WHERE: The Tower Theatre
< 876 East 900 South – Salt Lake City, UT 84105 >
WHEN: Wednesday, December 3, 2014
< 7PM - 9PM >
DETAILS: In an effort to help raise funds for MCS to replace some of the materials lost during the flood, we are excited to announce a special screening of the film Almost Ablaze. Awarded "Film Of The Year" at the 2014 International Freeski Film Festival, Almost Ablaze is a global odyssey combining state-of-the-art cinematography and the most progressive riding on earth.
TICKET SALES: Ticket sales will begin the week of November 10th and an email and flyer will go out to all MCS families with details on how to purchase seats for this special screening. Additionally, raffle tickets will be for sale and a host of outdoor, ski and snowboard gear will go to lucky raffle winners that same evening. All proceeds from this special screening and the raffle will go directly to MCS to help replace items destroyed during the flood. < BUY TICKETS NOW >
To learn more about the film, please visit: tetongravity.com
NOTE: This film is recommended for ages 8 and up and does contain some mild language.
What Every Child Needs! Featured
What is it that every child needs that parents don’t seem to have? (Life time passes to
Disney World and unlimited shoe budgets don’t count!) You can fill in your own blanks.
It is something that a Montessori school can help offer. Of course a good education
comes to mind but that is not even the greatest gift your Montessori school can offer.
What your child needs most is one of the attributes that makes a Montessori school so
special. Yes, it is a safe place emotionally; a challenging place intellectually; and a caring
place socially. It is designed for your child and populated with adults who care. These are
all good things but not the greatest thing your child receives. And your final answer is?
Time! Time is our most treasured commodity – we always seem to be running out of it.
We always seem to be talking about “making” time for things when in reality we need to
“take” time – making it a priority. And to make it even more challenging for us, it is not
just “time” but what you do with time that creates its value.
With time an acorn becomes an oak, a tadpole becomes a frog, a caterpillar becomes a
butterfly and a child becomes --- What? We are prone to say “an adult” but even that is
not the ultimate destination of time. It is what you do with time!
If time were the only factor an acorn would become a bigger acorn, a tadpole a
bigger tadpole etc. but it is time and attention (what you do with time) that begins
this extraordinary transformation. Your child is already DNA’d with the marvelous
characteristics of who they are to become – right-handed, left-handed, artist, musician,
scientist, doctor or Indian chief. It takes time (and observation) for these unique character
qualities to blossom and become apparent. And that is what your school does – is to take
time to know your child, to take time to open the world of learning and to take time to
watch your child grow and learn and to be transformed.
If your child doesn’t have time to develop and there is no one there to observe and
encourage development then your child may miss the opportunity to create the person he
or she was designed to be. A Montessori school gives children time to discover – not only
the marvels outside of themselves but the marvels of their personality and passions within
themselves. Montessori offers a child a window on the world and time to take it all in. It
takes time to flourish.
There is no need to rush learning. The Montessori secret is that given enough time
children will learn everything they need. And given enough time they will joy in the
discoveries because they will not be pressed for time and they will go on to master what
they have learned.
So how do we deal with the pressure of time in regard to our children? Take a deep
breath! In fact, you may need to take many of them as you set your clocks back
figuratively and literally. Figuratively, scale back your time expectations for your child.
Being the first to walk, the first to talk, the first to read or the first whatever has nothing
to do with the marathon of life. It takes time to build a solid foundation. The gift of time
doesn’t mean you lower your goals and expectations. It means you give them the gift
of time to be children; the gift of time to explore and discover; the gift of time to make
mistakes, to recover and to learn from those mistakes. Give them time to discover their
strengths and passions. Give them time to build the adult they will become.
Take another deep breath and set your clocks back literally. You have a choice – you can
do for your children (and make them dependent) or you can give them more time (more
time than it certainly would take you) to get dressed, brush their teeth, eat breakfast, feed
the dog, clean their room etc. Part of time is patience – or is that patience is a part of
They want to do it for themselves. They want to become independent. Give them the
time to achieve the ability to be independent (self-governing, self-ruling) and to do that
you have to give them the gift of more time. The ability to do things for yourself, to
accomplish, and to finish the task is what builds real confidence and real self-esteem.
A Montessori school is successful because it is governed by the observation of the child’s
needs and not the pressure to achieve according to the clock or the calendar. When the
teacher does not seem to share your concern over your child’s progress it is not from a
lack of concern but out of experience and observation knowing that given the time your
child will blossom and learn all that is needed.
