From the Principal
Such a bittersweet ending to the 2019-2020 school year! Never before have we been so aware of what face-to-face interaction provides us, and the palpable pain we experience when it’s missing. On Thursday, we held the 8th grade graduation on video-conference, then had a vehicle parade with families at school. I believe my heart truly and physically warmed to see everyone in person.  

Like other local school communities, ours was directly touched by the coronavirus early this spring. We know with certainty that our actions in staying home since then truly helped change the course of this pandemic for the better. For that, I am incredibly proud and appreciative of the herculean efforts from parents, teachers, staff, and students. This pandemic gave us a unique year that we will always remember. As hard and exhausting as this has been, it has also revealed the very best of our humanity.

The concept of community is sometimes hard to grasp. In recent days, I have heard so many people describe the Mountain Song Community with the word “heart.” I agree. Heart has many connotations -- love, the center, circulation of warmth and life, pulse, beat, rhythm, taking heart, courage, compassion, empathy, humor. In this light, our student and staff heart projects were perfect. 

What will next year look like? We honestly do not know yet. We will be working throughout the summer to make it the best possible scenario. Please see the article below for more details. We should know more within a few weeks.  

We will stay in touch over the summer. Teachers will keep their webpages open. I will send updates. The Songbird will still be produced, if with a slower summer frequency. We promise to keep you updated as we know more. Please do confirm your enrollment. When we return face-to-face, we want that spot saved for your child. We truly look forward to that happy reunion!  

Wishing you a healthy and relaxing summer!
  
Dr. Teresa Woods
Bristlecone Pine 8th Grade Graduation
May 28th
On Thursday, May 28th, our wonderful Bristlecone Pine 8th grade class graduated from Mountain Song. Like schools all over the world, it was a different kind of ceremony in light of the coronavirus crisis. A video conference graduation ceremony was held during which over 60 people logged on! Thoughtful words were offered by several speakers: Mr. Jesse Rochette, class teacher; Ms. Brandy Robinson, handwork teacher; Ms. Tina Halligan, board president; Brandon Cole O’Brien, student; Whittney Dorsett, student; all 8th grade students in presentation; and Dr. Teresa Woods, principal. During the ceremony, Mr. Rochette and the class presented a class gift of a large bell to Mountain Song School. The bell is over a hundred years old, is a former train bell, and is enroute from Ohio! There will be an unveiling ceremony once it is here and on a stand -- we look forward to seeing the 8th graders come back for that. We thank you so much, Bristlecone Pine Class!

After the video conference ceremony, students and families came to the school to participate in a vehicle parade with staff spread around the block waving and cheering them on! They drove through the parking lot to receive their certificate and a rose. Congratulations, Bristlecone Pine Class! We are so proud of you! And thank you so much for the school bell!
Congratulations, Maddie!
Congratulations to Maddie LaRoche on graduating from our home school classes at Mountain Song Community School! Maddie has been with us for seven years, from second through 8th grade! She was with Mrs. Leifer for four years and Ms. Martin for three years.  

Maddie has been a ray of sunshine in our classes: kind to others, eager to learn, and full of creativity! SO many of us have learned from her gentle spirit. The FARM will miss her!

We wish Maddie all the best in her bright future!

We love and celebrate you, Maddie!
Mrs. Leifer and Ms. Martin
Chromebook Return
If you borrowed a Chromebook to participate in Continuous Learning during our spring school closure, please be sure to return it. You can bring it during any of the pick-up times for student belongings (see below). You can also communicate with your class teacher or Mr. Dan Kurschner ( dkurschner@mountainsongschool.com ) to return it. Thank you!
Student Belongings Pick-Up
There are several student belongings still left in classrooms, and we are scheduling times for families to come by the school the week after school ends to retrieve them. We will follow the same protocol we have used for Packet Pick-Up.  

Student Belongings Pick-up Times:
Tuesday through Friday, June 2nd through 5th
8 -10 a.m. and 3-5 p.m.

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. Remain in 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 bag of items through the passenger side window.
  7. Drive straight through the backside of the school and exit onto Bijou Street.

If necessary, parents may park and enter the gymnasium to look for items that may not have been included in the teacher sorted packets. (All belongings will be staged in the gymnasium.)

  • Only 7 individuals will be allowed in the gymnasium at one time including staff.
  • We ask that everyone wear face masks.
  • Maintain social-distance of remaining 6 feet apart.
  • Handle only those items that you will be taking with you.

Questions can be emailed to dkurschner@mountainsongschool.com
Winter Needs a New Home
We need your help! Winter, our beloved 8-year-old school rabbit, is in need of a new home. We recently took her to the vet and discovered she has severe arthritis in her back legs but otherwise is in great health. She is now on a daily medication for pain relief, and although she is certainly doing better, she still has mobility and incontinence issues. Our Ag Arts team has thus come to the sad reality that it is no longer safe for Winter to be around dozens of students on a daily basis. 

Winter's life expectancy is up to 12 years, so with the proper care in a more calm and quiet home, she can continue to live a happy and healthy life. She loves children and remains very affectionate, she simply needs to be in a less stimulating environment than what we can offer. 

