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Winter Sports: A Group Experience



The intent behind our Winter Sports Program is that these lessons and experiences let our students have a real-life group driven experience where there is crossover between programs; where there are great opportunities for the students to practice the life skills they have been learning and practicing in such a safe environment here at MCS. It is an opportunity to let our students explore one of Utah's greatest beauties- the mountains and our incredible snow.



Please keep in mind that these lessons are peer-oriented and group options are bound to contain a number of skill sets being presented, developed, and learned amongst the students. Some students are at the peak of that skill set and some are at the base of that skill set. However, those students are all within the same level. It can become very frustrating when friends ski/ board together on the weekends, but are grouped apart for the lessons. However, we ask that you place your trust in the ski program to group our students as they see fit and ask that you remind your children to do the same.  



We really want to enforce that as these lessons continue on, it really is a collaboration as a group to learn and practice. Snowbird has hand-picked instructors specifically for our school, and instructors go through intense training on how to meet the needs of each student in the group.  

A successful day may not be or mean that your student was the fastest, moved up a group, etc. A successful day should be evaluated on whether or not your student was safe, having fun, in an environment where they can learn without frustration, were able to communicate their feelings appropriately, follow instructions, and engage appropriately with their chaperones, instructors, and peers. Ultimately, when a student is feeling comfortable and safe, there will be more detailed, controlled progress. One of the reasons we appreciate Snowbirds Ski Program is that they take an approach to individualized instruction that is similar to our approach here at MCS.  However, their ability to separate every single skill level is limited by a number of factors. 


MCS' Service Learning Helps with COEEF's Student Success

MCS sponsors six girls through the COEEF Program. Each year we raise money for them through our annual Fun Run in the spring. Stay tuned for more information about our Fun Run this coming season.
Please read this amazing clip from COEEF's January 2017 Newsletter:

STUDENTS’ SUCCESS

Great News! 

In the last nine years, 90 COEEF students have completed high school. Of these students. 83 (92.2%) joined different universities throughout Ethiopia.

Of the students who joined universities, seven of them have successfully completed their university education and started a career.

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What Makes MCS Unique?


Montessori Community School offers an authentic Montessori education while supporting a charming and safe community for our students and their families. Choosing the right school can be a difficult task as increasing numbers in research show the impact of early education on the growing brain. So, beyond why a parent might choose a Montessori education for their child, I would like to answer some common questions about what sets Montessori Community School apart and how you will know if it is the right fit for your family.
  • Tour, Admissions Meetings and Observation: Inquiring parents are required to visit our facility prior to acceptance of their child. This allows parents to “get a feel” for our campus and to learn specifics about each program from a knowledgeable member of our staff. Following attendance at a tour or an admissions meeting, parents are invited to observe in one of our classrooms. While an observation is not required, our goal is to help parents have a clear understanding of and comfort in the design of our programs before their child attends classes. 
  • Focus on the whole child and their developmental needs: Montessori Community School offers an authentic Montessori education where equal attention is given to a child’s academic, social, and emotional needs. Along with learning at their own academic pace, children are given opportunities to learn self regulation and time management, develop and exercise independence and are given many opportunities to practice and refine social graces. Be it math or conflict resolution, lessons are given as needed, allowing children to progress at their own rate and ensuring success of one skill before moving on to the next. 
  • Mistakes are the best way to learn: We live in a time where safety concerns have made it difficult to give our children space to make mistakes. Montessori Community School is a safe place for children to explore, practice, and learn from their mistakes. Our staff is committed to helping students work through challenges in a safe and controlled environment, preparing them for the world outside of school. Self correcting materials allow children to identify mistakes within their academics and encourage children to try something until they feel confident enough to move on. 
  • Multi age classrooms: Angeline Stoll Lillard, in her authoritative research review Montessori: The Science Behind the Genius, describes the Montessori multi-age setting this way: "Montessori encourages learning from peers in part by using three-year age groupings. This ensures that as children move through the classroom they will be exposed to older and younger peers, facilitating both imitative learning and peer tutoring... Dr. Montessori was quite clear about the need for this mix of ages." These multi age groupings also allow teachers, students and parents to develop close relationships, making a team approach to education manageable and effective. 
  • Children get to choose and children get to move: Children like to make choices; they like to be the masters of themselves. In a safe and carefully prepared environment, MCS students are given the option to choose which area of the classroom to work in at any given time. The carefully prepared environment ensures that there are materials and activities to meet a variety of interest and skill level. They decide how much time or energy should be put into a particular task and children are encouraged to revisit materials or lessons as needed, are invited to move forward when they feel they are ready, and have the opportunity to actively research topics that interest them while giving adequate time and attention to the foundational skills needed in each academic area of the curriculum. Children in every program at MCS are able to move throughout the classroom, and sometimes beyond, to meet the very important need for movement in their growing bodies. Movement from work to lesson to snack and so forth ensures that children can stay engaged in their work process throughout the entire uninterrupted work cycles. Growing and changing bodies have many options for work spaces and styles. 
  • Community: MCS prides itself on having a close knit and caring community. You will find community in individual classrooms as students stay in one class for an entire cycle and because of the longevity of our teaching staff. MCS staff have been with us anywhere from 2 to 25 years. MCS parents are committed to supporting our students, our staff and our programs and a variety of organizations exist to allow parent involvement and support. A number of events encourage the community to come together on a regular basis. 
  • Variety in schedules: As part of our commitment to community and family, MCS offers a variety of scheduling options. Parents can be assured that their children are well cared for, well loved, and respected for their individuality and uniqueness without having to transfer to a different program part way through the parents work day.

