Montrose News

Notes from the Principal's Desk - February 2019


I hope that this rollercoaster weather finds you safe and warm.

At school, children are engaged in exciting learning centers related to the "Restaurant" theme, are in the midst of learning healthy habits, and have experienced the joy that movement brings. In addition, community partnerships are in full swing! Read on for more details.



Half Days and Delayed Openings

School schedules are as follows:


  • Half Days - 8:30AM - 11:30AM (Parent/Teacher Conferences)
  • Delayed Opening - 10:30AM - 2:30PM

Montrose @Marshall

  • Half Days 8:50AM - 11:50AM (Parent/Teacher Conferences)
  • Delayed Opening 10:50 AM - 2:50PM
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Montrose Honors Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

In celebration of the birth of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., student learned about Dr. KIng's message of Peace. Each student decorated luminaries for the Community Coalition on Race's Luminary Project. South Orange and Maplewood neighbors gathered at the front entrance of Columbia High School for the second-annual Lighting of the Luminaries ceremony.
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Black History Month 2019

Using Radiant Child and Life Doesn't Frighten Me as mentor texts, students at Montrose will be learning about the works and lives of Jean-Michel Basquiat and Maya Angelou.

Students will learn about Basquiat's inspiration and his messages. As an American of Caribbean descent, his work and life highlights Haiti, Puerto Rico and the path to his fame. We will use multimedia materials to create collages and scratch art.

Maya Angelou will be highlighted as a novelist, playwright, actress and civil rights activist. Students will learn a bit about her life, hear some of her poems and sing along with some of her words that have been put to music. Students will begin to understand that art is multi-faceted and is to be appreciated in all its forms.

Inventors of items that impact our daily lives will also be profiled. That list is exhaustive, but could include Lewis Latimer, Garrett Morgan, Marie Van Brittan Brown and Miriam Benjamin. Ask your child about inventions.

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#MovementMatters at Montrose

Movement is a powerful teaching tool, and when we thoughtfully incorporate physical elements into instruction, we elevate the learning experience.

During the coldest winter days, students have been enjoying school wide dance parties! At designated times, their favorite songs are played over the public address system and EVERYONE dances, moves, shakes and smiles! Students and staff enjoy these moments, and I've even received requests for the playlist. Of course, Baby Shark is listed among the favorites!

Have your child stop in to share a title or help them write a note or draw a picture for me.. I'll be sure to add it to the rotation.

PEEA Updates

Funding through the Preschool Education Expansion Aid has allowed our program to grow in wonderful ways:
  • We now have a dedicated Social Worker, Mrs. Rebecca Milligan. Mrs. Rebecca Milligan, who has been a Child Study Team Social Worker in the South Orange Maplewood School District since 2001, has an extensive background in early childhood development and early intervention. Mrs. Milligan, who joined us in late January, will work with all staff, families and the community to ensure that student health and wellness needs are met and that parent engagement and social services are available to preschool children and their families. Mrs. Milligan will work closely with Nurse Mary to ensure that high-quality health, social, emotional and nutrition services and resources are available, as well. Please join me in welcoming Mrs. Milligan, who is very excited to join the Montrose community.
  • Technology enhancement assessments have been done, and Montrose will have various options available for staff and student use. We anticipate that projectors, interactive white boards, applications, subscriptions and other enhancements will be in place soon.
  • Professional Development has been occurring regularly since October. A Professional Development Trainer from Tools of the Mind is providing job-embedded training to ensure that teacher and paraprofessional learning links to immediate and real-life scenarios. We know that the most powerful learning is that which allows for immediate application, experimentation and adaptation. We are committed to implementing the Tools curriculum with fidelity in all inclusion classrooms.

Sensory Hallways are Coming!

Thank you to the MECC PTA for the donation of our sensory hallway decals! Once installed, the hallways will encourage children to walk, skip, jump, and hop while in the hallway. There will also be opportunities for wall push-ups, crab-walking, bear walks and other sensory activities. These will allow vestibular and proprioceptive input for our young learners. In consultation with our Occupational Therapists, Physical Therapists, Special Education and Early Childhood team members, we will be "rolling out" our hallways soon. We will do this in a strategic, developmentally appropriate manner so as not to overwhelm students. Stay tuned!

Library Time

Town Libraries Partner with Montrose

The South Orange and Maplewood Public Libraries have partnered with Montrose! Both Ms. Amalia (Maplewood) and Ms. Beth (South Orange) came to visit in last week. These Children's Librarians read - and sang - lovely books while children listened, responded and tapped along. This partnership is a wonderful enhancement to the preschool program, and both librarians are committed and scheduled to visit with us once a month. All classes will participate.

Classes are also visiting our own special little library, located on the second floor of Montrose.

Special thanks to Ms. Patty for making the vision for the space come alive with her design, and to Ms. Patty and Hannah Zollman, who are working closely with the libraries to plan and schedule this enrichment.

Did you know that all students are eligible for a South Orange Public Library or Maplewood Public Library Card? Please visit your local library and tell them you're from Montrose. They'll be happy to see you!

Preschool Health, Wellness and Nutrition