LIFE AT VMS: Collaboration
by Ann Clark, Head of School

Dear VMS Parents,

Did you you know VMS has a group of teachers, one from each program level, called the Level Liaisons? They are a collaborative group that work together to share ideas. Hearing about what is happening at each level and sharing it with their individual teaching teams is one way to appreciate the amazing work that is done each day at VMS. The impact of their collaboration is a powerful, positive force for the children and our community. This year, the Level Liaisons will be working on various projects as our COVID year unfolds.

The Level Liaisons are:
Toddler - Natasha Mehta
Primary - Aisha Chaudary
Lower El - Jayne Martin
Upper El - Samantha Suan
Middle School - Diane Kmetz
Enjoy these photos from the team of what has been happening recently in and around VMS.

The children have adjusted well to the new way of doing things. For some, they haven’t known a classroom prior to COVID. With parents dropping off outside of the school, there is actually less crying and a smoother transition to the classroom. The individual tables and supplies make the classroom look different but the children are engaged and happy. The toddler playground and the VMS Edible Schoolyard have become outdoor classrooms for all to enjoy. Parents have been wonderful, staying informed and being responsive to the teachers.
The children are happy! Their individual work stations are not unlike their work time before Covid, except the masks - and they are conscientious about wearing them properly! The patios outside of the classrooms, the playground and VMS Edible Schoolyard are good spots for quick “mask breaks” and time to enjoy the outdoors.
The team came together to deliver a comprehensive distance learning program for the children at home and for those in the on-site cohorts. The children are doing quite well, enjoying the lessons and interactive activities. For children off-site, many have challenged themselves by making their own materials! Hand-made bead frames, checkerboards, and lots of science experiments in the kitchen are just a few ways the children are learning in a new way.

We are using a new online platform, Seesaw, which provides simple and seamless sharing of assignments and work between teachers and students.
The children on-campus are excited to be here! On-site or distance, everyone is thankful to be learning together. Zoom and Google Classroom, have given the children new opportunities to help one another, coaching their peers through technical difficulties and working collaboratively on group presentations. It’s a fresh perspective on how they can do so much more in their new environment. Here are photos of their annual Historical Halloween project!
Distance learning for the already-tech-savvy middle schoolers has been a relatively smooth process. What has been interesting is how they have developed an “I got this” mindset. They have the self-confidence and “grit” that we always hope to see in the children one day. The teachers, parents and children are all working together. Here are some on-campus students working in the VMS garden.
Valley Montessori School 1273 N Livermore Ave. Livermore, CA 94551