Britney Peterson

Britney Peterson

Associate Head of School - Staff Development

Britney developed her love of Montessori as a high school student when she worked with Lower Elementary students in an after-school program. Since then she has been trained and certified in Early Childhood and Lower Elementary through the National Center for Montessori Education. She has taught in the classroom at the Toddler, Early Childhood, and Elementary levels. Britney has also worked as the Assistant Director and Training Advisor of the Southern Utah Montessori Teacher Training Center and as the Assistant Director of Dayspring Montessori in St. George, Utah. Her favorite part of her job is sharing the beauty of Montessori with other adults, namely parents and teachers. She and her three children, who also attend MCS, moved to the area just recently and are enjoying all the wonderful outdoor adventures that Salt Lake has to offer. Britney enjoys rock climbing and rappelling, hiking, cooking, reading, and Sunday adventures with her boys. Little known fact about Britney: she spent a year teaching and traveling in Guatemala. 

Posted by on in Blogs

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.” --Margaret Mead

b2ap3_thumbnail__DSC6418.jpg

When Annie Guerrero, mother of an MCS Upper Elementary student, came to us in October and presented her idea to screen an extreme skiing movie in order to raise funds to offset the losses from the flood, we loved her suggestion but had no idea where to begin. We were busy moving the classrooms, settling them in, communicating with parents; Robyn, the Head of School, was knee deep in choosing new tiles and cabinets, carpets, and baseboards. Fortunately, without much help from us Annie took her idea and saw it through every step of the way until it was realized on Wednesday, December 3.

b2ap3_thumbnail__DSC6434.jpg 

Annie’s main goal was to provide MCS with a fundraiser at no cost to us. She and her husband Ryan Carlson began contacting and getting sponsors to help pay for the cost of screening the movie “Almost Ablaze,” by Teton Gravity Research. After meeting with many theatres around town, Annie finally locked in the Salt Lake Film Society’s Tower Theatre for December 3, again turning to sponsors, including her and Ryan’s business, The Wasatch Team-Windermere, to cover the costs. Once the date was set, Annie, with a small crew of dedicated parents, began a grass-roots marketing campaign, with PR blasts going out to publications from Whitney Cripe, mother of two MCS Elementary students, and the posting of professional-quality posters around the Valley and at ski resorts as well as on social media sites. Annie also began contacting potential donors for raffle items, eventually getting enough 2-for-1 ski passes from Powder Mountain to give every attendee one. Through individual, direct contacting she collected a total of 75 raffle items; among them, Skull Candy headphones, avalanche shovels, helmets, ski passes to local resorts, and a gear bag.

b2ap3_thumbnail__DSC6477.jpg

Annie’s drive and determination to make this event work was truly remarkable. She also met with us weekly to set up the ticket sales system, and to give us the latest updates. Her behind the scenes work became more and more apparent as the date approached and we received more and more raffle items and sponsors. We want to thank those parents who helped Annie with all of those efforts over the past several weeks: in addition to Whitney Cripe, Jennifer Dahl Lewis, who sent a KUTV news crew to do a followup story on MCS and the restoration efforts; Corey Lewis; Marie Bosteels; Becky Taylor; Tom Binegar; and Whitney Miller, who provided many unique raffle items on the night of the event.

b2ap3_thumbnail__DSC6498.jpg

The evening itself was a huge success. Through the sale of movie tickets, raffle tickets, and donations, Annie and this core group of parents raised almost $5000 for the school. More importantly, it was a memorable community event. Rob Cordova, parent of an Upper Elementary student, provided much entertainment as the Master of Ceremonies. He built up excitement surrounding the raffle and had all the winners dancing a crazy dance when they won. The students who helped deliver raffle items served as great examples of the kind of education that we provide. Five of the athletes featured in the extreme skiing movie attended the event to sign posters; that was more than the number that attended the first premiere of the movie! Again, that was due to Annie’s enthusiasm and effort; she contacted each athlete directly via Facebook.

b2ap3_thumbnail_DSC_6481.JPG

We want to thank the athletes who came: Tim Durtschi, John Collinson, Todd Ligare, Dash Longe, and Dylan Hood. We want to thank the companies that donated raffle items: Skull Candy/Smith, Rossignol, anon. Helmets/Hitcase, Hot Chillys, Voile, Snowbasin, Brighton, Scott, Saga, The North Face, and AceCamp. And we want to especially thank the sponsors for their generosity: Teton Gravity Research, Powder Mountain, Vintage Road Real Estate Fund, The Wasatch Team-Windermere, Guaranteed Rate, Discrete, and the Tower Theatre, for providing the venue.

