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Graduating Alumni- Class of 2017

Within the past few weeks we have received High School Graduation notices from some of our amazing Alumni. We send our love, best wishes and congratulations to Elise Vandamme, Camilla Uphill, Amelia Lewis, and Allyson Jones. Best wishes to all of you as you begin university in the fall. You have such exciting adventures ahead. Savour all of them. And please keep in touch. 

With Love,

Robyn Eriwata-Buchanan
Head of School





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2016 - 2017 Fun Run Update


This past Monday, May 22nd each student had the opportunity to run laps through an obstacle course. Laps were tallied and pledges made. Pledges and donations are still coming in but as of today, we are at $3,900.00! A huge thank you to all those who came out to help and cheer the students on!


Also, thank you for keeping Service Learning a major part of your child's life in supporting these wonderful causes and rallying to keep kindness, compassion, charity in your hearts. We will continue to take pledges and donations until the end of the school year. Please continue to share this cause with all.

Every little bit does make a direct difference. It has been wonderful to watch the growth of the girls we support through the COEEF Program and to be apart of the Adopt-A-Native-Elder Program and see Grandmother Elvira each year at the Rug Show. To make a donation, click here.







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MCS' 10th Annual Fun Run Fundraiser


On Monday, May 22nd, MCS students will be participating in our 10th annual Montessori Community School Fun Run! Last year, the kids had so much fun with the great big bouncy obstacle course that we decided to do it again.


Each year our students have the opportunity to raise pledges for our two Service Learning Projects:

1) The Children of Ethiopia Education Fund (COEEF)
Specifically, the COEEF program will give vital financial support so the six girls our MCS students sponsor can attend school in Ethiopia. The Children of Ethiopia who are living in impoverished circumstances to have a quality, private education through generous sponsors and donors. Without this assistance many of these girls would not have the opportunity to attend any school. We feel that supporting girls in this way will have such a far reaching effect: "To educate a girl is to educate a village (nation)."

Check out this video from Bethlehem Eyob, one of our girls we sponsor: https://youtu.be/mTlrKk-4u2E

2) For more than 20 years our school has been involved in the Adopt-A-Native-Elder Program. The Adopt-A-Native-Elder Program exists to create a bridge of hope between Native Americans and other cultures. It allows us to reach out to one another, share our gifts, and mend the broken circle of our relationship with the Land and the Native Americans who hold it in sacred trust.


We originally adopted three grandmothers- Grandmother Roseline Jackson who died two years ago. Grandmother Emma Bahe who died this year, and Grandmother Elvira Horseherder to whom we are still committed. Recently we chose to adopt another grandmother whose name is Grandmother Anita Jackson, a relative of Grandmother Roseline. We are delighted to have this opportunity to become part of the life of Grandmother Anita. We anticipate having regular communication with her as we do with Grandmother Elvira.

The money raised by our students will be used to support our girls in Ethiopia and to provide our adopted Navajo Grandmothers with much-needed items, such as food, firewood, clothing, and gardening tools as well as yarn to weave the beautiful rugs they sell to earn a living.

Service Learning is an important component of our Montessori program. It teaches students about the joy and value of contributing to their community, society, and world. We encourage you to join with us in supporting your child in service learning. You can do this by:

  • Helping your child to set a goal to raise a certain amount.
  • Helping your child talk to family and friends about the Fun Run. You would be surprised how many friends, neighbors, and grandparents are eager to support such a worthwhile event.
  • Attending the event and join with them as they run their laps or cheer them on from the sidelines.
  • Volunteering to help at the event. Please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for details.

Please make your pledge via YouCaring by going to www.MCSFunRun.org and share this link with family and friends. You may also turn in cash or check made out to Montessori Education Foundation (MEF) to the MCS front office.

Our goal this year is to raise at least $7,000.00 total, with 80% family participation.


We look forward to this exciting Service Learning experience and hope all of our families will participate with enthusiasm.

Sincerely,

MCS Parent School Alliance
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Interim Camp: June 5th - 9th








Interim Camp will take place Monday, June 5th and run through Friday, June 9th.
Camp hours are 8:00 am - 5:30 pm.





The registration forms can be found here, or you may pick one up from the office.

