Rheel News

March 2023

Spring Fever

With the start of warmer weather comes the excitement of being outside and playing! We love that there are extensions of our classrooms to the outside environments for our students to enjoy these warmer days! We have so much planned for the months ahead! Please be sure to read all of the information below!


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Community Healthy Food Cookbook

Our service learning groups have worked closely with Rise up Farms and Foster Pantry this school year. In their service, they have found a need for healthier options that students will want to eat.

Two students, Violet Garrabrant and Mael Ferigo, worked with Ms. Blair to write a grant to support growing vegetables and fruit in our gardens and to write a healthy food cookbook.

We are excited to share that their grant was approved!

This work will be part of Global Youth Service week in April. We look forward to seeing what yummy recipes they come up with!

Dress Code Update/Reminder

With the weather warming up, it is an excellent time to refresh ourselves on the dress code.

Our Board of Directors spent extensive time reviewing our dress code to ensure it is unbiased and fair to all students.

The most common concern that comes up regarding the dress code is the coverage of body parts and undergarments.

Our policy reads:
Certain body parts must be covered for all students at all times: private areas, buttocks, bellies, and chests. This includes any and all undergarments that must be covered at all times as well.

This is specific to all students and will be addressed by the administration as needed.

Click here for the full updated policy.

If a student arrives to school in violation of the dress code, a parent will be notified to bring a change of clothing if the student does not have clothes with them.

Please help our teachers and administration by reviewing this with your students and making sure they have dressed appropriately for all of our school environments.

Montessori Moment

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What is the 3-year cycle in Montessori?

The third year in a three-year cycle corresponds with third year of each level: Kindergarten for Primary level, 3rd grade for Lower Elementary level, and sixth grade for Upper Elementary. The third year plays an essential role in a student’s cognitive, social, and emotional development.

Year One: Explorers ~ Students are exposed to new content and skills and are encouraged to explore their classroom environment independently.

Year Two: Experimenters ~ In year two, students begin experimenting with the same skills they learned in their first year, but on a deeper and age-appropriate level. They incorporate group work over independent exploration.

Year Three: Experts ~ The final year is also considered a capstone or leadership year. These are students who have the experience of two years in the same classroom. At this point, they are confident in themselves and their skills. They are now classroom experts who can use their knowledge to help younger students. They can leave the three-year cycle with a sense of accomplishment and purpose going forward to the next cycle.

Why is there a 3-year cycle in Montessori?

It Helps Solidify Skills

The third-year gives students a chance to continue developing the skills they have been learning. This allows them to work on higher-order thinking skills, move from concrete to abstract processes, and become a “teacher” to younger students.

Teaching a skill might seem simple from the outset, but it shows a student has a firm understanding and mastery of a given concept. The third-year is when students truly consolidate their learning and move onto the next plane with a solid foundation from the previous one.

It Builds Confidence

Finally, when students are allowed to complete their third year, continue in a known setting, and gain leadership experience, it builds their confidence and self-esteem.

What about the middle schooler?

IMS has a two-year cycle for middle schoolers in 7th and 8th grades. This is a critical time to prepare students for transitioning into high school. Students begin earning grades, complete project-based learning assignments, and work independently and in groups. Middle schoolers develop their leadership skills around campus by supporting younger students by reading with them, presenting lessons, and helping out in different aspects of the classroom. In addition, the 8th graders participate in going off-campus for service learning opportunities. They learn more about the world and our surrounding community as they explore through hands-on experiences how they can make an impact on others.

The short of it!

We are excited for our students completing the three-year cycle this year! We are equally excited for every student and where they are on their Montessori journey. Each year and aspect of the student’s academic journey is a celebration for the child, teacher, and guardian.

Family Connection - AMS Newsletter

Click the title above to learn more about "Freedom and Discipline", Play at home, and ways to support Spelling.

Counselor Corner

From Ms. Mackenzie

My lesson topic in February was Self-Esteem. During a month where we think of the love we have for one another, it is also important to think about the love we have for ourselves! Higher self-esteem helps students feel more confident in their abilities and to take on challenges, as well as embrace mistakes, feel more motivated in school, problem-solve independently, and reduce anxiety. It also allows students, specifically middle schoolers, to be less likely to give into peer pressure to fulfill a need to “fit in.”

The whole school took time to complete hearts to put on our tree and on each heart, they were asked to write something about themselves that they love, that makes them proud, that makes them unique, or that makes them feel really good about themselves. It is always a wonderful reminder that we all have positive qualities that we don’t always see or acknowledge. One student even asked “How do I write something about myself and still sound humble?” And I had to remind them that being kind to ourselves and honoring what makes us special is not a bad thing! Take some time to remind your student to recognize what makes them unique. Check out some of the beautiful hearts below!


Hannah the Hippo by Linda Schwartz(K-3)

Stand Tall Molly Lou Melon by Patty Lovell (K-3)

I am Enough by Grace Bryers (K-3)

The importance of positive self-esteem for kids (Parents)


Self-Identity and Self-Esteem (Middle)


Ask your student what makes them special!

9 Self-Confidence Building Activities for Students

Raffle Tickets

As of today - we have raised just under $5,000!

We have kicked off our 2023 Raffle Ticket Sales, and we are excited!

Please take a few minutes to watch the video linked below.

Click to watch video!

Each student has received an envelope with 10 tickets to sell. Please return the envelope with the ticket stubs of sold tickets along with the money for each ticket sold. If you do not sell all of the tickets or are unable to sell any of the tickets, please return the envelope and unsold tickets. If you are able to sell more than 10, please let the office know, and we will send more tickets home!

Some basic information about the raffle tickets:

  • Each ticket is sold for $10 each.
  • The winning ticket will be pulled on Friday, March 17th, so all sales must be completed and money turned in by 9:00 am on March 17th.

  • The winning ticket will receive 10% of all of the ticket sales. If the school sells $10,000 in tickets, the winner will receive $1,000. If the school sells $20,000 in tickets, the winner will receive $2,000. So the more we sell, the more the winner receives.

  • You do not have to be present at the drawing to win. We will do a Facebook live drawing on Friday the 17th around 11:00am.

  • The first 50 students to turn in all 10 tickets sold with the money will receive an Island Montessori water bottle!

Last year our school raised $18,000! We hope to top that this year!

As you saw in the video, the money raised will go towards the next phase of our outdoor classroom-shade structures for the stage and the audience seating. If you attended any bridging ceremonies last year, you know it gets HOT out there!

With enough money raised, we hope to fund the furniture and instruments needed for our new music classroom once the new building is complete!

Each ticket sale takes us a step closer to reaching our goal, so it’s okay if you can’t sell all 10!

Upcoming Events

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