Klahanie School April 2023 Newsletter

April 2023 Newsletter

There are opportunities even in the most difficult moments.

I’m very conscious of the fact that you can’t do it alone.  It’s teamwork.  When you do it alone you run the risk that when you are no longer there nobody else will do it.  

~Dr. Wangari Maathai

Giving kids clothes and food is one thing, but it’s much more important to teach them that other people besides themselves are important and that the best thing that they can do with their lives is to use them in the service of other people.

When you have a conflict, that means that there are truths that have to be addressed on each side of the conflict. And when you have a conflict, then it’s an educational process to try to resolve the conflict. And to resolve that, you have to get people on both sides of the conflict involved so that they can dialogue.

~Delores Huerta 


April Topics

NO School Spring Break April 3-7th.  

Welcome Spring 2023!  Daily we collectively are filled with humbled, reflective and joyful appreciation to share with your children as we soak up spring together and prepare children for the closing of our school year in June.  Our upcoming months will be focused on more projects and longer extensions to lessons as well as preparing children for next school environments.  We are elated to have time through summer supporting some of your child(ren) preparing confidences to their move into future environments, teaching styles and peer groups. 

Spring Conferences, contact the school for signups.

2023-24 Enrollment Open, please forward our information to prospective families.  Your word of mouth is paramount in community.  Thank you for helping fill your child’s spot if they are moving to other schools.  We have five spots open in the 2-3yr class and four spots open in the Lunch Bunch program.  If you are interested in the Lunch Bunch for the summer or next school year, but it is beyond your income abilities, please let’s talk and come up with a plan together in collaboration.  Children love the extended day and we have some incredible plans.  Below is our BeachComber advertisement:

Name of Program: Klahanie School 

Type of Program: Year Round Early Education Montessori Anti-bias 

Contact: klahanieschool@gmail.com

Ages Served: 2.5yrs-6 yrs/Kindergarten, Teen Mentor-Internship (VHS credit), CES preschool (collaborations open)

Description of Program: All students and families welcome, financial collaboration available.  Please contact the school for enrollment information, limited spots for our Year Round 2023-2024 school year.  Please visit our website for programming details, http://www.klahanieschool.org/.  Our updated calendar will be posted once VISD posts 2023-24 calendar.  Following our Montessori, multi-age and ongoing practices in Anti-bias and community protective factor student foundations, three year commitment prerequisite for applicants.  Transfer students welcomed and Kindergarten collaborations explored for transfer applicants.  

Special Needs: Yes (CES preschool collaborations available)

Student-to-Teacher Ratio: 3:10 (2-3yr class), 3:17 (3-6yr class)

Meals: Provided by families 

Holidays: Runs with VISD calendar and Year Round format

Buses: Yes (CES students)

Celebrate Earth Month! 

  • Peace Maker, Nobel Peace Prize Winner Dr. Wangari Maathai.  April 1 is Dr. Wangari’s birthday!   We continue to honor this wonderful woman’s work for African women, children and the environment as well as the globe.  We tell Dr. Maathai’s life story in an age appropriate storytelling and now a new children’s book about her life–in the book we read, there is a section regarding her imprisonment.  We had a deep conversation regarding the tools used in that illustration (handgun and baton) to frighten her, to stop her earth work.  We made emphasis on her bravery and her circle of support from others who supported her work and person, to get her out of jail.   We ended our two day discussion with questions of what makes us feel safe during big imaginative play with friends and how do you offer peace to the earth.  The insight was listed and will be photographed for our April google photos folder.  We decided as a group to use safe words at school because school is meant to be a safe space.  Additional words you possibly will hear at home: trees, women, babies, money, planting, poor/no food for the babies or families, soil, water, helping one another.  A wonderful educational reference giving tribute to Dr. Maathai’s work is from Project Learning Tree is at http://www.plt.org/words-to-live-by—a-tribute-to-wangari-maathai 

It’s the little things citizens do.  That’s what will make the difference. My little thing is planting trees.

Education, if it means anything, should not take people away from the land, but instill in them even more respect for it, because educated people are in a position to understand what is being lost.  The future of the planet concerns all of us, and all of us should do what we can to protect it.  As I told the foresters, and the women, you don’t need a diploma to plant a tree.

