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2017 Uinta Adventure

Last week our Upper Elementary students, the Uinta class, set adrift for an amazing Adventure to Split Mountain, Vernal. They enjoyed three days of fun, learning, and life experiences. Despite the inclement weather they adventured to the max and had a blast. They are made of stern stuff!   Students, teachers and parent chaperones did a service learning project at Josie's Cabin, rafted the Green River (in the snow!), enjoyed a beautiful hike in the area and visited the Dinosaur Quarry. 

Students spent the year earning funds for their adventure through the Montessori Market and preparing for their rafting trip with their in-depth GO studies of the water shed. This adventure was a culmination of many important Upper Elementary lessons; from planning and executing a trip to in-depth follow up to their outdoor studies and many things in between. 

Thank you to everyone who shopped the Market and supported their other business ventures for making this possible.   Below find some fun quotes from parent chaperones and a handful of photos documenting this amazing adventure!




The children were in full on camping mode. The cold rain and snow did not deter, or steer them off course from their planned itinerary. It was obvious that they worked hard to prepare before the trip, as many duties fell into place.
They braved the big, cold waters of the Green River, in winter conditions. They hiked the trails of Dinosaur Nation Park. They explored the quarry and represented The Montessori Community School at its best. Well done children!

Aaron Rashaw 


The Ultimate Adventure!

With Jude graduating from the sixth grade, this will be my last opportunity to chaperone at MCS. I couldn’t have asked for a better experience! I’ve never been to Dinosaur National Monument; so to go with nineteen of the most adventurous ten to twelve year olds ever, made the outing that much more enjoyable. Believe me: they braved the elements that only a Utah spring can muster; and they did so with respect of nature and stoic resolve. There was nothing that could have dampened their enthusiasm. I know the students learned a great deal about the hydrologic system of the Green River, but I seemed to be their student as they embraced the desert and embraced life!

Thanks again for the wonderful opportunity!
Gregg Wood








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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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Farewell from Robyn - MCS Head of School

Dear MCS Families,

As the 2016-2017 year draws to a close I feel such gratitude for all the members of our school community. It is a true pleasure to be working with such amazing co-workers. I am delighted by our children/students and love the opportunities to spend time with them. In addition I feel such strong support from our families.

This year I have been away from school more often than in previous years, mostly because of my mother's health challenges. She is now 91 years old and had had a form of Parkinsons for many years as well as some heart problems. It is increasingly difficult for her to walk and that is very hard for her. She insists on continuing to live in her home and we are so fortunate that the New Zealand government offers free services that include having "helpers" come into her home each morning and evening and also to do her housework and gardening but as my sister and I live in the States and my brother in Australia she does not have any of her children nearby to provide direct support. My sister and I have been going home regularly to assist her. She is most fortunate to have several friends and a few relatives who are also supportive. Anyway because of my more frequent absences during those times many of my responsibilities have fallen on Ramira and Britney. It is difficult to adequately express how much I appreciate everything they do. Of course I am also so appreciative of all the other staff members for their support as well.

Once again we have had an amazing group of parents serving on the PSA this year and because of them and many other parents who have served on committees and in many capacities so many exciting events have happened. I would like to give special thanks to Annie Guerrero who has served on the PSA since she arrived at our school with her son Owen 11 years ago and in the leadership position for many years. She has been unwavering in her enthusiasm and support of our school and it would be impossible to calculate how many hours she has devoted. Owen will be graduating from 6th grade this year and therefore he and his parents Annie and Ryan will be moving on. They will surely be missed and I will be forever grateful to them for all their contributions.

Some exciting news to report is that this year the following staff members have graduated from university:
  • Diana Haro Reynolds with her Masters Degree in Montessori Education
  • Annie (Cassandra) Hayes with her Bachelors Degree in Early Education
  • Kim Brown with her Bachelors Degree in Business and Accounting with an emphasis in HR
  • Amanda Haws with her Masters Degree in Industrial Organizational Psychology

We are also delighted to advise that Jennifer Carrino and Fernanda Roesevear will be completing their Toddler Montessori certifications during the Summer. Lindsay will be completing her certification once she returns from maternity leave. In addition, we currently have Candace Leikam and Annie Hayes working on their Early Childhood Montessori Certification through CGMS and Anita Ermish will begin her studies for her Masters Degree in Montessori Education at Westminster College this summer. Also,  Austin Bull, Sage Wegner and Carley Hines will begin their Montessori Toddler training this summer. We are thrilled to have so many of our non-certified staff committing to becoming certified Montessori teachers. This is a special gift to their students.