Above all, we want to thank Annie Guerrero for her vision and for her perseverance and commitment in taking each step to make that vision a reality. We are so grateful for her efforts and for the contributions of all of the MCS and Greater Salt Lake communities.

Written by Ramira Alamilla

 

Hits: 90

The MCS Middle School's second cycle (6-week period) of the year focused on “Changes,” in literature, in the natural and physical world around us (fungi, protists, and matter), and how we can be catalysts for positive change in society. The immersion week offers students an opportunity to apply and integrate what they have learned throughout the previous five weeks. For Cycle 2 the immersion was a Career Investigations week. Leading up to the immersion, students utilized expository writing methods to research possible careers. During the immersion week, they investigated different professions through interviews, field trips and job shadowing.

b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_2458.JPG

The first professional to visit was a local paramedic and firefighter. He brought his fire gear along, which weighed about 30 pounds, not including an oxygen tank. Nearly everyone in the class took the opportunity to try it on. He also brought his medical supplies and allowed the students to experience the powerful smell of ammonia tablets that paramedics use to rouse unconscious people. He told the class the process for becoming a firefighter, which involves a written test and then a physical one. The physical test includes being able to hold 100 pounds and run a large number of stairs. Firefighters typically work 48-hour shifts (they're able to sleep if there isn't an emergency) and then they have four days off. Robert explained that the pay for a firefighter is about $42,000, and a fire captain makes about $82,000. A paramedic can make about $60,000. The pay goes up for all of these jobs the more relevant degrees one has.

A local documentary filmmaker showed the students trailers for four of her films. She was a social worker for about twenty years and then went to film school at the University of Utah because she felt that filmmaking would allow her to have a greater impact on society. She finds documentaries to be fascinating and a good way to learn. She explained that being an independent filmmaker allowed her to have a flexible (though busy) schedule. She has to do fundraising for her films on her own, which is typically very time-consuming. She said that her salary varies over time since she has her own business.

The students also heard from a Basic Life Skills (BLS) instructor and midwife's assistant (she's training to become a midwife). She teaches birth classes, and she assists with births at The Birth Center in Salt Lake City. She explained that midwives are trained to be able to do numerous medical procedures as needed, including monitoring a mother's and baby's vital signs, giving Pitocin if a mother is losing too much blood after a delivery, and giving stitches as needed. She showed the class a movie about unmedicated births and explained the differences between a doula and a midwife (a doula provides emotional support during labor but does not do medical procedures). Adrianna has assisted with more than 200 births. 

b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_2545.JPG

On Thursday, November 13th, the class visited the music studio of John Hancock, MCS parent and a local songwriter. He showed the students his equipment and explained that he is hired by companies to create songs for commercials as well as to remix existing music. Companies usually pay songwriters between $300 and $1,000 in advance to create a demo song and then between $3,000 and $5,000 if they use the song. John explained that songwriters also receive royalties on songs they write that are subsequently used.

b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_2557.JPG

The next day, Dr. Mary Dickerson, MCS parent and a veterinarian, visited the students along with two of her coworkers. She works in Laboratory Animal Science in the Office of Comparative Medicine at the University of Utah. She takes care of the animals in the lab where she works. She explained that a veterinarian can make between $50,000 and $175,000. She brought scrubs for the students to keep and had them do a relay race to see how quickly they could put the scrubs on.

b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_2573.JPG

An anesthesiologist visited the same day. He explained that his job is basically to keep people from dying and to keep them comfortable. He uses morphine, local anesthetic, and sometimes laughing gas in his work. He gives epidurals as needed to mothers in labor. He typically works 65 hours a week but sets his own schedule, and he said that anesthesiologists makes between $250,000 and $700,000 depending on the year. He explained that he went to school in the United Kingdom and that the structure there involves going straight to medical school immediately after completion of high school.

