Mountain West Montessori Newsletter

March 2022

Editor-in-Chief: Ms. Angie, Director

Managing Editor: Ms. Sheri, Assistant Director

Author: Ms. Sheri, Assistant Director


- EARLY RELEASE, PARENT TEACHER CONFERENCES: Wednesday, March 2nd & Thursday, March 3rd

- NO SCHOOL, TEACHER COMP. DAY: Friday, March 4th

-LOWER ELEMENTARY PARENT READING NIGHT: Wednesday, March 9th 6:30 - 7:30 PM

-NO SCHOOL, TEACHER PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT: Wednesday, March 16 - Friday, March 18

-SPIRIT WEEK: Monday, March 21st - Friday, March 25th

-NO SCHOOL, SPRING BREAK: Friday, April 15th - Friday, April 22nd


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Ms. Angie, Principal

Did you know that children are highly attuned to parental attention? It is key for their social and emotional development. Several recent research studies have shown how damaging it is for parents to be physically present but distracted and less responsive due to cell phone usage:

  • Moms on cell phones have children who are more negative and less resilient

Developmental Science: Children expressed more distress and were less likely to explore their environment when their mothers were using their cell phones. The children of mothers with higher cell phone use showed more negativity and less emotional recovery. Cell phone use is a form of parental withdrawal and unresponsiveness.

  • Children feel unimportant and have to compete with cell phones for parents’ attention

Large international study (6,000 children): Children report feeling unimportant when parents are on their cell phones and feel that they must compete for attention; they perceive that parents spend too much time on their phones.

  • Distracted parental attention harms social/emotional growth

University of California, Irvine: Distracted mothers are less predictable, less reliable, and less attentive. Fragmented and chaotic parental care disrupts brain development which can lead to emotional disorders. Predictability and consistency is needed for the emotional system to develop.

I encourage you to start noticing when you are distracted by your phone, and to use it mindfully and spend plenty of time looking into your children’s eyes, listening, and talking.

~Ms. Angie


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Ms. Sheri, Assistant Principal & Literacy Director

Becoming a good reader takes practice, and parents can help their children by providing opportunities for practice at home. Here are some SIMPLE ways that parents can support their children at home to become better readers.

1. Read with your child every day. Create a habit of reading aloud to your child, or listening to them read out loud. If you have multiple children, encourage them to read aloud to each other. Just a few minutes a day can really make a difference!

  • Don’t stop reading aloud once your child can read on their own. Instead, move on to more difficult books.
  • Use audiobooks or podcasts. Listening to audiobooks throughout the day (for example, during car rides) can provide more opportunities for children to learn new words and ideas. It can also build “stamina,” or the ability to pay attention without being distracted.

2. Make reading fun! Learning to read should be enjoyable and not a chore! You can make reading a pleasure by:

  • Creating a special reading spot or cozy reading nook at home.
  • Varying the types of reading selections available. When my children were younger, I took them to the public library every week. These weekly visits gave my children FREE access to everything from stories, comics, biographies, history books, and books about topics they were interested in.
  • Picture books are a great choice. No child is too old for books with pictures — interesting visuals can make reading more engaging and enjoyable!

3. Set aside some time when everyone in the family turns off the TV, unplugs, and reads. If you think about it, reading is an important self-care routine.

  • Reading relieves stress by allowing us to step into history, escape into new lands, and learn about interesting cultures.



Are you a lower elementary parent looking for ideas to help your student get the most out of reading while enjoying quality family time?

Please join Ms. Leticia, reading specialist, for a short and worthwhile parent night (for lower elementary parents) Wednesday, March 9th 6:30 -7:30 PM in the Library! See more information below or if you have questions, please email!

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We would like to invite you to participate in a special service-oriented Spirit Week! During Spirit Week, students can celebrate their school pride (by participating in fun activities) AND by donating items to support Utah Refugee Connection.

Let’s show our school pride AND donate to a very worthy cause!

What to Wear

  • Monday, March 21st: FREE Dress Day (See link for specifics
  • Tuesday, March 22nd: Dress Like a Teacher Day (dress up like your favorite teacher)
  • Wednesday, March 23rd: Wacky Hair Day (wear your hair the wackiest way possible)
  • Thursday, March 24th: Hat Day (wear your favorite baseball cap, beanie etc.)
  • Friday, March 25th: Team Jersey Shirt (wear you favorite team's jersey, t-shirt, etc.).

Donations Needed for Utah Refugee Connection: Donate one, a few, or several items and place them in a sturdy re-useable bag.

  • Pump hand sanitizer
  • Pump handsoap
  • Disinfectant wipes
  • Disinfectant cleaner
  • Laundry detergent (90-120 oz.)
  • Colored dish soap (12- 16 oz.)
  • 1 roll of paper towels
  • Sponge
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Ms. Marianne, School Counselor

We have all had that moment when you are in the store with your 2-year-old and they grab an expensive, non-essential item. As a good parent and a parent on a budget you may have put the item back and told your child, “no”. We all know what comes next, the tears start and the screaming follows. This child has completely lost their cool and in some cases, the entire day is ruined. This behavior is expected of a 2-year-old. But what happens when your child reaches the age of 5 or 7 and they still can’t manage their emotions? In those cases, it is time to help the child learn emotional self-regulation. Or in other words, help them develop skills to calm down when things don’t go as planned.

How can we help our child self-regulate their emotions?

Practice the small things. Practice helping your child lose gracefully at a game, or help them go through the grocery store without them walking away with a toy or treat. Practice helping them through a math problem in a low-pressure situation. Just make sure when you practice that you have time to work through possible solutions with them.