Spring Camp Registration 2017

Spring Camp Registration
Journey Under the Sea
April 10th, 2016 - April 14th, 2017
8:00 am - 5:30 pm

Registration will be done on a first come, first serve basis. Spaces are limited and fill quickly! Registration will end on Friday, March 31st unless unless the available spaces fill.
Registration Form must returned with payment in order to secure your student's space.
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Winter Sports: A Group Experience



The intent behind our Winter Sports Program is that these lessons and experiences let our students have a real-life group driven experience where there is crossover between programs; where there are great opportunities for the students to practice the life skills they have been learning and practicing in such a safe environment here at MCS. It is an opportunity to let our students explore one of Utah's greatest beauties- the mountains and our incredible snow.



Please keep in mind that these lessons are peer-oriented and group options are bound to contain a number of skill sets being presented, developed, and learned amongst the students. Some students are at the peak of that skill set and some are at the base of that skill set. However, those students are all within the same level. It can become very frustrating when friends ski/ board together on the weekends, but are grouped apart for the lessons. However, we ask that you place your trust in the ski program to group our students as they see fit and ask that you remind your children to do the same.  



We really want to enforce that as these lessons continue on, it really is a collaboration as a group to learn and practice. Snowbird has hand-picked instructors specifically for our school, and instructors go through intense training on how to meet the needs of each student in the group.  

A successful day may not be or mean that your student was the fastest, moved up a group, etc. A successful day should be evaluated on whether or not your student was safe, having fun, in an environment where they can learn without frustration, were able to communicate their feelings appropriately, follow instructions, and engage appropriately with their chaperones, instructors, and peers. Ultimately, when a student is feeling comfortable and safe, there will be more detailed, controlled progress. One of the reasons we appreciate Snowbirds Ski Program is that they take an approach to individualized instruction that is similar to our approach here at MCS.  However, their ability to separate every single skill level is limited by a number of factors. 


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Early Childhood Performing Arts Showcases

Early Childhood's Music and Movement Classes Present their Performing Arts Showcase of:

The Napping House


Please have your students meet in the Dance Studio at
6:15 pm. Ensure your student is wearing their pajamas- but not some that might be slippery on a stage.




Sequoias and Magnolias will perform: Tuesday, February 21st


Willows and Aspens will perform: Tuesday, February 28th 


We hope to see you there as this is an event you won't want to miss out on.


Potential Winter Sports Program Chaperones

Dear Potential Winter Sports Program Chaperones,

Please keep in mind, as we love to have your support and help during Winter Sports, we have found it is best if we can have consistency with our chaperones. The students do better seeing familiar faces. This helps the students have a greater sense of surrounding and comfort.

This will also help with consistent group support on the hillside and getting on and off the busses.

Please, only sign up if you are able to attend at least 4 out of the 5 weeks and note we need our hillside chaperones to be able to efficiently ski/board with the little one and help out with lift riding. We also need chaperones that are not skiing, but help out on the busses and with keeping track of and leading students to the correct places.

Thanks,

Admin

MCS' Service Learning Helps with COEEF's Student Success

MCS sponsors six girls through the COEEF Program. Each year we raise money for them through our annual Fun Run in the spring. Stay tuned for more information about our Fun Run this coming season.
Please read this amazing clip from COEEF's January 2017 Newsletter:

STUDENTS’ SUCCESS

Great News! 

In the last nine years, 90 COEEF students have completed high school. Of these students. 83 (92.2%) joined different universities throughout Ethiopia.

Of the students who joined universities, seven of them have successfully completed their university education and started a career.

...
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What Makes MCS Unique?


