MMA Monday Montessori Moments

January 22, 2018

Q&A with Ms. Kacee

Lunch, it’s about more than just the food.

Why doesn’t MMA have a school lunch program?

· Teaching students to be responsible for their own nutrition starts with this idea. We encourage children to begin packing their own lunches as first graders and if provided with appropriate options this can be done fairly easily.

· Students are able to more easily share their culture with one another when bringing food from home. This leads to natural conversations about why a family may eat sushi, beans and rice, or meatloaf. Therefore, students are more likely to try new foods because they see their peers eating them.

· There is a large amount of food and paper waste in a typical school lunch program.

· We would have to interrupt the three-hour morning work-cycle to accommodate a lunch schedule for 650 students.


Why do students eat lunch in the classrooms?

· Because students eat in the classrooms they are learning the following things that would not be possible in a large cafeteria environment.

o Preparing and setting out ones lunch

o Practicing meal-time conversations

o Giving thanks and table manners

o Cleaning up after a spill

o Restoring the space afterward

All of the above help build independence, confidence and self-control. Lunchtime is a practical life activity and students are given lessons on how to use microwaves, open food containers and wipe up spills.


Will school lunch ever be an option?

· With the new building we will have a full kitchen and plan to begin offering lunch options within the next couple of years.

· We will incorporate healthy, and organic food choices and attempt to sustain much of what we provide with school gardens, local produce and meat.

· We will also incorporate the junior high micro-economy into this work.

· However, students will continue to eat within their classrooms.


Additional Resources can be found below

https://foodtank.com/news/2016/11/schooling-food-waste-how-schools-can-teach-kids-to-value-food/

http://www.businessinsider.com/japans-amazing-school-lunch-program-2017-3/#lunchtime-in-japanese-primary-schools-is-almost-sacred-it-isnt-hurried-or-hasty-kids-get-the-time-just-to-sit-and-eat-1

Did you know?

“Boy, those kids from that Montessori school sure do have an advantage.” My ears perked up at the high school counselor’s words.


“Oh yeah? Why’s that?” I said.


“Well, most of the students filling in here from the junior high schools come with 6 to 7 credits; your daughter has 12.”


When the counselor asked my daughter if she was planning on attending a university after graduation, she proceeded to tell him that she first wants to join a branch of the military, then the police academy, and then University.


I said, “When did you change your mind; I thought you wanted to train police dogs?”

She said, “Yeah, I still do, but if I join the military I can have help in paying for school and the experience so I can become a police officer, because I have to do all of that before I can train the dogs.”


“Wow!” I thought, “A girl with a specific goal and knowledge of how to get there.” The meeting with her counselor proceeded. Because of her 12 junior high credits, she will now be able to take classes that will help her to the goal of training police dogs. She also has so many choices that her older sisters didn’t have and, if all goes well, in the last half of her junior year and most of her senior year - she will have the option of taking more electives, college classes, trade classes or work study.


This is where it becomes emotional for me; Maria Montessori said that the adolescent years are best spent in discovery, acquiring and building talents and interests. I didn’t have that option and my older daughters didn’t have that option. It is no wonder so many students hate high school. If students come in with only 6 credits of the 27 required to graduate, they must spend the majority of time taking classes required for graduation, but not experiencing the real-world and the options they have when they graduate.


We all know how important a high school diploma is and that a college degree and or a trade is essential. Because of MMA Junior High, my daughter will have those choices before leaving high school and hopefully have a high school experience that will allow her to have the freedom to explore and find more interests and talents to pursue the rest of her life. If, along this journey, she should change her goal of training police dogs - there is no doubt in my mind that she will set another goal, research what she will need to do to achieve that goal, and take the steps necessary to get there.


I would much rather my child struggle though the first years of adolescence in our Montessori environment than struggle later in her life. Here at MMA, the teachers care, the teachers know, the teachers help, and students are accepted. My daughter, my nieces, and my friends’ children who have attended Maria Montessori Junior High School have a firm knowledge of who they are and what kind of people they want to be.

If you want to see what a Montessori education can do for your child, come to the bridging ceremonies, come to the sixth grade graduations, and please come to the ninth grade graduation.


Maria Montessori Academy is not just a charter school; it is a community. The people here care, they believe, they see the value of a Whole Child philosophy to education. We know that our children are our future; we are striving to teach them to find the strength within, to be peaceful, and to be the change in the good in the world. When you see the students at the ninth grade graduation, you will know that the future is in excellent hands.


Jill Blazer

Teacher, Parent, and Friend of MMA

Early Childhood Info Night (Adults Only, Please)

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Attention 5th and 6th Grade Parents!

