Wednesday Weekly
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April 17, 2013
Marie's Message    
Weekly news and notes from Head of School Marie Dugan 



Our elementary students are  taking the Educational Records Bureau standardized tests this week, while some students who will begin kindergarten in the fall are taking part in Child Find testing. You will notice signs on classroom doors in the mornings to alert us for quiet in the hallways. To learn more about the ERBs, check out Liz Madden's article later in this issue.


Auction Ticket Sales
9-12 students help sell auction and raffle tickets before and after school.

Lucky Pair Auction & Casino Games - This Saturday

Be sure to peek into the gym this week. Parents and staff members have been transforming the space. There is happy preparation throughout the school as we get closer to the biggest event of the year: our annual auction. We are looking forward to welcoming our school community to share the evening with us. Expect a lot of laughs and surprises! Tickets are still available in the lobby and online. Please plan to be with us!


Rummage Sale 

Nancy Sakaguchi, chair of the upcoming Junque 'n' Treasures Rummage Sale, has been working since October to assemble a beautiful selection of merchandise for the sale on Saturday, April 27, from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. This year's sale will take place downstairs in Rooms 22 and 24 and also in the hall. Please invite your friends and family to this wonderful school fundraiser! If you're looking for co-op hours and would like to help with set-up and sales next week, please contact


In addition to the Saturday sale, there is a pre-sale for WMS parents and staff on Thursday from 4 to 6 p.m. Look for information on how to line up in the hallway for the pre-sale in next week's issue.

You won't believe some of these amazing bargains - there are items for every member of your family! Check out the slideshow!

Spring Sing Fling

On Thursday, April 11, toddlers, parents and teachers joined music teacher Kelly Rhodunda for a morning of music in the Great Room. As always, the children enjoyed dancing, singing and playing small percussion instruments to favorite songs like "Mister Sun," "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" and "Ally Bally."

Look for more photos coming to Facebook soon! 
Mark Your Calendars



15-19          ERB Testing                                                       More info 

17-19          Childfind Testing     
20               WMS's Lucky Pair: Auction &
                   Casino Games           
                   7 p.m., Gym  
                   Buy your tickets today!
                   More Info
21               Car Wash to Benefit WMS Odyssey
                   of the Mind Teams 
                   Exxon Station at Foulk & Silverside
                   9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
                   More info 

22               Montessori Monday - Admissions
                   Tell a friend!
                   More on admissions events

24               Earth Day Celebration
                   Assembly at 11:15 a.m. in the
                   Peace Park
                   Other activities at classroom level 
25               Preschool Concert
                   9:30 a.m., Gym
                   Rummage Pre-Sale
                   For WMS Staff/Families
                   4-6 p.m., WMS Lower Level

27               Junque & Treasures 
                   Rummage Sale
                   7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
                   Rooms 22 & 24 and downstairs hall
                   More Info

30               WMS Student Art Show begins


3                 All-Staff Professional Day
                   No school - child care available
                   Please register in advance.

7                 Moms' Day
                   Starting at drop-off time
                   French Performance
                   An original interpretation of
                   Goldilocks and the Three Bears
                   written by French teacher Fabienne
                   Daniels for the 7-9 & 9-12 students.                      All families are invited.
                   Details coming soon! 

16               PTO-sponsored Make Your Own
                   Natural Cleaners Workshop 
                   7 p.m. in Room 10
                   More info
Parent Education
Encouraging Our Children Toward Independence 

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


Children need protection. In fact I often say, "My job is to keep you safe." On the other hand, when we begin to "over-protect," it impacts a child's self esteem. It tells a child "you can't handle it," which may lead to fearfulness, refusal to try new things and a dependency on the parent. The child will cling or have a need for the parent to be close at all times.

Over-protection can come from a parent's fear and worry. It will impact the process of "letting go." To let go of over-protection is to believe in your child's ability to handle his or her world. Little by little, the child begins to believe he or she can handle new situations and a parent will develop the insight into what coping skills their child does have.

