From the Principal
It’s shocking to think that just last week our temperatures were so frigid, and this week so warm. It seems these wide differences fit the season not only of our Rocky Mountain autumn, but they also reflect the wide differences laid bare in our society. We aim to protect our children from the harshness of our world. In these hard times, we aim to find the light and those things that truly unify us.  

The Lantern Walks that traditionally happen in November will look different this year. Your teachers will share with you their plans, and please watch for Parent Council plans to support Lantern Walks. This tradition in Waldorf schools symbolizes shining our lights in the darkness. We especially need this simple and beautiful gesture in 2020.  

As we create safe and empathetic spaces for our children, we need to do that for ourselves, too. The words below from John Mark Green were recently shared with me, and I offer them to you as we continue to grow together as a community.

This world may bring deep darkness,
but we are the bearers of light.
We'll join our flames together,
and shine in the blackest of nights.

Blessings,  
Dr. Teresa Woods

Learning Plan Update
Returning to Phase 1 on November 9th
On October 30, 2020, the Executive Leadership Team distributed a letter to notify everyone that Mountain Song Community School will be returning to full Remote Learning starting Monday, November 9th. The full letter can be found here.

As we return to full Remote Learning, we will maintain our current school schedule. Teachers will communicate with families specific details about their class schedules.  

We are sad to be making this decision, but we believe it is the right one to keep everyone safe during this wave of COVID-19 spread. Our goal is to bring back students to in-person learning as soon as possible. 

From Susan Wheelan, El Paso County Public Health Director: “We urge our community to step up prevention efforts once again to impact El Paso County’s disease transmission and help reduce exponential growth of COVID-19 to protect public health and to support our economy and schools in the safest and most sustainable way possible. We need your help to get us to where we want to be as a county.” 
Learning Groups for Working Parents
Parent Council is reaching out to Classroom Representatives to determine how to help support working families by developing in-home learning groups within classes. 

As families return to full Remote Learning on November 9th, we can’t help but be concerned about working parents and their children. By fostering communication among families, in-home learning groups within classes may help working families meet the educational needs of students. 

If you are interested in developing an in-home learning group or taking on an extra student during remote learning, or becoming a Classroom Representative to help foster communication among families, please contact Parent Council at pcchair@mountainsongschool.com.
Innovation Learning for Families
Child Care for Remote Learning: We realize some families will need child care during the full Remote Learning days. We will have a program run by Innovation Learning available for your child to be supervised during Remote days if we have enough families participating. If you are interested in joining Innovation Learning, please click here for information about how to register.

Please contact Dan Kurschner for more information about fees: dkurschner@mountainsongschool.com
Tech Team: 
Help Students Submit Work and More
Our Tech Team will host open office hours as we resume Remote Learning. The Team is ready to assist parents and students with tips on how to use Google Classroom to turn in assignments, find missing work, and more. 

Please visit the mountainsongschool.com/tech-help to view times and instructions for joining a live virtual session as well as how-to videos and helpful resources.

If you have any questions about your child's school work or upcoming report cards, please contact your child's teacher or Sarah Kreger at skreger@mountainsongschool.com
Packet Pick-Up
Packet and supply distributions will begin again next 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.
Fond Farewell to Ms. Griffin Olson
It is with mixed emotions that we announce the departure of Ms. Griffin Olson and today as her last day with Mountain Song Community School. While we will miss her illuminating smile and warm instruction, we celebrate her new adventure! 

Ms. Griffin and her fiancé, Ben, will be part owners of a small farm outside of Salem, Oregon - where their newest friends will be a pair of alpacas! Ms. Griffin will continue her education to complete her master’s degree in horticulture therapy. We will miss her dearly and are so grateful for her time with the Agricultural Arts Program.
Lantern Walks
The tradition of evening lantern walks in the younger grades in Waldorf schools marks the end of the autumn harvest and the advent of wintry weather. Typically, children light lanterns, sing beautiful songs, and share autumn treats.
  
