MMA Montessori Moments

August 18, 2018

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A Message from Director, René Baker

It's finally here!

The 2018-19 school year is finally here and already off to an exciting start! Thank you all who attended the ribbon cutting ceremony. The addition is beautiful and we were happy to show it off. We can't wait to see students in their new space.

Thank you for attending our annual Back to School Pool Party at North Shore. It was uplifting to see all of your 600-some smiling faces and to be greeted with such big (and wet) hugs.

Welcome to all of those families new to MMA! You're going to love it here and we can't wait to get to know you better.

Your teachers have been hard at work preparing their classrooms for your return and they are ready! We can't wait to see you all this week!

Go Teachers!

Your teachers started off their school year last week taking leaps of faith, zip lining, team-building, and hanging out high in the trees. Congratulate them on supporting each other, being courageous, and working through their "stretchy" zones.

Back to School Schedule

Students in 1st through 9th grade begin school on Tuesday, August 21st. Early childhood, including kindergarten, students begin one week later on Monday, August 27th. The school calendar can be accessed here.

The front doors open to students at 8:15am and students are expected to be in class and ready to learn by 8:30am. Junior High students should enter through the double doors of the addition. The Junior High door will lock promptly at 8:30am, which means any Junior High student entering the building after that will need to enter through the main building and be marked as tardy in the front office.

Checking Students Out

We value your children's safety above all else. It is for this reason that we will be requiring you to present your photo identification every time you come into school to check your child out. This will help our new office staff get to know everyone and keep students going home with the correct individuals.

If you need to change your "release" permissions that state who your child is allowed to leave with or change your contact information, you can update that yourself online after you get an Aspire account by following the directions on our website.

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Carpool for this year is the same as last year. Access the MMA Traffic Trifold to see the traffic flow.

If you are headed northbound when exiting the school, please follow the red route on the MMA Traffic Trifold and remind your students to stand in the red area for pick-up. If you are headed southbound, please follow the blue route on the MMA Traffic Trifold. City officials want to prevent traffic from turning north (left) at Taco Time.

We will have crossing guards at critical points to protect student safety and expect drivers to be hyper vigilant as well. Please refrain from using your cell phone during carpool. Please follow the crossing guards' direction and always pull forward.

Drop Off

For next week’s (and all) drop-off procedures and as part of building independence in all our children, please refrain from walking your child into the building. Next week all 1st through 6th grade teachers will be out front holding a sign with their name where children will gather. The week after, beginning August 27th, early childhood teachers will be holding signs and will guide our youngest students into the building. Early childhood teachers will also escort their students out to drop off.

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Stay In the Know

Follow MMA's official Facebook page and subscribe to MMA’s Main Blog in addition to subscribing to your child(ren)’s Teacher Blogs – accessible by clicking the “website” link under the teacher’s picture. You can also follow us on Twitter @MMAofUT.

School supply lists are posted on each teacher’s blog.

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Sneak a Peek

We know that it can be nerve racking to drop your child off at the curb on the first day of school, to honor the child's independence, and the Montessori period of normalization - especially for new parents. To provide an opportunity for everyone to ease into the school year and familiarize yourself with the building, your teacher(s), and drop off your school supplies - MMA is trying something new this year.

You are invited to our Sneak A Peek event on Monday, August 20th from 1:30-3:30pm. On the half hour, beginning at 1:30pm, then again at 2pm, 2:30pm, and 3pm - each teacher and assistant will greet families, give an overview of the classroom and expectations. There will be time for families to ask questions and meet each other.

Ms. Lana and Ms. René will be in the library for you to meet the administrators from 1:30-3:30pm - please stop by to say hi.

There is no RSVP; just show up at a time that is most convenient for you. With four time slots, families with multiple children attending MMA have time to visit all their teachers. Please be on time and honor the half hour time frames to allow everyone an opportunity to visit.

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Track it Forward & Volunteering

We are a community school and we request that all families volunteer at least 40 hours per school year, cumulatively between all family members. MAPA utilizes a online program called Track it Forward to advertise school events, opportunities to volunteer, and to calculate each family's progress toward meeting the goal of 40 hours. You can even get to it on your smart phone.

