From the Principal
Greetings from my living room where my cat is regularly disturbing my finest efforts. I know most of you are faced with much greater challenges with families at home. We hope you take care of yourself, too. The resources highlighted below in this Songbird might be of help. Also, please check our Mountain Song webpage for updates and resources related to this crisis. The most current update we sent to families is also below.  

As we navigate this new terrain, our deep hope is that by doing what is right for the community and maintaining physical distance from others, we will accomplish an incredible, collective act of caring for and even saving each other. Even so, we miss you all terribly and hope you are doing well.

We continue to receive daily updates from our leaders at the Charter School Institute (CSI), the Colorado Department of Education (CDE), and the Alliance for Public Waldorf Education. By doing so, and by relying on the dedication of our teachers and staff, we are putting together a plan for Continuing Education during the extended school closure.  

As teachers return to work from their Spring Break, they face the incredible task of trying to provide continuous learning for your children from afar. Teachers will contact you at the beginning of the week, if not before, to gather information from you and to provide updates and learning activities. We will spend much of the week in training and planning meetings as we develop our new learning platforms.  

So next week will be Phase 1 of our Continuing Learning Plan: transitioning to our new formats . The week of April 6 will start Phase 2 as we begin implementing our Continuing Learning Plan. Your teachers will stay in touch with you about this.

We are grateful for your patience, understanding, and feedback as we chart these new waters. We are conscientiously trying to balance continual learning with not overwhelming families. Please stay in touch with us to help us find that balance.  

With well wishes,
Dr. Teresa Woods
Latest Update
Dear Mountain Song Community,

Thank you for all your patience and understanding during this trying time for our school and community. As you are aware, Governor Polis on March 25 issued an Executive Stay-at-Home Order. Previously, on March 18, he issued an Executive Order directing all schools to suspend in-person instruction through April 17, 2020, in order to limit the spread of Coronavirus 2019. Additionally, you should be aware that the governor said there is a high possibility in-person instruction will not resume this school year.

As a result, changes will be necessary for some important educational functions, such as the number of teacher-pupil instructional hours, special education, and graduation requirements.

Waivers for instructional hours

The Colorado Department of Education has waived the minimum number of school days and teacher-pupil instruction hours normally required under state law. Instead, districts must make every effort to provide alternative learning opportunities during this time. For Mountain Song, this means that we are not expected to extend the school year or start early next year to make up for lost in-person instructional time.
As a result of the possibility of an extended period of disruption on in-person instruction, we will transition to continuous learning through a combination of online and home-based learning. We are making plans to determine what continuous learning will look like for Mountain Song.
 
This week, March 23-27, has been our regularly scheduled Spring Break. When teachers return to work next week, they will communicate with you to determine your child’s learning context at home and to provide some learning activities for the week. We will be training and planning with teachers next week to begin implementation of our unified continuous learning plan for Mountain Song beginning April 6th. You will receive further communications about this.

Services to students with special needs

Mountain Song will make every effort to provide appropriate special education and related services for students with disabilities. We have been given some flexibility on how to provide these services, so we are thinking about other ways to meet the needs of students with disabilities based on the nature of a student’s disability and individual needs of the student.

To support students with identified IEP-related services, we will work with our schools to determine whether it is appropriate to provide alternative services or delay services in coordination with students’ parents and IEP teams. We may also determine whether we can make up for a gap in access to the curriculum or delay in services with additional services in the future.

Thanks again for your support during these difficult times.

Sincerely,
The Executive Leadership Team
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.

Simplicity Parenting  
Troubling Times: Anxiety Rising, Schools Closing, and Way More Time at Home With The Kids
Kim John Payne, longtime friend, advisor, and Waldorf-based trainer of Mountain Song families and staff, has created a special audio series to address our troubling times. “In this challenging time, we feel it’s more important than ever for each of us to do what we can to support each other, so we wanted to put this together and make it available right away.”

Managing Our Own Anxiety and
Supporting Kids During the Coronavirus Crisis
I’m offering additional resources here that can help us calm our own minds, manage our anxiety, and support our kids. Most of them encourage us to: 
  • Keep routines in place
  • Be creative about new activities -- and exercise
  • Manage our own anxiety
  • Limit our consumption of news
  • Stay in touch virtually
  • Make plans
  • Keep it positive
  • Keep kids in the loop, but keep it simple
  • Accepting and asking for help



Census 2020
It’s important. It’s easy. It’s safe.
This spring you will be asked to perform an important task: Fill out the United States Census. The Census is conducted once every 10 years, and its purpose is to count the number of individuals living in the U.S. Data collection began this month and will continue through July 2020. Households should have received a postcard with instructions for completing the census.

The Census is safe. Federal law protects your information, and prohibits the Census Bureau from releasing any identifiable information about individuals, households, or businesses even to law enforcement agencies.
  
Your participation matters. Counting all children, even those in preschool, is essential for Colorado’s schools to receive their fair amount of funding.
  
The Census is important for many reasons. Population counts are used to determine the allocation of federal dollars to states, cities, and counties, and to help citizens and policy makers understand demographic, economic, and geographic trends needed to inform critical business decisions. For Mountain Song, this influences the level of federal funding allocated to support students with special needs, who come from poverty, who are learning English, and disadvantaged students to help ensure that all children have a well-rounded education. 

Population totals from the Census also determine the number of seats each state has in the House of Representatives, and the totals are also used to redraw federal and state legislative districts. Based on projections, Colorado could receive an additional seat in the House of Representatives thereby increasing Colorado’s voice as Congress debates issues important to all of us.

What do you need to do? Households should have received a postcard with instructions for completing the Census. You can complete the short and easy form online. 
 
Your kids count, so make sure to count them when you fill out the Census form in Spring 2020! 
Announcing Mountain Song Agricultural Arts 
Summer Garden Camp!
We are excited to announce our new Mountain Song Agricultural Arts Summer Garden Camp, which will be held every other week beginning June 29! Camp will run Monday-Friday from 8am to 12pm. The cost for each week of camp will be $125 if registering before April 1 and $150 afterwards. (A $25 per day option is available for rising 1st graders only.) Scholarship opportunities are available to middle school students who would like to be junior counselors. More information regarding financial scholarships for families in need will be available mid-March. Payment can be made by check, cash, or on our website via Paypal . Contact Mr. Adam at awright@mountainsongschool.com with any questions. 

Dates are as follows:

Rising 1st: June 29 - July 3
Rising 2nd - 3rd: July 13 - July 17
Rising 4th - 6th: July 27 - 31
Rising 7th - 9th: August 10 -14

Mr. Adam Wright
Waldorf Education - 100 Years
Learn to Change the World
This year is the 100th anniversary of the start of the first Waldorf school in Stuttgart, Germany. In 1919, Rudolf Steiner lit a spark in education that would inspire thousands of schools from early childhood to high school across the world. To learn more, view the video below.
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.
Free Food Distribution
Pikes Peak United Way / Care & Share
See the information below for upcoming free food distributions sponsored by the Pikes Peak United Way and Care & Share, whose vision is a hunger-free Southern Colorado.
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