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Creating a Place for Peace

 


“Find a time and place of solitude.
Look into the distance and into the future.
Visualize the tomorrow you are going to build;
and begin to build that tomorrow, today.”
Jonathan Lockwood Huie



As part of our Peace Curriculum that is incorporated into our monthly studies at MCS, this month each of the classes is engaged in a study of creating space for Peace as we prepare to celebrate International Peace Day on September 21st and in honor of Maria Montessori’s extensive work in the field of Peace Education. Studies show that a preventative curriculum that promotes communication, community and self-advocacy is more effective than a punishing approach to bullying in schools. Ours is a program that we expect will follow our students far beyond their structured educational experience. We hope for and assist children in the development of skills of peaceful conflict resolution, gaining respect for peers and incorporating communal advocacy, taking in to account the needs of a community and how one’s behavior affects another, and establishing a lifetime of self advocacy, self love and self respect.

Averting war is the work of politicians; establishing peace is the work of educators. ~Maria Montessori

Peace is a work rooted deeply in the approach in Montessori schools across the world and Maria Montessori was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize on three different occasions as her passion for Peace Education led her to spread its good word in various countries. Her legacy lives on as she is now widely recognized as an advocate for peace and her educational philosophy is practiced throughout the world.

“Peace is a goal that can only be attained through common accord, and the means to achieve this unity for peace are twofold: first, an immediate effort to resolve conflicts without recourse to violence—in other words, to prevent war—and second, a long-term effort to establish a lasting peace among men”
(Education and Peace, Montessori, 1949, p. 27).

Read more about Maria Montessori here.

Montessori education addresses Peace in a variety of ways, encouraging children to first develop inner peace. At its most basic level the Montessori method does this by honoring the individual interests, passions and ability of each child, giving children space to develop confidence with making mistakes as they explore and the courage to fix mistakes, and inspiring them to be part of a community. Because each student is recognized as an individual, you will find children working on a variety of activities at any given time. This gives children space and encouragement to accept that differences between humans exist at varying degrees.

Inner peace gives children the foundation for supporting peace within their classroom, school, social and family communities. Communities are an important aspect of the Montessori philosophy in that there is an emphasis on the whole person and learning to function within a community is essential to the success of human endeavor. A successful community is made up of a variety of different talents, strengths, skills and goals. As our students engage in peaceful conflict resolution, modeled by the adults in the community, they learn to function as many parts making up a whole. As they assist in the management of the environment, including caring for the physical space, taking on important leadership roles within the classroom, and engaging in group discussion about how to make change for the better, students practice life long skills of considering others and building functioning communities.

Some common Montessori terms/methods that directly and indirectly support Peace Education include:

-Cosmic Education is the child’s gradual discovery, throughout the whole of childhood, of the interrelatedness of all things on earth, in the past, in the present, and in the future.

-Intrinsic motivation (versus rewards or punishment) is a desire to do for the sake of doing with no expectation or even hope for an outside motivator.

-Multi age classrooms allow children to play varying roles throughout their cycle in a classroom, allowing investment in the environment and practice of various skills, jobs and identities.

-Follow the child means that each child is considered individually and opportunities to further develop special skills and talents is honored along with opportunity for extra, repetitive practice of more difficult tasks.

-Class meetings and agenda books allow children to bring up issues or concerns and decide, with adult guidance, how to overcome challenges as a group. It also allows a sacred place for celebrating one another’s accomplishments.

-Peace areas in each classroom provide a place for children to go when they need to find inner peace. Meditation, breathing and various other exercises are encouraged to help students look within.

-Outdoor education and care for living things (plants and animals throughout the school and in each classroom) give children the opportunity to practice care for and consideration of the needs of all living things and help them develop a love and advocacy for our earth and all it has to offer.


By honoring each individual and supporting children in becoming their most authentic, passionate, courageous and determined selves, we provide the world with a powerful force for change for the better.

May you all find inner peace and enjoy a most lovely day of celebrating the beauty and hope of mankind on this day set aside for celebrating Peace on earth.

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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. 







