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Every year since 2012 we ask parents to share their opinions of our program. We are grateful to all who answered. MSH is a unique program in that the parents “own” the school. As enrolled families you make up the Montessori Society of Huntsville, you elect board members who oversee the policies and finances of the school and who supervise the Head of School, who manages all operations, staff, etc. for the school. So what you say really matters!
This year is an special year for the school because we are coming to the end of our first 5 year cycle for accreditation by the Southern Association of Independent Schools. For the past two years we have been putting our practice under the microscope. We reached out to you at our Fall Parent Society meeting to find out if we were meeting our mission. Our board members combed through every policy to make sure it was relevant and in line with best practices. And since 2012, we have asked every parent to complete an exit survey to see why they were leaving us for other educational institutions.
All the information from these sources was analyzed and compiled into a single report called the SAIS Self-Study. The Self-Study also contains the board of director’s long-term improvement plan for the school and outlines our future strategic initiatives. On February 21-23rd, a team of independent school leaders led by Renee Kropff of The Bright School in Chattanooga will visit our campus and determine if we continue to qualify for the esteemed accreditation by SAIS. The team will review our self-study, observe our practices, and then give us commendations and recommendations. Our preliminary reports have all been well-received and we anticipate full accreditation.
If you would like to read the self-study, you can find it at the link below. As we enter our 51st year of operation, we are very proud of how far we have come and very excited about where the future of MSH is leading.
The Journey All Parents Should Take
We all want what is best for our children. We work hard to prepare them for a successful future by providing the best education possible. The environment we inhabit is dynamic, and learning to learn is the most valuable skill we can give our kids to ensure their future success.
At MSH, we believe that the very best method for teaching children is one that began 108 years ago. The Montessori curriculum followed here at MSH is comprehensive, individualized and delivered in a beautiful, organized way. The materials and methods are incredibly specific, and the training required by our teachers to implement these methods and materials is very detailed.
However, you don’t have to take our word for it. You can experience it for yourself and you should. When you hear about the pink tower, stamp game, or checkerboard you should know the myriad of skills that align to each material. When your 3 year old comes home with red and blue letters on his arm, you can understand why they are presented in a particular order. When your daughter mentions that she held the peace rose today, you will know how this item is used on a regular basis for resolving conflict and teaching self-advocacy.
On January 30 from 8am-12pm, we hope you will join us to experience your child’s school day first hand, by participating in the Montessori Journey. Our teachers will take you through highlights of the curriculum and answer your questions about our materials and our methods. Get answers to all your questions and learn so much more about the Montessori Method by experiencing it for yourself. It’s a journey every parent needs to take.
Monday, September 21, is International Day of Peace. This year,the elementary students will be leading Pennies for Peace. We will have a table set out Monday morning for donations to UNICEF to go toward the Syrian Refugee Crisis. We hope that each child will bring in a penny for peace. We’ll leave out the collection jar throughout the week if you would like to donate. I spoke to the children this morning a little about what was going on in Syria. The children all really wanted to help. Several said that they had some change in their piggy banks that they would love to donate to help provide the refugees with food, water, shelter, and medicine. One student spoke up and said that if refugees came to his house, he would let them stay. This sparked a lot of empathetic conversation and several students commented on how they would let the refugees live with them. They have so much love and compassion in their hearts!
The Upper Elementary class is also working on a project for International Day of Peace. The students have visited our classroom and the other classes and read the book, What is Peace, by Etan Boritzer. They also helped all the children to create a really beautiful collective art piece. Look for it on display in the lobby.
Have a peaceful day!
We are excited to start another new school year with a wonderful class. A big “Thank you” to Lauren and Lariza for being our room parents. We all are having fun learning and getting adjusted together so much that we did not know that August went by so fast. We learned classroom and playground rules. The children enjoyed when they were introduced to land and water, and the names of the seven continents. They learned the difference in taste between sea water (salt water) and fresh water. We also started learning about sea life. We would like to thank all the parents for the birthday gifts. It is very thoughtful of you. Our music classes with Ms. Kathy and Spanish classes with Ms. Carmen are going very well, and the children are enjoying both the music and Spanish. In September, we will study about apples, trees, and also about our first continent, North America. Our Society meeting is on September 15. We are amazed at the effort put forth by all the children to make our classroom peaceful and respectful! September is really going to be an exciting month full of fun activities. Thanks to you all!
MSH Family and Friends,
For the last ten years Ms. Lacey Champion has been dedicated to loving the students of MSH and guiding both toddlers and their parents through their first school experience. She has wiped tears of both students and their parents and been an integral part of the success of our toddler program. On the evening of Friday, August 7 she experienced a health crisis of her own and is currently under treatment at Huntsville Hospital after experiencing a serious cardiac event. While she is improving everyday, she will need our ongoing support to return to full health and then return to the classroom.
Those who know Lacey recognize that she is not just a colleague, but a dear friend to many here at MSH. To support Lacey and her family during this time, Becky Spooner has set up a Take Them a Meal page to provide food for Lacey and her family during her convalescence. You can sign up to provide a meal at this link: TakeThemAMeal.com and locating the schedule by recipient last name (Champion) and password (9491).
In addition, the medical care that Lacey is receiving and the subsequent costs to her family while she is hospitalized are a strain for private school teacher’s salary. Her colleague, Brandy Lighthall has started a Go Fund Me page for Lacey and her family at this link:
Many of us are very busy and stretched with our resources, but if you are able to make a small donation it would be helpful as the family overcomes this challenge.
Lacey is making improvements every day. We are happy to pass well-wishes on from you. For convenience, Becky will be delivering the donated meals to her home, along with any notes or messages of support you would like to send.
I hope you will take time to show your love for Ms. Lacey. In whatever way you can contribute, please do so. She does so much for children and the school. Let’s now do something to care for her.
TakeThemAMeal.com and locating the schedule by recipient last name (Champion) and password (9491).