Wednesday Weekly
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October 9, 2013
Marie's Message    
Weekly news and notes from Head of School Marie Dugan 


Marie Dugan, Interim Head of School

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!


Marie's Signature   

Mark Your Calendars
9 & 10Picture Days with Apple Branch Photography
Read more 
11First State Ballet - Artist in Residence Performance 
10:30 a.m. in the Great Room - All are welcome!
14Lead Teachers' Professional Day - No Classes
Child-care available. Register Online 
15 & 16Classroom Group Pictures for 50th Anniversary Yearbook
Read more
16Admissions Open House - 9:30 a.m.
Tell a friend! 
18WMS Night at Ramsey's Farm - 5:30 p.m.
Come join the WMS community for a hayride & bonfire!
20-23Sixth Grade Trip to New York (Global Citizenship Action Project at the United Nations)
25 & 28Parent Conferences (Preschool & Elementary only)
Pre-registered child-care available for those ages. Toddler classes will go on as scheduled.
Register Online 
28Scholastic Book Fair Begins (Runs through November 1)
Great Room - Look for a letter coming home with your child including more information! 
30Book Fair Family Night
Gym, 5-7 p.m.
31Halloween Parades
9:30 a.m. - Preschool Parade in the Great Room
11:15 a.m. - Elementary Parade in the Gym 


Co-op Corner
Earn Co-op Hours While Learning about Montessori

Please join us for this exciting parent education opportunity. Come and learn about Montessori education in the home and at school.


"Montessori 101" and "Bringing Montessori Home"

Presented by Betsy Haas and Lauren Harris, WMS Teachers and Parents


Wednesday, October 16, 2013, 9:15-11:15 a.m.  

Monday, November 4, 2013, 7-9 p.m. 


Join seasoned Montessori teachers/Montessori moms Betsy and Lauren in this exciting two-part workshop. Lauren will delve deeper into the Montessori philosophy and explain in more detail what Montessori means and how it plays out in the classroom, with the teachers and throughout the school. Betsy will then share tips and pointers about how to carry the Montessori Method outside of school - no pricey materials needed! There are many simple things you can do to foster independence and creativity in your child while in the most comfortable of settings - your home.

This is a wonderful workshop for those who are new to Montessori and those who want to learn more. It is being provided free of charge to all WMS families. Two hours of co-op time will be given to each family member who attends. Seats are limited. Please register online


Register Now Button  


Please note: Child-care will be available for the November 4 evening presentation at a cost of $5 per child, with advanced registration required. Email or call (302) 475-0555 to register by Friday, November 1.


To learn about additional co-op opportunities, visit or check out the Co-op Boards located across from the library and at the top of the Aspen Wing.
Alumni News

Michael Schneider Promoted to E7 Chief Petty Officer in U.S. Navy


On Sunday, September 22, Michael Schneider, who attended WMS during the late '70s and early '80s, was promoted to an E7, Chief Petty Officer in the Navy last Sunday.


Michael is a Chief in the Navy Reserve in the Information Systems Technician field. He served tours in Kuwait and Kabul, Afghanistan, during which he wrote letters to Dolores Morra's preschool class, communicated with them on Skype and visited the classroom, giving them an American flag that had flown in Afghanistan.


Michael also works for an aerial photography company, processing images that state and counties use for flood planning, building taxes, wildlife infringement on resources and other infrastructure planning. The company also works on imagery that the secret service uses to locate shooting/sniper positions for political campaigns and national sporting events.   

Michael, who is Lori Oberly's older brother, says he felt that his Montessori experience helped shape him into the leader he is today.
His favorite memories of his time in Arden's little red schoolhouse include playing on the jungle gym, in the big red cement tunnels, taking walks down in the woods, building with blocks, using all of the different Montessori materials and a variety of art projects. 

"I feel that the hands-on experience in the classroom, along with the teachers' personal interaction with us kids, helped shape me into the person I am today - free-thinking and able to make common sense decisions as well as solve daily problems that arise in the day to day complexities of life," Michael says.  

News & Notes

harvest-banner.jpg Second annual WMS Family Night at Ramsey's Farm - Friday, October 18 


Join the WMS community for a night of fun! Enjoy an evening outdoors with hayrides, a flashlight corn maze and bonfire. Bring your own dinner - grills and picnic tables will be available - and enjoy snacks and drinks provided by Co-op.


When: Friday, October 18, 5:30-8 p.m.

Where: Ramsey Road, Wilmington, DE 19803 (Off Route 92)

Prices: $10 for ages 5 and up, $6 for ages 4 and under


For more information, contact
classpictures C
lass Pictures for 50th Anniversary Yearbook
 - October 15 & 16


This spring, WMS will be releasing a school-wide yearbook in celebration of our 50th anniversary year. Alumni parent Heather Siple and art teacher Laurie Muhlbauer are already hard at work taking photographs and planning the book's design.


Next week, each classroom will have its photo taken for the yearbook - these photos will not be for sale and are being taken in addition to the class photos that are taken each spring (which will be available for purchase).


The following is the tentative class photo schedule for next week - please look for updates from your classroom teacher in the event of any change:

Class of 2013



Tuesday, October 15

9:30 a.m. - Room 6

10 a.m. - Room 8

10:30 a.m. Room 3

11 a.m. - Room 13

11:30 a.m. - Room 15

1 p.m. - Room 16

1:30 p.m. - Room 12

Wednesday, October 16

9:30 a.m. - Room 1

10 a.m. - Room 4

10:30 a.m. - Room 2

11 a.m. - Room 11

11:30 a.m. - 9-12s


Picture Days - October 9 & 10 

School picture are being taken today and tomorrow, and we are excited to be working with a new vendor this year.

WMS students will be photographed by Apple Branch School Photography, who offers a new approach to school pictures. Instead of purchasing photo packages prior to picture day, you will be able to view a preview of your child's photo and decide which package you would like to purchase. To learn more about Apple Branch Photography, visit

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.