September 15, 2015   View our photos on flickr Like us on Facebook
Notes From Dr. Hunt - Montessori in SC        
I had the privilege of attending the first Summit on Montessori education in South Carolina's public schools last Friday at Lander University.  Newly elected State Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman opened the Summit with stories of her humble beginnings.  She was raised in Saluda, SC, and attended Lander University for a degree in art education.  She admitted to believing some of the misconceptions at first, like Montessori schools were a place "where students did whatever they wanted to do" and that "hippie parents" preferred Montessori education for their children. But she went on to discover the truth about Montessori and praised it in her address for its innovative teaching strategies where the child comes first, and the teachers are often hard to find in the classroom.  By the end of her speech Superintendent Spearman was naming Montessori as THE pathway for a career-and-college ready SC graduate because Montessori focuses on life skills and executive functions, like problem solving, collaboration, inquisitiveness, and inventiveness.

The Riley Institute's Primary Research Investigator, Dr. Brooke Culclasure, shared preliminary findings from a five-year public Montessori research study taking place in South Carolina's schools.  Her preliminary findings show quantifiable data in support of Montessori versus non-Montessori education.  For example, Montessori students performed significantly better on tests in English language arts and writing than non-Montessori students.  Montessori students also performed significantly better in the area of executive functions than non-Montessori students.

I was blessed to present with the director of East Cooper Montessori Charter School (ECMCS), Jody Swanigan.  ECMCS is in its 14th year of operation in Charleston County.  Jody and I spoke on the topic of charter schools with healthy and collaborative partnerships with their sponsors.  Jody shared how Charleston County gave ECMCS a 60,000 square foot building, free of charge, for their expanding Montessori program.  Without rental costs, Jody can spend her operational budget on her students and staff.  I shared how CMCS participates in Georgetown County academic events like the Academic Fair, Technology Fair, and Champions Challenge, which is the culminating event of First Tee, a program where students learn life skills through playing golf.

Like California, South Carolina is leading the nation for public Montessori schools.  It is an exciting time for Montessori education when the State Superintendent of Education names Montessori as THE pathway to a Career and College Ready Graduate.  Cheers to South Carolina for leading the way!  We should all be proud to be a part of something benefiting the children of South Carolina.  We are building the right skills for today and tomorrow's work force.

Dr. Hunt  
Dr. Hunt's Office Hours:
8:30 - 10:00 a.m. every Tuesday

9/15 (Tues.) - Upper El School Pictures

9/16 (Wed.) - MMUN Dollar Dress Day

9/17 (Thurs.) - Lower El School Pictures

9/17 (Thurs.) - The First Tee program for 4th graders, 8:30 - 10:30 a.m. (article on right) 

9/18 (Fri.) -
Ratatouille showing this week at After School Movie Day, 3:45 - 5:30 p.m., $10, Come support MMUN fundraising endeavors!!  

9/24 (Thurs.) - The First Tee program for 4th graders, 8:30 - 10:30 a.m.

9/25 (Fri.)
- After School Movie Day, 3:45 - 5:30 p.m., $10, The Land Before Time

9/25 (Fri.) - Squonk Opera field trip for grades 3-5

9/30 (Wed.) - Formal Dining Day

9/30 (Wed.) - Squirrels Club


10/1 (Thurs.) - Open Enrollment Begins (deadline 12/15/15)

10/1 (Thurs.) - The First Tee program for 4th graders, 8:30 - 10:30 a.m.

10/1 (Thurs.) - Parent Cabinet Meeting

10/2 (Fri.) - Earned Free Dress Day

10/2 (Fri.) - MMUN After School Movie Day, 3:45 - 5:30 p.m., $10, Chicken Little

10/5 (Mon.) - Salt Marsh field trip for Ms. Elisabeth's class

10/6 (Tues.) - Salt Marsh field trip for Ms. Hillary's class

10/7 (Wed.) - Salt Marsh field trip for Ms. Sarah's class

10/8 (Thurs.) - Salt Marsh field trip for Ms. Andria's class

10/8 (Thurs.) - Student Cabinet Meeting

10/8 (Thurs.) - The First Tee program for 4th graders, 8:30 - 10:30 a.m.

