Weekly news and notes from Head of School Marie Dugan
50th Anniversary & Strategic Plan
Our 50th anniversary year is a time for celebration! We are planning to include many events in honor of our half-century of Montessori excellence.
230 students are currently enrolled at WMS. Twenty-three Montessori-credentialed teachers, administrators and support staff work in partnership with parents to offer the best possible learning experience for our children. We are in process of re-accreditation with NAEYC, the National Association for the Education of Young Children. We have been accredited by them since 1993. This prestigious accreditation places WMS as a five-star school in the state of Delaware, as recognized by the Delaware Office of Early Learning. We are proud of this recognition as education leaders. We are also accredited by Middle States Association of Colleges & Schools and the American Montessori Society.
The school community has just completed a Strategic Plan. Be sure to check our website and pick up a brochure in the lobby (available early next week) to read about our three-year plan. The plan includes exciting enhancements to our technology/STEM and arts programs, as well as increased support and professional development for our teachers and staff. Financial stability includes the launching of a comprehensive capital campaign.The school is fortunate and grateful for our many generous donors.
I invite you to join us for parent meetings or workshops - or simply drop us an email or stop by to visit - to share this anniversary year, as we do our planning for the next 50 years! We are already excited about September 2014, when we will welcome families to our 51st year!
9-12 Students Continue Work on STEM Community Service Program
Congratulations to the students of the 9-12 program as they move on to the next step of their their DelawareCAN project.
The project started with a planning phase in which students worked with art teacher Laurie Muhlbauer and technology teacher Michael Johnson to plan their designs. They then worked on estimating what materials (foods) they would need to create the design. Along with taking aesthetics into consideration, they looked at the Food Bank of Delaware's list of most-needed foods to plan out their donations requests that went out to the community.
Many of us looked at the long lists of items the children were requesting and wondered if they had set their expectations too high, but as always, our community has been overwhelmingly generous! Along with numerous donations from individuals, the Giant, ShopRite and Trader Joe's stores gave us large quantities of food. We are so grateful and know the Food Bank of Delaware will be too!
Be sure to visit the lobby to see the ongoing progress on our four can sculptures - a Montessori bead cabinet, a giant "WMS 50" can, the Statue of Liberty and a child on the floor reading a book. As they build the sculptures, students will also learn engineering concepts as they strive to make sure their creations are structurally sound.
What a wonderful project for a wonderful cause!
Speaking of STEM, I'd like to share an article from today's New York Times magazine about women in science. This quote in particular struck me as interesting:
"I'm soldering things, and I'm thinking, Hey I'm really good at this. I know the principles. It's like an art. It took me years to realize that I'm actually good with my hands. I have all these small-motor skills from all the years I spent sewing, knitting and designing things. We should tell young women, 'This stuff actually prepares you for working in a lab.'"
At WMS, you will see even our youngest children practicing their fine motor skills through practical life work - pouring, using tweezers, hammering nails and more. These skills will help them excel in laboratory work and careers that involve this type of detailed work.
Artist in Residence - First State Ballet Theatre
This Friday, WMS will welcome our 2013-14 Artists in Residence - First State Ballet Theatre - to our school for a special performance at 10:30 a.m. in the Great Room. Parents are invited to attend!
First State Ballet is Delaware's premiere professional ballet company. During their visits to WMS (on October 11, 2013 and March 21, 2014), WMS students, staff and parents will learn about the art of ballet, witness a dance class (including Q&A), meet the dancers and be treated to performances of selected highlights from the company's upcoming Grand Opera House performances ("Swan Lake" in October and "Cinderella" in March).
We hope you will join us!
Have a great week!