Urban Prairie Waldorf School
Administration Weekly Update - September 26, 2017
Upcoming Events   (4)
Friday, September 29
4:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Michaelmas Festival

UPWS Chili Cook-offWe’re altering the way we celebrate Michaelmas, Harvest Fest, and Chili Cook-off this year – combining them all into one big autumnal fest and feast. All students will be participating. You won’t want to miss it!

The Festivals Committee sent a separate email last week with food assignments for each grade and attire instructions for students. If you have questions about your food assignment contact your class teacher or the administrative staff at administration@urbanprairie.org.

There will be no aftercare during the Michaelmas Celebration on Friday, September 29.

PARENT VOLUNTEERS NEEDED FOR MICHAELMAS: Parent Council needs volunteers to help throughout the day and during/after the festival this Friday, September 29thFOLLOW THIS LINK to sign up to volunteer to help for even just a 30-minute slot. It’s a great way to be behind the scenes and get to know other parents.

PUMPKINS, UPWS T-SHIRTS, BEESWAX CANDLES, COFFEE, TEA, OLIVE OIL, AND MORE! Come Friday prepared to get a head start on the festive fall season by purchasing these items from the Parent Council fundraising team. Cash, check and TADS account billing accepted. See this list for more fundraisers. Questions? Interested in joining Fundraising Committee? Contact Dona Nishi.

Tuesday, October 3
12:50 pm - 1:45 pm

We need parent volunteers to help with Library Checkout, which occurs just about every other week starting Tuesday, October 3rd. Children come to check out books on Tuesdays, 12:50 – 1:45pm (6th); Wednesdays, 10:20 – 11:35 am (4th); Wednesdays, 12:15 – 1:45 pm (2nd and 5th); and Thursdays, 12:15 – 1:45 pm (3rd and 7th). This is a great way to foster Urban Prairie students’ love of reading while also getting to know the children a bit better. Please follow this link for the full schedule and contact Tara Hornell if you are interested in volunteering for book checkout or any other tasks related to the library.

Friday, October 6
All Day
No School

There will be no school on Friday, October 6.

Monday, October 9
All Day
No School

There will be no school on Monday, October 9.

School News   (8)
Help Prepare Our New Home!

We realize this is short notice, but in the spirit of Michaelmas we decided to get started on cleaning up our newly purchased building. If you cannot make either of the proposed volunteer days, no worries as we will be posting more throughout October. The construction and remodeling will likely begin in late Winter/ early Spring 2018.

When: Saturday 9/30 9:00 am – 12:00 pm

Tuesday 10/3 12:00 pm – 2:30 pm

Where: Montefiore School 1320 S Ashland

Should I bring my children on Saturday? Parents will need to supervise their children while in the building or on the school grounds.  Grade school children may attend if they are able to do the work. We do not advise bringing young children (under age six).  It is a big space and many items require lifting and moving to prep them to be hauled away. There are also many small items around that are easy for little hands to grab (keys, screws, hardware items, etc.).

Please click the below link to sign up. Sign up once per family and list the number of family members attending in the comments.


Please contact Peggy directly if you have any questions at peggy.lofgren@urbanprairie.org.

We look forward to the work ahead and thank you again for all the community support.

Order Lunches for October from Green Monkey

Please be sure to place your orders by September 29th. Our October Menu begins on October 2nd.

The October menus are set and ordering is available on the Green Monkey Order page.

Please remember to indicate our school code (in a drop-down box) when placing your orders. Also note when placing your order that pricing reflects our school’s academic sessions for the month. If you have any further questions, please contact Green Monkey Catering at 312-913-1355 or info@greenmonkeycatering.com.

Urban Prairie October 2017 Hot Lunch Menu

Urban Prairie October 2017 Cafe Lunch Menu

New UPWS Calendar

UPWS has migrated the calendar to our database, BigSIS. You can now access it through your BigSIS Portal to view events and sync calendars to your Google calendar or iCalandar.

The public events calendar is accessible on the Urban Prairie website.

How to access calendars in your BigSIS Portal:

  • Visit: https://urbanprairie.bigsis.com/portal/
  • Click on the “Calendar” tab
  • To see events only applicable to your child’s grade, click on their grade along the top. (Note that you can view multiple grades at once.)
  • To sync calendars with your Google calendar or iCalendar click “Feeds,” where you will see buttons to sync individual calendars.
    • Note that each grade’s calendar is linked to the all-school calendar, so you do not need to sync the “UPWS Events” calendar in addition to individual grade calendars

We are working hard to get the calendars up to date, help us out by informing us of edits or updates you notice.

Conscious Communication

If you missed last week’s Parent Night or would like another copy of the Conscious Communication Guidelines, please see link below. The purpose of these guidelines is to facilitate healthy and productive communication in our community.

Conscious Communication Guidelines

Punctuality and Tardiness Policy

The beginning of class is a time when teachers weave the individual students into the whole fabric of the class, setting their group intentions for the day.  Students who arrive late miss the this important beginning of morning lesson and disrupt the rest of the class.  Please make sure your child has ample time to come into school, change their shoes, put away their lunch and take care of any other tasks prior to 8:00 a.m.  Students will be considered tardy if:

  • they have not arrived at school before the doors close at 7:55 am and/or
  • they are not seated at their desks when school starts at 8:00 am. 

If you are aware that your child will not arrive by 7:55am, you must contact the School Office at 312-733-5337 or via e-mail at administration@urbanprairie.org as soon as possible.

Procedure for students who arrive after 7:55am.

