Weekly Update 9/5/2019

Message from the Principal

Do not tell them how to do it. Show them how to do it and do not say a word. If you tell them they will watch your lips move. If you show them, they will want to do it themselves. -Maria Montessori

Dear Parents,

The first week of the year has gone by quickly! I am enjoying getting to know the new children and hearing from those returning about how they spent their summer. Though only able to formally observe once so far, I have had many small opportunities to see and hear about the work that is happening during this orientation phase of the year. I have been particularly struck by so many children working to imitate the care, grace and courtesy modeled not only by the adults in our environments, but by the other children as well. We have so many wonderful leaders in our school who show with their actions they are ready to work.

As we did last year, our Weekly Updates will include short messages from each of our environments. These small "blurbs" are meant to be a glimpse into the classroom and will help keep you connected to what is happening here at school. I hope you enjoy reading them each week.

God bless,

Kristina Fox
Renaissance Montessori School

Message from the Environments


We’ve begun our first full week of school and the youngest children are adjusting to their carefully prepared space outside of home. The youngest children are in the sensitive periods of order, movement, and language, which are the three most important things in their life at this time. As they discover new materials, learn routines and boundaries, and be in community among their peers, they are also building their concentration.
Concentration requires more than just being busy, it engages all the senses. In order for us to aid the youngest child’s concentration, observation is essential to help us see their interests and what the youngest child is trying to master. I recall making an announcement to parents on the first day of Phase-In “. . . our biggest work is to observe the child . ..”  The Phase-In schedule has not only benefited the toddlers, but it has benefited the parents, Mrs. Clune, and I as it has allowed us to observe the youngest children together. What a gift it has been so far and we look forward to learning more about your child in the coming weeks! 


At the beginning is a good place to be. The children have started their year beautifully as they adjust to their new classroom. During each of these orientation days, they have received so much new information that will aide them in the weeks and months ahead. We have been learning each other’s names and how to introduce ourselves, how and where to bring our Montessori materials when we want to use them, how to wait politely when someone else has what they want, or when the adult is with another child. The children have been laying the table for breakfast and serving themselves and then waiting patiently to eat together as a community. I've seen such lovely examples of generosity towards each other, like pouring a friend a glass of water from a pitcher that is heavy, and older children washing the dishes for all of their classmates. Together, we are preparing the foundation of our classroom that will support each child as they receive lessons and can relax in a space where they know what to expect and know what is expected of them. These are hard things, and they are doing it! I am thrilled to be sharing it with them!


In Elementary, we have been struck by how happy the children are to be back together and by their eagerness to build community with the newest members of our class. This is a time of orienting for us all - of getting back into the rhythm of early mornings, productive work periods, and long school days. We are, in many and diverse ways, restoring our stamina, which dipped over the restful summer months.

We are offering various “aids to concentration,” including finger crocheting, embroidery, booklet binding, cutting, and planting. These activities help the children to bridge the gaps throughout the day of intense academic work and presentations. The children enjoy these “breaks,” which are used quite specifically and purposefully to increase the child’s capacity to focus and to give some processing time for all the challenges faced each day.


“'I have calmed and quieted my soul," Psalm 131:2. The more our hearts are peaceful and untroubled, they can receive the movement, light, and help of the Holy Spirit. On the contrary, worry, agitation, and anxiety close us off from grace" Fire and Light, Jacques Philippe.

We are off to an amazing start. Starting something new, whether as an adult or child, is hard. However, the Holy Spirit is alive and well in the Middle School and already peace, laughter, and spontaneous singing is happening. The first week we explored our campus and continued to set up our environment. We have made breakfast together and the children will be prepared calzones for lunch. 

This week also began our Khan Academy mathematics learning. as well as the story of Irena Sendler, Life in a Jar. There are many more learning opportunities happening in and outside the classroom; ask the to children fill you in! 

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.

Upcoming Events

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

  • 9/16/19 - Parent-Infant Begins


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, soplease 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:

  • Email the Absent Line at absent@rmsmail.org

  • Call the Absent Line at 703-594-7032

Pizza Fridays Are Back!

Back by popular demand, Pizza Fridays at RMS. Below is the order form to purchase pizza for your child on Fridays. All pizzas are extra cheese from Domino's.Orders are due no later than the Wednesday prior to the Friday you want pizza. You can order for the full two months or any week at a time. We cannot accept any orders after that date for the Friday order.

There are also copies of the Order Form available in the office or there is always a link at the top of this Update.

Sept/Oct Pizza Form

"Staff Children"

We are so pleased that so many of our staff members have chosen to have their children at RMS as well. Because we have such a large number of "Staff Kids" this year, it may be confusing to other children when they see their peers entering the building at odd times. It might be helpful when you see that happening to remind your children that these staff kids enter under the care of their parents and sometimes follow different guidelines outside of school hours.

Community Events

Daughters of the King

Your middle and high school aged daughters are cordially invited to participate in “Daughters of the King” at Seton School on Saturday, September 28th. It is open to middle and high school young ladies regardless of where they go to school.

It’s a day of faith building activities, dinner, inspiring keynote speaker, fashion show and entertainment. The day also includes self-defense instruction and even a few amusements this time!

More information and link to register,CLICK HERE.

Please register by Friday, Sep 13th! Registration includes a great t-shirt, so signing up after the 13this okay, but not ideal! If you have any questions, please contact:kimberly@dalrymple5.com