Athena Montessori Academy

February 2022 Newsletter

"Now, what really makes a teacher is love for the human child; for it is love that transforms the social duty of the educator into the higher consciousness of a mission.."

-- Dr. Maria Montessori

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Google Calendar for Parents

Check out the Athena Parent Calendar and stay tuned to important school events!

Important Dates

Tuesday, February 1st

First Day of Black History Month

Tuesday, February 1st

Lunar New Year

Wednesday, February 2nd

Mariposas Spanish classes begin

Tuesday, February 8th

Parent Workshop -- How to Help Your Child When They Flip Their Lid

(see below for more details)

Monday, February 14th

Valentine's Day

Monday, February 21st

Student Holiday (Staff Development Day)

Staff will be attending another Nurtured Heart Approach workshop with Jeffrey Swan!

Saturday, February 26th

Parent/Child Life Ki-Do Workshop

(see below for more details)

Black History Month at Athena

Moving into Black History month we are reflecting on our successful celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. throughout the month of January. Instead of limiting our discussion of this great American hero to just the days leading up to the holiday, we focused on MLK all month, campus wide. We took care to normalize him as a human being who did great things, and conveyed the message that we are all human beings who can do great things.

During Black History month, expect to see photos of lesser known Black contributors, especially women who changed the course of history, or…”HER-story”! Thank you for partnering with us on the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion path as we build a better world together. We appreciate our community!

Upcoming parent workshops:

How to Help Your Child When They Flip Their Lid

Tuesday, Feb. 8th, 12-1pm

This is an online event.

Kirby Schroeder with Austin Family Counseling will be hosting a parent workshop for the Athena community. Today's topic: How To Help Your Child When They Flip Their Lid!

Watch your inbox for a flyer with more information and a link to register. In the meantime, you can read this blog from Austin Family Counseling on the subject.

Life Ki-Do Family Workshop

Saturday, Feb. 26th, 4-4:45pm

Athena Montessori Academy

Come join us for a unique workshop for families that combines mindfulness, movement, and social-emotional learning. Fun parent-child activities & tools will deepen family cooperation, communication, and connection and can be easily applied at home. This is an in-person, interactive event only for current Primary Students and older & their parent(s).

Information on how to RSVP will be sent out closer to the date.

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Did you know...

that studies are showing that there are long term positive effects of Montessori education? Check out this article from Psychology Today:

P4 Team Spotlight

1. What is your favorite aspect of the Three to Six Plane of Development?

Lynda -- To me it's watching a light bulb go off in them when they actually learn to cut a piece of paper or when they realize that pouring water SLOWLY from one container to another has a better outcome than dumping it. It's just all of the little moments when you see them succeed by themselves that bring me joy.

2. What is a sweet moment you have already experienced this school year?

Lisa -- I love it when the children express their love to their teachers and friends. One of our newer students recently exclaimed at lunchtime, "Ms. Lisa, I LOVE YOU!" It was an exclamation of unconditional love and the comfort this child felt with all of us, not only me. It definitely takes a village to create a comfort like that! The honesty in their self expression is amazing to be a part of each day!

3. Name something that people generally think very young children cannot do, but you have seen them do.

Ryann -- This list could be very long! Before coming to Athena, I didn’t know young children were able to sew, woodworking, pour large amounts of water, use sharp objects safely, run a whole classroom… the list goes on and on!

4. If you could own only one book on early childhood, which book would you pick?

Lisa -- Woah, that's a hard question to answer because there are so many!! But, if I think about the first book that truly inspired me on this path of early childhood education (and one that I still reference), Maria Montessori's The Discovery of the Child would win!

Follow the link below to read the full Primary 4 Spotlight:

Want to leave your mark at athena?

Get your personalized brick installed on the path by our breezeway.

A form will be sent home with your child in February. You can choose to include your name, commemorate your graduate, or celebrate a teacher. You can even include a custom signature!

Please return your form by February 28th to a member of the admin team at dropoff or hand it in at the front office.

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Attention Cyclists!

We are looking for a cyclist in our community who knows bikes or a great bike shop who would be willing and able to come out to Athena to service our classroom Woom bikes to make sure they are safe and in good working condition. If you can help, please email us at

Happy Birthday!

