Please read for important information and announcements.
MMS Monthly E-Newsletter | June 2021
"Education is a work of self-organization by which man adapts himself to the conditions of life.” ~ Maria Montessori

Dear MMS families,

Wow -- we did it!

It's been a year like no other, and our school community has shown resilience, determination and care in ways we never could have imagined.

Thank you for your support this year -- for maintaining frequent communication with us, for understanding when our plans needed to change and shift, for trusting us with your children, and for taking care of and looking out for us and for each other. You all are amazing.

Thank you also to the incredible MMS staff. Together, we faced unique challenges and stayed strong while providing your children with as much "normal" as possible. Our educators developed excellent remote learning lessons when needed, and adapted in-person learning to meet safety standards while still providing an authentic Montessori experience for the children. Please join me in thanking them for their professionalism, dedication and tenacity.

Our Board of Directors and parent volunteers were also invaluable this year. The Board committees and our re-entry task force spent countless hours monitoring changing conditions and responding accordingly. Volunteers kept our fundraising efforts strong and provided much-needed work at our new Staunton Avenue campus -- painting, installing cabinets, moving furniture, repairing furniture, and refreshing several areas of our outdoor space and playground.

It truly has been an incredible year, filled with lessons that will last a lifetime and serve us well as we move literally and figuratively into an exciting new chapter of our school's history. We are honored to have you as a part of our MMS community. I look forward to the new school year with enthusiasm, gratitude, and pride.

Best wishes,
Like these photos? Then you'll love MMS on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Photos, Montessori news and school updates are posted nearly every day!
Congratulations to Upper Elementary students Ava Snyder and Roxie Schroeder-Neal, who organized a spring drive for the Kanawha-Charleston Humane Association. They delivered a car load of supplies and $208.08 to the shelter earlier this month. Thanks to all who contributed!
Extensive work is well underway at Staunton Avenue to prepare indoor and outdoor learning spaces for our Primary through Middle School students in August. This new facility is the culmination of many years of hard work by our Board and Administration to locate our school at a campus with the classroom space, amenities (including a full size gymnasium, commercial kitchen and office/meeting rooms), and green space to accommodate both current and future program and enrollment growth.

The Staunton campus meets the important criteria our wish list -- and then some! -- and we are thrilled to be able to welcome your child to this wonderful facility in August!

Planned summer renovations include: converting six upstairs classrooms to four larger rooms to house our Lower Elementary and Upper Elementary programs; adding bathrooms and sinks to the former library and daycare rooms so they may serve as our Primary classrooms; adding rubber mulch and fencing to the playground, and more!

We extend our thanks to the many MMS parents with building project experience who have been advising on this major undertaking, and are especially indebted to Aric Margolis of Aric Margolis Architecture, who has contributed countless hours of expertise to our school over several years at three different facilities. Thank you, Aric!

MMS is grateful for the many enthusiastic parents who rolled up their sleeves on Volunteer Day in May to begin improvements on the outdoor environment at our new location (watch for future volunteer opportunities!). We also extend our deep gratitude to the supporters of our fundraising efforts throughout the year... your generosity helps make major projects like this possible!

It's a very exciting time at our school and we're looking for parents who want to be a part of it. One way to get involved is through service on the Board of Directors as a member and/or through a committee. There will be a few vacancies next fall as board terms expire and we hope to get new members involved soon as there is so much important work to be done. We have a need for members with a variety of backgrounds and experience, in particular, finance, marketing and fundraising. If you are interested, please contact Board President Clifton Clark at your earliest convenience.
Congratulations to our eighth year graduates! We are so proud of them and of our adolescent program--the first of its kind in West Virginia. From its hopeful beginnings in 2014, MMMS anticipates full enrollment as it begins its seventh amazing year in August.

MMMS Class of 2021
Anahli Cordell
Soleil Gloss
Sam Kinsman
Tabitha Morris
Maddie Peyatte
Madeline Snyder
FestivALL Art-for-All Kids Juried Art Show | Clay Center | June 13-27

Downtown Open Pop-Up Putt Putt | Sidewalks of downtown Charleston | June 17-July 5
Featuring a Montessori-themed mini golf hole on Hale/Lee Streets, which was designed by our Middle School students

MMS Campessori | June 21-July 30

Teacher Preparation Begins | August 9

New Student Visits | August 20

First Day of School: Full Day Primary, all Lower and Upper Elementary and Middle School students and Toddler Program | August 23

First Day of School: Returning Primary Morning Friends | August 24

First Day of School: New Primary Morning Friends | August 25

Ice Cream Social | August 26

Back to School Night: Primary and Middle School | August 31

Back to School Night: Lower and Upper Elementary | September 1

All School Annual Meeting | September 13

2021-2022 MMS Calendar | Please note that dates are subject to changing circumstances

Whether it was the first or their fifteenth (or more!) time, the end of year picnic is always a very special event for our students, teachers, parents, alumni and friends. While there were a few changes this year due to health concerns, the cherished picnic traditions, including signing tie dye shirts, enjoying Ellen's Ice Cream, and exploring the woods, endured. It was wonderful to see all of our families come together for this happy send off to a year like no other. We look forward to seeing you at Campessori in the weeks ahead or on the first day of school in August at our new Staunton Avenue campus. Enjoy your summer, everyone! (See the MMS Facebook page for dozens of more photos of the picnic!)

