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April 2021

Hello RTS Families,

Happy May Day! I hope that this April has found you all well. Here at Rock Tree Sky we have been as positively engaged as ever. After enjoying two restful weeks of spring break, we stepped back on to campus with a certain reinvigoration that only can be found in the springtime.

Springtime has always been my favorite season; at RTS it is the time of year during which the grass is green, plants that have been dormant begin to grow, and the community that we have been building with one another for the past seven months starts to feel like a family. This springtime feeling is especially potent this year. Not only are we actually on campus this spring (contrary to last year) but, when we arrived back on campus after spring break the pod and zone separation guidances eased up a smidge. For us this looked like expanding pod and zone sizes and offering more opportunities for learners to work with a variety of mentors. In essence, it is a forward step towards a time when we can be together in the way we used to be.

It is clear that the whole community is enjoying the sense that there is light at the end of this COVID tunnel. For the time being it is our intention to make the most of our time together this spring and remain hopeful that in September Rock Tree Sky will be operating with the freely flowing harmony that we once enjoyed.

In this letter you will find calendar updates for the remainder of this year as well as photos and reflections from the month of April.

As always Be Well and Stay Curious,

With Love from the RTS Staff

Looking towards our last program day this spring:

Monday May 31st: RTS will not be hosting Zoom offerings in observance of Memorial Day

Wednesday June 9th: Last Day of RTS for Tuesday/Wednesday learners

12:30 pm pick-up time with outdoor gallery exposition of learner creations

Friday June 11th: Last Day of RTS for Thursday/Friday learners

12:30 pm pick-up time with outdoor gallery exposition of learner creations

Yearbook Announcements:

The RTS Yearbook Team is plugging away to create a 2020/21 yearbook. If your child would like to submit a piece of artwork for the RTS Yearbook Cover Contest please have him/her/them submit a piece to Chrissy by Friday May 14th.

If your child has not been attending RTS on campus and therefore was not present for picture day please submit a portrait for the yearbook by Friday May 14th.

Reflections on April:

Although we were only on campus for three week in April, somehow so much has happened.

Back in the garden many of the plants that were put in the ground are growing up and filling out and yummy garden treats are beginning to ripen. So far, kids have enjoyed picking and munching on sugar snap peas, fava beans, and even some early season mulberrys.

Our new schedule has allowed kids of all ages from all pods to work alongside Miss Kim in the art room. Learners have been overjoyed to have access to the space, materials, and loving attention that Miss Kim provides in the art studio. Seeing the creativity that is drawn out in that space has been a source of inspiration for many this month.

Meanwhile, Jim has been feeling the inspiration to dial in the space creation aspect of this work by focusing on better curating the design lab and the bug/bio room with the intention of inviting more curiosity, creativity, sense of discovery, and whimsy into these spaces that our learners inhabit.

And out in our loose parts playground (sandpit), local artist, Dennis Shives, created one of his famous sand sculptures that invited just the same. Learners enjoyed looking at and wondering about how the sculpture was made. And then, towards the end of the week, enjoyed digging into the sculpture in a fury of whimsical "destruction zone" fantasy play.

While Dennis Shives presented a display of what is possible with sand and water, a whole team of builders worked with tireless dedication to display what is possible when sand and water is mixed with clay and straw. In other words, the RTS community build a cob "hobbit house" structure in the garden.

With the combined talents of local contractor, Johnathan Maxson, cob builders Sage Stoneman and Sadie Levine, and RTS's own mycologist, Omar Uribe, as well as the talents and time donated by several RTS family members, and the work of many RTS learners, the Rock Tree Sky Mushroom house is truly a functional work of art that we will be proud to display on our campus for many, many years to come.

Using clay dug from our own campus and transforming it into a hut in which kids will cultivate delicious mushrooms for the community in is the type of regenerative project that embodies Rock Tree Sky's values and mission. And one of the wonders of building with cob is that learners of all ages could truly engage in this project. I noticed that on the days that the Mushroom House was being built, the campus had such a peaceful, joyful buzz about it. We are all looking forward to what will be growing there during the upcoming month.



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