Wednesday Weekly
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May 15, 2013
Marie's Message    
Weekly news and notes from Head of School Marie Dugan 

Congratulations, Meerkat Milers!


I spent a wonderful Mother's Day weekend in New York with my family. When I returned to WMS on Tuesday, I was greeted by story after story about the wonderful experience more than 40 members of our community had at the Delaware Marathon on Sunday! I am sorry I missed the experience!


WMS mom (and avid runner) Becky Davey came up with the idea of the Meerkat Milers at a PTO meeting earlier this year. With help from Kevin Kahn and other members of the PTO, Becky put together six teams of eight runners to take part in the Delaware Marathon Relay.  Each team of eight completed a full marathon (26.2 miles) - that's 3.275 miles per runner - within the race's six-hour time limit. Congratulations! 


I am especially proud of our two student teams - one from the 7-9 Program and another from the 9-12 Program.
Evan Bastianelli Running
Members of the 7-9 team were: 
1. Maggie Lober
2. Adin Shweiki
3. Marissa Lane
4. Kathryn Farabaugh
5. Stephanie Glick
6. Charlotte Davey
7. Lydia Snyder
8. Teddy Davey


Members of the 9-12 team were: 

1. Will Rhodunda
2. Evan Bastianelli
3. Isabel Snyder
4. Michael Lober
5. Ariel Shweiki
6. Ian Scott
7. Annika Delport
8. Grant Farabaugh           


The 7-9 team finished the full marathon in 5 hours and 3 minutes and the 9-12s finished in 4 hours and 15 minutes. Each student team ran with a team of adult "chasers" who supported them throughout the race and helped ensure that each child finished his or her leg of the race safely. Thank you to all of our chasers!


In addition to the student teams and their chasers, two other WMS teams took part in the race. These teams were composed of parents, staff, friends and alumni.  One of these teams won first place in the Montessori division and fourth overall in the 8P relay category, finishing with an impressive time of 3 hours and 39 minutes. Members of this team received trophies and were honored at the race's award ceremony.  They were Betsy and Larry Haas, Cathy and Shawn Capper, Susan Thomas, Jeff Silvers, Meredith McFadden, and Ben Snyder.  Our other team of adults also completed the marathon in an impressive 4 hours and 12 minutes.


I am happy the event brought our community together in a celebration of family, fitness and the spirit of the school we all love.


"It was an event that made me so happy to be a part of this community of people that encourage and support each other and who help to bring out the very best out of each of us," said 7-9 teacher and WMS parent Melissa Connelly. "What a wonderful way to bring up our children!"


Many thanks to Becky, Kevin and everyone else who made this special day possible, including the non-runners who came to cheer our teams on and help out at the water stop! To see more photos, visit this album on Facebook!  

Teacher Contracts
Lead teachers and specials teachers received contracts for the 2013-14 school year today. We are looking forward to our 50th anniversary celebrations beginning in September. I am pleased to continue to serve as WMS's head of school into this special year! We do have the best Montessori teachers in the country at WMS! I am proud to work with them!
Room 16 Temperate Forest Biome Project  

  Have you seen the colorful display of animals outside the Great Room this week? Students in Room 16, a 5-7 class, studied the biomes of Europe this year and combined their interests in art and science to create a temperate forest biome inspired by the Bavarian National Forest in Germany.

Each child selected an animal from the biome to research and created a 3D model with art teacher Laurie Muhlbauer. Students also painted the background and helped create the trees from recycled cardboard and cardboard tubes.

To view the entire biome and learn more about the temperate forest, stop by the Great Room lobby! 

Mark Your Calendars

Advisory Board & Board Visitation Day 8:30-10 a.m. in the classrooms and Great Room 
PTO-sponsored Make Your Own Natural Cleaners Workshop 
7 p.m. in Room 10 - More info
New Castle Industrial Track Trail Clean-up
1-3 p.m. - More info 
Admissions Open House  9:30 a.m., Lobby - Tell a friend!
Attendees should RSVP to     
23WMS Lacrosse Students and Parents Game and Pizza Party
After school  
 We Kids Rock! Concert
3:30 p.m., WMS outdoor stage - Free and open to the public!
More info 
24Elementary Field Day
Volunteers needed! - More info     
27Memorial Day
Building closed. No school or child care.    
29Preschool Field Day  
309-12 Concert
Dress Rehearsal - 9:30 a.m.
Concert - 7 p.m.
Last Day of School
Graduation - 10 a.m. in the Gym - all are invited!  

NOTE: Pre-Camp child care is available every day between the end of school and the beginning of Camp Montessori (June 17). Register online or contact Cass for a paper form by no later than May 30. Summer's almost here!
Staying Safe and Healthy During Tick Season 
by Nurse Paige 

With the change in weather comes the start of tick season. Our children spend time outdoors every day so please check them for ticks regularly at the end of the day. If you find a tick, it is important to know how to remove it.

