Klahanie School March 2023 Newsletter

Klahanie School March 2023 Newsletter

Transitions are almost always signs of growth, but they can bring feelings of loss. To get somewhere new, we may have to leave somewhere else behind.

When I say it’s you I like, I’m talking about that part of you that knows that life is far more than anything you can ever see or hear or touch. That deep part of you that allows you to stand for those things without which humankind cannot survive. Love that conquers hate, peace that rises triumphant over war, and justice that proves more powerful than greed.

~Fred Rogers, Life’s Journeys According to Mister Rogers

Reminders/Thank You

Intersession Days/ No School March 6-March 10.  Teacher Classroom time focused on: 

  • Records/Planning and Writeups 
  • Education training(s)
  • Ongoing class inservice needs (Montessori classrooms require extended hours for planning and material switch outs/creations based on units and student progressions).  

Parent Coach in Interpersonal-Neurobiology expert Betty Peralta!  Seek the support your child and family deserve with guidenances from now local expert, Betty Peralta.  Please find her information and book an appointment or her parent talks through, Alta Avenues Betty peraltA, MIT, MS-MHC, IMH-E(III)  Interpersonal Neurobiology | Alta 

Thank you Gillian Doepke-Simmons and Toby Leibowitz for the incredible Self Portrait help!  

Thank you for the very sweet Valentines, thank you parents for all the support!  

2023-2024 Enrollment Update: 7 more spots open in 2-3yr class, 4 more spots open in Lunch Bunch, 1 more spot open in 3-6yr class.  Enrollment is now open and visits are getting scheduled.  Please register today as a returning family.

March 2023 Topics

Patience and finding calm in busy moments: Using Compassionate Listening and Nonviolent Communication (NVC) practices as well as improv games, we will explore moments when we feel the most impatient or overwhelmed sensory and self-supportive practices we can anchor into during those moments.  Listening and reflecting back emotions and needs practice at Circle will be a focus as well as reflecting on our shared class agreements and how we seek to be as Friends in and outside of school and how do we show that.  Please enjoy the mindfulness recordings:

Peacemaker Songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie Native Americans Giving Back: Buffy Sainte-Marie, https://buffysainte-marie.com/ 

Review/ Farm Labor Rights: Dolores Huerta  https://doloreshuerta.org/doloreshuerta/ 

Highlight of Local Island Farms making ecological and societal differences 

Ponds and Dry-Water Riverbeds in the Winter to Spring months: exploring the life within and surrounding freshwater habitats in the winter and early spring weeks.

Salamanders, frogs and PNW island amphibians  

Exploration of Seaweed Farming

Spring: Parts of plants and focus on seeds and pollen; what they are and how they work.  Introduction to our native pollinators.  

Introduction to the Study of Insects

Cultivate insects….They are the most important visible wildlife in your garden.  Value them accordingly.  Create sustainable habitats, provide food and never, ever, kill insects indiscriminately.  Revere fungi….only a tiny, tiny portion do any harm at all and the vast majority are essential for life in the garden.  Soil without fungi is barren.  Fungal filaments can reach parts that even the tiniest roots cannot, and fungi form partnerships with all kinds of plants, from mosses to trees, taking elements from deep in the soil so plants can benefit from them and fungi can then feed on the sugars in the plants.                                                                          

~Down to Earth, Monty Don

The Structure and Importance of Mycelium and Fungi for earth floors & Beatrix Potter’s incredible contribution through her science observations and creative eye.

Fungi are specialized eukaryotes that can break down very complex structures in nature. They have cell walls rich in chitin (the hard material found in the exoskeleton of insects) and utilize asexual reproduction through spore release. These spores have the ability to turn into mycelium.  Mycelium can then create fruiting bodies, known as mushrooms. Mycelium comes in many sizes, from very tiny to as large as a forest and made up of rigid cell walls, allowing them to move through soil or other environments that require extra protection. Under a microscope, mycelium can look like little deciduous trees in the winter.

Beavers and Capybaras: habitats, needs and contributions their species make to the earth. 

Felting and more sewing introduction and practice: using basic sewing and felting techniques to sensory explore textiles.  

Wood-working introduction & Peacemaker Woodworkers, this will go on until the end of the school year

Specialist Collin Veenstra, from Vashon DOVE Project is welcomed back to class Early Education centered Identity exploration with Inclusiveness focuses: 

  • Consent
  • Gender
  • Race
  • Families
  • Special bonus topic  

Free virtual event DOVE’s Holistic Wellness program next Monday, 2/27 from 6-8pm – “Trauma-Informed Parenting” with educator and specialist Hala Khouri. This is a workshop intended to support parents and caregivers who have their own experiences with family or relationship trauma in supporting their own children as they grow.

About the Class: “Being a parent or caregiver is not easy. Stress and trauma can feel like a barrier to good parenting. In this workshop, Hala Khouri, a trauma specialist, and parent, will share a trauma-informed framework for parenting and caregiving that can support you to care for yourself and those who depend on you.” Registration is open: https://www.vashondoveproject.org/events

Spring conferences: May times and signup are emailed to Klahanie School families.

Very Exciting News:  We are thrilled to announce officially that VHS high schoolers can now get community service credit to be Interns at Klahanie School!  Interviews and placements for interns will begin this early spring f2023 or these incredible young people are excited to mentor alongside your student this spring and summer 2023, and onward!  We had 18 signups at the VHS Community Service fair!

