Monthly Archives: March 2015
Dear MSH Families,
You may have heard that MSH is a Scholarship Granting Organization (SGO) and can receive donations to fund school tuition for eligible students zoned for failing schools in our community. The Alabama Accountability Act allows taxpayers to donate a portion of their Alabama state income taxes to qualified SGOs so that economically disadvantaged children and those zoned for failing schools can have an opportunity to receive a quality education to prepare them for a life of success and empowerment. As parents and families invested and steeped in Maria Montessori’s philosophy, you understand that not all children can reach their full potential in the same environment. You may recall that Maria Montessori herself first pioneered her philosophy and method working with economically disadvantaged children in the slums of Rome in 1907. She understood then that in the right environment, all children could surpass the challenges they face whether from poverty or limited physical or mental capacity. The Alabama Accountability Act gives eligible parents and students a choice when it comes to education. Alabama is now one of 16 states in addition to the District of Columbia to offer a school choice program.
If you have questions regarding the Alabama Accountability Act, you can visit the Alabama Department of Revenue’s website.
If you are interested in reserving a portion of your Alabama state income taxes as donation to a qualifying SGO, please see the information below.
Individuals and corporations may receive an Alabama income tax credit equal to 100% of their donation, up to 50% of their tax liability. Corporate donations made by pass-through entities or by financial institutions or insurance companies do not qualify. The cap on individual and corporate donations combined is 25 million annually.
Reserving Tax Credits by Indicating Donations to Scholarship Granting Organizations
- Reserving a tax credit requires the use of the Department’s online portal for taxpayers, My Alabama Taxes. Taxpayers who have not previously set up an account will need to Sign Up for My Alabama Taxes.
When signing up for MAT, individual taxpayers will need to select Individual Income Tax as their account type and then enter their Social Security number along with their Adjusted Gross Income from the prior year’s tax return in order to set up a My Alabama Taxes account.
Taxpayers may use their existing My Alabama Taxes Account to reserve a portion of the available tax credit.
- Once logged into MAT, a taxpayer will need to select SGO Donation from the menu on the left margin of the page and follow a short series of instructions/steps to record their donation and reserve their portion of the credit.
- Individual taxpayers needing assistance with signing up for My Alabama Taxes Account or with reserving a tax credit may call (334) 242-1099 or (334) 353-9770.
- Corporate taxpayers needing assistance with signing up for My Alabama Taxes Account or with reserving a tax credit may call (334) 242-1200.
Two incredibly important gifts we give to children are the gifts of grace and courtesy. It is often called “the invisible curriculum” in the Montessori classroom. There are no specific materials to teach it, but it is integrated throughout the Montessori curriculum and classroom. Visitors to MSH are often shocked at how well-behaved the students are in class. It is because our teachers (and families) work hard to instill empathy, compassion, patience, thoughtfulness, and forgiveness by word and deed every day.
Knowing social graces and how to navigate social structures are skills that serve children throughout a lifetime. Our job is to give the child the language to deal with conflict, make new friends, express their own emotions, and understand each other.
We have always known that academic achievements were necessary for future career success. Now the business world has started to notice the importance of what Montessori educators have known for over 100 years: social skills are equally necessary for a successful career. Check out the following from Amy Morin of Forbes Magazine:
[Being] smart isn’t enough to guarantee a meteoric rise in the business world anymore – leadership requires you to be socially adept. In fact, your social skills may be just as important as your intelligence when it comes to achieving success.
Read the full article here.
As we enter the holiday season, it’s easy to get caught up in the materialism of giving. However, the greatest gifts we give children are intangible and never go out of style. The love of learning and the ability to interact with others will take our children wherever they want to go.
Dear Primary II Families,
This time of year can be so hectic! We wanted to take this opportunity to reach out to all of you in order to relay some helpful information regarding next week. As most of you know, our music teacher, Ms. Kathy, went in for surgery last week and will not be available to lead the children in a holiday concert. The concert was scheduled for Friday, December 19th. In lieu of a holiday program, the Primary II class will celebrate in a different way this year. We will not have anything planned for Friday, but we will do something on Thursday, the 18th, when we have all the children in attendance. The school is participating in Pajama Day to conclude the Scholastic Pajama Drive, so please send your child to school in weather appropriate pajamas. We would also like to have a class book exchange in a group party with singing and snacks! (just children and no adults.) Please send in a book with your child (before Thursday, if possible) that is wrapped and has their name signed on the inside. Every child will give and receive a book. If you would like to provide something special for a group snack, please make sure it is healthy. As always, we keep our celebrations sugar-free. Please also remember that Friday is an early dismissal day at 11:30 a.m. We are so very grateful to each family we have the great privilege of knowing. Your children light up our lives and we love them dearly. The endless laughter and moments of entertainment they provide is always so heartwarming. Enjoy your holiday break! We look forward to an enjoyable new year with many wonderful memories to make and endless blessings to behold!
Ms. Sarah and Ms. Monica
We hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. In the month of November, we learned about trees, leaves and why they change colors, Thanksgiving tradition, and the continent of Asia. We will continue learning about Asia in December, too. Children enjoyed making and sharing fruit salad. Thanksgiving Feast was so much fun. Thank you very much for the parents who helped with the feast. Kids enjoyed making hats and necklaces for the feast. Also, this month, we celebrated and learned about Diwali, the festival of lights. For art, the children made Diya and also had fun making ‘puri’ (fried bread) and eating it.
In December, we will learn about some more Festivals and Culture from around the world. We are planning to do some holiday cooking. We will also do a holiday book exchange in our classroom on December 19. Please send a book (gift wrapped) with your child by Wednesday December 17. We are planning to have a Pajama Day in our classroom. We will let you know the details later.
December will be short but busy month. We are going to do some holiday related artwork. Of course we are going to do cooking class with our regular classwork. We will have our holiday musical program on December 19.