MCS Family Ski Day Featured
To close our Winter Sports season, Brighton Resort would love to host an MCS Family Ski Day. Tickets are at a reduced rate and can be purchased from the MCS Office. When purchasing your tickets, please ensure to make checks out to MCS.
"Go Outside and Play" Featured
"Children will be smarter, better able to get along with others, healthier and happier when they have regular opportunities for free and unstructured play in the out-of-doors."
—American Medical Association, 2005
Spring has arrived! I can't help but be excited by the thought of sunshine, hikes, water and fresh air! This article written by Jane M. Jacobs, M.A., a Montessori Educational Consultant at Montessori Services spoke to me in considering how outdoor time is such a powerful tool for our children. In the article, Jane offers a variety of ideas for making the best of your outside time with your little one.
Were you told to "go out and play" when you were a child? Now, as a parent, do you give your children the same instructions? Perhaps not, but even for the urban, over-scheduled family, there are ways to give our children more opportunities to explore the outdoors.
For centuries it was common wisdom that children needed several hours of outdoor activity daily. As Dr. Benjamin Spock said, "It's good for a baby (like anyone else) to get outdoors for two or three hours a day." Some say we now suffer from "nature deficit disorder." Children spend more and more time indoors with bright toys, beeping computer games, and flashing screens. A more contemporary pediatrician, Harvey Karp, similarly tells us that "there are exhaustive studies showing that time outdoors, particularly in nature, benefit us in myriad ways... while staying inside is over-stimulating and at the same time boring for children."
MCS' Annual Kid's Clothing Swap Featured
Spring cleaning? It's that time again to bring in all of your children's gently used clothing that is too small, or unworn and swap it for something that fits. Please drop off your gently used items in the bins located in the MCS gymnasium. You may drop off items March 16th - March 20th.
Then, during school hours, March 26th and March 27th, you may come browse the tables in the gym. Clothes will be separated into size and style. If you are looking for volunteer opportunities, please contact the office, as the Green Committee would love help sorting, folding, and displaying the clothes.
Rhombus, Reniform and Rembrandt Featured
Your child’s education in Montessori is different – so different that it makes you shake your head in wonder and say, “Is this something my child is really learning?” As parents we want our children to excel at reading, writing and math. Yet their Montessori education leads them through strange and esoteric materials. (At least they are foreign to most adults.)
Why would a three year old need to be versed in geometry? Fine, a nice circle, a square and maybe a triangle but what purpose for an isosceles triangle, parallelogram or a rhombus? Then if that is not enough esoteric learning, your child moves on to the botany cabinet. How many three year olds need botany? They are introduced to leaf forms like spatulate, orbiculate, sagitate and reniform. Most of us adults can’t even pronounce them let alone know what they are.
If that is not enough diversity in the curriculum, Montessori education then introduces them to the whole world of art. They meet Picasso, Monet and Rembrandt. What in the world was Dr. Montessori thinking? And where is the math and reading?
There is a unique method (no it is not madness) in this approach. Your child is absorbing a tremendous amount of learning and stimuli and beginning to gain the skills of observation and visual discrimination - which is the ability to see differences. The Montessori child is effortlessly gaining a lifetime skill – the ability to see. Yes, we are born with sight but sight is passive where all the images come to us. When we observe, we actively focus our sight. But even focusing our sight does not always let us see what is there. For example, we have all seen pictures that if you look at them long enough the image changes into something else – like the two faces and the goblet or the old woman and the young girl. Skills and even talents need to be trained and refined. A Montessori classroom provides an unending panorama of activities that train and refine the ability “to see”.
Though education is primarily reading and math based, life is about having a clear vision of what is present (and what could be). And though the introduction to geometry (rhombus), botany (reniform) and art (Rembrandt) is rudimentary, it is absolutely foundational to clear-eyed success. For your child everything is new and exciting. To be able to put a name with a form or a shape not only gives great intellectual satisfaction but is the beginning of power to organize, define and categorize the world that is seen.
Enjoy the voyage of discovery as your child, with bright new eyes, sees the world for the first time. It is this power of visual discrimination that gives strength and focus to the power to read. It is also this power that breaks the world of math into distinguishable pieces with the ability to see patterns and processes.
