From the Principal
Welcome back to Mountain Song as we usher in a new year filled with hope!  The joy among teachers and students reconnecting this week is incredibly uplifting!   

Thank you to all the K-4 families who completed the survey to help us plan for in-person learning, which we anticipate starting January 25th for these grades.  Today is the last day to complete the survey, so please do so if you have not yet.  We will communicate more specific plans next week.   

We appreciate your input and comments from that survey, which reflect widely divergent perspectives on the school’s decisions.  The passion of these differing opinions offers a beautiful opportunity to show respect for each other even as we disagree, and as we follow required safety practices critical for in-person learning.  I love seeing your commitment to our children in modeling civil and warm engagement amongst ourselves.  Thank you for your ongoing partnership in this most challenging of years.  

As the length of sunlight increases each day, my hope is that the burden of this pandemic will also lighten over the season.  If we all do our part in minimizing the community spread, I see a brightening spring ahead of us.  

Happy New Year Blessings!  

Dr. Teresa Woods
Learning Plan Update
School resumed on Wednesday, with students in Remote Learning. We will maintain our current school schedule through January 22nd.  Teachers have communicated with families specific details about their class schedules. 

As recommended by El Paso County Public Health last month, we scheduled a buffer time after the holidays in Remote Learning in case we see an expected spike in coronavirus spread due to holiday gatherings.  We are most pleased to see these metrics trending strongly downward.  
 
We are developing a plan for students in grades K-4 to return to In-Person Learning starting January 25th.  Grades 5-8 will remain in Remote Learning at that time, though we anticipate offering in-person for these grades soon.  Stay updated at Mountain Song’s Return to School webpage.
 
As we consider staffing strategies, we would appreciate the input of families with students in K-4 by completing a short survey linked here.  The survey closes today, so please provide input if you have not already!

Click here for the survey for K-4 families.

Virtual School - Tips for Coping
As Remote Learning resumes this week, many students will return with a renewed focus following winter break. However, others may be struggling to feel invested in school. With the fresh start to a new year and a new semester, parents may be looking for ways to help children fully engage with remote learning. 
 
The Child Mind Institute website holds an array of articles and resources for parents, families and educators. Keeping Kids Engaged in Remote Learning is one of their recent articles that may help you navigate any challenges you are sensing with the return to remote learning. Further, they have taken the time to provide families with tips for learning goals by age group! Click this article, Strategies for Supporting Learning at Home, for support by age group. The Child Mind Institute is dedicated to transforming the lives of children and families. 
No School on Monday, January 18th - Martin Luther King Jr. Day
Please remember there will be no school on Monday, January 18th, as it is Martin Luther King Jr. Day. This marks the 26th anniversary of the day of service that celebrates the Civil Rights leader’s life and legacy. MLK Day is the only federal holiday designated as a national day of service to encourage all Americans to volunteer to improve their communities. We encourage our families and staff to do what we can on this day to contribute to our communities. Click here for more information.
K-3 Assessment Day Jan 22
Kinder Assessment Days Jan 19-22
The K-3 Assessment Day is Friday, January 22nd. There will be no school for K-3 on this day, though it will be a regular school day for Grades 4-8. 

In addition, there is no school for Kindergarten during the Kinder Assessment Days, January 19th - 22nd.  

During the K-3 Assessment Day, children in Grades K-3 will be scheduled to come in to be assessed in reading. Most of our students in Grades 1-3 were tested in December, but all Kinders will be scheduled for assessments on January 22nd. 
 
Kindergarten teachers will reach out to families to provide details about additional testing days. 

According to the Colorado READ Act, all K-3rd grade teachers must assess all students three times each school year for reading comprehension skills. This assessment takes about 15-20 minutes for each child and must be administered individually by the class teacher or reading specialist.  

Please sign-up with your K-3 class teacher for an assessment time slot on Friday, January 22nd if you haven’t already. This is not a typical school day, and your child will only need to be here for the duration of his/her testing time slot.  
 
