Bedtime Routines - Parenting Connection

It feels like adequate sleep is increasingly becoming more difficult to achieve. Two working parents in most homes, after school activities, more screen options, and a number of other factors can make it difficult to ensure our kids are getting enough sleep.  At school, we know that students learn better, experience more positive peer relationships, and enjoy school more when they are getting enough sleep. The APA recommendations for sleep can be found here and we also recommend listening to your child’s needs and adjusting schedules accordingly. Experts say that the specific time a child goes to bed isn’t as much a contributor to good sleep as a consistent bedtime routine. Be sure to follow those consistent and comforting bedtime routines to help your child achieve the best night's sleep possible. Happy Resting! 

General Admissions Information - An Invitation to the Public

Montessori Community School will be hosting an Admissions Information Meeting for all adults interested in learning about any of our programs for 2020 - 2021 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.  Parents will have the opportunity to visit our classrooms and meet our Montessori teaching staff. Meeting starts promptly at 6:00 pm Adults only - sorry, no child care providedBring a friend! 

Revised Immunization Policy Announcement

Dear MCS Community, We have spent the past several months gathering information on how adjustments to our policy would impact our school community from both practical and legal perspectives. The details of our new policy are outlined here and the new policy will be written and added to our Parent and Staff Handbooks for implementation with 2020-2021 Enrollment.  Our new policy will require current immunization records to be in each student’s file before they begin school. The policy will require that all students in the Toddler program and those in their first and second year of Early Childhood be fully immunized unless their parents have obtained a medical exemption. The policy will accept medical, personal and religious exemptions for elementary aged students, including kindergarten through sixth grade. We have adopted a commitment to herd immunity wherein the total number of our student body will be considered when accepting exemptions of any...

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A Note from the Uinta Class - Montessori Market

We appreciate your participation in the Montessori Market which is run by our Uinta (Upper Elementary) class. Their two day Holiday Market was a huge success and thanks to your participation and support, they have earned enough funds to sponsor 14/30 people to participate in this years overnight Adventure.  The Uinta class will plan and execute a river trip this year as a culmination of their Great Outdoors study of water sheds. Your continued support of the market is appreciated and serves a beautiful cause.  Not only are the students given the opportunity and experience of running various aspects of a business, but they get to support the creative endeavors of those who sell handmade goods in the market. Lastly, their funds allow them to participate in an exciting overnight adventure each year.  With the guidance of their classroom and Great Outdoors teachers, the class organizes an entire three day/two night trip. Each of...

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Supporting Effective Communication with Children - Parenting Connection

My greatest hope for my children is that they will experience healthy, rewarding relationships.  Sometimes that feels like a tall order when I can’t even manage to carry what feels like a meaningful conversation with my pre-teen and teenage sons.  I’ve learned that asking the right questions is the ticket to successful conversations. “How are you?” and “How was your day?” are sure to illicit one word answers. This article from Positive Parenting Connection shares a list of questions that will help get your kids talking!  Happy Conversing!

Is Montessori Community School the right fit for my child and family?

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...

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Are You a Good Listener - Parenting Connection

Are you a fixer? Critical thinking requires time to analyze and process information. Sometimes the best way for kids to solve problems is to talk and in order to do that successfully, they need someone to listen. Be that person. This funny video is sure to drive home my point; listening can be hard but it can (and will) be worthwhile. This article from The Center for Parenting Education is a great read for parents working to improve their active listening skills. 

Holiday Gift Guide - Parenting Connection

Purchasing the right gifts for our children can be difficult.  If you are anything like me, you want to give your kiddos meaningful gifts that engage their minds, inspire creativity, and leave everyone with a sense of satisfaction.  But what kinds of things can make us feel like we've made responsible choices as parents but still allow our littles the joyful experience of receiving?
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Parenting Connection - Presence is the Best Gift

We love health, routine, and structure in Montessori.  As parents, sometimes our commitment to these things may be the only things keeping us above water.  In the most busy times I like to remember that most likely children won't capture in their memories how well kept our homes were or which impressive meals we served, but they will remember what it felt like when we entered the room, our smile, the way we comforted and built them up in the times of struggle. Presence is the best gift we can offer our children.

