In This Issue
Tax Exempt Status
Marketing & Feedback
Board of Directors
Record Keeping
Elem Newsletter Changes
In Our Next Issue
Blog MSOE Gives Back
Montessori Compass
Volume 1, Issue 1                                                  December 2014

M.S.O.E. Newsletter


As I write this December inaugural newsletter, there is so much that I want to communicate.  It does not seem fair to have to choose.  With that said, it is my hope to communicate with you one word that encompasses most of our experience during the first part of the school year. It is something that I have been working on instilling in your children.  That word is gratitude, and the focus has been on what being grateful really means, how important it is to practice being grateful for little things, the positive emotional effect that it has, and that fulfilled people practice expressing gratitude every day.


On a personal note, practicing gratitude is one of the exercises that really made a difference for me to get through previous experiences. I understand it now on a different level from the start of this past summer.  Before the summer, I felt like I needed to practice gratitude through difficult times and circumstances that were the result of people around me.  One of the only things that I could control was finding things to be grateful for, to help counter any negativity, but also to simply feel good.  Then, as I went through the summer, there was a shift in my perception of the practice of gratitude. 


There were many highs and lows this summer and things would change almost on a daily basis.  People and opportunities came and went as seemingly fleeting and as quickly as thoughts come and go.  As the first two weeks of the summer passed, I began to realize how important it was to solidify a vision and a plan, all within the context of gratitude.  I began to realize that it was not people and circumstances that ultimately had control over me and my emotions or thoughts.  My own reactions and choices of what to focus on and what action plan to have were what guided my circumstances.  All of this and more prepared me for the school year and for the opportunity to incorporate what I have learned into my day to day interactions with your children. 

I am so grateful for being able to watch and listen to your children share things that they are grateful for on a regular basis.  It's rewarding to hear them remind others that, instead of complaining, they should be grateful for this or that.  We focus on goals throughout the days, learn to be gentle on ourselves when necessary, and push ourselves where appropriate. Ultimately, it's about knowing that our best is different on a daily basis. We can only do our best by being honest with ourselves and knowing ourselves. This is part of the conscious process of going through the elementary program at Montessori Seeds of Education.


My hope is that this attitude of gratitude would become infectious, even outside the classroom, and would not be limited to the holiday season.  Practicing gratitude at home is a great opportunity for the whole family.  I would like to encourage you to create your own gratitude activities as a family.

501(c)3 Tax Exempt Status

Montessori Seeds of Education is in the process of applying for tax exempt or 501(c)3 status.  Specifically, this means that M.S.O.E. will be exempt from state or local sales, income, and property taxes.  It also means that any monetary donations given to M.S.O.E. can be claimed as a tax deduction by the donor.  

M.S.O.E. has received a letter stating that the I.R.S. has received the application and that it is in process.  In approximately ten weeks, we should receive a letter stating that the application has been approved.  Upon receiving this confirmation letter, the school may begin receiving tax deductible donations.  

Before taxes are due for the following year, the school should receive a number for donors to provide to their accountant, in order to claim their deduction.  If, for some reason, that does not happen, then within 180 days the school will be contacted to resolve any issues so that the application can continue to be processed. We do not expect any issues or complications.  

M.S.O.E. will update you as soon as the I.R.S. contacts us. This application and the process are both cumbersome. It is a big deal that we are this far in such a short period of time.  For the sake of the school, I'm excited to be able to share this with you. 


Marketing & Feedback

M.S.O.E. wants and needs to start January off with as much marketing and advertising as possible.  Our goal is to have a minimum of 10 new primary students for next year and a minimum of 5 new elementary students.  We already have a few seriously interested families for the primary classroom. 

Before January, we will have brochures in local businesses and libraries in addition to our online presence.  We will also be making up signs to place in different areas.  Speaking of signs, I will be meeting with Pastor Edgar this week about a sign for the school and hopefully we can come to an agreeable arrangement with him and Merchantville to have a sign up by February.  

I am always willing and will make myself available to receive feedback or suggestions.  I know and appreciate that it may feel like you do not want to offend me in offering your suggestions or perhaps think they are not welcome.  I truly do value your opinions and would like to make promoting our school a community effort. 

In January, I would also like to send out and make available a sort of script or suggested bullet points to all the parents to help identify the key components of M.S.O.E.  By this, I mean core things that help you more accurately represent M.S.O.E., if you happen to be sharing about our community to prospective families.  