The final professional to visit was MCS parent Chris Fischer, who has been a helicopter pilot since 2008. He said that helicopter pilots make an average of $40,000 per year. His most common assignment is giving tours of the Grand Canyon, and he works either seven days on then seven days off, or else 14 days on and 14 days off.

The Middle School class was excited to learn about so many different professions and was grateful to all of the professionals who shared their time and knowledge with the class.

By Carla Moquin, Middle School and Lower Elementary parent

Hits: 126

 

Thank you to all who have purchased tickets for our upcoming Flood Relief Fundraiser event, screening of the movie  "ALMOST ABLAZE."  We have some exciting updates to announce about the event!

 

Todd Ligare & Johnny Collinson, athletes from the TGR film, will attend the show!

 

Welcome to our latest local sponsor, Discrete!  

 

RAFFLE: Purchase your $5 raffle tickets in the office.  Tickets can also be purchased the night of the show or online.  These prizes will BLOW YOUR MIND!  Raffle will start at 7pm. Must be present to win! (We recommend you bring cash for the raffle tix if you plan to purchase them at the show.) View some of the prizes below:

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_Screen-Shot-2014-11-20-at-9.17.44-AM.png

 

 

SKI PASSES: Receive a Powder Mountain 2-for-1 day pass for EVERY MOVIE TICKET PURCHASED Passes will be handed out at the show. Don't worry, if you have already bought your tickets you will still receive this awesome prize upon arrival at the show!

 

buy-raffle-ticket

 

Doors open 6:45pm!  

Raffle starts at 7:00pm!

We recommend pre-purchasing your raffle tickets. 

Movie tickets and raffle tickets can be purchased in the MCS office at any time!

 

Hits: 193
Flood Relief Fundraiser 

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.

b2ap3_thumbnail_Screen-Shot-2014-11-05-at-8.40.54-AM.png

Hits: 256
Posted by on in Blogs

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.

b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_4261.JPG

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

time?

 

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!

 

Edward Fidellow

www.crossmountainpress.com

Hits: 196
Posted by on in Blogs
b2ap3_thumbnail_PSA-Carnival-Crew.pngb2ap3_thumbnail_TrunkorTreatSnakes.png
 
After a long and difficult experience with the flood and displacement of students it was heartwarming to see so many MCS families come together to celebrate at the Halloween Carnival.  The Carnival is always well attended by many enthusiastic people and this year there appeared to be an even larger group of attendees. It was so much fun to see the adults and the children in costume.  What creativity went in to many of the costumes!
 
b2ap3_thumbnail_teachersparents.png
 
A special thanks to Jeannete Shaffer and Laura Gruenwald for the planning and preparation of the event.  And, to the many, many parents and some staff members who assisted with set-up, clean-up, ticket sales, games, etc. Events from the Carnival included face painting, a visit from Kim's Clod-Blooded Creatures, a story teller, pumpkin decorating, musical chairs, Trunk-Or-Treating, and many other carnival games.
 
b2ap3_thumbnail_PumpkinPainting-and-games.png
 
The Halloween Carnival is a well loved tradition here at MCS and we express our gratitude for all who participated.  It was especially wonderful this year to see our families pull together a wonderful community event!
 
b2ap3_thumbnail_MCS-Kids.png
 
 
Best wishes for a safe and fun Halloween!  
Hits: 268
Posted by on in Blogs
An MCS family recently shared their story about their new baby who was diagnosed with Severe Combined Immunodeficiency (SCID). Their story is unique as Calla is the first of the approximately 61,000 newborns screened for SCID so far in Utah to have a positive test result. Calla, sister to Tatum, has been in isolation at Primary Children’s Hospital since a few days after her birth and is awaiting a bone marrow transplant.
 
Logan and Jody, parents to Calla and Tatum, have been advocates and supporters of MCS even while their sweet new baby is staying the the hospital. They even recently spent the evening volunteering at the Halloween Carnival. We want to offer our love and support to Tatum, Logan, Jody and especially Calla. Their story is touching...Read more here, here  and here about SCID and about Calla's upcoming transplant.
 
