Wilmington Montessori School
Wednesday Weekly
Like us on FacebookFollow us on TwitterFind us on YelpView our profile on LinkedInFind us on Pinterest
 September 12, 2012
First Day of School Bubbles
Welcome back!   
On Tuesday, September 4, 2012, Wilmington Montessori School welcomed students and families back to school for the 2012-13 school year.  
Children were delighted to be greeted by WMS's traditional flurry of bubbles, followed by a warm welcome from Interim Head of School Marie Dugan. 
For more photos from the first day of school, check out our Facebook page.

Marie's Message  

Marie Dugan, Interim Head of School

The 2012-13 school year started on August 27 with a gathering of WMS's entire staff. We met in the Great Room all day to re-connect, plan, brainstorm and meet some new members of the WMS community. Board members came to welcome everyone and discuss this year's focus on WMS as a growing, stable, model independent Montessori school - still the largest in Delaware and one of the most nationally-recognized by the American Montessori Society. 

Alumni parent Leslie Connor led a transition workshop that was titled "Goodbye-Hello." As many of you know, the 2011-12 school year was a challenging one for the WMS community. Leslie helped us let go of those struggles and move forward with optimism and dedication to re-build our community and enrollment and continue strategic planning into the future.  


Be sure to stop in the lobby where you will find a tree, cut from our woods by graduate Ben Connor, on which the entire WMS staff hung our white flags with words and phrases that we each connect with our beloved school. Seeing the display in the lobby makes me smile as I recall the peace and pleasure of our first day this year.  


Staff tree


One week later, we were ready for the children to walk through the front door, covered with rainbow-colored bubbles that flew from the bubble machine to delight them as they walked in to meet their teachers. 

Another wonderful first-day-of-school surprise awaited teachers and staff members in the Great Room! Our board members had prepared a spectacular breakfast for everyone - quiche, bagels, yummy smoothies, fresh breads, a giant bowl of fresh fruit, coffee, tea and milk!  We thank the Board for this memorable early morning event, especially Susie Ventresca and Anna Quisel, who were the creators of the beautiful array of food!

Welcome to a very special year!

Mark Your Calendars

13            Back-to-School/
                Curriculum Night *  

                7 p.m.

19            Welcome Back/
                Peace Assembly

                9:30 a.m., Gym
                (Chalk4Peace drawing
                to follow) 

                Curriculum Night
                5-7 and 7-9 Programs
                7 p.m.

22            WMS @ India Fest -

                11 a.m. - 7 p.m.
                Bob Carpenter Center  
                Want to help? 
                Sign-up outside
Conaty's office. 

26            Yom Kippur - No School
                Pre-registered child care
27            Back-to-School/
               Curriculum Night *

                7 p.m.
1            Montessori Monday -
              9:30 a.m., meet in
              the lobby. 
Tell a friend! 


2            Dr. Steve Hughes
              Presents - Montessori
              and Building 
              Better Brains 
              7-9 p.m.
              at Gladwyne 

3            Student Portraits 
              Details TBA
              Co-op assistance still

11           Montessori: It's About
              Making Connections
              (or "E.T. Phone home" 
              presented by
              Trevor Eissler

              Register online
              7 p.m.   

* Child care is available for these evening events at $10 per child. Advance registration (of at least 24 hours) is required so staffing can be planned accordingly. Contact Cass_Winner@wmsde.org to sign up.  
Subscribe to WMS's Online Calendar  
Did you know that you can subscribe to WMS's online calendar?

Simply log into your Google account, then click "+Google Calendar" at the bottom of our calendar page.  You'll be asked if you want to subscribe.  If you do so, you will be able to view the calendar on iOS and Android devices, along with any others that support Google Calendar.  Enjoy!
Great news!
At last Thursday's Town Meeting, the Wilmington Montessori School Board of Directors announced that WMS has received a $500,000 gift. Along with this generous gift, the donor has challenged the community with the opportunity for a match of another $500,000 gift if the school is able to raise $500,000 per year for two years.
Co-op Corner
Odyssey of the Mind Co-op
Hello! We are Susie Ventresca and Anna Quisel, and we are working to strengthen the partnership between WMS and our families. We think every family should be able to find a great way to help out at school and we want to make that happen. Here's why:

Anna: When my kids started at WMS five years ago, we came from a school, like most, with no parent co-op program. I wanted to be involved in my kids' school, but had few choices. I was excited to find so many ways to help at WMS. My kids and I have cleaned their classrooms, exploring all the materials and their work. I have typed stories for children in the 5-7 program, gardened and coached an Odyssey of the Mind team. Not only did I feel that my contributions made a difference at WMS, but I have also gotten to know WMS better, and my kids have seen that I care about their school.

