Consider the KF94 for your Student

Hi Everyone, I’m a mom of a 1st grader in Aubrey’s class, and as a biologist and a mom, I’ve been fascinated with reading everything I can find about the evolution of COVID-19 and how we can stay safe. We all know masks are a crucial component in the fight against this epidemic. But with the evolution and rapid spread of new, more transmissible strains, we’re still in a tenuous place. Therefore, we and our kiddos need to be wearing the best masks possible, and they need to fit. Please note: I’m not a professional in any COVID or health-related field, but I’ve done a lot of reading and wanted to share a hot tip about KF94 masks, which are working great for my child.

When masking started, we were told masks were most effective not in protecting the wearer, but in preventing the wearer from spreading germs to others. But these more contagious variants (e.g. B.1.1.7.) mean anyone spending time indoors needs a mask to really filter the air coming into their respiratory tracts, not just catch their own exhaled droplets. Ideally, we should all be wearing something equivalent to the N95s health care providers use.

But what should our kids be wearing? They currently don’t make KN95 or N95 masks for young children, and for many of us it’s our kids who are spending the most time indoors with others. Turns out that KF94 masks are a good option. Similar to N95/KN95 masks, but looking more like an origami boat than a mask, “Korean filter” masks filter 94% of particles down to 0.3 microns in size, and the best part is that they come in children’s sizes. Although they are not FDA compliant/EUA approved or NIOSH certified, the CDC’s National Personal Protective Laboratory has tested them, and they report that “The maximum and minimum filter efficiency was 99.94% and 99.85%, respectively. All ten [brands of KF94] respirators measured more than 95%.” Studies in the medical literature also support their efficacy at preventing Covid-19 transmission. They are lightweight, very comfortable to wear, fit a variety of face shapes well, and can be as inexpensive as $1 each. The South Korean government has good export restrictions, so masks that come from Korea are likely to be of good quality, and I have found it possible to verify brands’ Korean FDA certification with just a small amount of research online. Chinese KF94 knock-offs are starting to pop up with fake Korean packaging, so do your homework. But generally, it seems like Korean beauty supply vendors in the US are importing authentic Korean KF94s. KF94s have become our family’s preferred mask.

One more tip: if your or your child’s mask (cloth or otherwise) doesn’t seem to be staying in place, or if you’re concerned about air escaping around the nose/cheeks, consider getting some medical tape to put over the bridge of your nose and mask. Nexcare Sensitive Skin Tape works great, doesn’t hurt to remove, and is widely available at pharmacies/grocery stores. This has been a game-changer for me.

Submitted by Alex Rose

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Did you know?

Before there was Rosa Parks, there was Claudette Colvin.

Claudette Colvin


Most people think of Rosa Parks as the first person to refuse to give up their seat on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama. There were actually several women who came before her; one of whom was Claudette Colvin.

It was March 2, 1955, when the fifteen-year-old schoolgirl refused to move to the back of the bus, nine months before Rosa Parks’ stand that launched the Montgomery bus boycott. Claudette had been studying Black leaders like Harriet Tubman in her segregated school, those conversations had led to discussions around the current day Jim Crow laws they were all experiencing. When the bus driver ordered Claudette to get up, she refused, “It felt like Sojourner Truth was on one side pushing me down, and Harriet Tubman was on the other side of me pushing me down. I couldn’t get up.”

Claudette Colvin’s stand didn’t stop there. Arrested and thrown in jail, she was one of four women who challenged the segregation law in court. If Browder v. Gayle became the court case that successfully overturned bus segregation laws in both Montgomery and Alabama, why has Claudette’s story been largely forgotten? At the time, the NAACP and other Black organizations felt Rosa Parks made a better icon for the movement than a teenager. As an adult with the right look, Rosa Parks was also the secretary of the NAACP, and was both well-known and respected – people would associate her with the middle class and that would attract support for the cause. But the struggle to end segregation was often fought by young people, more than half of which were women.


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1/2 Adding Conference Days

Our fabulous 1/2 team will be extending their conference times to include March 9-12.

1/2 parents- be on the lookout for an email.