~Dr. Wangari Maathai

  • Kenya, Africa, teacher Toby will offer some time to share about her time living in Kenya touching on environment, food, culture and fun of Kenya! 
  • Delores Huerta we will continue our focus on the incredible person and work of Delores Huerta.  https://doloreshuerta.org/dolores-huerta/
  • Worms and Worm Bin
  • Water Conservation, Water Inventions: Learning through introduction and practice of water fetching, uses and conserving water and the importance of fresh, clean water and how we can help.
  • Circle Showcase & Puppets: Opportunity for children, one at a time, to bravely enter the circle to tell a joke, dance, act, sing, silly movements or impersonation during circle as well as puppets.  Following each showcase we clap and celebrate the person’s bravery.  Like all spring life surrounding us, our class is popping with activity, interest and movement.   At the end of the day we might do group stretching and we also might create group story telling.  
  • Please, Thank you, Pardon Me & More Grace and Courtesy Daily:  Learning various methods to connect and show our grace and courtesy to the classes, to the world.  A fun and practical request for Grace and Courtesy as well as practice of connecting. With our deeper work with communication, our circles will focus on listening games to practice exploring what listening is, how to listen to self and groups.  Songs, role-play of manners and facial expression/body language practice.
  • Parts of a Flower, Fruiting Trees, Planting Seeds: roots, stem, leaf, corolla (pedal), stamen, pistol using our class microscope at the science table.  Our class will begin exploring more of the plants and amphibian life in and outside of the garden, the classes are helping dig out a pond for our south garden, digging area. We are increasing our use of much more scientific vocabulary as well as labeling the plants with the names and if edible or non-edible.  In April we will gather dandelion, chard, and kale greens from the winter garden, for class and guinea pig salads the children will make.  
  • Science Tools: We will begin using our class microscope as well as increased usage of our magnifying glasses to use our science eyes to respect the habitats surrounding us.
  • Relationship of pollinators and flowers & Beautiful Insects: the importance of Insects and birds. Butterfly life cycle, bees, Robins, hummingbirds and beginning observation of Painted Lady larva to butterfly process.  Thank you for your help at home welcoming conversations about insects and their importance in our ecosystem.
  • Peace Pole: Please donate colorful, long ribbon for the garden peace pole.  
  • Specialist DOVE expert Collin Veenstra DOVE Project returns with a group book, discussion and role playing of the meaning of Friendship.  Please check out this fantastic learning opportunity from Collin:


No School: Spring Break April 3-7  

To help drivers continue driving safely in our tight parking areas-roads and increase cars, we have asked children to move fluidly to cars at pickup and please refrain from play outside of the garden at pickup, especially on Thursdays.  Thank you for this help moving traffic and parking flow.   Thank you so much from all our neighbors!

  • Volunteer Opportunities:
  • Anything you want tie dyed, let’s get clean items by June 1 please.  We will tie dye Klahanie School tee-shirts at the end of June! 
  • Help Teacher Toby Leibowitz organize a bouquet making day in May to deliver to the Senior Center.  

Come learn CPR & Basic First Aid with VIFR! Now offering FREE CPR and first aid classes open to all Vashon Island residents ages 12 and up! For class dates and to register, please visit www.vifr.org/cpr-classes You can save a life! ❤️‍🩹

March 2023 Reflection

Happy Spring!  This month has brought us many wonderful opportunities in and outside the classroom.  We have had practical exploration of the importance of planting on hillsides and awareness of erosion and how to help prevent it.  We also began exploring transplanting times and how to support plants during that process.  The children’s self-initiated outside imagination is rich and many are using all areas of the garden and class spaces.   We call our garden the outside classroom. This has allowed wonderful practice of listening opportunities as well as initiative for talking-listening rock to figure out taking turns with spaces, working through hurt feelings or misunderstandings.  The group is offering fantastic kindnesses as well as improv opportunities.  

Montessori Education Process: 

AMS Family Connections Newsletter – April 2023.pdf

Montessori teachers encourage children to learn by placing the pupils, rather than the teacher, at the center of the experience.  Children in Montessori classrooms learn by imitation models, through peer tutoring, and in collaboration.  Montessori is a method of education that is based on self-directed activity, hands-on learning and collaborative play.

Montessori philosophy stresses the importance of a three-year cycle during the Absorbent Mind of birth-6yr learners, believing that the full potential of the child is reached after three years in the same environment with the same teacher. Montessori schools use multi-age groupings (three-to-six year olds, six-to-nine year olds, etc.).  Across all cultures, the stages of human development are predictable and universal. Maria Montessori described the first stage of development (from birth to six years) as “the absorbent mind.” During the first three years, babies and toddlers unconsciously take in, or absorb, the whole of the environment.

Supporting our well-being, we have been focusing on Square Breathing as a helpful technique to use in daily lives as families and learning communities.  

Box or Square Breathing 

Box breathing, also known as square breathing, is a technique used when taking slow, deep breaths. It’s also called four-square breathing.

How to do square breathing

Begin by slowly exhaling all of your air out.

Then, gently inhale through your nose to a slow count of 4.

Hold at the top of the breath for a count of 4.

Then gently exhale through your mouth for a count of 4. 

At the bottom of the breath, pause and hold for the count of 4.

Thank you Teachers Deb, Austin, Toby for the incredible learning support you offer students each and every moment in their individual learning processes. We are all so fortunate!   

Happy Spring to all!

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