Weekly Update 9/12/2019

Message from the Principal

There is a great sense of community within the Montessori classroom, where children of differing ages work together in an atmosphere of cooperation rather than competitiveness. There is respect for the environment and for the individuals within it, which comes through experience of freedom within the community. -Maria Montessori

Dear Parents,

Already this year, I am seeing so many examples of our individual environment communities and our larger RMS community coming together in beautiful ways. There is a sense of respect for each other and team work between the children, staff and parents that is so vital to this work that we all do together.

I was so pleased to join the Parents Guild for their first meeting yesterday. Thank you to the Guild leadership for their planning and to all the parents who attended. Don't worry if you missed it; you can find the minutes below. Please do consider getting involved early and often. Our parents are the most welcoming group I've experienced and it is a great way to show your child how much you value their school!

God bless,

Kristina Fox
Renaissance Montessori School

Message from the Environments


The Young Children’s Community “phased out” the phase-in period and are now on regular schedule with the whole school, hooray! Though school has only been in session for a week and a half, the toddlers are attaining independence little by little every day. From removing/putting on their shoes or undressing/dressing to drinking from an open cup or going up/down the stairs, the young children are given the time and space to master these skills.  
On the first day of school, most of the young children were unable to remove their shoes and clothing. With minimal assistance from the adults, the toddlers have been practicing using their hands to slide their shoes over their heel; pulling up/down their pants to their knees to begin their independence of undressing/dressing themselves; learning and practicing to tip the glass carefully so the water doesn’t spill out all over their face; and carefully walking up and down the stairs while holding on to the handrail, while also remembering the rule “only one child at a time on the stairs”. The toddlers are working hard to master these skills with no time restrictions and through their perseverance, they are achieving success daily. 


“Make it a great day!” One of the areas of development for children in the first plane is learning impulse control and emotional awareness and this week brought with it some pretty fabulous opportunities to explore this. A child practicing impulse control walking very carefully through the classroom, passed by a friend and said,” Look at me! I’m walking sooooo carefully.” Three friends had an opportunity for learning social cues while playing together in the yard, and one realized that another was not having fun, sought her out, and then spoke to the offender until peace had been restored. (Wow!) There have been times that children needed to process the frustration of just not getting what they wanted . . . which sometimes then lead to tearful children missing home (a double whammy of emotion!) Every time that I’ve seen your children struggle this week, they have turn it into success . . . sometimes as simple as becoming engaged in the next new activity, or deciding, “I’m done being sad about this.” These are great learning moments and the children are creating pathways in their brain to help guide themselves the next time they feel a certain impulse or emotion. Mistakes are the best learning tools. It is where we learn what doesn't work, and where we still have room to grow. We are friendly with mistakes, we are friendly with big emotions, and yes, we are friendly with learning impulse control! I learn new things each day because the children show me what they love and what just isn’t working for them . . .and then we modify, and try again . . . to make the next day, a great day!


Have you heard about the buddy system in Elementary? Having a buddy, and being a buddy, is an important part of orienting to life in the classroom. Over the first few school days, the older buddies were very attentive to and considerate of the needs of those children who are less experienced than themselves. Now that everyone has been receiving more presentations and has had more opportunities for self-directed work, the buddies are becoming a less integral part of our daily routines. The older children are saying, “I am working now, so you need to ask for help from someone else.” These kinds of directives are appropriate and necessary for the newest members of the community to begin to branch out and find resources beyond the adults and their particular buddies. The system is working just as it should, but it means the children are being asked to stretch in terms of confidence and independence, so you may hear some grumblings of resistance to these changes at home. For now, it may help to ponder aloud, “I wonder who you will ask for help from tomorrow,” or to acknowledge the times throughout the day that your child shows initiative, as in “I really like how you knew we are about to have dinner so you set the table without me having to ask. You are getting more independent every day!”