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Let's Reimagine Our Mascot

To submit your form, click here


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February 2021

“Hope” is the thing with feathers –
That perches in the soul –
And sings the tune without the words –
And never stops – at all -…” – Emily Dickenson

Hope.     (Not our beloved Hope front office and registrar extraordinaire, this time…)

      Every time I think of the word, I think of the Dickenson poem above.  It is so easy to imagine the little bird, wings wide, floating onto my shoulder to make me feel ready to take on the day.

      I begin today feeling hopeful for many reasons.  Among those, the sun is shining, spring feels closer, our teachers are going to get vaccinated, Saturday’s virtual pancake breakfast, children once again in our building, just to name a few.   

      We have been in-person learning now for a few weeks and there is so much joy in the faces of the kids.  They seem more motivated, more eager to learn.  There was even a huge amount of excitement over the snack being blueberry muffins, which elicited gleeful singing from a 1/2 class. Teachers and paras have been sharing stories of aha moments and making connections.  

Speaking of poetry, I know that I am only one of many people inspired by the spoken word poetry of Amanda Gorman a few weeks ago and that inspiration has created an opportunity for the whole Horizons Community! Our very own Kate Bechtel is creating an exciting poetry project that everyone; kids, adults, families, and community members can take part in and enjoy.  Keep on the lookout for that information!

“…Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still, I’ll rise…” – Maya Angelou

Continue to hope, everyone!

Stay Well!

Lucas and Karen

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COVID Care Reminder

Dear Family, Friends, and Faculty,
The news is out that soon teachers and school staff will be getting COVID vaccines.  However, we have not gotten them yet, and it might still be a while before we are all fully vaccinated.
Therefore, I would like to offer a  reminder to please wear a mask when you bring your child to school, talk with community members outside during pick up and drop off (yes, even outside), and when out and about in general.  Here at school, we will continue our vigilant use of masks, shields, handwashing, distancing, and sanitizing, even once our staff is vaccinated.
Our number one priority is keeping kids safe, healthy, and in school.  Please help us do that by wearing a mask, especially here on campus.
We Thank You!
Stay Well!


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Did you know?

Martin Luther King Jr. improvised the most iconic part of his “I Have a Dream Speech.”

Martin Luther King's I Have a Dream Speech
On Wednesday, August 28, 1963, 250,000 Americans united at the Lincoln Memorial for the final speech of the March on Washington. As Martin Luther King Jr. stood at the podium, he eventually pushed his notes aside.

The night before the march, Dr. King began working on his speech with a small group of advisers in the lobby of the Willard Hotel. The original speech was more political and less historic, according to Clarence B. Jones, and it did not include any reference to dreams. After delivering the now-famous line, “we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream,” Dr. King transformed his speech into a sermon.

Onstage near Dr. King, singer Mahalia Jackson reportedly kept saying, “Tell ‘em about the dream, Martin,” and while no one will know if he heard her, it could likely have been the inspiration he needed. Dr. King then continued, “Even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream….” And then the famous Baptist preacher preached on, adding repetition and outlining the specifics of his dream. And while this improvised speech given on that hot August day in 1963 was not considered a universal success immediately, it is now recognized as one of the greatest speeches in American history. For more information on the 1963 March on Washington, visit

It is black history month. This is a link to some really great movies, most of which are fine for older kids.
This is a link to some really great books.  These books are not necessarily the suggested reading books trending at this time.
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Virtual Board Meeting Agenda - 2/11/21

Board Agenda
February 11, 2021

6 PM
Welcome & Invitation for Public Comment
Approval of Agenda
Approval of Minutes 1/14/21

625 PM
Head of School Updates
Charter Contract Update
WEEAC Update
Finance Review
Open Enrollment Policy

755 PM
Process Observer

8 PM
End Meeting

Board Meetings are open meetings.  If you would like to attend, join Zoom Meeting.

Meeting ID: 872 1554 3106 Passcode: 639158



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Random Acts & Hot Cocoa

Today our 5/6 graders enjoyed and shared a table of beverages.

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Black History Month

February 1st begins Black History Month

Did you know that in 1926, Carter G. Woodson founded the first Negro History Week, timed to coincide with Abraham Lincoln’s and Fredrick Douglass’s birthdays. It wasn’t until 1976 that President Ford extended the observation to a full month—one honoring the contributions of black Americans.

“There’s not an American in this country free until every one of us is free.” – Jackie Robinson

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