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April 30, 2014

Message from Head of School Lisa Lalama 



Saturday was the first Edcamp Delaware, held at Wilmington Friends School. Several WMS staff members attended this unique day of professional development with approximately 60 other educators. Most of us had no idea exactly what was slated for the day, but we were eager to find out. Everyone left having learned something new, gaining a new skill or two, and inspired to consider what is possible.


The purpose of Edcamp is simply to gather and be open to learning. As the day begins, ideas are posted. Each participant chooses the "class" he or she wants to attend. The beauty is that no one - and everyone - are the experts. Each person attends a particular session and lends his or her thinking to the group. The person who proposed the idea for the session will most likely begin the discussion, but everyone is invested in the learning and is a contributor. We were there because we wanted to see what we could learn. We explored ideas and had others alongside us to help us through the tough spots. We shared our thinking and our vision. We learned about connecting with other Delaware teachers, using Twitter to connect to other educators, blogging with students, Maker Spaces, STEM labs, utilizing library spaces and gardening with students.


Learning for the sake of learning - this is what happened for the educators who attended Edcamp Delaware. Learning for the sake of learning is what we strive to instill in children every day at WMS. Lifelong learning begins early. It begins with the curiosity you recognized in your children from the moment they entered your lives. It continues as they explore the world so new and so exciting to them. Providing the environment for learning to continue with that same wonder and inquisitiveness is our goal at WMS. It was delightful to have the opportunity to learn in the way we endeavor to inspire your children to learn - the way that Maria Montessori knew we learn the best, through experience and a gentle guiding hand. Thanks to the Edcamp movement, this is now available for teachers as well as the students we work with each day. Amazing. 





Mark Your Calendar
Staff Professional Day - No Classes - Pre-registered child-care available
Auction & Gala - 6 p.m. (VIP) or 7 p.m. (Main Event) - at WMS -
Moms' Day/French Performance - Starting at drop-off time - Learn More
6-23Student Art Show - Lobby and front hallway 
10Delaware Marathon "Run 1, 4 Fun" children's run/walk (conclusion of GYMM program) - 10:30 a.m. - Wilmington Riverfront 
11Delaware Marathon Meerkat Milers Relay 
Classroom News
Building Bridges: A Civil Engineering Project in Room 16  

by 5-7 Teachers Arlene Wason & Erin Winner



Room 16's kindergarten and first-grade students recently completed a month-long engineering unit called "Civil Engineering: Designing Bridges." The children examined the distinct structural features of three types of bridges:  beam, arch and suspension, adding words like abutments, piers and span to their vocabulary. They brainstormed a list of criteria a bridge should meet to be safe and stable, which led them to consider the properties of different construction materials used to design bridges. 


Following discussions and demonstrations about force, balance and stability, the children created models of each bridge type and conducted experiments to see which bridge best met the criteria for strength and stability. Using this knowledge, the children worked in pairs to design their own bridge that met the criteria and constraints of the engineering challenge. Engineering constraints included using building materials that consisted of computer paper, 5x8 index cards, plastic straws, popsicle sticks, string, tape and six wooden blocks for the abutments. Each bridge also had to meet two criteria for strength and stability: How many times did the car roll across the bridge successfully? And how many weights did your bridge hold before it failed?


Check this video to see the children's excitement, problem-solving skills and teamwork as they worked to put their knowledge and ideas about bridge design to the test.

Co-op Corner

The Magic Number is 3! Here are three ways you can earn co-op hours in the upcoming week.


1. Help with auction clean-up on Sunday morning. Beginning at 10 a.m., on Sunday, May 4, the auction decorations will need to be cleared out and cleaned up. The more help we have, the faster the task will go. Come one, come all - and invite your friends!


2. Help with set-up, hosting or clean-up on Moms' Day, which is next Tuesday, May 6. We ♥ our moms...


3. Assist at the WMS-hosted water station at the Delaware Marathon on Sunday, May 11. Come support the runners and the entire WMS team!


