W E D N E S D A Y  W E E K L Y
September 5, 2018
In this Issue

Upcoming Events

September 6
Upper Elementary (9-12) Parent Coffee 
8:30-9 a.m.
Learning Commons

September 7
Lower Elementary (6-9) Parent Coffee
8:30-9 a.m.
Learning Commons

September 11
6-7:15 p.m.

7:15-8:30 p.m.

September 13
6-7 p.m.

7-8:15 p.m.

*Child care available for children ages 3 and older - contact Tracey Gable to sign up

September 18
Welcome Back/Peace Assembly
11:15 a.m.
Peace Park

October 2-3
Student Portraits

Highlights from our #WMSbacktoschool photo contest. It's not too late to enter!

Welcome Back
Message from
Head of School Lisa Lalama

Read more from Lisa on the Montessori Message blog.
Yesterday began the 2018-19 WMS school year. Students and families walked through bubbles, as they do at the beginning of each school year. It is a rite of passage, welcoming everyone to a new beginning and another year of growth and promise.

This year is different, though. This is the year that students join us for the inaugural year of the WMS middle school! Most of our new middle school students are WMS graduates and familiar with the way we begin our year. Others, like many of the families new to other levels at WMS, were pleasantly surprised to see the bubbles moving toward them and greeting them as their school year began.

WMS first opened its doors to young children at the beginning of the 1963-64 school year. Yesterday, 55 years later, we welcomed a wonderful group of adolescents to our school. This year offers promise - from the toddlers who will enjoy learning with others beyond their families and growing in so many ways, to the Primary students who culminate their years in the 3-6 classroom with a robust and engaging kindergarten program. The Lower Elementary students are beginning to read and write about their lives, figuring out how numbers work and discovering the vast universe in which our planet orbits. Meanwhile, the 9-12 students are taking what they have learned so far and beginning to explore subjects at a deeper level while also beginning to integrate technology and STEAM more fully into their experiences. And we now cap the WMS experience with middle school students. These students will be going out into the community to experience learning first hand. They will visit cities, museums and arts organizations throughout our region, and they will have the chance to ask questions to help them make sense of the world and its challenges. 

There is so much to look forward to in the year ahead. We are happy that you and your families are a part of this incredible journey.


News & Notes News
contestSubmit Your Entries for the #WMSbacktoschool Photo Contest

If you haven't already (and by now we know you've snapped those first-day photos), submit your entries for our annual back-to-school photo contest. Post photos of your children from the first day of school or the August 23 Back-to-School Picnic on Instagram using #wmsbacktoschool and you'll be entered to win a WMS water bottle . Don't forget to tag @wilmingtonmontessori
back2schoolNext Week: Back-to-School/Curriculum Nights

September 11 
6-7:15 p.m., Primary (3-6) 
7:15-8:30 p.m., Lower Elementary (6-9) 
September  13 
6-7 p.m., Toddler and Upper Elementary (9-12)  
7-8:15 p.m., Middle school

Mark your calendars for next week's Back-to-School/Curriculum Nights, where you'll have an opportunity to hear more from your children's teachers about their plans for the upcoming school year. Visit your child's classroom for a presentation about the curriculum and find answers to questions you may still have. 

Note: Child care for children ages 3 and up is available during Back-to-School/Curriculum Nights. Please contact Tracey Gable by September 10 at noon if you wish to sign up for child care.

Student Dismissal Procedures

To ensure our students' safety, we ask that parents and guardians of all students younger than the 9-12 level meet their children in the building for daily pick-up. 
  • All students in the Primary and Toddler programs must be picked up directly from their classrooms or after-care rooms. 
  • If your child is in the 6-9 Program, you may have the front desk call for him or her to meet you in the front lobby. 
  • Students in the 9-12 or middle school programs may walk out to meet their parents or guardians at the curb near the main entrance when their parent or guardian has arrived and is visible from the front desk. Students will not be permitted to wait for their ride outside the school (curbside, in the parking lot, in the Peace Park, etc.). 
 Thank you for your cooperation and for helping us to make WMS as safe as possible for our students.

Register for Fall After-School Specials

Don't miss out on WMS's fall enrichment lineup: take advantage of WMS's upcoming After-School Special Programs. This season's classes include hip-hop dance, Spanish Adventure, soccer, Science Explorers, LEGO Builders, tumbling, Latin and Spanish dance, steel drums and homework club. 

Specials are geared toward specific age groups - check the after-school specials page on the WMS website for details.

