W E D N E S D A Y  W E E K L Y
January 21, 2015
In This Issue

Upcoming Events

January 26
Montessori Monday Open House
9:30 a.m. 
Tell a friend! 

January 29
Toddler Playground Grand Opening
9:30 a.m.

WMS Birthday Celebration
TBA in the gym

January 30 & February 2
Parent Conferences for 3-6 and elementary classrooms. No classes will be held at those levels, but pre-registered child-care is available.
Note: Toddler classes will continue as scheduled on these days with conferences scheduled throughout the month.

February 6
Alumni Pizza Party
6:30-8:30 p.m. in the Great Room. More info,

February 10
WMS Chorus Performance @ UD Basketball Game
8 p.m., Bob Carpenter Center in Newark, DE

 Message from Head of School 
Lisa A. Lalama 



As January rolls on so do thoughts of the next school year. Last week re-enrollment contracts were sent to all WMS families; it's time to sign your child up for next year. Since you are all families who currently attend WMS, you know the value of the education you have chosen. It is an education unlike any other - a place where each child is given the opportunity to learn in ways best suited for him or her and to have experiences that keep wonder and curiosity alive.


When people ask about WMS and you try to answer quickly about their experience here and why it is so wonderful, it isn't always easy. Most of us and most of our family and friends did not attend a school like WMS. What makes it different? What makes it the best choice for your children? All schools do their best to educate, to pass on information that we learned in school, with the goal of producing graduates who are informed members of society. What we know, however, is that many of these schools don't reach that goal, and for some of us, achieving that goal isn't enough - we want our graduates to be more than "informed members of society." But what is enough? Why WMS?


At its core, WMS is a place for all children. It is for the children who come to us eager and ready to learn and those who need more experiences before they are as engaged in the learning process. It begins with caring for children as individuals and respecting them for who they are; these are essential ingredients to learning, ingredients that are commonly left out of the mix in other schools. As children are ready, we introduce new concepts and challenges; we have confidence in their ability. Children set and achieve personal goals with a caring certified Montessori teacher by their sides.


In the past few weeks, we have had a few events to answer questions for parents about the next steps for their children. Throughout these events it has been wonderful to hear parents answer questions for each other, to share their children's experiences. WMS is a special place. It can be hard to state it in a brief article such as this, but those of you who are here or who have been here, know it. It begins when you enter the door and stays with you for a lifetime. (Check out my latest blog post for an example.)


Over the next few weeks you have the opportunity to remind yourselves why a WMS education matters and to choose it again. Please take the time to look through the observation windows, ask teachers or other staff questions, and take a brief peek at the wonder your child experiences each day. You are important to our community and we look forward to another year with each of you who make us who we are...Wilmington Montessori School. 




News & NotesNews
WMS Alumni Collect Clothing for Recycling Program
by Isabel Snyder & Ariel Shweiki, WMS class of 2014 and current 7th graders in the PRIED Program 

Isabel and Ariel present their project to WMS's elementary students.
"Recycle What You Used to Wear to Help Save Animals in Despair"

This is a reminder that PRIED is collecting all your unwearable or unwanted clothing for our recycling campaign with the Philadelphia Zoo. In addition to clothes, we will accept household textiles like blankets and old rags. We will take wearable donations to a charitable organization and unwearable donations to a company that turns them into playground flooring, insulation and base thread. 

All usable T-shirts will be sorted out and turned into Turtle Totes. Turtle Totes are reusable bags that are made from recycled T-shirts to help reduce the amount of plastic that ends up in the ocean. Our goal is to collect 500 pounds by our deadline of February 13, and we have 275 pounds so far. 