Has your family completed its co-op obligation? Please remember, the yearly co-op obligation is 30 hours per family, and we are quickly approaching the end of the year. Laurie Orsic would be happy to help you calculate your hours to date. Please contact her at 302-475-0555 or

Auction Newsauction
auction header 2014
Saturday, May 3 at WMS
VIP Hour - 6-7 p.m.
Main Event - 7 p.m.

Purchase your tickets today - prices increase at the door!
Buy tickets online or at school, and learn about some of our featured items below! 

VIP Reception


It doesn't get any more VIP than rubbing elbows with royalty. At this year's VIP Hour, reigning queen of the First State, Miss Delaware 2014, will be holding court. Kelsey Miller, who will represent Delaware in the 2014 Miss USA pageant this June, will be on hand to emcee, sign autographs and show her support of the Wilmington Montessori fundraising efforts. The VIP hour will take place from 6 to 7 p.m., right before the main event. All are welcome!

Space is limited, so be sure to buy your VIP tickets today. 



Getaways Galore

 Laissez les bon temps rouler in New Orleans! Grab your ticket for the 2014 Annual Auction Gala and place your bid on a jazz getaway to the Big Easy. This trip for two includes airfare and a three night stay in the Hyatt French Quarter, the historic heart of New Orleans. Winners will receive VIP admission to Preservation Hall and will be entitled to skip the long lines at the famous jazz headquarters and a choice of Jazz Brunch or a three-course dinner at Commander's Palace restaurant, where "inventive modern New Orleans cooking coexists with Haute Creole." Commander's Palace is touted to have the best dish in New Orleans, and has a "dirt to plate within 100 miles" policy - 90% of ingredients are fresh and local, some grown in the restaurant's own rooftop garden. This getaway package is packed with food, culture, music and fun.  


Looking for something more leisurely? Place a bid on a trip for two to Napa Valley and Sonoma. This package includes airfare and a three night stay in the Meritage Resort and Spa in Napa Valley. Ride in style with your own chauffeur for six hours to roam Napa and Sonoma and explore the vineyards. The winner will also be booked on a three-hour gourmet dinner aboard the Napa Valley Wine Train, an exceptional meal on elegant and meticulously restored vintage train cars as they wind through scenic Napa Valley. On this getaway, you only need to sit back, relax and sip on a glass of local wine.

News & Notes
WMS Granted Reaccreditation through NAEYC

This month, WMS was granted reaccreditation through the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). NAEYC is a governing body promoting high-quality early childhood education standards in programs serving children birth through age 5. More than 400 standards are categorized into 10 groups encompassing relationships among all students and adults, curriculum, teaching strategies, child assessment, health and nutrition of students, qualified teaching staff, positive relationships with families, community relationships, physical environment, and leadership and management. 

We are thrilled to report that WMS scored 100% in eight out of 10 of these program areas, and above 90% on the remaining two! These were assessed in a combination of classroom portfolios, the WMS program portfolio, parent and staff surveys, and classroom observations during the site visit. Our classroom teachers have been working tirelessly throughout the past year to prepare portfolios that reflect what they do every day.  

What does this NAEYC reaccreditation mean to WMS? It means that WMS is a highly recognized leader in early childhood education and families can rest assured that their children are in a setting that epitomizes high quality and best practices in early childhood education. It also means that WMS is automatically recognized as a Five-Star school in the state of Delaware through Delaware Stars for Early Success. This designation opens up funding for school programs, as well as bonuses for teachers. Additionally, NAEYC makes resources available to parents like this page on learning and development.

momsMoms' Day 2014 - Tuesday, May 6
Calling all WMS moms (and special friends)! It's time for YOUR day at WMS!

Schedule of events:
8:30 (elementary) or 9 a.m. (toddler/preschool) until 10 a.m. - Join your child at drop-off time to enjoy a morning of fun and learning in his or her classroom.
10:15 a.m. - Meet in the Great Room for refreshments and a brief student presentation.
10:45 a.m. - French performance in the gym - "Les Trois Petits Cochons" ("The Three Little Pigs") - by WMS 7-9 and 9-12 students.  ALL WMS families and friends are invited to this performance! 


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, Director of Communications.
 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.