The great gift of childhood is the gift of time!
Halloween Carnival 2014 Featured
An MCS Family shares their story Featured
“Weaving all begins with a string, and the string tells a story. For the base of the loom is the earth, and the crest of the loom is the Sky; and there is rain, sunlight, thunder, lightening and roots in between. With weaving, and with everything in our culture, there is a purpose.”
---Native Elder, Julius Chavez
Each year we have the opportunity to take a field trip to the Navajo Rug Show and visit with our Grandmother Elvira and other Native Elders. It is our tradition to invite our 3rd year students in Early Childhood and Lower Elementary to join us on this occasion in honoring these special women and men. This is a wonderful event and tradition, hosted by the Deer Valley Resort in support of the “Adopt-A-Native-Elder” non-profit organization.
The purpose of this yearly event is to observe the traditions of our Native Elders, and to show support to our own Grandmothers as we join in the celebration of their traditional living and centuries-old skills. Through storytelling and music, jewelry making, and of course, the extraordinary artistry that is weaving; together we can appreciate the truly remarkable traditions of our Native Elders.
In preparation for this special event our school has a tradition of collecting items for our Navajo Grandmothers. The items they most appreciate include: Coffee, Chicken Ramen, Tea, Quaker Oats, Meal, Salt, Spam, Baking Powder, Jello, Sugar, Peanut Butter, Canned Fruits, Veggies, and Soups, Graham Crackers, Spaghetti, Cornflakes, Pasta Noodles, Shortening, Household Items, Toiletries, Clothing, Tools, and VISA Gift Cards. VISA Gift cards are especially lovely, as our Grandmothers do not have a lot of space in their vehicles to bring items back to their home. They can also use the gift cards to purchase the much-needed firewood to heat their homes through the winter.
This year they are also asking for gently used children's school supplies such as backpacks and winter clothing such as gloves, hats, coats, etc. If you would like to make a donation you may place your items in one of the bins that will be in the hallways over the next couple of weeks.
Read this beautiful excerpt written by Kellie Gibson, an MCS teacher, about last years Rug Show:
As we entered the gallery, we began our journey together and found ourselves surrounded by rich colors and warm hearts. While we took in the beauty of each hand-woven rug, we listened to the stories and legends of the Dine people and learned about their traditional way of life. We heard songs from some of the attending Elders, and as we listened, another group of Elders showed us the steps that are taken to create a traditional rug. It was truly an educational experience to witness first hand the life cycle of wool; as it is cut, carded and twisted into yarn, then dyed, and skillfully and artfully woven into a magnificent, authentic Navajo rug.
After the program, we went to visit with our own Grandmother Elvira. Each year she makes the long journey from her home and family in Arizona to participate in all of the activities at the Deer Valley Rug show and a very important part of her time in Utah is the opportunity to visit with our MCS children. Grandmother Elvira spoke to the children, and told them that they were her own Grandchildren. She spoke to them in love, saying that she prays for each of them, that they will be healthy and grow big and be happy. She then presented us with a gift of Cedar Beads, meant to protect us and create harmony with nature. The children made a gift to her also, cards and drawings that we collected and presented in a large pink valentine. She held it close to her heart, and gave her blessing to the children. Grandmother Elvira and the other Native Elders have so much to teach us. Through their stories, we can learn to be brave, to be passionate, to be grateful and to love.
It has been our opportunity as a school to support our Navajo Grandmothers by way of our annual food drive and proceeds from our Spring Fun-Run. These donations go far in providing firewood throughout the winter, grocery certificates, and Walmart certificates that allow them to purchase basic necessities such as clothing and household items and even yarn for weaving beautiful rugs that are sold to provide further income.
We were so happy to visit with our Grandmother Elvira. Our students have created sent special cards and letters for our Grandmother Emma as well and they will be send to her, along with some gifts at Christmas time.
This year we have had to bid a loving farewell to our Grandmother Rosaline who died at the age of 94. We think of her often and wish her family well.
As we return from a holiday marked by tradition and thanksgiving, we wanted to share our experience with all of our MCS families. We are grateful for the opportunity to give, to love and appreciate, to teach our students and our children the importance of knowing the world’s people, the needs of others, and the importance of family. In truth, we are all connected by the uniquely lived-in fibers of humanity. We can grow as human beings, and we can cultivate the human spirit if we are able to identify with one another, share our gifts and love.