The construction of the mind is an active process. - Lecture 27 Maria Montessori 
The Middle School students and the 6th years had the pleasure of traveling to the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception on Friday. Once a year the Knight’s Tower is open to the public. We climbed 85 steps and rode in a small elevator to see the magnificent view of Washington D.C. Up high in the Tower there are over 50 bells that ring every 15 minutes. All of the bells are named after saints, the largest one is named after Holy Mary and weighs around 2,000 pounds.
We had a lovely tour of the main Basilica by Mrs. Dee Steel, a friend of Mrs Wolf. Time allowed us as well to be at the 12:10 Mass. The children took all of our RMS community to prayer. After a quick lunch, we returned safely home.
Construction of the mind was overflowing on this outing. The opportunities to take in beautiful art, to practice being still when guides speak, and to wait for just a bit longer when the hunger pains speak loudly built all of us on this wonderful journey.


From the Parent Guild

Guild Meeting Minutes

Our first Guild meeting was held yesterday in the Parents Lounge. You can find the minutes of the meeting link below. Don't forget to log volunteer hours if you attended!


Back to School Bonfire

Please join us on Sunday, September 29th from 6:30 - 8:30 PM in the RMS fields for a Back to School Family Bonfire. We will have music, a bonfire, and a small fire with all fixings for S'Mores. The event is BYOB for adults and kids. Please bring camp chairs or picnic blankets and roasting sticks if you have them. We look forward to a fun family gathering.

Volunteer Hours and Tracking

Once again we will be using a tool to help parents easily track the 20 required service hours - Track it Forward. All new families should have received an email directly from Track It Forward with an invite to set up your account. If you did not receive this email, please let Kristina know.

As always, we are here to help so let us know if you have any questions at all!

AMI Montessori Parent Workshop on Language

AMI is offering a workshop for parents on Saturday, September 21st. Learn how to help your child love reading, writing, and speaking. Association Montessori Internationale primary trainer Jennifer Shields will present a morning workshop designed for parents, caregivers, and others engaged with children from birth to age six. The focus will be understanding language development in infants and young children and exploring how adults can support this important aspect of the child’s life. See the link for more details and registration information: https://www.wmi-montessori.org/fall-parent-workshop-2019/.

Upcoming Events

  • 9/13/19 - Mardi Gras Meeting 8:30 AM

  • 9/16/19 - Parent-Infant Begins

  • 9/29/19 - Back to School Bonfire


An Important Announcement About SCRIP

As announced in a separate email, we have decided that beginning this year, the Family SCRIP Contribution will become a Family Mardi Gras Contribution.

The program will work much the same as SCRIP did, but instead of earning down the fundraising goal with SCRIP, families can earn it down with Mardi Gras sponsorships or by selling Mardi Gras raffle tickets. We believe that this will help our community focus all our fundraising attention on the Mardi Gras, the amazing event that so many of our parents already spend so much time making a success.

To read the full announcement letter,click here.

Substitute Elementary Catechists 

Our Elementary Catetchist, Mrs. Jennifer Miller, has to have surgery on her foot and will need to be home recovering for three months. Please pray for her and her family as they plan for an early October surgery.

We are pleased to have Mrs. Danuta Coble and Mrs. Erica Fusco as substitute catechists while Mrs. Miller is on medical leave. These ladies are both experienced catechists and long time members of our RMS community and will be wonderful caretakers of the Elementary Atrium. Mrs. Miller will return after Christmas.

Pick-Up Authorization Form

As a reminder, to ensure your child’s safe departure from school, we require a completed form listing the name(s) of individuals authorized to transport your child. Children will only be released to authorized persons, so please notify the school of any changes in transportation arrangements. These changes need to be communicated to the office; please do not make these type of arrangements with a teacher or teacher’s assistant, as they must be logged and carried out through our office.If you have arranged for an authorized person to pick up your child for the first time, please notify them that they will be asked to furnish legal identification when they arrive. Then will they be allowed to depart with your child.

To add authorize others to pick up your child, please fill out the form linked below. The form is also always available in the RMS Parent Page section of our website.

Pick Up Authorization Form

Reporting Absences

To help us insure the safety of your children, please report all absences to the office before 8:30 AM each day your child will be out. To report an absence, you can: