Wednesday Weekly
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January 16, 2013
Marie's Message    
Weekly news and notes from Interim Head of School Marie Dugan 

Enrollment Update

On January 31, we will celebrate our 49th birthday with a very special announcement - it's hard to believe that our 50th school year is approaching! I am excited and energized by where we are in the process of preparing for the celebration of our impressive history. Top priority this month is to communicate with our current families about registration for the 2013-14 school year. You will receive tuition information by the end of this month. Financial aid award letters will be mailed in February before deposits are due on March 1. After that date, we will begin accepting new students for open spaces. We want our current children to be with us next year (and you don't want to miss our 50th anniversary festivities)! Our current enrollment is 232 students, an impressive number!


Transition Mornings were held last week and this week. These meetings provide an opportunity to learn about and visit the next-level classrooms that your child will enter in September. I really enjoyed attending each of the meetings and discussing the school with many of you. One of the parents who attended this week told us she felt that observing children at work inside the classroom was a powerful experience, helping her to understand the learning that children experience here every day. Another parent was impressed by the expertise of the Montessori teachers and their close connections with where each child is developmentally. 


If you missed being with us for Transition Mornings, I invite you to contact Theresa Conaty to set up a time to hear more about the curriculum and specific level goals for your child. We also encourage you to ask teachers questions about your child's ongoing educational experience at WMS. Parent/teacher conferences for preschool and elementary students are scheduled for February 1 and 4. These classrooms are closed on those days to allow time for teachers and parents to meet and have an in-depth discussion about your child (child care is available - please be sure to register in advance so we can staff appropriately for the number of children attending)! Toddler conferences will be held between January 31 and February 8.  Your teachers will let you know what times/dates are available for conferences in your classroom. Classes for toddlers will continue to run as scheduled, with substitutes filling in while teachers are in conferences. Toddlers WILL have school on February 1 and 4.


Contact me anytime, if you have questions or want to meet with me. I am never too busy to connect with you!

Important note from the WMS Preparedness Committee
Many thanks to all of you who attended last week's Town Meeting on Safety!

We will be meeting later this week to discuss feedback and ideas from parents and staff, and will provide updated information in next week's issue, including safety tips, updates on our upcoming lockdown drill and other news and information.  

If you have any immediate concerns regarding safety and preparedness at WMS, please don't hesitate to contact Nurse Paige.  If you missed last Thursday's presentation, you can view the slideshow at
Mark Your Calendars



21          Martin Luther King Day

              No school.
              Child care open.
              Please register in advance.
24          WMS Basketball @ Centerville                         Bus leaves WMS at 3:15

25          The Journey
              8:30 a.m. - noon

              Financial aid applications due                         Details

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

31          WMS's 49th Birthday!
              All-school assembly at 11:15 a.m.
              in the gym, including a special 
              Parents are welcome! 



1 & 4          Conferences

                  No school for preschool/elementary
                  students (classes open for toddlers)
                  Child care open.
                  Please register in advance. 

6 & 7          Class Pictures
                  Details TBA
11              Montessori Monday - Admissions
                  Tell a friend! 
                  More on admissions events
15              All-Staff Professional Day
                  No school.
                  No child care.
18              Mid-Winter Break
                  No school.
                  Child care open.
                  Please register in advance.
22              Follow the Child program begins
                  9 a.m. 
Co-op Corner
Preschool parent organizes shoe drive to bring cash to WMS while helping families in need 
shoe drive
Kelly Lambiras and Stephanie Wolynetz surrounded by shoes as they help kick off the shoe drive.
WMS families now have a way to connect our old shoes with people who will appreciate them. Parent Kelly Lambiras, mother of Jayce in Room 6, was volunteering for at an environmental fair last summer. She noticed the next booth over - "ShoeBox Recycling" - and it immediately caught her interest.

ShoeBox Recycling, based in Fairless Hills, PA, is on a mission to recycle unwanted shoes. Not for spare parts - but for reuse in a global, textile-hungry marketplace. Shoes are shipped to partners in developing countries like Sierra Leone, where they are cleaned and resold at an affordable price. American-made goods are in high demand.
"We're breathing a little bit of new life into an ancient industry," said Ira Baseman, the Founder of ShoeBox Recycling. "We're taking material that has a second life and finding value in reuse." 
The concept is simple. The average closet is a treasure trove of shoes. Few get regular use; others are no longer wanted or stylish. ShoeBox Recycling wants individuals and families to scour their homes for [pairs that are not moldy, do not have holes in the soles and are not ice skates]. Once recyclers sign up on its website, the company covers shipping costs. 
"People want to recycle, but they don't always know how to go about it," said Lisa Pomerantz, Vice President of Marketing at ShoeBox Recycling. "Three hundred million pairs of reusable shoes end up in landfills every year." 
Many schools have begun ShoeBox Recycling drives. Kelly's family is new to WMS this year, and after attending a PTO event, she shared the idea with some of her fellow parents. "So I was super-psyched when everybody was excited about it," Kelly said. "WMS is a place that opens its arms to different ideas. It's dedicated to bringing people together." 
The shoe collection will be ongoing, bringing WMS about $20 per full box of shoes. A special thank you to moms Meredith McFadden and Susan Thomas for setting up donation boxes at their places of work! If you'd like to bring a box to your work or community center, just ask Lori at the front desk for a box. You can also ask friends and family to gather some of their shoes as well. 
ShoeBox Recycling is good for the earth and good for WMS. Thank you, Kelly!

