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.

Assistant Custodian (Part-Time Mon.-Fri. 6pm-10pm)

Description: Position entails regular cleaning of hallways, classrooms, bathrooms, and other common areas. Dish washing, garbage removal, dusting, mopping, vacuuming, polishing and detailing are regular activities of this position. Restocking toilet paper, paper towels, soap dispensers and garbage liners is performed each evening. Heavier cleaning; waxing and buffing, carpet cleaning, disinfecting, and other deep cleaning to be performed as needed. This is a part-time position Monday - Friday from 6pm - 10pm (after students have left for the day). Tools and supplies will be provided. Applicants must be able to lift a minimum of 50 lbs. Candidate must be able to communicate and work well with other janitorial and facilities staff.The school has a Facilities team plus a Janitorial team and depending on the candidate’s qualifications and performance, possibilities for upward mobility within the company may be available.Prerequisites: As required by Utah State Law, candidates must pass a full background check. The...
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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.

Attention Montessori Market Visitors

Attention Montessori Market Visitors:  This year in light of a number of severe allergies in our school community, we are asking everyone to be mindful with the food items available for sale at the Market. Please read and discuss the following guidelines with your students. We sincerely appreciate your attention to this matter!   We are asking all customers to refrain from eating food items at the time of purchase. Parents are welcome to enjoy refreshments in the area designated for Coffee Thursday, while students should only eat these items at lunchtime or in their own classroom/s before lunch (at the discretion of their teachers).All food items will have corresponding signs informing our customers as to their main ingredients. As a rule, any item individually wrapped should be assumed to contain dairy and/or eggs.We do ask everyone to be vigilant in washing hands directly after eating to help combat cross contamination.

Committee Meeting Updates

Thank you to those who participated in our Health and Safety Committee Meetings last Friday.  Many good ideas came from those meetings, which will be communicated at our upcoming Town Hall on Tuesday, October 15th.  You can expect to learn more about a possible adjustment to our vaccination policy (of which we will be seeking parent input), the implementation of a new extraordinary measures policy in regards to preventable diseases, the  implementation of a Parent Advisory Committee upon whom we can call for guidance in best health and safety practices, and updates about our accreditation process.  Please watch for an evite with details and to RSVP for this event. Note that there will be child care available for this event and thank you for signing up in advance in the office for child care. 

Combating Tardiness and Creating Effective Morning Routines - Parenting Connection

The honeymoon period for the new year may be wearing off and you may be finding that mornings are getting more and more tough.  If you find that your children are significantly less enthusiastic about bouncing out of bed and preparing for school, you are not alone.  That said, tardiness to school can have a wide range of negative outcomes for students.  Below are some ideas for young children to help bypass the drama.  Keep in mind that Montessori children are used to independence, to having a say, and to consistency. Have 5 bins of the same color available for your child to plan their outfits for the week.  On Sunday nights, create time for your child to put outfits together for the entire week.  This allows your child the option to choose their clothes for the week, while also limiting the overwhelm of an entire closet or dresser full of clothes when...
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Fun Run - September 25, 2019

13th Annual Fun Run 2019 Wednesday - September 25, 2019 Donate Now Our students have the unique opportunity to raise pledges for Service Learning Projects:The Children of Ethiopia Education Fund (COEEF) - Specifically, the COEEF program sponsors girls in Ethiopia so they can attend school.Adopt-a-Native Elder Program - Allows us to reach out to one another, share our gifts, and mend the broken circle of our relationship with the Land and the Native Americans who hold it in sacred trust.MEF Growth & Education - Continuing to grow the Montessori Educational Foundation nonprofit though grassroots Montessori advocacy and support Make a bigger impact by Helping your child to set a goal to raise a certain amount.Helping your child tell family and friends about the Fun Run. You would be surprised how many friends, neighbors and grandparents are eager to support such a worthwhile cause.Helping your child actively participate. (For example, earning money...
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Parenting Connection - Using Questions as a Teaching Tool

Questions are one of the most powerful teachers in existence. How else do we really know where someone else is coming from? And how can we possibly meet them where they are at without that information?  Asking questions gives kids a chance to think critically, use their language, and reason and decide. It’s in the presence of their trusted adults they will do the most learning. Might as well use a method that involves them! Enjoy reading about how to use questions to help a child work through a mistake or problem.

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