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Montessori Community School is celebrating Dia de los Muertos this week by creating beautiful candy skulls, key chains, and other festive artwork. We have three altars set up in our lobby to celebrate the lives of people we love and admire.
 
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Dia de los Muertos assures that the dead not be insulted by mourning or sadness. Instead, Dia de los Muertos celebrates the lives of the deceased with food, drink, parties, and actifities the dead enjoyed in life. The holiday recognizes death as a natural part of the human experience, a continuum with birth, childhood, and growing up to become a contributing member of the community.  On Dia de los Muertos, the dead are also a part of the community, awakened from their eternal sleep to share in the celebrations with their families and loved ones. 
 
We give a special thank you to all those involved in our Spanish program and for the wonderful job they do in teaching, sharing, and enriching our lives with such a beautiful language and culture. 
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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.
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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

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Margaret and Laura trying to keep more mess out of their beloved Uinta classroom!
 
 
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Ruby has been a most wonderful photographer and documenter!
 
 
 
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Brandi feeling overjoyed about the set up of the temporary Lower El classroom at the church.
 
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Laura in the new Uinta and Arches space.  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Joshi displays some of the Arches work that survived the flood.
 
 
 
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Look at the beautiful mural in the background! Bonnie has been hard at work. 
 
 
 
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An energetic and helpful MCS student cheers for the churches offer of space. 
 
 
 
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Kay and Lorena setting up the Magnolias temporary classroom in the Toddler Moons space.
 
 
 
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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
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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." 
 
 
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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.

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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.

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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

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Early Childhood students receive their first lesson of the 2014 - 2015 school year in the Outdoor Classroom. They had the opportunity to explore our Outdoor Classroom area, located on near the northeast corner of our school building. 
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Nature plays an important role in the development of the whole child. Works of gardening, raking, weed pulling, and other outdoor tasks assist in this development. The Outdoor Classroom is rich in science lessons, such as bird watching and naming, insect and leaf investigations, and rock classification.
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Early Childhood students explore the basic nature of land, air, water, and the creatures that inhabit those spaces.They also learn about the needs of plants and animals and creating homes for these creatures. 
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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

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Montessori Community School is offering speech, language and hearing screenings on Tuesday, 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 Let's Talk! Speech and Language Therapy for more information on speech and language delay warning signs
*There is still time to sign up. Please fill out a form and turn in payment by tomorrow morning to the Montessori Community School office. 
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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.

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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!      

 

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Forms can be found on the credendza by the stairs. Please fill out the forms and turn them into the office. Space can be limited for some classes, so it is to your advantage to sign up soon. Payments must be remitted prior to classes starting.
 
Click on the link below to access pdfs of each registration form.

Studio Classes have started this week. Please finalize this first session of classes as soon as possible.

Karate- Tuesdays and/ or Thursdays, 3:45 - 4:45

 

Broadway Kids- Mondays, 3:00 - 4:00 (Elementary), 3:30 - 4:30 (Early Childhood)

 

Ballet- Every other Friday, 3:30 - 4:15

 

Functional Fitness for Kids- Tuesdays, 3:45 - 4:45

 

Cooking with Kids- Fridays, 3:35 - 4:20 (Class full), 4:30 - 5:15 (Space available)

 

Zumba Kids Jr.- Wednesdays, 3:30 - 4:15

 

*Note: If your child is not in aftercare, but wants to participate in a studio class, they may go to aftercare until the class begins. You may pick your child up directly from the studio class. If your child stays in aftercare, your studio class teacher will collect your child and return your child to and from class. These classes are a great way for your child to develop interests, have outlets and experiences learning and growing with other friends in a different setting.

 
We will also be offering a Lego Robotics Club for Upper Elementary and Middle School students. Guitar classes will soon become available for elementary aged students. 
 
For more information regarding any club or Studio Class, please contact the Montessori Community School's office. 
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Toddlers are so excited to be setting up their classrooms and adding new works to the shelves. Ms. Kellie and Ms. Jennifer research new projects. 
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Aspens class is ready to go! Ms. Ruby poses for a picture between running copies of some work material.
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Magnolias are making headway! They are so excited to have Ms. Ana Maria joining their teaching team.
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Ms. Evi plugs away with lesson plans while the classroom is looking beautiful!
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Ms. Kay is checking to ensure everything is in order. Frank the fish is so happy with new water!
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Lower Elementary (1st grade - 3rd grade) has a lot going on-- Ms. Sophie, new to the Lower Elementary Oquirrh class is hard at work making materials while Ms. Diana is organizing new Spanish lessons.
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Upper Elementary's (4th grade - 6th grade) teachers, Laura and Margaret, hard at work exploring various props and costumes. 
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Joshi, our Middle School teacher, is in and out ensuring materials are in order. Ms. Donda, researching wildlife habitat and preparing new lessons.
 
Montessori Community School is bustling on the inside. New works are arriving, being created, and placed into the classrooms. Teachers are busy creating gorgeous spaces in their classrooms for their students to enjoy and feel comfortable in spending time. The spaces are being designed and set up conducive to a Montessori learning environment. 
 
We are so excited for this new school year to start. We can't wait to see all of our students and families at the various back to school nights coming up.
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The students loved visiting the aquarium. It has been one of the most fun field trips of the summer. We spent a lot of time observing in the Shark Tunnel and the Touch Pools. Many students were quite taken with the octopus, turtles, and clown fish. 
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The Penguin exhibit was so much fun! We were able to see and hear a presentation on penguins and enjoyed watching their feeding time. We learned that penguins really love fish! We were also able to cross the netted bridge in the aquarium's 'Journey to South America' exhibit. 
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Measuring up with Megalodon and the penguins from around the world was a wonderful experience. The students were so proud they were almost taller than the Emperor Penguins, the tallest penguin in the world. 
There were many other school groups there that day, but our Montessori students were the best! 
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Summer Adventures Early Childhood Kangaroos class enjoy their field trip to Wasatch Hollow Park.
 
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Our toddlers love lunchtime! They are always curious to see what each friend brings. 
 
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They are responsible for getting their lunch out of their cubby and preparing their food (with assistance from teachers when needed). 
 
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When lunch is finished, our toddlers are able to pack up their lunchbox, clean up their eating space, and return their lunchbox to their cubby. What darling, responsible little ones we have here at MCS! 
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MCS Elementary Students Exploring Millcreek Canyon During a Summer Field Trip
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Explore. Play. Learn. Educate. 
 
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Thank you to our wonderful Summer Adventures Camp Teachers and Staff for making fabulous field trips such a success! 
 
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Montessori Community School's Elementary students have been loving learning about Australia during our Summer Adventures Camp. Leraine Horstmanshoff plays, presents, and teaches our students different elements and techniques pertaining to the Didgeridoo and Australian culture. 

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