From the Principal
With hearts full, we spread our arms wide (in air-hug fashion) to welcome in-person students and continue embracing our remote students in grades K-4 this week. We look forward to doing the same with our 5-8 students next Thursday and Friday! The transition to our Phase 2 Hybrid model wasn’t without minor hiccups, though it honestly was a lot smoother than we worried about. We feel the heartbeat of our community, both at school and at home, and we are now developing that new rhythm to keep both engaged. Please see the schedules and protocols below.

With the coordinated efforts of our amazing teachers and staff, implementing our safety protocols at school have also been smooth. We appreciate you being such effective partners at home, preparing your children and encouraging them. Thank you for completing the home health pre-screening form when you can, and having the patience to accompany your child for on-site screening when you are unable.  

Be sure to have an appropriate face-covering for your child at school that fits snugly and fully covers both nose and mouth. If they are cloth coverings, be sure to launder them and send a clean one each day. We will be distributing break-away lanyards to students in the classrooms that allow masks to stay with the children when they remove them to eat or drink, or take an outdoor break. Face coverings are required indoors, and the students have been wonderful in helping in this way.

We do watch the county community spread metrics, which have been rising recently. We would like to see this trend turn back down so that we can safely keep kids in school. Thank you for helping to prevent the spread of the virus throughout our community.  

You can’t see this through my mask, but my smile is huge as I recall the exuberant, happy, and joyful learning and play I saw throughout the school this week. We feel the rhythm and the heartbeat of those near and far. Thank you for staying connected.  

Dr. Teresa Woods
Return to School Update
Modified In-Person Learning Begins October 5th
Mountain Song Community School is overjoyed to open our doors for students again!
It has been such a long time and we are looking forward to the warmth and excitement this time brings. Many thanks to all who participated in the Parent Survey for In-Person Learning. Teachers have reached out to families with information about our Phase 2 Plan.

As mentioned last week, we will begin In-Person Learning in a modified form starting October 5th for Grades K-4 and October 15th for Grades 5-8. Our modified version incorporates some at-home learning days and some in-person learning days. 

Start dates for our hybrid model are staggered among grade clusters, as follows:
Schedules: Specific schedules are being shared with you by your Class Teachers along with important safety considerations. Some families have chosen to continue with remote learning and forego in-person learning at this time. Note: to prevent exposing our Handwork and Music teachers to multiple classes in close proximity, these classes will be delivered remotely.
 
  • Choice:  Families may choose to stay in full Remote Learning rather than split the week with In-Person. To provide stability, routine, and rhythm in the learning environment, we ask you to choose an option for the month, which you can change at monthly intervals.  
  • Option changes could take place November 2, and again on November 30, and we will set additional dates into the New Year. Switches due to extenuating circumstances can be arranged with the Executive Leadership Team. Also, we will allow switches within the first week of Phase 2.
  
Child Care for Remote Days:  We realize some families will need child care during the Remote days relevant to your children’s grades. We will have a program available for your child to be supervised during Remote days. Costs will be forthcoming, with fees adjusted according to Free and Reduced status. Please contact Dan Kurschner for more information: dkurschner@mountainsongschool.com 
Phase 2 Schedules Start Oct. 5
Please note the Phase 2 start (tardy) and dismissal times for both In-Person Learning and Remote Learning students that start Monday, October 5.
Drop-Off Times for In-Person Learning (to allow time for health screening) are below.

Grades K – 4, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday (started October 5)
Kindergarten: drop-off 8:15 am
Grades 1-4: drop-off 7:55 am
Homeschool: drop-off 8:20 am

Grades 5-8, Thursday and Friday (starting October 15)
Grade 5-8: drop-off 7:55 am

Each class will have separate entrance/exit doors to the building. Your teachers will let you know which door each class will enter and exit the building.
Morning Health Screening and Pre-Screening
We are required to screen all staff and students entering the building for COVID symptoms each day.  

Please complete an online form each day before 7:30 a.m. for each child planning to come to school in the In-Person Learning option. 

  • Here is the link: https://tinyurl.com/mscshealt
  • You should receive a notice each morning by email and/or text with the link again as a reminder. 
  • If you do not receive a notice, click the link above, or go to our website www.mountainsongschool.com and click on the yellow box, labeled “Student Daily Health Pre-Screening Form”.
  • Please complete this no later than 7:30 a.m. 
  • A video with instructions to complete the Pre-Screening form is found on our Return to School page.

