Dates to Remember
December 23 - January 7 -- Winter Break -- NO SCHOOL

January 6-7 - Teacher Work Days

January 7 - MSCS Board of Directors Meeting

January 8 -- School Resumes

January 9 -- Parent Council Meeting

January 9-17 - MAP Testing Grades 3-8

January 17 - Town Hall Meeting

January 20 - MLK Day -- NO SCHOOL

January 21 - 23 -- Kinder Assessments - No School for Kinder / Regular Days for Grades 1-8

January 24 -- K-3 Assessment Day - No School for K-3 / Regular Day for
Grades 4-8
From the Principal
As we mark the Winter Solstice, we recognize that many cultures celebrate the darkest days of the year by celebrating a season of light. This light is signified by the brilliant winter starlight, by candles, by holiday lights, and mostly by honoring the inner light we bring from our minds, hands, and hearts to others. One of the ways we kindle that light is by pure wonder. I hope you find time this Winter Break to wonder, to dream, to sink into a good novel, to get lost in the stars, to get to know someone new, to find the extraordinary in the ordinary, and to ponder the imponderables of nature and of life. 

My husband and I are so delighted to be here in Colorado. There is such beauty in nature and such warmth in the people that I am filled with much wonder and astonishment! And I also wonder, will we get even more snow? I hope everyone stays safe and warm over the break. We have pulled together some images of the school and natural areas during this winter season -- see below. And please remember our Farm needs some love and care over the holidays.

Please remember that amidst the magic of this time of year, the stresses of the season can also weigh on our little ones. I’ve included articles below to remind us of ways we can help them, and some of the minefields to avoid.  

I so look forward to greeting you again at Mountain Song on January 8th in the New Year - 2020! Can you believe we’re entering a new decade? In the meantime, I wish you much love, learning, and wonder to fill your upcoming days. You bring all that to me and more. I am so grateful to be at Mountain Song Community School! 
 
Wishing you a light and wonder-filled holiday season!  

Dr. Teresa Woods
Confirmation of Continued Enrollment for 2020-21 School Year
This week, your student(s) will be bringing home a yellow Confirmation of Continued Enrollment form. Please read it carefully, complete it with the appropriate information, and return it to the school no later than January 31st. If you intend to re-enroll your student(s) in Mountain Song next year, this form is essential to ensuring your placement.  

An electronic version of the Confirmation of Continued Enrollment form can be found by clicking here or visiting our website at www.mountainsongschool.com/enrollment .

If you have other children you are interested in enrolling for the first time at Mountain Song next school year, please fill out the SY20/21 Intent to Enroll form by clicking here or visiting our website at www.mountainsongschool.com/enrollment

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Sarah Kreger at skreger@mountainsongschool.com
School Performance Rating Again!
The Executive Leadership Team is pleased to announce that Mountain Song Community School received a rating of “Performance” for the 2018-19 school year by the Colorado Department of Education and by the Charter School Institute. This positive rating is based on our academic assessment results, on our financial management, and on the governance of the school. It certainly reflects the strength of our public Waldorf model, and it builds on our trend of stability for the school.

This is excellent news and reflects the dedicated efforts of students, teachers, administration, parents, board members, and community over several years to strengthen our educational program. We are deeply grateful for the outstanding work of everyone involved in supporting teaching and learning at Mountain Song.    

Well done, Mountain Song!

Executive Leadership Team
Agricultural Arts Update
Recently Agricultural Arts students in grades 3-8 made 18 fresh wreaths for our classroom teachers and front entrance. This was a multi-day, collaborative effort constructed from Spiral Walk left-over branches (which in years past were thrown away!), pinecones donated by Ms. Donati, and paper flowers made by the 5th grade class. We hope this will become a tradition in the years ahead, as it is a great opportunity to beautify our school and allow students to show their appreciation for the hard work of all our teachers and staff.
Images of the Season
Here is a collection of images of the winter season here at Mountain Song, thanks to Mrs. Sarah Kreger.  


Next Parent Council Meeting 
January 9, 2020
Please join us for the next Parent Council Meeting.

Thursday, January 9th, 2020
8:30 a.m. at Cafe 225

Holly Sucharski
MSCS Parent Council Chair
Carpooling Requests on Community Bulletin Board
Do you need help getting your child to and from school?  