Student Birthdays:

Hadley P. -- 2/2

Poppy B. -- 2/3

Oliver A. -- 2/5

Balboa E. -- 2/7

Houston T. -- 2/13

Ada C. -- 2/15

Kira B. -- 2/20

Tanek N. -- 2/21

Ella C. -- 2/21

Cannon C. -- 2/27

Henry F. -- 2/27

John F. -- 2/27

Merit B. -- 2/28

Staff Birthdays:

Becca Himes -- 2/4

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Mr. Sean's Music

On Music, Emotions, and Catharsis

We may often find ourselves listening to music to bring us joy, celebration, and happy memories…and sometimes sadness. I speak of this more somber connection to music not to bring down the mood, but to acknowledge the importance of connecting with our feelings of hardship, loss, longing, and especially the catharsis that comes from the expression of these feelings. Music can be the catalyst for that connection and resolution.

We honored Martin Luther King, Jr. Day last Monday, January 17th, and I found myself inspired to learn more about a song called Why? (The King of Love is Dead), performed by the great Nina Simone and written by her bassist, Gene Taylor. I encourage everyone to check out this short NPR piece about the creation of the song and circumstances around it, in which this quote by Samuel Waymon, Simone’s brother and organist on this performance, really resonated with me, "We learned that song that (same) day," says Waymon. "We didn't have a chance to have two or three days of rehearsal. But when you're feeling compassion and outrage and wanting to express what you know the world is feeling, we did it because that's what we felt." I found it challenging to listen to this song, despite the incredible performance and beautifully moving melody, because the lyrics and message are so clear, so honest, so genuine, and so heavy. But that’s just it - music gives us a way to connect to emotions that might otherwise be too heart wrenching to accept, to hear, to honor ourselves for the pain of feeling. For me, this song is like a gentle hand guiding me through the hardest parts of seeing the adversity that’s right in our backyards, showing me how real it is, yet how real the hope and faith is that ultimately renews us as a loving and empathic community of humans.

The moments I’ve connected most with the children here at Athena are those when I’ve been at my most emotionally vulnerable, and aware enough to be able to wear my heart on my sleeve and share that vulnerability with our young friends. I have found that kids intuitively respond with kindness and compassion when they pick up on the hardest feelings that adults emote. This can happen, for example, when sharing sad memories, telling stories or speaking to experiences of hardship, inequity, and injustice that others have had to face, or even just in connection with a melody that tugs at one's heartstrings in just the right way, at just the right time, to open up that ever-so-infamously expressive organ inside our chest, that pumps not just our life’s blood, but(metaphorically speaking) the emotions that make us the empathic beings we are.

So, put on that sad song and let yourself cry, and smile, at the gratefulness you feel to be able to share those feelings with those that you love.

-Mr. Sean

Enrollment Notices

Current Athena Families:

Sibling enrollment is underway for the 2022-2023 school year!

Waiting Pool Families:
2022-2023 enrollment for families new to Athena will begin in February. We strive to maintain a balance of age, gender identity, race/ethnicity, and temperament in each of our classrooms, so children in our waiting pool are considered according to these factors and their date of application. You can expect to hear from Joy by the end of March if we are able to offer your child a spot at Athena for the 2022-2023 school year.

If or when your child is offered a spot at Athena, and should you choose to accept, an Enrollment Fee will be due to secure the spot. If you choose to decline the spot, your child will remain in our waiting pool unless you ask to be removed or until they reach the age of five.

Our continued goal in the admissions process is to be as transparent as possible, and we strive to give you the most accurate information we can during each step of the deliberate process of enrollment. We respect that decisions related to your child's education are important and timely ones, and we will continue to send you general enrollment updates via our monthly newsletter. Thank you for your continued interest, and we encourage you to reach out with specific questions related to your child's enrollment at any time during this process.

Summer Camp 2022!

Current Families: Registration opens on February 1 at noon. Joy will be sending out a link to register and more information at that time. SPACE IS LIMITED.

Alumni Families: We are not able to offer Alumni Camp this year. You can view robust lists of Austin summer camps on Do 512 Family and

Please direct admissions & enrollment questions to Joy Jacobson.
You can email her directly

Mariposas Spanish School

Mariposas Spanish School will begin outdoor Spanish classes on Wednesday, Feb. 2nd!

The second class is full; however, there are 4 spaces available in the first class, 2pm-2:40pm. Register here.

On the waitlist or not ready to join classes yet? Practice and learn Spanish at home with the array of resources they offer: on-demand classes, printable material, music albums, Spanish app, day camps (Feb.), and more!

Visit their website & social media for more info:

School Supplies

Oliver's Labels

Need labels? Oliver's Labels has labels for backpacks, shoes, clothes, lunch boxes, and water bottles!  Click on the image above to purchase customized labels and Athena will receive 20% of your purchase!

For Small Hands

For Small Hands carries a wide variety of items for children, all child-sized, fun and developmentally-appropriate!  Use our code below, and Athena will get a percentage of the sale to apply towards materials for school. CODE 165595