Wednesday Weekly
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December 12, 2012
Marie's Message  
Weekly news and notes from Interim Head of School Marie Dugan 

Welcome to the last Wednesday Weekly issue of 2012!


Our 7-9 students have composed a school Bill of Rights. Here are some excerpts that remind us all of why we are here:  (the children!)   


       "Every child should have the right to learn at his own level.

       Every child should have the right to be treated the same as others.

       Every child should have the right to be happy.

       Every child should care about others, not just yourself. 

       Every child should have the right to sleep in a warm home."


The countdown to 2013 has begun! This fall will mark the beginning of WMS's 50th anniversary school year. We have so many reasons to be proud and grateful for where we are at this moment in time.

We have an energized community of passionate people who have helped us move forward in many ways in support of our children and their families. Here are just a few of the great initiatives that are in the works:  

  • This week, our teachers met to begin a long-range study of our educational programs. The theme is Montessori Excellence. We will be meeting every Tuesday through March to complete a study that will include input from parents. We will update you along the way.
  • The members of the board have begun work on a new Strategic Plan that will focus on planning and visioning for the next three years and beyond. The entire school community will be involved in this process. The 2013-2014 budget is also nearing completion.    
  • The annual fund mailing has gone out to our extended community in support of the important goal of raising $100,000 for our operating fund, with only $44,000 to completion. If you haven't contributed, please consider doing so at     
  • A new Financial Aid program begins this week through ISM's FAST.  More on that later.    
  • The new PTO program is thriving. The Holiday Potluck and Ice Skating Party were both great successes, and I'm sure many of you are looking forward to Friday's Parents' Night Out!   
  • We have been working hard to stabilize and strengthen our school, including growing our enrollment. We will welcome a new preschool classroom of 3- to 5-year-olds to our community on January 3.


Let us rejoice in what we have achieved together. Thanks to each of you for the gifts you have brought to our wonderful school in 2012.


"And now let us believe in a long year that has been given to us, new, untouched, full of things that have never been."
Rainer Maria Rilke

Skating partyWMS families skate the afternoon away atSkating party
Sunday's PTO event

This Sunday, more than 75 skaters took to the ice at The Skating Club of Wilmington. From experienced skaters to first-timers, WMS families and friends spent two hours skating and having fun.

Second-grader Daniel Ropars skates regularly with his family. He told the Wednesday Weekly: "Skating with our friends was the best part!"

Thanks to Lori Beth Levin for organizing this fun event!

FAST logo

Wilmington Montessori School is pleased to be able to provide financial assistance to many of our current families and remains committed to enrolling students from diverse backgrounds. The WMS Board of Trustees allocates and supports a financial aid program that assists families with demonstrated financial need through WMS's Financial Aid Committee.

In order to allocate our resources wisely and fairly, WMS has enlisted the help of Independent School Management's FAST (Financial Aid for School Tuition) program. ISM's FAST does not decide whether financial assistance will be given or how much to give; it offers a need-based financial aid analysis service. FAST provides WMS with a report, which includes a recommendation of what a family should reasonably contribute toward tuition. All information from FAST is kept confidential. The analysis is then reviewed by a confidential Financial Aid Committee, which determines the final allocation of financial aid resources for the next school year. Upon approval by the committee, financial aid offers are sent to families.   

The application process for 2013-14 financial aid is now open.  Please visit for full instructions on how to begin your online application. A Parent Guide is also available to help you gather all necessary information and answer other questions regarding your application. 

All financial aid applications must be received by January 25

Financial Aid notifications for returning families will be made prior to the March 1 re-enrollment deadline. Because funds are limited and demand is high, late filing of materials or failure to re-enroll before the March 1 deadline may result in non-renewal of a financial aid grant.



For further information about the FAST system, visit or contact Marie.
Mark Your Calendars
14          Parents' Night Out

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

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

24-31      Winter Vacation
              Building closed - no school or 
              child care.


1            Winter Vacation
              Building closed - no school or 
              child care


2            All-Staff Professional Day
              No school. 
              Child care open.
               Please register in advance.

7            Montessori Monday - Admissions
              9:30 a.m., Meet in the lobby
              Tell a friend!
10          Transition to 7-9 Program
              9 a.m., Meet in the lobby. 

11          Transition to 9-12 Program

              9 a.m., Meet in the lobby.
              Alumni Pizza Party
              (for current sixth-graders and all
              WMS alumni and former students)
              6:30-8:30 p.m.

