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October 2022

Hello Families,

As I look back on the month of October, I quite honestly struggle to reflect on all that happened. The second month back at Rock Tree Sky seemed to fly by in a blur of figuring out who our friends are, figuring out how we like to spend our time, and generally feeling pleasantly exhausted by the end of each day.

Now it is November. And although the air temperature is cooling down there are no signs of the action at RTS cooling down anytime soon. We have a lot on the agenda for the upcoming month and we’re looking forward to what’s in store.

In the remainder of this letter you will find calendar items for November and December, reflections and photos from October, a link to a survey about Parent Engagement at Rock Tree Sky, and a brief video about...

As always,

Be Well and Stay Curious

With love from the RTS Staff

Looking Towards November and December:

Monday November 7- Thursday November 10th: 12 pm Dismissal; Family Conferences to take place from 12:30-4pm

Please see the email from Jim to sign-up for a Family Conference using the Calendly link. Sign-ups close on Friday November 4th.

Friday November 11th: RTS Closed; Staff In-Service Day

Monday November 21- Friday November 25th: RTS Closed for Fall Break

Saturday December 10th: Parent Discussion Group 10am -12pm

Wednesday December 21st: Winter Solstice Exposition 5pm-7pm

(ATTENTION: We did change the date of the Winter Expo, Wednesday December 21st is the correct date)

Parent Engagement Survey:

If you read my Parent Education piece from the last Monthly Messegner, you would know how strongly I feel about the importance of parent engagement in our self-directed learning community.

However, based on dwindling attendance at our parent discussion groups over the past year or so, the other mentors and myself are wondering just how important parent engagement is to all of you.

So, we came up with a survey of questions that we hope will provide us with some insights regarding your level of interest in participating in parent groups. We urge all of you to please take the time (five minutes) to respond honestly to each of the questions so that we might be able to make a plan that will best support the majority of your interests.

Please follow this link:

THANK YOU !!! Your feedback is valued :)

Reflections on October:

As I sit to write this letter I am truly doing my best to recall all that occurred during the month of October and yet I find myself struggling to remember many of the events of the first half of the month… I will do my best to reflect on some highlights for you here:

One of the first things that comes to mind is the energy surrounding aerial silks. During the beginning of October, our aerialists practiced choreographed routines with impressive dedication in preparation for a Halloween themed performance that they shared with the community during the RTS Family Campout on October 22nd.

In spite of an unexpected light drizzle on the eve of the RTS Family Campout, all of the families that came to campus on that damp Saturday enjoyed potlucking in community, sharing stories, and spending quality time together. And although the clouds prevented us from being able to gaze, the chilly fall weather did lend itself nicely to cozy time around the campfire.

Other highlights from the month include a field trip that Vera facilitates for some of our teenagers. Vera and the teens took advantage of a rare opportunity to go inside of the old Ojai Jailhouse behind Libbey Park during a one-week art installation that occurred early in October.

The installation that the teens saw at the jailhouse included artwork by Annette. Annette is newly connected to the RTS community. Throughout the month of October, she spent time in the art room at Rock Tree Sky as a textile arts specialist. Several learners enjoyed learning new skills like friendship bracelet making, crocheting, and yarn-and-paper basket making with help of Annette and we are looking forward to learning more from her in the months to come.

There was also a lot of energy around fashion design in the art room throughout the month. Learners have been working collaboratively to design and sew outfits for each other in creative and entirely self-directed ways. As a garment maker myself it has been gratifying for me to witness the process and joy of these young makers as they create unique wearable pieces.

In the design room, learners have really been generating a lot of energy around stop-motion animation. Collaborative shorts that have not been short on theatrics have been produced weekly. Stay tuned for uploads on the RTS YouTube channel.

Out in the garden we’ve been delighted to have our chickens back on campus. Our learners have enjoyed searching for freshly laid eggs for the joy of baking them into pancakes, including a special batch of seasonal butternut squash pancakes.

All of the chicken lovers are feeling thankful for longtime RTS learner, Lucas Jaeger, for installing a solar powered automatic door for the chicken coop. This new door helps to keep the chickens safe at night while allowing them to step out and smell the roses in the morning (or whatever it is they do when no one is around to watch).

At the end of the month learners attended the annual Ojai Storytelling Festival. Always a hit for those who attend, the Ojai Storytelling Festival 2022 did not disappoint.

Finally, on Halloween learners celebrated in style with the first ever Rock Tree Sky Fashion Show. Organized by Ella H and MCed by Chrissy, the Halloween Fashion Show was a high energy way for learners to showcase their costumes. Even those who didn’t dress up enjoyed strutting their stuff down the “runway” in Hartmann Hall as audience members whooped and applauded their friends' bravery in stepping onto the catwalk.

Parent Education:

This month Spence shared the following 15 minute video as an inspiring bit of Parent Education. The film linked here informs audiences about The Land which is an Adventure Playground in North Whales. Not sure what an Adventure Playground is? Watch this video to find out.



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