Montessori Community School offers an authentic Montessori education while supporting a charming and safe community for our students and their families. Choosing the right school can be a difficult task as increasing numbers in research show the impact of early education on the growing brain. So, beyond why a parent might choose a Montessori education for their child, I would like to answer some common questions about what sets Montessori Community School apart and how you will know if it is the right fit for your family.
  • Tour, Admissions Meetings and Observation: Inquiring parents are required to visit our facility prior to acceptance of their child. This allows parents to “get a feel” for our campus and to learn specifics about each program from a knowledgeable member of our staff. Following attendance at a tour or an admissions meeting, parents are invited to observe in one of our classrooms. While an observation is not required, our goal is to help parents have a clear understanding of and comfort in the design of our programs before their child attends classes. 
  • Focus on the whole child and their developmental needs: Montessori Community School offers an authentic Montessori education where equal attention is given to a child’s academic, social, and emotional needs. Along with learning at their own academic pace, children are given opportunities to learn self regulation and time management, develop and exercise independence and are given many opportunities to practice and refine social graces. Be it math or conflict resolution, lessons are given as needed, allowing children to progress at their own rate and ensuring success of one skill before moving on to the next. 
  • Mistakes are the best way to learn: We live in a time where safety concerns have made it difficult to give our children space to make mistakes. Montessori Community School is a safe place for children to explore, practice, and learn from their mistakes. Our staff is committed to helping students work through challenges in a safe and controlled environment, preparing them for the world outside of school. Self correcting materials allow children to identify mistakes within their academics and encourage children to try something until they feel confident enough to move on. 
  • Multi age classrooms: Angeline Stoll Lillard, in her authoritative research review Montessori: The Science Behind the Genius, describes the Montessori multi-age setting this way: "Montessori encourages learning from peers in part by using three-year age groupings. This ensures that as children move through the classroom they will be exposed to older and younger peers, facilitating both imitative learning and peer tutoring... Dr. Montessori was quite clear about the need for this mix of ages." These multi age groupings also allow teachers, students and parents to develop close relationships, making a team approach to education manageable and effective. 
  • Children get to choose and children get to move: Children like to make choices; they like to be the masters of themselves. In a safe and carefully prepared environment, MCS students are given the option to choose which area of the classroom to work in at any given time. The carefully prepared environment ensures that there are materials and activities to meet a variety of interest and skill level. They decide how much time or energy should be put into a particular task and children are encouraged to revisit materials or lessons as needed, are invited to move forward when they feel they are ready, and have the opportunity to actively research topics that interest them while giving adequate time and attention to the foundational skills needed in each academic area of the curriculum. Children in every program at MCS are able to move throughout the classroom, and sometimes beyond, to meet the very important need for movement in their growing bodies. Movement from work to lesson to snack and so forth ensures that children can stay engaged in their work process throughout the entire uninterrupted work cycles. Growing and changing bodies have many options for work spaces and styles. 
  • Community: MCS prides itself on having a close knit and caring community. You will find community in individual classrooms as students stay in one class for an entire cycle and because of the longevity of our teaching staff. MCS staff have been with us anywhere from 2 to 25 years. MCS parents are committed to supporting our students, our staff and our programs and a variety of organizations exist to allow parent involvement and support. A number of events encourage the community to come together on a regular basis. 
  • Variety in schedules: As part of our commitment to community and family, MCS offers a variety of scheduling options. Parents can be assured that their children are well cared for, well loved, and respected for their individuality and uniqueness without having to transfer to a different program part way through the parents work day.

Interested parents are invited to learn more about MCS at an upcoming Admissions Information Meeting on January 19, 2016 from 6:30-8pm. Adults only, sorry no child care provided for this event.

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2017 Admissions Information Meeting - New Students

2017 Admissions Information Meeting - New Students

Thursday, January 19th, 2017

Meeting starts promptly at 6:30pm
Adults only - sorry, no child care provided
Bring a friend!

Montessori Community School will be hosting an Admissions Information Meeting for all adults interested in learning more about any of our programs for 2017-2018 Admissions. Parents are invited to join us for a presentation about Montessori method, curriculum and philosophy and how they are implemented in our program to educate the whole child. Then, visit individual classrooms to learn more about each program and to meet and greet with our administrative and teaching staff. 
 
2017-2018 Application Packets will be available.

Montessori Community School serves children aged 18 months through 6th grade and we offer an extended day program, 7:30am - 6:00pm. Confirm your attendance or interest in coming on our Facebook event.

Montessori Community School's mission is to provide a rich, individualized educational experience, which guides and nurtures the natural unfolding of the whole individual and inspires a lifetime love of learning and peace.

   

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Winter Camp 2016 - Wild Utah

This year's Winter Camp theme is Wild Utah. The students will have amazing opportunities to learn about animals of Utah through a lot of fun activities including animal track and scat identification, creating animal tracks, handling real pelts and skulls, and, of course, a lot of arts and crafts.

