From the Principal
I can’t tell you the joyful anticipation I feel at moving into Phase 2! There is a lot of information below to absorb -- we have also sent some of it to families through our automated system. Please check out our new Return to School webpage that is now linked by a tab at the top of our website. We will be continuing to add the most relevant information to that page.

As we welcome students back into the building, we ask everyone to please be mindful of the safety measures we have in place to ensure a safe learning environment. Please help support us and our entire community in maintaining these practices so that we can continue to offer in-person learning.  

I also extend my deep gratitude to the Festivals Committee of the Parent Council who created the most exquisite and innovative remote festival that maintained the spirit of Mountain Song in pulling the community together … while apart.

We are blessed by this caring community!

Dr. Teresa Woods
Return to School Update
Modified In-Person Learning Begins October 5th
Mountain Song Community School is overjoyed to open our doors for students again!
It has been such a long time and we are looking forward to the warmth and excitement this time brings. Many thanks to all who participated in the Parent Survey for In-Person Learning. Teachers have reached out to families with information about our Phase 2 Plan.

As mentioned last week, we will begin In-Person Learning in a modified form starting October 5th for Grades K-4 and October 12th for Grades 5-8. Our modified version incorporates some at-home learning days and some in-person learning days. 

Start dates for our hybrid model are staggered among grade clusters, as follows:
Schedules: Specific schedules are being shared with you by your Class Teachers along with important safety considerations. Some families have chosen to continue with remote learning and forego in-person learning at this time. Note: to prevent exposing our Handwork and Music teachers to multiple classes in close proximity, these classes will be delivered remotely. 

  • Choice:  Families may choose to stay in full Remote Learning rather than split the week with In-Person. To provide stability, routine, and rhythm in the learning environment, we ask you to choose an option for the month, which you can change at monthly intervals.  
  • Option changes could take place November 2, and again on November 30, and we will set additional dates into the New Year. Switches due to extenuating circumstances can be arranged with the Executive Leadership Team. Also, we will allow switches within the first week of Phase 2.
  
Child Care for Remote Days: We realize some families will need child care during the Remote days relevant to your children’s grades. We will have a program available for your child to be supervised during Remote days. Costs will be forthcoming, with fees adjusted according to Free and Reduced status. Please contact Dan Kurschner for more information: dkurschner@mountainsongschool.com 
Phase 2 Schedules Start Oct. 5
Please note the Phase 2 start (tardy) and dismissal times for both In-Person Learning and Remote Learning students that start Monday, October 5.
Drop-Off Times for In-Person Learning (to allow time for health screening) are below.

  • Grades K – 4, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday (starting October 5)
  • Kindergarten: drop-off 8:15 am
  • Grades 1-4: drop-off 7:55 am
  • Homeschool: drop-off 8:20 am
  • Grades 5-8, Thursday and Friday (starting October 15)
  • Grade 5-8: drop-off 7:55 am

Each class will have separate entrance/exit doors to the building. Your teachers will let you know which door each class will enter and exit the building.
Morning Health Screening and Pre-Screening
We are required to screen all staff and students entering the building for COVID symptoms each day. Please complete an online form each day for each child planning to come to school in the In-Person Learning option. 

  • Here is the link: https://tinyurl.com/mscshealth  
  • You should receive a notice each morning by email and/or text with the link again as a reminder. 
  • Please complete this no later than 7:30 a.m. 
  • A video with instructions to complete the Pre-Screening form is found on our Return to School page.

If you do not submit a form by 7:30 a.m., you must accompany your child(ren) onto school grounds to meet a Mountain Song staff health screener. Symptom screening, including temperature check, will be conducted at that point. 

Students who have one or more symptoms on the list will be required to stay or return home.

Thank you for your cooperation.
Safety Measures
Multiple safety measures are in place at Mountain Song Community School to help prevent the spread of illness, with the following as our primary approaches. While no single tactic will work all the time, layering them together provides optimum effectiveness.

  • Face coverings required of all students and staff indoors. Please send your child with an appropriate face covering. Repeat-use coverings should be laundered between uses each day.
  • Frequent handwashing throughout the day with multiple handwashing stations placed around the school.
  • Class cohorts will remain separate from other classes.
  • Social distance as possible.
  • Increased ventilation in the classrooms and by providing outdoor classroom space.
  • Hallway and bathroom procedures to prevent congregating and interaction among class cohorts.
  • Enhanced cleaning throughout the day and at night.
  • Visitors restrictions in the building. Visitors and parents will only be allowed in the building with administration approval.
 
