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Author: Cathy Bachman

Another Successful Uinta Adventure

The Uinta class rounded out their studies and hard work with an amazing time on their trip to Fremont Indian State Park. Thank you for all the support throughout the year in helping them research, plan, prepare, and pay for this hands-on learning experience! 

Here’s what sixth year graduate, Verona, had to say about the experience:

“The adventure was so much fun! As a student, I feel like we were very involved with everything, from the shopping of the groceries to the actual raising of money. The Montessori Market was also a plus, with how you learn to manage a shop, and make products. The Adventure is also very hands on, so you help to cook, and you set up your own tent. It was awesome hanging out with my friends in nature, and exploring with them at the campsite. Hiking was great as well. But I’d recommend wearing more sunscreen than you think you need, wear your thermals at night, and enjoy every little bit of the trip!”

Please view a portion of their Adventure Activity Booklet here.

Now Offering Montessori 101

Have you ever wanted to know more about the Montessori Method?

This summer, Montessori Community School is offering Montessori 101, an introduction to the principles and pedagogy of Montessori philosophy to prospective and current families.  These information sessions will be led by Catherine Mathews, our Head of School, a veteran Montessori Guide, Montessori parent, and Montessori grandparent. Lunchtime and evening sessions will be held each month.

The purpose of Montessori 101 is to provide prospective and current families an increased knowledge of the science behind Montessori philosophy and pedagogy as well as its high-fidelity implementation at Montessori Community School in a hands-on and engaging format. Parents will further their understanding of education techniques and our guide’s considerations, then have the opportunity to tour our beautiful facility, which fulfills a prerequisite to enrollment. This is a great opportunity for questions and discussion about who we are and who we are not at MCS. 

Current parents will enhance their knowledge of the why, how, and when of the Montessori Method.

Montessori 101 Dates & Times:

June 17th at Noon

July 18 at 5:30 PM

June 20th at 5:30 PM

July 23 at Noon

Call (801) 355-1555 to RSVP for a date and time.

Celebrating Earth Day 2024

Donda Hartsfield has brought this corner of the campus to life not only through the flora but through the lessons and works she provides for students. It is here where a love for nature and the earth is built through hands on interactions. 

“In the end, we will conserve only what we love; we will love only what we understand and we will understand only what we are taught.” – Baba Dioum, Senegalese poet and environmentalist

<< A photo of our outdoor classroom in honor of Earth Day.

Celebrating Creativity: Reflections on the MCS Art Show

Last week, I had the pleasure of hosting the MCS Art Show, and it was truly a celebration of creativity, individuality, and community. As the art studio teacher, I am thrilled to share with you some highlights from the event and express my gratitude for your support and attendance.

At the heart of our art studio program lies the philosophy of Teaching for Artistic Behavior. This approach guides instruction by recognizing that students are the artists, and the classroom is their studio. My goal is not just to teach art, but to cultivate a mindset where students learn to think and behave like artists.

In line with this philosophy, all the artwork on display at the show differed from each other, reflecting the unique voices, ideas, and interests of each individual artist. Each piece was accompanied by an artist statement, providing insights into the creative process and personal inspiration behind the work. Additionally, photographs of the artists either in the process of creating or proudly posing with their finished artwork were displayed alongside the art, emphasizing the connection between the artist and their creation.

In line with this philosophy, all the artwork on display at the show differed from each other, reflecting the unique voices, ideas, and interests of each individual artist. Each piece was accompanied by an artist statement, providing insights into the creative process and personal inspiration behind the work. Additionally, photographs of the artists either in the process of creating or proudly posing with their finished artwork were displayed alongside the art, emphasizing the connection between the artist and their creation.

One of the highlights of the event was the inclusion of artwork from the Uinta (upper elementary) class. These projects, integrated with their classroom curriculum, showcased how creativity enhances learning across various subjects. It was a testament to the interdisciplinary nature of arts education and its ability to deepen understanding and support learning in other areas.

Artist Fan Mail

Beyond admiring the artwork, the art show featured interactive components that engaged attendees of all ages. The Artist Fan Mail table allowed guests to write notes of appreciation to the artists, fostering a sense of connection and encouragement within our creative community.

A slideshow featuring images of artists at work played throughout the event, showcasing moments of inspiration, concentration, and joy from the art studio. It was heartwarming to see students and their families delight in recognizing themselves and their friends engaged in the creative process.

I want to express my sincere gratitude to everyone who attended the art show. Your presence, enthusiasm, and positive feedback truly warmed my heart. Your support not only validates the hard work and dedication of our student artists but also reinforces the vital importance of arts education in our school community.