Susie: The co-op program was one of the reasons we chose WMS as our oldest son started preschool seven years ago. We loved the feeling of community and felt reassured knowing we were joining a school filled with other parents who wanted to be actively involved. Being active in the life of the school has been a wonderful experience for our family. Our kids love to see us helping out and it reinforces for them the priority that school and education has in our lives.

We asked Marie Dugan about the history of the co-op program at WMS. Marie shared with us that: "WMS has had a co-op program with required hours since it was started by a group of parents in the 1963-64 school year. Parents have accomplished a lot. For instance, we cataloged the entire library through our parent system. Currently, we save the school money through the co-op system, but I believe that the value is not in money. The value is in community building and support for the children and teachers. It was always meant to be fun!"

In this weekly column, we will inform you about different aspects of the parent co-op program and highlight some of our parent volunteers. Research shows that when parents are involved in volunteering at their kids' schools, kids perform better academically - more on that coming soon. 
Co-op jobs are listed on the main co-op board across from the library, and on the website at www.wmsde.org/co-op. Have questions about co-op?  Contact Susie and Anna at co-op@wmsde.org
News & Notes
Pink Towercurriculumnight
Curriculum Nights

Curriculum night is the opportunity for you to meet with your child's teachers, meet other parents, visit the classroom and learn about the curriculum and activities planned for the school year. We hope to see all of you there!

Curriculum Nights are scheduled for: 
Toddler: Sept. 13 at 7 p.m. 
Preschool: Sept. 27 at 7 p.m. 
5-7 & 7-9 Programs: Sept. 19 at 7 p.m. 
9-12 Program: Sept. 13 at 7 p.m. 
Child care for curriculum nights will be offered to families at a cost of $10 per child. Please email cass_winner@wmsde.org to register at least 24 hours before the event.
Children Reading - Adopt a Book

Adopt-A-Book Update
by Elizabeth Varley


Thanks ever so much to the DePonte, Gatti and Garagozzo families for kicking off the 2012 Adopt-A-Book campaign. The books you have picked are ready for you to check out at the library, please stop in one morning between 8:30 and 12:30. 

All of the available books are on display in the library, so to all our other families, please stop in and take a look at what we have to offer this year.  We have a mix of fiction and non-fiction and offerings at reading levels from very easy to fairly complex. 

The forms are available online, in the library and at the front desk. We also have some other new books on display that we were able to purchase through a gift from Michael Jones, class of 2012. 

Happy reading!



WMS to celebrate International Day of Peace - September 19      

"Avoiding war is the work of politics, establishing peace is the work of education."

- Maria Montessori


Next week, the WMS community will gather to celebrate the U.N. International Day of Peace with a school-wide assembly.  


At 9:30 a.m., we will gather in the gym to reflect on the concept of peace around the world.

Then, students of all ages will emerge from the school to draw images of peace on the pavement throughout the campus as a visual reminder of the school's commitment to being a peaceful community. 

This activity is part of the Chalk4Peace program, which advocates for peace world-wide by encouraging young artists of all ages to draw their vision of peace in public and private spaces with sidewalk chalk.

Parents are welcome to come enjoy these festivities with their children!  

Preschool Peace Line-up

Montessori Madness
Join us for an evening of Montessori Madness on October 7!

In a presentation called "Montessori: It's About Making Connections (or E.T. phone home)", Trevor Eissler, a Montessori father and advocate, will talk about the importance of personal, conceptual and community connections in Montessori education and how these principles are relevant to our children, ourselves and our world. 

Trevor has traveled to bring Montessori awareness to mainstream society. His workshops combine stories about his real-life experiences as a Montessori parent along with his informed and persuasive discussion as to why Montessori education is so relevant and important for every child. 

Space may be limited, so register today to reserve your seat! To learn more about Trevor and this event, visit www.wmsde.org/trevoreissler. Bring a friend - this event is free and open to the public!
Room 12 Letters
7-9 students thank first-responders on 11th anniversary of 9/11
In honor of the 11-year anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, students in the 7-9 program created beautiful cards thanking local law enforcement and first-responders for keeping them safe.  Later this week, local police officers will come to WMS to accept the cards and give a brief presentation to the class.

A sampling of these cards can be viewed on the WMS Facebook page 

Join WMS's Mailing List!