The donation bin is located in the front lobby of WMS. Clean out your closets to help us save animals affected by climate change!
Co-op Cornerco-op
  Three Unique Opportunities to Earn Co-op Hours


Auction Planning Meeting - Wednesday, January 28
The next auction meeting will be on Wednesday, January 28. Participating in the work of the Auction Committee is a great way to contribute your talents to the school and also build friendships with other dedicated WMS parents. Most auction committee members fulfill their Co-op obligation by way of this single event. Please plan to come to the meeting and join in the pleasure of shaping this annual fundraiser and community event. All are welcome. To sign up, please email [email protected] or contact Laurie Orsic.
At-Home Tasks in Support of the WMS Auction
Are you interested in helping with the auction, but you would prefer work that can be done at home and with a flexible schedule? There are several tasks that are waiting for just the right person - the classroom gift organizer, assistance with gift collection, making follow up calls to potential donors and creating decorations. To sign up, please email [email protected] or contact Laurie Orsic.

Meerkat MilersMarathon Support
The Meerkat Milers are back! For a third year, WMS students, parents, alumni and staff will gather to run the Delaware Marathon Relay on May 10, 2015. If running isn't your thing, there are several other ways to get involved and earn Co-op hours. Volunteers are needed to host a water station on the race course, and also to coordinate the distribution of race packets and other activities at the WMS tent. If you are interested in helping with this exciting event, please email [email protected] or contact WMS mom Becky Davey! 


Today's LearnersLearner
Grant from Longwood Foundation to Jump-Start WMS's Arts Integration Initiative

The Trustees of Longwood Foundation have awarded a grant of $300,000 toward our $3.5 million Marie M. Dugan Fund for the Future Comprehensive Campaign - specifically, to support our plans for a school-wide arts integration initiative. The Longwood Foundation has challenged WMS to use this grant as an incentive to raise another $300,000 to match their award. Once we have raised the match, they will release the money, bringing the total funding for this initiative to $600,000. We have until April 2016 to meet this goal.

Efforts to raise the $300,000 match are already underway. WMS Board members and staff have been raising funds for the Comprehensive Campaign for over a year now, and will continue to do so in 2015. We will be reaching out to you, our current families, to the extended WMS community of former parents, friends, and alumni, and the community-at-large, to help us raise the match.

Longwood's support is an exciting vote of confidence in our school and in our ability to reach the goal set out by the school's 2013-16 Strategic Plan to "maintain and enhance an exceptional and integrated foundation in musical, performance and visual arts."  Integrating the arts is a compelling and exciting way to engage learners, to promote retention of facts, to demonstrate the connection of ideas and concepts, and to bring the arts into a more complete role in education. At WMS we are positioned to do this as we continue to embrace a variety of pathways to learning, focus on the social curriculum, and encourage children to wonder, create and innovate, knowing that is the best way to educate students as they prepare for their futures. With the support of Longwood Foundation, we are now our way to making this happen.

As we work on meeting Longwood Foundation's challenge, we will be investigating other arts integration programs, seeking professional development opportunities and continuing to enjoy artist-in-residence programs such as percussionist Tony Vacca, who will be visiting us in March.


Tomorrow's LeadersLeaders
Alumni Update: Zoe Dobbs, Class of 2004

We recently had the opportunity to catch up with Zoe Dobbs who attended WMS from 1993 to 2004

After graduating, she went to Springer Middle School and then Mount Pleasant High School where she was part of the International Baccalaureate program. During summers, Zoe enjoyed returning to WMS and working at Camp Montessori from 2002 to 2012. After high school, Zoe was accepted into to the University of Chicago, where she majored in Linguistics and minored in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations. She also had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to study abroad in Cairo, Egypt. Zoe is currently working on her Masters of Library and Information Science at Dominican University (IL)

and also works part-time at the Center for Research Libraries. She was just selected for a position at the Oak Park Public Library. Looking back on her days at WMS, one of Zoe's fondest memories of her time at WMS was exploring forts in the woods as a 9-12 student.


Accolades for Alumni Swimmers 

  • Lily Dubroff (WMS 1999-2008) was awarded a four-year swimming scholarship to the University of Southern California. Lily will graduate from Cab Calloway this year.
  • Demetria Ruhl (WMS class of 2010) and Maddie Fruchtman (WMS class of 2009) were chosen as girls swim team captains at Wilmington Friends School. Nate Ruhl (WMS class of 2012) was chosen as a boys swimming captain.
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