3/12/20 Coronavirus Update

Dear MCS Community, We are continuing to closely monitor COVID-19 on a state and national level. Utilizing the recommendations of the UDOH and the CDC, we created a Tiered Emergency Operations Response Plan to be implemented at the varying stages of how this outbreak could impact our community. That plan was shared with you via email on 3/7. We are currently implementing a Level 2 response.  We encourage you to stay informed to this rapidly developing situation. We ask that you be mindful of the following advice from the UDOH and the CDC: If you develop symptoms that match novel coronavirus (fever, cough, shortness of breath), you should contact your healthcare provider via phone call or telehealth, and you should stay home from work, school, and all public spaces until you are symptom free. Older adults & people with a severe chronic medical condition should be mindful to take extra measures and...

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Developing Empathy - Parenting Connection

I believe wholeheartedly that our children require a great deal of practice at becoming empathetic, compassionate, contributing members of society and that they deserve a great deal of support along the way.  Feelings can be SO BIG for kids and, in a world that thrives on immediate gratification, it can be hard to work through the “stuff” that comes with those big feelings. This wonderful article from Montessori Nature discusses the elements a child needs to learn to regulate their emotions at a young age. 

Coronavirus Updates

Dear MCS Community,

We are continuing to closely monitor the outbreak of COVID-19. We are utilizing the guidelines of the Utah Department of Health (UDOH) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to guide and inform us through this process. We typically rely heavily on the expertise of these agencies on issues related to public health. We follow their recommendations closely and are grateful for their support in informing us about these important issues. 

Margaret Mc Donald has taken point to coordinate our Emergency Operation Plan. Our plan takes into account the CDC and local governmental recommendations, the scope of the population infected within our state and city, and the current impact of the illness upon the school population. It includes prevention efforts, measures of action for social distancing, and a quarantine scenario. An overview of its tiered response measures is being drafted and will be shared with our community as soon as it is completed. We thank the members of the Health and Safety Committee who have been instrumental in its development and review.   

The following are key points from our plan that we ask all members of our community to be attentive to:

Preventative Measures

You may be able to reduce the risk of spread of coronaviruses by taking the same steps as you would to prevent infection from the flu and the common cold: 

  • Wash hands often with soap and water. Use hand sanitizer if water is not available. 
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands. 
  • Cover your mouth/nose with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick. 
  • Stay home while you are sick and avoid close contact with others. Please note that we shall err on the side of caution and send all students and staff home should they fall ill at school.

Environmental Measures

Our teachers, custodians and cleaning service sanitize school surfaces regularly using health department-approved, environmentally responsible, and user-friendly chemicals to sanitize. The sanitizing of “high touch” areas is done daily throughout the flu/cold season. To date the UDOH has said, “Special sanitizing processes beyond routine cleaning, including closing schools to clean every surface in the building are not necessary or recommended to slow the spread of respiratory illness. Follow standard procedures for routine cleaning and disinfecting.” However, we have increased the frequency of the sanitizing of our high touch areas and additional areas can be targeted if the need arises. 

Social Distancing Measures

Currently there are no restrictions on public gatherings and therefore school life is being conducted as normal. However, this situation is developing rapidly and MCS staff is formulating plans and measures should the situation worsen. This includes “distance learning” should school closure become necessary.


We shall use our emergency notification system for Alerts if circumstances require your immediate action or attention. Otherwise our MCS newsletter and email shall be our main method for weekly Updates; please note that while these updates will provide important information they are unlikely to require immediate action. So as to allow our teaching staff time to develop “distance learning” plans and put extra attention into the sanitizing of their classrooms we are limiting the Compass Weekly Reports to a general comment. Please note, this shall mean teachers will not be providing  individual comments nor will they be uploading photos.  We appreciate your understanding. 


Stigma and discrimination can occur when people associate an infectious disease, such as COVID-19, with a particular population or nationality. Fear and anxiety regarding coronavirus may lead to social stigma towards Chinese or other Asian Americans. We appreciate your help in ensuring that you are providing support and facts:

  • Viruses cannot target people from specific populations, ethnicities, or racial backgrounds.
  • Wearing a face mask does not mean that a person is ill. 
  • Show compassion and support for those who have been most closely impacted. 

This is a rapidly developing situation and we recognize that our families are likely concerned and that you and your children may have many questions.  State leaders have launched a website, coronavirus.utah.gov,  to share accurate information about the virus and how the state is responding. We recommend that you utilize this resource to avail of the latest information. It has many helpful resources such as: how we can take proactive steps to stop the spread of germs, travel recommendations, frequently asked questions along with many other other community resources. 

If your Spring Break plans include overseas travel we highly recommend that you check to see how your travel may be impacted and what extra precautions you should take to protect yourself. 

We appreciate everyone's continued attention and diligence in helping safeguard our students, their families and our whole MCS community. 

