Wednesday Weekly
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November 7, 2012
This Week at WMS
Room 8 Votes
9-12 Presentations
Highlights of this week in pictures (more to come on Facebook):

Left - 9-12s came to school dressed as U.S. Presidents on 
Election Day (more on that in Marie's Message). 

Center - WMS families enjoyed a campfire at Ramsey's Farm on Friday Night.

Right - Room 8 held its own preschool Presidential Election yesterday. The reasons students gave for their selections largely centered around their opinions of Sesame Street and other PBS programming!
Marie's Message 


Our on-site Annual Fund Drive event ended on November 2, and we are missing the fun that occurred at arrival each day! The children enjoyed the music, dancing, treats, juggling, the friendly troll and the spin art.      


We are grateful to the many staff members, parents and board members who offered their time and talent. Thanks to everyone for the $54,000 raised in support of our operating fund and enrichment. We will be mailing letters next week to our extended community (grandparents, alumni and other friends) to continue to work toward our goal of raising $100,000 by the end of our fiscal year. All of our staff and board members have made contributions - 100% participation is impressive! Families are at the 60% level, but we are still working toward 100%! Please consider adding a donation of any amount in the pumpkin in the lobby. Leave your name on a pledge form so we can count you toward the percentage of participation. Thank you.


I had the pleasure of being with our 9-12 students on Election Day at a program honoring our United States Presidents. Each dressed the part, and spoke about their choice, sharing their research with the audience. After the performance, they each placed a vote for the 2012 election. Who did they choose? Mitt Romney or Barack Obama? Ask one of them when you pass in the hallways! They are studying election process and issues.


Fifty teachers and administrators from elementary and early childhood programs throughout the region (including many from WMS) were expected at school tonight for a professional development program titled "Introduction to Asperger's Syndrome," presented by former WMS teacher Jennifer Fulton. Due to the weather, this presentation has been re-scheduled for Monday evening from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Visit to learn more about upcoming programs for educators or register for Monday's workshop. Also, feel free to tell any teachers you know from other schools about our professional development programs - we welcome Montessori and non-Montessori teachers alike! 

Mark Your Calendars

7           Positive Parenting Course
             Week 1
             7-8:30 p.m., Library            
             Registration is still open - come tonight!

9           Dance Party
             6 p.m., Gym

The Journey - Parent Education        
             9:30 a.m., Meet in the lobby
             More on parent education

14         Picture Make-Up Day
             Great Room - forms available in lobby 

15         Montessori Madness Book Club
             Books are still on sale at the Front Desk
             for $10!
             9:15, Room 26

20         Grandfriends Day
             8:30-11 a.m.

21         Thanksgiving Vacation
             No school.
             Child care open.
             Please register in advance
22-23    Thanksgiving Vacation
             Building closed - no school or child care.


3           Montessori Monday - Admissions
             9:30 a.m., Meet in the lobby
             Tell a friend!
             Learn more about admissions events.

19         5-9 Winter Concert
             9:30 a.m., Gym

20-21    Winter Vacation
             No school. 
             Child care open.
             Please register in advance. 
Co-op Corner

Return of the Weekend Warriors         


Gardening The Buildings and Grounds Committee is bringing back the Weekend Warriors! On Sunday, November 18 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., we are looking for volunteers to help complete much-needed odd jobs around the school. There are a variety of tasks, ranging from light carpentry to painting to cleaning to gardening. We even need a volunteer or two who can watch kids on the playground while parents are working. No matter your skills (or lack thereof), we need you. If you can donate time, we have a job for you!


Materials for jobs will be provided. You may want to bring your own gardening gloves or tools, depending on what type of task you want to take on.


We will have coffee in the morning and pizza for lunch. Join us for the full four hours, or any part.


We would appreciate it if you signed up ahead of time so we can plan our tasks accordingly, but drop-ins are welcome too. Click to register online.

To find out about more current co-op opportunities, check your classroom bulletin board and web page. School-wide opportunities are posted on the co-op bulletin boards near the lobby and at the top of the Aspen wing and on the school website.

If you have ideas, questions, comments or need help finding co-op jobs that match your interests and availability, please contact us at


Parent Education
Encouraging Our Children Toward Independence 

Parenting Tips
by Certified Parent Educator (and WMS Great-Grandmother) Yvonne Nass



Children are great observers. They learn from what they see and how it makes them feel.

Very often, in our busy lives, we forget how powerful a smile can be. In our preoccupation with where we are going and what we need to do, our body language and facial expressions can send negative signals. Often times, our child can feel responsible for our mood.

Smiling is a quick and easy way to connect with those we care about the most. Sharing a smile is sending an unspoken message of love and caring.  When it is returned, your heart will be warmed.

postiveparentingWant to learn more from Yvonne? Sign up for her upcoming parent education course.

