From the Principal
I hope you are safe and well. As our days roll into nights, weekdays into weekends, weeks into months, I think we all are riding a kind of blurred train that is missing its normal guideposts of schedules and offices and stations (or classrooms, as the case may be). I miss those guideposts. If you’re like me, you have those days that are filled with joy, and also days that are filled with that ache of grieving what we’ve lost. We are so happy that each week, more and more of you and your children connect with the teachers and staff. Learning occurs through trusting relationships, and at Mountain Song, we know that cultivating those relationships are paramount.  

As a gift of love to our students and families, we offer you our Heart Project -- please see the article and link to the video below. I am also collecting heart photos from students and families (sshh … don’t tell the teachers!), and I would love to do something similar for them. Thank you to those who have already sent photos in! Everyone, please send in your pictures to me: twoods@mountainsongschool.com . We can still celebrate each other through this social distance!

The Executive Leadership Team is working with our authorizers, the Colorado Charter School Institute (CSI), to develop plans for the end of the year, the summer, and next fall. As you know, there is much uncertainty about how the public health picture will play out. For instance, we still hope to hold our Agricultural Arts Summer Garden Camp, though the state has not been able yet to provide guidance for summer programs. We, like all other school leaders in the nation, need to create contingency plans for the fall. Starting next week, our CSI leaders will be guiding us through this planning process. As we know more, we will share these with you. Please continue to watch for the latest Mountain Song updates and community resources here regarding school plans.  

Finally, we do have active committees working on our 8th Grade Graduation and the Kindergarten Rainbow Bridge celebrations. Specific plans will be forthcoming.  

Please remember to make sure your enrollment spot at Mountain Song is confirmed for the 2020-2021 school year. It is going to be a joyous reunion when we can have you in person at school again!! In the meantime, be safe, and have heart! We will get through this together.

Dr. Teresa Woods
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! 
Board Voice   Volume 1, No. 6
Tina Halligan, Board President
Dear Mountain Song Family,

The last six weeks have been a blur, yet I find myself feeling reminiscent of the days we were dropping off and picking up our littles at our beloved school. It amazes me how efficiently our teachers and leadership team adjusted to the huge ask that was placed upon them. I wholeheartedly believe as parents we have been so fortunate throughout all of this. Unlike many schools, our teachers have shown so much grace to our students, ensuring the emotional and mental adjustments are most important. Thank you to every single member of our staff. You all have shined so brightly, like a beacon of light that guides us.

As a parent, I feel grateful for the ability to work our schooling around our family's schedule/ability. I truly love how our community has come together to encourage and support one another. Each and every one of you amazes me in ways I did not envision seeing. When I was placed in this role on the Board of Directors, I felt the biggest task would be to help guide the school into our new location. Who would have guessed a pandemic would suddenly consume all of our daily lives? 

I am very proud to be a part of our community. We have shown our true spirit and resilience. Even though the year has transgressed to a time of uncertainty, we know that together we are stronger. Share the light and love among each other and keep the connections strong. Thank you for being you!

Your Board President,
Tina Halligan
Mountain Song Students Engaged in Continuous Learning
We are delighted to see all the learning and creativity going on at home through pictures, stories, and assignments! Your photos warm our hearts -- please keep them coming! New ones have been added this week!

Acts of Kindness
Finding ways to reach out to others is a strange task in these days of social distancing. The Random Acts of Kindness website offers some simple things we can do to reach out with kindness to others while maintaining physical distance. This is also the organization that offers the Kindness Curriculum we have been piloting this year. We know from scientists that acts of kindness and gratitude nurture our own inner health. I think that’s because it helps connect us to our better angels.  
Continuous Learning Update 
While Mountain Song Community School is closed for in-person instruction, teachers and staff are very much open for Continuous Learning. We miss the children very much, and are excited to continue to connect with them and make sure they know there is a vibrant community of people that care for them very much.  

Our Continuous Learning Plan is now fully launched, and a rhythm has been established. Please see the Continuous Learning webpage that serves as a portal to all the Kindergarten and Class Teacher webpages. The teacher webpages are password-protected, and passwords have been sent to you by your teachers. 

On the Kindergarten Teacher webpages , you will find activities and files for your support.  

On the Class Teacher webpages , you will find a new class Learning Board each week that provides a visual outline of the week’s activities, as well as supporting files and activities. Links to the Subject Teacher, Interventionist, and others’ webpages are also found on each Class Teacher page.

For family support , please see the Community Resources and Mental Health Support webpage hosted by our Dean of Students, Cori Karasiuk, and our School Social Worker, Erin Kivo. These resources, activities, and perspectives are incredibly helpful as we all navigate these stressful times. They will also be keeping office hours, and the times are listed on that page. Please do not hesitate to reach out to them.

Communication:   
  • Teachers will continue to stay in touch via email.
  • Many classes will use Zoom as a video-conferencing tool, with all the safety features and practices intact for educational settings. The schedule for class video conferences is listed on the Continuous Learning page.  
  • Some teachers are preparing short videos and audio files.  
  • Teachers will let you know about their “office hours” and other ways of communicating.  
  • Some teachers are preparing packets for pick-up as another way of communicating.

Continuous Learning Logs:  The state is asking us to track “attendance” in some way, and the learning logs help us to do so. They also help us at Mountain Song gauge how well we’re balancing what is reasonable. Teachers may also ask you to send photos of students engaged in activities or of their projects/assignments.

Hard Copy Options:  As long as we are in compliance with safe practices, we plan to provide times during which families can pick up hard copy packets of learning materials. Please see the Songbird article outlining times and protocols.

Nothing replaces face-to-face engagement with students, but we are committed to maintaining our community of learning and growth. We appreciate the strong relationships you continue to foster between your family and the teachers and staff at Mountain Song. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us if you have any question or concern.

Warm wishes,
Dr. Teresa Woods
Packet Pick-Up
Some teachers will prepare packets for families to pick-up at school. Your teacher will communicate directly with you if they are preparing such packets. If you need to pick up packets, please carefully observe the following protocols. It is imperative that we follow strict safety procedures.

Times:
  • Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday 8-10am and 3-5pm
  • Friday: 8-10am and 3-6pm  
  • Saturday, Sunday, and Monday - closed for 72 hours safety 

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 e-mail you directly if packets are prepared and are ready for pick-up.
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.”

Mental Health Care, Managing Anxiety, and
Supporting Kids During the Coronavirus Crisis
Taking care of our own mental health as well as supporting our children can feel like an insurmountable task at times. Our Dean of Students, Cori Karasiuk, and our School Social Worker, Erin Kivo, have started a webpage to help. You can find it at this link .  Here are some additional resources that might 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