In celebration of creativity and community,

Tori Snarr

Art Studio Teacher

The Summer of Invention

This year’s 2024 Summer Camp theme is Invention. Students will learn about famous inventors and their inventions, and have the opportunity to explore a variety of materials to create their own inventions.

This engaging and creative curriculum will also include exciting arts, movement, and cooking activities. Students will enjoy many fun field trips and splash days as well.

Camp Dates: June 17th-August 9th
Summer Camp is offered for all current and incoming Montessori Community School students in the Infant through Lower Elementary programs.

To register, visit your FACTS Family Portal or email for more details.

Wintering Eagles

Courtesy Pixabay

By Donda Hartsfield

Majestic, free, sacred, fierce, and faithful are words that could be used to describe North America’s most distinguished raptor, the Bald eagle, Haliaeetus leucocephalus.  Today we are on a mission with Uinta class (upper elementary) to spot Bald eagles that are wintering around Farmington Bay near the Great Salt Lake and the Eccles Wildlife Education Center.  There is just one problem with today’s plans.  It is raining and expected to stay that way most of the day.  Bald eagles are well suited for cold northern climates with their highly insulating feathers, however they migrate south during the winter so they can continue to access their favorite food of fish in areas where the rivers are not yet frozen over.  This is why we see so many of them in Utah in the winter and why the month of February is considered to be Bald Eagle month.  Bald eagles can often be sighted around Farmington Bay and other brackish waters near the edge of the Great Salt Lake as well as many of the surrounding rivers and reservoirs. 

Our first Bald eagle sighting takes place on a lone dead tree branch in the middle of a wetland surrounded by tall grasses and reeds.  Through binoculars we were able to see the distinguishing white head and razor-sharp, yellow beak.  Enthusiastic gasps from the students such as, “That is so cool!” and “He is so beautiful!” echo throughout the van.  Heavy cloud cover extends out across the sky, as phragmites stare back at us through the mist.

Photographer:  Donda Hartsfield

Continuing with our exploration of the area, we drove down the road and looked out over the expanse of the wetland towards the west where we spotted some movement in the distance that looked suspiciously large.  This was our second sighting of a bald eagle in flight which we tracked through binoculars for several minutes.  It hovered low over the landscape, occasionally dipping down and disappearing among the tall grasses.  Then it would later reappear continuing to fly low, as though it were scouring the landscape for lunch.  There was another eagle participating in the same behavior nearby. Everyone enjoyed the challenge of tracking the aerial masters as we wondered what they were doing when they slipped into the bushes unseen for many minutes at a time.  Bald eagles prefer to eat fish whenever possible, however they will also eat other birds, small mammals, reptiles and carrion.  Sounds of seagulls, red winged blackbirds, ducks, and geese filled the wide-open skies of the wetland.

Photographer:  Donda Hartsfield

Yellow eyes, beak and feet as adults, these large birds of prey develop their famous white feathers on their heads and tails once they reach adulthood, around four years old.  As juveniles, their feathers are mostly brown and they are often mistaken for Golden eagles.  Their call to each other is distinct, but not necessarily what many people presume.  The classic trailing cry of a raptor in flight that is often associated with a Bald eagle, actually belongs to the Red-tailed hawk (popularized by movies).  Bald eagles make many different sounds, however the most distinguishing call is a high pitched, quick series of shrill chirps.  

Bald eagles are typically monogamous and tend to return to the same nest each year in their nesting range.  Nests can typically be up to 5 feet across and 3 feet deep or larger, making them the largest nest built by any bird in North America.  

Photographer:  Jacob, Upper Elementary student. Jacob obtained this photo of a pheasant 
from the window of the van as we were leaving the wetland.

While gazing across the water, we saw many ducks, seagulls, blue herons and Tundra swans.  The swans appeared as large, white ovals floating on the surface due to tucking their heads into their bodies as they rest.  We also saw kestrels perched on telephone lines and Northern harriers flying gracefully.  As we are tracking the harrier, one student comments, “I thought bird watching was going to be boring, but it’s actually pretty awesome.”

Just as we are heading out, we notice a bald eagle perched on a tree in full view about 15 yards away.   This beautiful adult is calmly looking out over his world and with the aid of binoculars, students can even see into his eyes.  The eagle patiently observes us looking on, but does not seem to perceive us as a threat.  It occasionally preens its feathers, but mostly sits perfectly still, seeming content and at peace with the moment.  Everyone seems to be comfortable being present with the wetland and this magnificent creature. 