A special thanks to all of our parents, students, teachers and staff who made this field trip possible, and a great success. In the words of Kindergartener, Carolyn Altman: “It was a hit!”
Upcoming COEEF Event Featured
Hello MCS Families,
Things are coming together nicely here at the school. We are still working out some details but are really looking forward to the students return on Monday. Again, we can not express enough our appreciation for all of the offers to assist. And, we want you to know that the teachers at the school have worked tirelessly to prepare temporary classrooms, to support one another, and to keep the energy positive and uplifting. Our teachers are amazing!
- We are looking for an old washer and dryer that can be used to clean our mops and some carpets that were submerged in water. Please contact the office if you are getting rid of any old machines that the school could use temporarily.
- Thank you to all who attended Parent Teacher Conference last week. We were so excited to launch our online record keeping system, Compass, which will allow you to get activity reports about your child's school experience. However, with all that has happened with the flood and the temporary displacement of classrooms and students we have decided to put a temporary hold on the activity reports. Thank you for your patience. As mentioned previously, every one of our classrooms are being effected in some way and we feel it is most important that the teachers energy be placed on providing structure and support to the students. Thank you for your understanding.
- The Silent Journey is postponed until further notice.
- We anticipate that the Halloween Carnival will still happen and more details about it will be available Monday.
Enjoy the remainder of your unexpected break in this most beautiful fall weather.
With deep gratitude,
- The road is still not fixed at the school's entrance. We are hopeful that it will be fixed by the weekend.
- At this time the building has no heat. (We are grateful for the warm weather!) We hope to have a temporary boiler in place by Monday. It will be a smaller unit that will heat our upstairs. We will have to purchase a new boiler and hope that the transition will be as unobtrusive as possible. We have some temporary heaters to supplement the heat from this smaller unit until the new boiler is in place.
- We are working on a list for volunteer opportunities. So many of you have been so generous with your offers to help. Up to this point we have not known areas where you can assist. However, we anticipate that we will need assistance in the future. Once we have created this list we will share it with you.
FLOOD/SCHOOL CLOSURE UPDATE Featured
- We've had another confirmation that we are not dealing with sewage or pesticide contaminants. There are no microbial issues and the water does not pose any health risk. The water that flooded the school contained soil, dirt, bark, etc. but the word "contamination" in this sense simply means the items are dirty.
- We are still waiting for information about the boiler repairs. There is nothing new to report and the boiler is not currently working.
- Our power has been restored. (YAY! Light has been very helpful.)
- The road outside the school is torn up and is closed at both ends of the block. We are hopeful that they will lay new asphalt on Thursday or Friday and the road should open over the weekend.
MCS SCHOOL CLOSURE Featured
Dear MCS Parents,
Thank you all for your ongoing support. We are grateful for all of the offers of help and assistance. The cleaning crew is still here and they are asking that we stay out of their way while they clean, sanitize and move furniture in preparation for the building repairs. We appreciate everyone's willingness and ask for your continued patience as we determine our needs. If/when we determine that there is a way for parents to assist us we will let you know.
At this time we have been told that it will take possibly up to 8 weeks for the Lower Level to be repaired and able to accommodate the children. We have been most fortunate to secure temporary classroom space for the Lower and Upper Elementary students and the Middle School students at the All Saints Episcopal Church with whom we share a parking lot. Staff are working to clean that space and will spend time this week creating classrooms there. The Magnolias students are being moved to several different classrooms throughout the school. (Arches, Uinta, Wasatch, Oquirrh and Magnolias parents - a more detailed email will be coming separately to outline the details of your child's temporary classroom.)
We are still unable to fully assess the damage and/or inventory all of the ruined materials and furniture. Unfortunately, this process is much more time consuming and lengthy than we had originally anticipated.
The clean up crew is directing us to carefully sanitize all of the furniture and materials that we want to take from the Lower Level for the students to use during their temporary relocation. Currently our power is coming from a generator. We hope that we will have permanent power by this evening but are unsure. Our boiler (which provides our heat) has been partially covered with water and we are not sure the extent of its damage. Specialists have been working on it since Saturday but had to wait until the motor, etc. had dried out before conducting more extensive testing. The road right in front of our parking lot entrance is torn up and we may have to determine a plan to redirect our school traffic. There are many people working in many capacities both inside and outside the school. At this time we do not feel that it is safe for the students to return to the building. There are too many variables that are still "undetermined." We look forward to the students returning when we feel that the building is safe for them and when we have more control over who is entering and exiting the building.