I would like to express my sincere thanks to those of our staff who will be leaving this year- Evi Bybee, Kenzee Kubilius, Kate Savage, Whitney Franck, Corey Day. Liz Spor, Christine Burningham, Aly Delanty and Amanda Haws. Each of these teachers has played a huge role in the lives of all of our children. Through their observations they have developed a meticulous knowledge of each child, have found their beauty and talents and encouraged them in their growth and also been able to recognize their challenges and been able to guide and support each of them in these areas. They have always been truly committed and have offered so much of themselves to their students and co-workers. What each teacher brings to their students is unique and wonderful and their many co-workers, students and their families will really miss all of them but as the Head of School I fully support them in following their dreams and taking a new direction in their lives. I have hope that sometime in the future some of them may return.

For those families who are leaving us I thank you for the privilege of being able to partner with you in guiding your children in their growth and development. I wish you and your children all the best as you embark upon new adventures. For those who are staying I am delighted and look forward to many more special experiences together.

Have a wonderful, full-filled and safe summer.

Warmly,

Robyn

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How can failure be a gift?

When I started teaching 20 years ago, childhood was altogether a different experience.  Raising children looked different than it does now and, since I'm now in the midst of raising my own three children, I believe this more than ever before.  The single most important thing I think we may be missing with this generation of parenting is the realization that growth comes from failure!  Scary concept, right?  But honestly, when everything goes according to plan, there are no hiccups in the way, or any process is simple, precise and easy we learn very different lessons than when we have to struggle and stretch.  I think it would be fair to say that your own failures (or struggles, at the very least) provided clear opportunities for learning and growth. I recently watched a really wonderful TedTalk called "The power of believing that you can improve" by Carol Dweck in which she uses the word "yet" with great meaning and power.  (Watch here.) 


Believe it or not, when our kids become afraid of failure, they become disinterested in learning.  Life gets scary. Autonomy and the ability to bounce back helps kids feel confident and connected.  

What happens if we tell our kids they are the best (at anything!) and they discover that they are not (at some things)? The feeling of failure, of letting us down, of believing they are less than they really are is just the kind of feeling that keeps them from trying again and from experiencing new things.  The realization that they still have space to grow, on the other hand, and the belief that they are surrounded by loving people who will give them space for that to happen? POWERFUL! Our generation of children are learning that there is a lot of immediate gratification in the world.  But let's be real, parents - life includes a lot of waiting, trying again, picking ourselves up off the ground, and re-thinking how things "should" be.  

How do we really step back and let our kiddos stretch?  It's hard, right?  And honestly...it can be totally inconvenient.  Not only is childhood different but so is adulthood.  If I count the number of hours I really get to spend with my own children in a week, it seems far less than ideal.  We are a busy family.  Life is beautiful and lots of fun, but it is REALLY BUSY! So how can I adapt my "helicopter parenting" approach (which is in some ways for my own convenience) to one that gives my kids the best chance at being resilient? 

  • Praise wisely: Point out the effort, the process and the strategies that your child used whether they succeed or fail at something.  Outcomes are typically less than we imagined and so the process is an important one to celebrate, think about and understand!
  • Plan ahead: Ask questions to get your kiddo thinking about outcomes without giving up the best answers.  The more we tell them the answers, the more children lack the opportunity to think of them themselves.  And believe it or not, some day they WILL have to make decisions without you. The small ones they are making now, under our care, are the safe ones to practice on.  
  • Step back: As much as you want to step in and tell them "I already tried that, it didn't work" or "But what if.." DON'T DO IT. Little failures are great opportunities to learn.  And, when we are there rooting for them despite their failures not only do they learn to try differently, but they learn that we are there no matter what. (How comforting.) The other beautiful thing about stepping back is that when they do step in at the face of real danger (I'm talking serious circumstances here) and we step in, they'll know they face real danger.
  • Listen: Guess what?  Our job as parents is not to be problem solvers.  I know, weird right? I have a hard time with this one too. But really, sometimes children just need someone to listen.  They are people and, like us, can oftentimes talk themselves into the best answers.


What I'm presenting here is not an easy feat.  There is no expectation for any of us to get it right every time.  As a matter of fact, the same concepts apply to parenting...we will make mistakes.  And we will learn from them.  And when we are better next time, our kids will learn that being better is the most important part.  I have never apologized more to anyone on this earth than I have to my oldest son. And I believe that my humility and admittance of my failures goes a long way in teaching him that humaning is a process....er, at least I hope it does! If nothing else, he has seen me mess up and get back on that horse!  I will not give up and he knows that. 

