A member of the Alliance for Public Waldorf Education

Opportunities and Growing Pains

Opportunities and Growing Pains

Dear Mountain Song Community,

After the enrollment lottery has settled down, we are happy to report that enrollment looks very good for next year!  We have the commitments to add two 1st grades again, which means that we will add another class to our school.  An additional class will allow us to stabilize the school in moving forward as we fulfill our mission as a school of choice in offering a Waldorf model in a public charter school.  It also means that we will need to find another classroom to make room for the additional class.

We have extensively researched many different options for finding an additional classroom to house another class.  After weighing the trade-offs among our options, the best overall choice is to make use of the Cooking Arts room as a grades classroom starting in Fall 2019, just as we turned the Music room into a grades classroom this year.  One of the most significant trade-offs we faced was the school’s budget: during our current school year, Mountain Song is operating at a significant and unsustainable deficit. The revenue that will be provided by an additional class will significantly and positively impact our finances and help stabilize our budget during the 2019-2020 school year.

We have included Ms. Jennie Furman, Cooking Arts Teacher, in our conversations; she is very understanding of the situation and fully supports our decision. We all agreed that Cooking Arts is an integral part of the Mountain Song curriculum.  In fact, Jennie noted that the timing may be fortuitous, as she has been cultivating a wish to reduce her hours in order to write a Cooking Arts curriculum. If you are aware of the recognition her program has received recently, you know that her motivation to do this makes perfect sense.

We are quite keen to keep Ms. Furman within the Mountain Song community as well as encourage her curriculum project!  That is why we are delighted that she has agreed to continue at Mountain Song next year (specific assignment to-be-determined) while the Cooking Arts program takes a break until we can create adequate space for it.  This would give Jennie an opportunity to devote time to writing her curriculum, and it would give the school an opportunity to grow.

We want to be clear that we see the break for the Cooking Arts program as a temporary situation to be remedied when we are able to create appropriate space for the program again.  We believe the whole community recognizes the special program that it is. If you have been a parent volunteer in the class, you know the considerable care and attention Jennie has put into the curriculum.  Thank you for your encouragement toward Jennie in her efforts to document this treasured program into something that can be shared with other schools. We look forward to reviving the program when we can give it a proper home.

Thank you for your continued support, and please let us know if you have any questions.

Executive Leadership Team

Teresa Woods, Ph.D., Principal
Dan Kurschner, Director of Operations
Sarah White, Director of School Performance

 

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