Lighting the lantern at this time of year invokes a sense of hope, beauty, and wonder. The lantern shining in the darkness kindles in our hearts the warm light of our spirit, quickening our generosity and empathy amidst life’s outward, sometimes challenging and always changing circumstances.

The 1st-4th grade class teachers are working on creating virtual, family based lantern walk activities. There will be a special video added to the lantern walk festivities. We would love it if all families participate in Lantern Walks, and our wonderful Parent Council will provide lantern supplies early next week. 

Please keep an eye out for a school email about where and when to pick up lantern supplies.

May our lanterns shine brightly with compassion, kindness and empathy as we enter the shorter days and longer nights of the coming season.
Parent Council Giving Tree
It's time to spread some Mountain Song Community Spirit and love to some of our families who need a little extra help this season. For the fall baskets, Parent Council is seeking donations of new winter hats, gloves and warm socks. Please make sure that your chosen gift abides by the school's media policy.
 
In lieu of removing a tag from our traditional tree in the entryway, please select the slot(s) that your family would like to commit to supporting. Please wrap your gifts, attach a tag with the age/gender of the child, and drop it off in the donation bin outside the Parent Council Shed during packet pick-up. The shed is on the left-hand side, just before the chicken coops, as you drive through to Bijou. An alternate drop off location is the front porch of 3011 W. Fontanero St. Please drop off your items no later than November 16.
 
Please email any questions to pchospitality@mountainsongschool.com.
Thank you for having a giving heart and helping us support our community.
 
 
Thank you for a giving heart,
Megan Holmes, PC Hospitality Chair
How to Talk with Children 
About the Election
How do we help support our children during this time of societal tension and unrest? The election season and the COVID pandemic have heightened social divisions in alarming ways. Our children need us to help create calm and safe spaces, where listening to each other and expressing empathy is valued. Children absorb the restlessness and tensions as much as they imitate respectfulness and kindness expressed around them. Much like us, children are sometimes unsettled and just need to talk. Listen for questions about the election process (how, when, why) and provide historical context when appropriate. 

Click here to check out talking points from Britannica for Parents.

Some general guidelines from Psychology Today are:
  1. Turn off the news. 
  2. Watch your own tendency to react strongly in front of your child.
  3. When your child asks you a question, first ask them what they have already heard about the issue.
  4. Don't be afraid to express your opinion, but back it up with facts. 
  5. When you speak with your child, resist the urge to demonize voters on the "other side." 
  6. Explain that no winner can be declared until all the votes are counted.

Click here for more details from the Psychology Today article.
Click here for an article by The Understood Team.

These are great opportunities to demonstrate understanding and encourage growth.
Ag Arts Update
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 we will get them from the school office. 
2020 Annual Appeal: November 15 – December 31
The 2020 Annual Appeal will take place between November 15 & December 31st. 
 
This will be a time when we will be reaching out to members of the Mountain Song community and asking them to consider making a philanthropic gift to support our school, our programs and most importantly our students. Be on the lookout for more information about this important opportunity.
Parent Council Meeting Dates
Several of the Parent Council committees are meeting this fall. Won’t you join? It counts toward volunteer hours!

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

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

Parent Council 
Meets 3rd Thursday each month at 4pm
Next meeting at 4 pm on this Zoom link
  • November 19
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.
 
UCCS Great Desk Giveaway
As we return to remote learning November 9th, maybe some families would like a FREE desk? UCCS is giving away FREE students desks while supplies last. Click here for instructions.

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.
November Farm Volunteers Needed!
Thanks to all the amazing volunteers who continue to help us water, weed and keep our animals fed. We have 2 bunnies, 4 chickens, many fish and fall veggies that require our warmth and attention as the temperatures dip with the sun.

We have slots for November Farm volunteers on the weekends! In addition to weekends, we will also need volunteers the week of Thanksgiving Break, Nov. 23 - 27. 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.

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