December Newsletter 2018

One and the Same

 During circle one day, I read to the children Whoever You Are, a board book by Mem Fox, introducing them to the concept of being global citizens, while learning to not only accept, but enjoy, the differences we all share. As I read, I wondered what the children were thinking and feeling. Did they truly understand the words they were hearing? When I looked up from the book and into their eyes, I had my answer. While each child listened intently, quiet stillness filled the room. They absolutely got it.

As the adults, with knowledge that our words and actions are being so deeply absorbed by our children, we must be a living example of honoring our own uniqueness and the uniqueness of others. At this stage in a child’s life, curiosity reigns over judgment, fostering the joy of experiencing all people, be it through pictures, languages, songs, food, or one-on-one relationships. All of these aspects of culture provide wonderful opportunities for children to develop an appreciation for the differences and similarities among us. We are truly “one and the same.”

by Mary Brown, Toddler teacher


Little one, whoever you are, wherever you are, there are little ones just like you all over the world.

Their skin may be different from yours, and their homes may be different from yours.

Their school may be different from yours, and their lands may be different from yours.

Their lives may be different from yours, and their words may be very different from yours.

But inside, their hearts are just like yours, whoever they are, wherever they are, all over the world.

Their smiles are like yours and they laugh just like you.

Their hurts are like yours, and they cry like you, too, whoever they are, wherever they are, all over the world.

Little one, when you are older and when you are grown, you may be different, and they may be different,

Wherever you are, wherever they are, in this big wide world.

But remember this:

Joys are the same, and love is the same.

Pain is the same, and blood is the same.

Smiles are the same, and hearts are just the same

Wherever they are,

Wherever you are,

Wherever we are,

All over the world.


-Mem Fox

Last Week to Vote for our Miles for Maji Story

Please keep voting until December 7th

Nomination for National Blue Ribbon School Recognition

We are so excited to share this incredible news with our MEC community.  Montessori Education Centre-Charter School's Main Campus is being considered for nomination for the 2019 National Blue Ribbon Schools award under the Exemplary High Performing Schools category for our overall academic excellence. We have met the requirements under the Exemplary High Performing Schools category and are one of five schools in Arizona selected to apply for this prestigious honor. We will submit our application in January and be notified in September if our school has been selected to receive this honor. We want to acknowledge our students, faculty, staff, and parents for being committed to the Montessori philosophy and trusting the process. Well done to all!

To be eligible for National Blue Ribbon School (NBRS) recognition, a public school must be identified and nominated by its state’s Chief State School Officer (CSSO). The NBRS award acknowledges and validates the hard work of students, educators, families, and communities in striving for—and attaining—exemplary achievement. Every year, the U. S. Department of Education seeks out and celebrates great American schools, schools demonstrating that all students can achieve to high levels. National Blue Ribbon Schools are honored at an annual awards ceremony in Washington, D.C. where each receives a plaque and flag to signify its exemplary status. These schools serve as examples for other schools throughout the nation, and details of their achievements are shared on the U.S. Department of Education’s website.

Following the receipt of school nominations from states, the Department invites nominated schools to apply for the award. After schools submit their applications for recognition, they are screened for completeness, quality, accuracy, and eligibility issues. Schools are provided with feedback and provided an opportunity to modify and improve their application before final submission.

We have already determined that the Montessori Education Centre-Charter School in Mesa meets the requirements under the Exemplary High Performing Schools category. 

Exemplary High Performing Schools:  "High performing" is defined by the CSSO of each state, but at a minimum means:

  1. The school must be in the top 15 percent of all schools in the state when schools are ranked on
    1. the performance of all students who participated in the most recently administered state assessments in reading (or English language arts) and mathematics, or
    2. a composite index that includes these assessment results and may also include assessment results in other subject areas and/or other student performance measures, such as attendance or graduation rates.
  2. For each of the school's subgroups, the school must be in the top 40 percent of all schools in the state when schools are ranked on
    1. the performance of all students in the subgroup who participated in the most recently administered state assessments in reading (or English language arts) and mathematics, or
    2. a composite index that includes these assessment results and may also include assessment results in other subject areas and/or other student performance measures, such as attendance or graduation rates for high schools.
  3. For high schools, the school must be in the top 15 percent of all high schools in the state when high schools are ranked on the most recently available graduation rate.
  4. Must have an “A” rating in Arizona’s A-F Accountability System.

In addition,

  • The school should have been in existence for five full years, that is, from at least September 2012 and tested grades must have been part of the school for at least the past three years.
  • The nominated school should not have received the National Blue Ribbon Schools award in the past five years: 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, or 2017.
  • The nominated school should have no history of testing irregularities, nor have charges of irregularities been brought against the school at the time of nomination. The U.S. Department of Education reserves the right to disqualify a school's application and/or rescind a school's award if irregularities are later discovered and proven by the state.
  • The nominated school should not have been identified by the state within the last two years as "persistently dangerous."
  • The nominated school or district should not be refusing Office of Civil Rights (OCR) access to information necessary to investigate a civil rights complaint or to conduct a district wide compliance review.
  • The OCR should not have issued a violation letter of findings to the school district concluding that the nominated school or the district as a whole has violated one or more of the civil rights statutes. A violation letter of findings will not be considered outstanding if OCR has accepted a corrective action plan from the district to remedy the violation.
  • The U.S. Department of Justice should not have a pending suit alleging that the nominated school or the school district as a whole has violated one or more of the civil rights statutes or the Constitution's equal protection clause.
  • There should be no findings of violations of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act in a U.S. Department of Education monitoring report that apply to the school or school district in question; or if there are such findings, the state or district has corrected, or agreed to correct, the findings.