Interested parents are invited to learn more about MCS at an upcoming Admissions Information Meeting on January 19, 2016 from 6:30-8pm. Adults only, sorry no child care provided for this event.

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2017 Admissions Information Meeting - New Students

2017 Admissions Information Meeting - New Students

Thursday, January 19th, 2017

Meeting starts promptly at 6:30pm
Adults only - sorry, no child care provided
Bring a friend!

Montessori Community School will be hosting an Admissions Information Meeting for all adults interested in learning more about any of our programs for 2017-2018 Admissions. Parents are invited to join us for a presentation about Montessori method, curriculum and philosophy and how they are implemented in our program to educate the whole child. Then, visit individual classrooms to learn more about each program and to meet and greet with our administrative and teaching staff. 
 
2017-2018 Application Packets will be available.

Montessori Community School serves children aged 18 months through 6th grade and we offer an extended day program, 7:30am - 6:00pm. Confirm your attendance or interest in coming on our Facebook event.

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.

   

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How to Emotionally Prepare Your Student for a Future Event


There is a power in preparing for future events by devising solutions and strategies for goals rather than emphasizing, simply, avoiding problems. 

For example, having students identify what their best hopes are for their behavior during a field trip and asking them to identify those hopes in specific detail. If the student is unable to come up with their "best hope" we can ask them to think about what their teacher or parent would likely say if asked that question. 

If you have a particular student anticipated in having more trouble than another, you could meet with a parent and/or teacher so they can hear the opinion of that other person word for word.

The following is how our school plans to approach students in preparation for Winter Sports and we suggest parents take a similar approach as you start engaging in conversations about the Winter Sports Program and the ski/ snowboard lessons. 

Sample Situation 1:

Teacher/ Administration/ Parent:
Student, what are your best hopes for your behavior during winter sports (future event) this week?

Student: 
I will behave myself/ act good/ some other generic response.

Teacher/ Administration/ Parent:
So, if you were behaving yourself/ acting good (student's words) during winter sports (future event) this week, what would that look like? (student response) What would your ski instructor notice/see you doing? (student response)

[We are looking for specific behaviors here, with as much detail as possible. We also want these behaviors to be positively worded (so it's not an absence of some negative behavior, it's the presence of a positive behavior we are focusing on).]

Teacher/ Administration/ Parent:
So, let's say that you were able to meet your best hopes. You _________, __________, and ____________ (list positive behaviors they identified they will display). If you did all those things during winter sports this week, what difference would that make?

After each future event, you want to help the student reflect on what went well (so we can do more of what works).


Sample Situation 2:


Teacher/ Administration/ Parent:
Student, what are your best hopes for your behavior during winter sports (future event) this week?

Student: 
I don't know.

Teacher/ Administration/ Parent:
Ok, well, what do you think your teacher would say? What do they hope to see from you during winter sports?

[You are looking for a specific behavior here, with as much detail as possible. We also want these behaviors to be positively worded (so it's not an absence of some negative behavior, it's the presence of a positive behavior we are focusing on).]

Student:
Um, the want me to ski well.

