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Becoming Familiar with MCS Safety Policies and Procedures

In an effort to help you get started on the right foot we would like to remind you about some of our safety procedures here at MCS. We ask that you remain mindful of them as they play a very important role in keeping our students safe and accounted for at all times.  These policies and more can be found in our Toddler/Early Childhood Parent Handbook and our Elementary Parent Handbook


Sign-In and Pick-Up
For safety measures, all students need to be signed in and out each day. Sign-in/out sheets are located outside of each classroom. We ask that you park, enter the school, sign in/out your child and check your child’s bulletin board for special announcements. Only parents or persons with written authorization (either listed in the child’s Emergency Medical Release form or through the Alternate Pickup form) may pick up a child. 

The sign-in and out sheets not only tell us who dropped off and picked up on a given day; they also tell us which students are in the building in the case of an emergency.
If your child has an appointment during the school day and will be picked up and then returned to school, please sign her/him out and back in at the Office front desk.


Alternate Pickup Procedures
If someone other than the parent/guardian will be picking up your child, please fill out an Alternative Pickup Form for authorization. These forms are available in the Administrative Office. A staff member will ask the person you have designated to pick up your child to provide identification (i.e. driver’s license) if that person is
not recognized. The safety of your children is our highest priority.


School Closures due to Severe Weather or Emergencies
The start of school may be delayed due to a temporary loss of heating, water or electrical power or severe weather such as heavy early morning snow. School may also be canceled before the scheduled end of the school day for the same reasons. MCS follows the Salt Lake City school district’s decisions unless our needs dictate measures beyond their decision. The Head of School will decide whether we will have a late start, early closure, or school closure after consulting with Facilities. If the Head of School is not reachable, a member of Facilities and a member of Administration will make the decision. In the event of an emergency or when MCS is closed or its opening is delayed by an unusual situation, notification will be made through School Messenger. School Messenger will use one or more of the following methods for notification: email, text messaging, and/or voice mail.

Safety Procedures
While the Montessori philosophy allows for “freedom within limits,” and we want to encourage students to feel comfortable and able to explore in their environment, we keep the safety of our students foremost in mind at MCS. We have a number of procedures in place to ensure that safety:
  • Outside doors are only unlocked during arrival and dismissal times and are locked at all other times.
  • We have a sign-in and sign-out procedure for parents dropping off and picking up students. We also have a signout sheet in the office for families taking their students out for an appointment in the middle of the day with plans to return later. This procedure ensures that the correct person is picking up the student in the afternoon and also gives us a sense of which students are in the building at any given time.
  • We ask all staff to be vigilant and watch for people we do not recognize and to ask anyone we do not recognize how we can help them.
  • We have a required check-in for visitors at the front office, where they sign in and wear a badge notifying our staff of their visitor status.
  • Every classroom has an emergency evacuation plan posted. We practice emergency evacuations once a month, either in classrooms or schoolwide with an alarm.
  • We utilize a texting emergency notifications system in the event of a schoolwide emergency or unannounced school closure.
  • We have phones in every classroom by which the office can issue a schoolwide page in the event of an emergency and with which each classroom can contact the office immediately in the event of an emergency.
  • We have placed buzzers on all upstairs outside access doors that notify us when the doors are opened. Our IT department is currently in the process of designing a more sophisticated entry and exit tracking system through the doors.
  • We have various surveillance cameras placed throughout the school and school grounds.
  • Our teachers are required to be First Aid/CPR certified.
  • At the beginning of the year students receive lessons including a tour of school and general safety guidelines. These lessons will be reviewed as needed.
  • We utilize head counts at various times throughout the school day, particularly when children are in transition (i.e., when children leave the playground and once they arrive back in class).
  • Children check in to use the bathroom. If a child does not return within a reasonable time (age dependent) a teacher will check on them.
  • We often implement a buddy system (pairing younger students with older, more experienced students) for times students are in line, traveling or transitioning. We also place one teacher at the front of the line and one at the back of the line when processing. In elementary classes these precautions are taken at varying levels, depending on the ages and needs of the students.
  • Our most recent Loss Prevention evaluation was performed in July 2016.

Emergency Notifications and School Messenger

Our school has an Emergency Action Plan, which includes procedures for reporting emergencies and evacuating the facility. This document details for the staff the procedures to be followed in case of fire, earthquake, power outage, etc. Evacuation plans are posted in prominent locations in each room or area of the building. The Montessori Community School holds monthly fire drills and semi-annual disaster drills which are documented.