We hope that the surgery goes smoothly and that Calla is able to come home to her family soon.  The family feels blessed that Calla has remained healthy up to this point and we wish them all the best.  This is a great opportunity for us to teach our students the importance of good hygiene and care of self! 
 
b2ap3_thumbnail_Screen-Shot-2014-10-27-at-11.29.05-AM.png
 
A brief word to the MCS community from Logan and Jody: 
 
We are very lucky that Calla's illness was caught so early and we are holding our breath as we await her bone marrow transplant.  They found a 10/10 match for Calla through the National Bone Marrow Program, and we are incredibly thankful that somewhere out there an anonymous donor agreed to help save Calla's life.  We'd like to encourage anyone who is willing to sign up for bone marrow registry at BeTheMatch.org.  We knew little about bone marrow donation before all of this started, and we were surprised to learn that the process is quite easy: initially you'll just send a cheek swab, and after that there is a ~1/500 chance over your lifetime that you'll be called up to donate and save someone's life!
 
Register at BeTheMatch.org.
 
Once Calla has received her transplant and the family is settled they hope to organize a drive for potential volunteers and we will share further information about that as it becomes available. 
Hits: 264
Posted by on in Blogs
b2ap3_thumbnail_Screen-Shot-2014-10-21-at-9.49.57-AM.png
 
 
Montessori Community School has been raising money for the COEEF and have supported several girls in the program for over 10 years.  We are currently supporting seven young girls.  It is a pleasure to share this opportunity to further support the COEEF program with our MCS community.
Hits: 117
Posted by on in Blogs

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,
MCS Administration

Hits: 180
Posted by on in Blogs
b2ap3_thumbnail_DSC_2354.JPG
 
Margaret and Laura trying to keep more mess out of their beloved Uinta classroom!
 
 
b2ap3_thumbnail_DSC_2509.JPG
 
Ruby has been a most wonderful photographer and documenter!
 
 
 
b2ap3_thumbnail_DSC_2516.JPG
Brandi feeling overjoyed about the set up of the temporary Lower El classroom at the church.
 
b2ap3_thumbnail_DSC_2522.JPG
 
Laura in the new Uinta and Arches space.  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
b2ap3_thumbnail_DSC_2523.JPG
 
Joshi displays some of the Arches work that survived the flood.
 
 
 
b2ap3_thumbnail_DSC_2524.JPG
 
Look at the beautiful mural in the background! Bonnie has been hard at work. 
 
 
 
b2ap3_thumbnail_DSC_2533.JPG
 
An energetic and helpful MCS student cheers for the churches offer of space. 
 
 
 
b2ap3_thumbnail_DSC_2535.JPG
 
Kay and Lorena setting up the Magnolias temporary classroom in the Toddler Moons space.
 
 
 
b2ap3_thumbnail_DSC_2536.JPG
 
Kate and Cinthya hard at working helping their fellow teachers set up and clean up. 
 
 
Dear MCS Families and Interested Community Members,
 
WOW!  The outpouring of love and concern is truly incredible. A huge thank you to our enthusiastic staff who have assisted in the clean up, transport, and set up of new classroom space.  We are very excited to get back to it on Monday.  We miss the children very much.  
 
As you can see from the photos above, we are making a lot of progress here at the school.  The teachers are working harder than ever and their love of the students is evident in their care and attention to setting up the classrooms. The teachers will be sending detailed emails so that you know what to expect for Monday. Thank you for your patience as we prepare. 
 
A few recent updates:
  • 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.  
With thanks,
MCS Administration
Hits: 239
Posted by on in Blogs
Dear MCS Parents,
 
We wanted to share a quick update about how things are progressing here at the school.  Most of the staff have been here cleaning, taking inventory of damaged or ruined materials, and moving materials in preparation for Monday.  There is a lot of cleaning to do still before the materials can be taken to the church (our official temporary location) and the classrooms there prepared.  
 
Thank you again to all who have offered to come to the school to help.  There are already a lot of staff who are here trying to work around the cleaning staff so we do not feel we can direct many more hands.  Thank you for the kind offers. We have been informed that there are families who are still looking for child care for their children.  If you are willing to help in this capacity please let us know and we will try to get you in touch with families who are still searching for child care.  
 
The following updates might be helpful:
  • 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.
Keep checking Facebook, the website, and email for updates.  
 
