Wednesday Weekly
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May 1, 2013
Marie's Message    
Weekly news and notes from Head of School Marie Dugan 


Teacher Contracts/Re-enrollment

May is an important month for WMS. Teacher contracts will be offered on May 15. This date coincides with our re-enrollment count and the acceptances of new children who currently do not attend classes at WMS. Currently, some of our classrooms are close to being fully enrolled, but some current families have not yet sent their re-enrollment contracts and deposits. Please ensure your child's place today by returning your deposit with these documents. This will also help us to stay on schedule with teacher contracts and staffing the classrooms. If you have questions, please contact me by phone or email.


Sad News

We are saddened by the passing of three members of our community. We all send condolences to their families.          


Elaine Muhlbauer, art teacher Laurie Muhlbauer's mother, was an assistant teacher at WMS for 20 years. She is remembered for her devotion to the children and WMS. She and her husband Bob have been dedicated supporters of our school and our co-op program for many years.


Joan Zimmerman, the mother of Laurie Orsic, passed away last week after an extended illness. Laurie was an elementary teacher at WMS for eight years. She left last year to care for her mother.


Art Hasted, the husband of former preschool teacher Nancy Hasted, passed away this weekend. Nancy taught at the Arden School and moved to the new building in 1993.  Art and Nancy's son and grandchildren attended WMS for many years.


Contact the front desk, if you need contact information for any of these families.


Rummage Sale

Last week's Rummage Sale was a huge success. Most of the furniture items sold, and people came throughout the day and left with happy smiles and treasures they had purchased at great prices. Thank you to Rummage Sale chair Nancy Sakaguchi for all of her hard work throughout the year and to everyone else who helped with the sale and donated items. The sale raised more than $6,000 for our operating fund.



Communications Officer Noel Dietrich achieved a personal record for her finishing time at the Nike Women Half Marathon (a race to benefit The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society) in Washington, D.C., this weekend. Congratulations, Noel, for your efforts to support The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society by raising more than $15,000 for cancer research and patient support during the past two and a half years.


Heads of School for the Day

On Monday, I had a wonderful day with elementary students Alex and Daniel Ropars. They stayed with me from arrival to dismissal, including an enjoyable lunch in the staff lunch room. We visited and observed every classroom, talked with office staff, toured the downstairs, and the boys shared their ideas about marketing and strategic planning. They also read to children and helped preschoolers with their Mothers' Day projects. 
Daniel, who is currently enrolled in the 7-9 program, described his day as "great" and said his favorite part of the day was when he and his brother decided that the empty downstairs classrooms would be a perfect place for a 7th and 8th grade program.
Alex, a student in the 9-12 program, also enjoyed his day, particularly his lunch in the staff room. 

"We talked about a lot of things and I met people I don't usually get to see like Carolyn Fuhrman (executive assistant)," he said. "I also liked visiting Joyce's preschool class because she was my old teacher. We read books to the preschoolers and talked about how it was different from when I was in preschool. Joyce said her students like to nap, and I hated napping! I had a wonderful time!" 
momsJoin us for Moms' Day - Tuesday, May 7
Calling all WMS moms (and special friends)! It's time for YOUR day at WMS!

Schedule of events:
8:30 or 9 a.m. - Join your child at drop-off time to enjoy a morning of fun and learning in his or her classroom.
10:15 a.m. - Meet in the Great Room for refreshments and a brief presentation by Head of School Marie Dugan and Board Chair (and WMS mom) Anna Quisel. 
11 a.m. - French performance in the gym - "Boucle d'Or et Les Trois Ours" (Goldilocks & the Three Bears" - by WMS 7-9 and 9-12 students.  ALL WMS families and friends are invited to this performance - not just moms! 
Mark Your Calendars

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.