In her book The Gift of Failure by Jessica Lahey talks about autonomy supportive parenting. Clear expectations and clear consequences make people feel safe.  From traffic laws to moral obligation, this is true on every front. I can't tell you enough how lovely a concept this is! 


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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.
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ThroughPlay - U of U Study

Whether you participated in the ThroughPlay study earlier this year or not, MCS Parents have been invited to a re-presentation taking place on May 2nd. This presentation has been dramatically overhauled and, we think, improved! There is a greater use of the creative arts to complement our narrative about the importance of play for children and adults, including more film of parents and children in nature, better-designed slides, and more music.



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Ideas for a Fun, Active, and Educational Spring Break


During Spring Break, you may be thinking of some fun outings or play-dates to enjoy some quality time together exploring what the beautiful Wasatch Front has to offer this budding time of year. 

Check out hands-on experiences by going to places like Color Me Mine, www.colormemine.com, Harmon's Cooking School, www.harmonsgrocery.com/cooking-school/, and crafting classes at Michael's stores.

Also, look at utah.com/hiking for some great hikes and information about certain trails. 

Other great ideas are attending local pet stores to view and interact with the variety of animals, create a giving project for a friend, neighbor, or family member, check out the local swimming pool or ice-skating rink, and story times at various libraries. 

One of my favorites is taking a drive to Utah's own Gossner Cheese Factory in Logan, Ut and then hitting the various other factories in the area: Pepperidge Farm, Creamies, PJ Zone, etc.

The following are some other fun family options of great places to check out if you have never visited:


Memory Grove Park
375 North Canyon Road
Salt Lake City, UT 84103
www.slcparks.com

West Jordan Conservation Park
8275 South 1300 West
West Jordan, UT 84088

Great Salt Lake Nature Center
1700 West Glovers Lane (925 South)
Farmington, UT 84025
www.greatsaltlakenaturecenter.org

Gilgal Sculpture Garden
749 East 500 South
Salt Lake City, UT 84102
www.gilgalgarden.org

Clark Planetarium
110 South 400 West
Salt Lake City, UT 84101
www.clarkplanetarium.org

Discovery Gateway: The Children's Museum of Utah
444 West 100 South
Salt Lake City, UT 84101
www.childmuseum.org

Hill Aeropspace Museum
7961 Wardleigh Road
Hill Airforce Base, 84056
www.hill.af.mil/library/museum/index.asp


Natural History Museum of Utah
301 Wakara Way
Salt Lake City, UT 84108
www.nhmu.utah.edu


The Leonardo
209 East 500 South
Salt Lake City, UT 84111
www.theleonardo.org

T
reehouse Children's Museum
347 22nd Street
Ogden, UT 84401
www.treehousemuseum.org


Tracy Aviary
589 East 1300 South
Salt Lake City, UT 84105
www.tracyaviary.org

Utah's Hogle Zoo
2600 East Sunnyside Avenue
Salt Lake City, UT 84108
www.hoglezoo.org


Enjoy the week!
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Join the MCS PSA!

MCS-Parent School Alliance T.E.A.M.
Together Everyone Achieves More! 

Before I became involved in the PSA, I noticed for years that most of the burden fell on one or two people, and I thought that was just too much; especially when you are juggling kids, work and life. So when I was asked by the MCS Administration to get involved, I suggested a restructuring of the PSA to become a “Team” representing all the age groups but with an emphasis on the Toddler and Early Childhood groups since they are our meat and potatoes.  This PSA Team concept is now completing its second year with, I believe, great success on many levels.  First, the obvious, the 6 reps share the roles, no one person is working alone; second, we have more of a presence on campus as a team; and third, we actually enjoy each other and collectively want to generate excitement and enthusiasm within our community. Who doesn’t want to be involved in that? 

Since my son is graduating this year from MCS, this is my last year with the MCS PSA and I want to encourage those interested to consider joining the PSA Team next school year.  We have such a unique, wonderful and supportive community of children, parents, teachers and staff that it makes it so much easier to be a part of the team.

If you are interested please email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Thank you for your support,

Annie Guerrero
Uinta Parent





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Sun Safety

As a staff we are always trying to maintain a comfortable balance between sun safety and the immense need to get our children outside for play and movement.  As you well know, our children are not always easily convinced of the critical need to cover adequately.  We go to great effort to teach our children the importance of full coverage and how to apply sunscreen thoroughly (while offering assistance to children as needed).  We encourage our families to advise their children of the importance of sun safety and appreciate the following tips provided by one of our MCS parents.  



