Dear Families,


Thanks to every family for helping your child to be prepared for the fair yesterday, and thanks to our chaperones for your time and commitment in caring for our kids at the fair.



We began creating our Chinook Fair from recycled objects. The students will continue to build the fair (which includes simple machines) next week on Monday. They were so engaed  in the project it was difficult to stop them. They are having lots of opportunites for creativity and problem solving with this project.


Spirit Time—

During Spirit Time this week, we continued work with friendship and social scenarios, as introduced in the last 2 weeks.  The students role played how to handle various situations.  We used a visual analogy of a piece of paper being folded and crumpled with each destructive phrase, and it illustrated that even with constructive words, including apologies, the wrinkles in the paper remain.  So kindness is our service to others, including our peers that we see every day.

In spirit time, we often emphasize that we care for ourselves so that we can care for others.  This is the stillness piece, the meditation option.  One way of looking at this is a quote I was taught by Sandra Alexander several years ago: “Make time for the Light, and the Light makes time for me.”  So we have spent the first several weeks of school teaching and reminding students about the value of this special time we have each day, our spirit time.  This is our service to ourselves right now.

Very soon, students will begin service to others, starting with our garden project on October 20th, followed by sponsoring families at Cuidando Los Ninos, a truly eye-opening experience, and later other projects such as visiting with residents at a senior center, writing letters to veterans, hopefully reading to shelter animals, and more (ideas generated by the class).

At home, you can support this process by considering methods of teaching genuine gratitude for the simple things, something we also do at school.  There is an event coming up in Albuquerque over fall break that looks like an eye-opening, humbling, educational opportunity, The Compassion Experience, an interactive tour in the developing world.  It is Oct 7-10 in Macy’s parking lot at Coronado mall, and it’s free.


“This free event features an interactive journey through the true stories of children living in developing countries like the Philippines, Kenya, Uganda and the Dominican Republic.

In over 2,000 square feet of interactive exhibit space, visitors will step inside homes, markets and schools — without getting on a plane. Each child’s story starts in poverty but ends in hope.” (excerpt from website)


I hope that you and your child can experience it.  Our children are so fortunate and have so much, and this perspective would really help with the foundation to service-based learning at school.  It is a consciousness we are hoping to nurture, and we appreciate your partnership.  We will support this, along with responsibility and respect, at school in spirit time in the coming weeks.




There is a change from last week’s newsletter. Yoga may be offered once a month for the whole class, but it will not be offered each week.  For the next 2 weeks and after fall break, we will begin our circuit training. Please have your child wear tennis shoes on Wednesdays for PE, and we will keep you updated about yoga options as they solidify.


Primary class

–Guided reading centers: we are working on building responsibility with our school assignments.  Specifically, we have 4-5 centers for literacy each week.  The directions for each center are demonstrated on Monday, and they remain the same through Wednesday.  This week, there were 3 “experience” centers: browse bag (reading instructional level books from their individual bags), poetry and song journal, and read around the room (get pointer and read resources we have introduced to the class and have hanging on walls, much of which we created ourselves).  1-2 of the centers include something they need to turn in.  This week, it was a thank you card for the NM School of Music director and a paper writing their 10 word wall words (like spelling words).  It is the student’s choice as to how and when they navigate through these centers, so we are teaching them to make responsible choices.  Ms. Judy and I check in daily with individual students and as a whole class to see their progress, help them make productive choices and remind them of what is needed.

–Shared Writing this week continued to be a whole class story about the “Chinook fair.”  We are emphasizing story structure and elements.  The beginning introduced the setting and characters, and the kids have truly enjoyed developing our three characters in the story, their unique personalities.  We are in the middle of the story creation and will continue next week.

–Math has been such fun as the students gain independence.  I have been modeling “dot stories” (problem solving application) for a few weeks, and now the students are finishing dot stories on their own.  Very soon, they will be creating them.

–Students are grouped by skills they are learning and include the following:

  1. a group working on hand game number sense to ten, a critical foundation to our math program where we spend as long as it takes to become firm with on a concrete and abstract level.
  2. a group using those tens to add two one-digit numbers beyond 10 (and soon beginning double digit addition)
  3. another group adding 3-5 three-digit numbers with regrouping, along with rounding and place value (to trillions)



Intermediate class from Ms. Val

This week we were introduced to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., author Gary Paulsen, Helen Keller, Albert Einstien, and Elizabeth Blackwell. The students did an amazing job with their biography oral reports/presentations. We discussed the common themes  that all of these people from history (and one from modern times) had in common. All of them had to overcome challenges, and didn’t let a troubled home life or society’s rules and expectations stop them from acheiving amazing feats. All of these people overcame all of the odds and went on to contrubute greatly to our world today. The presentations and the discussion that followed was truly thoughtful and inspiring.  Next week we look forward to hearing from Daniel’s Story (holocaust) and Jane Goodall. I am excited to see and hear them.