Positive Parenting: So, how's this supposed to work, anyway? - Five-week course starting TONIGHT (Wednesday, November 7)
"I've been hearing about this class since I got to WMS and it's as great as I heard! I have new strategies to work into our routines and new language...recommend to all the parents I know!" 
- Positive Parenting participant   

Learning the ropes of parenting and need some experienced insight? Been a parent for a
while and feel like you need some additional perspective? This is the course for you!  
This five-week series will cover skills that will help parents and caregivers create a strong, respectful and trusting relationship with their children. Join us in learning and sharing, in a supportive and encouraging setting. The topics include:  
  • Listening
  • Inviting cooperation
  • Encouraging self-sufficiency
  • Discipline with respect
  • Dealing with emotions, including anger.
When: Wednesdays, beginning November 7, 7 - 8:30 p.m. (No class on 11/21 due to Thanksgiving) 
Where: Wilmington Montessori School 
Cost: $100 per person or $120 per couple (includes all five sessions)  
Registration: Online

Register Now Button  

Note: This workshop is open to families outside the WMS community, so tell your friends!
Alumni News
Justin Holbrook, Class of 2000
Justin Holbrook, class of 2000, visits WMS

Almost 20 years ago, Justin Holbrook walked through the doors of Wilmington Montessori School for the first time as a kindergartner. The next seven years would be filled with memories, ranging from performing Shakespeare as an elementary student to befriending the school's pigs Chester Bacon and Porkchop to independent learning and lifelong friendships. Yesterday, Justin returned to WMS and shared the story of how his Montessori education made him who he is today.


During his time at WMS, Justin enjoyed all aspects of the Montessori experience.


"I became an independent learner and learned to think for myself," he said. "I loved the fact that we got to follow our interests and pick our own path - it really gives you motivation to learn."

In particularly, he credits WMS with helping him learn to organize his time, do in-depth research and develop strong writing skills. Academics, however, were only part of what made his WMS experience so life-changing.


Justin's favorite WMS memories include classroom birthday celebrations, performing in Helen Gatsby's Shakespeare troupe while in the 9-12 program, listening to former maintenance director George Maris sing in classrooms and at the holiday concert, playing on the soccer team (he now is an assistant coach for Goucher's team and coaches local club teams as well) and meeting a best friend in kindergarten who continues to be one of his closest friends today.  

"We had a small graduating class," Justin said about the WMS class of 2000, "but I still keep in touch with nearly half of them today. My best buddy and I have been friends for 19 years!" 


After graduating from WMS, Justin attended Wilmington Friends School, then completed his undergraduate degree in education (with a minor in Spanish) at Goucher College in Baltimore. Now, Justin is using his Montessori background as a first-grade teacher at Baltimore's Roland Park Elementary/Middle School.


"My Wilmington Montessori School experience shaped me as a student and a teacher," Justin said. "It was one of the biggest reasons I chose to pursue education as a career - because of the amazing experiences I had at WMS, the wonderful teachers and Marie Dugan's strong leadership and encouragement."


While Justin doesn't work at a Montessori school, he tries to make use of Montessori principles and activities when possible.  He has set up his classroom like a Montessori room, encourages independent thinking and says he runs a student-centered classroom. He has even initiated a partnership with Arlene and Erin's 5-7 class at WMS.


"It will start out as a pen pal program," Arlene explained, "then in February, we will work together on a larger project for Black History Month."

Look for more information about this project in the Wednesday Weekly in the coming months.

"I'm excited to be working with a WMS class on this project," Justin said. He also said he looks forward to helping the school reach out to alumni as we plan for our 50th anniversary celebration during the 2013-14 school year. 


Thanks for visiting us, Justin! 

Have alumni news or a suggestion for an a profile on a former WMS student?  Email

News & Notes
PTO meeting minutes available online

Couldn't attend last week's Parent-Teacher Organization (PTO) meeting? Minutes are now available online, and printed copies have been placed throughout the school. Stay tuned for info on our next meeting! 
steel drum
Montessori Steel Band seeks students with musical experience for upcoming performances

Montessori Steel Band is still looking for a few students, ages 8 and up, who can read music or might have music experience to join us for shows at the Grand Opera House and Wilmington Montessori. The group practices on Wednesdays from 4 to 5 p.m.

Contact for details!

Marie Dugan, Interim Head of School Writer/former WMS parent publishes article about Marie Dugan and WMS

Greer Firestone, parent of two WMS alumni, recently published an article titled "Marie Dugan: Educating the Absorbent Mind" on his popular blog. 

The article discusses Marie's return to WMS, as well as the impact of Montessori education on the lives of his now-adult children.  

It can be viewed in its entirety here.  

Dance the night away on November 9 from 6 to 8 p.m. and help WMS fifth-graders raise money for next year's GCAP trip to New York City! Your $10 ticket (or $35 for a family of four or $45 for five) includes dancing, raffles, dinner, dessert and more!

This event is for all ages, and there will be a special area for our youngest students to safely dance! Recent WMS alumni are invited too, so tell your friends to join us for this fun evening! 
Tickets are on sale in the lobby before and after school - buy yours today!

Dance party
grandfriendsGrandfriends Day - November 20

Grandfriends art 2 Grandfriends are special people in our children's lives - aunts and uncles, family friends, grandmothers and grandfathers, and even great-grandparents. 


On November 20, 2012, we will celebrate these important individuals on Grandfriends Day!