Registration for after-school specials begins this Monday, September 10. Contact  Tracey Gable or visit the WMS website to register then

Get Your WMS Spirit Wear Through September 19

The WMS school store is open! Don your WMS pride with spirit wear including short- and long-sleeve t-shirts, hoodies and baseball caps, which are available for purchase through 10 p.m. on September 19. S pirit wear is only available for purchase online and the store will be open for limited periods throughout the year.   If you have any questions please email  schoolstore@wmsde.org.  

Monday, September 17, 5-7:30 p.m.
*WMS parents will earn 3 Co-op hours
What is Stewards of Children?
Stewards of Children is an evidence-informed program that teaches adults how to prevent, recognize, and react responsibly to child sexual abuse. It is designed for both youth-serving organizations and for individuals concerned about the safety of children.
Who should attend?
Educators, parents, field trip chaperones, team coaches, anyone who works or volunteers extensively with children.
Who will facilitate this class?
A trained facilitator will be provided by The Beau Biden Foundation, an organization established by the family of former Attorney General Beau Biden after his death on May 30, 2015. The foundation honors Beau's lifelong passion for protecting the most vulnerable, particularly children.
Advance registration is required. Please contact CMA@wmsde.org or call 302-475-0555 if you have questions.

leaders Tomorrow's Leaders
For Maddie Geller, All Signs Point to Teaching 

Maddie Geller as a WMS preschooler
Now a junior at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn., WMS alum Maddie Geller considers her work with the Camp Montessori Kangaroos (rising kindergartners) a natural extension of her current early childhood education studies.

She's been working with WMS children at camp since she was 16, tutored students in math at MathPlus in Hockessin and worked with the choir at Wilmington's Lewis Dual Language Elementary School while she was in high school, so the decision to pursue a career in teaching came easily.

But there was perhaps no better sign for Maddie that she was on the right path than when she was preparing for a class with the head of the Vanderbilt education department, Catherine McTamaney, who has written several books about Montessori education.

"Being all nerdy, I bought some of her books before I started and opened one of them, and there was a forward by [WMS's first head of school] Marie Dugan," she said.

While Maddie only attended WMS through kindergarten, she still vividly remembers counting with math beads and making paper trains for the winter holidays. When she's at WMS for camp, Maddie often runs into long-time WMS classroom teacher and current Learning Together teacher MaryBeth Auld, who taught her in preschool, which always makes her nostalgic for her WMS days.

Maddie Geller today
In 2005, Maddie left WMS for Claymont Elementary School, where she was part of the gifted program.

"My mom remembers that when I first transferred to public school I very upset that things were not the same," she said. "I said, 'What do you mean we can't pick our work and do what we want?'"

Maddie continued with the Brandywine school district gifted program through middle school at P.S. duPont Middle School, and then decided to attend Charter High School of Wilmington.

"I decided on Charter because I wanted to have all the options of more advanced math and science that other schools don't offer, and elective courses you can't find before college," she said.

After attending elementary and middle school with most of the same students in the gifted program, "I was also excited that I wouldn't really know anybody," she said.

As a long-time vocalist and pianist, Maddie had also considered Cab Calloway School of the Arts. She joined the school choir in fourth grade at Claymont Elementary, and took piano lessons from former WMS teacher Linda Barclay for many years. When she was in fifth grade, a friend encouraged her to audition for the Wilmington Children's Chorus. She was accepted and continued to sing in the chorus through high school.

"I was already in the Wilmington Children's Chorus, so I felt like I could still continue music outside of school and didn't need to do it in school," she said of her decision to attend Charter.

When it came time to apply to college, Maddie knew she wanted to study education, but she also wanted to attend a school that would offer an academically rigorous curriculum with a strong liberal arts core. She applied early decision to Vanderbilt University, which met most of her criteria, and was accepted to the Peabody College of Education and Human Development.

In addition to enjoying Nashville's renowned food and music scene, Maddie is involved in Vanderbilt Hillel - a Jewish student group - in her spare time. She is part of Challah for Hunger, a subgroup of Hillel that bakes and sells challah weekly and donates the proceeds to local organizations that fight hunger. She is also a member of College Democrats, and continues to sing as part of the Vanderbilt Symphonic Choir when her class schedule allows.

Maddie has completed one semester of student teaching through the metro Nashville public schools, where she taught reading clinics for students who were not reading at grade level. Based on this experience, she is planning to stay at Vanderbilt a fifth year to pursue an accelerated master's degree program in reading education.

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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