Please sign up asap on Track it Forward. After you sign up, you will be approved for the group and will get an email indicating as such. After this, get online and click on the upcoming events page. If the main calendar is too overwhelming, click on "filter by category" and only check those teachers you would like to view. I suggest also checking "school wide" events so you don't miss anything.

Track it Forward is where you will sign up for your turn to bring snack to the classroom and where early childhood families sign up for a KEEP assessment time slot.

Elementary Class Lists

Thank you for your patience as we placed more students into classes this year than in years past as we moved from 8 upper elementary classrooms to 7 and 8 lower elementary classrooms to 9.

Class lists took longer than expected to compose in Aspire, which meant that teachers could not email you all directly any earlier than they did. Please accept my apologies.

Please check out the teachers' blogs for school supply lists. If you have not heard from us regarding which class your students is in, please email or call the office at 801-827-0150.

Junior High Schedules & Fees

Parents can log onto Aspire using these directions to view their students' class schedules and the link now works. Junior High students will be provided a hard copy of their class schedules during the first week of school.

The Junior High School supply list can be found on the Junior High blog. Class-specific supplies are listed on each teacher's blogs, accessible by clicking "website" under each teacher's name on the faculty page of our website.

Junior High fees are the same as last year and can be paid online here. If your family requires assistance in paying these fees, please complete a fee wavier found on the forms and documents page of our website and submit it to René. All parts of the form should be filled in before submitting it.

School Spirit Gear

A limited number of mountain lion school spirit t-shirts will be available for immediate purchase during Sneak a Peek on August 20th. More spirit gear, including last year's t-shirt design winner, will be available on our online store and delivered after the start of school.T-shirts bought at school will cost $15 but will be a less expensive on our online store. The online store link is coming soon!

Student Dress Code

There are no changes to the school’s Dress Code Policy, Dress Code Guidelines, or Dress Code Samples. School spirit t-shirts and other accessories are able for purchase. Remember that school spirit t-shirts that say MMA are appropriate to wear and meet the dress code policy.

In the past it has been acceptable and considered school spirit to wear a t-shirt from an MMA sponsored field trip, like JA Biztown, the Redwoods or Crow Canyon. Moving into next school year for consistency and clarity, we ask that students only wear these special trip shirts (that do not say MMA) within a week of their attending the trip. Since these shirts signify a milestone, we ask that siblings not wear these shirts until they, too, have experienced these trips and wear the shirt within a week of them having the experience.

We want to both celebrate our students' experiences on these unique MMA field trips and also be consistent with our dress code policy and how that is communicated to students and their families.

Hoodies may only be worn as outerwear outside of the school and should have a school spirit t-shirt or collared shirt underneath. Students will be asked to remove their hoodies and other outerwear while inside the building. Students have time in the morning and during scheduled transitions to put these items in their lockers and still be on time for class.

Junior high students no longer have to walk outside to get to all of their classes. This means that there are no excuses for why hoodies need to be worn during the school day.

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Playground Update

It doesn't look like the new playground will be ready for us on Tuesday; but, that will give us plenty of time to explore our huge, new play field.

5K and Pancake Breakfast

The annual 5K and Pancake breakfast fundraiser that normally happens in September has been postponed. This is organized by the school (not MAPA) and is the biggest fundraiser the school sponsors. We are working with the 5K volunteers to set a new date and will be in touch soon about all of the details.

There are many ways to get involved and opportunities vary in terms of time and effort commitment. Examples include: participating in the race, assisting in race set-up, assisting in race breakdown, and obtaining race sponsors/swag.

The more successful we make the 5K and Pancake Breakfast fundraiser, the less little fundraisers we will have to host overall and I think we can all agree that is a good thing. All fundraisers benefit the experiential field trips enjoyed by ALL students at MMA.

Join MAPA on Facebook

Head over to the new and official Facebook page for MAPA, MMA's parent organization:

The Montessori Academy Parent Association (MAPA) is the Parent-Teacher Organization for Maria Montessori Academy. This organization is used to facilitate communication and involvement between parents and teachers. MAPA is currently seeking volunteers who are interested in joining this organization to ensure that the needs of Maria Montessori Academy’s student body are being fulfilled.

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