Our extraordinary autumn began with power tools and wheelbarrows, hammers and hard work, as faculty, students, parents, and staff came together in small groups to construct our outdoor classrooms. Right before campus opened, we were joined by two members of the Miwok tribal council to talk about the land and prepare the campus to receive our students.
On September 8, our preschool and kindergarten reopened with a new mixed-age model and a fifth classroom called Manzanita. Lots of time outdoors, plus our staple weekly hikes to the open space, made this year memorable.
Grades 1-6 also came back on September 8, and their learning began atop stumps and hay bales, nestled beneath the oaks and bay laurels. Two weeks later, our 7th and 8th graders joined us. We hiked to open space, observed the change of the season, and found monarch caterpillars in the Peace Garden milkweed.
An AQI-related closure postponed our Michaelmas celebration, but the dragon still came out the following week, with students watching each other’s performances from a distance.
The week before Halloween, children carved pumpkins in early childhood and the grades, and the 6th grade dressed up in pirate garb to serenade our school with a seafaring song.
The following week, Maestra Pineda guided the 7th and 8th grade students in creating a traditional altar in observance of the Mexican holiday Dia de Muertos. Read Maestra Pineda’s description of the holiday or see more photos of the altar here.
And the two classes united that day to sing “Ishe Oluwa,” a song of the Yoruba people in West Africa.
We continued our work in examining our school curriculum and community through the lens of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
And now, heading into the holiday week, we are feeling nothing but gratitude for being surrounded by the oaks and laurels, the great big sky, and our wonderful community.