Wednesday Weekly
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December 11, 2013

Marie's Message    
Weekly news and notes from Head of School Marie Dugan 



Marie Dugan, Interim Head of School



This week, the New York Times began a series on math and science education. In this week's article, Who Says Math Has to Be Boring?, the NYT editorial board discusses the rapid increase in jobs related to science, technology, engineering and math (known collectively as STEM) while the number of college students who choose to pursue STEM-related careers is decreasing. The key to increasing the qualified workforce in these fields is engaging students at a young age:

A new study, by researchers at the University of Missouri, showed that the most important factor that predicted math success in middle school and upward was an understanding of what numbers are before entering the first grade. Having "number system knowledge" in kindergarten or earlier - grasping that a numeral represents a quantity, and understanding the relationships among numbers - was a more important factor in math success by seventh grade than intelligence, race or income. Full Article

Montessori math materials engage students in hands-on learning, beginning with concrete examples of mathematical principles and eventually becoming more abstract as children move through their elementary years. Once again, current research confirms what Montessorians have known for more than a century! 



You will notice some changes in the format of the WW, beginning today. We have been working with a marketing consultant who has made some suggestions about our weekly publication and how we can make it more readable and engaging. Please share your feedback!



It is always a pleasure to spend time with our oldest students. WMS graduates leave our school with strong academic and problem-solving skills, and the confidence to lead and make positive changes in the world around them. I enjoy taking the time to eat lunch and chat with our sixth-graders. This Monday, Adelayne, Evan, Zion and Ariel had some interesting things to share. When I asked what they would suggest for changes to WMS, they suggested completion of their new garden space adjacent to the classroom and a return of the Student Council. I will follow up on both suggestions. These short meetings are the highlight of my week! I reminded them that they are the leaders of the school. Some have been at WMS for 10 years!


Marie's Signature   

Alumni News
WMS Alum Returns to Montessori Roots
Quite often, we learn that our WMS alumni have been so inspired by our wonderful teachers that they have pursued teaching as a profession. This week, we are thrilled to announce that Leah Walker (1996 WMS graduate and daughter of librarian Elizabeth Varley) will be receiving her master's degree in early childhood education from Chaminade University in Honolulu, HI, and her Montessori credentials for ages 3 to 6. Leah, who is also a former WMS assistant teacher and camp counselor, is currently a 3-6 lead teacher at Chaminade's demonstration school. Before accepting the position, she was also an assistant 3-6 teacher at the Community Montessori School in Honolulu. Congratulations, Leah!
News & Notes
Snow Day Fun!

A little bit of snow might close classes, but it doesn't do anything to dampen snow-day fun!  


About a dozen children from WMS and the Brandywine School District spent Tuesday with our intrepid child-care staff.  They baked pumpkin muffins, went on a snowy-day woods walk, sledded down three different hills, built snowpersons, played games, drank hot chocolate and had a wonderful time.


When school is closed and child-care is open, feel free to drop in with your children at any time! For more information about "School's Out" child-care, contact Cass Winner.
Coming on Friday, December 20... 
Join us at 9:30 a.m. in the gym for our annual 5-9 concert!
All are welcome for a morning of music and winter holiday cheer! Invite your friends and family. More info in next week's issue!
Raise Funds for WMS while Shopping this Holiday Season

Did you know you can raise funds for WMS while shopping on


Our school receives up to 4% of your purchase price. Begin by using this link, which will take you directly to and automatically signal to the Amazon system that a percentage of your total purchase cost should go directly to WMS. It's fundraising made simple.  


You can also fundraise for WMS by shopping at Target through their Take Charge of Education program and several other "two-fers" that allow you to check a few more holiday presents off of your list AND give WMS extra funding for classroom materials and programs.  It's two for the price of one!

Learn more about these and other ways you can raise funds for WMS while shopping at our Shop4WMS website.

WMS Family Skating Party 
This Saturday, December 14, 3:15 p.m.

Have you signed up for the WMS Family Skating Party or are you available to volunteer to assist with this event? Don't miss this winter favorite!
Coming this December...
WMS Skating Party - 3:15-5:15 p.m. - Skating Club of Wilmington - Learn More 
Photography Club Show & Reception - 4:30-5:15 p.m. - Stop by to see the work our talented students have been doing with alumni parent and professional photographer Heather Siple.    
5-9 Holiday Concert - 9:30 a.m. - Gym 
Winter Break - No school or child-care

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.
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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.