Wednesday Weekly
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September 11, 2013
Marie's Message    
Weekly news and notes from Head of School Marie Dugan 
Remember 9-11

Remembering 9/11

Marie Dugan, Interim Head of School Today is an important day in our country's history. On September 11, 2001, our nation was shaken to its core and innocence was lost with the tragic attack on the Twin Towers in New York City. I remember that day clearly. I was on my way into the United Nations building when the attack happened. I am the American Montessori Society NGO representative to the UN and was headed to a conference that memorable day. I will never forget that experience! 


We give honor to all of the lives lost on that horrific day. It reminds me to let you know that our staff handled that day in a remarkable way. Safety is top priority here at WMS. We have a Preparedness Committee in place, chaired by Nurse Paige Lucarelli. Our lockdown and other safety procedures are working well, and we continue to practice them on a regular basis. Noel also contacts families through our AlertNow emergency communication system as needed. Stay tuned for information about an AlertNow test in the coming weeks. This system allows us to quickly contact you via phone, email and text messages in case of an emergency or school closing.


Tomorrow, we will hold our first fire drill of the year at 9:30 a.m. If you are in the building, please model quiet and calm behavior for the children. When you leave the building, please join our students and staff at the nearest congregation area (the Peace Park, soccer field or map on the black top behind the school) and stand with other parents on the circle labeled with a star. 

Town Meeting

The Town Meeting was well-attended last night. Be sure to check our website later this week to read the school's 2013-16 Strategic Plan and Core Values, which will define our direction forward for the next three years. Board of Directors Chair Anna Quisel presented this plan to the many staff members and parents in attendance. Each board member and staff member was introduced, and Board Treasurer Paul Sakaguchi, Israel Floyd and I gave reports on finance, expectations and 2012-14 highlights. I especially enjoyed hearing three current parents, who also have children who are alumni, share the stories of their impressive transitions from WMS to their new schools.


Look for my new blog next week. You will find information about our programs and links to research and articles of interest about education. The first blog post will include information about a neurologist and Montessori dad, Dr. Steven Hughes, who speaks in support of Montessori as an important philosophy for children. We are currently working to schedule a date for him to come to Wilmington.


The fruits of a paw paw tree

New Paw Paw Tree - Thank you!

Thank you to alumni parent and Arden neighbor Hetty Franke for donating a lovely little paw paw tree to our campus. The Common Paw Paw is the northernmost representative of a chiefly tropical family. The tree's fruits are known to be quite tasty to humans with a sweet-smelling, creamy flesh that tastes like a blend of papaya, banana, mango and pineapple. The paw paw is also the host plant for the caterpillar of the Zebra Swallowtail, which feeds on its leaves. We look forward to watching this tree grow on our campus!



Want to work for WMS? We have several employment opportunities available:


Accountant - WMS is seeking a full-time accountant. Please visit our website for the full job description and application information.


Front Desk Assistant - WMS is seeking a friendly and organized year-round employee to work at the Front Desk. The schedule is tentatively set as 1:15 to 6 p.m. but may change depending on our needs. Please contact Lori Oberly if you or someone you know are interested.



Have a wonderful week!


Marie's Signature  

The Perfect Classroom
Written by the students of the 7-9 program


7-9 class perfect day

The perfect classroom has kids learning and having fun.


In the perfect classroom, kids are helping each other do things.

In the perfect classroom, kids are working together.

In the perfect classroom, kids are staying safe.

In the perfect classroom, kids are making things and doing projects.

In the perfect classroom, kids are learning science and math.

There are lots and lots of books in the perfect classroom.

The teachers are nice and friendly in the perfect classroom.  They help us when we need it.

Friends encourage each other in the perfect classroom.

Kids are making friends in the perfect classroom.

People ask good questions and are curious in the perfect classroom.

Kids are smiling in the perfect classroom.
Mark Your Calendars
12 Back-to-School/Curriculum Night (Toddler/9-12 parents) - 7 p.m.  
18Back-to-School/Curriculum Night (5-9 parents) - 7 p.m.
Child-care is available for $5 each. Contact for more information.  
19Welcome Back/Peace Assembly/Pinwheels for Peace Activities - 10:30 a.m.
25Back-to-School/Curriculum Night (Preschool parents) - 7 p.m.
Child-care is available for $5 each. Contact for more information. 
26/279-12 Program Overnight Trip to South Mountain YMCA Camp
30Montessori Monday Open House - Admissions - 9:30 a.m.
Tell a friend! 


Co-op Corner

September Parent Co-op Opportunities

Two great ways to get an early start on your 2013-14 Parent Co-op commitment


Curriculum Nights: Front Desk Coverage

We are looking for people to sit at the front desk during Curriculum Nights for approximately 2.5 to 3 hours. This is a great way to get to know your fellow parents as you greet them and help direct them to their classrooms.  