If you do not submit a form by 7:30 a.m., you must accompany your child(ren) onto school grounds to meet a Mountain Song staff health screener.  Symptom screening, including temperature check, will be conducted at that point. 

Students who have one or more symptoms on the list will be required to stay or return home.

Thank you for your cooperation.
Safety Measures
Multiple safety measures are in place at Mountain Song Community School to help prevent the spread of illness, with the following as our primary approaches. While no single tactic will work all the time, layering them together provides optimum effectiveness.
  • Face coverings required of all students and staff indoors. Please send your child with an appropriate face covering. Repeat-use coverings should be laundered between uses each day. Please see the American Academy of Pediatrics report here. Make sure the face covering fits snugly over both mouth and nose. See further instructions here.
  • Frequent handwashing throughout the day with multiple handwashing stations placed around the school.
  • Class cohorts will remain separate from other classes.
  • Social distance as possible.
  • Increased ventilation in the classrooms and by providing outdoor classroom space.
  • Hallway and bathroom procedures to prevent congregating and interaction among class cohorts.
  • Enhanced cleaning throughout the day and at night.
  • Visitors restrictions in the building. Visitors and parents will only be allowed in the building with administration approval.
MAP Assessments Grades 3-8
In accordance with our charter and public school mandate to track student growth throughout the year, Mountain Song Community School administers the NWEA MAP (Measures of Academic Progress) Growth assessments* three times a year in grades 3 through 8. Please be sure children are well rested and have consumed a healthy breakfast for testing days.
 
Grades 5-8
Parents of students in Grades 5-8 had the option to complete assessments remotely this past week. The remote assessments were proctored by a teacher online to gauge student performance in mathematics and reading.
 
Grades 3-4 
Students in Grades 3-4 will work on assessments in person at school, Monday,
October 12th, Tuesday, October 13th, and Wednesday, October 14th. Parents of students in Grades 3-4 have the option to complete assessments remotely October 15-16. The remote assessments will be proctored by a teacher online 12-4pm Thu-Fri.
 
Class teachers will inform their students’ parents of their class testing dates and times. More information will be sent to families about how to prepare their students for remote testing on their computer. Testing is not timed. Students can take the time they need to complete the assessments. Make-up days will be used to allow students to continue any unfinished assessments.
 
Make-up days for Grades 5-8 will be in person at school October 15-16 and 22-23.
Make-up days for Grades 3-5 will be in person at school October 19, 20, 21.
 
Thank you for your support of our efforts to track student academic growth.
Assessment data inform our teachers, interventionists, and administration of specific student performance in mathematics, language usage, and reading, and where they may need additional support. For more information about our Assessment Policies, please visit our website at https://mountainsongschool.com/assessment-policies/

If you have any questions about the NWEA MAP Growth test or about our assessments in general, please contact Ms. Sarah Kreger, Director of School Performance, at skreger@mountainsongschool.com.
 
*https://www.nwea.org/map-growth/
Parent-Teacher Conferences: 
October 29 and 30 - No School
Parent-teacher conferences will be held on October 29th and 30th. Classes will NOT be in session during the parent-teacher conferences. Child care will not be provided during this time. Teachers will send information about how to sign up for parent-teacher conferences. Parents/guardians, please check your emails for additional information, or contact your child's teacher directly with any questions about the conferences. 
Ag Arts Update
Just in time for our return to in-person instruction, we recently welcomed new animals to our garden! The McWilliams family, who have four children who go to our school, donated four chickens to our garden, all of which they raised from chicks earlier this spring. The Glover family, friends of our 3rd grade teacher Ms. Banach, donated two rabbits (a mother and her baby), which they raised as part of a local 4-H program. The rabbits are Mini Rexes, which have the softest fur of any breed of rabbit in the whole world! Our students LOVED meeting our animals this week, and we will be conducting a school-wide vote in the coming weeks to decide on names for our new friends. Welcome to the Farm!
Get Social with Mountain Song
Mountain Song Community - we have a new Instagram account. Please take a moment to follow, tag, and support @mountainsongschool and use the hashtag #ShareYourSong. Encourage friends, family and community members to do the same.
Parent Council Seeks Treasurer
and Committee Volunteers
Parent Council is seeking a Treasurer for the committee. The Treasurer will coordinate with the Fundraising Committee, help build and approve budgets, and assist staff with grant writing requests from Parent Council.

Please reach out to Cambria at pcchair@mountainsongschool.com if you are interested. Parent Council meets the 3rd Thursday of each month. Next meeting is October 15th at 4 pm on this Zoom link.