Fundraising Updates

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Wanted: Parents interested in helping with fundraising for 2018-2019


We are in need of a Chair and Co-chair to organize our fundraising for the 2018-2019 school year. Committee members are also welcome! Funds raised go towards all grade levels. We have streamlined things quite a bit so that there are only 4 major fundraising events throughout the year instead of one a month, and we have had an incredible community response in donations to these events. The skeleton is pretty well in place- we just need parents to take it and run! If you are interested please contact rbaker@mariamontessoriacademy.org by Feb.1. We would like to meet with everyone as soon as possible so that dates can be set for next year's events and assignments can be given on things that need to be started on to give the committee a head start for next year. If you have questions, please contact Jenna Beers at (801)695-5864.

Vases Needed

MMA Jr High and MAPA are looking for help with their upcoming Valentine's day carnation sale. They are looking for several single flower vases. If you have any that you would be willing to donate, please drop them off t the office as soon as possible. Donating a vase can be counted toward your hours on Track it Forward! They re also in need of adult volunteers Jan 29-Feb 9 before and after school assisting students selling carnations and also on Valentines day delivering orders. Go to https://www.trackitforward.com/site/mapa to sign up.
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MMA Construction Update

Calendar Of Events

Early Childhood Open House

Wednesday, Jan. 24th, 6:30pm

MMA Gym

Bring your friends and learn all about Early Childhood/Kindergarten curriculum. Adults only please.

Chili Cook Off

Wednesday, Jan. 31st, 6-8pm

MMA Gym

Parent Survey

We would love your feedback. Please take our annual Parent Survey.
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Gala Donations Needed!

Plans for our annual Gala are underway! This is our biggest fundraiser of the year and 100% of the proceeds benefit the students of MMA. Past year's proceeds have purchased computers, playground and PE equipment, classroom grants, and so much more! Every year MAPA asks each classroom to donate a basket for our silent auction. If you have a connection to items that would benefit any of the baskets listed regardless of your student's class, please consider donating. Watch for a request from your students room parent for more details. If you don’t see your child’s class on this list please contact the teacher and possibly offer to help create a basket for the Gala. As always, any items donated go toward your service hours.

Jr. High- Mindfulness Basket

Ms. Amy- Cooking Basket

Ms. Brittany- Exercise Basket

Ms. Kaley- Golf Basket

Ms. Joy- Rainy Day Basket

Ms. Jen- Gardening Basket

Ms. Laura- Kid Craft Basket

Ms. Jill- Art Basket

Ms. Lana- Movie Basket

Additional baskets not connected to a classroom:

-Car Cleaning Basket

-Spa Basket

-Wine Basket

If you are willing donate any items to these baskets, please email me at heidibradley81@gmail.com, or drop items off to the office with a note explaining which basket the items belong to:)

WE ARE LOOKING FOR OTHER DONATIONS SUCH AS DISNEY CONNECTIONS, VACATION RENTALS, FLAT SCREEN TV's, LAGOON PASSES AND MORE! If you have connections to any of these items please contact me.

Thanks for all your help!

-MAPA

Save the date! Don't miss out on this year's gala!

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Keep track of your volunteer hours with Track It Forward


Maria Montessori Academy Parents Association (MAPA) is very excited to announce that effective December 1, 2017 we will be using Track it Forward to schedule and record volunteer hours.


We feel that using track it forward will help us provide the most positive experience possible when signing up for and recording volunteer hours. This program will allow families to track their hours on their own electronic devices, send out reminders for sign ups, and help us become a more centralized Montessori family.


Families are asked to donate 40 volunteer hours a year per family to the school. As a member of MAPA (all parents are automatic members) the MAPA presidency is trying to provide as many opportunities to complete this act of service yearly and Track it Forward will allow families to sign up to volunteer.


In sending your children to a Montessori school you are taking the initiative towards bettering your children and families. MMA’s mission statement is “Education for a better world” and by volunteering you are providing opportunities to help make this a better world.


The reason I volunteer is to provide my children with opportunities they may not get at other schools. “Only a life lived for others is worth living.” — Albert Einstein. By volunteering you are giving of yourself to your children and the children of others. Volunteering does not have to be a big sacrifice of time away from the family or money spent, many teacher at the school offer opportunities to volunteer at home and MAPA has opportunities to volunteer where you can bring your children.


Ways you may be volunteering and not even know:

· Attending a MAPA meeting

· Room mom calls and asks you to cut something out or bring something to the class

· Coming into the school and reading with children

· Bringing in food for an activity


MAPA in cooperation with the MMA is trying to say “thank you” to those that have sacrificed time and volunteered this year by giving those families with 10 service hours completed an “act of service.” The details are still in the works but we want everyone to know that we appreciate and value all of those that have volunteered.


How Track it forward works:

You can sign up in one of two different ways. On the website https://www.trackitforward.com/site/mapa or email mapa@mariamontessoriacademy.org with your family’s last name and the names of your children and we will send you an invite. Once in you can track your family’s hours and sign up for volunteer hours.


Again we appreciate all that our wonderful MMA families do!!!

Volunteers do not necessarily have the time; they just have the heart.” — Elizabeth Andrew

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Pizza Form Reminder

Remember pizza money is due Wed by 9:00 am. If money is received after 9:00 am, it will be applied to the following week.
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