Please contact your child’s teacher or Mrs. Sarah Kreger with any questions: skreger@mountainsongschool.com.

Grades 3-8 MAP Assessments Start in January
The middle-of-year MAP (Measures of Academic Progress) growth assessments will start this month for grades 3-8. Please watch for specific dates for your child’s class. All MAP assessments will be administered remotely for grades 5-8 and in-person for grades 3-4.  
 
Mountain Song Community School administers the NWEA MAP (Measures of Academic Progress) Growth assessments three times a year in grades 3 through 8 in accordance with our charter and public school mandate to track student growth. 

The purpose of these assessments is to track student growth throughout the school year, so critically important this year especially. These data inform our teachers, interventionists, and administration of student growth in mathematics, language usage, and reading, and where they may need additional support.  

Thank you for your support of our efforts to track student academic growth. If you have any questions, please contact Ms. Sarah Kreger, Director of School Performance, at skreger@mountainsongschool.com

Virtual Parent Information Session
We hope you’ll share the song with your friends, family, and neighbors and let them know about our Virtual Parent Information Sessions.

We invite interested parents to pour themselves a cup of tea and join us online to learn more about the only tuition-free public Waldorf school in Southern Colorado. We’ll explain the Waldorf approach, give insight into our enriching curriculum, and show them how Mountain Song nurtures the body, mind and heart of every student.

Information Sessions will be held...
January 20, 2021 at 6 p.m.
January 21, 2021 at 4:30 p.m. 
January 28, 2021 at 4:30 p.m.

Confirmation of Continued Enrollment 
for 2021-22 School Year
Current Mountain Song families must complete and submit a Confirmation of Continued Enrollment form for their students by January 31st. 
 
We are providing an electronic version of the Confirmation of Continued Enrollment form. Please click here or visit our website at www.mountainsongschool.com/enrollment to fill in the Google Form and submit it electronically by January 31st.
 
Every year we survey our families about whether or not they intend on bringing their children back to Mountain Song the following school year. We use this information to determine our enrollment projections. Because this information is so valuable, we ask all our families to fill in these forms, even if their children will not return to Mountain Song next fallIf you intend to re-enroll your student(s) in Mountain Song next year, this form is essential to ensure placement.
 
If you have other children you are interested in enrolling for the first time at Mountain Song next school year, please fill in the SY21/22 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.

Accepting Intent to Enroll Forms for the 2021-2022 School Year
Families interested in enrolling their children in Kindergarten through Grade 8 classes or our Homeschool Enrichment Program must submit a SY21-22 Intent to Enroll form by January 31, 2021 to place their child(ren) in the Enrollment Lottery. The Intent to Enroll forms are also available at the front office . The lottery will occur on Tuesday, February 9, 2021. If your child is selected in the lottery, enrollment packets will be sent to you from our Director of School Performance after confirmation in February. Please contact Sarah Kreger with questions at skreger@mountainsongschool.com.
Report Cards
First semester report cards are being prepared by teachers. 

Please know that there will be some ‘NA’ (Not Assessed) scores for students who have not participated enough for the teacher to adequately assess certain skills. Other scores will reflect the work provided by the student during remote learning or hybrid learning. If you have any questions about your child's report cards, please contact your child's teacher or Sarah Kreger at skreger@mountainsongschool.com
Talking to Children About Frightening Events
Many of us were deeply shaken on Wednesday by the violent events at the nation’s capitol. How do we process this while being developmentally appropriate with our children? Our children are impacted not only by our reactions, but also by those of their friends and community.  

Reaffirm safety. A sense of safety is a primary need for us all, and the younger the child is, the more fundamental this need is. As adults, we are more capable of managing our own safety. Children depend on the adults around them to feel safe.

Protect young children. Young children should be protected from feeling threats to their safety. Be mindful of keeping news reports and images of threatening events away from young children, and reassure them that you will keep them safe.