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The Power of your Child's Birth Story

Have you ever told your child the riveting and powerful story of their entrance into this great life? This is one of my favorite aspects of parenthood. Instilling wonder and thoughtfulness about your child’s emergence to earth is truly awe inspiring for them. Hearing the story of their own birth can calm a child’s fears, can build a child who feels down or sad and can bring great joy to any child. Understanding not only the emergence itself, but the powerful emotions tied to their anticipated arrival and their delivery give a child perspective into their powers as a human. Understanding their place in a family, their most important community of all, is hugely rewarding for a child. Children deeply appreciate learning how their own birth made a marked difference in the history of the universe. 




A child will love this story at any point in their life, but the most crucial and powerful time to tell a child the story of their own birth is during the elementary years, particularly early elementary. The elementary child is finding their place in the world. Their understanding of its vastness has become more easy to comprehend and their curiosity about the interconnectedness of all living things is undeniably enthusiastic. Relationships can become deep and meaningful, particularly those outside the family. Children’s search for what matters, their social sensitivities and their developing moral judgement at this stage of development can often lead to questions like “Who am I...how do I fit in?” These are important questions and for this reason their personal birth story can be relevant pieces of the puzzle they are working on personally.

In a Montessori Lower Elementary program, the study of timelines show evolution of plants, animals, and humans. We work to instill a love and respect for our earth. A child’s place in this evolution helps them relate to their family, their social circle, and reinforces that all living things are valuable. Not to mention, humans develop a core belief about themselves at a very early age.  What could possibly make a person believe they matter, that they have the power to change the world, or the power of love more than hearing about the love that enters a parent's
heart when they meet their child for the first time? 



How was your child thought of while in utero?

What kind of preparations did you make for your child to join your family?

What kind of dreams did you have for your child and your family?

What was your child’s anticipated arrival like?

What were the feelings you had when your child’s delivery began?

What are the details about your child’s birth?

How did you spend the first moments/hours/days of your child’s life?


My own three children could recite the stories of their births themselves, and still, they ask to hear it often. We share those memories in times of sadness, in times of fear, in times of joy, in times of laughter. Every detail holds deep meaning for each of us and the parts that speak to us change as we change and evolve as individuals and as a family.
Bedtime stories have never been so much fun. 

Happy story telling! 




My beautiful family. My sister introduces her son to his new baby brother for the first time.
The magic of families is endless. 











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"There is No Bad Weather, Only Bad Clothing."

Last night's forecast promised rain (and snow!) for the weekend.  Today, I have noticed the forecast has shifted from snow to rain and back to snow in just a few short hours.  Ahhhh, Utah! While I love the weather and all it has to offer and am particularly pleased by how Utah weather can change on a dime, I feel fiercely protective of our children and their preparation for the weather.  Nature is a beautiful gift that is best enjoyed when it is respected.  

Parents, please help your students develop a healthy respect for nature by encouraging them to be prepared for whatever Mother Nature has to offer on any given day, especially here at school!  Children should come prepared to go outside in any circumstances.  Layers, good shoes, water resistant outer clothing, and extra options are a great start. 

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Montessori Community School has always made it a priority to integrate nature into our program. Students are offered a wide variety of opportunities to extend their learning beyond the physical classroom and, in keeping with the Montessori philosophy, students are invited to experience nature as a hands on experience.  We love the phrase "there is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing."  The Portland Montessori Collaborative posted the following on their website and we are proud to say, "We couldn't agree more!"

We believe in integrating the outdoor classroom into every child’s experience at school. The outdoor environment is a place for big body play, where we value natural opportunities for children to challenge themselves physically. Children will find compelling reasons to hone large motor skills through joyful interaction with a landscape similar to that found in nature. In the outdoor classroom, open ended and collaborative play are valued, documented, and encouraged. Opportunities to practice practical life skills like woodworking and caring for plants and animals are available. A relationship with the plants and animals that live in our creek side ecosystem is developed through a process of ongoing, child-led/adult fostered investigation. There is dedicated time outside every day, rain or shine.  We believe that ‘ there is no bad weather, only bad clothing’, and children come to school well equipped to enjoy their time outside regardless of weather.

