Dates to Remember
August 22-23 - New Staff Orientation

August 22 - Kindergarten Back-to-School Parent Meeting

August 26-30 - Teacher PD and Work Days

August 27 - Homeschool Enrichment Open House

August 28 - All School Back-to-School Night

September 2 - Labor Day

September 3 - First Day of School 1-8

September 4 - First Day of School K
"Please look through our Songbird newsletter for the upcoming events, calendars, schedules, and announcements that will help you prepare for the new school year."
From the Principal: 
August Preparations and the Capacity for Imagination
Mountain Song Community School is starting to hum with activity as teachers prepare classrooms and curricula, families tour the school, and enrollment paperwork arrives on our desks. We are again preparing to welcome students and families for the start of a vibrant new school year. In this light, I have been reflecting on the fact that in order to prepare anything, we need the capacity to anticipate, to think into the future, to imagine. The Waldorf approach at Mountain Song places the development of imagination high on the list of capacities we cultivate in or students.
Back-to-School Nights
Attendance is Essential
Kindergarten Back-to-School Parent Meeting: Thursday, August 22 
6:00 - 8:00 p.m.

Meet in MSCS Gymnasium, Progress to Kinder Classrooms
Please RSVP to your child’s teacher by August 16th.
               
Attending this meeting is an essential part of getting your child off on the right foot during this important milestone period of their lives. Teachers and administrators will cover critical information that will help you prepare your child for their first day of kindergarten. Returning families will meet the new staff members in your child’s class and hear about program changes. All parents will be able to sign up for volunteer opportunities. This meeting is for parents and guardians only -- there will be no childcare provided. 


All Grades Back-to-School Parent Meeting: Wednesday, August 28
6:00 - 8:00 p.m.

Meet in MSCS Gymnasium, Progress to Classrooms


This critical information meeting will introduce you to the returning and new staff at Mountain Song, allow you to complete and turn in necessary paperwork, receive a Parent Handbook, and learn more about the new school year. All parents will be able to sign up for volunteer opportunities. 
On behalf of all the teachers, the MSCS Executive Leadership Team, and the MSCS Board of Directors, we look forward to seeing you and to welcoming you to our school year!
Announcing New Agricultural Arts Teacher
We are delighted to announce that Mr. Adam Wright will be joining the faculty of Mountain Song as our new Agricultural Arts Teacher, and we are excited about the many gifts he brings to our program!  

Mr. Wright is a remarkably well-rounded professional who synthesizes his deep love for teaching with his passion for sustainable agriculture, writing, and the arts. He earned a BA with Highest Honors in Journalism and Dramatic Art (a double major) from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and two master’s degrees from Iowa State University – an MFA in Creative Writing and Environment, and an MS in Sustainable Agriculture. As an elementary school gardening teacher in North Carolina, Mr. Wright developed a successful program of arts-based garden projects, coordinating with teachers to create cross-disciplinary curricula and integrated projects. Since then, he has worked on more than two dozen farms throughout the world, employing organic, sustainable, and biodynamic practices, and has developed and delivered numerous educational workshops and culinary classes in diverse settings.  

He incorporates theater and storytelling in teaching and has studied with master storytellers in Great Britain, among other places. His articles on sustainable agriculture and culinary arts are published in numerous print and online platforms, and he was named a Julia Child Foundation Food Writing fellow in 2015. He has also written and produced an interactive children’s play with an accompanying curriculum plan about food and agriculture. At Iowa State University, he served as an instructor in Speech, Composition, and Creative Writing courses. Throughout his various teaching capacities, Mr. Wright has consistently forged innovative educational approaches. In addition, he has worked in policy arenas, including with the USDA and a government organization in New Zealand.  

He is moving from Asheville, North Carolina, and is looking for a 1-2 bedroom home to rent (that allows a cat) close to school. He would be grateful for an e-mail if you have such a lead for housing ( ablakewright@gmail.com ).   
Welcome New Staff Members
Announced earlier this summer are four additions to our teaching and administrative staff since the end of the last academic school year. We would again like to extend our warm welcome as they join us for the new academic year.
Mr. Nathaniel Dolce is joining us as the new Redwood 7th Grade teacher. Mr. Dolce has been with Mountain Song for a year already as a teaching assistant, and he demonstrates strength, resiliency, rigor, leadership, and the ability to form strong encouraging relationships to students and families. He holds a B.A. in history, and he is currently finishing his teaching licensure program at UCCS. We are delighted with the gifts, presence, and academic rigor he brings to the class as a middle school teacher.
Ms. Cori Karasiuk will be serving as the new Dean of Students. Ms. Cori is also familiar with Mountain Song as she has served as a reliable and effective substitute teacher at our school. Importantly, she brings her rich expertise as a child, adolescent, and family therapist to the role. As we transform the position of Student Support Coordinator to Dean of Students, we think she is the perfect fit and are excited about her stepping into this position. 