Please plan to attend your child's Curriculum Night (listed on the calendar above) and volunteer on another night. We do not want parents to miss a single piece of important information!


Volunteers are needed for the following shifts (ending time is approximate): 

Thursday, September 12 (tomorrow) - 6 to 9 p.m.

Wednesday, September 18 - 6 to 9 p.m.

Wednesday, September 25 - 6 to 9 p.m.


50th Anniversary Reception Preparation, Set-up and Clean-up

We are looking for help with two small receptions for alumni and past parents, staff and other friends of the school on Thursday, September 26. Would you be willing to help organize light refreshments for our visitors in the morning and/or evening? Volunteers are needed to purchase (or make) food and drinks, set up and clean up afterward. 


Thursday, September 26, 2013 - 9:30-11 a.m. 

Thursday, September 26, 2013 - 7-9:30 p.m.


If you are interested in any of the above opportunities, please email or sign up on the main co-op board across from the library. As always, thank you for your support!

New Staff Welcome

Erin Wehler - 5-7 Teacher

We are excited to welcome Erin Wehler to WMS. Erin leads the 5-7 class in Room 15 with Jill Pyle. She brings with her a multitude of experience as an AMS-credentialed early childhood teacher, and she has previously taught at Starmaker Montessori School near Washington, D.C., for 11 years. Erin attended WMS as a child and is thrilled to be back. Her two daughters Ginger and Cider are enrolled in toddler classes at WMS.

News & Notes
Calling all Montessori dads!   

Join other WMS fathers at our new "Montessori for Dads" Discussion Group.


First meeting: Tuesday, October 1, 2013 at 6 p.m. in the WMS Gym.

This will be an informal meeting to share ideas from experienced to inexperienced Montessori dads. We also can play basketball or grab something to eat nearby. 


If interested, please contact Matt Harris, Everett's Dad, at, or contact Theresa Conaty with any questions.


Steel Drums - Holiday Concert
Register for After-School Programs Today

The new slate of After-School Specials - including five brand-new classes - has been sent home with students ages 4 and up. If you didn't get one, pick one up in the lobby or outside Cass's office. You can also view the list and sign up online. Registration deadline is Monday, September 16, but some programs may fill earlier! 
Steel Drums
Come experience the sound of the Caribbean! Steel drum classes are back at WMS. Auditions and classes for children in third through sixth grade begin on September 18. The 12-week program costs $195. Monthly payment options are available. For more information, contact Atiba Fields at or 302-981-7157. Flyers are available in the lobby. See our steel drum band in action in this video from last year's winter concert!

Soccer practice has started, but it's not too late to sign-up! Everyone in grades 3 through 6 is welcome - no experience necessary. Practices are held from 3:15 to 4:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays (with games going a bit longer). Registration forms are available in the lobby. 

Please contact Adrianna Wall for more information. Adrianna is also looking for an assistant coach to support the team (no experience necessary) - this is a great way to earn co-op hours!
Give to WMS through the United Way of Delaware


Do you work at DuPont, Bank of America or another Delaware company that participates in a United Way campaign? Did you know that your donation can benefit WMS? 

When you make your United Way gift this year, please enter code number 12795 on your pledge form in the "Specific Care" area. You can also write in WMS and our mailing address.  

Your gift to WMS through United Way of Delaware will directly benefit your children by enhancing our STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) program, supporting the visual and performing arts, helping us retain and hire talented teachers and staff, and so much more. We thank you for your generosity! 
WMS Family Raises Funds and Awareness for Service Dogs


Sophia Yanis appears to be a normal 4-year-old with a bright smile. She takes dancing, gymnastics, ice-skating and piano lessons and, like many children her age, thrives on a structured schedule.  
Despite appearances, however, Sophia deals with unique challenges not faced by most children her age. She becomes hyper-fixated on objects, has a tendency to wander from her yard, is terrified of her own bedroom and seems to have no real grasp on what is dangerous. 

Sophia is autistic and her parents are trying their best to help her cope with everyday life. As they researched a variety of options, the Yanis family discovered 4 Paws for Ability, a non-profit that provides trained services dogs to children with disabilities.

"We applied for a service dog because we need to keep Sophia safe," says Jessica Yanis, mother of Sophia and Wesley, a toddler in room 1. "A service dog will disrupt the hyper-fixated behaviors that are leading her away from us and into danger. A dog would prevent her from going into the street, find her if she was hiding, get her a attention, be the calming support she needs when things are overwhelming, distract her during a meltdown and help her sleep in her own room for the first time in two years." 

Along with applying for a dog of their own, the Yanis family is partnering with 4 Paws for Ability to raise awareness and funds to support the training and placement of these service dogs. Their goal is to race $13,000 to help raise and train service dogs for children like Sophia. To learn more, visit or contact Jessica Yanis at if you can 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.
50th Logo

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.