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


Do you feel your child can handle his/her world?

What we do know is that children know how to handle their parents. They can learn to manipulate and get you involved, even with tasks they can and should be able to handle themselves. If you truly believe that your child can figure out how to maneuver through his or her journey of growing up, then you will stop interfering by reminding. Every time you remind a child to do something, you are telling your child that he/she is too inadequate to remember and too incapable of handling the consequences of forgetting.

Put your curiosity cap on, don't remind, and just observe what your child does when you decide to not remind him or her to get something done. I think you'll be amazed at how they accept the outcome of forgetting, and figure out what to do differently so it doesn't happen again.  

followthechildWilmington Montessori School presents: 

"Follow the Child: Parenting Class - for you and your child!"

Birth to 2 years

9:00-10:30 a.m.

Fridays, February 22 through March 22

Cost: $100

Registration deadline is February 15 - class fees due upon registration.


Parent-child This weekly class offers moms, dads, grandparents and other caretakers mutual support and guidance in the beginning months of their child's life. Sara Grant, an Infant/Toddler Montessori teacher and mother of two, brings her many years of experience and observations to assist with the challenges of parenting and help parents enjoy the wonders of connecting their little one to the world around them. 


Set in an authentic Infant/Toddler Montessori classroom, this class will focus on nutrition, developing healthy eating habits, discipline, nursing and every-day life with your infant and toddler.  Meet other parents of infants and toddlers and enjoy lively discussions while your little one keeps busy in the classroom, prepared specifically for them at their stage of development.


Sara, who is also completing her doula certification training, will bring to life the Montessori Method through a wide range of enriching, hands-on activities in a fun environment for you and your child to explore.      

 "So much happens in the first 18 months of your child's life!" Sara says. "I look forward to helping you apply Montessori principles at home to make the most of the most amazing stage of your child's development."


This workshop is open to families outside the WMS community so please tell a friend! 


Questions? Please contact or call 302-475-0555.   


journeyAre you ready to go on The Journey with us? - January 25
8:30 a.m. - noon

The Journey Have you taken the Journey yet?

Whether you're a current WMS parent or just beginning to learn about Montessori education - it is time to step out of the observation room...and into the classroom!
During this event, you will:
  • Personally experience the Montessori educational process and better understand the teaching methods.
  • See first-hand how WMS prepares children for success in their educational journey.
  • Learn how each program level builds and supports your child's development from introduction through 6th grade.
  • Open conversations with your child about classroom activities.
  • Realize the positive aspects of learning and succeeding at WMS.
  • Be more prepared to describe the distinction of a Montessori education.

Registration is free and you receive five Co-op hours per family. Free child care is available by registering with

Call or email Theresa Conaty, Admissions Officer, to reserve your spot. You can reach Theresa at 302-475-0555 or

"I found the day to be extremely valuable in learning about the Montessori Method - which seems to be an extraordinary interdisciplinary approach to learning" - Parent attendee
Alumni News
Alumni Pizza

On Friday night, the Great Room filled with alumni and past students, including most of the class of 2012, as well as alumni from as far back as 1975 (our very own Board Chair Anna Quisel) - and a variety of years in between! The alumni spoke with sixth-graders, who were also in attendance, about post-WMS life, sharing stories about study abroad trips, high school and college life, awards they have won and how what they learned at WMS has continued to serve them beyond the walls of our school. For more photos, visit the WMS Facebook Page!
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
  • WMS Alumni Group - Join a group of over 100 WMS alumni/past students and reminisce about the good old days! 
News & Notes

Information on the Seasonal Flu from Nurse Paige

Attention parents and guardians: The influenza season is upon us.

I'd like to share some important information on seasonal influenza. The following is a list of frequently asked questions about the flu - if you have additional questions, don't hesitate to stop by my office! 

What should I watch for?

Influenza has an abrupt start with a fever, chills, dry cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, headache, body aches and tiredness.  Nausea and vomiting may occur in children. 