9                 PTO Meeting
                   9:15 a.m. 

10               PTO-sponsored Dessert & Dance
                   6-8 p.m.
                   Tickets ($5) will be on sale starting
                   May 6. 
12               Delaware Marathon Relay
                   Support our WMS runners starting at
                   7:05 a.m. at the Wilmington


13               New Family Reception

                   10 a.m., Library


16               PTO-sponsored Make Your Own
                   Natural Cleaners Workshop 
                   7 p.m. in Room 10
                   More info

23               WMS Lacrosse Students and
                   Game and Pizza Party
                   After school

                   We Kids Rock! Concert
                   3:30 p.m., WMS outdoor stage 

24               Elementary Field Day                                        Volunteers needed!
                   More info 
Parent Education
Encouraging Our Children Toward Independence 

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


Parents often ask how they can get their child to become self-motivated.  As we all know, that is the Montessori Method of learning. As Montessori families, we need to take that philosophy home and enable our children to continue their curiosity about learning and encourage them to look at their own feelings rather than always telling them how we feel about their errors, progress or success.


Whenever we judge their effort rather than have them evaluate themselves, we miss the opportunity to help them develop self-motivation. When a child asks for your judgment ("Did I do well?") turn it back to them by asking, "How do you feel about it?" You will gain the insight that helps you see how your child views the world and your child will gain the insight into how he feels about what he does.


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

News & Notes
Mars Rover Teamwork 7-9 students complete NASA STEM challenges
Mars Rover Test As part of their astronomy study, 7-9 students learned about the history of space exploration and past and current Mars Rover missions. They then completed two NASA STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) challenges.

In their first, they built a spacecraft with a shock-absorbing system that could withstand a one-foot drop. In their next mission, they designed and built a stable wheel-and-axle vehicle that could handle a 30-degree decline over a changing landscape without tipping over. The children's projects showcased their understanding of lift, paper springs, stabilizing popsicle sticks, wheel-and-axle design and parachute technology. Even more importantly, they practiced collaboratively planning, testing and then evaluating their designs.

Camp Montessori

Photography Camp - One Part Art, One Part Science
How do we see in 3D? What is a chemical change? How does light travel?
These are the kinds of questions children will explore with professional photographer (and WMS mom) Heather Siple while learning the art of taking pictures at Photography Camp (June 24-28). Projects range from 19th century vegetable dye prints to 21st century digital manipulation. The week will end with an art show to show off our best work.
To learn more about Camp Montessori and register for this or other camps, visit Many programs are filling quickly, so be sure to sign up soon!
photo camp
Field Day
fielddayCo-op support needed for Field Days  

Looking for a way to earn some end-of-the-year co-op hours AND enjoy fun and fitness outside?


Physical education teacher Adrianna Wall is looking for a number of co-op volunteers to help with Elementary Field Day on May 24 from 8:30 a.m. until noon. 


A few volunteers are also needed for Preschool Field Day on May 29. Stations are run by 9-12 students, but we will need several parents to supervise the activities.


Finally, we are looking for someone to donate water ice for our children to enjoy during field day.


Earn co-op hours for any of the opportunities above.  To volunteer, please email Adrianna at

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.
marathonSupport the Meerkat Milers at the Delaware Marathon      

Please join us in cheering on our six Wilmington Montessori Teams, made up of students, staff and parents, at the 2013 Delaware Marathon on May 12. 

The PTO is looking for a few more volunteers to help out at a water station along the marathon course. You can sign up for one of two shifts, either from 8:45 to 10:30 a.m. or 10:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. We will be staffing it with another group, so we are looking for four or five people for the earlier shift and two or three for the later shift.  Relay runners who are finished are welcome to sign up! It would also be a good job for family members who have come to cheer that day. Please contact the WMS PTO if you are interested.  

Limited edition Meerkat Milers T-shirts
If you would like to show your support for the Meerkat Milers on race day at the water station, at our tent in Tubman Garrett Riverfront Park, or anywhere around town, you can order a limited edition Meerkat Milers T-shirt. T-shirts are available for $12 each (or two for $22, or three for $30). Orders will only be accepted until Thursday, May 2 (tomorrow) at noon. Use the form on this page to submit your order. Pick-up for the shirts will be on Friday, May 10, before and after school.  Payments can be made via cash, check or credit card at time of pick-up.   
Can't make it to the event but still want to support the runners? Donate to any of the runners to help cheer them on! Proceeds will help purchase a new curtain for the stage in the gym!

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.