From the Principal
For those of us devoted to education, the last six months have been lonely without students in-person. We are so happy to welcome students to the building by providing an in-person option as well as a full remote option in October! Thank you to everyone who completed the Parent Survey sent last weekend. We had a huge response rate (165 respondents representing 208 children), with 80% indicating a return to in-person learning. You could check “all that applied,” and 27% also indicated full remote learning. Safety protocols and procedures will be in place, and you will hear more about those in the coming days.  

We have much activity going on, as described below. Please take the time to record and turn in attendance to your teacher. We are approaching October 1st, Count Day, the pivotal day by which we record the number of students enrolled for the 2020-2021 academic year. This number determines the income the state sends us during the year to fulfill our educational mission. We want your child to be counted, which is documented through daily attendance! Thank you for your assistance.

The Parent Council has absolutely outdone themselves in creativity this year by offering a Virtual Stone Soup Fall Festival! Thank you, Parent Council and Festivals Committee! Other activities are happening including assessments and Mountain Song being in the news! Please see the details below.

We have passed the Autumn Equinox, which means the nights are now becoming longer than the days. This is the time of year we relish the harvest and refresh ourselves in the cooling air. It is also the time that we conjure our courage to step into the dark unknown, or in story language, to slay the dragons. The painting below by one of our students depicts this perfectly. While we are missing our big school Festival of Courage this year, we recognize that we are all living this Festival of Courage, day by day, moment by moment. Let’s celebrate every step of bravery. Let’s celebrate the moments we take heart. Let’s celebrate the beautiful Mountain Song 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.

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. Some families have chosen to continue with remote learning and forego in-person learning at this time.

Start dates for our hybrid model are staggered among grade clusters, as follows:
Schedules: Specific schedules are being worked out now, and your Class Teachers will share these with you.

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.
Document Daily Attendance for
Student October Count Day
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. 

Student October Count Day is when all public schools in Colorado report the number of enrolled students. This is the enrollment level by which our 2020-21 funding is determined. Make sure your student is counted!

Our budget supports our educational mission and relies on students being counted. Teachers usually count attendance. During Remote Learning, however, it is imperative that attendance is documented consistently. Every day our students attend class in Remote Learning must be documented and submitted to the school for verification. Parents/caregivers are a key component to documenting this attendance, especially during non-live and e-lesson learning segments.

Please DON'T schedule family vacations or extended absences from September 28 through October 9th. 

Please finish September strong and keep documenting student attendance consistently through October and 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.

Stone Soup Fall Festival
Please join us to celebrate this Saturday at our virtual Stone Soup Festival. 
We will have stories and crafts available on the school's website.  
Cook along with Mrs. Laura and make this year's delicious stone soup! 
 
Starting this evening, September 25th, you can log in and do all of the activities.  
Please feel free to invite anyone who may be interested to join in our Waldorf festival, modified for these unprecedented times. 
 
Please follow this link to reach the festival: 
 
Wishing you a magical start to the fall season!
Parent Council and the Festivals Committee
Mountain Song in the News
On Monday, our Mountain Song teachers demonstrated creative ways to welcome fall, LIVE on 5 News Today. If you missed the early morning news, Click here for the KOAA story. To watch the news clips, click on the mini newsreel underneath the photos beneath the title, “We are sharing some fall-inspired recipes and art projects you can easily do with your kids at home”. There are four news clips to enjoy that were aired LIVE on Monday morning.
 
Wednesday evening, one of our very own Mountain Song Kindergarten classes was featured on the FOX21 news at 9:00 and 10:00 p.m., introducing Colorado Springs to the warmth of the “Waldorf Way”. Click here to view that story.
 
Dr. Teresa Woods will be with the FOX21 Morning News team this morning, Friday, September 25th, at 8:20 a.m. talking about how the “Waldorf Way” is particularly relevant during these times and sharing with the public that Mountain Song continues with Open Enrollment.
Colorado State Assessments Underway
Please Sign Up, Grades 1-4
The DIBELS (Dynamic Indicator of Basic Early Literacy Skills) assessment is required by the State of Colorado within the first 30 days of school.
 
Ms. Leslie Conrad, Reading Interventionist, is wrapping up DIBELS testing next week. Assessments for students in grades 1-4 are in person at the school. Please sign up for the testing schedule from your class teacher. Bring your student to school for his/her scheduled assessment time slot during which s/he will be assessed for reading.

Assessments will be at the school on September 29, 30 and October 1. 
It takes 15-20 minutes for each child, and it must be administered individually by the Reading Interventionist.
 
At the scheduled appointment time, please bring your student to the front entrance, ring the bell for entry into the building, and check in at the front office for a health screening. Remember that masks are required.  
 
Following safety precautions, Ms. Conrad wears a mask at all times and sits 6 feet away from each student being assessed. All surfaces and materials are wiped down between students.
 
If a student is unable to come in person, please contact Ms. Conrad at lconrad@mountainsongschool.com to make other arrangements.


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 correspond with the Return to School dates.
 
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.
 