Mr. Michael Katzenberg is joining our Special Education department as a SPED teacher. He has been teaching for 18 years, 17 of those in special education. He brings to Mountain Song significant experience with managing students’ individualized education plans (IEPs), teaching, providing accommodations for students, working with families and teachers, and understanding students’ needs, including those with autism, learning disabilities, and emotional disabilities. Mr. Katzenberg has also served on the MSCS Board, as SAC Committee Chair, and assisted in the development of the MSCS charter. We are very happy to welcome him on board.

Maestra Oralia Venzor is returning to teach middle school Spanish. She previously taught Spanish to all grades at Mountain Song before leaving for Mexico last winter. She has moved back to Colorado Springs for the year, and we are so pleased to have her return to teach Spanish to our middle school students.
Please join us in welcoming our new teachers and staff, along with those who are returning, to a promising new school year!
This Year’s Daily Schedule
The 2019-2020 Mountain Song Community School daily schedule is below as well as a link to a printable (PDF). In the mornings, doors will open at 8:00 a.m., school will start at 8:15 a.m., and students will be tardy after 8:15 a.m. Please note that the time school starts and the time after which students are tardy will be the same. School will start 15 minutes later than last year, with dismissal in the afternoon also being 15 minutes later.
This Year’s School Calendar
New Aftercare Provider: Innovation Learning
We are happy to announce our new relationship with the aftercare provider, Innovation Learning. Based on our research of various programs, we feel that Innovation Learning will be able to provide an after-school program that closely aligns with our Waldorf approach while at the same time bringing competitive pricing for you. 

Please see flyer below for information on their program and how to register.

The MSCS Executive Leadership Team
Home School Enrichment Program Open House 
Tuesday, August 27
5:30 - 7:30
We look forward to seeing our returning home school enrichment families and meeting our new students and families at our Home School Open House on Tuesday August 27th between 5:30 and 7:30. We will be in the Home School Classroom on the upstairs level of the school.

Middle School home school students making beeswax candles last year

Celebrating 100 Years of Waldorf Education
One hundred years after the first Waldorf School was founded in Stuttgart, Germany in September 1919, over 1,000 Waldorf schools thrive today throughout the world in nearly 90 countries. While many Waldorf schools in the United States are private, Mountain Song Community School is among the growing number of public Waldorf charter schools. As such, Mountain Song belongs to the Alliance for Public Waldorf Education .

Click here if you would like to learn more about this worldwide movement and the 100 year celebrations of Waldorf education. And below, enjoy one of the videos created for this special year, to highlight some of the cultural challenges Waldorf educators meet in different countries.

Notes from the Farm
The Farm is in Need of Volunteers over the summer months! This is a very integral part of our school, so please consider using some of your volunteer hours to keep The Farm up and running. Children are more than welcome to help and encouraged to participate. Links are now live for signing up for Fall/Winter and Winter/Spring volunteer hours. See below:
Songbird Contributions
Article or announcement contributions must be submitted to Dr. Woods by Tuesday at 5 p.m. for inclusion in each week’s Songbird newsletter, typically distributed on Fridays. ( twoods@mountainsongschool.com )
As a public charter school, Mountain Song Community School is proud to provide quality Waldorf education at no cost.  Yet the funds we receive as a charter school are less than what a typical Colorado public school receives.

At the same time, we are responsible for additional expenses, such as our facilities and maintenance costs.  The expenses associated with the building lease, instructional and learning materials, staffing, special programs, and field trips continue to increase each year. In order to provide the valuable programming that makes Waldorf education exceptional, we rely on community donations to reach our annual fundraising goals. Please consider signing up for a small monthly recurring contribution today.
Mountain Song Community School | 2904 West Kiowa St, Colorado Springs, CO 80904