Hello RTS Families,
While it's true that we're entering only the third month of this RTS year, it sure feels as though we done A LOT together. The Rock Tree Sky community has been maintaining a robust rhythm of active engagement, and we do not anticipate that slowing down anytime soon.
However, during the month of November we will experience some abbreviated program hours. The week of the 18th-22nd is Family Conference Week which means there will be early dismissals for learners so that mentors and parents can spend the afternoons meeting together. And during the week of the 25th-29th RTS will be closed for Thanksgiving Holiday Break.
In this messenger you will find more calendar items for November, reflections and photos from the month of October, and links to a couple of articles on the subjects of social justice and consent in childhood.
As always, Be Well and Stay Curious,
With love from the RTS Staff
Looking Towards NOVEMBER:
Monday November 4th: 9:30-10:30 am Parent Discussion Group with Carol Castatnon
Monday November 4th - Friday November 8th: Spence will be screen printing the RTS logo on T-Shirts throughout the week! Please send your child with a t-shirt or two to be screen printed on.
Saturday November 9th: 10:00 am- 12:00 pm Parent Discussion Group hosted by Casey Murphy
"How do we create and manage safe space in a free choice environment? We will discuss ideas on navigating social justice, consent/body autonomy and language in the self directed environment. RTS will be holding this discussion so that we as a community can understand what it takes to maintain a social and emotionally safe environment for all our learners, mentors and families. RTS staff feels that this is a deeply fundamental topic that should be explored if we are to cultivate a well rounded and equitable learning environment."
Wednesday November 13th: 9:30-10:30 am Parent Discussion Group with Carol Castatnon
Monday November 18-Friday November 22nd: Conference Week; 12pm Dismissal for learners *Please refer to email from Natasha for more information and link to survey to schedule your conference.
Monday November 25-Friday November 29th: RTS Closed for Thanksgiving Break
Reflections on OCTOBER:
What a full month October was!
For starters I would like to give a shoutout to our waste reduction team. Several learners, with the support of Natasha, have devoted much time this month, not only to educating the community about waste separation, but have also done the dirty work of collecting, sorting, and measuring the waste produced by the RTS community each week. You can find a graph displaying Rock Tree Sky's weekly waste averages on the bulletin board posted outside of Hartman Hall.
These learners have been digging deep into learning about where "recycled" plastic ends up both by reading articles published about the topic and by interviewing environmental resource analyst, David Goldstein.
Also on the topic of waste reduction, construction of the mobile chicken coop was completed this month. There are now four chickens residing on our campus that are being fed in part by the food waste collected at RTS each day.
Midway through the month of October the RTS Community members gathered for a potluck and campout. It was the first family campout on campus. For the families that participated, the gathering served as a bonding experience and opportunity for deepinging connection within the RTS community. Part of the fun of these gatherings is that learners who attend RTS on different days often get the opportunity to get to know one another and build new friendships.
The second half of October was filled with Halloween spirit. Many learners kept busy with traditional Halloween crafts suck as creating costumes and carving pumpkins. Learners also enjoyed baking pumpkin bread and roasting (and munching on) pumpkin seeds.
Other activities that learners engaged in during October include bow making and archery practice, plotting the scale of the solar system across our campus, embroidering the names of the months onto pieces of for a birthday bulletin board, carving wooden wands, and so much more.
Parent Education: How do we create and manage safe space in a free choice environment?
On the theme of this November's Parent Discussion group, the articles linked in this Messenger address the topics of supporting education around consent and social justice in early childhood in ways that are analogous to the culture that we maintain at Rock Tree Sky.
How to Teach Young Kids About Consent
Starting From the Beginning: Teaching Social Justice in Early Childhood