Montessori Matters

February 28, 2020


Community is friendship between different people or groups and a sense of having something in common. (Collins Dictionary)

I looked through several definitions in several dictionaries and the one above is the one I liked the best to describe what happens around the MSA campus. I noted this behavior this week in particular week as I watched rehearsals for the upcoming play “Annie JR.”

Picture this: a bashful middle schooler nonetheless dancing with a 4th grader, a middle schooler giving a hug to an upperclassman while waiting for the scene to change, several seniors helping in lots of different ways. All of them, 4th – 12th grade, participating and monitoring themselves to support “community.”

Who does that? This is not to put down other educational programs. Some of it is the nature of the circumstances. Large schools: elementary, middle, and high school when students have grown up with singular grade placement, simply do not have the opportunity to understand and share this rare sense of community that exists when children all come together with “a sense of having something in common.” In this case, not only do they share another aspect of serving (the 5-year-old helping the 3-year-old to tie his shoes, the 3rd grader listening and encouraging the 1st grader in recognizing “sight words,” the 9th grader creating a lesson for the lower elementary students, etc.), but with this production of “Annie,” they share the commonality of a common goal – supporting each other and MSA as it pulls together for this musical production.

Break a leg – MSA’ers!!!

- Karen Holt, MSA founder

My favorite thing about working with the MSA students on Annie Jr. is seeing the cross-level collaboration of Upper Elementary through High School students. It is also wonderful to see some of the creative ideas they come up with to help improve the musical from line deliveries, dance moves, and costume input. Last of all, I'm so grateful to be getting to know the High School students better, since I don't regularly have interaction with them. They are a "great bunch of folks!"

- Melonie Martin, Music and Drama teacher

Dates to Remember

Remember that you can always check the MSA website calendar for upcoming calendar events.

March 2 - Primary Dr. Seuss Day

March 2-6 - Play week

March 5 - Annie JR. at Electric City Playhouse at 1 PM and 7 PM

March 6 - Annie JR. at Electric City Playhouse at 10 AM and 7 PM

March 20 - Professional Development Day, school closed - Extended Care Only

March 23 - IT - LE Conference Day - Extended Care Only

March 23-27 - Conference Week

April 17 - Field Day

April 25 - Escape to Kokomo - Spring Benefit & Auction

Nurse's Notes

Healthy Hygiene Habits:

  • Stay home when you are sick. If possible, stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick. You will help prevent others from catching your illness. Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes. Use a tissue to cover coughs and sneezes, then dispose of the tissue. When a tissue is not available, cough or sneeze into your elbow.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces or objects. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work or school, especially when someone is ill.
  • Wash hands for 20 seconds. Washing hands often under clean, running water can help prevent the spread of germs. For more guidance see the CDC: When and How to Wash Your Hands. If you cannot wash your hands, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60-95% alcohol.
  • Follow Montessori's School of Anderson's Illness Policy as stated in the handbook, page 18, Section 6.5: MSA Students are prohibited from attending classes while ill. If your child is absent, please notify the front office. MSA is proactive in monitoring all illnesses and makes every effort to prevent illnesses from spreading. When you have verification that your child has a communicable disease, please notify the office immediately. It is preferable to bring your child late or keep him/her out for another day in order to fully recuperate rather than risk exposing the student body to a potentially communicable illness. All students must be fever, vomiting and diarrhea free for 24 hours without the aid of medications before returning to school. If your child has missed school due to illness, he/she may not participate in any other school related activity on that day or evening.
  • It's not too late to receive a seasonal influenza vaccine; contact your physician for more information.
  • All cases of influenza need to be reported to MSA.
  • Please notify the office if you or your family members are traveling outside of the country at any time during the school year.