Montessori truly gives your child the gift of sight!
Our COEEF Girls are Growing Up! Featured
Montessori Community School sponsors the above beautiful girls. These girls have been growing up right before our eyes! We are so proud of their accomplishments and continue to support and encourage their goals and dreams through the COEEF Program.
Our girls have written lovely letters we would love to share with you. COEEF-GIRLS-2014.pdf. Please watch for our fundraisers this spring to continue supporting these amazing girls.
Spring Camp Registration Featured
Please find Spring Camp registration forms on the credenza by the stairs in the lobby. Spring Camp will run Monday, March 30th - Friday, April 3rd.
During Spring Camp, the students will learn all about the moon! Please look over the daily schedule above.
Download the forms here:
Parent Teacher Conferences will be held on Friday, February 27th. There will be no school that day. Sign-up sheets for the conferences are on a table in the lobby, arranged by class, from Toddlers to Middle School (please check the top of each page for the name of the class). As we do every year, we ask that you observe the following requests:
· Please sign up for one meeting time per child.
· Please be on time for your conference.
· Please help the teachers to stay on time.
· Please arrange for childcare during Parent/Teacher conferences.
We have had parents make requests for child care during the conferences. Unfortunately, as our staff is busy meeting with parents and all of our classrooms, along with some other spaces in the school, are being used we have not been able to accommodate this request. Please note that our playgrounds and our Outdoor Classroom are closed during conferences for safety and liability reasons. In order to accommodate parents who arrange to exchange child care during conferences we will make our lobby available and will provide coloring pages for the children.
We have included some additional tips that might be useful in having a successful Parent Teacher Conference:
- Write down questions or things you would like to discuss and email the teacher(s) with your questions/comments before the conference.
- Ask your child if there is anything they would like you to discuss with the teacher(s).
- Keep the conference focused on the child and the purpose of the conference-use your time carefully.
- Be open to suggestions from the teacher.
- Be prepared to share suggestions of your own. No one knows your child like you know him/her.
- If you are unclear about what the teacher is telling you about your child, ask for specific examples.
- Remember that you and the teacher(s) are a team and your main focus is meeting the needs of your child.
- Take notes so you can share information with your child after the meeting.
- Make sure the teachers have the best contact information for you and that you have a clear understanding of the communication protocol.
- Keep the teacher informed. Things happening at home often affect children’s behavior at school.
- At the end of your conference make sure that everyone understands what was talked about and what they can/have agreed to do to follow up.
- Follow up. If you have concerns that need to be followed up on, set up that time in advance.
We thank you for utilizing this opportunity to learn more about your child's experience here at school and appreciate your time. Please feel free to visit your Montessori Compass account prior to your visit so that you can see what your child has been up to!
With warm regards,
MCS Teachers and Administration
MCS Lower Elementary student Diego Reyes-Lisieski recently appeared on KSL's Good Things Utah where he shared his talent and passion for cooking as a representative of the Salt Lake Culinary School which he attends. Diego has shared this talent with his classmates at school as well. He has been a student at Montessori Community School since 2010 and has enjoyed his cooking hobby since he was very young. Nice work, Diego!
Your child wants to do what is right, even at the youngest age. First of all, she wants to because she loves you and wants to be just like you. She also has a powerful inner drive to adapt to the world around her, the world of your home, and to do so she needs to know what the rules for life are. She looks to you to show her.
As parents, if you can keep that in mind, you can create an approach to discipline that is positive, less stressful on everyone and it will assist your child in developing into a competent, civilized, compassionate and joyful person.
So, what are some strategies that you might employ?
First of all, model the correct behavior for your child. For example, if you do not want your child to leave the dinner table in the middle of the meal, then don't you leave the table to take a call or to check an e-mail. If you do not want your child to yell, then don't yell.
Here's another tip; your child is much more competent that we can even imagine. Even the youngest children can do chores around the house. In fact, so much of the trouble we have with our children at home stems from our children not feeling useful.