Century Old Wisdom
A recent presentation by Waldorf teacher David Barham was shared by the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America inspiring us to remember, “Our school is part of a global movement of schools started 101 years ago by a man named Dr. Rudolf Steiner.”

In 1919, after extensive lectures in which Dr. Steiner taught the first Waldorf teachers, he inspired them with words to:

  • Imbue themselves (fill themselves) with imagination
  • To have courage for what is true, for the truth
  • To sharpen their feeling for responsibility -- to feel responsible to imaginatively teach their students what is true.

These words, “Enliven Imagination, Stand for Truth, Feel Responsibility,” have become the cornerstone of every Waldorf for over 100 years. 

David Barham continued, “I bring up all of this history now because I truly believe that what Rudolf Steiner gave as a gift to the first Waldorf teachers back then, is precisely the message and medicine we need right now to face our moment in world history. We need to feel responsible - responsible to our friends and classmates, teachers and parents to keep them safe and healthy by doing all the things we know work to help keep people safe and healthy now - wash our hands, keep our distance, wear our masks. We need to have courage for the truth - the truth we have seen in the news and read in the papers about the goings on in America and the world over the last four months or so. We need to face that truth and commit ourselves to helping create a different truth in our country and the world. And in order to do any of that, we need to fill ourselves with an imagination that is loving and big and bold and can picture a world that is healed and where all take care of all. Turns out, Dr. Steiner’s 101 year old message is precisely the message we need right now in 2020 as we head back to school.”
No School Friday, October 9
Please be reminded that there will be no school on Friday, October 9th so that our teachers can participate in Professional Development. 
Stone Soup Thank You!
As a Waldorf-inspired school, Mountain Song festivals are a vital part of our education. Thank you to all who helped celebrate our virtual Stone Soup Fall Festival! So many volunteers made this virtual event possible - reading stories, demonstrating crafts, and making stone soup! While different this year, our festival brought us together in story, song, light and food, celebrating our passage into fall and the changes to come.
 
A heartful of thanks go to the Festivals Committee of the Parent Council, and especially to Ms. Cambria Milner for pulling the magic all together!
 
Please follow this link to continue doing any activities of interest from the Stone Soup Festival: https://mountainsongschool.com/parent-council-festivals/
MAP Assessments Grades 3-8
In accordance with our charter and public school mandate to track student growth throughout the year, Mountain Song Community School administers the NWEA MAP (Measures of Academic Progress) Growth assessments* three times a year in grades 3 through 8. Please be sure children are well rested and have consumed a healthy breakfast for testing days.
 
Assessments will begin soon.
 
Grades 5-8
Parents of students in Grades 5-8 have the option to complete assessments remotely the week of October 5-8. The remote assessments will be proctored by a teacher
online 12-4pm Mon-Thu. There is no school on October 9th. Grades 7-8 will work on assessments remotely 12-4pm on Monday, October 5th and Tuesday, October 6th. Grades 5-6 will work on assessments remotely 12-4pm Tuesday, October 7th and Wednesday, October 8th.
 
Grades 3-4 
Students in Grades 3-4 will work on assessments in person at school, Monday,
October 12th, Tuesday, October 13th, and Wednesday, October 14th. Parents of students in Grades 3-4 have the option to complete assessments remotely October 15-16. The remote assessments will be proctored by a teacher online 12-4pm Thu-Fri.
 
Class teachers will inform their students’ parents of their class testing dates and times. More information will be sent to families about how to prepare their students for remote testing on their computer. Testing is not timed. Students can take the time they need to complete the assessments. Make-up days will be used to allow students to continue any unfinished assessments.
 
Make-up days for Grades 5-8 will be in person at school October 15-16 and 22-23.
Make-up days for Grades 3-5 will be in person at school October 19, 20, 21.
 
Thank you for your support of our efforts to track student academic growth.
Assessment data inform our teachers, interventionists, and administration of specific student performance in mathematics, language usage, and reading, and where they may need additional support. For more information about our Assessment Policies, please visit our website at https://mountainsongschool.com/assessment-policies/

If you have any questions about the NWEA MAP Growth test or about our assessments in general, please contact Ms. Sarah Kreger, Director of School Performance, at skreger@mountainsongschool.com.
 
Document Daily Attendance for
Student October Count Day
Student October Count Day is when all public schools in Colorado report the number of enrolled students, but it extends beyond October 1. Make sure your student is counted!

