December 2019/January 2020 Newsletter
The faculty and staff of MEC wish you a wonderful Winter Break.
May it be filled with joyful moments.
We also wish you a Happy New Year!
Here’s to 2020. A new year full of promise and hope!
CHANGES FOR 2020 – 2021 SCHOOL YEAR
⦁ Prescriptions for EpiPens will only be accepted if BOTH auto-injectors are in the original prepackaged boxes from the manufacturer. Expired EpiPens will not be accepted.
⦁ Tuition for Toddler, Preschool, and Full-Day Kindergarten will begin August 15, 2020.
⦁ Class fee will increase to $100 per student.
⦁ Preschool Thru Lunch will increase to $120 per month.
⦁ Kindergarten tuition will increase to $300 per month.
⦁ Beginning at 5:31 p.m., LEAP will be billed at $1 per minute.
Montessori Minimalism for the Holidays
“Over-abundance debilitates and retards progress; this has been proved again and again by my collaborators.” -Maria Montessori
When you look at any authentic Montessori environment you will see the embodiment of the saying, “less is more.” The space is intentionally minimalistic, and yet very rich and fulfilling for children. Everything is where it is for a reason. If you have chosen Montessori education for your children, you may want to seek to embody more Montessori principals in your home this holiday season. Below are a few helpful tips.
Communicate your values to your family and friends. Many times family and friends don’t understand why you choose to be minimal with your children’s gifts during the holidays. They mean well and just want to give because it’s a form of showing their love. It is ok to also help those family and friends understand that you are trying to support a home environment that is educational and not over-stimulating.
Decrease duplicate toys. Look at your environment and see if you can decrease any duplicate toys. For instance, have just one type of “building” material available. If you have Legos, blocks, and K’nex, notice what your child plays with the most and put the other two into a closet where you can trade them out when the child’s interest decreases in the available items. Trading out toys and learning tools helps children to be more engaged with the options available.
Apply the “1 in, 1 out” rule. If you acquire a new toy, then something they already own needs to make its way out of the environment. You may want to store the item for later use or you may want to donate them to a child in need. Involve your children in choosing what toys they want to put away or give away.
Focus on the most precious gift of all, the gift of your undivided attention and time. Your children will remember the simple things about the holidays, the traditions that are special not because of their glamour, abundance, or expense, but for their sounds, and smells, and tastes, their texture and warmth, and the closeness of shared experience with people they love.
We hope during this holiday season you will see the benefits from a touch of minimalism.
Article written by Flora McCormick, a Professional Counselor and Parenting Coach
Adapted by Cassi Mackey, M.Ed., Principal
Our Garden…Abundance of Gifts
A month ago, our school was honored with the National Blue Ribbon School award. A few weeks after the announcement, while our campus was still abuzz with excitement, representatives from Blue Bell Ice Cream came to present us with ice-cream cups. After eating their treat, each child was instructed to clean the empty cups to make into mini pots and plant a seed in them.
Everyday after, I would hear, “Ms. Angie, can I make a seed?” We started with MEC-made compost, and the children carefully selected a seed, topping it off with our organic soil. Their eyes were wide at the excitement of what would happen as their seed rested in that cup. Some said they had never planted before and were listening intently as I instructed how to care for their baby plant. With faces beaming, some have come back and told me how their plants are growing; some have even shown me pictures. A few children have also helped me plant some seeds in clear plastic containers so we could watch what happens beneath the soil. Through observation, they’ve seen how roots grow and learned what plants need to begin and sustain life.
In the garden, I witness so much love and curiosity from the kids about nature. It’s like nothing else in the world exists, only the tiny ants, the fuzzy leaves, the elusive fish, the colorful rocks, the growing plants. To see how nature, our earth, in and of itself, is a gift to our very souls is inspiring. The gift of a seed to plant in a tiny container was like the best present the children had ever been given. The gift of planting seeds in a transparent container to watch them grow roots and then into a seedling and finally to full growth is a daily conversation. The gift of discovering the layers of soil, demonstrated in a jar with some water, presents a discussion about our earth. The gift of a scavenger hunt to find green leaves, brown leaves, flowers, clouds, colored rocks, insects, birds, bark on a tree, is a lesson in patience and awareness. The gift of looking through a magnifying glass at the intricacies of shells, rocks, or even a child’s own hand with its lines and colors allows attention to details. These things are what brightens the faces and hearts of every child that enters the garden.
Maria Montessori said, “The secret of good teaching is to regard the child’s intelligence as a fertile field in which we can sow the seeds of learning.” Teaching and learning are companions, a circle of life. Plant the seeds, learn to grow, sustain life, die, begin again. Nature is in each of us, a gift that is free. Nature is nurture, a gift that is free. Curiosity and learning is instilled in us, a gift that is free. Hold this gift close and use it to its fullest potential, share it with those around you and let it blossom into the brightest light possible.
With breath, appreciation, and gratitude,
Ms. Angie, Peace Garden Teacher
Hearts for the Homeless
It has become one of our school’s favorite traditions to collect necessities and fun items for the children from Children First Leadership Academy (school for homeless children). They will be coming to our Valentine Mercado. Not only will they get the opportunity to shop at our students’ stores, but they will also take home much needed items that we collect as a community.
In order to make sure each visiting student receives all the necessities, we are asking each classroom to be in charge of bringing particular items. Please bring new items. Items are due no later than Tuesday, February 11th.
Gary/Veronica (3B): boys’ socks for 7-9 year olds
Cassi/Pete (3A): boys’ t-shirts for 7-9 year olds (no undershirts)
Kathy/Carly (2B): shampoo/conditioner/lotion (travel size only)
Nadine/Hollie (2A): new toys – gender neutral (small/medium)
Romie/Jennifer (4A): girls’ t-shirts for 7-9 year olds (no undershirts)
Nikki/Lindzie (4B): new stuffed animals (small/medium)
Laurie/Leslie (4C): girls’ socks for 7-9 year olds
Jenna/Britt (1A): toothbrush/toothpaste packets
Tabitha/Honore (1B): new colored pencils and markers
Cecile/Mary (1C): girls’ hair accessories and wrapped candy
Vari/Twyla (1D): snacks for snack bags (fruit snacks, raisins, cheese crackers, etc. )
If we pull together, we can make Valentine’s Day a little brighter for these children.
Thank you for your generosity and support.
Dates to Remember
Winter Break – December 20 through January 3 – No School
School Resumes – Monday, January 6
Scholastic Book Orders due – Friday, January 17
Civil Rights Day – January 20 – No School
- Fingerprint volunteer forms are available in the office and take approximately 4-6 weeks to process, plan accordingly.
- If you are ordering Scholastic book(s), make sure your child’s name is on the order form before turning it into the office.
- Prescription and over-the-counter medication – the parent must complete a medication form, which is available in the office. All medication must be received in its original packaging and not expired.
- Call the office at (480) 926-8375 by 10:00 am to let us know 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.
- If you have a change of address, phone number or email, notify the office a.s.a.p.
- Do not send your child to school with any heels or high-wedge shoes.
- 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.
- Label your child’s lunch box and jackets with first and last name. 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 coughing, have a runny nose, a sore throat, fever, or an upset stomach.
- If your child becomes ill at school, we will contact you to pick him/her up. You will need to pick up your child within one half hour of our phone call.
- Your child must be fever free (under 100 degrees), without medication, no longer vomiting, diarrhea free, and rash free (or not contagious) for 24 hours before returning to school.
- Please inform your classroom teacher if you are aware that your child is arriving to school with a non-contagious rash, sores, bug bites, etc. This notice will eliminate teacher concern and questions.