Week 16

What is the root of all these words?

One thing: Love.


Happy New Year, Urban Prairie families.

What a blustery good circle the grade school had this morning out on the playlot, singing over the wind to a birthday friend and three good rounds of our school song, “Seed of Love.” During a call this morning I again had the great task of trying very hard not to be too distracted by the worlds of play unfolding outside my open window in the Early Childhood yard. Here in the office, the tag-teaming to support each other, our educational staff, and our families has a camaraderie that lifts my spirits.

This morning grade 6 teacher Megan Rotko reflected to the grade school students on the experience of epiphany and being open during these days to unexpected gifts from unexpected sources.

So, reflecting on gifts: Thank you for sending us your students, who arrived today each of them so fully themselves! They are the reason we are all here.

Speaking of gifts. If you were waiting for the new tax year to make your annual gift to the Urban Prairie Annual Fund, January has come! Following a lovely influx of end-of-year gifts (thank you!), we are now $84,000 toward our $100,000 goal. Make your gift now. Your giving directly supports our love-based teaching and enlivening education during this pandemic time.

In gratitude,


Calendar Highlights

January 7 CANCELED First Friday Coffee

January 17 NO SCHOOL – MLK Day Holiday (changed from in-person!)

January 13 Board meeting – closed session

January 15 3rd Grade Parent/Guardian Meeting

January 19 Board meeting – open session – DEI Audit & Study (6:30pm on Zoom)

January 25 Yellow and Green Color Team Potluck (Covid-dependent)

January 26 4/5th Grade Parent/Guardian Evening

February 3  Middle School Parent/Guardian Evening

February 4 First Friday Coffee

February 21-25 NO SCHOOL – Mid-Winter Break

February 28 1st Grade Parent/Guardian Evening

March 10-11 Parent/Guardian-Teacher Conferences

School News

Cold Temperatures

We are aware of the winter weather conditions and will monitor the temperatures and wind chill factor to ensure our outdoor time is safe for the students. Hats, mittens or gloves, scarves, snow pants, warm coats, and boots are required!

Eurythmy Returns!

Mark Ebersole, our visiting eurythmist, returns to Urban Prairie for a 6-week block starting January 10. When Mark last visited our school in spring 2020, his visit was cut short due to the Covid lockdown, so we are very excited to have him return. Eurythmy is a tone and movement practice, unique to the Waldorf world, that aims to make speech and music visible through movement. Mark will be working with the classes in our school, including early childhood.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day – no school

Please note an important change in our calendar: we will have no school on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Monday, Jan 17. Watch for recommendations and suggestions to come on how to observe this important day through service and learning opportunities with your family.

Covid Notes

Vaccination Resources

If you missed our vaccine event yesterday, here are additional options:

  • This Saturday: Vaccination clinic for all ages and 1/2/booster shots this Saturday, January 8, from 10am to 2pm at Dvorak Park, 1119 W Cullerton St. Facebook post.

  • Tuesdays: Healthy Hood (grade 2/EC parent Tanya Lozano’s nonprofit) offers vaccines and booster shots on Tuesdays, 9am-3:30pm, 2242 S Damen Ave.

Testing Resources

  • Healthy Hood (grade 2/EC parent Tanya Lozano’s nonprofit) free testing Monday-Friday, 9am-6pm, anad Saturdays, 9am-4pm, 2242 S Damen Ave.

  • Free walk-in testing site, 140 S Ashland (Link)

  • Testing site near school, 1059 W Taylor Street (Link)

  • Loop Medical Center fast / free PCR tests, 1921 S Michigan (Link)


Due to the rapid spread of Omicron, we are temporarily suspending the test-to-stay option for students and staff exposed to COVID. We will revisit this option again on the other side of this current wave of infections.

After School Programs Winter 2022

Circus Club

Circus club start dates have been pushed back!

Monday (Grades 1-2) January 24

Wednesday (Grades 3-5) January 19

There is still space in both clubs. Please email sophie.ba…@urbanprairie.org if you are interested in registering or have any questions!

Claim Your Lost Items!

Please follow this link to view a slideshow inventory of our Lost and Found items. To claim your item, please email dani…@urbanprairie.org and include the item name(s). We will donate any leftover items very soon!

Board News

Dear Urban Prairie Community,

Greetings and welcome back to the school year. I know in these times we are all so grateful for a learning environment where our children can experience joy and beauty, and the freedom simply to be children. I’m humbled to serve this mission.

We have some important Board meetings coming up:

  • Tuition setting. January is when the Board sets tuition. This takes place in a closed session during our regularly scheduled meeting time on January 13.

  • DEIJ audit. Mark your calendars for a special Board meeting on Wednesday, January 19, at 6:30 pm, when Dr. Val Wise of Johns Hopkins University will be our special guest. Dr. Wise is a DEI consultant for independent schools nationwide. Her team will audit our Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice (DEIJ) practices across our organization and community, conduct focus groups (we want to hear from YOU – sign-ups to come in February!), and provide actionable recommendations. As a member of our school’s DEIJ Team, I’m proud to support this important work.

As always, I welcome your curious questions about the Board, and I hope to see you at a meeting. Just reach out to me at danila….@urbanpairie.org.

Feliz año nuevo,

Danila Miranda

President, Board of Trustees

Parent to David and Natalia UPWS’20 and Elena ’23

Community Connections Corner

Feeling like a little more community connection?

We’ve made a private Facebook group! This group is for discussions, reminders, open play-dates, item donations, proud moments, and anything else we can think of. This link is available for 48 hours, but you’ll always be able to join.


Parents! Yearbook Team needs your help.

Photos, photos, photos! If you have any photos of any events last year(in-person or remote), we would love it if you could share them with us! Send them to me at anne.mc…@urbanprairie.org.

Let’s Get Together!

Looking for someone’s contact to build community, connect with other families, get your children together to play? Find each other here!


Volunteer Opportunities

Have some time to lend a hand? Community Connections is always building our volunteer team and would love to have you! Please email me at anne.mc…@urbanprairie.org or come to one of our 1st Friday Coffees to chat.


Vaccination Status Updates

Is your student newly vaccinated? Please complete this updated Google Form or email ad…@urbanprairie.org with your student’s vaccination dates!

Attendance Procedure

Remember to please email or call if your student will be late or absent from school!

Please report the reason for an absence; if your child is experiencing symptoms we will continue to follow our current COVID protocols.

Outerwear Guidelines

As the weather fluctuates wildly, please send your students prepared with layers! Here is a temperature guideline, please dress for the low so they are prepared for whatever comes!

  • 70 degrees and warmer: Shorts, short sleeves

  • 65 – 70 degrees: Long pants required, short sleeves acceptable; long sleeves encouraged on cloudy and/or windy days

  • 50 – 65 degrees: Long sleeves required; jacket layering recommended

  • 40 – 50 degrees: Jacket required; additional layering recommended

  • 30-40 degrees: Multiple layers required; outermost layer must include winter jacket, hat, and gloves/mittens; scarf highly recommended for all ages / required for lower grades (EC – 3)

  • Below 30 and if snowy: Snow gear required – winter jacket, snow pants, hat, gloves/mittens, and boots

Rain: Please send rain jackets, pants, and boots on rainy days!

  • NO umbrellas

  • A full change of clothes kept at school, especially for younger students, will enable us to keep students dry and learning.