Internet Safety
As we become more familiar with Remote Learning, we would like to take this opportunity to remind families using personally owned devices for schoolwork to make sure the device has strong safety features and an updated operating system. The best course of action for all parents is to install a child-protection app on their personal device.  PCMagazine provides recommendations in this article. We also encourage you to review these online safety tips provided by Connect Safely.

We continue to train teachers on evolving best practices in order to provide a safe online learning environment. Protecting students has been and will continue to be our top priority.  
Student Work - Slaying the Dragon
Here is a wonderful example of Main Lesson work extended into an art lesson. 
This is a painting from Charlie Tomkiewicz in the Hawthorn 2nd Grade.
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
MSCS Board
The Mountain Song Community School Board of Directors needs additional volunteers!

Did you know that any community member can become part of the Board’s various committees? The Board has several committees. Each committee is composed of one or two board members and additional community volunteers. Below is a short description of each Mountain Song Board committee which community members can join.

  • Finance Committee – responsible for creating and monitoring MSCS budget, financial oversight and financial planning for the future along with the Director of School Operations.

  • School Accountability Committee (SAC) – responsible for working with the Executive Leadership Team (ELT) to define academic excellence. (A SAC is required by Colorado Revised Statute (C.R.S.) 22-11-401 and 402.)

  • Charter Renewal –responsible for the Charter Contract Renewal process during renewal times.  

  • Statutory Oversight – responsible for monitoring upcoming legislation which might affect public charter schools and notifying the Board of changes and if there is a need for advocacy.

  • Governance Committee – responsible for Board recruitment and training, and the review and maintenance of school policies and documents, to include the Board Handbook, the Board Agreement, monitors and provides training of Board members and plans the Board Retreat. 

  • Development Committee – responsible to conduct and oversee a capital campaign and donation programs to support Mountain Song's mission.  

  • Futures Committee – responsible for future-oriented, large-scale organizational projects and tracking progress on the Strategic Plan. Rewrites the Strategic Plan yearly or as needed.

  • Grant Writing Committee – responsible for finding and writing grant applications which the ELT approves and coordinating funding streams via grants.

  • Parent Council – [The description for the Parent Council Committee is currently being developed.]

At this time, Grant Writing, School Accountability, Governance, and Development committees urgently need help. 

The Futures Committee is seeking any new leads for Mountain Song’s relocation site for next school year.

Contact the Board at board@mountainsongschool.com to get involved with any committee.

For an official description of each committee, please click here
Colorado League of Charter Schools
The Colorado League of Charter Schools created the Colorado Charter Advocacy Network (COCAN) several years ago as a way for charter school supporters including parents, families, teachers, administrators and board members to stay up-to-date on important political issues impacting our schools, as well as provide tools to easily contact and interact with elected officials. 

COCAN recently hosted a focus group for families of charter school students in Colorado to gain information about how to feel prepared to advocate on behalf of our charter schools, as well as what kind of materials and resources parents might need to be able to take action when necessary.

The Colorado League of Charter Schools reached out to our Board with an urgent request encouraging charter school supporters to join the Colorado Charter Advocacy Network (COCAN).

This powerful tool will help us stay informed on pressing issues impacting charter schools. It will also provide us with easy-to-use action alerts by which we can take simple, concrete steps to protect and defend charter schools and our students.
Parents, families, teachers, administrators and board members can easily stay informed:
  • Text “COCAN” to 52886
  • Join COCAN by filling in the form here.
  • Follow through social media
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.
Packet Pick-Up
Packet, Chromebook, and supply distributions will continue next week. Please note the new times for pick-up between 12pm-4pm, daily.

If you have not had an opportunity to pick up your child’s classroom packet, Chromebook, and/or supplies, please do so next week. Otherwise, teachers will communicate directly with you about any additional supplies available for pick-up occurring next week. 

If you need to pick up packets, Chromebooks, 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 additional packets or supplies are prepared and are ready for pick-up next week between 12pm-4pm.
October Farm Volunteers Needed!
Thanks to all the amazing volunteers who have helped us water, weed and keep our animals fed this summer! We have officially entered Fall - the Autumn Equinox was September 22nd. Do you know what that means? We now 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.
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
Kindergarten Assistant Needed
Kinder-Assistant (full-time 30+ hours per week) 7:45 am to 3:00pm

The Kindergarten assistants help teachers in a variety of ways as a stable presence who is modeling purposeful work. Kindergarten assistants are the quiet doers in the classroom. They prepare snacks and set the stage for the teachers. They participate and help guide, working from the background rather than in the forefront.

They must be able to project the sense of a wholesome human being that is strong while able to work from the background. Assistants must be able to maintain confidentiality and hold sensitive information about a child or a family situation with discretion and tact. 
 
2-3 years of experience working with kindergarten or preschool age children.
$14-$15 per hour

Please see the application and job descriptions at the link below, and/or contact Dan Kurschner at (719) 203-6364 or dkurschner@mountainsongschool.com

Link to the Employment page on our website: https://mountainsongschool.com/about/employment/ 
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