The community bulletin board in the front entrance of the school is a place that MSCS families can post carpool requests for other families in their area. If you know of other Mountain Song families living in your area who may need transportation assistance, please consider carpooling. It's a great way to assist other families in our community and it cuts down on traffic congestion! 
Making Holidays Better for Kids
With the winter holidays upon us, it is worth taking stock of the impact that schedule changes, sweet and rich foods, fun presents, and demands on their social behavior can have on children. Here are a couple sources that help us consider ways we can help make holidays better for kids.


The Simplicity Parenting Institute with Kim John Payne: “Unstressing Family Holidays” (so that they really are joyful and simple)
The Value of Reading to Children
Studies confirm that reading to children is so very important, even long before they can read themselves and also well into their teens. I strongly encourage you to make a daily ritual of reading to and with your children. The upcoming Winter Break is also a perfect time to read a family book together. Click on the links below to learn about the many benefits of reading to children, from prenatal to adolescence.



Screens and Children’s Health
Teresa M. Woods, Ph.D.
During the Winter Break, it may be tempting to use screens to keep our children occupied. Yet please be mindful of the strong body of evidence demonstrating that screen time for children disrupts normal and healthy brain development, as well as negatively impacting social, emotional, and motor skill development.  

Brain development and functioning in children and adults are inextricably connected to environmental stimuli. When we are on screens, our brains function differently. Do you know that “Gaming Disorder” is now on the WHO list of diseases? New studies and documentaries have highlighted the risks of screentime to neurological and social-emotional regulation. Please help engage your children in activities that are healthy for their development, and avoid those that are harmful. We as adults also need to check the amount of time we spend on our own screens, too. Our children need our full-face attention.  

Board Voice
Volume 1, Issue 3 -- Aubrey Fennewald and Hilary Hoekenga
Town Hall: Friday, January 17, 2019 5:30-7:00PM 
Please don't miss this opportunity to hear updates about items the Board of Directors are working on, as well as ask questions and provide feedback. Yes, we want to hear from YOU! The Town Hall is an opportunity for the Board to share updates regarding a new location for the school, as well as our work on re-chartering the school with the Colorado Charter School Institute (CSI), our authorizing institution (our current contract runs through 2021, and we must renew our charter in order to remain in operation). Come learn about our performance rating from the state (why our students have to take those standardized tests!), and how YOU can help us in moving the school and maintaining our free, public school status! 

Recruitment
As we have mentioned in our previous communications, our five-member Board is just barely enough to govern the school. We would very much like to expand the Board to at least 7, and ideally 9, members. We need help for many of the big projects we’re undertaking, like moving the school to a new location and the charter renewal. So, we ask you to please consider joining us in an important school leadership role. If you are interested, please contact Board Secretary, Bill Burkett, at wburkett@mountainsongschool.com for more information.

End-of-Year Giving 
'Tis the season! Did you know that Mountain Song Community School is its own 501(c)(3) non-profit organization? Get in one more tax-deductible charitable donation before 2019 is up! End-of-year, one-time contributions are a simple way to make and have an immediate impact. Or consider the “Join the Song" club by signing up for a monthly, recurring gift. Together, small recurring automatic gifts can really add up. Combined with others, a monthly gift of just $5, $10, or $20 can provide significant and transformational resources for our school. 

Signing up is simple on Mountain Song Community School’s secure online giving page . Just select an amount to give per month and click on “recurring donation.” Those who sign up for a monthly gift will receive a SY19-20 Mountain Song Community School Monthly Donor decal reserved for the Join the Song Club of monthly sustaining donors. And thank you for giving back to our school who gives so much to our community! 

Sincerely, 
Mountain Song Board of Directors

Aubrey Fennewald
Hilary Hoekenga
2019 Mountain Song Community School Annual Appeal
(November 15 – December 31)

The Mountain Song Community School Annual Appeal is an important time for Mountain Song Community School where we ask families, friends, and other members of our community to support the school with a philanthropic gift.

Save the Date: Grandparents Day
Thursday, March 19th
We are very excited to announce our second annual Grandparents Day Celebration on Thursday, March 19th. At MSCS, we love and appreciate our grandparents, and believe they are to be honored, treasured and celebrated. In order to send our grandparents a special invitation from the school, we need your help. Please provide us with the mailing and email addresses of the grandparents. We need this information in order to get invitations and information out. To reply with the requested information you can simply click the button below, fill out the needed information and hit submit.
Volunteers Needed for the Farm
The Farm is in Need of Volunteers! This is a very integral part of our school, so please consider using some of your volunteer hours to keep The Farm up and running. Children are more than welcome to help and are encouraged to participate. Links are now live for signing up for Fall/Winter and Winter/Spring volunteer hours. See below:  



Thank you! Parent Council
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