14          Transition to 5-7 Program
              9 a.m., Meet in the lobby.

15          Transition to Preschool
              9:30 a.m., Meet in the lobby,
16          Admissions Open House 
              9:30 a.m., Meet in the library
              Tell a friend!
              Learn more about admissions events.

21          Martin Luther King Day
              No school.
              Child care open.
              Please register in advance.

25          The Journey
              to register.

              Financial aid applications due

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

Reminder: Submit your co-op hours to receive credit for your work in the WMS community

Chaperoning field trips, working at the the book fair, classroom support, cleaning, stuffing envelopes, recycling classroom materials, baking for the dance party....

Families support WMS in so many unique and wonderful ways. Click here to submit your hours online (preferred) or submit a paper report at the co-op board to claim co-op credit for all that you have done so far this school year.  

The co-op team will be preparing reports in January to let you know how many hours you've claimed. The team can also help families find co-op activities that match their interests and availability.  Email us at



Co-op Request:

We are seeking parents to create the 2010-11 and 2011-12 collages to hang in the hallways of WMS! Lori will help with the sorting of the images. Contact for more information.

Parent Education
transitionTransition Mornings - Coming this January

What's Next? Have you ever wondered what the next program level will be like for your child at WMS?
Come in and experience it!

Visit a next level classroom so you can see for yourself what lies ahead for your child. Observe a class in session where children are working and teachers are giving lessons; ask questions about your child's transition to the next program level. Along with the teachers, Head of School Marie Dugan and Liz Madden, Director of Educational Programs, will be on-hand to answer any questions you might have. 

We highly recommend that all of our families attend a transition morning, particularly if your child will be moving up next year.

Please register in advance so we can plan accordingly!

Register Now Button


Transition to Preschool (for current toddler families) 
Tuesday, January 15 at 9:30 a.m.

Transition to 5-7 program (for current preschool families)

Monday, January 14 at 9 a.m.


Transition to 7-9 program (for current 5-7 families)

Thursday, January 10 at 9 a.m.


Transition to 9-12 program (for current 7-9 families) 
Friday, January 11 at 9 a.m. 
If you are unable to attend on your program's assigned date, please contact Theresa Conaty to schedule a time when you can visit a classroom for your child's next program level.
Encouraging Our Children Toward Independence 

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



Are you appreciated for all you do? Probably not often enough.

Does your child feel appreciated for the hard work he or she does? Yes, children work hard trying to live in the adult world and meet our expectations. Why not set aside a time in your busy schedule for all family members to feel worthwhile and appreciated? It can begin by simply asking "What do we appreciate about...?" Include everyone, even the pets.

Once we begin the process and do it routinely it will become part of your family's language. You truly will be surprised at what you hear.  
Alumni News
Chris Cooke, Class of 2011
Chris Cooke graduated from WMS in 2011, but he and his mother Julie remain familiar faces in the 
halls of our school, and we're glad! Chris returns for guitar lessons with technology teacher Michael Johnson, while Julie assists with school events like the book fair, talent show, French performance on Moms' Day and more. Julie has recently become involved with the PTO, working on establishing an alumni team.

Chris is an eighth-grader at Cab Calloway School of Performing Arts, where he's majoring in theater and minoring in vocal art and is a member of the Junior National Honor Society and a Distinguished Honor Roll student. Outside school, Chris stays busy with a long list of activities including Junior All-State Chorus (in which he was selected as third tenor in the state); performances in Wilmington Drama League's productions of "Bye Bye Birdie" and "Gypsy" and Cab Calloway's "Aladdin"; guitar, voice, ice skating and steel drum lessons; and Boy Scouts.  He's currently preparing to perform in Cab Calloway's 2013 production of "The Little Mermaid," working on becoming an Eagle Scout, and auditioning/assessing for Cab Calloway High School for the 2013-14 school year.

We look forward to seeing Chris and Julie at our Alumni Pizza Party (more on that below)!  
Class of 2012
Alumni, past students and current sixth-graders are invited to WMS's annual Alumni Pizza Party on Friday, January 11, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. in the Great Room. The evening provides a wonderful opportunity for alumni and past students to catch up with old friends, make new ones, and reminisce about their time at Wilmington Montessori School! 

If you have a child who attended WMS in the past, please let them know about this event! Advance registration is required, so please ask them to submit the form below:
  Register Now Button   

Have alumni news? Know a past student with a great story? Contact Noel Dietrich so we can feature them in a future issue of the Wednesday Weekly!

