October 2016 Update
It’s been a busy month here at Bluestem!
Our first, biggest news is that we are ready to announce our location for the 2017-18 school year! We will be renting space from the Unitarian Church of Lincoln at 60th and A. We are really excited for this. Not only do we have two great adjoining classrooms, but we will be able to use the outdoor classroom! We are really excited that the children will be able to go outside whenever they want to - the outdoor classroom is completely enclosed, and the entire classroom wall facing the outdoor space is made of windows, so the teachers will still be able to monitor children who choose to work outside! This is a temporary location until we can raise enough money for our own building closer to downtown, but we think it is a great find.
We also made big progress on our enrollment process. We set our 2018-18 tuition at $750/month and Laura created all the forms necessary for enrollment. Quite honestly, the tuition is a bit higher than we’d like it. Obviously, we think we are worth this amount, but from the beginning our mission has been to be affordable and accessible. Running the numbers, this is the best we can do right now. As we get established we will do everything we can to fulfill our mission of making this education available to all Lincoln families. (If you’d like to help make us more affordable, the best thing you can do is donate or volunteer).
With our location and tuition set, we were comfortable releasing our wait list application. This list allows families to reserve their spot in line until we have can begin accepting enrollment applications. We would like to wait to accept applications until we have our Lead Teacher hired, so that they can be part of the family interview process.
Finally, this month we had a very successful booth at Streets Alive! Lincoln. I wrote in my last post about the categorizing activity we had for the children and how much they enjoyed it. It was really astounding to watch the Montessori method in action. I was so glad that we could provide this activity to the community, and that we could help Streets Alive! in their mission to make Lincoln a healthier place! We got kids - and adults - thinking about their food in a new way. Kids were asking us about what different foods were (rhubarb?), telling us which foods they liked to eat and which they didn’t, and genuinely interested in the new information they learned. Lots of kids couldn’t believe that broccoli is a flower, or that garlic is a root! My hope is that this new perspective will make children more open to trying some of these new foods - after all, who can resist when you think your food is a flower? We really had a blast.
October promises to be just as busy. (Actually, I don’t foresee things slowing down at any point here.) On October 5 we have a dine-out night at Fazoli’s on Vine St. The board will continue to work on board recruitment, and I hope to start the official search for a Lead Teacher by the end of the month. Also in October we should be able to file our 501(c)(3) application (guys, you would not believe how complicated that process is, especially for a non-specialist!), and we’ve got some exciting fundraisers coming up in November and December!
Until next time,