This is a wonderful opportunity for Grandfriends to spend the morning with your Montessori child and experience a glimpse into his or her daily school life.  They will also enjoy refreshments, activities with students, a special musical treat, and an exciting presentation on Creative Grandparenting by Head of School Marie Dugan.


Two paper invitations (with beautiful drawings created by WMS elementary students!) and envelopes were placed on your child's locker (or given to his/her teacher for distribution) on Monday. Your child may decorate them, and then please help them mail them to their grandfriends this week.


We have also attached a PDF file of the invitation with a blank space on the cover of the invitation which your child can customize with a personalized drawing or message (click to download the invitation now). Please feel free to print and send out more than the two paper invitations your child brings home!


Here are the Grandfriends Day details:


When:  November 20, 2012


Time:  8:15 - 11 a.m.

Grandfriends Art



8:15-9:15 a.m. -  Registration in the lobby 

8:30-10 a.m.    -  Elementary classrooms open to grandfriends for visits

9-10 a.m.         -  Preschool and toddler classrooms open to grandfriends for visits

10-11 a.m.       -  Reception in the Great Room including refreshments, musical treat and presentation by Marie Dugan


Where:        Wilmington Montessori School

                  1400 Harvey Road 

                  Wilmington, Delaware 19810 


Grandfriends may RSVP to or call 302-475-0555.


We look forward to meeting your children's Grandfriends soon!



Warm wishes,


The Grandfriends Day Committee 
Passive Fundraising at WMS: Target's Take Charge of Education® program by Stephanie Wolynetz 

Hi, my name is Stephanie Wolynetz and I'm working within our new PTO to tell you about some ways our school can passively earn money. I say "passively" because most of the incentives are aimed at actions that we, the WMS parent community, already do on a regular basis. Many local and national businesses are offering programs that give back to the local communities where their customers reside. My goal is to help educate all of us on how we can maximize the donations these companies are offering toward WMS. To that effect, look for more articles here in the Wednesday Weekly on what you can do to help WMS take advantage of these programs.  

Target Take Charge of Education For example, our school is already earning money passively through your purchases at Target. Thanks to all of you currently participating in the Target Take Charge of Education® program, our school has received a total of $582.06 as of August of 2012. Currently, we have only 24 families/staff members signed up with this program. That means only 24 of us has taken the few seconds to link our Target Red Cards to the program and have designated WMS as our school. We are really missing out on this great opportunity to get free money for our school from a major retailer that many of us use on a regular basis. Imagine what we could earn if all of us were registered!!!!      


Here's how the program works: By simply shopping with your Target® Visa® Credit Card and designating our school, a percentage of the amount of each purchase you make is donated back to WMS. Any purchases on your Target Red Card, Target Visa Credit Card and Target Debit Card are applicable for this program - even purchases made online at (Bonus: By using a Target card, you get 5% off ALL of your Target purchases, in addition to the contribution made to WMS - it's definitely a win-win opportunity!)       


So, here's how we can maximize Target's contribution toward our school: If you're not already taking part, please consider doing so by registering your card online or by phone at 1-800-316-6142.  Grandparents, alumni, friends and neighbors can help too. The more people we involve, the more the program works for our school. Send your extended family members and friends the link to Target's Take Charge of Education® program so they can participate as well. 

So, with the holiday gift giving season just a few weeks away, please register your cards before you begin your shopping. There is also a link on the same page to apply for a new card.  Keep WMS in mind as you make decisions about where to make your purchases, and please help us help our school. More opportunities to support WMS through passive fundraising are listed at and more will be added as the PTO focuses on these initiatives.

Lastly, any suggestions about other programs that can benefit our school will be greatly appreciated.  Please email your suggestions to me at

In friendship,

Stephanie Wolynetz 
Junque 'n' Treasures Sale Update:

WMS's Junque 'n' Treasures Sale is now accepting donations, and we have already received some amazing items!  Please drop your items off in the bins outside Room 24 or in the front lobby area. Remember, you can get a 2012 tax write-off if you bring in your donations before the new year! The sale will be held on Saturday, April 27, with a pre-sale on Thursday, April 25. 



Featured Junque 'n' Treasures:


Red Vase
Cat Lithographs
Check out some of our latest donations above -

Left - Check out this stunning RED pottery vase.  Sure to make a statement!  

Right - Set of three colorful, whimsical signed and numbered lithographs ("Bright Delights," "The Cat's Whiskers," "Heaven Scent") by UK artist Helen Rhodes, best known for her cat pictures.  The unique custom framework highly compliments each individual picture.  Definitely the cat's meow!

Donation requirements are available at Stay tuned to the Wednesday Weekly and WMS Facebook page for updates on this event and featured treasures as the sale approaches!

The Wednesday Weekly promotes WMS news and events that are relevant to the families in our community.  Please send submissions to by 4:30 p.m. on the Friday prior to the issue in which you wish to include your information.  Content may be edited for length and style and may be held for a future issue due to space constraints.  For more information, contact Noel Dietrich.

Our Mission

Wilmington Montessori School is a collaborative learning community rooted in Montessori principles, inspiring the joyful discovery of self and a passion for learning and independent thinking. We empower children to be knowledgeable and responsible contributors to the global community.