January 6,   2017

Help us reach our goal of 100% participa tion! 
Eric's Earful: 
 Musings from the Head of School

I was recently reading an online opinion about the impact of a positive attitude and hard work as it relates to future success in the workplace and how these personal characteristics are more indicative of success than grades garnered in school.  It made me do some more searching and reading on the internet about this comparison (grades vs. character) can highlight some of what the Montessori approach can do for students.  The character building starts in primary (and before) and centers around the practical life area of the classroom.  I have often thought about practical life being the beginning of the Montessori experience in primary, however it takes on new meaning as the student moves into the elementary grades.  Practical life seems unimportant, when taken in the context of all the standards and learning that has to happen to help students become college and career ready.  However, I would argue that it is more important than these standards, because without the positive character traits the practical life area builds, standards and learning become harder to achieve.

This student from 6-12 is supposed to be working on the academic part of himself because it is a critical time to learn all of these standards which will build a strong foundation for his future life.  Where does the practical life skills of cleaning, shoveling, gardening, shopping, and fixing come into the life of an elementary student who is being asked to focus only on the academics?  How then is a student going to practice the skills of taking care of himself, taking care of others, taking care of the environment?  I can think of no other skills more important that this very social and very moral student could be doing.  This does not mean that study is not important because it is, however these practical skills help shape the student's self image and making the him completely dependent on how he does academically can only hurt that self image.  It is not meaningful to focus only on academics and students at this age want to be doing meaningful things with their lives, just like every other human on this planet.

There are communities around the world where children participate fully in real life.  I am sure in these communities of people, the students are contributing from the time they can walk to the time they graduate from school.  They are useful members of the family and community.  They feel valued and develop the skills that will help them become mature and responsible adults, wives, husbands, and professionals.  There is a responsible balance that we, as a Montessori school, have to achieve between the academic and practical lives of each student in the school.  

Attention Leelanau Montessori Community.  Let's celebrate our amazing Board.  Please read the following and plan on joining us to acknowledge our wonderful Board on Monday, January 16th at 6:30 p.m. with the regular meeting to follow at 7:00 p.m.  There will be refreshments and snacks provided by the staff.  We look forward to seeing everyone there!

From MASB - Michigan Association of School Boards
School Board Appreciation Month

January is School Board Recognition Month
The month of January provides a unique opportunity to acknowledge a special group of volunteer elected officials in education. It is School Board Recognition Month, and it offers communities across Michigan a way to acknowledge the continuing efforts of local and ISD school board members in providing leadership and guidance to local school districts. Across the state, there are more than 4,000 school board members who dedicate countless hours of hard work to improving education for Michigan children.

School board members take that responsibility and public trust very seriously, dedicating an enormous number of hours to their work both in and outside of board meetings. Attending school functions, preparing for board meetings, reading financial reports, agendas and proposals, and making a host of difficult and challenging decisions are just a few of the regular activities board members participate in through their service.

Many board members have also made a commitment to continuous professional development to ensure they stay up-to-date on the latest education issues. Over the course of a school year, school board members across Michigan participated in nearly 7,000 hours of classroom courses and online learning, all focused on education- and board-related issues.

Today, more than ever, school board leaders are faced with the overwhelming charge of providing a quality education at a time when financial constraints weigh heavily on the health of school district budgets. In an era of unprecedented choice in education, school boards are also tasked with charting a course that provides long-term, sustainable success for current and future students in all of Michigan's public schools.

School Board Recognition Month is part of a national effort cosponsored by the Michigan Association of School Boards and the National School Boards Association to build community awareness and understanding about the crucial role school boards play in our communities.
Board members come from all walks of life with diverse experiences and backgrounds, but working together, they make decisions in the best interests of Michigan's children.

It is our mission to provide quality educational leadership services for all Michigan boards of education, and to advocate for student achievement and public education.
The Future of Our School Committee Update:

"The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new"  --Socrates

Everyone is welcome and encouraged to attend the next ad hoc meeting on January 10, 2017 at 6 p.m. in LMPSA Room 2. We will be considering the results of our feasibility study pertaining to our four Stay or Go options and finalizing the committee recommendation to our Board.  The next LMPSA Board meeting is January 16, 2016 at 7 p.m. in our school commons area where our Board is expected to vote on yes or no to unification with SBPS.  Preserving and strengthening our school as an authentic and  public 
Montessori academy is our purpose. Thank you for your support and encouragement as our school moves through this process. 