A Few Reminders:
  • The doors do not open until 8:00 am and camp also closes at 5:30 pm. Please be mindful of these times. Plan to be at the school no later than 5:25 pm to ensure there are no late pick-ups. -Late Pick-Up Fees will apply.
  • Ensure your child brings the following items to camp:  winter attire, a lunch from home, and a change of clothes (for Toddler and Early Childhood students). If your child takes naps, please provide a blanket.  
  • Make sure that your child brings appropriate clothing for any weather, as we will go outside whenever the weather permits.
We look forward to providing a fun filled winter break for your students.If you have any questions about camp, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. We look forward to providing a fun filled winter break for your students.


Click here for a camp schedule.
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How to Emotionally Prepare Your Student for a Future Event


There is a power in preparing for future events by devising solutions and strategies for goals rather than emphasizing, simply, avoiding problems. 

For example, having students identify what their best hopes are for their behavior during a field trip and asking them to identify those hopes in specific detail. If the student is unable to come up with their "best hope" we can ask them to think about what their teacher or parent would likely say if asked that question. 

If you have a particular student anticipated in having more trouble than another, you could meet with a parent and/or teacher so they can hear the opinion of that other person word for word.

The following is how our school plans to approach students in preparation for Winter Sports and we suggest parents take a similar approach as you start engaging in conversations about the Winter Sports Program and the ski/ snowboard lessons. 

Sample Situation 1:

Teacher/ Administration/ Parent:
Student, what are your best hopes for your behavior during winter sports (future event) this week?

Student: 
I will behave myself/ act good/ some other generic response.

Teacher/ Administration/ Parent:
So, if you were behaving yourself/ acting good (student's words) during winter sports (future event) this week, what would that look like? (student response) What would your ski instructor notice/see you doing? (student response)

[We are looking for specific behaviors here, with as much detail as possible. We also want these behaviors to be positively worded (so it's not an absence of some negative behavior, it's the presence of a positive behavior we are focusing on).]

Teacher/ Administration/ Parent:
So, let's say that you were able to meet your best hopes. You _________, __________, and ____________ (list positive behaviors they identified they will display). If you did all those things during winter sports this week, what difference would that make?

After each future event, you want to help the student reflect on what went well (so we can do more of what works).


Sample Situation 2:


Teacher/ Administration/ Parent:
Student, what are your best hopes for your behavior during winter sports (future event) this week?

Student: 
I don't know.

Teacher/ Administration/ Parent:
Ok, well, what do you think your teacher would say? What do they hope to see from you during winter sports?

[You are looking for a specific behavior here, with as much detail as possible. We also want these behaviors to be positively worded (so it's not an absence of some negative behavior, it's the presence of a positive behavior we are focusing on).]

Student:
Um, the want me to ski well.

Teacher/ Administration/ Parent:
Ok, so if you were skiing well, what would that look like? [Student gives a description of turning, skiing not too fast etc.]

And what else do you need to do in order to ski well? Are there other things that you should be doing in your lessons to help you ski your best? [Leading into positive behaviors such as listening, following instructions, controlling their body, etc.]

So, let's say that you were able to meet your best hopes. You ______________, ___________, and _______________ (list positive behaviors they identified they will display). If you did all those things during winter sports this week, what difference would that make?


After each future event we want to help the student reflect on what went well (so we can do more of what works). Help the student process the event. If an amends are in order consider having the student write an apology letter reflecting on the behavior,  and perhaps how that behavior made you and other feel. This will help the student connect their behavior to environmental facets (you, instructors, other students etc).

This information was advised by school psychologist, Dr. Melissa DeVries.
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Broadway Kids Studio Class


A new Broadway Kids Studio Class will be starting in January. Class will take place on Mondays for both Elementary and Early Childhood students.



Please see here for the Registration Forms and more information. Forms can also be found in the MCS lobby.
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Our Grandmothers We Sponsor

As many of you know, Montessori Community School sponsors two grandmothers through the Adopt-A-Native-Elder Program. This year, our 3rd Year Lower and 5th Year Upper Elementary students were able to attend the Navajo Rug Show at Deer Valley Resort in November. 
In November, we did a light food, clothing, and supply drive for our Elders. However, each year around the holidays, we are able to send more directly to our grandmothers, Elvira Horseherder, and Anita Jackson.