SCHOOL WILL BE CLOSED FOR THE REMAINDER OF THE WEEK. We are also working on a plan to determine how we will make up the missed days.
We understand what a huge inconvenience a school closure is and are very sorry to put our families in this position. Some of our staff members who are not needed in the relocation and set up are willing to provide child care to families who are in need. Please contact the office for names and numbers as needed.
Early Childhood Field Trip Featured
Home – The Montessori Frontier Featured
There are many parts to a Montessori education. There certainly is the beautiful materials that add so much to the enjoyment of learning. There is the educational philosophy that goes along with the materials. There is also the part that looks at your child’s gifts and abilities but the most crucial part of a Montessori education is the part that nurtures and helps transform your child into a successful adult. Ultimately, Montessori is a philosophy of life, of a way to approach the challenges and blessings.
If you love what Montessori does for your child at school begin to implement at home those actions that will continue the transformation. We are not talking about red rods, alphabets or math but about the core value that makes Montessori dynamic and transformational. It is all about making wise choices.
It is a simple formula – learn to make wise choices – but it is a complex process made up of multiple simple actions that combined together create this outstanding outcome for your child. Montessori succeeds because it gives children the opportunity to make choices (and deal with the consequences). If you have made a bad choice, to be able to make another choice until you come to a positive outcome.
You begin the implementation of Montessori at home by creating opportunities for choice. When my son was two we began choice making with something as simple as breakfast. We would offer him the choice of two cereals. I would ask, “Do you want this or that?” And he would make a choice. (However, since I didn’t use the proper names of the cereals, cereal became known as “dis and dat”.)
Choice making has to be real. Don’t offer a choice and then negate their choice. “Do you want carrots?” “No.” “Well, here you are anyway.” Real choice would ask, “Do you want one spoonful or two?” Other examples of empowering choice might be “Do you want to wear blue pants or black”; “Do you want to brush your teeth first or a take a bath first?” There are endless choices to make each day.
Along with choice goes responsibility. When you make a choice you own the choice because with choice goes the responsibility of fulfilling it. However, a great lesson to learn is that not all responsibilities are our choice but once given to us it is a wise choice to fulfill them.
Chores at home become part of this process of wise choice making. How do I choose to fulfill my responsibilities? Doing my work well, finishing on time and finishing thoroughly are key ingredients of lifetime success. In life we are often faced with situations that offer no real choice – paying taxes, stopping at red lights etc. Teaching your child to make wise choices (even when there is no choice) is to teach them to choose their attitude when faced with less than desirable choices. They can learn this if you let them practice at home.
Article written by Edward Fidellow
Hello MCS Parents,
It’s that time of year again, yes, already! Giving season! We are already being solicited to make year-end donations to various nationwide and local charities, as well as to volunteer our time and various skills. Every year we are compelled to give our support to those less fortunate than us or to causes that we feel passionate about.
One of the goals of the MCS teachers is to instill in our children a sense of responsibility to give back and support causes that are meaningful to us as a group and individually. One of my goals, as PSA President, is to help us, as parents, understand where our donations through school supported organizations are going as well as to make sure we understand who and what our donations/fundraising efforts are supporting. I also want to work with you to combine our giving efforts in the hope of making a larger impact.
With that being said, the PSA is heading up the outside fundraising efforts for the school this year. I have a lot of charities in mind but could use your help. I would love to hear back from you about what compels you to give. Who do you feel is a group really making a difference? Is it the food bank, the homeless shelters, renewable energy groups, clean air groups? Do you work with or for an organization that is making an impact locally? Where or who will you support, either financially or with your time, this year? Are any of you closely involved with a charitable organization that you would like to see the MCS community rally behind? I want to hear from you! Let’s join together as a group and really make a difference, while fulfilling the education and outreach component that is essential to our children’s classrooms.
This year, the PSA and the school would like to direct support to 4 areas of interest for our MCS families: our Navajo Grandmothers, our students in Ethiopia, the local charity that the parent community chooses, and MCS’ Classroom Giving Tree.