For additional information, please refer to the links below:



Susanna Merriman, RN

Health and Safety Coordinator

Peace Walk

Another aspect of the MSA community, in addition to our immersive play weeks, is our celebration of peace through the Peace Walk during the flag ceremony held during Montessori Education Week. Primary Risers are invited to join the Lower Elementary through High School students that typically attend the flag ceremony for this event. As part of the event, students and faculty members link arms as they take a slow walk around the inside of the circle, reflecting on peace and community as the poem Walking Meditation by Thich Nhat Hanh is read aloud. See this gallery and this one with photos by senior Abby Keenan for more photos from this year's Peace Walk that was held this Wednesday.
Big picture

Parasaurolophus Noises

Dr. Cline brought in a device he constructed to mimic the sound created by the Parasaurolophus, a dinosaur that lived during the Late Cretaceous Period about 75 million years ago. The cranial crest atop the dinosaur's head amplified the sound created by the Parasaurolophus, allowing them to communicate up to a mile away! Dr. Cline was kind enough to bring in the device to demonstrate the noise for the students and, after thorough cleaning between users, allow the students to try out the device themselves.
Parasaurolophus Noise

Spanish Conjugation Practice

Each Wednesday, two High School students prepare a lesson for the Middle School students in Spanish 1 and present the lesson to the students on Wednesday morning. This week, the students played a hot potato-style game where they passed a globe around and the student holding the globe at the end of a song would have to answer a question in order to practice their conjugations.

Bee Making Mentors

This week during mentor time, the Middle School students assisted Lower Elementary students in designing and constructing cute bee decorations by tracing their hands for wings. See this photo gallery for more photos.
Big picture

Horticulture Harvest

Students in Upper Elementary got the chance to harvest their first batch of lettuce for the year (the Lower Elementary students had the first opportunity in January), and they used what they harvested in their Thursday lunch. Middle school students started seeds this week for future planters. See this horticulture gallery for more photos.
Big picture

Hot Wheels Physics

Students in Mr. Saunier's Physical Science class conducted experiments this week to see how weight, angle of travel, and surface friction would affect the distance traveled by a Hot Wheels car after proceeding down a length of track. See here for many more photos of the students at work!
Big picture

Blue and Gold Banquet

Montessori School of Anderson Scouts Pack 997 held their annual Blue and Gold Banquet during their regular Monday evening meeting time, in which they honored and recognized their members for their achievements this year and the members' parents for their support of their children and the Scouts program. If your child is interested in joining, have them talk to any of the current members pictured in the photos below and in this gallery to find out more -- members are recognized for referring their friends to join!
Big picture
Big picture

Nestor's Eagle Scout Steps

Nestor and his former Scouts troop, Troop 97, have finished the steps project on the amphitheater! They look great, and we greatly appreciate all of their hard work over the past several months. Click here for more photos from the final day of the build.
Big picture
Big picture

Meet Paige Miller — High School Director, Math, English


About me:

  • Born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Lived in Anderson since December 2014
  • Married to Marcus and will celebrate our 7th anniversary in July
  • Mom to three boys (Kilian - 5, Judah - 3, Elias -1)
  • Active member at our church (Renewal Church of Anderson) where I participate in small group, work with the kiddos, and sign with the worship team

My education/experience:

  • Graduated from Grace College and Theological Seminary in Winona Lake, IN with a BS in Secondary Math Education, also earning my teaching license
  • Taught 6th grade for a year before joining the MSA family
  • This is my 4th year at MSA

My favorite things:

  • Book/Movie - "You Who" by Rachel Jankovic and "The Sound of Music"
  • Color - pink or gray
  • Food/Snack - Cheese (and savory snacks dipped in cheese)
  • Sport/Team - Green Bay Packers
  • Activity/Hobby - Does raising toddlers count?
  • Vacation spot - Hilton Head
  • Your favorite thing about teaching at MSA - I went into teaching to impact students as individuals. The MSA high school is a great place to work because of the relationships that are built. I know the students and they know me, so I can support them (and challenge them to grow) on their individual educational journeys.

Montessori School of Anderson

Our mission is to nurture the whole child, physically, intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually, preparing students for academic excellence, lifelong learning and responsible, caring lives.