Many people have asked how they can make financial contributions.  If you would like to make a donation please go to our website (www.mcsslc.com) and visit "Flood Relief Fund." 
 
 
b2ap3_thumbnail_library.JPG
 
b2ap3_thumbnail_middleschoolroom.JPG
 
b2ap3_thumbnail_upperel.JPG
Hits: 120

Posted by on in Blogs
On the evening of October 10, 2014 a 42 inch City water main burst at the intersection of Foothill Drive and 1700 South. Water rushed down 1700 South and came into the school and flooded the entire lower level of the building. Salt Lake City has been very supportive in arranging for services to clean the building and to dispose of rugs, carpets and damaged furniture. We have been told that their insurance will cover some of the general repairs. However, many of our teaching materials and other specialty items from the classrooms that were damaged will likely have to be replaced by the school. If you would like to assist us financially, you can contribute by clicking here to help pay for items and renovations that are not covered by the city or insurance.
 
As we recieve more information about what the city will not pay to replace and how much money is raised we will post the details here so you may see how your contribution is being used. The form also allows you to contribute on behalf of a particular business or individual and you can choose whether to have that name listed on our contributors page.
 
 contribute
 
P1090395
 
 
 
Hits: 345
Posted by on in Blogs

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.

b2ap3_thumbnail_P1090407.JPGb2ap3_thumbnail_P1090395.JPGb2ap3_thumbnail_DSCF1665.JPGb2ap3_thumbnail_DSCF1629.JPG

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.

b2ap3_thumbnail_DSCF1668.JPG

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.

With thanks,
MCS Administration

Hits: 727
Dear MCS Families,
 
Our deepest appreciation to the many people who have written, called, sent text messages,  and stopped by to offer assistance.  The response has been overwhelming and we are sorry we are unable to respond to each of you individually.  
 
We have been at the school today meeting with Utah Disaster Cleanup, many city officials, representatives from the power company, and even Mayor Ralph Becker.  They have categorized the flood a category 3.  This means that there is black water with silt and contaminates (no sewage).  There were a couple inches at least in most of the classrooms as well as the library with water coming in from several places.  There is no visible fire damage and the electrical damage remains unknown at this time. They are currently working on restoring power to the building. 
 
The Disaster Cleanup and the adjustor are still estimating the damage and are asking that for now employees and families stay out of their way so that they can get the water up and move a lot of furniture.  Thank you for your willingness to help and when we know how you can help, we will most certainly let you know.  
 
Unfortunately, we have made the decision to cancel school on Monday, October 13th.  We are researching alternative spaces to hold class until all repairs are made to the building and we can bring students back in to the basement classrooms. As of now, the best guess for that time frame is three weeks.  However, there are a lot of unknowns so that is just a guess right now. 
 
We feel fairly confident that we can come up with a plan for holding school on Tuesday and appreciate your patience as we wait for further information regarding possibilities surrounding that.  We are working to set up a temporary space for the Magnolias class to meet and are considering an off campus curriculum for the Elementary and Middle School classes for several days upon the students return.  
 
Many of the classroom pets have been taken home by willing families and we appreciate that so much.  There are still some pets that might require care so if you are willing to provide long term (up to a month) care for your child's class pet, please contact your child's teacher.  
 
Updates will continue to be sent via Facebook and email.  Our Emergency Texting System is still new and may or may not be used in this case.  If you need to contact us please do so by email and we will get back to you as soon as we can.  Please understand that there are many questions still unanswered and we plan to inform you as we know more.  Most of our information might not be available until Monday.
 
With thanks,
MCS Administrative Staff
Hits: 213
Posted by on in Blogs

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.

b2ap3_thumbnail_DSCN5988.JPG

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 

www.crossmountainpress.com

 

Hits: 91
Posted by on in Blogs
Parent Education Night is coming up next Thursday, October 2nd from 6:30-8:00pm.  Toddler, Early Childhood and Elementary parents are invited.  Child care is provided, free of charge, but must be signed up for in advance in the office.
 
Scroll down for more information about each programs presentation details for the evening.
 
This is a great way to earn Parent Participation Hours AND stay in touch with your child's Montessori experience!
 