Teacher/ Administration/ Parent:
Ok, so if you were skiing well, what would that look like? [Student gives a description of turning, skiing not too fast etc.]

And what else do you need to do in order to ski well? Are there other things that you should be doing in your lessons to help you ski your best? [Leading into positive behaviors such as listening, following instructions, controlling their body, etc.]

So, let's say that you were able to meet your best hopes. You ______________, ___________, and _______________ (list positive behaviors they identified they will display). If you did all those things during winter sports this week, what difference would that make?


After each future event we want to help the student reflect on what went well (so we can do more of what works). Help the student process the event. If an amends are in order consider having the student write an apology letter reflecting on the behavior,  and perhaps how that behavior made you and other feel. This will help the student connect their behavior to environmental facets (you, instructors, other students etc).

This information was advised by school psychologist, Dr. Melissa DeVries.
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Our Grandmothers We Sponsor

As many of you know, Montessori Community School sponsors two grandmothers through the Adopt-A-Native-Elder Program. This year, our 3rd Year Lower and 5th Year Upper Elementary students were able to attend the Navajo Rug Show at Deer Valley Resort in November. 
In November, we did a light food, clothing, and supply drive for our Elders. However, each year around the holidays, we are able to send more directly to our grandmothers, Elvira Horseherder, and Anita Jackson.

Funds raised during our annual Fun Run go directly toward our Service Learning objectives: Adopt-A-Native-Elder Program (our grandmothers) and our girls we sponsor through the Children of Ethiopia Education Fund, COEEF.

Due to the success of last year's Fun Run, this holiday season, we have been able to send our grandmothers much needed supplies such as wool for weaving, bundles of firewood ($500 each), Fall and Spring Gift Packs, and Food Gift Certificates coming to a total of $2,239.94.

In addition to these items, MCS also sends each of our grandmothers $300 gift cards to Walmart. Please see this letter from the Adopt-A-Native-Elder Program Head. We thank you all for your generosity and support in your student's education of service and your example and spirit of love you generate and pass along to the world. 
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Victory and Peace...Marc Seldin

This morning, after spending several hours in one of our classrooms for a most lovely observation, I was lucky enough to open my email and find this beautifully inspiring message waiting for me from our Montessori friends at CGMS.  Written by Marc Seldin. 


Click here to read full blog post on CGMS's site. 

The four-year old girls were good friends, but now they’re angry. One said something to the other, tempers flared, and a friendship is in jeopardy. Fortunately, the children are in a Montessori classroom. Montessori schools use many techniques for harmony, but in this classroom they have a peace rose. One little girl retrieves the flower from its shelf, expresses her hurt, and passes the rose to her friend. Together they explore their feelings, and conflict is transmuted into understanding. The children have learned a process to maintain harmony.

In a time of resurging intolerance, we may turn to our classrooms for reassurance. They are gardens of peace, the fields where we sow the seeds of a better world. We may seek solace in the work we do, knowing that the beauty we nurture will in time blossom into magnificent flowers of justice, kindness and equality.

Recently I have found myself thinking again and again about victory. We know that peace is more than just an absence of war. But what is a Montessori victory? Do we conquer our enemies? No. We will not repair this world by subduing those who disagree with us.

Do we shout down the bigot? How much better for the world if the bigot abandons their bigotry? How much better if the criminal no longer commits crimes, if the sinner no longer sins? The second World War was conceived when the victors of the first war mistreated the vanquished; a third world war was averted when the conquered became allies. Force without justice is domination, not victory.

A Montessori call to arms is a call to the classroom. This is where we cultivate real victory.

True and lasting peace will arise from our schools, where we prepare the next generation of peaceful leaders. The work we do is ever more vital, and I urge you not to despair at the territory we still have to cover.

Let’s recall how far we have traveled from 1907, when Dr. Montessori opened the Casa dei Bambini in Rome. Nominated three times during her life for the Nobel Peace Prize, Dr. Montessori worked tirelessly to improve the rights and conditions of women and children. Justice informed her methodology, and peace infuses the very DNA of our classrooms. The strides made for liberty in the past century – the advances made for children, for women, for minorities, for gays and lesbians – do not doubt that even today we see the ripples of her work throughout all the social progress we’ve made.

That the task is not yet complete should not surprise us.