To get ready to remove the tick, you should have:   

  • Fine tweezers
  • Gloves or a tissue so that you can avoid touching the tick
  • A small jar where you can put the tick (this will make identification easier if your child gets sick)
  • An antiseptic to clean the area of the tick bite and your hands after you remove it
Safe Tick Removal
Safe tick removal

As demonstrated in the picture above, you should use your tweezers to grab the tick as close as possible to your child's skin. After grabbing the tick with your tweezers, you should gently pull it straight up. Be sure to avoid making any jerking or twisting movements as you pull it out, or you may cause the tick's head to break off. If you do notice that any part of the tick has remained embedded in your child's skin, be sure to call your pediatrician for help getting it out.

Remember to use tweezers to remove a tick on your child. You should not try to remove it with your fingers. Also, when removing a tick:   

  • Do not attempt to burn the tick off with a match.
  • Do not smother the tick with nail polish, Vaseline or other products.
  • Mention the tick bite to your pediatrician if your child gets sick soon after getting bit by a tick, especially if he or she develops a rash, fever, chills, headache, fatigue or swollen glands.
  • Do not leave the tick's head stuck in your child's skin or squeeze the tick as you try to remove it.

Please contact Nurse Paige with any additional questions or concerns!

Parent Education
Encouraging Our Children Toward Independence 

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


Money for good grades Did you know that expecting perfection is discouraging?

How do children get the idea that they must be perfect? They might observe "perfect" parents who never make mistakes because we never talk about them. They may get yelled at if they make mistakes or observe what happens to a sibling who doesn't always do the right thing. The parent might use phrases like, "If you don't do it right then don't do it at all," "Here, let me do it," or "You need to do it again until it's perfect."

In some families, perfection is rewarded with money ("I'll give you a dollar for every A"), gifts ("I'll buy you ... if you win a trophy") or even trips are taken because the child has achieved perfection. Where can you go from there? The perception becomes, "I must be perfect in order to avoid feeling like a failure."

Giving up perfection is a gift to yourself as well as your child. Always remember one of my favorite phrases: "Practice makes pretty good."  


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

Community Service Project

Helping Delaware's Hungry Children (Donate peanut butter to our "wall"!)

by Avani Vasudevan and Sarah Breger   


Peanut Butter Wall 5-15-13
Watch our wall grow outside Noel's office!


Kids around the world don't have enough food. People who have enough food may not think about the people who don't have enough food. We can do something to help.  Maybe right now we can't get food to Africa but we can start here in Delaware.     


Everyone deserves food but not everyone can afford it. Seventeen percent of children live in poverty in Delaware and 55,000 children in Delaware receive food stamps to trade in for food. In America, 16 million kids struggle with hunger and even die from it.  We can all make a difference in the world and make that number less.    


Peanut butter is affordable and many children like it. It's healthy because it's high in protein.  If you compare peanut butter to chicken, a chicken breast has 12 grams of protein which is equal to just 3 tablespoons of peanut butter. 

The 9-12 students are collecting peanut butter to build a wall that we will donate to The Food Bank of Delaware during our visit on May 31. The food bank will distribute the peanut butter to children in Delaware. You can help by picking up an extra jar of peanut butter and dropping it in the box outside of room 9 or 10. Thanks for helping us help Delaware's kids.

News & Notes
kidsrockWe Kids Rock @ Wilmington Montessori School
May 23, 3:30-4:30 p.m.
WMS's woods/outdoor stage  
We Kids Rock

Join us for a free concert on Wilmington Montessori School's outdoor stage and enjoy fun, interactive rock 'n' roll for the very young and young at heart! This event is open to the public, so tell a friend and share our Facebook event.

To learn more about We Kids Rock, visit
cleanupNew Castle Industrial Track Trail Clean-up - this weekend

Join members of the WMS community this Sunday, May 19, from 1 to 3 p.m., at the New Castle Industrial Track Trail off of 273.  

Board member/WMS dad Drew Matalonis and his daughter Cassie are organizing this clean-up effort and have secured 12 orange safety vests from Friends of Bellevue State Park, as well as about 12 grabbers and a few buckets for trash collection. The Matalonis family will also provide contractor trash bags. Those who attend should bring their own work gloves, sunscreen and insect repellent.

For additional information, contact Drew Matalonis.
Field Day
fielddayCo-op support needed for next Friday's Elementary Field Day 

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. Volunteers will lead activities for the children and work at various stations throughout the morning.


We are also looking for someone to donate water ice for our children to enjoy during field day.


To volunteer, please email Adrianna at or sign up on the main co-op board across the from the library.

cleanersEarth Day Workshop - Tomorrow!

Make Your Own Natural Cleaners
Sponsored by the WMS PTO 

This event is 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 using this form so we can provide enough materials for everyone.
Free Money Update - Almost $2,000 raised!  
Thank you to all of the families and staff who have participated in all of WMS's free fundraising programs this year! 

During the 2012-13 school year, we have raised almost $2,000 for the school by collecting box tops, shoes, printer cartridges, using Target or Giant cards, shopping on, surfing the web via GoodSearch and more. These programs continue through the remainder of the school year as well as the summer, so there's still time to participate. Please check our Free Money webpage for more ideas on how to help! 

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.