WEEK 17 NEWSLETTER “From Under Our Big Tree” (Focus on our growing community)

All Together - 5 to 7 Class
“We don’t have to sit at a desk.
No homework. I feel good at school.
I always rush my mom to get out of the
house to come to school.”
-Bennett Valdez
Thank you for coming to our Monthly Parent Meeting, it is always good to build community with you.  We enjoyed sharing the classroom and important details about a day at TKG. Your feedback was very helpful in honing our presentation and highlights for our upcoming Information Nights. You can share this link, to encourage your friends and family to register for the Info Night – this Thursday at 7pm.  If you have any questions on anything we covered, please come to Office Hours this Friday (1-3pm) or make an appointment that is more convenient.  Thank you for staying to help with Spring Cleaning as well, it feels so wonderful to be working in a “village.”

As a re-cap of the general board meeting on Saturday: our shared values bond us together creating a foundation on which we can grow:

The Knowing Garden offers a collaborative and interactive approach to education. Our teacher and parent community empowers individuals to love learning, cultivate relationships, embrace nature and engage with the world as innovators and catalysts.

Teachers help students construct knowledge through projects, experience and labs.

A TKG education develops multiple intelligences with attention to the social- emotional wellness of each student in partnership with each family.

Each member of a team is accountable for learning, helping teammates learn and processing together thus, creating an atmosphere of achievement.

We teach in the way that children learn best – through connection and positive experiences.

We encourage innovation, empowerment, environmental stewardship and social justice to serve our community and the communities that await our students.

Our long term objectives keep us connected and motivated:
STUDENTS – Provide a high quality education that fosters love of learning, nurtures relationships and develops critical thinking
FACULTY – Recruit, develop and support a reflective, dedicated faculty & staff
COMMUNITY – Nurture a mindful community united by empowerment and shared values
CAMPUS – Provide a safe learning environment that meets our educational needs and financial requirements
GROWTH – Enroll to full capacity to enrich the experience for our students and our entire community

These long-term objectives are accomplished, little-by-little, each school year. Of utmost importance is our aim to provide a high quality education that fosters love of learning, nurtures relationships and develops critical thinking. 

Without a doubt, is doesn’t work without you:

At TKG, we value parents and welcome participation in their child’s education. With this in mind, our objective is to nurture a mindful community united by empowerment and shared values.

Thank you to our families who support our classrooms and our family community with time, effort and love. We ar truly honored to be a part of your team. And as our recruitment season begins, it is with a full, excited heart that I look forward to even more families and children getting to experience this special place we call The Knowing Garden.

Lena & Michelle

Lena Garcia, School Builder/7 to 9 Classroom
Michelle Goldbach-Johnson, Founding Teacher/5 to 7 Classroom
Yvette Fenton, Co-Teacher, 5 to 7 Classroom
Elle Schwarz, Co-Teacher, 7 to 9 Classroom
Dawn Smith, Co-Teacher, 5 to 7 Classroom
Saundi Williams5 to 7 Room Parent
Erin Levin, 7 to 9 Room Parent
Shutterfly Info Site: photos, contact information, announcements
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TKG Info

Tending the Garden

***Parent Enrollment Information Night – Thurs Jan 29 7pm
Share this link with your friends.  Share this FACEBOOK eventwith your friends.  Post a flyer at your favorite spots (available on the Green Monster).  All of our combined efforts will help us enroll to capacity this year.  If you have time to help set up on Thursday, please contact Michelle.

***’Community Snack
ME and family are bringing Field Day snack this week!  Thank You.

***Classroom Tours
We will have guests this Tuesday and Wednesday – please say Hello!  If you have any time to help with some of our Spring Cleaning items, please contact your teacher.

TKG Principles
  • CONSTRUCTIVISM: teachers and parents provide the trellis on which students will build on their existing knowledge
  • WHOLE CHILD + FAMILY, cognitive, physical and social/emotional capacities are connected – families & caregivers are our partners
  • BRAIN SCIENCE,we are sensory learners with existing neural pathways and we can help develop and practice new learning
  • CAPACITY BUILDING, nurturing creative thinkers who are encouraged to solve problems that serve our community
  • COOPERATIVE LEARNING, small groups, low ratios, mixed ages and generations
Parent Teacher Info

Parent/Teacher Toolbox

PT Schedule for the week

  • MONDAY Erin, Jennifer (PM), Saundi(AM), Trish
  • TUESDAY Monica (D) (Schwartz (AM set up), Erin (PM Clean up), Alice (AM breezeway))
  • WEDNESDAY – Ellen (U), Lori (D) (Schwartz (AM set up), Erin (PM Clean up)) We need a volunteer for AM breezeway!
  • THURSDAY – Renee (U), Saundi (U) (Alice (AM set up), Erin (AM breezeway), Shannon (PM Clean up))
  • FRIDAY- Gina (U), Shannon (U) (Alice (Project), Lori (PM Clean up), Saundi (AM breezeway)) We need a volunteer for AM set up!

PRINT the most current PT Calendar, here!   Contact Trish with any changes asap.  If a sub (for a full day) is not secured, TKG will arrange for one of the co-teachers to cover and bill the family for $150 for the day.


This image represents the what and the how:
1. Protect the Flow of Learning
2. Participate in Community Experiences
3. Collaborate to Meet Needs
Admin Announcements

From the TKG Office

Thank you Families!  Contact Trish or Monica with any questions or to schedule meeting time.  The most updated calendar is online via our website. PRINT the latest Official Calendar, here. 

for Parents
Thursday January 29th, 7pm @ TKG

Please invite your friends to join us for our first (of two) Info Night.  Registration is available via our website: knowingGarden.org or forward this link.
In case it has been a couple of years since you went to an Info night, come see it for yourself!

Resource Of The Week – Whole Child + Family


By Stacey Loscalzo/Portland Family

Why to we have Field Day?

  1. Outdoor play is a multi-sensory activity.
  2. Playing outside brings together informal play and formal learning.
  3. Playing outdoors stimulates creativity.
  4. Playing outdoors is open-ended. There is no instruction manual for outdoor play. Children make the rules and in doing so use their imagination, creativity, intelligence and negotiation skills in a unique way.
  5. Playing in nature reduces anxiety.
  6. Outdoor play increases attention span.
  7. Outdoor play is imaginative.
  8. Being in nature develops respect for other living things.
  9. Outdoor play promotes problem solving. As children navigate a world in which they make the rules, they must learn to understand what works and what doesn’t, what lines of thinking bring success and failure, how to know when to keep trying and when to stop.
  10. Playing outside promotes leadership skills.
  11. Outdoor play widens vocabulary.
  12. Playing outside improves listening skills.
  13. Being in nature improves communication skills.
  14. Outdoor play encourages cooperative play.
  15. Time in nature helps children to notice patterns.
  16. Playing outdoors helps children to notice similarities and differences.
  17. Time spent outdoors improves children’s immune systems.
  18. Outdoor play increases children’s physical activity level.
  19. Time spent outdoors increases persistence.
  20. Outdoor play is fun.
Whole Family - Playing Outdoors Makes Kids Smarter

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