Put your courage cap on and begin to let go.


For more information about this and other parenting topics, contact Yvonne Nass at

TestingWhat are the ERBs anyway?
by Liz Madden, Director of Educational Programs


If you have a child in the third through sixth grade, you know that this week is a very different one for our students. Instead of the typical open classroom time, collaboration, small group lessons and assignments, students are hunkered down at desks every morning, filling in bubbles that only they will see. We are in the midst of ERB week right now at Wilmington Montessori School and many parents are wondering two things: "What are the ERB's?" and "How does a school like WMS use standardized tests?"


Standardized Testing

ERB is an acronym for Educational Record Bureau. It is a non-profit organization that provides standardized testing for independent and public schools throughout the country. The tests our children take are comprised of 10 subtests that measure achievement in reading comprehension, vocabulary, writing mechanics, writing concepts and skills, and mathematics. These subtests measure how well a student is learning the skills in the curriculum. While it is not a direct match to the Montessori curriculum, it covers many of the same concepts. It also measures verbal and quantitative reasoning, which gives us information about a child's ability to handle higher-order thinking.


The school as a whole uses ERB results to evaluate how well we are teaching these specific skills to children. As a way to evaluate the school, we look at the whole group of students to determine how the program fares compared to other schools across the country. We look at the data from each of the content areas every year to determine areas of strength and areas of opportunity for our school program.


Additionally, standardized tests are used as a way to look at children to help teachers determine strengths and needs of the individual students. In the late summer, after the ERB scores have been reported to the school and parents, teachers sit down and analyze scores, comparing them to what they know about each individual child's classroom performance and also comparing the achievement to the reasoning subtests.  It can serve as another measure to confirm a strength or challenge. One thing to always keep in mind is that the ERBs are only one piece of the puzzle. Classroom work, classroom assessments and teacher observations are all incredibly important in gleaning who a child is as a learner; this is one more piece to the puzzle. When it comes to student learning, more information is better.


The creators of the ERB caution us to look at information over time. One year's test data is interesting, but it is really patterns over time that are important when looking at standardized assessment data.  The first year of information is used simply as a baseline and to get the children used to taking this type of a test. By the third year, we begin to see trends with children that tend to correlate with classroom performance. As students grow and change, annual testing is one way to help teachers and administrators keep track of that change over time.


So, while the children this week are thinking about extra recess between the tests and yummy snacks during their break (the two most exciting things about ERB week in the kids' eyes), we adults are happy to have one more piece of information to help us learn about the school and the students as learners.


Please feel free to contact me at if you have any questions about assessment or testing.

News & Notes
Wilmington Montessori School Lucky Pair Auction & Casino Games Night - April 20, 2013

auctionAuction - Coming this Saturday!


Get ready to bid on some great items at the Lucky Pair Auction & Casino Games night this Saturday at 7 p.m.!  The 2013 Auction catalog is available online now. Look through it early to select the items you might be interested in bidding on.  There will be other surprises and raffles on auction night!

Auction Item Stats:

  • More than 140 auction items and counting
  • Items' total retail value is over $30,000
  • Four week-long vacations up for grabs (two in the catalog, more details at the event!)  
Pre-Auction Raffle - going on now! 

Raffle Winners to be announced on Friday, April 19 at 3:30 p.m. in the Great Room. Join us for the live drawing, including popcorn and music for the kids! Winners need not be present to win. 

  • iPod Touch / VIP Parking Spots Raffle - 2 Tickets for $5 1st Place Winner -  Apple iPod Touch (16GB 4th Generation) 2nd / 3rd Place Winners - VIP Parking Spots for the night of the Auction
  • Safari-Themed Gift Basket Raffle - 1 Ticket for $1
    Check out this amazing gift basket on display in the lobby!  

Raffle tickets, along with auction tickets, are currently on sale. Purchase them before or after school in the lobby. Auction tickets can also be purchased online until 11 p.m. Thursday. 