Wherever we look globally, we see the anger and the outrage of those who have felt excluded from the political process. Income inequality is at an all-time high. Far-right parties are rising across the world, fueled by bigotry, economic uncertainty and a populism born of the sense of neglect by elite powers. The political turmoil is only one of the symptoms of our broken world. We do not forget the millions of refugees fleeing war, and the victims of the terrible wars themselves.

Do not be disheartened, for as long as we teach peace there will be a light in this world.

Yes, our work begins in the classroom, but shall we stop there? What else can our school communities do?

It will not be enough for us just to stall some current agenda. When we work to defeat ISIS in the Middle East, Boko Haram in Africa, or unseat some political adversary at home, we earn but a moment’s respite. Unaddressed, hatred and violence will always return in a new form. A lasting peace requires us to heal the deeper wounds of this earth.

Dr. Montessori taught us that when children act out, it is because they have unmet needs. Is this not true of adults as well? Perhaps at no time since the second World War has the planet been so united in angst about the future. Montessori has a healing message for a broken world, and this is the time for us to recommit to telling the story, both inside and outside of our classrooms.

We can begin by speaking our healing message. Shout it from the mountaintop, whisper it in the halls of your school. Organize, promote justice, discuss difficult topics. Model peace in and out of your classrooms. Educate the children and adults in your community. Participate. Engage.

It begins and ends with our conviction that Montessori has a message of peace which will mend this world’s wounds.

Here is my attempt to formulate a Montessori statement on peace. We urge every school to create such a statement and share it. Feel free to use or modify mine as you see fit.

A Montessori Statement on Peace

  • We believe that we can change the world.
  • We believe that when you work with children, you touch the future.
  • We believe that peace is more than the absence of war. We will repair this planet by building a lasting peace.
  • We believe that anger comes from hurt and that hatred comes from fear.
  • We believe that a lasting peace comes from understanding, respect and love for all life.
  • We believe that Montessori is education for the 21st century, and the 22nd, and the 23rd – that this is the best and truest method for preparing children to become the next generation of leaders.
  • We will prepare the peace by addressing the causes of suffering, and prepare the children in our classrooms to look suffering in the eye and say “no more.”
  • We believe in the dignity of the child and of the adult. We believe that it is possible for mankind to live in peace and harmony. Moreover, we are going to make that happen.
  • We believe that all people have a place at our circles. We commit to bringing into our circles those who have been most excluded.
  • We believe that all voices should be heard. We know that when people shout, it is because they do not feel that we are listening.
  • We will always stand with the oppressed, but never fail to hold a hand out in peace to the oppressor – for we know that someday they will take it. On that day we will all be free.
  • We believe the world may be made forever safe from demagogues and dictators. As Montessorians, we know our students will laugh off the shackles of fear that tyrants use to bind the populace. Furthermore, what tyrant could ever arise from our beautiful, peaceful classrooms?
  • We believe that we may go forward so that we will never go back again.
  • We know that when we march forward from dark spaces, we will bring all of our sisters and brothers with us into the light - and leave none behind.


May we all increase our efforts to make peace.  May we all have peaceful hearts.  May we all believe in the beauty of a future full of hope, love and peace. 

With love,
Britney

Service Learning: Navajo Rug Show



One of our school’s Service Learning Programs is the Adopt-a-Native Elder Program. During the next two weeks we will be doing a drive for items to take with us to the Navajo Rug Show, which our two Elders, Grandmother Anita Jackson and Elvira Horseherder weave rugs and make jewelry for. The items donated will go directly toward our grandmothers, other Elders, and children in need on the reservation. Please look for the donation bins throughout the school.



We thank you for your support of this program and your continued involvement in your student's Service Learning experiences. We encourage you to talk with your students about the importance of service and helping those in need. 

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Día de los Muertos


Our school celebrated Day of the Dead, Día de los Muertos. Day of the Dead is a holiday celebrated in Mexico on November 1st and 2nd, which coincides with the Catholic holidays of All Saints' Day (November 1st) and All Souls Day (November 2nd). Traditions connected with the holiday include building private alters honoring the deceased. The altars are adorned with sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed. People often place the altars near graves of departed relatives.

