Wednesday Weekly
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January 30, 2013
Marie's Message    
Weekly news and notes from Head of School Marie Dugan 

School Birthday Celebration


Wilmington Montessori School was incorporated in the state of Delaware on January 31, 1964. The first class opened in 1963.  Tomorrow is our 49th birthday.    


Every year, we bring the children to the gym to sing together with our amazing music teacher Kelly Rhodunda. Please join us tomorrow morning at 11:15. It will be a festive day! 


You probably already know that the school was founded by a small group of parents who actually ran the school themselves for the first few years. I came to the school as a teacher in 1968 when I enrolled my 2-year-old daughter Annette. When our current property became available for purchase in 1986, I remember driving into the site with total conviction that this was the perfect place for our school! Our small board of directors agreed, and we worked hard to purchase the property at the price of $350,000. A year later, we had raised $1 million to complete the first building phase. How fortunate we are today to be here together to continue our journey into the future! And three cheers for parents!

Happy birthday to all of us!


Re-enrollment packets will be mailed this week. We welcome our families to the 2013-14 school year and look forward to celebrating our 50th anniversary with you. Questions? Please contact me at anytime.

2013-14 Financial Aid Application Deadline Extended
FAST logo

Wilmington Montessori School 2013-14 Financial Aid applications are still being accepted online via the FAST (Financial Aid for School Tuition) program. Please submit your application by Friday, February 1, if you wish to be notified of your Financial Aid status before the March 1 re-enrollment deadline. 
If you have any questions or difficulties, please contact Carolyn Fuhrman at

Learn more and apply at
Mark Your Calendars


 31          WMS's 49th Birthday!
              All-school assembly at 11:15 a.m.
              in the gym, including a special 
              Parents are welcome! 
              PTO New Family Reception                              5:30-7 p.m.
              Meet school administrators, parent
              ambassadors & other families.
              Dinner will be served for children & hors
              d'oeuvres for adults. 
              RSVP to


1 & 4       Conferences

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

6 & 7       Class Pictures
               Great Room
               Check with your child's teacher to
               find out when his/her class photo will
               be taken. 

7             PTO Meeting
               9 a.m. 

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. 


28              Dads' Day
                  Details TBA




1                Re-enrollment Deadline                                   Look for your packet in the mail
                  in the next few days! 


                  PJ Bingo (hosted by the 9-12s)  
                  6 p.m.
                  More information 


4                Montessori Monday - Admissions

                  Tell a friend! 
                  More on admissions events

Special Interview: German intern teacher shares thoughts on WMS and Montessori education 


Meike in Room 16

This winter, Wilmington Montessori School was graced with an international visitor. Meike Lehrmayer, a bilingual education major from a small town in southwest Germany, is spending the year at the University of Delaware to fulfill her German university's study abroad requirement. This January, she spent three weeks as an intern teacher in Room 16. At the end of her visit, she shared her thoughts on Montessori education, WMS and her overall experience in the U.S.

After high school, Meike spent a year in the U.S. as an au pair on Long Island, N.Y. "I had a great time, so I wanted to spend my required study abroad in the U.S. again in order to see and experience more of the country," Meike explained.

While Meike knew she wanted to do an internship at a U.S. elementary school, it was a chance meeting with WMS alumna (and daughter of preschool teacher Trish Bradley) Lena Bradley that brought her to Wilmington Montessori School. Lena and Meike met in Germany, where Lena was involved with a study abroad program. After Meike told Lena that she was interested in an internship in the U.S., Lena recommended WMS. Lena spoke to her mother Trish, who worked with 5-7 teachers Arlene Wason and Erin Winner to arrange the internship. The Bradley family also invited Meike to stay at their Wilmington home during her three-week internship. Meike was particularly excited about the prospect of spending time at a Montessori school.