Co-op Volunteers Needed 

Need co-op hours? The auction committee still needs a few volunteers, particularly for clean-up after the auction - volunteers who help with clean-up from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m. on auction night will receive double co-op hours!


See where help is still needed and sign up today!

Whether you are volunteering out of the goodness of your heart or if you are fulfilling co-op, please click the link above to see how you can help.  Feel free to email auction chairs Cathy Capper or Kerry Shweiki with any questions. 


   Junque 'n' Treasures Rummage Salerummage
Rummage Sale Slideshow
Click above to watch a slideshow of items available at the Rummage Sale
The Rummage Sale is just around the corner - stay up to date on news by joining our official Facebook event page.


We are still accepting donations! Can't drop off? We can pick up! Contact Nancy Sakaguchi (email or call 302-475-4162) to make arrangements.


Also, get ready to set sale with us on Thursday, April 25 from 4 to 6 p.m. in the lower level of the school. This "pre-sale" is for the WMS community only!
The sale to the general public will take place on Saturday, April 27 from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. - be sure to mark your calendars and tell your friends.  Last-minute donations are always welcome and will be accepted up until 6 p.m. on Friday, April 26. We are also looking for clothing racks and hangers to be used for displaying items.

Volunteers Needed - Double co-op hours!
The Rummage Sale still needs your help next week (the week of April 22). Assistance is needed for sale set up throughout the week, during the pre-sale on Thursday and at Saturday's sale. All volunteers will receive double co-op hours for their time! Interested? Email  
Coming soon... Spring Book Club: NurtureShock 

The central premise of NurtureShock by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman is that many of modern society's strategies for nurturing children are in fact backfiring - because key twists in the science have been overlooked. This book has been featured on Good Morning America, Nightline, All Things Considered, Fresh Air and in Newsweek. 

To sign up for this book club, which will begin next week, please email by the end of this week. Please let her know which morning, Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday - works best for you!

Along with discussing this wonderful book and making new friends, you will also earn co-op hours by participating in this book club. 
Picnic Table Co-op/Donation Request - Picnic tables for the 9-12 program

The teachers of the 9-12 program are still seeking new or gently used picnic tables to be used for classwork outside their rooms. Co-op hours (or a receipt for your tax records if you do not need the hours and want to simply make a donation) will be given for the value of the table.
If you have a table to donate and need help with transporting it to school, please let us know.  
For more information, contact
Camp Montessori

Got Preschoolers?
What are they doing for fun and enrichment this summer? Camp Montessori's traditional day camp will focus on geography this summer. 

Take a trip around the world with Montessori activities like map-making, singing, dancing, learning games from other countries, reading and writing stories, and, of course, cooking international fare to taste for ourselves!

Along the way, we'll play under the sprinkler, explore our very own woods, see what's swimming in the stream and build castles to make-believe in.

Don't miss a week! Register today at
Preschool Camp Butterflies

Sixth-Grader Places Third in 5K Race

The Girl Scouts of the Chesapeake Bay held their third annual Thin Mint 5K on Sunday, April 14, at the Wilmington River Front. The event was attended by a number of WMS students, parents and staff.

WMS sixth-grader Ahmad Taylor received a third place medal for his age group, with a time of 26:28.5. Congratulations to Ahmad and to all participants from the WMS community! 

Photos are from Townsquare Delaware - view their slideshow here!

cleanersComing this May - Earth Day Workshop

Make Your Own Natural Cleaners
Sponsored by the WMS PTO 

Open to the public -


Date:  Thursday, May 16, 2013
Time:  7 p.m.
Room 10
Cost (covers materials):  $7

Is this something you've thought about doing but haven't found the time? Now's your chance! Meet like-minded people in a fun workshop while making your own natural house-cleaning products. We will be making:

  • All-purpose cleaner
  • Floor cleaner
  • Laundry detergent

There will also be a list of more recipes and simple tips for getting greener at home.    

Please RSVP by Saturday, May 11, using this form so we can provide enough materials for everyone.

The Wednesday Weekly shares 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, Communications Officer.

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.