Help them see the consequences of big emotions. It may seem counterintuitive, but help them make their emotions rational. For example, when they are frustrated, talk through what happened rationally and how being extremely mad, sad, frustrated, etc. is not helpful for them to get what they want.

Practice transitions with your student. For example, if it is hard for your student to stop playing video games, practice this transition by giving them 5 minutes on their device with the expectation that they will give you the device when requested. Practice this over and over again until your child can make the transition smoothly.

Help your child self-reflect on their emotions and actions. Self-reflection may be one of the most important skills your child can learn. Did your child make a mistake and accidentally lose control? After the child has calmed down, but it is still close enough that they remember the incident, talk to them about what happened and what other choices they could have made. If your child makes a good choice, talk to them about what they did right and how they can apply that in other situations.

Emotional self-regulation is a skill that all children need. As you interact with your child, talk openly with them about their emotions. Help them realize that our emotions are trying to tell us something and once we understand what they are trying to tell us, it is up to us to make good choices to make our lives and the lives of those around us better.



Mr. Alden, Computer Science Lead

Many students have been surprised at the wide array of professions that use computer science (CS).

  • In medicine, robotic surgery and improved diagnosis and treatments are growing fields.
  • Dance choreography has gone digital creating dance animation with computer graphics as well.
  • Architecture and engineering rely more and more on computer programs to improve efficiency in designing buildings, and to manufacture cars, planes, and everything else.
  • Interior designers, graphic designers, and many others use 3D modeling software to bring to life increasingly impressive creations.
  • 3D printing has exploded not only as a hobby but as a manufacturing process in many fields. There are homes and rockets being entirely created with 3D printing technology.
  • In sports, computer science is used to improve training and recovery through motion-capture software. It has also revolutionized many professional sports through data/stats collection on player-performance.

This is only a small sampling of the ways that computer science is impacting the careers that students may be choosing in the near future.



Ms. Sarah, MS Theatre Teacher

"Just because we don't want someone to be offended by what we say doesn't mean they won't be. If you have to preface what you are saying with the phrases, "No offense" or "Not to be rude" it may not be something that needs to be shared at all. If it is important and needs to be said, make sure that you are sharing it with love and in an appropriate setting." ~Slightly adapted from Brooke Romney

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Melissa Zuckerman, MLIS

Library Media Teacher/Assessment Director

BOOKFAIR REMINDER:The Bookfair will be held in the library during Parent Teacher Conferences Wednesday, March 2nd and Thursday, March 3rd.


Dear MWMA Families, my job (when I'm not the Librarian) is to oversee all State assessments, ensuring teachers have proper training to administer tests and that all eligible students are tested. End-of-Year testing begins the last week of March, and I want to take a moment to share resources that can help your student prepare.

  1. Tips for Success
    1. Check out this article by Scholastic on how to help set your student up for success:
  2. What tests are they taking?
    1. Students in 3rd grade take RISE ELA and RISE Math.
    2. Students in 4th - 8th grade take RISE ELA, Math, and Science.
    3. 5th and 8th graders ALSO take RISE Writing in addition to the above tests.
    4. 9th graders take the Utah Aspire Plus in English, Reading, Math and Science.
  3. How much time do they get?
    1. RISE tests are not timed and have most IEP/504 accommodations built into them.
    2. Utah Aspire Plus tests ARE Timed. If your student has an IEP/504 accommodation for extra time that is set up for them before testing begins. Here is the baseline that everyone starts with:
      1. Math = 75 minutes
      2. Science = 60 minutes
      3. Reading = 75 minutes
      4. English = 45 minutes
    3. Another note on timing... we NEVER interrupt lunch or recess for testing, so testing works around this schedule. Students doing RISE testing who need extra time are able to pause and continue testing later.
  4. Preview the tests to help prepare your student
    1. Utah Aspire Plus (9th grade only):
      1. This site contains sample questions, just choose the grade and area you want to review.
    2. RISE (3rd-8th grade):
      1. From this site you can take a training test with your student.
    3. These samplers/training tests are designed to help students learn how to navigate the tests and become familiar with question types they will encounter during the test.
  5. Test Dates (subject to slight changes)
    1. 7th and 8th grade: 3/28-4/7 during English, Math and Science class time.
    2. 9th grade: 3/28-3/31
    3. 4th-6th grades: 4/4-4/13
    4. 3rd grade: 4/27-4/28
    5. Students who miss their scheduled test day will make it up at the earliest available opportunity.

"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read."

- Groucho Marx



The Jordan Family Education Center provides FREE support services and classes for families and students in Jordan School District. Their services are provided by JSD school psychologists, counselors and school psychology interns.

Here are just a few of the many services they provide.

  • TIMELY TOPICS: One-night seminars for parents addressing various pertinent topics. Parents are welcome to attend any or all of the sessions. Classes include: Co-Parenting Through Divorce, Video Game Addiction, Study Skills: Supporting Your Teen, Life Hacks for Coping with Depression, Internet Safety for our Children, and Raising Your Rainbow Child.
  • Excellent class topics for children and teens range from anxiety to making and keeping friends.
  • Several support groups are also offered.

Here is a link for all the supports and classes available.

For information or questions about classes, support groups, and counseling, call the Jordan Family Education Center 801-565-7442.



Ms. Marianne, School Counselor

Ms. Marianne is native to Utah and has been working in education since 2009. During this time she has worked in regular education, special education, in an alternative education, and as a counselor in grades K-12.

Ms. Marianne shares that her students have taught her so much about education and about life. Daily, students inspire her as they overcome and learn to manage the obstacles in their lives. Because of the resilience of her students, she truly believes that all students have the ability to succeed.



March's Quote
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