Our schools ongoing support of the Navajo Grandmothers has created a long-standing relationship with the Adopt a Native Elder program. We sponsor two Grandmothers: Elvira Horseherder and Emma Bahe. The Navajo Rug show is coming up this November 7th – 9th at the Snow Park Lodge in Deer Valley—Park City, UT. Our Kindergarten students and our 3rd year students will be attending this event November 6th and 7th. Prior to this event, the school will be collecting items such as: Coffee, Chicken Ramen, Tea, Quaker Oats, Meal, Salt, Spam, Baking Powder, Jello, Sugar, Peanut Butter, Canned Fruits, Veggies, and Soups, Graham Crackers, Spaghetti, Cornflakes, Pasta Noodles, Shortening, Household Items, Toiletries, Clothing, Tools, and VISA Gift Cards. VISA Gift cards are especially lovely, as our Grandmothers do not have a lot of space in their vehicles to bring items back to their home. They can also use the gift cards to purchase the much-needed firewood to heat their homes through the winter.
MCS sponsors 7 girls through the Children of Ethiopia Education Fund. This fund exists to empower young girls in Ethiopia from impoverished circumstances to have a quality, private education through generous sponsors and donors. Around the holiday season we collect items and money that goes directly to our girls to continue our sponsorship and to heighten and brighten their holiday season.
Classroom specific giving is a way for us to directly impact the learning and growth of our kids. This year there will be a giving tree in the lobby that contains tags for each classroom. On the tags will be items the teachers ‘wish’ to have in the classroom selected from Montessori Services, Small Hands, and other places. It could be a need that the teachers feel would enrich the class environment or a replacement for a work that has been worked and loved hard over many years. Come the end of October, there will be a tree set up in the MCS lobby with tags color coded for each classroom and specialty class. There will also be envelopes that will allow you to anonymously donate money toward an item or a classroom.
Please know that I understand we often feel overwhelmed by groups asking for our support. We may feel that we are being asked to often or for too much. But, these giving options are here to offer you a place to give if you feel compelled. There are no obligations or requirements to give. You can give a little, a lot, or not! We are trying to give you a heads up as to what is coming so you may make decisions on how or if you would like to proceed as far as giving and donations this year.
I am really looking forward to hearing from you about the charities that mean something to you and your ideas about where the PSA can help direct the giving of our community.
Again, your feedback is so important. Please contact me directly about this and any other parent community issues or ideas you would like to share. After your feedback, a decision will be made as to which charity/ies our school will support this year.
Upcoming Parent Education Night Featured
Creativity in Montessori Featured
So how does this apply to creativity which seems to be in short supply as far as “art work” is concerned? The creative experience in Montessori is an internal experience. The great creativity is focused on the child creating their own personality. They are forging who they are to become by internalizing all of the experiences of both home and family with their experiences of discovery and exploration in the classroom, mixing these with the intangible aspects of their own DNA, their talents and gifts, inclinations and proclivities. They are taking in these seemingly random elements and creating the uniqueness of who they are.
Their great creative work is themselves.
In a traditional classroom environment children are forced into a mold; fairly standardized and compartmentalized. Doing what everyone else is doing, becoming what everyone else is becoming; rushing headlong to achieve external goals that are set without regard to their personality, character, ability or interest. And from this their only escape from this standardization is the occasional art work sent home.
In a Montessori classroom this unique creativity of their personality is an ongoing daily occurrence as they discover the world about them, as they discover the joy within them that rises as they discover the joy of all the creation about them. They are not rushed from subject to subject but get to explore and enjoy the mystery of how numbers work or the mystery of how their language is put together. They discover animals and leaves, science and art. They develop their senses. And it is those senses that create in them the wonder and the enjoyment of the learning that is all about them. They are creating within themselves reservoirs of joy and fascination, interest and passion. (They will learn the names of all the dinosaurs or rock formations or a hundred different avenues of learning because they have created a passion for it out of their daily experiences and discoveries.)
This ongoing creative experience blossoms within them as they are introduced to music and art, color and form. They become experienced (and passionate) observers of all that is around them. Their early experiences with what the Montessori classroom labels the “sensorial” materials heightens and trains their senses. Those pink cubes and the red rods, the circles and squares, the colors and sounds are laying the creative foundation within the child preparing them physically, psychologically, aesthetically and intellectually for a creative response to all of life that is around them.
The real music they learn to sing, the real art they learn to create in their life will arise out of the great work of creating their own personality. Their creativity in Montessori will not only be an escape from the drudgery of traditional learning and conditioning but will be a magnificent expression of the joy they find in learning and the world all around them. While you may not have many pictures to put on your refrigerator you will have a living portrait of a child full of joy and wonder. Now, that is a creative marvel!