The younger the child, the less that verbal instruction alone works. Show him how to sweep the floor, giving him the tools that fit in his hand. Name the tools as you use them, "This chore is called sweeping the floor; I'm sweeping the floor with the broom, then into the dust pan and now I'm throwing it away in the trash." "Now its your turn." Do the task together for the first few times, so that you know she knows how to do it.
Also, remember that every activity has a beginning, middle and an end. Show your child how to go get the broom and dustpan, use it, and then put it away.
Cooperation and engaging in chores as well as the fun of family life is a sure wan to elicit the good will of your child. And remember that busy hands in purposeful activities calm your child and help her sort out her emotions. (Read remainder of article and find printable pdf version here...)
P. Donohue Shortridge, a Montessorian since 1980, speaks and writes about children and their families in the American culture. She conducts parent night talks, staff in-service sessions and workshop presentations. Visit her website at www.pdonohueshortridge.com
The first day of Winter Sports was a success! We would love to thank all those who chaperoned and made it possible for our students to enjoy and learn such great activities and develop their skills and talents.
MCS' Ski and Snowboard lessons are taught at Brighton Resort. The first day of lessons can be a bit tricky as instructors adjust groups. Instructors will assess each student and figure out what level that student will enjoy and be able to continue to develop and enhance their skills.
Our chaperones were great in helping to keep spirits high, students organized, and feeling secure. This year we have 24 Kindergartners participating in the Winter Sports Program. It was awesome to see them hauling their gear by themselves to and from the school and also to observe the older students reassuring and comforting them.
Murray County Ice is providing ice-skating lessons to a portion of our students. Again, our parent chaperones were wonderful in providing support to our students and teachers.
Spirits were high as students finished their lesson and moved into the free-skate period to practice what they learned.
Silent Journey and Discovery 2015 Featured
The Silent Journey and Discovery is coming up on February 7th from 9:00am - 1:00pm.
Sign up in the office, space is limited. Attendance is free of charge, brunch will be served & child care will be provided to those who sign up in advance.
The MCS Silent Journey and Discovery is an event dedicated to parents to provide the meaningful experience of visiting each of our programs, from Toddlers through Middle School, to experience for yourself the magic of the Montessori materials and discover how the lessons learned in our early programs set the tone and lay important foundations for later learning. This is a wonderful opportunity to gain a sense of how the Montessori Curriculum unfolds through the eyes of a child to guide and nurture the natural unfolding of the whole child to inspire a lifetime love of learning and peace.
Click on the following link to read about last year’s Silent Journey and Discovery and enjoy testimonials from parents who have participated in years past.
Winter Sports Program Information Featured
Winter Sports will be starting in two weeks. You should have received the following pdfs in your email. Please read through and ensure you and your child are prepared for Wednesday, February 4th! If you have questions or concerns, please contact Ashlee Haslam at (801) 355 - 1555.
What: Admissions Information Meeting
When: Thursday, January 15th from 6:30 - 8:00pm
Where: Montessori Community School
Who: Parents interested in learning more about Montessori Community School.
Open to the public. Sorry, adults only - no childcare provided.
The teachers and administration of Montessori Community School would like to invite you to learn more about our program. During this hour and a half long presentation we will introduce our programs, administration and staff. And, you will have the opportunity to visit each of our classrooms and meet and greet with the teachers. We look forward to sharing our approach to education and the Montessori method.
Montessori Community School serves children aged 18 months through 8th grade and we offer an extended day program, 7:30am - 6:00pm.
Montessori Community School's mission is to provide a rich, individualized educational experience, which guides and nurtures the natural unfolding of the whole individual and inspires a lifetime love of learning and peace.
The biggest challenge parents face is their children’s drive for independence. A toddler or a preschooler’s drive for independence is even fiercer than a teenager’s. While a teenager may be looking to undo parental control your preschooler is looking to share control. They are trying to become part of your world by taking responsibility for their own actions.
This drive for independence is slow and messy. Learning to walk – the first great independence is full of falls and scares (more for Mom than for baby). And it is a slow and unsteady success. Even when they accomplish vertical independence their rate of locomotion impels us to pick them up and carry them if we want to get anywhere now.
Learning to feed oneself is a second (and very messy) independence. Graduating from hands to utensils is a major success of coordination and development. Again, if we want to finish dinner before breakfast we wind up feeding our child.
