian lands, national parks, VA hospitals, national labs, federally subsidized low-rent housing, and whose parents work on federal property. Depending on the number of federally connected students we have at our school, we may be eligible to receive additional federal funds.   

If you or a member of your household is federally connected, please be sure to be counted by completing this form and returning it to the school by December 11, 2020. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Sarah Kreger.
 
Get Social with Mountain Song
Mountain Song Community - we have a new Instagram account. Please take a moment to follow, tag, and
support @mountainsongschool. Encourage friends, family and community members to do the same.
Songbird Contributions
Article or announcement contributions must be submitted to Ms. Sŏnia Cruz by Tuesday at 5 p.m. for inclusion in each week’s Songbird newsletter, typically distributed on Fridays. (scruz@mountainsongschool.com
Mountain Song School Calendar
Mark your calendar with these important Mountain Song Community School dates.


Mountain Song Community School | 2904 West Kiowa St, Colorado Springs, CO 80904