Scholars trace the origins of the modern Mexican holiday to indigenous observances dating back hundreds of years and to an aztec festival dedicated to a goddess called Mictecacihuatl. In Brazil, Día de Finados is a public holiday that many Brazilians celebrate by visiting cemeteries and churches. In Spain, there are festivals and parades, and at the end of the day, people gather at cemeteries and pray for their dead loved ones. Similar observances occur elsewhere in Europe, and similarly themed celebrations appear in many Asian and African cultures.


In the school lobby, a beautiful interactive and educational display was created was created by Lorena Gomez-Alvarez, Head of our Dual Language Program. This exhibit provided a hands-on experience related to the cultural celebration. Hand-outs were available with instructions and a brief explanation of the holiday. 


Parents, students, and staff were welcomed to begin the tour at the main altar. The alter constructed was honoring none other than Maria Montessori. There were cue cards offering explanations of the important elements of the altar and their meanings. Some of the items that could be found on the altar were sweet breads, sugar skulls, flowers, salt, and candles. Maria Montessori was honored with photos of her with students, quotes, and some of her life's work, demonstrated by a Pink Tower at the top of the altar. 

After observing the altar, there were three crafts typically made on Day on the Dead:

Sugar Skulls
Skeleton Masks
Flowers

We hope you were able to stop by and entrench yourself in this cultural tradition; perhaps, even celebrating in your own homes next week.


We would love to express our gratitude to Lorena, and all of our staff who embrace our Dual Language Program and Curriculum. Thank you for this in depth cultural experience. 



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Book Fair Season

Book Fair Season


Montessori Community School's 2nd Annual Book Fair will begin next week: Monday, October 31st and run through Friday, November 4th. You will be able to browse various shelves stocked with books and other fun items in the MCS Lobby.

This is a great opportunity to get a head start on gifts for the holiday season. The Fair offers an excellent selection with great prices. You are bound to find some fun items for your students, family, friends, and even yourself! 

MCS' Teachers have also created a Wish List of books they would love to receive as Classroom/ Teacher gifts. Those lists can be found online or hard copies can be found on site by Wednesday, November 2nd. 

You may also start shopping the Fair NOW! Scholastic Book Fairs offer the opportunity to shop the fair online as well- for added convenience, go to this link to browse and make purchases. 
 


Online Book Fair

Please note: 50 % of proceeds will go toward a Scholastic Dollars account, allowing our school to update our school libraries. This year, we are hoping to earn enough to purchase new and updated encyclopedias and other specialty researching resources. 
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Montessori Services for Small Hands Catalogs

Toddler, Early Childhood, and Lower Elementary students received a For Small Hands catalog in their Take-Home Files. If your student did not receive a catalog, there are many copies in the lobby area for you to enjoy.

Over the years, many of our families have purchased their holiday gifts from this catalog or have encouraged family members to purchase gifts from this catalog.

If you do choose to place an order, our school will receive a percentage of the sales back as a credit for merchandise. The school customer number is 120274 and can also be found on a label on the catalog. For more information, check out their website: www.forsmallhands.com.

We love to help provide you and your family further Montessori resources. Thank you for your support and work in sharing and being apart of the Montessori spirit.
 
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Follow the Child...what does that really mean?

Montessori has a reputation for having its very own lingo and we are quick to assume that parents will interpret these terms with very little explanation or example giving.  Follow the child is one of the most common phrases you will hear in any Montessori circle.  I love Montessorium for so many reasons and this short video explaining what we REALLY mean when we say "follow the child" is spot on.  Enjoy!!!


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For Parents Who Worry (Isn't That All of Us?)

"The education of our day is rich in methods, aims and social ends,
but one must still say that it takes no account of life itself."
                                                                                        —Maria Montessori, The Absorbent Mind






I started my adult life as a teacher and I think I eventually grew in to a very good one.  So, you can imagine my bewilderment when each of my three children were "slow to read."  (Confession - I actually don't believe in "slow" or "quick" when it comes to the learning process...but I forgot about that when it was my kids!) I did all the right things.  We read books together from the time they were infants, they saw me reading for enjoyment, and they each attended very well prepared Montessori classrooms from the time they were 2 (or less) years old.  Like any other parent, I grew frustrated and worried.  

Fast forward a few years and my youngest son just recently hit his "explosion" in to reading and let me tell you, it was glorious.  It was no less glorious for him than it was for his peers who had this same explosion at 3 and 4 years old.  His world is equally bright.  And then there's me over here remembering how brilliant these little beings are when we give them the space to grow at their own pace. Children will learn every single thing we think they need to learn AND SO MUCH MORE.  They are developing every skill they need in just the right time.  As for the skills they aren't developing (that perhaps you're wishing would come a little faster) - they are learning equally important ways to manage without and building an entire skill set that they can access throughout their entire lives. 