Sometimes, when we share with others, we might not come across clearly, or we assume they know things about Montessori or M.S.O.E., when in actuality, there is a definite misunderstanding.  I would also like you to contribute to writing this script.  You can help by answering the following questions: What has a Montessori education done for your family?  What makes M.S.O.E. different from other private schools, in addition to offering an education following Montessori's pedagogy?

While I have great help, support, and advice from members on the Board, M.S.O.E. could use more help and creative suggestions.  We encourage you to think outside the box and help us grow M.S.O.E. 


Montessori Seeds of Education would like to officially announce its Board of Directors.  There are presently six people on the Board:
  • President - Matthew Simberg, M.Ed.
  • Secretary - Wendy Amato
  • Treasurer - Patricia Herrera
  • Officer - Brin Burnham
  • Officer - Wendy McCarty
  • Officer - Hiren Patel

The Board is governed by the school's articles of incorporation and by-laws.  Representatives of the Board act as custodians for the integrity of the school, holding in trust both the present and future of the school. They represent continuity and permanent responsibility. Their responsibilities consist of, but are not limited to, establishing and reviewing the philosophy and objectives of the school. They are to aid in effectively maintaining the implementation of policies and for the fiscal well-being of the school. The Board is also made to ensure that the Executive Director is maintaining responsibilities. 

The Executive Director has several responsibilities to the Board. These include carrying out the operating plan, annual budget, reporting to the Board on school matters, and managing the school in an effective and businesslike manner. Questions for the Board should be directed to the Executive Director or anyone on the Board.  The Board will meet about the question or questions if it falls under this jurisdiction. As the professional educational leader of Montessori Seeds of Education, the Executive Director has complete responsibility for faculty, staff, and student selection, evaluation and dismissal. The Executive Director articulates the mission and vision of the school and is responsible for the professional quality and behavior of the faculty. 

Everyone on the Board is expected to serve a minimum of two years. If after that time you would like to serve or nominate someone to serve on the Board, please contact the Executive Director, Matthew Simberg, M.Ed., or anyone else presently serving on the Board, and that name will be forwarded to the nominating committee. Please do not hesitate to contact the school should you have any questions. 


MSOE Facebook Page

In case you were not aware, we have a Facebook page!  We are using Facebook as another avenue to share updates and happenings at Montessori Seeds of Education.  It is also being used to hopefully inspire others and get the word out about our school.  

Presently, we have 84 likes, which is very good, for the short amount of time that it has been up and running. I would like to request that, if you have not done so already, please like our page and share it with family and friends to do the same. The more likes we have, the wider the scope of our feed's reach.  

Simply visit our website, and click on the Facebook icon at the top right corner, or if you are viewing our mobile friendly site, it is at the bottom of the menu, and then click the like button on our Facebook page.  

Even more helpful than liking our page, we ask parents to give us 5 stars and write a positive review for our school on Facebook and any other sites including Google+, Google Maps, etc... Please continue to spread the word on and offline. Thank you so much for your support and willingness to contribute in ways such as this!

Record Keeping

Record keeping has been a very different and positive experience for Brin and myself, as I hope it has been for you.  It is our hope that parents have taken advantage of seeing what their children have been doing, as well as the great pictures that have been regularly updated on Montessori Compass.
It is my goal to help parents feel more in the loop and not have to wait months before finding out a few things that have been happening. I have noticed that, since we recently implemented the two week automated reminder of your child's progress, every single one has been read. That is great to see!

Please feel free to contact me with any questions or comments!

Elementary Newsletter Changes

With M.S.O.E. publishing its first newsletter this month, Mr. Matt and the elementary children decided it would be best to change the name of the elementary newsletter.  As of January, the new name of the elementary newsletter will be "The Elementary Seedling." 

Also, keep an eye open for "Through Alexa's Window."  This will be a section of "The Elementary Seedling" that will always at least highlight Alexa's Poems, possibly the artwork of others and even more. Only time will tell what will be seen through her window.

In Our Next Issue
  • Haiti Update including work with H.E. Ambassador Jack Brewer with the Brewer Group and Joel Dixon, a founder of the Educate Haiti Now organization.
  • AMI Refresher Course
  • Meeting with an Architect
  • MMUN Meeting
  • The Long awaited Parent Handbook


Matthew Simberg, M.Ed.
Montessori Seeds of Education