VHS Community Service Internship (Student Link students welcome) 


For the Klahanie School VHS Internship Community Service participation, we will be supporting the sustainable creation of Montessori Antibias school routine, etiquette, flow from a prepared inside and outside classroom environments nurturing experiential sensory learning stations VHS students will help facilitate. Student Interns will be able to learn the Montessori Antibias curriculums and our Montessori-Circle Antibias founded class.  Both classes create play (permission-consent) agreements and environment modeling introduction to new students and returning students are the supports as well as supporting young children feeling social emotional trust built in school.

Klahanie School Internship is side by side modeling design for VHS students to learn hands-on Early Education moments and patience responses assisting Klahanie teachers supporting young learners navigate a school session.

Interns will be asked to help children transition, work with kindness and empathy moments and language practice to find out how to create lasting play.  Interns need a willingness to be patient, adaptable, flexible, relaxed and open to the moments shared in group learning with young early learners (ages 2-6yrs).  The work is kindness hands on and readiness for adapting, patience and calm.  Laughter loving and openness to encourage and participate in imaginative play and quiet focus moments is a requirement.  https://forms.gle/q3ERLkYsn3Bnsp9M6

By looking at the questions the kids are asking, we learn the scope of what needs to be done.

Instead of kids just hearing about beads and baskets and fringe, and about what ‘was’ and ‘were,’ we present Native American culture as a living contemporary culture.

When somebody says, ‘Oh, Buffy, you’re such a warrior for peace’, I stop them and say, ‘No, I’m not really a warrior for peace. What I promote is alternative conflict resolution’.

~Buffy Sainte-Marie

I can not write if I am out of humor.

We find some people make theories out of dried specimens without the least experience of the way things grow.

~Beatrix Potter

February 2023 Reflection

What a wonderfully swift and rich month with your families and children and what transitions to new growth we are honored to witness, even in the lack of days together from the snow storms. Thank you for all the time and care devoted to making the Valentines and sharing them with children and Teachers. Your children have blossomed the classroom into a place of quiet contemplation, swift joyful choice, engaged cleanup and help to others and sincere independence that makes them all giggle. We teachers receive the rare and honored gift to observe the wonder in which they create. Inspiration is an appropriate word to describe the process. And process is the point of focus for us at the beginning of the school year and on. Each child in class offers a unique and expansive process to his/her learning. We teachers are in the environment to help open the windows further and maintain space where the children can learn life skills joyfully.

Our class experienced wonderful opportunities to continue our Inclusion practice. When a friend approaches saying “Can I play with you?” our Klahanie practice response, “Sure, we’ll figure something out. We are playing…..” and the children let the friend join to know what the play or lesson is or say “No thank you, I am having alone time. Maybe later and thanks.” Our Teacher opportunity is to facilitate gentle inclusion reminders-redirections about the words used and walk around helping mediate when needed inside and outside the classroom. Our garden outside time and classroom exploration has developed amazing partnership games, group games and those seeking a bit of quiet time. The flow and balance has been amazing to witness. Our class has entered into a normalized classroom, Montessori name for the time when the class flow is effortless, smooth, kind and quiet focus. Some children who are experiencing Montessori flow for the first time are observed as relaxing into the flow of independence and those accustomed to the sensory feel, model and mentor as they find individualized focus through independant or small group experience.  We focus our time on collaboration, inclusion and celebration of similarity and difference.  

The beginning process of finding individualized skin tone, hue, tint with Gillian and Toby’s masterful help has offered such interesting and deep reflections of self, community and seeking of more engaged exchanges within the classrooms inside and outside.   Classroom teacher lessons are between teacher and child (two most) and only speaking with intermittent repeats from children while we teachers offer new vocabulary and communication practice. We are now ready for some big fun. This is a meaningful time in class when we all really feel the impression of connection and empowerment. These words have a sensory meaning and the children are so kind to one another as a result. In the garden educators are walking around observing and offering time and language when needed for the developing oral expressions or exchanges.  The imaginative play has transitioned to another amazing level of dynamic exercise. Yearly this is the time of year we go through a process when children are sharing more ideas and seeking to be heard from peers-friends. This is the main area we pay closest support to: listening. During the beginning circle we are playing many listening games to exercise this vital skill. We share that listening and being present is just as important as sharing verbal ideas. The main words we focus on are: Listening and Patience.  

We lead the children in eye contact games and storytelling listening games. The eye contact game is covering my mouth and using my eyes to communicate an emotion and the children guess. This one is very fun and engaging. I then lead them in a discussion about our bodies, how we carry them, how we interact with other bodies around us. How we show our intentions. The storytelling listening game is used with the Talking Rock (held by the speaker) and we listen for the Facts, Feelings and Values. This shared experience has offered deep levels of empathy and sympathy development for all your children.  We are so thankful for the opportunity to explore beside your child and support the growth.   We share and hear stories. We begin our circles with Mindfulness practice and welcome our Circles creating listening and empathy practice following morning greetings of songs and movement/dance and gratitude rounds as well as prompts centered in emotional-social, empathy supports. The children welcome one another daily with a kindness that could vibrate the earth in gratitude.  

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