Believe it or not, the most important job a parent has is to have faith and trust in our little people. I am absolutely convinced that they will do far more to teach us than we will them! 

I hope this article is inspirational in reminding you, as it did me, to enjoy your opportunity to sit back and enjoy the show as these lovely little beings climb mountains to reach their highest potential. Rest easy knowing that everything is unfolding just as it should. 



For Parents Who Worry (Isn't That All of Us?) by Jane M. Jacobs, M.A., Montessori Educational Consultant at Montessori Services.

By now your children are settled in their classrooms and are being cared for and educated by your extended "village." Perhaps you're still concerned about whether your child is adjusting well and learning enough. Like all parents, you want your children to be happy and learn the skills they need for success.

As Montessori suggests in the above quote, young children naturally grow and learn from their surroundings without being directly taught. 

No Need to Be Anxious

It's hard not to be anxious, especially with your first child. You learned to do all the right things as your child grew from infancy to childhood. Now your child is more capable and independent.

Because of their absorbent minds, preschoolers do not need direct teaching in order to learn. This is the period of children's self-construction, learning from the environment in which they live.

Try not to worry about what the latest expert or neighbor says. Take time to just be with your child. Adapt your home so your toddler can explore safely. Observe his new independence and sense of self. Remember to relax and have fun, too.

Did you know that children learn best when exploring the world with hands-on activities? Research shows that children who are prematurely pushed into academic drills become less creative and enthusiastic learners, and do not retain information any better than those who learn facts later. Instead, a focus on play is key at this age, helping children to develop social and emotional skills that are important for long-term success.

Everyone Compares

It's easy to look at your friend's child and compare. However, it's important to remember, we are not all alike! No two children are on the same timetable, even if they are the same age. Keep your expectations in line with your child's abilities. Change is constant with a growing child.

Beware of the accelerated-learning industry. Baby DVD's or reading programs have proven worthless and sometimes detrimental to development. It's actually more productive to let your child scoot around the floor, play with pots and pans, or sing silly songs with you. Reading and talking to your child, and helping him learn to care for himself are better options. Your job is to expose him to the world without any pressure.

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Idle Free is the Way to Be!

Hello Families,

As the seasons change and the mornings grow cooler, we would like to remind everyone of Salt Lake City's Idle Free Ordinance. This ordinance prohibits unnecessary vehicle idling over 2 minutes.

Every 2 minutes of idle time equals 1 mile of driving. As Montessori Community School works hard to be and encourage our students to be environmentally conscious, we ask that this ordinance be upheld during drop-off and pick-up times. Please click here for more information on Salt Lake City's Idle Free Ordinance. 


Thank  you so much for your support and help.

"It's the action, not the fruit of the action, that's important. You have to do the right thing. It may not be in your power, may not be in your time, that there'll be any fruit. But that doesn't mean you stop doing the right thing. you may never know what results come from your action. But if you do nothing, there will be no result." 
- Mahatma Gandhi
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"There is No Bad Weather, Only Bad Clothing."

Last night's forecast promised rain (and snow!) for the weekend.  Today, I have noticed the forecast has shifted from snow to rain and back to snow in just a few short hours.  Ahhhh, Utah! While I love the weather and all it has to offer and am particularly pleased by how Utah weather can change on a dime, I feel fiercely protective of our children and their preparation for the weather.  Nature is a beautiful gift that is best enjoyed when it is respected.  

Parents, please help your students develop a healthy respect for nature by encouraging them to be prepared for whatever Mother Nature has to offer on any given day, especially here at school!  Children should come prepared to go outside in any circumstances.  Layers, good shoes, water resistant outer clothing, and extra options are a great start. 

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Montessori Community School has always made it a priority to integrate nature into our program. Students are offered a wide variety of opportunities to extend their learning beyond the physical classroom and, in keeping with the Montessori philosophy, students are invited to experience nature as a hands on experience.  We love the phrase "there is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing."  The Portland Montessori Collaborative posted the following on their website and we are proud to say, "We couldn't agree more!"