 TODDLER PARENT EDUCATION NIGHT
 
 b2ap3_thumbnail_TD-PEN.jpg
 
 
 
EARLY CHILDHOOD PARENT EDUCATION NIGHT
 
 b2ap3_thumbnail_EC-PEN.jpg
 
 
 
ELEMENTARY PARENT EDUCATION NIGHT
 
b2ap3_thumbnail_EL-PEN.jpg
Hits: 168
Posted by on in Blogs
b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_2992.JPG
 
Montessori parents have often voiced concerns about creativity in a Montessori classroom. They just don’t see it. The concern is very similar to the fact that they also see few “academic” papers coming home. They don’t receive many brightly painted pictures to adorn their refrigerators. And so naturally wonder if a Montessori classroom is giving their child an opportunity to express their creative side.
 
As concrete and hands on as a Montessori classroom and a Montessori learning experience are it requires a good measure of faith to await the outcome of a Montessori experience. Every Montessori teacher (and parents too) for the last one hundred years have often held their breath waiting to see the fulfillment of this amazing process. And then they exhale with great relief and satisfaction. After a while you no longer hold your breath because you know it is going to work – and even better than you imagined – because you see your children learning and growing.
 

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!       

Edward Fidellow

www.crossmountainpress.com

Hits: 160
Posted by on in Blogs

Montessori Children Handle Big Words and Big Ideas

b2ap3_thumbnail_P1000832.JPG

As a parent I was surprised about the words my children knew and used correctly (no, not the bad ones.) We’ve experienced them going from crying to making sounds, from sounds to their first words (mama, dada), from words to phrases (me go) to sentences – “I want candy.” It seems like a long (and sometimes frustrating) process for both children and adults to begin to communicate. We can’t wait for them to start talking and then ironically, we spend a lot of time telling them to be quiet.

The beginning formation of their language skills is “ice bergian.” Ninety percent of what they know supports the ten percent that is audible. The structure of their language has been constructed by and large with little direct input. They have been sorting out the complexity of words and phrases. They don’t yet possess all the building tools to communicate to the world they inhabit. That is why at an early age two phrases dominate their conversation – “Why?” and “What’s that?” They are continually constructing and they need solid linguistic materials to build with.

Baby talk is sweet but does not contribute to linguistic development or communications. At an early age, at least by three if not sooner, children are ready (and capable) of big words and big ideas. A Montessori education builds on this sensitive period for language and learning by introducing advanced concepts. Parents are often amazed that their child can say “equilateral triangle” let alone know what it means. But is equilateral triangle any more complex linguistically than Elizabeth Washington?

A Montessori classroom is constantly introducing new concepts and constructs and a major part of this introduction is linguistic. It does little good to point out squares or circles unless you can call them by name, define them and find them again. Montessori education is noted for its “Three Period Lesson.” First, you present the article. “This is red.” “This is blue.” Second, you ask, “Can you touch the red?” “Can you touch the blue?” (You see if they have understood the vocabulary.) Third, you ask, “What is this?” They answer “red.” “What is this?” They answer “blue.” (You see if they have mastered the vocabulary and the concept.)

Language starts with the concrete – mama, doggie, cat and proceeds to action – “me go, I jump.” And then it begins to add the color of adjectives – tall, short, biggest, smallest (all demonstrated in the classroom) until language blooms into conversation, discussion (and debate.)

When our son started Montessori at 17 months we wanted to be good Montessori parents by offering him choices he could make. Everyday for breakfast we held up two boxes of cereal and asked, “Do you want this or that?” Cereal, thereafter, became known as “dis and dat.” (In hindsight, we should have been correct and named the cereals for him – but it would have ruined a good story!)

It is important that we correctly name the words and actions of their lives. A Montessori classroom is constantly adding vocabulary to a child’s linguistic development. Studies have indicated that extensive vocabularies are a hallmark of successful adults. This process and habit of vocabulary acquisition is a foundational concept of your child’s Montessori experience.

 

While we do use body language and facial gestures, oral language is the predominant means of communication. Helping your child communicate clearly their needs, desires, frustrations, etc helps them to move on to the more complex use of language and culture – the ability to define (and embrace) intangible concepts like love, hope and faith. Ironically, (and I don’t know how it comes about) the first intangible concept they latch on to is wrapped up in the words, “It’s not fair.” But it is from there that justice, respect, duty, honor, honesty, loyalty begin to form with the child and are defined.