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Speech, Language, and Hearing Screenings


Montessori Community School will be holding speech, language, and hearing screenings on Thursday, September 22nd.
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Our Girls We Sponsor Through COEEF: Celebrate Education for Women





"We will continue our journey to our destination of peace and education. No one can stop us. We will speak up for our rights and we will bring change to our voice. We believe in the power and the strength of our words.
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MCS and Friends for Sight Review


Last week, Friends for Sight came to our school and gave free eye exams to all of the Early Childhood students, 1st graders, 3rd graders, and 5th graders. Please see the letter below and respond if you have any questions, concerns, or feedback for Friends for Sight.
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The Basics of Montessori Learning




As Montessori teachers and parents…

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PSA Mission

PSA Mission

The Montessori Community School Parent School Alliance (PSA) works in partnership with the MCS Administration and Staff to help strengthen, support, and empower our community of students, teachers, staff and families. We achieve this by executing the following pillars:

Collaboration: We work together with the mission to offer support to the school, which allows our children to get the most out of their education. We work in partnership with a wide array of individuals and organizations to accomplish our defined goals of community building.

Commitment: We are dedicated to promoting children’s educational success, health and well-being through strong parent, family, and community involvement.

Respect: We value our children and ourselves. We expect the same high quality of effort and thought from ourselves as we do from others.


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Basic Herbology and Practical Potions




Basic Herbology & Practical Potions

with Donda Hartsfield, Outdoor Classroom & GO teacher

Wednesdays, 3:45 – 5:00, November 18th – January 27th

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Halloween Carnival


This year's Halloween Carnival is sure to be the best yet. There will be games, activities and a lot of fun and laughter! Tickets can be purchased from the MCS office.

Ticket Price: $5 in advanced / $6 at the door

Some of the activities are:

Trunk or Treat
Spook Alley
Kim's Cold Blooded Creatures
Pumpkin Pick & Paint
Dancing

Costumes are most welcomed and encouraged!
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The History of Montessori

Enjoy this beautiful timeline of Maria Montessori.





The History of Montessori Education by Giraffe Childcare
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Parent Education Night








Sign-up outside of your student's classroom.

Childcare will be provided, however, you must sign up in advance.

This is a really great night full of insight regarding the education of your child in relation to Montessori Philosophy. Don't miss out!

(Your attendance can go toward Parent Volunteer Hours).

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Medical Action Plans and Medication Release Forms


If your student has or uses an Epi-Pen, Inhaler, or Benadryl for an allergy or other medical condition, you MUST have a recent Medical Action Plan and Medicine Release Form filled out. 
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2015 - 2016 Winter Sports Program: Snowbird


Winter is just a season away. Please keep in mind that all students participating in the Winter Sports Program this year will be REQUIRED to have helmets and goggles and there will be no daily rentals at the resort.

The PSA is working on potential discounts for MCS renters and will keep us updated. For now, please check out the list of Ski Swaps coming up.


Click here to see a list of upcoming ski swaps.

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MCS' Annual Kid's Clothing Swap

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Spring cleaning? It's that time again to bring in all of your children's gently used clothing that is too small, or unworn and swap it for something that fits. Please drop off your gently used items in the bins located in the MCS gymnasium. You may drop off items March 16th - March 20th. 

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Parent Teacher Conferences, Feb. 27, 2015

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Parent Teacher Conferences will be held on Friday, February 27th. There will be no school that day. Sign-up sheets for the conferences are on a table in the lobby, arranged by class, from Toddlers to Middle School (please check the top of each page for the name of the class). As we do every year, we ask that you observe the following requests:

· Please sign up for one meeting time per child.
· Please be on time for your conference.
· Please help the teachers to stay on time.
· Please arrange for childcare during Parent/Teacher conferences.

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MCS Student Television Debut - Good Things Utah

MCS Lower Elementary student Diego Reyes-Lisieski recently appeared on KSL's Good Things Utah where he shared his talent and passion for cooking as a representative of the Salt Lake Culinary School which he attends.  Diego has shared this talent with his classmates at school as well.  He has been a student at Montessori Community School since 2010 and has enjoyed his cooking hobby since he was very young. Nice work, Diego!

 

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Silent Journey and Discovery 2015

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The Silent Journey and Discovery is coming up on February 7th from 9:00am - 1:00pm.
Sign up in the office, space is limited. Attendance is free of charge, brunch will be served & child care will be provided to those who sign up in advance.

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Admissions Information Meeting - Open to the public

What: Admissions Information Meeting

When: Thursday, January 15th from 6:30 - 8:00pm

Where: Montessori Community School

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