Mountain Song Community School needs parents/caregivers to help document daily attendance. What you may not know is that daily student attendance impacts school budgets for the rest of the school year. 
Please keep documenting student attendance consistently during any Remote Learning times, subjects or days. Parents/caregivers are required to initial their student’s schedule daily and submit it to the Class Teacher by Friday by 5:00 p.m. unless otherwise arranged by the Class Teacher.


Packet Pick-Up
DISCONTINUED
Packet, Chromebook, and supply distributions will be discontinued next week, October 5th, to allow a smooth return to In-Person Learning. Going forward, teachers will communicate directly with you about any additional supplies available for pick-up and how to get them.
Mountain Song in the News Again!
Mountain Song is making news again! This time, Dr. Teresa Woods shared why it’s so important for children to connect to nature, earth, and each other.  

Get Social with Mountain Song
Mountain Song Community - we have a new Instagram account. Please take a moment to follow, tag, and support @mountainsongschool and use the hashtag #ShareYourSong. Encourage friends, family and community members to do the same.
Parent Council Seeks Treasurer
Parent Council is seeking a Treasurer for the committee. 

Please reach out to Cambria at pcchair@mountainsongschool.com if you are interested. This can be an online role if you are fully digital this year and able to attend meetings via Zoom.

Parent Council meets the 3rd Thursday of each month. 
Next meeting is October 15th at 4 pm on this Zoom link.

Did you know that involvement on the Parent Council committee satisfies volunteer requirements for Mountain Song?
Parent Council Meeting Dates
Several of the Parent Council committees are meeting this fall. Won’t you join? 
It counts toward volunteer hours!

Hospitality Committee 
will meet at 4 pm on this Zoom link
  • October 6th
  • November 10th

Festivals Committee 
will meet at 4pm on this Zoom link
  • October 7th
  • November 11th 

Parent Council 
will meet at 4 pm on this Zoom link
  • October 15th
  • November 19th
Call to Action - Volunteers Needed for SAC
Dear Mountain Song Community,

This year, we are making a concerted effort to recruit parent and community volunteers to our School Accountability Committee (SAC). SAC is the only committee at Mountain Song that is required by Colorado law, and the law states that we must have the participation of at least three parent volunteers. Currently, we only have one parent on the committee. Without SAC, Mountain Song Community School cannot meet its legal obligations! 

SAC plays a vital role in the running of our school, so we need your help! The most important job of SAC is to help with the creation of our annual Unified Improvement Plan. SAC is also in charge of the annual Climate Survey that is sent to all parents in the spring. Furthermore, our committee examines student assessment data and makes recommendations to the ELT based on this information and the Climate Survey.  

SAC meetings are held from 6:00-7:30 pm either the third or fourth Monday of each month except for vacations: October 19, November 16, January 25, February 22, March 15, April 19, and May 17. When the school opens for in-person classes, we will be offering the choice to meet in-person or via Zoom for our meetings. 

You do not need to attend every meeting, but we ask that you attend as many meetings as you possibly can. Best of all, by attending SAC meetings, you will fulfill a good part of your 40 hour a year volunteering commitment to Mountain Song!

Michael Katzenberg
Chair, SAC
October Farm Volunteers Needed!
Thanks to all the amazing volunteers who continue to help us water, weed and keep our animals fed. We have added slots for October Farm volunteers! 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.

Landsharks Running Club
Landsharks will be available as a 'running club' option and not available directly through Mountain Song for this fall season. Please see this letter of explanation if you are interested in your student participating.
Parent Handbook Revised
The 2020-2021 Mountain Song Parent Handbook was recently revised to include and update the following:
  • Statements on Teacher-Pupil Instruction and Bell Schedule Equivalency, especially to reflect the adjustments made due to the coronavirus pandemic.  
  • State Assessment Policies, including:
  • Paper and Pencil Format Policy, and
  • Parent Opt-Out Policy.

You can find the Revised MSCS 2020-2021 Parent Handbook by clicking here.
Part-Time Custodian Position Available
Custodian - Part-Time Position
3 1/2 hours per day, 5 days a week

Mountain Song Community School is looking for a part-time Custodial Assistant to work 3.5 hours per day, Monday through Friday, from 12:00pm - 3:30pm while school is in session. 

This person will be able to perform general cleaning tasks such as vacuuming, sweeping, mopping, and cleaning restrooms. May be asked to perform outdoor work such as snow removal and other seasonal tasks, as needed. Must be able to perform building and custodial related work, communicate effectively, and work cooperatively with others. This person is dependable and able to arrive at work as scheduled. 

Email your application (found on our website) with a cover letter to dkurschner@mountainsongschool.com
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