Coming This Week



-Science: construction of “Chinook Fair” using recycled materials continues

-Volunteers: Jessica S.-C. and Jessica P., thank you!



-Art and music instruction

-Volunteers: Thank you Marth, Audrey, Melissa and Diana!



-Bring tennis shoes for PE

-Volunteers: Ernesto or Tatyana, and April, thank you!



-Explora field trip with (cold) picnic lunch at Explora

-bring booster

-no library

-chaperones: Audrey and Fernande, thank you!


Here are a few upcoming announcements and reminders for your convenience:



  1. Our first Parent Night Out is tomorrow. There is still space, so please join us!  Just send me a quick text to count your child in.   Saturday, Sept 17 from 4-8 pm to school for a fun PNO (school fundraiser).  Flyer attached.  It was suggested by a few community members that siblings are offered 25% discount, so that is a slight change from last year.  Future PNO dates are set for same day of week and time on Dec 3, Feb 11, and Apr 15.  Please consider bringing a friend, as PNO is open to all kids, CSCA students and more!  🙂


  1. Ben Franklin, our school photographer, was a big hit with our kids and families this week. He will have proofs to us in 2 weeks, and I will send them home for you to decide upon orders.


  1. Two small ways we can generate money for our school are things you are probably doing anyway, Box Tops for Education and Amazon purchases. Box Tops are pink/purple labels located on tissue boxes, Ziploc bags, etc.  You can cut them out and send to school (basket to collect on parent table).  The school gets 10 cents per Box Top.  As for Amazon, go to and select Chinook Spirit Children’s Academy as your charity.  Amazon donates a small percentage of each purchase from SMILE. AMAZON to CSCA then.  Thanks!


  1. Last year, we used recycled fabric to build a class kindness wreath, a way of students recognizing acts of kindness from each other. We are in need of fabric to continue this project.  The fabric could be used clothing such as blouses (no lettering, just solids, florals, patterns, and other generic prints), blankets, sheets, rolls of fabric, or more.


  1. If you took home a large flower pot on wheels last May, would you please send it back? The gardening committee will be starting, and we will put those to use.  Thank you


  1. The Compassion Experience, an interactive tour in the developing world. It is Oct 7-10 in Macy’s parking lot at Coronado mall, and it’s free.


  1. Kathy (bookkeeper) and Marianne (Quinn’s mom, website volunteer) have worked together to add convenience to tuition payments! You can go to our website,  On the blue bar at the top of the home page you will see a button that says “Pay Tuition”. Please note: There is a $10 processing fee for paying by credit card, so please add that additional amount at the time you pay your tuition. We hope you find this new option easy and convenient! (We will soon be offering the option of eChecks as well.)  There is also a DONATE tab above that.  THANK YOU, Marianne and Kathy!


  1. New photos and videos on Shutterfly this week! You can view photos of our class in action on  Please feel free to post photos you take here.  We are not particular about how albums are organized or where photos are placed on this website.  Thank you for not posting them on social media.  Enjoy!


Field Trips at a Glance–


PE Wed                  Little Gym PE dates TBA


Sept 22                   Explora

(Chaperones: Audrey, Fernande)

Sept 29                   Santa Fe Children’s Museum for engineering

(Chaperones: Audrey, Nissa, Jessica P., Fernande, Jessica Sisneros-Counts)

Oct 6-13                 No field trips due to Fall Break

Oct 20                     Service Project (gardening)/Problem Solving, library

(Audrey, Mari, Jessica P.)

Oct 27                     McCall’s Pumpkin Patch

(Audrey, Jovon, Linda, Fernande, Marc A., Marianne, Jessica and David, Jessica P.)

Nov 3                     National Museum of Nuclear Science and History

(Chaperones: Audrey, Fernande, Robert; Back-up: Marc)

Nov 10                   We are visiting a farm!  Library

(Chaperones: Audrey, Nissa, Fernande, Jessica P.)

Nov 14                   12:15 Popejoy show-Dr. Kaboom: Live Wire (Chaperones: we have space for first 3 that  tell me they                                    would like to attend.)

Nov 17                   12:30 Pocahontas show at Kimo Theater; Problem Solving and/or service project in-class
(Chaperones: Audrey, Mari, Marianne, Jessica P.)

Nov 24                   Thanksgiving break

Dec 1                      Fall Out or Kid’s Gym (class will vote), library

(Chaperones: Marc A., Marianne, Jessica Sisneros-Counts)

Dec 8                      Problem Solving, library

(Chaperones: Audrey, Mari, Marc, Jessica P., Marianne)

Dec 15                    Service Project w/Cuidando Los Ninos, library, Winter break ahead

(Chaperones: Audrey, Linda, Jessica P.)





(505) 850-7916 school cell