  •       The front door of the school will be closed at 7:55am. After this time, parents must ring the doorbell and accompany children to the office..
  •       Children must obtain a tardy slip in the office.
  •       After putting away items in their cubby, they will place their hand on the window of the classroom door and wait outside the room until the class teacher greets them.


Reminder - Allergy Policy

The full policy is here: UPWS Allergy Policy 2017-2018, but for quick reference we do not allow items with peanuts, tree nuts or eggs in pure form (i.e. hard / soft boiled) because we have students and faculty with anaphylactic allergies.  Questions about the Allergy Policy can be directed to administration@urbanprairie.org

Student Health Form Requirements

If you have not already, please submit your child’s health forms to administration@urbanprairie.org or turn them into the front office.

All examination forms are attached or should be available at your child’s doctor office.  If you choose to waive the immunization requirements, the dental exam and/or the eye exam for clinical or religious reasons, the waiver must be signed annually in accordance with state law and submitted to the school.  All forms can be submitted to Administration in hard copy form or via e-mail to administration@urbanprairie.org.

All Grades

  • Illinois State Health Examination Form – Due by September 30, 2017

o   To ensure we are in compliance with State regulations, we are requesting an immunization form or waiver for each student.  The form may have been completed during any doctor office visit during the last 12 months up to September 29, 2017.

Health Exam Form

Vaccination Exemption Form


  • Allergy and / or Food Intolerance Forms – Due September 1, 2017

o   If your child has any physician-diagnosed food allergy, please have your physician’s office complete our Allergy Form.

o   If you child has a known intolerance to a food (i.e. they are not allergic to gluten but choose to be gluten free due to the physical or mental effects on their body), please complete the Food Intolerance Form.


1st Grade

  • Eye examination form due by September 30, 2017

2nd Grade

  • Eye examination form due by September 30, 2017 (unless already on file with  the school from 1st grade)
  • Dental examination form due by May 1, 2018

3rd, 4th & 5th Grade

  • No other reports are due to the State, but you may be contacted by Administration to complete an eye examination report or dental report if your child does not have one on file.

6th Grade

  • Dental examination form due by May 1, 2018
  • Eye examination form due by May 1, 2018 (if you do not have one on file with the school at this time)

7th Grade

  • No other reports are due to the State, but you may be contacted by Administration to complete an eye examination report or dental report if your child does not have one on file.

8th Grade

  • No other reports are due to the State, but you may be contacted by Administration to complete an Eye examination report or Dental report if your child does not have one on file.
Aftercare and Aftercare Contract

Don’t forget Thursday is early pickup day! If your child will need to stay after 2:30pm on Thursday, please fill out an aftercare contract. Aftercare is available every day after school.

There will be no aftercare during the Michaelmas Celebration on Friday, September 29.

The contract rate for aftercare is $8.00 per hour and the drop in rate is $12.00 per hour.  The contract can be changed or cancelled at anytime. Please fill out the Aftercare_contract_2017-18 and return it to administration for annual discounted rate.

Any child who is at school after dismissal (3:40 p.m., 2:35pm on Thursday) will be sent to aftercare and the family will be billed in 15-minute increments until the child is picked up.

UPWS will provide children with a snack during aftercare.  The contract, questions, and / or any last minute, day of aftercare requests can be sent to aftercare@urbanprairie.org

Curious Questions   (2)
New Newsletter Section

Every so often a parent or visitor comes to us with a question that the whole community may wonder about.  We are adding this section to help answer these general questions just in case more than one person may be wondering.

Subjects could be on teacher training, Anthroposophy, curriculum, social inclusion, Waldorf education and much more.

Send your questions to administration@urbanprairie.org.


Why do we wear red for Michaelmas?
Unless your class is requested to wear a specific color for the pageant, red is the color for Michaelmas.
Red is the color of the strong will which we celebrate at Michaelmas time.  It is also the color of the season with leaves turning red and iron (also associated with red) streaming down in the late summer/early fall sky in the form of meteor showers.

Parent Council   (5)
Parent Council Meeting Minutes

Minutes from September 21st Parent Council Meeting

We’re off and running! Thank you to those who attended last Thursday. We had a rich and fruitful meeting and discussion. We hope more parents can attend next month when we meet on Thursday, October 19th at 7:30pm. The detailed agenda will be forthcoming and our special study topic will be Martinmas. Find out how you, too, can extend charitable gestures as St. Martin did so many years ago.

Sign U(rban) P(rairie): Committee Members and Class Delegates Sought for Parent Council

Are you interested in helping in a small or big way with the many ways parents can connect with and collaborate with the school? Please follow this link to indicate your interest in participating in our Parent Council Committees or as a Class Delegate for your grade.  It truly takes a village and as parents we know you can find the way to contribute that is a win-win for you and your family. Questions? Contact Alison Welch or Briana Villarrubia, Parent Council Co-Chairs.

First Friday Coffee, October 13, 7:45 - 9:00am

The next First Friday Coffee will be held on Friday, October 13th and will be hosted by 2nd grade. Questions? Contact Sarah Steedman (ssteedman@sbcglobal.net), chair of our Food/Wellness Committee.

School Picture Day, October 17

Mark your calendars for this year’s school picture day. Rain date is Tuesday, October 24th. Questions? Contact Alison Welch (aliwelch@gmail.com).

With Gratitude
Thank you to the many parents who contributed items to make our Parent Night Social Hour a success!
Thank you also to Sarah Steedman for the lovely food spread for the parent evening.