Mountain West Montessori Newsletter

September 2021

Editor-in-Chief: Ms. Angie, Director

Managing Editor: Ms. Sheri, Assistant Director

Author: Ms. Sheri, Assistant Director


-NO SCHOOL, LABOR DAY: Monday, September 6th

-MS CAMP: Wednesday, September 8th - Friday, September 10th

-PARENT TEACHER CONFERENCES, EARLY RELEASE: Wednesday, September 22nd & Thursday, September 23rd.

-NO SCHOOL, TEACHER COMP DAY: Friday, September, 24th

-NO SCHOOL, FALL BREAK: Monday, October 18th - Friday, October 22nd



September's Quote
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Ms. Angie, Principal

We are proud to announce the results of Mountain West Montessori Academy’s comprehensive accreditation review by Cognia, the nationwide organization which evaluates schools and grants the right to award credit to students. We achieved a very high score on this report which highlights both the rigor of our academic program and the skill with which we are addressing the social and emotional cognition and executive function skills of our students.

We achieved a very high quantitative score as well as green and blue ratings (proficient and above proficient) in every one of 30 categories—25 blue ratings (the highest possible) and 5 green ratings (the next highest). This is exceptional! Accreditation is a multi-day process preceded by weeks of gathering and presenting data and includes components such as academic rigor, positive community culture, attention to social and emotional learning, logistical operations, leadership, financial and resource management, communication, and use of data to drive decision-making. Accreditors interview administration, teachers, students, and parents during this process.

Below is the average (range) of all Cognia Improvement Network (CIN) institutions evaluated for accreditation in the last five years, nationwide. The range of the annual CIN average is presented to enable the benchmarking of results with other institutions in the network.

Five Year Nationwide Average Score Range: 278-283

Mountain West Montessori Academy 2021 Score: 351

The evaluators wrote: “Allowing and supporting intellectual curiosity is a deeply embedded model that permeates the teaching and beliefs of the entire program. MWMA truly embodies teaching the whole child and working with all aspects of social and emotional learning as well as building academic strength while students are in attendance there. Continuation of this blended approach, utilizing both academic and emotional care, will help ensure and maintain this level of safety, security and trust felt by students.”

You can link to the full report here:

Please join us in advocating for rigorous school evaluation based on multiple data streams rather than just one end-of-year, high stakes test score.


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Ms. Sheri, Assistant Principal

Parent Teacher Conferences will be held Wednesday, September 22nd and Thursday, September 23rd. Children thrive in school when parents, students, and teachers work together. Research shows that students learn more, have higher grades, and have better school attendance when parents are involved in their child’s education.

By attending conferences, you send a positive message to your child that school is important. Keep in mind that you are an equal partner at the conference. If you have questions or observations, the conference is a good time to share them with the teacher. Don’t forget to share what you know about your child. Your information helps the teacher better understand and teach your child! Attending Parent Teacher Conferences is also a great way for you to become involved and stay involved throughout the school year.

Here are some questions you may want to consider asking during Parent Teacher Conferences:

  • Does my child hand in work on time and is it complete?
  • Is my child doing work at or above grade level?
  • How are grades determined?
  • Does my child work better in groups or alone?
  • How does my child get along with others? Adults? Children?
  • Is there any concern about learning or behavior problems that I should know about? If so, what has been tried to help my child?
  • What can I do at home and school to help my child build on strengths and improve weaknesses?
  • How can I keep in touch about my child’s progress?
  • What are some opportunities for me to become involved at school?



Ms. Marianne

Parents and Students,

We are back in the routine of school. Students are figuring out their teachers, lessons are being taught and friendships are being developed. Unfortunately, not all friendships are healthy. Here are a few things to look for in a healthy friendship:

● Good friends show mutual support, trust, and respect.

● Good friends listen to you.

● Good friends don’t judge you.

● Good friends don’t gossip about each other.

● Good friends respect each others' boundaries.

● Good friends forgive and seek forgiveness when mistakes are made.

The hope is that every child has at least one good friend at school. If your child struggles making friends, or is involved in some unhealthy friendships, please review with them what a good friend looks like and remind them that they deserve good friends.

Here’s to a wonderful year of learning, friendships, and fun!


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Mr. Alden, Computer Science Lead

How do we solve problems? How do tools help us do that? What qualifies as being a computer? Which inventions make our lives better and which don’t?

These were a few of the questions we have explored so far in computer science. One of the biggest takeaways for students has been that computer science is more about learning how to solve problems than using computers. We’ve taken apart computers and reinvented common tools: the pencil that is also a music player, a calculator that you can talk to, and many others that can help us solve everyday problems.

Computer science is everywhere around us. As students learn to recognize and understand it, they will be better equipped to be creators and innovators in the world ahead!

Mr. Alden


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We would like to introduce you to a new upper elementary teacher, Emily Estep. Emily is so excited to teach at MWMA and to be a part to this school's amazing community! Emily loves teaching because every day is never the same and she gets to have a hand in helping our next generation become spectacular people. Emily believes children can achieve anything when given the resources, a safe and positive environment, and the time to gain confidence in their abilities.

Emily grew up in a military family and experienced living all across our great country, spending the most time in Northern Virginia/Washington DC area. She moved out to Utah right before her senior year of high school and has loved every minute of it! Emily is a proud Aggie earning her bachelor's degree in Elementary Education at Utah State University in 2020. She also briefly worked as a substitute teacher in the Murray City School District.

In her free time, Emily loves curling up with a good book, singing along to Disney movies, and cooking new recipes. She enjoys learning new things about history, science, different cultures, and how to be a better teacher.


Ms. Rebecca Gear is a new lower elementary teacher here at MWMA. Rebecca enjoys connecting with every single child she encounters. Ms. Becca thinks of her classroom as the child’s home away from home and wants students to always feel safe.

She is originally from Salem, Massachusetts and in 2018 she received her bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education at a private institution in Boston. Becca had the opportunity to focus on child-centered careers since 2015 in several different environments, all equally rewarding. Ms. Becca was a behavioral therapist for children with Autism, a camp counselor, a preschool teacher, and an educational assistant. Becca feels fortunate that she has a multitude of diverse experiences that will enrich her classroom.

Ms. Becca moved to Utah in 2020 and joined the MWMA family as an educational assistant in a lower elementary classroom. Becca instantly felt at home at MWMA!

When Becca is not at school, you can find her rock climbing, boxing, or paddle boarding. On every adventure, it’s a safe bet that her dog, Rory, will be there. Besides her passion for teaching, Becca is an avid traveler. She has traveled to almost all of the 50 states and several countries. Her favorite place in the world is Switzerland. Becca loves international travel because it exposes her to new perspectives and new experiences that she can share with the children in her classroom.