Dear DPM Family,
We are committed as teachers, a school community and fellow parents to provide ongoing communication and support during this unprecedented time. As you know, we will be closed until at least April 24, 2020 under order from Governor Inslee. We have been preparing for this seemingly inevitable decision. DPM teachers and staff have been working overtime creating remote learning materials and lesson plans; researching multiple options for virtual communication and ways to form online groups; and troubleshooting potential hardships.
We understand that families may be under additional financial strain due to the extreme measures being taken. This includes the teachers and staff of Dancing Pines. We are doing everything in our power, thinking creatively and innovatively, to provide value and support to our students and families during this time. We absolutely also need the support of our community through tuition payments to continue to pay our financial obligations and maintain a school for everyone to come back to. Please reach out to us if your family finds themselves in a financial and/or childcare hardship that you are unable to find a solution for. We will get through this together.
While social distancing is necessary, it will also be hard. It will be especially hard on our first responders, care providers and our elderly population. We clearly need our first responders including doctors, nurses, firefighters, police officers and paramedics. They are already working extra long hours under increasingly stressful circumstances. If you are able and feel comfortable, reach out and offer your support and assistance with childcare, grocery shopping or meal delivery. Please reach out to your elderly family members, friends, and neighbors as well. They often do not get enough socialization as it is. Pick up the phone. This is a time to embrace technology: Skype, Messenger, FaceTime, Google Chat, Zoom. Reach out, connect, and take care of one another.
We also want you to know that you can do this! We do not expect parents to become teachers overnight. We would love for each family to commit to a daily 3 hour continuous learning cycle following Montessori philosophy. Our school’s general schedule is as follows:
9 am – 12 pm : 3 hour work cycle. Not all work needs to be done sitting at a desk. In addition to supplemental materials provided by the teacher: practical life skills, music, cooking, art and more are considered options during the work cycle.
12 PM: Have your child make or help make their lunch (even better – yours too!). They should be responsible for cleaning up during and afterwards.
12:30 – 1:30: Send them outside after lunch: free play, sports, obstacle courses, nature hunts, gardening and outside art are all great ideas.
Afternoon: Read, read, read! Choose one of your favorite childhood books to read together. Take turns reading to each other. Use the King County Library online resources and listen to an audio book or a TedTalk, download a magazine or virtually flip through a cookbook and find a recipe to try. You should also include individual quiet reading time for all ages. We tend to do projects and more in depth learning in the afternoon as well.
Your child’s specific teacher will be in touch regarding their classroom’s schedule, specific expectations based on age and grade level, and contact information. We are working on creating a DPM YouTube Channel for teacher’s to upload video lessons to. You will also be provided individualized materials via a Google drive link. You will receive these communications by Monday morning. Please let us know if you have any problems with accessing the internet.
I don’t think any of us expected this to happen just a short time ago. We’ve all had to deviate from our plans and encounter additional stresses. This is a time to show courtesy, kindness and patience with each other, our children, and ourselves. We encourage our families to connect with and check on each other during these weeks. We will get through this together and come out really appreciating what we have. We are here if you need anything at all.
Teacher Jessica & the entire DPM Staff
“We shall walk together on this path of life, for all things are part of the universe and are connected with each other to form one whole unity.” – Dr. Montessori