10/9 (Fri.) - MMUN After School Movie Day, 3:45 - 5:30 p.m., $10, Jumanji

10/12 (Mon.) - CMCS Board Meeting

10/14 (Wed.) - Observation Day

10/15 (Thurs.) - The First Tee program for 4th graders, 8:30 - 10:30 a.m.  

10/16 (Fri.) - MMUN After School Movie Day, 3:45 - 5:30 p.m., $10, Monster University

Click here to subscribe to the CMCS Google school calendar and stay informed about upcoming events. Subscribing will put CMCS events on your device's calendar software that will be updated automatically when we update the calendar. This subscription process is compatible with most calendar software programs like Mac's iCal and Outlook.

View our entire CMCS calendar
How Has Attending CMCS Impacted You and Your Child?

October 1st - December 15th
for 2016 - 2017 School Year

The CMCS team is seeking parents and students to share their CMCS story around Georgetown county in order to increase CMCS visibility and create a greater understanding of our mission as a Montessori school.  Specific talks and events will be posted on the CMCS events calendar by the end of September.  If you are interested in telling your story contact Ms. Kristy or call the office at 843-235-0413.

Spreading the word and helping to educate our community about Montessori is important to our school. Talk to your friends, family and associates about Montessori and make sure people know that Open Enrollment starts in October.  Encourage them to visit a classroom to see Montessori in action.
Montessori Book Club
This fall's book club will begin meeting in October on the first and third Mondays of the month, at 5:30 p.m., to discuss " Montessori Learning in the 21st Century: A Guide for Parents and Teachers," written by M. Shannon Helfrich.

If you are interested in learning more about Montessori pedagogy, please sign-up to join the book club.  Dr. Hunt will be facilitating one club this fall and a second book club in the spring (depending on interest).
CogAT Testing Change - All 2nd - 6th Graders Will Participate
All students in grades 2 - 6 will take the CogAT this October.  There is no need to send an email to Dr. Hunt by October 5th.

In South Carolina, the CogAT abilities test is the tool used for determining gifted and talented (GT) status.  The CogAT tests verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and nonverbal reasoning.
Talking to Your Child Is the Easiest Thing You Can Do to Make Them a Better Reader
Amber Wheeler Bacon, Literacy Coach
The Latin word  vocare, a verb, means to name, or to call. To have a large vocabulary means you have the ability to name and describe many things- thoughts, feelings, objects, actions, places, people, etc. Our English word, vocabulary, is derived from this Latin verb. Language acquisition from birth is each child's first experience as a future reader. Vocabulary acquisition is a major component of reading at all grade levels. For the next few weeks, I'm going to use my Literacy Spotlights to explain the components of reading and what you can do to strengthen these skills at home.

But first, let's figure out why a child's vocabulary plays such a large role in the reading process. Imagine what is happening in your child's brain as it attempts to see, process and understand the letters and words on a page. In an early reader, an unknown word is a huge stumbling block to other parts of the reading process. And once your child has figured out each word to be read, the brain searches through its recesses for all known meanings of the word. For example, the word "bug" has several connotations: insect, spying, computer virus, Volkswagon, annoy, etc. For each word being read, the brain is its own supersonic dictionary/thesaurus. If a child doesn't have a range of meanings stored in its dictionary, then his or her comprehension of the text is compromised. The more meanings for words your child understands, the more they are able to comprehend and recognize words.

Ms. Amber
After School Options
After-School Homework Club, facilitated by Coach Chris, runs from 3:45 to 5 p.m., and offers homework support for all interested students. Click here for more details and to sign-up. Advance reservation price is $7/day, same day price is $10. Homework Club is held at CMCS.

Fridays CMCS offers movies for $10 from 3:45 - 5:30 p.m.  Partial proceeds will benefit the MMUN NYC Conference for 6th graders. Popcorn is provided.  If your child has specific allergies please communicate this with the Movie Days staff and pack an appropriate snack for your child. Upcoming schedule:
  • Sept.18 - Ratatouille
  • Sept. 25 - The Land Before Time
  • Oct.2 - Chicken Little
  • Oct. 9 - Jumanji
  • Oct.16 - Monster University
  • Oct. 30 - Spooky Buddies

Kicks Tae Kwon Do
Starting September 25th
3:45 - 5 p.m.
Sign up in the CMCS office or email Coach Chris

Circus Camp
Thursdays in October beginning Oct. 1st 
Wednesdays, 3:45 - 4:45 p.m.
  Click here for all the details
Contact Us

247 Wildcat Way 
Pawleys Island, SC 29585
Weekly Update
School Pictures - Lower Elementary DATE CHANGE

Thursday, September 17th

Students may dress in Polished Free Dress Day standards for Picture Day. 