If interested in adopting Winter, please contact Mr. Adam at awright@mountainsongschool.com . To help in this transition, the Ag Arts Team will also offer a "starter kit" for Winter including a month-supply of her medication (roughly $20-30/month), straw for bedding, and pellets and hay for food. And yes, we plan to adopt a new school bunny for our students to enjoy in the fall!
Mountain Song Student Heart Project
Thank you for all the student heart photos! If you still have one to submit, I can add it still over the weekend. I am delighted to present the Mountain Song Student Heart Project! 
Mountain Song Staff Heart Project
Have we told you that we miss you? We wanted to show you, too! Please enjoy this gift from us to you. We hope you are well and staying safe! 
Run! Skip! Dance!
As a way of supporting our communities to stay active during COVID-19, The Association of Waldorf Schools of North America (AWSNA) has begun its Waldorf100+1: Run! Skip! Dance! Across the Continent campaign. They began the journey at the Rudolf Steiner School in New York, New York and have traveled 1500 miles to The Hartsbrook School in Hadley, Massachusetts. The week of May 11-15 began at The Hartsbrook School, then will tour schools in the Northeast/Quebec region, next it will move through the entire Great Lakes Region and finally stops at The Waldorf School of St Louis. A journey of nearly 2000 miles! The Run! Skip! Dance! campaign continues through September 11, 2020, which is the 100+1-year anniversary of Waldorf education.The goal is to make our way, through logged miles from participants in the active school communities, from Waldorf school to Waldorf school throughout North America. 

This is a super easy and fun program that MSCS can join with other Waldorf schools and celebrate the 100th anniversary. Everyone can participate; students, staff, families . All are invited to log weekly activities and submit them. 
 
Want to join? It’s easy. Click on this link and away we go!
 

Stay active out there!
Mrs. Denise Neal
Planning for 2020 - 2021
What will school look like in the fall when the new academic year starts? Unfortunately, we really do not know yet, as the COVID-19 crisis is an evolving one. We know that uncertainty is very hard to take, and we are working on planning a variety of scenarios that could be implemented, depending on how things change over the summer months. As soon as we have specific plans, we will share them. 

We are also bracing for steep financial cuts as the state of Colorado faces an enormous budget deficit due to the COVID-19 crisis, which will impact the state revenue we receive. The state legislature is scheduled to make these decisions in the coming days and weeks. We have been fortunate in that the Joint Budget Committee has tried to recommend as much funding as possible for state charter schools like Mountain Song, and we have our authorizers, CSI, to thank for advocating so effectively for us. The reality, however, is that all public schools across the state (and much of the nation) will face serious budget cuts as we are reliant on tax dollars, which have shrunk significantly.  

We are forming a committee (or committees) to help guide the scenario planning this summer. All schools in Colorado will need to abide by the guidelines coming from the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) and the Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment (CDPHE), and we are working closely with our state leaders at CSI for guidance as well. We do expect the outlook to change somewhat over the summer months. Variables that will impact school openings will be any further virus outbreaks - or lack thereof - in the area, development of effective treatments for those infected, and impacts among high-risk groups.  

We have a responsibility to provide safe conditions at school for students, families, teachers, and staff. Maintaining physical distance is so incredibly hard -- most of us want to simply be able to hug each other and go back to how we interacted before the crisis. We have incredible faith that these conditions will pass at some point, and we will be able to be together comfortably again. We just don’t know when that will be.

In the meantime, please confirm your enrollment for fall with us. If in-person schooling will still be closed, or a hybrid model implemented (part-time in-school, part-time at-home), we will work with you to do what is best for your family until school is fully opened again. We want you here at Mountain Song so that we can rejoice in seeing you and your children and carry forward with our beautiful Waldorf education!

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any further questions. We will keep you informed.

Warm wishes,
The Executive Leadership Team    
Agricultural Arts Plants Sale
It's been an exciting week in the garden! With our final frost date behind us, we've finally been able to transfer many of our seedlings from the greenhouse into our raised beds outside. We have many seedlings left over, which we would like to offer for sale to our Mountain Song community. All plants will be sold individually for $2 - $3 each to help support our Ag Arts program. I f you are interested in buying plants, please contact Mr. Adam directly at awright@mountainsongschool.com to place your order. Plants can be picked up at school during normal packet pick up times. We are selling the following herbs, vegetables, and houseplants:

  • Aloe
  • Basil
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Kale
  • Spider plants
  • Spinach
  • Swiss Chard
  • Tomatoes
Parent Council Fundraising
Hello families,
 
Our school is happy to help support small businesses, and Skate City will be offering their Membership Cards for our students and families at a discounted rate. 

With a $5 membership card ($12 at the facility), any child or adult can skate for just $1 admission during any public skating session through the end of 2020 ! You will also receive $5 loaded onto your game card upon entry each time you use your membership card.

Should this interest you, all you would need to do is click the link below and make sure to select the school name, as $1.50 for each card purchased will go back to the school!

Deanna Stonick
Parent Council Fundraising Committee
Community Resources - Dial 2-1-1
Pikes Peak United Way can help you access resources that may help you through this challenging time. By dialing 2-1-1 between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, you will be connected to a trained information specialist who can help you find the health and human service providers that you need. Dial 2-1-1.

Support for Mountain Song
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.
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 )
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