How is influenza spread?

Most experts believe flu viruses are spread mainly by droplets made when people with the flu cough, sneeze or talk. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby. A person might also get the flu by touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touching their own mouth, eyes or nose.    



When is a person with influenza contagious?

A person with influenza is most contagious 24 hours BEFORE the symptoms begin.  Once symptoms begin, children can be contagious up to seven days and adults up to five days.  

How long should they stay out of school and other activities?

Until fever is gone for 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medication and the student is feeling well enough to participate in routine activities.

What is the treatment for influenza?

Antiviral medications can shorten the course of illness if given within 36 to 48 hours after the symptoms begin. Influenza is a viral illness; therefore, antibiotics are not effective.


How can influenza be prevented?

It is not too late to get a flu shot. Clinics administer them either by injection or the nasal spray vaccine. The good news is this year's flu vaccine is a close match to the current flu virus. Since you are most contagious PRIOR to having symptoms, the flu vaccine is the BEST WAY TO PREVENT the spread of influenza! Click here to find locations in your area that administer the flu vaccine. (Keep in mind that there is a very high demand for these shots, so you should always call to make sure shots are still in stock.)
  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm running water after contact with any secretions from the nose or mouth or handling used tissues. 
  • Cover nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, or cough/sneeze into your sleeve (inside elbow).
  • Clean and disinfect commonly touched surfaces (door knobs, refrigerator handle, water faucets, cupboard handles, etc.) Studies have shown that human influenza viruses generally can survive on surfaces between 2 and 8 hours.


Rummage Sale Jewelry
Dazzling array of jewelry
Rummage Sale News
Our storage room is bursting with goodies but we still need more donations to make this a spectacular sale! Jewelry and furniture items are still at the top of our wish list.  Know of anyone, a friend, relative or neighbor, looking to downsize or declutter?  We will even come and pick up their items if they wish to donate to rummage.  Please contact Nancy Sakaguchi at 302-475-4162 or email to schedule a pick-up or if you have any questions regarding donation acceptability.

As a reminder, please do NOT donate electronic equipment that is considered e-waste, including television sets, microwave ovens, computers, computer peripherals, etc.  Also, please refrain from donating anything in poor, broken and unserviceable condition.  Regrettably, items of this nature simply do not sell and are costly to dispose of.  

Thanks for your cooperation and understanding!   


The 2013 Junque 'n' Treasures Rummage Sale will be held on Saturday, April 27.  Please drop your items off in the bins outside Room 24 or in the front lobby area. Donations are tax-deductible - visit the front desk to request a donation form. Join our Rummage Sale event page on Facebook for news and updates!


Victorian Chair
Fabulous Victorian needlepoint and velvet chair fit for a queen
CHildren's Desk
Vintage 1940s maple child's roll top desk with matching office chair

Free Money Update: More ways to raise funds for WMS by shopping!   

We are kicking off the 2013 campaign to collect UPC and barcode labels to raise funds for WMS. It's easy to participate and you can make a real impact on our school! 
There are four different programs for you to participate and help us earn cash for our school.


Take Charge of Education Target Take Charge of Education

You can save money and earn money for WMS! As many of you already know, if you have a Target REDcard debit or credit card, you save 5% on each purchase and get free shipping when you buy online. How you can help:

Twice a year, Target will donate up to 1% of your purchases to WMS.  We have 33 WMS families already registered! We can earn so much more if everyone registers!


Giant A Plus Rewards

If you have a Giant card, you can earn money for the WMS.


How you can help:

All you need to do is register your card number at one of these sites:

Just do your regular shopping and when you purchase A+ products, you will earn points that become cash for WMS. Remember to register your card at the beginning of each school year.


Campbell's eLabels for Education Labels for Education

Register your Food Lion, Acme, Shop Rite or Safeway cards to earn cash for WMS and collect labels from qualified products.

How you can help:

Your card and WMS will automatically earn points every time you buy Labels for Education products. Check the list of products to start earning points now. Also, continue to clip Campbell's Labels for Education and turn them in at the WMS to earn points toward products for the school.


Box Tops for Education

Boxtops for Education

There are two different ways to earn cash from this program: sending in the Box Tops and shopping from the Marketplace (through the Box Tops website).  WMS can receive up to $20,000 from each of these programs. Every time you go shopping online, please visit the Marketplace on the Box Top website and the school gets points for your purchases.

How you can help:

Shop and earn with eBoxtops
  • Go to the Box Tops for Education Marketplace.
  • Click on see all stores at the top of the page - you will be surprised to see how many retailers are participating!
  • Also, don't forget to collect the box tops and drop them off at WMS.
To learn more about how you can raise funds for WMS by shopping, eating out and other daily activities, visit

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.