The third independence is the ability to communicate – to be able to share desires and wants. Ironically, after Ma Ma and Da Da often comes the independent word No.
The fourth independence is often the ability to dress oneself. It is often a laborious, time consuming frustrating adventure trying not to get your head in your sleeve or putting your pants on backwards. (“What do you mean I have my shoes on the wrong feet?” “These are the only feet I have.”) Stripes and polka dots are just fine together – blinding maybe – but fine. This is about independence not aesthetics or style.
The fifth independence is usually potty training. Children have their own timetable and level of comfort with the process. We often think they are trained when we constantly ask them if they have to go potty. This independence is achieved for their convenience not for ours, even though it is our convenience that pushes the training. My wife always shared with anxious parents that she had never been to a wedding where the bride or groom walked down the isle in pampers. Relax!
Their independence is bought at the cost of our time. Their fight for independence is against our schedules, against our limited flexibility in our day. They don’t mean to slow us down, they just want to do it themselves. They don’t mean to make messes (which takes time to clean up) they just want to do it themselves. How are they ever going to pour milk from the gallon jug unless they try (and try and try and try?)
The challenge of childhood independence is that it is never perfect. They can’t sweep a floor as well or as quickly or as thoroughly as the adult. But how will they ever learn unless they try? “I will just wait until they are older” is a proven recipe for unmotivated, incompetent, uninvolved teenagers who then resent the end of a ten or fifteen year ride of being served with no responsibility attached.
“Help me do it myself” is the foundation of adult responsibility birthed into our children long before they can do it by themselves. “Help me do it myself” is the great gift parents give their children. It is not only the accomplishment of the task that affects the children – giving rise to feelings of competence but it is the feeling of confidence that comes because they know that we believe in them. When we tell our children that they can achieve anything they set their hearts and minds to – they believe us because we have been their cheerleaders for independence and success.
Winter Camp 2014 Featured
Fill-the-Pack Holiday Giving Project Featured
This year, Montessori Community School particpated in a service learning opportunity that touched the lives of many by supporting a local charity.
This year, after looking into many areas of need in our community, we participated
in the Fill-the-Pack Project created by the Homeless Youth Resource Center. This relatively new program provides a way to get some basic survival necessities (toothbrushes, toiletries, hats, gloves, and blankets are just a few of the items in the packs) to teens that are living on the streets of Salt Lake City.
MCS provided two backpacks for each of our classrooms to fill with items from the Homeless Youth Resource Center needs list.There was such a wonderful response from our students and families! We were able to fill and deliver 24 backpacks plus many other various items that were brought in and donated. Imagining these teens out on the streets trying to make it- these backpacks were truly a heartfelt, supportive gift. We know our community felt the spirit of giving when one family filled two backbacks on their own and many students were talking about how grateful they are to have families supporting them and warm beds to sleep in at night. Our students kept trying to fit more and more into these packs. Their kind hearts and generosity was overwhelming.
Thank you to all the MCS families who helped with this tremendous project and learning opportunity. To find our more about the Homeless Youth Resource Center, please check out the following links:
“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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Awarded "Film Of The Year" at the 2014 International Freeski Film Festival, TGR's Almost Ablaze is a global odyssey combining state-of-the-art cinematography and the most progressive riding on The Planet. Experience a new level of sensory overload as each athlete is wired for sound, immersing the audience completely in the moment. Watch as athletes push the edge to realize a heightened state. Special screening at the Tower Theatre at 7:00pm on Wednesday - December 3, 2014. [ read more... ]Every ticket holder will receive a Powder Mountain 2-for-1 Day Pass at the event.
On October 10th, just before 9 PM, a 48" water main pipe broke on Foothill Blvd sending over 2.5 million gallons of water down 1700 South. The Montessori Community School was one of the unfortunate victims of the flood. The lower level classrooms, and the maintenance room were flooded and nearly 100 students have been displaced. It will take 6 to 8 weeks for all repairs to be completed. Please join us for our fundraising event featuring the Teton Gravity Research Movie: Almost Ablaze. All ticket proceeds will go to the MCS Flood Relief Fund.