Make time. As children grow and become more aware of their community, they have questions and want to understand situations themselves. Be sure to make time to honor their feelings - they may want to talk or express themselves through activities. You can tell them reassuring, imaginative or biographical stories.  

Be developmentally appropriateThis article from the National Association of School Psychologists provides a helpful guide to developmentally appropriate approaches that align with our Waldorf approach.  
Packet Pick-Up
Packet and supply distributions continue next week Tuesdays and Thursdays between 12pm-4pm.

When picking up packets 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 communicate directly with you about any supplies available for pick-up weekly. 
Ag Arts Needs Spice Jars!
The summer and fall harvest are getting processed, but we need clean, glass spice jars! We have plucked and picked, snipped and dried herbs and spices such as dill, fennel, rosemary, sage, bay, lavender, and lemon verbena. We have more herbs and spices than jars! Agricultural Arts plans to sell our harvest by the jar sometime in 2021. There will be single harvest jars and some wonderful blends. So, let’s reuse some of those expired jars in the pantry! Please send in your clean glass spice jars today!
Label your donation “Ag Arts” and drop them off at the gym during supplies pick up Tuesdays or Thursdays 12pm to 4pm. We will get them from the gym and fill them from our garden harvest!

The more jars we receive, the more we can fill. 
The more we fill, the more we can sell! 
Thank you for supporting Ag Arts!


Farm Volunteers Needed!
Winter chores continue in the garden. We now have weekend slots available until the end of February. We need volunteers to help us keep our animals fed. We have 2 bunnies, 4 chickens, and many fish that require our warmth and attention.

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.


Winter Faire Festivities
Parent Council’s Winter Festival activities are available online until the end of January. Festivals bring to a community the richness of story and song, light and food, and celebrate our shared humanity while marking the passage of time. Check out the hard work of the Parent Council this season!  Click here for Winter Faire festivities you can bring into your home.  And share the link with family and friends this month.
Parent Council Meeting Dates
The mission of the Parent Council is to facilitate parent involvement and to support teachers in preserving the vision of the school. Please support Mountain Song by joining one of these Parent Council committees. 
Do you long to know more about Waldorf festivals? Maybe you love to craft and want to help find a safe way to celebrate each festival this year. Would you like to help create online, interactive festivals?

Please join:
Festivals Committee 
Meets 2nd Wednesday each month at 4pm
Meetings at 4pm on this Zoom link
Do you care for the physical and emotional health of our community? Would you enjoy supporting our Waldorf community by involvement with Mountain Song’s media policy, food program, and dress code?

Please join: 
Health and Wellness/Hospitality Committee 
Meets 2nd Tuesday each month at 4pm
Next Meeting January 12th at 4 pm on this Zoom link
Are you a natural communicator and enjoy coordinating? Parent Council seeks a Chair to host monthly meetings, help coordinate committees, act as a liaison between staff and parent council, and communicate with the Board Liaison. 

Please join:
Parent Council 
Meets 3rd Thursday each month at 4pm
Next Meeting January 14th at 4 pm on this Zoom link
All Parent Council committees seek volunteers. Remember, involvement on the Parent Council committee satisfies volunteer requirements for Mountain Song! Please reach out to Cambria at pcchair@mountainsongschool.com if you are interested. 

The school's Board of Directors also has committees that are seeking volunteers. Please reach out to them at board@mountainsongschool.com for more information.
Class Fundraisers Thank you!
Thank you to all who supported the fundraising efforts of Mrs. McCabe’s Aspen 7th Grade Class Book Sale Fundraiser! All proceeds will go directly to Mrs. McCabe's Aspen Class funds to help them go on a trip next year.
Thank you to all who supported Mrs. Arzate’s Red Oak 3rd Grade Class Citrus Fundraiser! 


Get Social with Mountain Song
Please take a moment to follow, tag, and support our Instagram account @mountainsongschool!  Encourage friends, family and community members to do the same!
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