Funds raised during our annual Fun Run go directly toward our Service Learning objectives: Adopt-A-Native-Elder Program (our grandmothers) and our girls we sponsor through the Children of Ethiopia Education Fund, COEEF.

Due to the success of last year's Fun Run, this holiday season, we have been able to send our grandmothers much needed supplies such as wool for weaving, bundles of firewood ($500 each), Fall and Spring Gift Packs, and Food Gift Certificates coming to a total of $2,239.94.

In addition to these items, MCS also sends each of our grandmothers $300 gift cards to Walmart. Please see this letter from the Adopt-A-Native-Elder Program Head. We thank you all for your generosity and support in your student's education of service and your example and spirit of love you generate and pass along to the world. 
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Are You Getting Ready?

Are You Getting Ready?
Hello Parents,

I am excited winter sports season is upon us! Hopefully, the snow stays fresh throughout the season. Last Thursday, December 1st, MCS emailed out our Waiver and Release. As we strive to go paperless, it has been a bit confusing with the different links that have gone out. This far, there has been a link for Snowbird's Ski School Waiver (Mandatory), a survey to determine Snowboarding interest, and MCS' Waiver and Release (Mandatory).

If you have not received or filled out both Snowbird's Waiver or MCS' Waiver, please let the office know.



I hope everyone is getting gear sorted and ready, in particular, clearly labeling each piece. Also, letting your students practice wearing their gear, putting it on and off, familiarizing themselves with each piece of their gear, and carrying it around themselves.



Thanks so much for all of your support and enthusiasm in helping your student to be prepared for such a special experience and wonderful opportunity to experience activities our beautiful Rocky Mountains allow.

Cheers,

Admin

November Elevation Lunch Menu

November's Elevation Lunch Menu for Montessori Community School

Service Learning: Navajo Rug Show



One of our school’s Service Learning Programs is the Adopt-a-Native Elder Program. During the next two weeks we will be doing a drive for items to take with us to the Navajo Rug Show, which our two Elders, Grandmother Anita Jackson and Elvira Horseherder weave rugs and make jewelry for. The items donated will go directly toward our grandmothers, other Elders, and children in need on the reservation. Please look for the donation bins throughout the school.



We thank you for your support of this program and your continued involvement in your student's Service Learning experiences. We encourage you to talk with your students about the importance of service and helping those in need. 

Yelp Tries to Bully School into Buying

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Día de los Muertos


Our school celebrated Day of the Dead, Día de los Muertos. Day of the Dead is a holiday celebrated in Mexico on November 1st and 2nd, which coincides with the Catholic holidays of All Saints' Day (November 1st) and All Souls Day (November 2nd). Traditions connected with the holiday include building private alters honoring the deceased. The altars are adorned with sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed. People often place the altars near graves of departed relatives.

Scholars trace the origins of the modern Mexican holiday to indigenous observances dating back hundreds of years and to an aztec festival dedicated to a goddess called Mictecacihuatl. In Brazil, Día de Finados is a public holiday that many Brazilians celebrate by visiting cemeteries and churches. In Spain, there are festivals and parades, and at the end of the day, people gather at cemeteries and pray for their dead loved ones. Similar observances occur elsewhere in Europe, and similarly themed celebrations appear in many Asian and African cultures.


In the school lobby, a beautiful interactive and educational display was created was created by Lorena Gomez-Alvarez, Head of our Dual Language Program. This exhibit provided a hands-on experience related to the cultural celebration. Hand-outs were available with instructions and a brief explanation of the holiday. 


Parents, students, and staff were welcomed to begin the tour at the main altar. The alter constructed was honoring none other than Maria Montessori. There were cue cards offering explanations of the important elements of the altar and their meanings. Some of the items that could be found on the altar were sweet breads, sugar skulls, flowers, salt, and candles. Maria Montessori was honored with photos of her with students, quotes, and some of her life's work, demonstrated by a Pink Tower at the top of the altar. 

After observing the altar, there were three crafts typically made on Day on the Dead:

Sugar Skulls
Skeleton Masks
Flowers

We hope you were able to stop by and entrench yourself in this cultural tradition; perhaps, even celebrating in your own homes next week.


We would love to express our gratitude to Lorena, and all of our staff who embrace our Dual Language Program and Curriculum. Thank you for this in depth cultural experience.