LEAP’s Foodie Fridays

We believe that cooking with children promotes lifetime skills of healthy cooking and eating. Preparing food is a learning lab for the children that can involve all their senses. When children cook, they have a sense of accomplishment, self-confidence and feel good about contributing to the community. We are in our second year of Foodie Fridays during LEAP. Every week, a combined group of students from Roos, Dolphins and Lizards are invited to cook for their peers and teachers. Recent research published in the Journal of the Academic of Nutrition and Dietetics indicates that children engaged in tactile experiences, such as handling foods, have less food issues and greater acceptance of eating a variety of foods. Recent research indicates that nutrition knowledge may be incomplete without the experiential learning or hands-on activities associated with food preparation that involves handling food and cooking equipment. The students are learning lifetime skills through practicing basic math skills such as counting, weighing, measuring, tracking time; they also gain social skills by working together and communicating with each other to complete a task.

We all look forward to our Foodie Fridays each week, especially those teachers that stay late to prepare lessons for the following week. If you are on campus on Friday’s after 4:00, expect a child to ask you, “would you like to try one?”

by Nikki Jackson, LEAP Supervisor

Click below on a sneak-peek video (or should we say "snack-peek" video)

Foodie Fridays

My journey has begun

To find me and me only

The mountainous path has come into view

Now I begin my life long

Journey to find who I am


Am I a lotus climbing out from

The dark murky water

My dark past haunting me

No, I’m not a lotus


Am I a phoenix standing up

From the ashes after I have fallen

No, I ‘m not a phoenix


Am I a baby turtle coming out of

My nest to face the judgment of the birds and sea

No, I’m not a baby turtle


Am I moss lurking in the darkness

Away from people’s faces

No, I’m not moss


Am I a beautiful peacock that doesn’t

Care what anybody thinks about my show

That loves their inside and outside

Yes, I’m a peacock.


by Kael Standage, age 11


  • We exceeded our goal of raising $1000 for UNICEF.  As a community, we collected $1324.97.  Your generosity shows no limit.
  • Thank your for voting for our Miles for Maji story. We appreciate your commitment to helping our community raise funds for Save the Rain.
  • Thank you Rotary! Our Miles for Maji funds, $5000, will be matched by the Rotary International. Makiba, the school in Tanzania for which our funds were designated, will be their first school to benefit from this generous opportunity. We have not been told how much they will match, but we are appreciative of any amount.
  • With the holiday season upon us, and all the gifts given, the MEC faculty and staff would like to thank you for the gift of your children and the trust you bestow on us to protect their light.

Upcoming Events

MEC Barnes & Noble Book Fair - Our Book Fair this year will be at Barnes & Noble on Val Vista just south of I-60 in Dana Park. It will be on Friday, December 14th from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. Your purchases will help us earn money for our school! Any purchases made in the café will also count toward our earnings. The book fair will have craft tables, baskets of books to win in a raffle, cupcake decorating (make sure to pre-order your cupcakes before Friday, Dec. 7th), teacher story telling each hour, and classroom wish list tables. For dinner, we have added Panda Express (3440 E. Baseline Rd. in Dana Park) for that night as another way to make money for our school. Make sure you have the Panda Express flyer to present to the cashier when ordering food that night. We will have extra flyers at Barnes & Noble on the check in desk, if needed. Bring friends, family, and neighbors for dinner and shopping to make our night a success!

Dates to Remember

Gold Canyon Candle - orders are due Tuesday, December 4th. 

Parent/Teacher conferences - December 7th (no school that day). 

Barnes and Noble cupcakes - orders due Friday, December 7th by 3:00 pm

Barnes & Noble Book Fair - Friday, December 14th from 4:00 pm - 8:00 pm. 

Winter Break - No School Friday, December 21st - Friday, January 4th. 

School resumes - Monday, January 7th. 


  • Re-enrollment paperwork will be coming home with your child Wednesday, January 16th. It is due back to the office no later than Wednesday, January 23rd along with your $75 class fee for the 2019-2020 school year. We DO NOT automatically re-enroll students. If you don't receive your re-enrollment paperwork, please stop by the office to pick up a packet. 
  • Please show kindness and consideration to our faculty during carline. Our goal is to keep our students, faculty, and parents safe during this process.
  • Please do not park in the fire lane (red curb) unless you are quickly dropping off or picking up children.
  • Please call the office at (480) 926-8375 by 10:00 am to let us know if your child is absent that day. If you let a teacher know in carline that your child will be absent or tardy, you MUST also call the office for the absence to be excused.
  • Any changes for pick up at the end of the day need to be called in by 1:00 pm. If you are late picking up a child in carline, they will be dismissed to LEAP after carline is over.
  • We will not retrieve your child from their classroom or LEAP prior to your arrival to pick them up.
  • If you have a change of address or phone number, please notify the office a.s.a.p.
  • Account balances are due on the 15th day of each month.
  • Please label your child's lunch box and jackets with first and last name. Our lost and found is located in the office restroom behind the curtain. If the item finds its way into the bin and has a label, we will return it to the child. If not, on the first Monday of every month, we donate unclaimed items to Goodwill.
  • Please help us to keep our school healthy by keeping students home when they are ill. Your child may return once they are fever free (under 100 degrees without medication), no longer vomiting, diarrhea free, and rash free (or not contagious) for 24 hours.
  • Inform your classroom teacher if you are aware that your child is arriving to school with a rash, sores, bug bites, etc. This will eliminate teacher concern and questions.

The Arizona School Tax Credit Program

allows you to direct up to $400 for a married couple or $200 per individual to our Charter School Extra-Curricular Fund. This donation replaces dollar-for-dollar funds that you otherwise would owe in state income taxes. Donations can be made anytime but must be received by April 15, 2019 to qualify for the 2018 tax year.