Another lesson learned from nature:  There is a time and a place to exert one’s effort and energy, and there is a time to rest and to be content with what you have wherever you are. For, it is in the balance of these two realms of action and non-action that we can find our sense of inner peace and satisfaction with life.  Perhaps we can try to “perch” with contentment more often, as inspired by the bald eagle.

Admissions Open House RESCHEDULED: January 16, 2024

Montessori Community School will be hosting an Admissions Open House. Parents are invited to this adult-only event to learn more about the Montessori method, curriculum and philosophy, and how our programs are designed to educate the whole child. You will have the opportunity to visit our classrooms and meet our Montessori teaching staff.

January 16, 2024

7 PM – 8 PM

Program Ages:

  • Infants / 3 – 18 Months
  • Toddlers / 18 Months – 3 Years
  • Early Childhood / 3 – 6 Years
  • Elementary / 6 – 12 Years

You are invited, regardless if you have previously made an inquiry to the school or spoken with someone from our dedicated staff. This is an in-person event for adults only. An opportunity for your child to tour is available later.

You may fill out our “Request a Tour” form and specify the January 9 Open House event in order to indicate you will be attending.

Re-Enrollment for 2024-2025

We are happy and honored that you have entrusted us with your child’s education and look forward to continuing that relationship for the next academic year.

Re-enrolllment for 2024-2025 opens December 15, 2023.

Every family should have received an email from by December 15, 2023 called Enrolllment for {your student} for 2024-2025 explaining how to complete the re-enrollment process for the 2024-2025 school year. The email was sent to the same parent/guardian who filled out the application and enrollment forms previously.

Re-enrollment should be completed by January 16th. That is when open enrollment starts for new families. We wish to preserve our current families’ spaces by enrolling your children first. After this date, spaces will be opened to new families and your child’s placement will no longer be guaranteed.

Enrollment details to note for 2024-2025

  • The tuition increase this year is 5% across all programs.
  • If you are considering the Extended Day option, we encourage you to sign up sooner rather than later. Staffing is based on those who have selected this option during enrollment and we cannot guarantee space for later schedule changes.
  • Terms and Conditions updates include use of cameras in the classroom, a rate change in the parent participation replacement cost, and an additional PSA Fee. We also anticipate enforcing the charge for lost access cards and fobs in the coming academic school year.

If your child will not be returning for the 2024-2025 year, please email enroll@mcssl.ccom to indicate your decisions. Alternativlyl, log into FACTS Family Portal and click Apply/Enroll > Enrollment / Re-enrollment and click the button “Will Not Enroll”.

If your family has elected not to return to MCS next year, we recommend that you wait to relay that information to your child until closer to the end of the academic year. It has been our experience that children who are told in advance of such a change often lose their focus for the balance of the year, and begin the process of separation long before the change is imminent.

We understand that educational decisions are the result of a thoughtful, intentional process and we appreciate our families taking the time when they are considering re-enrollment for another school year. Do not hesitate to contact us at if you have any questions or need assistance in this process.

Celebrating Native American Heritage

As part of our Native American Heritage Celebrations, our school was blessed to have two Native American dancers, Carl who is Hopi and Kayden who is Navajo, come to tell us stories about their culture and dance for us. Even the Infants and Toddlers were entranced.   One message that was given to the children was how important it is for us to be kind and respect our people, our earth, trees and plants and animals. 

A number of our family members, who were onsite when the program began, decided to join us and seemed so happy to have had the opportunity. 

Kayden was the valedictorian of Highland High last year – the first Native American valedictorian ever in the Salt Lake City area. She speaks Navajo fluently. Both of the dancers were amazing and happy to come back in the future. We are grateful to our community friend Harry James for recommending Carl and Kayden. What a wonderful way for all of us to start our day.

World Kindness Week

Last week all of the Montessori classes worked on projects to decorate the dinner tables at the Sarah Daft Home for Thanksgiving. Students decorated pumpkins with flowers, leaves, feathers, acorns and other beautiful items for the centerpieces and made colorful leaf rubbings on paper for decorative placemats. 

Teachers Joshi, Carson and Amanda delivered the items last Friday and set up the decorations on dining tables.  They looked very festive! Employees and residents at Sarah Daft home were so excited and grateful for the decorations. 

The students enjoyed making these items and learning more about the Sarah Daft Home through a flip book Amanda made with pictures from the home, including their dining room where the items would be set up.  MCS will continue to be involved with the Sarah Daft Home and plan to set up some in-person visits and activities. In December, we will be making decorations for the residents’ doors.