From the Principal
Winter announced itself forcefully early in the week, reminding us of the cold season we are heading into. Thankfully, the rest of the week softened into more normal autumn weather, giving us a breath of reprieve.

This season, colored by COVID and the election, has brought tensions and polarizations into vivid, if unfortunate, relief. I would like to make a strong appeal that we treat each other respectfully and with kindness. The diversity of our country, as well as of our Mountain Song community, provides strength and opportunities for growth.  

One of the many things that unites us all is a sense of wonder. Remarkable, isn’t it? Every time I look into the world of nature, the goodness of a child’s eyes, a kindness someone offers, it is abundantly clear that we are connected in far more ways than we are separate.  

As an antidote to stress, we could all use a little wonder in our lives. Maybe a lot of wonder. What do you wonder about?
    
Dr. Teresa Woods
Learning Plan Update
Based on the ongoing sharp spike in COVID-19 spread and related metrics in El Paso County, we anticipate that our county status may be reclassified very soon. Please watch for any potential updates about Hybrid or Remote Learning at Mountain Song.

We ask everyone to please help prevent COVID spread by observing safe practices: wear a face covering in public, wash hands frequently, monitor health symptoms, and social distance.  
Daylight Saving Time Ends November 1
Please remember this weekend we will set our clocks back one hour as Daylight Saving Time ends at 2:00 a.m. Sunday, and we return to Standard Time. As the sun makes a shorter and shorter trek across our sky each day, the time change will also mean that it gets dark earlier in the evening. It will be a wonderful opportunity this weekend for us all to get some extra rest. 
School Closure and Infinite Campus
Our sincere apologies to those who did not receive our mass distribution message about our cancellation of in-person school for grades K-4 this past Tuesday, October 27th. We are working with technology specialists at Infinite Campus, our student information system that sends our automated messages, to find out why some families did not receive notifications about our closure on Tuesday.

We recognize how stressful these changes are for families. Please understand we did not make this decision lightly. Unfortunately, the strict guidelines for COVID symptoms have resulted in more absences than usual. However, we believe these guidelines have been effective in preventing the disease from entering our school to this point. The impact to teachers and staff limits us if our student to teacher ratio is inadequate.
 
We ask all parents who have had recent changes to their contact information (including physical and email addresses or phone numbers) to contact the school office to update our Infinite Campus records. Please contact Katherine at kdeleon@mountainsongschool.com or Veronica at vslack@mountainsongschool.com to provide any updated contact information.
 
Again, we apologize for the stress this puts on families.  We appreciate your patience as we try to improve our systems.
Parent-Teacher Conferences
Parent-teacher conferences went well this week! Many teachers shared feedback about the time they had with parents and families to discuss students and their progress into this school year. Our remote students and our hybrid learners are doing tremendously well. If you did not have an opportunity to sign up for parent-teacher conferences, please contact your child's teacher to get scheduled.
Dia de los Muertos Festival
Dia de los Muertos

We are observing Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) from October 20 to November 2nd at Mountain Song Community School. Students and families are welcome (not required) to participate in this educational cultural experience.
 
Dia de los Muertos is an ancient tradition from Mexico that honors the lives of loved ones who have died and also celebrates the gift of life. Families and communities create colorful ofrendas (offerings) in honor of deceased loved ones, decorating them with mementos such as photos, flowers, candles, and their loved one’s favorite food. These ofrendas become meeting places for people to come together and share fond stories and remember those we cherish who have passed on.
 
Although sometimes conflated, Dia de los Muertos is not the same as Halloween, and it is not traditionally a scary festival, but rather a joyful and loving one. Click here to find further information about Dia de los Muertos.
 
Mountain Song has created ofrendas during the week of October 20th - November 2nd. One is set up at the top landing of the front door for the community to bring their offerings. Please put your name and class on photos and any other mementos you want returned to you.
 
Unfortunately, we will be missing the wonderful lessons our lovely Spanish teachers usually offer. As a small consolation and to provide some extra support to our distanced students, we will be hosting some online materials. If you would like pictures of loved ones who have passed on shared online as part of our celebration please email them the festivals@mountainsongschool.com. You are also welcome to share short stories this way. 
 
Please join us for some crafts and short videos made by our students.
 
Thank you from the Parent Council Festivals Committee
From Our School Nurse
Our school nurse consultant, Kimberly Nowland, RN, recently shared information with our staff about how to help children feel calm during a global crisis and viewing anxiety as energy that can be used as helpfulness vs. helplessness. We are sharing this information with our parents and community to help facilitate conversations with children and teens about Covid-19 or other global trauma.

Click here for the link.
Or click the picture below for helpful tips and an encouraging video.
School Supplies Request for Parents
This year, we have provided portfolios, bags and plastic totes in an effort to help our students keep track of their classroom materials. 
 
Important: We request your partnership to help children take care of and transport materials. If your child loses or breaks classroom materials at home, in school or during transit, we must request reimbursement for the costs of the missing items. We recognize that keeping track of these classroom materials is difficult, especially during this hybrid phase. Your partnership, support, and stewardship of the classroom materials will help us ensure that our students are successful this school year.
 
Aligned with the Waldorf approach, Mountain Song special orders high-quality materials for students to work with in class. To help defray the costs, parents pay a materials fee of $150. If you have not paid the fee, please click here to complete payment. Materials fees help provide each child with main lesson books, beeswax crayons, beeswax for modeling, natural watercolor paints, watercolor painting paper, natural fiber handwork materials, and all of the materials needed for agricultural arts. 
 
We are sympathetic to the challenges our families face during these hectic times. If your child has lost or damaged any materials, please contact Mr. Dan Kurschner to make payment arrangements. We are willing to work with you regarding payment terms.
Innovation Learning for Families
Child Care for Remote Days: We realize some families will need child care during the Remote learning days relevant to your children’s grades. 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.
 
Please contact Dan Kurschner for more information about fees: dkurschner@mountainsongschool.com 
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.
 
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. 
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. 
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
Día de los Muertos   Oct 20 to Nov 2
Martinmas      Nov 11

Parent Council 
Meets 3rd Thursday each month at 4pm
Next meeting at 4 pm on this Zoom link
  • November 19
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