Our 2021 Spring Gala, held June 5 at Edgewood Country Club, was an out-of-this-world success. We started planning this event in an environment of uncertainty, but once again, our incredible community of students, teachers, parents, sponsors, volunteers, friends and donors came together to present an uplifting and successful celebration of education that nurtures what the world needs now.

Please join us in thanking everyone who rose to the occasion for education! (See the gala program for complete listings.)
See our Facebook album for more gala photos!
MMS families, faculty and friends help spread the word about community immunity in a new PSA by the The Center for Rural Health Development, Inc. How many can you spot in this new ad? Great job, Samantha Van Den Berghe-Lynch, Alasha Al-Qudwah, Maria Leon Kershner, Jack Rogers and Dr. Josh Cusick-Lewis... and Abbey Reifsnyder with Digital Relativity. #CommunityImmunity #CommunityImmunityWV
Lower Elementary celebrated the release of the classroom earthworms at the end of the school year with a special party and collaborative story writing illustrated with claymation!

This is what a history lesson looks—and sounds—like at Mountaineer Montessori as Roger Rabalais shares his original song recounting the wild and wonderful (and true!) adventures of Captain Bill, a local river legend. The session was one of the highlights of our Middle School’s pedagogy of place downtown day.
After 44 years of serving students starting at age 3, MMS is thrilled to announce a new program beginning this fall for younger children through the Montessori Toddler Curriculum–the only AMS program of its kind in West Virginia.

The new program will start with classes for 2-year-olds, M-F, 8:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m./8:00 a.m.-noon, on the MMS school calendar, in the current Primary I building at 308 20th Street. Programs for younger children may be introduced in the future.

MMS Primary Specialist Samantha Van Den Berghe-Lynch will be the Lead Teacher. Samantha holds an American Montessori Society credential at the Early Childhood (2.5-6 year olds) level, and will complete the AMS Infant/Toddler credential training this summer at the Virginia Center for Montessori Studies in Richmond, Virginia. Samantha has been a key member of our early childhood team for six years. Complete bio here.
During the first three years of life, children develop more rapidly than at any other time. During this phase, the child absorbs large amounts of information from the environment through observation and experiences. These are the years that lay the foundation for later learning—and the stronger the foundation, the more the child will be able to build upon it.

The Montessori Toddler program is not daycare — it is so much more. The Toddler program will be focused on fostering your child’s budding quest for independence and exploration. 
Some of the key components of the environment will be: opportunities for self-care, and care of the environment, refinement of large motor skills and fine motor skills, opportunities for language development and social development. One of the primary portions of the child’s day will be the uninterrupted work cycle, during which the children are free to choose from lessons in the prepared environment while receiving gentle guidance from the teacher as needed.  

We will also incorporate a short “group time” each day during which we will do songs, stories, and movement activities. Additionally, we will have outside time, rest time, and individual snack time that the child can elect to have at any point during the day (with help as needed.) Samantha also intends to support children in “toilet learning” as they show interest and readiness as an added piece of their other quest towards independence.  

The Mountaineer Montessori Toddler program will provide support and guidance for families through programs that may include parent education and parent/child group experiences.

We are so excited to bring the gift of Montessori to our younger friends this fall. We anticipate the program to fill quickly. Apply here.

Campessori, Mountaineer Montessori’s signature summer program, will return for 2021, with six weeks of awesome to be presented at our new consolidated campus at 4801 Staunton Avenue. Sessions will be held June 21-July 30. Primary camp will run 8:00 a.m. to noon, with Plus available through 3:00 p.m. Elementary campers will attend from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Our summer program has been planned to meet health and safety guidelines while remaining true to our school mission. Attendance will be limited to provide social distancing, and admission will be restricted to current and incoming MMS students.

Elementary slots are filled, with limited availability in Primary. To inquire about registration and/or be added to the waiting list, please contact Campessori Director Alasha Al-Qudwah.

Thank you for reading your "M" News!
Current and past newsletters are always available on our virtual newstand.
Mountaineer Montessori School
308 20th Street, Charleston, WV 25304
304.342.7870 | Email | Website