Dates and times are subject to change
Greetings to all Meerkat Families:
I hope this newsletter finds everyone well and enjoying this autumn season. I have noticed on my drive to and from school the colors of the leaves have erupted in a blaze of glory -- it is a pleasure to see. The frost has also crept in the past couple of nights with a warning of the cold weather right around the corner. I’m enjoying the remaining temperate days as much as I can. I hope you do, too!
I have read several articles in my education journals recently identifying the challenges many schools are experiencing this year. A large number of our youngest students came to school in person for the first time. For our older students, the transition back after more than a year of disrupted schooling has been difficult. For all students, the foundational knowledge of how to be a student was all but dismantled. (Who "goes" to class in their pajamas from their bedroom via computer screen?!) At MVM we have seen that some students are not necessarily ready to jump right into learning because they are still (re)learning the routines and expectations of the Montessori classroom. We are addressing these needs by providing extra practice and reminders, daily social-emotional lessons, regular check-ins with our school counselor (who will be visiting classrooms weekly), scheduled "learning lab" blocks for individualized skills work, and in-person and virtual tutoring, to name a few.
We have also noticed that some of our students are exhibiting dysregulated behaviors. This has included the unfortunate events in the restrooms, mishandling of classroom materials, and sometimes lashing out verbally and/or physically against others. School needs to be a safe place for everyone in order for them to thrive and to learn, and it is crucial that students understand they are responsible for their actions. Parents, try to help your child understand how to talk through strong emotions, identify what their triggers are, know when to ask for help, and to have a trusted adult identified for when they need support. MVM follows the same discipline policies all FCPS students adhere to, and repeated infractions will entail progressively stronger responses.
Finally, when your child reports the happenings of the day, remember that they are giving their perspective. Every student at MVM, regardless of level, experiences their day through the lens of a child. It is up to us, the adults in their lives, to help bring perspective to their experiences. What feels really big and important to your primary, elementary, or middle school-aged child may not actually rise to the level of concern that was conveyed. Helping your child talk through and see the big picture models problem-solving and broadens their perspective. Finally, if your child is only reporting what is wrong with school, please ask them what went well. There are many great things happening here, and changing the focus to accentuate the positive will help to showcase this!
In this season of Thanksgiving I have so much to be grateful for. We are a community that continues to come together and lift each other up through both the easy and difficult times. In closing, I would like to thank each and every member of our staff for stepping up to do way more than our families will ever realize. You are amazing! I would like to thank every parent volunteer who has contributed their time and considerable talent to making our school a better place. This includes filling leadership roles, chairing committees, maintenance repair work, peace garden revitalization, materials making, getting our library organized and running, chaperoning trips, running carline, feeding staff, etc. Finally, a special thanks goes to Brooke DeSantis and the Love for Lochlin Foundation for hosting a wellness clinic at our school. It was much appreciated by the entire community!
I hope your Thanksgiving break is wonderful!
Parents are asked to let the school know when a student will be out for extended absence. Students out due to mandatory quarantine should follow their teacher's schedule, complete assignments and check-ins, and will be marked present. All other extended absences, such as for vacation, are marked as absences and missed work must be made up. Either way, please notify the office in the event your child(ren) will be absent from school.
On-time arrival to school is important! Students who arrive late miss important components of the morning routine, and they may feel unsettled because of this. Families who arrive after the carline volunteers have gone and doors have been closed will need to come to the office and fill in a late slip for their child(ren). Students will go to their classroom independently.
Parent volunteers and visitors need to sign-in and out at the front office with the Administrative Secretary. Please bring your ID when you sign-in.
Parents help us make the dismissal run quickly and smoothly!
~ When you come for dismissal, have your dismissal card with you and please know the name of your child's teacher(s)
~ Help your child understand during dismissal time they should be sitting quietly with their belongings and listen for their name to be called. Once their name is called they should move swiftly to the exit. The Safety Patrols are located in various parts of the building to help the students exit quickly and safely.
Primary students learned about the life cycle and parts of a pumpkin.
Students were able to paint pumpkins provided by Love for Lochlin and the Desantis Family (thank you!).
Kindergarten students went to Gaver Farm. They enjoyed the hayride, picking pumpkins, and meeting the farm animals!
Students will begin learning more about the season changing, trees/leaves, and different locations in our world.
Kindergarten students walked to the Common Market to learn about where our food comes from! We had a rainy, slushy walk but lots of fun.
First and second grade students visited the Earth Space and Science lab and third grade will visit on November 9th.
We are also presenting the Laws of the Universe, experiments that go with the First Great Lesson.
First grade was introduced to the subtraction using the Subtraction Stick Board.
Students are learning about fact families with addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.
During read-aloud we introduce the elements of a story. Students discuss the characters, setting, problem, and solution. We also use graphic organizers to analyze and discuss character traits.
Students read daily to build reading skills: reading fluency, sight word fluency and decoding skills
We’ve learned a lot about Native American Societies before European explorers and settlers arrived on the American continents. We look at the reasons Europeans explored, the development of colonies and the effects of colonialism on native society.
We’ve learned about the scientific method. Now it’s time to ask questions and design experiments.
Scientists have classification systems for seemingly everything. We are focusing on classification of life.
Don’t forget your refillable water bottles and remember to dress in layers.
We have just finished Cycle 1: Forces! Next week, we will have a couple of immersion activities (a trip to the land at Thorpewood, and a Drumming Workshop about Forces) before beginning Cycle 2: Structures.
In ELA, students took their second vocabulary and etymology tests. They will keep adding roots, prefixes, and suffixes to their etymology cards, and could use help at home to continue practicing these important word parts.
In Social World, students took their second Theme Test on Forces and Revolutions. Now that we have seen why revolutions happen and some of their outcomes, we will be looking at how our own country structured itself after the American Revolution to make sure the outcomes of the revolution were as they were intended.
Please make sure to check in with your student every week (on Fridays) and look over their work graphs. They are expected to get a parent/guardian signature each week to show that they are keeping parents informed of their progress.
PE Happenings and Reminders:
Happy Birthday to all Staff Members Celebrating November birthdays!
217 Dill Avenue
Frederick, MD 21701
Principal: Amy Dorman