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Dear friends,

It's begun! Our new classrooms are under construction in the expanded space of the U School. Toni, U School Board Member and our building committee lead, has met with the leads of our various contractors to get on the same page with regards to timeline and logistics. Here's how it's shaking down:
  • The bones of our renovation work will be complete before the end of the current school year, 6/14.
  • The U School is closed the week of 6/17-6/21. During this week we will connect our current space to the newly expanded space.
  • Sub committees will then begin meeting and coordinating efforts to make our new rooms gorgeous. These groups' work will continue throughout the summer. Many have expressed interest in joining a sub committee; here's where you can sign up.
  • Our major inspections will take place during the month of August which include State of MI Fire, Washtenaw County Environmental Health, and State of MI Child Care Licensing.
  • We will be ready for our U Learning Parent Orientation on 8/29, 10am-11pm and also for the first day of the 2019-20 school year on Tuesday, 9/3!
Now is a great time to step up and take an opportunity to support the U School's mission. Here are a few ways that our community can engage and contribute:
  • DONATE! Take a chunk out of next year's tax bill while helping us provide the best education we can. Win-win.
  • BOOKMARK your Amazon shopping from this link, and your purchases will chip into our tuition fund.
  • Surprise us with an item from our Amazon WISH LIST.
  • SPREAD THE WORD about our mission and enrollment opportunities.

Speaking of enrollment...

We are already nearing capacity with both age groups in all four classrooms. (Four!? Whew...still getting used to that concept.) There's a growing waitlist for full time enrollment, but we still have part time availability for full days and half days, both AM & PM. If you or someone you know is interested, the way to proceed is to contact Ryan directly.

Mindful Parents & Educators

This program is now in its fourth year of helping grown-ups master their own attention, so they can be more present when kids are around—and just generally happier. Now Teacher Charlie is rolling out a ton of new mindfulness courses that build on the eight-week introductory training.
We're also booting up an event that's been a long time in the making: Family Mindfulness Pop-Ins! The idea is to bring your child(ren) to the U School on a Saturday morning for an hour and a half of deep enjoyment of your senses. There will be spaces to practice seeing, hearing, and feeling, and in the kitchen we'll prepare some food to share with our ubuntu power. In other words, a holistic mindfulness workout you can share with your family.

The first of these pop-in events will happen on July 20th, but...they're open only to folks who've taken the eight-week intro. (Have you taken it yet? Even if you go no further than the intro, it's a game-changer all by itself. The next one starts on September 18. And you can skype in remotely.) Good news: we'll be hosting many more of these pop-ins, as they'll be scheduled at the end of each of the Practice With Children extension courses.

If you have taken the intro, you should know that there are two four-week extension courses coming right up this summer you might be interested in. First, Practice With Children from June 26 - July 17, and then a brand new offering: Behavior Improvement, from July 24 - August 14.

U Photo

Winter's finally over, and Teacher Ellen's guided photo adventures are back! Starting in June, summer locations include the Peony Garden at the Arb, the Rolling Sculpture auto show, Leslie Science and Nature Center, and the new UM Natural History Museum. (Or you can pick your own location.) Check the website for dates and registration links, and learn more about U Photo from the video below:

Lexicon Circles

How can families and educators optimize their communication with children using the U School Lexicon? When we started this cycle of Thursday-evening discussion groups, we thought we'd devote each session to one of the lexicon's five core concepts: Ubuntu, Power, Awareness, Choice, and Fun.
But the first thing we learned was that these concepts are tough to tease apart; it makes more sense to address people's child-rearing challenges from multiple angles at once. Our first two circles have gotten off to a fascinating start. We've discussed topics including screen time management, dealing with resistance around mealtime or bedtime transitions, coping mechanisms for when a child is melting down, eating habits around sweets...These meetings cover a lot of ground, but we always return to the lexicon to guide and organize our discussion.

Register for the next one on Thursday, May 23, from 6:30-8:30. Drop-ins are also welcome! Suggested donation is $10/family, and the proceeds go straight into our tuition fund. Read more about the program here.
Last year's butterfly release party (May, 2018)
The 2018-2019 school year is almost complete, and our new springtime tradition is starting up for its second year: Both classrooms are raising caterpillars into butterflies. Watching the metamorphosis with the children this year feels particularly poignant as we hear the beeps, grinds and bumps of the construction happening on the other side of the walls; soon our whole school will also be taking on a brand new form.

A huge thank you for all of the support and contributions we receive from our community, from the volunteer hours clocked at the recent outdoor work day, to the donations of clothes and extra books, to the parents who come in as special guest teachers...It all means a lot. (Special shout out to Zhaozian Li and his family for a generous contribution to our expansion fund!) We can't wait to invite everybody to our next October Soiree so you can see the new space!

The U School Team
Copyright © 2019 The U School, All rights reserved.

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