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Stepping Stones - Cornerstone's Weekly News -10-6-17
Posted On:
Friday, October 06, 2017

Dear Parents and Families,



Toddlers sweeping leaves! Children in the children’s houses speaking Spanish at lunchtime “Uno, dos, tres pollo!” Children in lower elementary hearing the story of the black strip (ask them to tell you the story!). Children in upper elementary presenting the history of their names at Cornerstone Café and calculating their ‘would be’ age on other planets. Those of us who aren’t so impressed with accumulating birthdays might enjoy going to Mars where, it turns out, we would be much younger!

Please enjoy the two new sections of our newsletter, a letter from Liz Coenen, the Chair of our Board of Directors and a letter from Kara Younkin letting you know about the work of the Parent Involvement Committee.


From the School Board

Hello from the Cornerstone Montessori Elementary School Board!  This is the first of a monthly column that we hope will provide you with an understanding of the ongoing work of the board and keep you informed on important and timely topics. As a public charter school in Minnesota, CMES is required to have a school board elected by the parents and staff of the elementary school.  Our primary responsibility is to oversee the organizational and financial health of the school and to ensure that Cornerstone has the resources and the support it needs to fulfill its mission to provide a high quality, AMI recognized Montessori education for children here on St Paul’s East Side. 

Our priorities for the year ahead include establishing a successful fundraising program, strengthening our connection to the East Side community, and completing a successful search for Cornerstone’s next Head of School.  As a fellow Cornerstone parent, I know that our search for Liesl’s successor is uppermost in your mind.  After a summer of review and preparation, we are finalizing the joint CMES and MCM Head of School Search Committee and process and our work will begin in earnest at the end of October.  We are committed to a transparent, inclusive process that includes meaningful opportunities for parent and staff participation as well as regular communication with the Cornerstone community.   We welcome your questions, observations, and concerns regarding the search process.  Please feel free to reach out to me at any time.

The full CMES Board meets on the third Tuesday of the month and committees have standing monthly meetings as well.  The full schedule can be found on the website along with meeting minutes and agendas.  All of our meetings are open to the public and you are welcome to join us at any time. 

Many thanks for your support of Cornerstone.

Best regards,

Liz Coenen, Board Chair

Parent (Daniel, 5th year, Forest)


Notes and Reminders

Drop Off and Pick Up

Please review and adhere to these drop-off and pick-up guidelines. We have been concerned about safety and also efficiency in the carline. We need everyone’s help to keep things running smoothly and safely. Thank you.

At drop off, if parking and walking in with your child, please don't park in car line, park in a space or park further down our sidewalk, in front of the last orange cone, near the street.

Please don't turn around in the handicap spaces. Use the back of the lot to turn around. If you don't have a handicap pass, please don't park in the handicap spaces. We have regular visitors who require those spaces.

Please be aware of others waiting in the carline. Please keep the carline moving. Texting in the carline is dangerous. All adult eyes should  If you are connecting with another parent, please pull ahead of the orange cones and park. If having a conversation with your child before they head into school, please pull forward as the car line moves or park ahead of the orange cones and have your child walk up the sidewalk.

Please inform anyone new dropping off or picking up your children about carline and how it works. Many grandparents, aunts, uncles, or family friends have gotten trapped trying to back out of a space once carline has blocked them in. Please remind anyone picking up, even if they're on the list or have picked up in the past, they need a photo ID to Pick Up.


From Our Parents

Parent Involvement Committee update.

The year is off to a great start and we have had our first meeting.

We discussed the two main areas for the committee.

  1. Supporting the school staff and helping reduce some of the amount of little things they have to do so they can focus on teaching. 
  2. Building the Cornerstone family community as well as the neighborhood community. 

The most immediate things that are coming up are figuring out how to provide snacks for the elementary classrooms and providing snacks for the staff during conferences October 26th and 27th

If anyone would like to help with these things please email Kara at or if you would like to be added to the email list for the committee. We will try to gain some momentum this year so we can best support our Cornerstone community! 


The Parent Involvment Committee 


Box Tops for Education will be submitted soon - October 25th is the Fall deadline!

Cornerstone collects Box Tops for Education! Cornerstone collects Box Tops for Education! We hope you've been collecting Box Tops for Education over the summer!  Box Tops can be found on cereal boxes and various other products.  Each one is worth 10 cents. Remember to trim them the best you can and make sure none are expired. Please bring them to school and put them in the marked bin in the lobby.  They will be submitted the last week in October.  Contact Connie Gottfried ( with questions.


Have a wonderful, cozy Fall Weekend ~


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