Utah has the highest melanoma (the most deadly skin cancer) rates in the United States (read detailed article here). Given our altitude, a large number of sunny days, great outdoor activities, and a population with lots of fair-skinned people, we have the perfect storm of skin cancer risk factors.

It is important that our kids spend time outside but careful preparation is a must. Below are some measures that have proven effectiveness at reducing UV exposure and helping to prevent skin cancers:

1. Sunscreen reapplication: Unfortunately, sunscreen only lasts ~80 min before the protective effects diminish significantly, so be sure to reapply frequently.  

2. Hats: Because the head and neck region is not covered with clothes it receives much more sun exposure than other parts of the body, leading to a higher proportional rate of skin cancers in this region. Hats are an easy method to reduce sun exposure. Be sure to send a hat to school with your child each day as well as taking one along on all your outings that include outside play

3. Encourage sun-safe clothing, sunglasses when appropriate.

4.  Go the extra mile by being an example; wear a hat when you are outside, apply sunscreen to yourself in your child's presence, wear sun-appropriate clothing and sunglasses, and talk to your child about sun safety on a regular basis.  Children, like the rest of us, are empowered by knowledge.

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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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Part-Time School Custodian and Maintenance

Description: Employer will do a background check. Position entails cleaning restrooms, classrooms, and hallways, emptying trash, sweeping & mopping floors. Heavier cleaning; Waxing and buffing, carpet cleaning, disinfecting, and other deep cleaning will be performed weekly.

Tools and supplies will be provided. Applicants must be able to lift a minimum of 50 lbs. Candidate must be able to communicate and work well with other janitorial and facilities staff. The school has a Facilities team plus Janitorial team and depending on the candidate's qualifications and performance, possibilities for upward mobility within the company may be available.

Prerequisites: Must pass a full background check; Be dependable, honest and trustworthy. Attendance is extremely important and candidate should have reliable transportation in all weather conditions, all seasons of the year.

Hours: 15-20 Hours Per Week, Every Weeknight after 6pm and Saturday for deep cleaning. Training hours may require more flexibility. Hours may be adjustable after a period of time on the job.

Location:
Montessori Community School
2416 East 1700 South
Salt Lake City, UT 84108

Language: Bilingual (English / Spanish) Preferred

Salary : $10-$12 DOE
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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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Early Childhood Teaching Position



Montessori Community School
Early Childhood Teacher

Montessori Community School of Salt Lake City seeks a full time certified and experienced Early Childhood Teacher to co-teach in a classroom of approximately 25 children ages 3 to 6 years.  MCS has 4 Early Childhood classrooms and the teachers in the program will work closely together to plan and implement curriculum.  

We seek a warm, imaginative, bright, flexible, and creative teacher who can effectively plan, problem solve and collaborate with a team of Early Childhood teachers.  The ability to understand and willingness to work with a range of learning styles is required.  We expect our staff to be involved and active in our school community; participating in the ongoing development and refinement of our school’s curriculum, policy and procedures. Confidence, professionalism, and a sense of humor are important characteristics.  Candidates must be able to communicate effectively with parents, students and staff. A strong respect for and love of children centered in an understanding of the Montessori philosophy are essential.  We look for a long-term commitment to MCS. Candidates must be CPR and First Aid Certified or be able to obtain CPR and First Aid Certification within 30 days of hire. All candidates will have a background check and be required to have a TB test.

...
More Info
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The Value of the Three Year Cycle - A Parent's Perspective

The Capstone Year

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the third year of the Early Childhood three year cycle. We made the decision to keep our oldest daughter in the Magnolias Class to complete the cycle (known as the Capstone Year).

Last year, an article in The Atlantic called “The New Preschool is Crushing Kids” (read here) helped support our decision. In the mainstream setting, Kindergarten has become the new first grade, and Common Core standards have laid out academic guidelines for what should be completed in Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten. Research corroborates that kindergarteners spend more time doing seat work and less time doing art and music.  The net result is 2nd graders who perform worse on tests measuring literacy, language, and math skills. The cause, it is thought, is direct instruction that is repetitive and uninspired which leads to children losing their enthusiasm for learning.




How do we maintain that joy for learning and school that can inspire ongoing discovery? The Montessori curriculum inspires life-long inquiry with a heavy emphasis on social interaction, outdoor experiences, art and music. Communication and dynamic interactions with peers and teachers allow children to be self-reflective critical thinkers.