"I had done several internships at German schools, but never at a Montessori school. Therefore, I only experienced traditional classrooms with desks and boards, and one teacher per classroom," she explained. "I learned a lot about Montessori education in lectures and seminars in Germany, and I've always wanted to get an insight into daily school life at a Montessori school."

Meike said that traditional German schools often incorporate some aspects of Montessori education in their classrooms, encouraging children to work independently at their own pace and become responsible, reliable and autonomous, but not to the extent that WMS does.

"I really like how children can learn and work at their own pace at WMS," she said. "As a result, everyone lives up to his or her potential, no one is bored and no one is overwhelmed with the kind and amount of the school-work."    


Click to read full interview 

Parent Education

News from the Preparedness Committee: Safety
WMS Prepares for Lockdown Drills


The staff is in the process of finalizing plans for our first lockdown drill. Each classroom will practice on Thursday, January 31 at a time that best fits their schedule. A whole-school drill will happen next week. 

You do not need to prepare your child for this drill. Classroom teachers have age-appropriate language they will use to explain to the children what they are doing and plans for helping the children remain quiet while the drill is in progress. For security purposes, we cannot publish the procedure for the drill, but wanted to share the language we will use with children in case it should come up at home.

Toddlers - They cannot process why we are doing a drill so information will be kept to a minimum. Teachers will play a silent game that the children already know, so they can be engaged quietly while waiting.

All other students - Teachers will explain that we will have a lockdown drill and practice just like we do with fire drills. We practice different drills so we are prepared in case of any emergency. While nothing is likely to happen, our job is to be ready just in case. A lockdown is used in case someone comes in to the school who is not allowed to be here, and we need to be safe. It is very unlikely that this will happen, but the teacher's job is to keep everyone safe, together, out of view and quiet.

Children who are 7 and older will be able to process this more than the younger students. For the older kids, we will do our best to minimize any fear that may be attached to this drill. Teachers will answer questions in a simple, clear-cut manner, sticking to the process of the drill itself, not the "what if..." possibilities. This drill is about being prepared for anything -- not about a specific threat. 

For the short time the school is in lockdown mode, outside doors will be locked and will not be accessible with keycards. Thank you in advance for your understanding of this minor inconvenience. If you happen to be present in the school during the drill, please take shelter in the nearest office, classroom or other room immediately and serve as a positive role model to children present.

If you should have any questions, please contact Nurse Paige Lucarelli or Liz Madden.
followthechildWilmington Montessori School presents: 

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

Birth to 2 years

9-10:30 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 this amazing stage of your child's development."


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


Register Now Button  


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


Encouraging Our Children Toward Independence 

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

Independence A good way to begin helping your child feel more capable is to make a list of everything you do that your child can do for him or herself.  Now, see how many of those things you do because 
you are in a hurry; it's not done right; you like doing it yourself; it's quicker and easier; etc. 


Everyone knows you know how to do it and you can do it to your expectations, but how will your child learn unless you are ready to offer the opportunity for him or her to become more self-sufficient? So, check your list and decide which tasks you can give away. Your challenge is to lower your expectations, allow more time and have the curiosity to see what happens.

Good luck!

News & Notes
BingoPJ Bingo donations now being accepted
Each year, students in the 9-12 Program organize a PJ Bingo Night to raise funds for the annual sixth-grade trip to New York City. PJ Bingo is a popular school-wide event that includes bingo, raffles, prizes and pizza. This year's Bingo party will be held at 6 p.m. on March 1, so don't forget to mark your calendar. Details about ticket sales will be shared soon.
The 9-12s have started to collect prize donations. Please place anything you wish to donate (toys, games, etc.) in the tote bag between Rooms 9 & 10.
The students thank you in advance for your generosity! 
Thank you for not smoking
Smoke-free campus reminder
We would like to remind our families that Wilmington Montessori School has a smoke-free campus.

This includes the parking lot and all areas of our property, even those not directly outside the building.

We thank you for your cooperation and consideration for the safety and health of our community!

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.