Flyers for the UDOH and CDC have been posted outside of each classroom and at the main entrances to the school. Additional copies are available in the front office for families to take, alternatively they are available below for your convenience 

Replacement Behaviors - Parenting Connection

As a general Montessori rule, we avoid use of the word “no” when disciplining children.  We save the word “no” for very serious situations, when children are in danger. Otherwise, language is based on the replacement behavior (that which we want to see in place of the one that is undesirable).  For example, “our mouths are used for eating food” if a child bites, “why don’t you tell your peers the rules of the game so everyone understands how to play” when there is a conflict on the playground, etc. We believe that knowledge is power and when we give clear examples and explanations, children are empowered to make recurring good choices.

Substitute Position (Closed)


A well-established Montessori school in the Salt Lake City area is looking to hire substitute teachers for our Toddler, Early Childhood and Elementary classrooms. Experience working with children is necessary and familiarity with Montessori philosophy is a plus. You should be flexible and able to adapt to each classroom’s expectations, and be able to process information and directions quickly. General safety knowledge, courtesy, and ethics are required.  It would be ideal that you have a flexible schedule to be on call. You will often be called first thing in the morning and asked to substitute that day. School hours are 7:30 am - 6:00 pm, Monday through Friday.  Candidates must have First Aid and CPR Certification or obtain certification immediately upon being hired (offered on-site). Candidates must also be able to pass a background check. Please send a resume, letter of interest, and a brief description of your availability to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Practicing for Emergencies - Parenting Connection

Teaching our kids the proper response to an emergency is a skill best reviewed such as we would a Montessori lesson.  Talking through the process may be appropriate for older children, but practice makes perfect. Going through the motions, sharing and talking in casual conversation, and giving kids scenarios to practice will really seal the deal! Today recently did an article about this very thing...read it here! 

Praise - Parenting Connection

Praise is a pretty controversial topic and one could easily find plenty of research that supports both its pros and cons. What do we think about praise in the Montessori environment? Simply put, we believe in supporting intrinsic motivation and that is done through the recognition of hard work, appreciation of natural curiosity and helping a child recognize the internal joy that comes from success.  One study, Dweck, C. S. (2006) Mindset. NY, NY: Penguin Random House) showed us that students who were given praise for things that were out of their control (ie; being smart or naturally good at something) were less willing to try hard things and even went so far as to inaccurately share their successes and failures (ie; they lied about results because of their embarrassment of failure). Those who were given recognition for their willingness to work hard, do hard things, try new things despite potential...

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Toddler Extended Day Teacher (Closed)


Montessori Community School of Salt Lake City seeks a Toddler Assistant/Extended Day Teacher to work 11am - 6pm, Monday through Friday. MCS has three Toddler classrooms. You will be working closely with certified Montessori Teachers and also a team of Extended Day Support Teachers.  We seek a warm, imaginative, flexible, bright and creative teacher who preferably has worked in a Montessori environment or at a minimum has experience working with young children and is interested in working in a Montessori environment. A respect for and love of children is essential. Candidates must be able to communicate effectively with students, parents and fellow staff members. Our preference would be for someone who is interested in a long-term commitment to MCS. Candidate must have First Aid and CPR Certification or obtain certification immediately upon being hired (offered on-site). Candidate must also be able to pass a background check. This position is available immediately....

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Promoting Kindness - Parenting Connection

This amazing article in The Atlantic, written by Adam Grant, gives powerful insight to the value of prioritizing kindness and concern for others over achievement as a way of supporting children’s life-long success.   “Quite a bit of evidence suggests that children who help others end up achieving more than those who don’t. Boys who are rated as helpful by their kindergarten teacher earn more money 30 years later. Middle-school students who help, cooperate, and share with their peers also excel—compared with unhelpful classmates, they get better grades and standardized-test scores. The eighth graders with the greatest academic achievement, moreover, are not the ones who got the best marks five years earlier; they’re the ones who were rated most helpful by their third-grade classmates and teachers. And middle schoolers who believe their parents value being helpful, respectful, and kind over excelling academically, attending a good college, and having a successful career perform better...

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Behavior - Parenting Connection

I appreciated this article from Parents.com where Francyne Zeltser, Psy.D. explores with us which aspects of our children’s behavior we typically get caught up in compared to those which *should* be taking our attention.  With so many things to worry about, it’s nice to have some direction as to where our energy should be going. As Dr. Zeltser says, “While there’s no right way to parent, it’s possible to feel confident that you’re making the best parenting choices for your little ones.”

School closed due to bad weather - 2/3/2020

Due to unsafe road conditions we will be cancelling school today February 3, 2020. Our first objective is always to keep our students and families safe. We apologize for this inconvenience. School will resume regular hours tomorrow unless further notification is sent. Thank you for your cooperation and understanding,MCS Administration

Flu Prevention and Safety

It has been an especially bad year for respiratory infections, especially influenza, and many of our students have been ill. We are working hard here at school to encourage healthy practices and a clean environment, but we need help from families as well. There are a few things families can do to help prevent spread of these viruses.Flu signs and symptoms usually come on suddenly.  We thank you for keeping your child home if they experience any flu-like symptoms. Students are not permitted to return to school unless they are symptom-free for 24 hours.  In some cases, parents may be asked to provide a doctor’s note before their child will be permitted to return to school. Students experiencing flu-like symptoms will be sent home from school immediately.STAY HOME IF SICKPlease have your child stay home if they are ill. These signs and symptoms include: fever over 100˚F (38˚C)  For many adults and...