Please click here to view the Parent Survey Results.
Observation and Enrollment
Leelanau Montessori encourages all families to schedule an observation of your child's environment, as well as the environment they may move up to the following year.  It is such a joy to sit in the environment and observe the wonderful learning that is happening here at our school.  Please follow the link below to schedule an observation.  

It is hard to believe that re-enrollment begins in February.  Due to the calendar and the policies put in place, there is a small window to return your child's re-enrollment form.  A returned application ensures your child a place at our school for the following year.  We cannot stress enough how important returning your application by the deadline is.  With this information we will be planning for the 2017-18 staff and classrooms.  Please see below the re-enrollment and enrollment schedules.

*Applications will go home in Tuesday folders on Tuesday, February 7th.  

If you have any friends or family that may be interested in Leelanau Montessori for their children, please have them contact the office to schedule a tour and observation.  Word of mouth is our best advertisement!  Thank you.  

Re-enrollment Schedule:
2nd Monday in February - Re-enrollment application period (February 13th)
4th Friday in February - Close Re-enrollment period (February 24th)  

Open Enrollment Schedule:  
2nd Monday in March - Open application period (March 13th)
4th Friday in March - Close application period (March 31st)
4th Friday in May - Within five (5) business days in advance of the lottery, the school will communicate the time, date and location of the lottery with caretakers of applicants (May 26th) 
1st Friday in June - Lottery Day The following Tuesday after the lottery- Caretakers of accepted applicants notified with offer of enrollment within one week from receiving notification- Caretaker deadline to accept offer of enrollment (June 2nd)
3rd Friday in July - Caretaker deadline to complete enrollment tasks of accepted applicants (July 21st) 

The kindergarten through 3rd year children will be participating in Brain Compatible creative movement for 6 weeks with Hughthir White, a professional dance instructor,  as part of our health and wellness experience. The Friends of Fine Arts, a Suttons Bay School group, is funding this opportunity.  This is paid for by FOFA however, if you would like to donate, sponsor or help establish a fund making this an ongoing opportunity, the cost is $35 per child and monies can be sent to our office. Your child will enjoy this class during their school day. Brain compatible creative dance is an interactive, sensory, simple but strong approach to dance education and exploring the elements of dance and kinesthetic learning.  Hughthir will introduce ways of moving that reflect space, time, rhythm, locomotion and energy.  He will integrate curricular ideas such as math, poetry, visual arts and utilize percussion instruments as a tool. We will be enjoying this in the old Cedar room.
Community Updates

-This week's 25 cent State Theater kids movie is The BFG

Dance Leelanau with Hillary Voight is regrouping after a wonderful Holiday performance* for The first class sessions
of 2017.  Starting January 21 and for 4 Saturdays, Dance Leelanau will hold their classes at the Old Art Building for Pre-Ballet (3-5 yrs) and Beginning Ballet (6-8 yrs).
*To see some of the Holiday performance Click Here or the "video" tab above.
Pre-Ballet (3-5 yrs) 10:20-10:50
Beginning Ballet (6-8 yrs) 11:00 - 11:30  

Private Tutoring Offered:  Click here to find out about this service to our community.
  The Practice of Gratitude

~Thank you to our Leelanau Montessori Board for all they do!
~Thank you to Emma Kelly for loaning her CD player for creative movement
~Thank you to the Geraci family for donating a box of copy paper to the office!

***If you have time in your day and would like to volunteer to read with children. please give the office a call and we will hook you up!  It's great fun!!!
Elementary Hot Lunch

 January Lunch Menu 
Dates to Remember

This Week
January 9- Creative Movement K-3
January 10- Ad Hoc Committee 6-8 p.m. 
January 12- Creative Movement K-3
January 13- Native American Experience El

Coming Up
January 16- LMPSA Board Appreciation 6:30 p.m.
January 16- LMPSA Board Regular Meeting 7:00 p.m.  
January 22- Primary Ladies/Gentlemen Visiting Day
February 13- Re-enrollment Begins
February 24- Re-enrollment Ends
In Search of:

-Hoola Hoops
-Gloves of all sizes for children 
-Office Snack{ granola Bars and apples to keep in the office for kids with no snack
~Dry Erase Markers
~Wooden Kitchen Matches
Quick Links


Photos of the Week
The Last Days of 2016