If there is an emergency or disaster that requires us to leave the school building, we will evacuate to the MCS field. If we are unable to access our field, our back up evacuation site will be All Saints Episcopal Church, which is located directly east of our building, or Hillside Middle School, southwest of our building. Each classroom has emergency contact information, medical releases, and an emergency backpack with a first aid kit. The teachers are trained to take those items with them during an evacuation. In the event of an evacuation, MCS will use our emergency text notification system to communicate with parents. The children will remain with and be accompanied by their classroom teachers at all times and we will maintain required ratios to the best of our ability. No child will be left alone or unsupervised. The shed on the MCS field contains stored water, snacks, emergency supplies such as blankets and diaper changing supplies (for Toddlers), and blankets.

MCS uses School Messenger as our emergency notification system. School Messenger has multiple data centers in different regions; they employ a variety of delivery methods (email, text messaging, and voicemail); they have a solid infrastructure to eliminate any single point of failure in communication. They are used to delivering millions of messages quickly, with over 4000 customers throughout the U.S., including various school districts in Salt Lake City, and a customer renewal rate of 98%.

Families will automatically be opted in to receive these notifications via email, text, and voicemail, and can opt themselves out should they choose not to receive them, though School Messenger will be our primary form of communication in the event of an emergency. We encourage families to include at least one out of state emergency contact in their list. Emergency contacts will only be included in communications concerning incidents that affect the greater community in the case that parents are unavailable to receive them themselves. In order to ensure that we have the most current contact information in School Messenger and the most effective communication, please inform the Office any time there is a change in your emergency contacts names and/or phone numbers, or when you have made a change to your own contact information in Montessori Compass.


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Spreading Peace

Last week our school community shared in the beautiful gift of celebrating peace as a community and as part of a world-wide event. Each member of our school, from the tiniest toddler to the tallest elementary student, joined together on the field to sing "Light a Candle for Peace."  Then, our elementary students sang "What a Wonderful World" and one of our elementary teachers, Christian, spoke to our students briefly about sharing compassion around the world.  He invited the students to imagine a mirror that allows them to look at themselves full of love and compassion, then invited them to turn that mirror and extend the same love to their friends, their family, their community, their city, their state, their country and, finally, to the entire world.  

As stewards over these each of these beautiful little humans, we take great joy and responsibility in the privilege and responsibility of teaching peace to the students of Montessori Community School. MCS teachers touch on many different aspects of peace throughout the year.  Our peace curriculum, written to create a culture of cooperation and compassion, acts much like the other subjects taught in a Montessori environment.  The following ideas are touched on year after year and at varying levels, depending on the development of the students and the make up of each classroom.

  • Creating a space for peace
  • Supporting peace
  • Acknowledging peace
  • Advocating for peace
  • Developing inner peace
  • Intentional acts of peace
  • Cultivating peace
  • Nurturing peace
  • Celebrating peace

Peace truly does begin within.  However, just like addition and history and penmanship, our children must be taught to develop and emanate peace.  We teach through lessons, we teach through experience, and we teach by example. 

May each of us be filled with intention to develop our own sense of inner peace and compassion and may we seek opportunity to spread compassion and light to our fellow man. May the love of our wonderful MCS students be given the respect and attention it deserves to grow and spread and make a sincere difference in the world.  



Two friends, one Toddler and one Early Childhood, gleefully meet on the playground and dance, providing great pre-program entertainment for the rest of us




These Aspens class students hold a sign that says "Peace" during the program. 




MCS students, toddler through elementary, gather together to sing "Light a Candle for Peace."




Younger students are paired with older student while they hold hands and walk around the campus to look at the peace flags made by their peers. 




This mother and son look at the peace flags during the peace walk.




An Upper Elementary student signs "Peace.




Upper Elementary teacher, Christian, talks to the students about self compassion and sharing compassion with the greater community.




Peace flags are decorated by MCS students and staff and then hung along the Outdoor Classroom fence. 



Peace in any language. 
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Farewell to 2014-2015 - End of Year Carnival

MCS was "rocking" on Friday evening, May 29th, as two high school bands from The Wasatch Music Coaching Academy performed for attendees at the "End of Year Carnival."  The young performers impressed young and old alike with their performances and several children really showed off their moves during an outstanding rendition of Bruno Mars' "Uptown Funk."

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1st Annual MCS Yard Sale

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Montessori Community School's PSA is playing off the school's green initiative and will be hosting a huge yard sale Saturday, June 13th beginning at 8:00 am and running through 12:00 pm. 

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Private Elementary School

“To consider the school as a place where instruction is given is one point of view.

But to consider the school as preparation for life is another. 

In the latter case the school must satisfy all the needs of life.”

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