One of Montessori education’s great gifts to your child is the emphasis and focus on observation. Your child is given training and time to become an observer. As has been said, “You can see a lot if you just look.” The materials and exercises of the classroom are designed to aid your child during these earliest formative years to develop the habit of not only observing but of naming and defining the experience.

 

It is never just the accumulation of knowledge (or vocabulary) but the ability to use that knowledge to think, to communicate and to formulate the actions that are necessary for success. The more you talk with your child the more you develop the communication skills your child needs to succeed in the world. 

 

 

 

Edward Fidellow

www.crossmountainpress.com

 

Hits: 155
Posted by on in Blogs

What’s the Big Deal about Table Washing?

Edward Fidellow

www.crossmountainpress.com

Many parents are attracted to Montessori because of its tremendous reputation for giving their children a great academic education. Parents are willing to spend impressive amounts of money to give their children this academic advantage. But as often as parents are impressed with Montessori excellence, they are a little bewildered that their children come home excited about mopping floors, doing dishes and washing tables. (This is what successful people hire others to do.) So there is a real disconnect between what you want, what you are paying for and what you think you are getting.

b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_7087.JPG

How then does Montessori get this academic reputation if all you are seeing for six months or a year is table washing and practical life? Montessori success is not built on its finished academic product but on its sure foundation. So what kind of academics comes from table washing? It is the foundation of what constitutes Montessori education which is built on an enduring set of scientific principles. The first is that you always begin with the concrete before moving on to the abstract. There is nothing more concrete in the child’s life than the exercises of practical life. Second, Montessori education begins with the development of all the senses before moving on to the intellectual. Rest assured your child will arrive. Third, Montessori starts with the control of the physical abilities as a precursor to control of intellectual capacity. Fourth, it builds physical discipline – being able to follow through and complete a project before embarking on intellectual discipline. Fifth, it significantly develops focus on details as a skill set to accomplish academic goals. There is a major difference between 2 + 3 and 2 X 3 – and it is only a minor detail. Sixth, table washing (and all of practical life) is not only a physical challenge for beginner learners but becomes an emotional and psychological building block in the development of confidence and self esteem. Real confidence and self esteem is not built on words such as “You did a good job” (whether you did or not) but is built on real achievement and mastery. For a three, four or five year old the process of successfully completing table washing or any other practical life exercise begins a pattern of success. It is a success that comes from beginning a project, working it step by step for as long as it takes until you come to the successful conclusion. This pattern becomes the model for the next stages of academic competence.

What practical life achieves in your child is first a feeling of “I can take care of myself” whether it is table washing or tying shoes. I am given a sense of security that I have some control over my environment and my place in it. Second, it teaches me how to follow steps to success. Third, it builds my confidence by having mastered some challenge which prepares me to tackle even more complex challenges. Fourth, it refines my senses and muscular control so I can effectively use all of the hands on materials in the Montessori classroom to advance my intellectual development. Every sense, every motion, every action is focused to help me achieve academically. The academic success you hear about in Montessori is built on humble and less than impressive activities that are foundational to this amazing achievement that develops the whole child and prepares him or her for significant academic success.

Practical life is a portrait of the future!      

 

Hits: 206

ATTENTION MCS PARENTS: 

Speech and Language Screening will be September 9th. The screenings will be a brief measure of your child’s speech and language skills in order to determine if further speech and language, or hearing evaluations are needed.

The speech and language screening will take approximately 10-20 minutes to complete. After the completion of the screening, we will identify if there are concerns regarding your child’s speech and language skills or hearing. A note will be sent home with your child regarding the results of the screening and if further assessment is warranted.

You might consider having your child’s speech, language and hearing screened if your child shows one or more of the following:
· Your child has a difficult time learning and using new concepts and vocabulary
· Your child has had chronic ear infections
· You and others have a hard time understanding your child’s speech. Your child’s speech is less intelligible than their peers
· Your child does not combine 2-5 words in their speech
· You suspect your child may have a fluency disorder: stuttering
· Your child has difficulty asking and answering “wh” questions
· Your child becomes easily frustrated when trying to tell you something


·See www.letstalkspeech.com for more information on speech and language delay warning signs


Speech and Language Screening is $20.00
Speech, Language, and Hearing Screening is $35.00
Checks can be made out to Let’s Talk! Speech and Language Therapy
* Please find registration forms in the lobby area.

Hits: 153