The Power of your Child's Birth Story

Have you ever told your child the riveting and powerful story of their entrance into this great life? This is one of my favorite aspects of parenthood. Instilling wonder and thoughtfulness about your child’s emergence to earth is truly awe inspiring for them. Hearing the story of their own birth can calm a child’s fears, can build a child who feels down or sad and can bring great joy to any child. Understanding not only the emergence itself, but the powerful emotions tied to their anticipated arrival and their delivery give a child perspective into their powers as a human. Understanding their place in a family, their most important community of all, is hugely rewarding for a child. Children deeply appreciate learning how their own birth made a marked difference in the history of the universe. A child will love this story at any point in their life, but the most crucial...

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Parenting Connection - The Inside Voice

The Inside VoiceOne of the things that probably impressed you when you visited your Montessori school was somethingyou didn’t see, or actually, hear – cacophony. Cacophony is a ten dollar word that might be bestdescribed by what you experience in a New York traffic jam, or when an orchestra tunes up – or in atypical day care. The lack of cacophony (might as well get all the use we can out of the ten dollar word)begins with a very simple premise, and most notably found in Montessori schools – the inside voice. It isan amazingly simple, yet profound exercise. When there is a ceiling above your head - you use yourinside voice.The advantages of the training that comes with “the inside voice” are many. No one is yelling quiet. Youcan hear yourself think – which is one of the great outcomes of a Montessori education – the ability tothink. You operate...

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Immunization Fact Sheet

The terms immunization and vaccine/vaccination are interchangeable. Through immunization/vaccination, healthy children are exposed to small, often inactive pieces of a germ so that their immune systems can learn to fight that germ if/when they are ever exposed to it.  Examples of Vaccine-preventable illnesses include influenza, or the "flu" (over 100 children died from influenza-related causes last flu season in the US), measles (In 2019 thus far, outbreaks of measles were reported in 31 states including Idaho, Colorado, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, and California), rubella (“German measles”), pertussis ("whooping cough") and several kinds of meningitis. Children who are not immunized for any reason are at greater risk of severe consequences from vaccine-preventable illnesses.  Medical exemption for immunizations: some individuals cannot receive immunizations or vaccines because their immune systems do not mount a protective response to immunizations, including very young infants, individuals with cancer, organ transplants or conditions affecting their immune systems. These people depend upon others (“herd immunity”) to be...

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Charge Your Electric Vehicle at Montessori School

Montessori Community School is excited to announce our first two electric vehicle (EV) charging points. They are available now for staff and parents to use while at the school.The Montessori curriculum includes a connection with the environment. We appreciate opportunities to explore green energy and different ways that they can help preserve our precious environment with our students. We want to continue to be role models for our students, which is one reason that we installed solar panels on the roof to power the school in 2013 as an alternative fuel.The school received a grant from Rocky Mountain Power a few months ago with the help of Leaders for Clean Air. The grant afforded the school with two fast chargers. The chargers are located on the South West side of the building. These chargers can be utilized by staff or parents while EV drivers are on campus. We request that you...

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Townhall 2019 - Meeting Minutes

Townhall 2019 15 October 2019/ 6:00-7:30 pm / Gym Meeting Facilitator: Margaret Mc Donald Minute Taker: Katie Baucom Time Keeper: Britney Peterson Objective: The purpose of this townhall is  to inform and engage stakeholders in regards to the progress being made in revisiting the MCS Immunization Policy, the refinement of best practices for health and safety purposes, and to solicit input in the Accreditation process.  Meeting Norms: Contribute to meeting’s goals; Listen with an open mind; Challenge the problem, not the person.In attendance: Approximately 8 Elementary parents, 19 Early Childhood parents, 7 Toddler parents. 20 attendees were staff members, some who are also MCS parents. Agenda Item Description & Minutes Duration Welcome Introductions 0:05 Action Item #1  Brandi Allen Background information was provided: At the beginning of the year parents raised concerns about vaccines and allergies at school. These concerns have been discussed in the context of 3 committees that were...