We believe in integrating the outdoor classroom into every child’s experience at school. The outdoor environment is a place for big body play, where we value natural opportunities for children to challenge themselves physically. Children will find compelling reasons to hone large motor skills through joyful interaction with a landscape similar to that found in nature. In the outdoor classroom, open ended and collaborative play are valued, documented, and encouraged. Opportunities to practice practical life skills like woodworking and caring for plants and animals are available. A relationship with the plants and animals that live in our creek side ecosystem is developed through a process of ongoing, child-led/adult fostered investigation. There is dedicated time outside every day, rain or shine.  We believe that ‘ there is no bad weather, only bad clothing’, and children come to school well equipped to enjoy their time outside regardless of weather.

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We don't stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing.



We are looking forward to the opportunity for our Early Childhood parents to participate in the ThroughPlay study through the University of Utah.  MCS parents can expect to receive a link to the questionnaire via email shortly.  Completion of the questionnaire is a prerequisite to receiving an invitation to the presentation mentioned above.

MCS will offer child care to our families.  If you plan to attend this presentation and are interested in child care here at MCS, please email Britney at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Maria Montessori's Birthday!

Maria Montessori's Birthday!

Today, August 31st marks the 146th birthday of Maria Montessori. Today, our students recognized her and the great work she accomplished.

We are so grateful to have such a beautiful school, founded with Maria Montessori's love toward and focus on children and their natural development within a prepared environment. 

Please learn more about Maria Montessori and her life here or check out our small display this week in the MCS lobby. It is bound to inspire, enlighten, and teach you more about love, peace, and accomplishing goals you believe in. 
An Early Childhood student mixes up a cake batter for Maria Montessori's birthday.

Maria Montessori, we raise our hats to you. Cheers!

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Montessori for Elementary: Why Our Students Thrive



Trevor Eissler

Montessori Madness


Montessori elementary classrooms are fundamentally different from traditional elementary school rooms. In fact, they are so different that it can be hard to understand how they work, and why they are so great at helping children thrive.

While it would be easy to write volumes about this topic (and some have: read Paula Polk Lillard’s book,Montessori Today, if you want a detailed description of the Montessori elementary classroom), here are five key differences, and how they matter to your child’s success.

Teachers are guides, not lecturers. They individualize instruction to keep each child optimally challenged. In traditional elementary education, much instruction happens at an all-class level; students generally move through the same curriculum at the same pace. This is more true now then ever, as mandatory standardized testing forces teachers to ensure that all students meet common minimum standards. This approach by definition fails to optimally challenge most of the students, most of the time: a child who is advanced in a subject will be bored; one who is behind will quickly become anxious and concerned about his shortcomings. Montessori is different. Most instruction happens in small groups: teachers observe students and bring together children who are ready for a particular lesson. After a lesson, each child has time to practice a skill or further explore an area, either alone or with freely chosen partners. Writes Lillard: “Because the children are in a period when they have immense energy and curiosity, the secret to maintaining their interest is to keep them challenged.”In a Montessori classroom, an advanced student will be challenged to perform at his best: it’s not unusual for a 3rd grade Montessori student to tackle what would typically be considered 5th grade math, for example. At the same time, a child who struggles can get the extra support he needs, without suffering the negative effect on his self-esteem that comes from needing remedial work in a traditional elementary school setting.

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Great Summer Reading....Teaching Kids Empathy

I happened upon this lovely little post from Tinybop this morning that shares the most wonderful list of children's books that teach empathy.  These are hard times and an important time to teach our kids how to handle the world's turmoil in a healthy way.  What a great summer read!  

13 kids books to spark conversations about empathy

Lately, it seems like every other day, we turn on the news or open up our social media to find that another tragedy has occurred. Each time we’re faced with these events, we may be overcome with sadness, frustration, and hopelessness. But in these times, it’s important to have conversations with the children around us about inclusion and empathy. 

Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. It’s what helps us connect to other humans, and what makes us better humans. You may be surprised to learn that empathy isn’t an inborn trait, but rather one that must be learned – preferably during early childhood.

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Image from Last Stop on Market Street


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Stay Cool!



Our Summer Camp students know how to stay cool! This last month, despite the heat, we have been able to enjoy various field trips and activities that have allowed us to have fun and cool off!

We hope everyone is enjoying their summer and finding their own creative ways to stay cool and spend fun time together. It is hard to believe the new school year will be starting soon!
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