The groundwork for reading and literacy is language, and the Montessori classroom capitalizes on our children’s sensitive period for language.  Imagine my surprise when my four year old came home recently asking to read a book to me. I indulged her request knowing that she has not quite mastered all the letter sounds, and yet she comfortably read the book.  “Where did you learn to read?” I asked.  “I just know.” she said.  The Montessori curriculum has laid the groundwork so that our children can put it all together in their own time. We only need to give them the freedom and opportunity to do so.

This is exactly why the capstone year is so important. Our children become leaders in the classroom during the third year. They consolidate all the learning that has taken place in the first two years of the cycle. They grow confidence, they enjoy themselves, and they learn new things in a low pressure environment in which they feel very comfortable.

I loved seeing my oldest daughter thrive in her third year. You could see an extra bounce in her step and she loved going to school each day. Her reading and math skills blossomed and her social skills became more nuanced. In short, she thrived.

I was also a little nervous that she would enter her new school behind the other kids who had been in the academic “seat-work” environment for two years already… and I’ll admit that in the first quarter, her reading wasn’t as fluent as some of the other children’s and her performance on timed math assessments was lacking a bit of luster. (Then again, if you know her, you know that anything timed is not of interest to her!)  Interestingly, as the year has progressed, she’s blossomed. It’s as if you can see the cumulative effect of the critical thinking skills and self-directed learning all come together. She’s asking questions about the relationships between different concepts and she’s reading books that really interest her.  I’m not sure she’ll love the timed math tests, but as she says, “that’s just my way”.  The credit for her progress goes to the Montessori Capstone Year.

I’m so glad that we’ve been able to give her the gift of an extra year of play, joy, and mastery. The data and our family’s personal experience support what Maria Montessori knew long ago… The third year of the cycle is a crucial element of the Montessori Early Childhood education.  

You are welcome to contact me if you want to discuss the third year in further detail!

Vicki Wilkins - MCS Toddler and Early Childhood parent

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All School Assembly - Utah Okinawa Kenjinkai Cultural Experience

Our Second Annual All-school Assembly took place Wednesday morning at MCS! All of our staff and students, from toddlers to elementary, gathered for an incredible presentation. The Utah Okinawa Kenjinkai group shared a beautiful performance about their cultural Japanese heritage. They introduced us to Okinawan traditional music, dances, folk craft, and martial arts while briefly discussing the Japanese history associated in a fun and enlightening way.




A lot of our young toddler friends enjoyed singing and dancing throughout the assembly while our older friends were impressed by the costumes and instruments. In the traditional Okinawan dance, the Eisa, there is a closing song to end the performance. We were invited to join the dancers and dance together waving our hands to the beat of the music and drums. It was a great experience for all of our students to enjoy this cultural opportunity as a whole community.




Check our last year's experience here.



By Paola Ramirez


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The Gift of Adult Learning

Today I was graced with the most lovely opportunity to observe a teacher intern in one of our classrooms.  MCS has the ongoing opportunity to support and host adult interns seeking Montessori certification at all levels.  The process of a teacher receiving Montessori training is as well developed a system as the Montessori method itself.  Following an intense period of study of Montessori theory, history, methodology, didactic training and classroom management, an intern spends 1-2 years engaged in a teaching practicum (internship).  During this initial experience as a teacher, with a wealth of newfound understanding and insight to the child and its environment, the teacher goes through the magical process of implementation under the direction of a master teacher. 

Maria Montessori said "The teacher, when she begins to work in our schools, must have a kind of faith that the child will reveal himself through the work. She must free herself from all preconceived ideas concerning the levels at which the children may be." 

The process of having absolute faith in our little ones to develop in their own time, in their own way, and to their most authentic selves takes absolute faith.  We let go of our own egos to allow for the child's great awakening. I will never forget my own hours of study...learning precisely how each material is to be presented, memorizing the sequence and curriculum, identifying sensitive periods in the children, writing lesson plans only to be erased and re-written, and discovering the meaning behind "preparation of the environment".  Those hours paled in comparison to the spiritual awakening and rebirth of self that I am honored to experience on a daily basis at MCS.

And so today I applaud all those who have themselves engaged in this transformation process.  Hosting interns means that MCS is a place for adult learning, teacher collaboration and exposure to ongoing research. Additional kudos to those master teachers who commit themselves to the process of guiding these new interns; an ongoing process of renewal and one of the beautiful experiences that brings MCS together as community. 


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Featured

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.


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