Information on online proofing and ordering will be sent home with students soon after pictures are taken.
First Tee Program for 4th Years
All 4th years will be traveling by bus to The Tradition Golf Club Thursday mornings at 8:30 a.m. sharp for the next five weeks beginning THIS WEEK!

Students are required to wear a collared shirt and khaki or navy pants, bermuda shorts (CMCS uniform shorts), or skorts. The CMCS collared shirt is perfect if your child already has one. They must also wear tennis shoes and bring a water bottle. They will return to school shortly after 10 a.m.  

Permission slips are due TOMORROW (9/16). 
Please be sure that your child arrives in plenty of time to get on the bus on Thursday mornings, as they will not wait for latecomers.
Follow PTO on FB
Follow our very own CMCS PTO on Facebook for all the latest on activities and fundraising.
Go Fund Me MMUN
CMCS sixth-grader, Joe Chastain has created a GoFundMe campaign to help raise money for the whole CMCS MMUN team (17 students!) to travel to NYC for the international conference this spring.  Please visit it and share it with your friends to help put a dent in the $15,000 it will take to send the students!
MMUN Dollar Dress Days
CMCS students may have a free dress day for only $1 on the third Friday of each month to benefit our MMUN team as they raise money to travel to NYC this spring.  Click here for all the details.
Breakfast and Lunch Menus
September Breakfast Menu
September Lunch Menu
$20 for Field Trips
Each student is assessed a $20 fee to cover costs of field trips for the entire year. Please make checks payable to CMCS and turn into the office.

If this $20 assessment is creating a financial burden for you, please contact the CMCS office at 843-235-0413.
Community Events
Click here for the list of Fall Activities, Sept.- Dec., for children and adults

A benefit for the Hugs for Horses Therapeutic Riding Program
Sunday, Sept. 20th
3 - 7 p.m.
Dead Dog Saloon, Murrells Inlet
Click here for all the details

by Sticks and Stones
Thursday, September 24th
3 pm
Waccamaw Neck Library
DeBordieu Auditorium
More info

Three weeks of art and musical performances including Aaron Neville, Steve Tyrell, AJ Croce, Ken Lavigne, outdoor live painting, a chalk walk and much more!
Sept. 25 - Oct. 17th
Click here for the complete schedule and more info

Monday, October 12th
Wachesaw Plantation
1 p.m. Shotgun Start
$150/player, $600/foursome
Click here for all the details
Register by phone at 843-436-7199 or email


Saturday, October 31st
6 - 8 pm
Georgetown First Assembly of God Church
Free Admission
Print your tickets here
2015-2016 School Calendar
Click for Next Year's School Calendar
Coastal Montessori Charter School (CMCS) follows the Georgetown County School District calendar for vacation and holidays.
Teacher and Staff Directory
Dr. Nathalie Hunt, Director
Kristy Harbaugh, Office Manager
Tia Bergeron, Operations Manager
Kelly Metz, RN, School Nurse

Sarah Wilson, Lead Teacher
Natalie Boggs, Teaching Assistant
Hillary Usher, Lead Teacher
Sarah Stimpson, Teaching Assistant
Andria Hejl, Lead Teacher
Nan Gadek, Teaching Assistant
Elisabeth Enriquez, Lead Teacher
Celeste Reid, Teaching Assistant

Antoinette Ursits, Lead Teacher
Pam French, Teaching Assistant
 Shaye Heiskell, Lead Teacher
Johanna D. Wilson, Teaching Assistant
Amy Williams, Lead Teacher
Jo Addington, Teaching Assistant
Ally Boddicker, Lead Teacher
Jamie Williamson, Teaching Assistant

Chris Bergeron, Athletic Director and Physical Education
Keely Elliott, Spanish Teacher
Kim Evans-Robey, Visual Arts Teacher
Kalley Long, Music and Drama Teacher
Nicole Nucero, Special Education Resource Teacher
Amber Wheeler Bacon, Literacy Coach