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Sun Safety - A Year 'Round Safety Suggestion : Parenting Connection

As a staff we are always trying to maintain a comfortable balance between sun safety and the immense need to get our children outside for play and movement.  As you well know, our children are not always easily convinced of the critical need to cover adequately. It is essential that we continue this important practice even during the cold months, when the UV rays are equally impactful.  We go to great effort to teach our children the importance of full coverage and how to apply sunscreen thoroughly (while offering assistance to children as needed).  We encourage our families to advise their children of the importance of sun safety and appreciate the following tips provided by one of our MCS parents.  Utah has the highest melanoma (the most deadly skin cancer) rates in the United States (read detailed article here). Given our altitude, a large number of sunny days, great outdoor activities, and a...

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Process More Important Than Outcome - Parenting Connection

Process Over Outcome: Montessori children learn by doing.  At school, we prepare the environment and ensure a child has the tools they need to be successful, and then we are hands off. We recognize that kids learn best by doing (and that this can involve making mistakes). Process overrides outcome, which involves adults letting go of control.  Lastly, the more trust we place in our child, the more successful their process will be.

Summary of International Montessori Council Accreditation Self-Study Ratings

There are a variety of reasons we are seeking accreditation as a Montessori school: Guaranteed quality;Program assurance;Accreditation ensures that standards represent a consensus of values, and that standards and procedures are fairly and consistently applied;Accreditation is one of several means used in identifying programs for the potential investment of public and private funds, and for determining eligibility for federal student assistance;Professional Credibility;The Montessori field gains enhanced credibility through the accountability provided by accreditation. Certifying bodies and state agencies are assisted in the process of issuing professional credentials, registration, or licensure. We decided to undergo the International Montessori Council accreditation program because they work with the variety of trainings our teachers have, from veteran teachers who have been with us for 20+ years to recently certified teachers, rather than requiring all of our staff to have one particular certification. We have been impressed by the quality and availability of their teacher certification...

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Townhall 2019

In our ongoing efforts to provide a safe, nurturing and inclusive environment for the entire MCS community we have welcomed the recent questions and input from parents on school policies, procedures and administrative practices. The subsequent discussion surrounding vaccinations, infectious diseases, and best practices has yielded much food for thought. This work, in collaboration with interested stakeholders, has helped shape our priorities and inform the revision of policy as well as the creation of targeted interventions that will help keep our students, families and staff healthy and happy. We invite all MCS Stakeholders to join us for a Townhall this coming Tuesday, October 15 @ 6:00pm in the MCS Gym. The Townhall is intended to inform and engage stakeholders.  We invite you to review the below information in preparation for the Town Hall. We also invite you to participate in a poll that will be sent out following the Townhall.  Please note...

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Please join us for a Townhall Meeting on October 15, 2019 from 6:00pm-7:30pm.  At this meeting we will apprise our parents and staff of the work currently being done on several matters that impact our entire community.  You can expect to hear updates regarding two new policies we are working on (one addressing vaccinations and the other addressing highly contagious illness that impact our community), our progress with the accreditation process, and the introduction of a Parent Advisory Committee in regards to health and safety.  We also ask that you participate in a Q & A at our Townhall Meeting.  Please note that we will share these policies in next week’s newsletter and that following the Townhall meeting parents will be asked to participate in a poll to weigh in on policy adjustments.  We thank all who have shared their time, resources and specialties throughout this process.  

The Benefits of Risky Play - Parenting Connection

Phrases like “helicopter parent” and “lawnmower parent” have earned their reputation with great legitimacy.  While the world is changing and childhood may provide more opportunity for danger “in this day and age”, the adult’s approach to protecting children from danger may be more harmful than helpful in some cases.  Not only does risky play provide greater strength to the child’s body, but it also teaches skills of assessment, resiliency, and strategic thinking. Small steps with mistake making, practicing the proper use of judgement, and assessing risk are essential skills which prepare a child for success as adults. Practice makes perfect!   This article on Montessori in Nature is a great resource for determining which kinds of risk are appropriate for your child.

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