W E D N E S D A Y  W E E K L Y
February 13, 2019
In this Issue
Today's Learners:
Primary students and the importance of "going out"

Upcoming Events

February 15
Re-Enrollment Deadline

February 18
Mid-Winter Break - no classes;  pre-registered child care available (and swim day!) 

February 21
9-12 Talent Show
9:30 a.m. - Dress rehearsal
7 p.m. - Performance

February 27
Middle School Coffee House
9:30 a.m. - Dress rehearsal
6:30 p.m. - Performance
Great Room

February 28
Toddler Maker Faire
8:15-9 a.m.
Toddler Maker Studio

WMS Parents Rock!
Message from
Head of School Lisa Lalama

Read more from Lisa on the Montessori Message blog.
Parents, this is your week! 

It is the time we all voice our appreciation for everything you do for WMS. Parent Appreciation Week is a time to honor WMS's partnership with parents past and present. Throughout the years we have had thousands of parents at WMS. They founded our school and continue to support the school in every way. 

The Co-op Program is a great example of what it means to be WMS. It is the backbone of our school, an element that has been here from the start and continues to thrive today. Every day we see examples of parent involvement and contributions to the school. From field trips to baking to attending parent education events and running the yearly auction, our Co-op Program is alive and well. 

Parents founded WMS, yearning for a school where their children could be honored for who they are, allowed to explore the world, learn in meaningful ways and grow at their own pace. We could not be who we are with you! You rock!

News & Notes News
Avoid the Late Fee: the Re-enrollment  Deadline is This Friday

The  re-enrollment  deadline for the 2019-20 school year is this Friday, February 15 . Please submit your contract and deposit to secure your child's space for next year and avoid a $100 late fee. If you need help with the re-enrollment process, please email admissions@wmsde.org .

Friday is Tina Randolph's last day at WMS
Staff Arrivals, Departures and New Roles

This Friday, we will wish Tina Randolph , our school day receptionist, a fond farewell. For two and a half years, Tina has welcomed families to WMS each morning with a smile. No matter how busy the front desk could be, she remained cheerful and professional, and always made time to sing her famous rendition of "Happy Birthday" on each child's special day. Tina will be missed, and we wish her the best as she moves on to a new position.

The front desk is truly the hub of the school and plays an important role in the smooth functioning of  WMS. Starting next Tuesday (February 19) , early birds will see the familiar face of Trish Harkins at the desk until 7:15 each morning, and  Lori Oberly  will cover the front desk for the school day. Lori, who you know from her work with Co-op Program and special events (like the auction), has years of experience working at the front desk, and will continue to coordinate co-op and school events, along with supporting the admissions and development departments. Her presence at the desk will allow families to get quick answers to questions and to benefit from her experience and knowledge of the WMS community. Starting next week, Tanya Bourne will be taking on the 
Leslie Bastianelli
afternoon/evening shift at the front desk. Tanya brings to WMS a wealth of experience managing administrative tasks and providing customer service. Along with serving as our front desk receptionist from 2:15 to 6:15 p.m., Tanya will assist with co-op, events and admissions coordination during this time. Together, Lori and Tanya will  provide seamless support for our families throughout the day.

In addition, as some of you may know, Leslie Bastianelli, an alumni parent, can be found in Nancy Oddo's old office. Leslie is an experienced accountant who brings expertise in nonprofit accounting. She is joining Barb Trotto and Gary Finger, ensuring the smooth operation of  the business office. As she learns her new responsibilities, she will be learning about WMS from a new perspective. Barb Trotto will continue to be the primary contact to address your questions about billing and financial aid.
leaders Today's Learners
Primary Students Explore the World Beyond the Classroom

When the child goes out, it is the world itself that offers itself to him. Let us take the child out to show him real things instead of making objects which represent ideas and closing them in cupboards.
- Maria Montessori

Primary students at Linvilla Orchards
Last week, students in three Primary classrooms - Rooms 15, 17 and 20 - became paleontologists for the morning when they visited the 
Delaware Museum of Natural History for a program about dinosaurs. Children used a rope to learn about the size of dinosaurs, held and examined fossils, and learned what tools they would need to take to a dig site. 

Starting at the Primary level, WMS students enjoy many opportunities to get out and explore the world outside the WMS campus. Field trips - or "going out," as Maria Montessori explained - are about more than visiting a museum or seeing a play simply for the fun of it. Field trips take learning outside the classroom and allow children to explore the world by seeing it firsthand.

"Field trips give the children a hands-on, real-life view of the topics that we study in class," said Primary lead teacher Marilyn Faralli (Room 20), whose students have been studying dinosaurs this month. "These trips become extensions of the classroom."

When Primary students read a classic story in the classroom, they might attend an Arden Theatre production in Philadelphia (as some classrooms did in the fall after reading "Charlotte's Web") to a see how the story translates onto the stage. Or when they study amphibians, for example, they might explore the marshes of Tyler Arboretum to observe frogs in all stages of their life cycles - as eggs, tadpoles and adults. 

Field trips mark an important milestone for 3-year-olds, who are first-timers for this type of experiential learning. More confident and independent than they were as toddlers, they can better self-regulate and concentrate. 

"They're learning to be a part of a group and a member of their classroom," said Primary lead teacher Erin Winner (Room 17). "They are so excited about venturing out into the world with their peers, teachers and chaperones."

Primary students learn about dinosaurs at the Delaware Museum of Natural History (left) and participate in a production of "Charlotte's Web" at Arden Theatre

Additionally, field trips offer Primary students opportunities to learn more about how to conduct themselves in new places.

"Field trips enhance the Primary experience by encouraging imagination, discovery and exploration," said Primary lead teacher My Dang (Room 15). "Grace and courtesy lessons are also practiced as children learn how to have self control in public places."

Whether they're exploring L invilla Orchards to see where some of our food comes from and how it gets harvested, visiting Ashland Nature Center for a nature walk or to learn how maple syrup is made, or attending a theater production of a story they've studied in class, Primary students "going out" fosters independence and provides important real-life experiences. An added bonus: children and teachers alike never seem to tire of  exploring the world beyond the classroom.
"We love seeing the children's faces - especially when they see the big yellow school bus," Marilyn said. "It never gets old for them."

The Wednesday Weekly shares WMS news and events that are relevant to the families in our community.  

Please send submissions to wednesday-weekly@wmsde.org by 4:30 p.m. on the Friday prior  to the issue in which you wish to include your information. Content may be edited for length and style and may be held for a future issue due to space constraints.  

For more information, contact Noel Dietrich, Director of Advancement & Communications.

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