Most classes still need a Classroom Representative for each class. Class Reps help the teacher disseminate information to parents, moderate a Shutterfly or Facebook page, support the teacher with tasks like finding volunteers and organizing field trips, and representing the class in Parent Council and/or Board meetings.

All Parent Council committees seek volunteers. Did you know that involvement on the Parent Council committee satisfies volunteer requirements for Mountain Song?

  • Festivals seeks people who want to know more about Waldorf festivals. People who love to craft and want to help find a safe way to celebrate each festival this year. People who are interested in helping create online, interactive festivals.
  • Health and Wellness/Hospitality seeks people who care for the physical and emotional health of our community. 
  • Fundraising seeks a chair. This should be a person who loves to come up with creative ways to raise money for the school while keeping the Waldorf model in mind. This person also needs to be comfortable working with Classroom Representatives to organize class fundraisers and work with the Treasurer to keep our reports up to date. 

The school's Board of Directors also has committees that are seeking volunteers. Please reach out to them at board@mountainsongschool.com for more information.

Thank you in advance. We look forward to working with you!  
Parent Council Meeting Dates
Several of the Parent Council committees are meeting this fall. Won’t you join? 
It counts toward volunteer hours!

Hospitality Committee 
Meets 2nd Tuesday each month at 4pm
Next meeting at 4 pm on this Zoom link
  • November 10th

Festivals Committee 
Meets 2nd Wednesday each month at 4pm
Next meeting at 4pm on this Zoom link
  • November 11th 

Parent Council 
Meets 3rd Thursday each month at 4pm
Next meeting at 4 pm on this Zoom link
  • October 15th
  • November 19th
Call to Action - Volunteers Needed for SAC
Dear Mountain Song Community,

This year, we are making a concerted effort to recruit parent and community volunteers to our School Accountability Committee (SAC). SAC is the only committee at Mountain Song that is required by Colorado law, and the law states that we must have the participation of at least three parent volunteers. Currently, we only have one parent on the committee. Without SAC, Mountain Song Community School cannot meet its legal obligations! 

SAC plays a vital role in the running of our school, so we need your help! The most important job of SAC is to help with the creation of our annual Unified Improvement Plan. SAC is also in charge of the annual Climate Survey that is sent to all parents in the spring. Furthermore, our committee examines student assessment data and makes recommendations to the ELT based on this information and the Climate Survey.  

SAC meetings are held from 6:00-7:30 pm either the third or fourth Monday of each month except for vacations: October 19, November 16, January 25, February 22, March 15, April 19, and May 17. When the school opens for in-person classes, we will be offering the choice to meet in-person or via Zoom for our meetings. 

You do not need to attend every meeting, but we ask that you attend as many meetings as you possibly can. Best of all, by attending SAC meetings, you will fulfill a good part of your 40 hour a year volunteering commitment to Mountain Song!

Michael Katzenberg
Chair, SAC
October Farm Volunteers Needed!
Thanks to all the amazing volunteers who continue to help us water, weed and keep our animals fed. We have bunnies and chickens and veggies, oh my!  

We have slots for October 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.

Landsharks Running Club
Landsharks will be available as a 'running club' option and not available directly through Mountain Song for this fall season. Please see this letter of explanation if you are interested in your student participating.
Parent Handbook Revised
The 2020-2021 Mountain Song Parent Handbook was recently revised to include and update the following:
  • Statements on Teacher-Pupil Instruction and Bell Schedule Equivalency, especially to reflect the adjustments made due to the coronavirus pandemic.  
  • State Assessment Policies, including:
  • Paper and Pencil Format Policy, and
  • Parent Opt-Out Policy.

You can find the Revised MSCS 2020-2021 Parent Handbook by clicking here.
Substitute Teachers Needed
Are you or someone you know interested in being a Substitute Teacher at Mountain Song? 

The ideal candidates will have a passion for Waldorf education, collaboration, and growth, and will demonstrate high personal expectations. A strong sense of personal accountability, a positive attitude and excellent communication skills are a must. We look to our substitute teachers to be engaged and mindful and have an authentic commitment towards carrying out the mission of the school for teachers who are absent.

Please see the application and job descriptions at the link below, and/or contact Dan Kurschner at (719) 203-6364 or dkurschner@mountainsongschool.com. 

Link to the Employment page on our website: https://mountainsongschool.com/about/employment/ 
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