Nuts & Bolts

October 1, 2018

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Back to Our Roots

Maria Montessori first began with students with whom society wanted to disassociate and would be so proud of us today as we work together to figure out how to best address the needs of all of our students.

This is no easy task and I thank and appreciate you for your hard work in doing your best for all children at MMA. We have students with different needs ranging from emotional, social, academic, parental, and behavioral. It is beautiful to see us, as a staff and community of educators, work with resiliency strategies, work on class management, work on team building, work on relationship building, and most of all - work together to meet the needs of all of our students.

We are a public school who accepts and works with all students who walk through our doors. We are an inclusive school and include all of our students as much as they are able. Not only is this FAPE and LRE mandated by Federal law, it is moral and socially just.

Some days this work we know is best for students is challenging and we have a hard time seeing that our efforts are working. I would like to remind you how your work with all of our students is making a difference in their lives and the lives of every student at MMA.

This week . . . Ms. Brittany’s friend, J, completed 5 works. Ms. Karen’s friend, S, participated beautifully in celebration of life ceremony. Ms. Kaley’s friend, A, went to the door to scream outside. Ms. Shanan’s former friend, D, has adjusted well to being in JH and is an excellent self-advocate. JH’s friends B and T have not vandalized. These students’ progress would not have been possible without the team effort of general educators, teaching assistants, case managers, special education assistants, and support staff working together.

One of the best parts of our inclusive school is that all children work together and accept each other’s differences. Thank you for modeling this acceptance and having patience. Thank you for supporting each other in this difficult and rewarding work. Thank you for going back to our roots and continuing the work of Maria Montessori.

Staff Meeting Monday

Below you will find the agenda for Monday's staff meeting. Please bring your computer to complete the post professional learning survey.

Staff Kids Meeting Monday

On Monday, October 1st, at 3:15pm all staff children present in the building will attend a mandatory meeting in the south kiva to review norms.
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Hourly Staff Payroll

Thank you! The submittal of time sheets went so much smoother this week. Thank you for your cooperation and patience as we refine this process.

On the last payroll submitted, hourly staff were not paid for Labor Day. Hourly staff were not paid for Labor Day in 2017-18 and my intention was to be consistent. It has come to my attention that there were four or five paid holidays in the hourly pay schedule before I became director. Hourly employee agreements state that the director will determine paid holidays and there is no number listed.

Moving forward, while I am director, hourly employees can expect 4 paid holidays. These paid holidays will include: Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas (sorry, I'm not trying to be Christian focused; this is the day listed as a paid holiday in the past), and New Year's Day. Since we missed Labor Day this year, in 2018-19 hourly staff will be paid their 4th holiday on MLK day in January.

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Special Ed / 504 Professional Learning

Thank you for engaging in professional learning Monday. The post survey results are here. 1 = strongly disagree and 4 = strongly agree.

I realize that some of you were frustrated when questions regarding specific classes' students with IEPs were asked in regards to "minutes" and not answered directly. As I said in the meeting, those conversations will be best had in the co-teaching meetings. Administrators plan to attend your upcoming co-teaching meetings so we can clarify any questions you have about your class, students with IEPs and, accommodations listed on their IEPs.

Included below is a document from Andrea summarizing the similarities and differences between an IEP and a 504.

Since you all teachers are asked to submit their weekly lesson plans, I have included my lesson plan below from Monday's professional learning for your perusal.

IEP vs 504 Document

Summarizing document from Andrea

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Math U See Data

Math U See data is due on the spreadsheet by 8am on Tuesday. Thank you for administering these assessments as they will drive how we design instruction, lessons, and differentiation for the school year.
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!! Monday October 1st AUDIT!!

It is important to take accurate attendance by 8:45am each day and within the first 10 minutes of class in JH; and, this is especially important this Monday, October 1st. An auditor will be present in the building to confirm our enrollment, which is directly tied to funding. The auditor will not necessarily be here first thing in the morning, which means that JH needs to be timely on attendance taking for every class period. *Never wait until the end of the day to input attendance.*

Thank you for your cooperation Monday and every day for attendance.

Additional Mini-COW

A COW has been outfitted with 9 netbooks. This mini COW is available to be checked out of the computer lab. With 24 hours notice, you can email Megan if you would like to check out the mini-COW.

Please request all technology with at least 24 hours notice. Megan is now teaching during the day and she cannot stop her instruction to organize technology for check-out.

Picture Day

Picture Day is October 22nd. Please advertise this on your blogs for families. Remind families that students should have their picture taken in dress code appropriate clothing. Also, any staff members who would like their picture re-taken will need to get in line on the 22nd as well.

Cross Country Championships

Our JH cross country teams will compete in their last and championship meet of the year on Thursday, October 4th. The girls are defending their title and will try to keep the trophy again this year. Come out and watch the team at Big D Park at 4:15pm at Big D Park (1376 Park Blvd Ogden).
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From MAPA - Fall Festival

You won’t want to miss this years Fall Festival! We have a lot of exciting surprises in store!

Purchase your tickets online at:

Any tickets/wristbands purchased online will be available for pickup at the “ticket drive-thru” or at the will call booth the night of the festival. Pre-sale prices are good now thru October 11th.

Ticket Drive Thru dates will be: October 8, 9, 10, & 11 in the north east corner of the North Shore parking lot from 2:45-3:30 pm or October 8 & 10 from 8-8:30 am

All of our events couldn’t be as great as they are without the help we receive from our amazing volunteers! Postings for Volunteers to help with Fall festival will be ready soon, so keep an eye open for them.

Montessori Mondays

Montessori Mondays were implemented this year in response to teachers' requests last year that assistants have more training and background in Montessori philosophy. These trainings are highly encouraged; but, not mandatory. Please work with your team to determine if/when is a good time to attend. The agenda outlining each session's topics was shared earlier.

Field Trips - Reminder

When your class schedules a field trip, please make it part of your routine that you let case managers, speech, and OT know when your class will be out of the building so these individuals can adjust their schedules accordinginly Services missed on these days will not be "made up."

Communication During Heightened Situations

If you come across a student having a hard time and there is an adult working with that child, please ask the adult before you intervene and also to see if the adult needs assistance. To do this, ask the adult for a thumbs-up / thumbs-down to indicate if they need your assistance.

School Wide Reading

School wide reading will begin after we engage in professional learning with Erika from the Literacy Team at USBE on November 5th. Stay tuned for more details.

Chain of Command Friday

On Friday, October 5th, most of the Student Support Team (René, Lana, Nicoletta, Dana) will be out of the building. Team leads will serve as acting administrators for each level during this time. Kat will oversee JH and Nikki will oversee special education staff. James, Autumn, and Amanda will assist as necessary.
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