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Proper Hand Washing & Illness Prevention - Parenting Connection

Teaching proper hand washing is one of the best preventative measures we can teach our kids to prevent the spread of illness.  With flu season in full force, we recommend a couple great resources for teaching proper strategies. The CDC addresses hand washing here. B-Inspired Mama shares some clever ways to teach kids about germs here. Let’s work together to keep our community healthy!

13 Habits for Raising Well Adjusted Kids - Parenting Connection

Parenting can be exhausting, especially after looking at a list of 13 more things to do with your children! The most important thing, however, is to find the routines and habits that work for you and your family and focus on those. And don’t forget to follow your instincts. You are the most qualified to know what your child needs to become who they are meant to become.Article from Healthy Holistic Living 

The Capstone Year...What Every Montessori Parent Deserves to Know

What is the Capstone Year and why does my child deserve to have one? We often refer to the 3rd Year a child is in a Montessori program as the Capstone Year. But, what is it really that makes that year so special/important? While the reasons to leave can be compelling and are worth every consideration, we believe the reasons to stay are worth your careful and thoughtful consideration.Below is a list of 24 reasons we recommend keeping your child in Montessori for the Capstone Year: Does your child look forward to attending school? If so, consider yourself lucky. Why tinker with a winning situation when so many other families are frustrated or disappointed with their child’s school experience.Your child has waited for two years to be a leader in their class. The third year students are looked up to as role models for the younger students, and most children eagerly...

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

The Capstone Year I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the third year of the Early Childhood three year cycle. We made the decision to keep our oldest daughter in the Magnolias Class to complete the cycle (known as the Capstone Year).Last year, an article in The Atlantic called “The New Preschool is Crushing Kids” (read here) helped support our decision. In the mainstream setting, Kindergarten has become the new first grade, and Common Core standards have laid out academic guidelines for what should be completed in Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten. Research corroborates that kindergarteners spend more time doing seat work and less time doing art and music.  The net result is 2nd graders who perform worse on tests measuring literacy, language, and math skills. The cause, it is thought, is direct instruction that is repetitive and uninspired which leads to children losing their enthusiasm for learning.How do we maintain that joy for...

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Specialty Classes at Montessori Community School

Early Childhood Specialties Dance In Dance Class, Early Childhood students are introduced to the main elements of dance: time, space, and energy, so that they can decipher and make choices in their movement. The students learn how to alter speeds, change levels, utilize space, play with quality, move with their whole bodies/being, mirror positive/negative space, as well as shaping and weaving.  Music In Music Specialty classes, Early Childhood students are introduced to music and rhythm theory as well as vocal skills. They learn to sing and play instruments and to create, respond to, and understand music. In this class students are exposed to many different music styles as well as music from many cultures. Outdoor Classroom Early Childhood students participate each week in the Outdoor Classroom with our specialty teacher where they seasonally explore the plants, soil, invertebrates, birds, and weather through hands on activities. The students have many opportunities to...

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Admissions Information - An Overview of the Montessori Education

An Overview of the Montessori Education The Montessori Classroom Multi-age Classrooms: Each of our programs offers multi-age classrooms. “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” says Angeline Stoll Lillard, author of Montessori, The Science Behind the Genius. Multi-age classrooms also allow each child to move through the curriculum comfortably with little regard for how their peers are performing in comparison to themselves. A Montessori multi-age classroom affords children daily opportunities to teach a skill or share information with others. Further, because every child is particularly good at something, this opportunity exists for every child, every day.  Prepared Environment:  All the materials are easily within the child’s reach and...

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Healthy Circadian Rhythms - Parenting Connection

“A growing body of research shows adverse health effects from a disrupted circadian rhythm, such as increasing the chances of insomnia, cardiovascular issues and obesity; also a correlation with neurological problems like anxiety, depression and bipolar disorder.” How can we help keep our kids circadian rhythms healthy and why is it so important?  Maharishi Mahesh Yogi tells us all about nature’s patterns in this article by The Ayurveda Experience.

Lego Robotics - FIRST LEGO League Competition

Earlier this year parents Cheryl Baird and Stacy Bamberg created a LEGO Robotics team comprised of 11 Upper Elementary students.  This weekend the students, the self proclaimed Top Hat Team, competed in their first competition where their Robot earned them almost enough points to take them to the next competition.  They placed 8th out of 21 teams who competed, the first 7 teams qualifying for the next competition which will take place at Weber State University in February.  While they didn't qualify to move on, the team had a great time working together and took away some valuable lessons.  They remained upbeat, positive and energetic throughout the day.  We want to congratulate the team and thank participating parents for time and energy supporting our students through this fun process.  We ar already talking about how to start preparing a team for next year.  If you have a child who is currently a...

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