Help us keep in touch. We'd like to stay in touch with all of our alumni and former students! If you know any, please ask them to fill out this form to share their post-graduation experiences and find out how they can become involved with our 50th anniversary festivities next year.

WMS Alumni on Facebook
Please share these links with any WMS alums in your life:
News & Notes

Rooms 6 and 15 sponsor holiday food drive - through December 19


The children of Rooms 6 and 15 are sponsoring a food drive for the Food Bank of Delaware until December 19. Collection bins are located near Room 6 and 15 and in the lobby. A list of needed items is attached to collection bins. Look for the "Donate Food Here" signs!


In January, WMS families will have the opportunity to volunteer at the Food Bank to see how their donations are used. Stay tuned for more information.


Thank you in advance for your generosity!



Recycle Your Shoes - Raise Funds for WMS! 


WMS has now partnered with "Shoebox Recycling" to recycle donated shoes and raise money for our school. If you are cleaning out your closets to make room for new holiday gifts, please bring in your old shoes and put them in the brown cardboard boxes placed in the two main entrances of the school. 


WMS receives $0.50 per pound for all usable shoes.  This means each full box raises about $20!

Filled boxes of shoes are shipped to small businesses in different countries, then cleaned and resold in local market-places. This provides affordable shoes to people who need them, fuels local economies and creates less waste on the planet.


Shoes can show wear, just please, nothing wet, no skates, and nothing with holes in the soles. Binding the pairs together before putting them in the boxes would be very helpful; just tie laces or straps together or bind with string or elastic bands.


If you love the idea, and would like to gather more shoe donations, you can bring a donation box to your place of work, church or any other organization of which you are a member.  Please feel free to pick up a box with Lori at the front desk. Once the box is full, you can get a pre-paid UPS label to ship it back to "Shoebox Recycling".


For more info about "Shoebox Recycling" see their Facebook page or check out their blog, which features a story about the owner's trip to Africa and the full journey of the shoes. For any additional questions, please email email Kelly at


We hope to see those boxes overflowing with shoes soon!  Thanks so much for your participation!


skating 5-9 Concert & Steel Drum Performance - Next Wednesday 

Students in the 5-7 and 7-9 programs will join together to perform in their annual winter concert on Wednesday, December 19, at 9:30 a.m. The show will begin with a performance by the WMS Steel Drum Band, which will be followed by the 5-9 students' concert titled "The Big Chill!" All members of the WMS community are invited!

DVDs of the concert, recorded by OK Video, can be ordered for $11. Order forms are available in the lobby and must be placed in the order box by no later than Thursday, December 20.

Preschool Reading
Adopt a book from the WMS library this holiday season!


Looking for just the right gift for the person who "has everything?" 

Why not honor them by adopting a book for the WMS library?  We still have some wonderful titles from which to choose. 

Take a look at the list or see Elizabeth any morning in the library. Happy reading to all!

parentsnightoutParents' Night Out

December 14  


Wish you could have romantic dinner? Get together with other WMS parents? Go holiday shopping without the kids?    


On Friday, December 14, WMS will offer a Parents' Night Out from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.! Child care will be available in a comfortable and fun setting for your children!

Kids will enjoy a pajama party, pizza for $1 per slice, a movie (with parent permission) and, of course, fun and games. If your child would like to run and play in the gym, please make sure he or she wears sneakers with the PJs!


Fees: $25 per child (up to two children) and half price for any additional children.

Child care is available for all WMS students, as well as non-WMS siblings ages 4 to 13. 


Advance registration is required - this event could be canceled if there is a lack of interest.

Email to register. 
Limited spaces available.
Junque 'n' Treasures Sale Update:
Terrific Thomas The Tank Engine Wooden Toy Chest and Wooden Doll House
Terrific Thomas the Tank Engine Wooden Toy Chest and Wooden Doll House

We are grateful for your donations!  However, due to the high cost of disposal, we cannot take everything regardless of condition and acceptability.  Please only donate your best "junque" and be mindful of our guidelines at

Also, for health reasons, we kindly ask that you take the time to clean pet containers, aquariums, etc. before donating them to rummage.

Thanks for your cooperation and understanding!  
Zebra Rug
Fabulous Pottery Barn Kids Zebra-Striped Rug
The sale will be held on Saturday, April 27, with a pre-sale on Thursday, April 25.  


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.