Tuesday, Oct. 13 | 7 p.m. | Toledo Campus

Inspirational speaker and Montessorian, Cea Cohen Elliot, will share her perspectives on how to laugh more and live better. Join us for this adult-only event on Tuesday, Oct. 13, beginning at 7 p.m. at the Toledo Campus.

Child care is available by reservation for currently enrolled students and siblings only. Call the Toledo Campus at (419) 866-1931 by Friday, Oct. 9, to make your reservation.

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Lynn Fisher

Lynn Fisher
Founder and Head of School

The school year is underway and in full swing with lots of exciting learning in evidence at all age levels. As I walk the halls and pop into classrooms, children excitedly share their work and their “research” with me. They also are full of ideas and questions about our announcement at Sweet September Sundae regarding the Keystone Project that will unite our Toledo Campus buildings and add classrooms and a gymnasium/community gathering space.

Parents also are energized by the vision of less crowded classrooms, more movement space, the potential for healthy school lunches, etc. I’m frequently asked, “When will construction start?” The answer is pretty straightforward, as soon as we raise the money to pay for it. Over the summer we received pledges for $1.2 million, half the cost of the project! Amazing.

Our public announcement of the Keystone Campaign is an open invitation to one and all to unite with a single purpose to complete our school facilities. Over the next few months I will invite all families individually or in small groups to share details, get feedback before final drawings are made, and ask for your support. I look forward to your response to this invitation.

I realize that West Side families have a wide range of incomes, resources, and obligations. However, I want everyone to be included regardless of their financial or personal situations. Every child, every family, makes our school the success it is today. One of our greatest strengths has always been the commitment of our parent community. Together we can make it happen.

I am excited to speak with you in person regarding your experiences at West Side, your goals for your children, and our goals for the future. I will be in touch or, if you prefer, just give me a call to schedule a time to talk.

Warm regards,

Lynn Fisher
Head of School
(419) 866-1931
lfisher@montessoritoledo.org

 

 

Developing Routines: Getting enough sleep

Lynn Fisher

Lynn Fisher
Founder and Head of School

If what the experts say is true, none of us are getting enough sleep. This is especially problematic for preschoolers who need 11 hours of sleep daily. Relaxed summer schedules, vacations, and extended outdoor play with daylight savings time makes it difficult for children to fall asleep early. “Sleeping in” is often the antidote and switching gears abruptly to get up early is difficult as children start school.

Children thrive on consistency and established routines. Working backwards from the time a child needs to get up in the morning, dress him or herself, eat a healthy breakfast, and gather belongings for the day before heading out the door, establish the time your young child needs to be in bed nightly to get the recommended eleven hours. For many children that time is 8 p.m.

Try room darkening shades or curtains to set the stage. And start your bedtime routine earlier to calm your children and prepare them for sleep. Take a bath, brush teeth, read a story? Create a consistent routine that fits your family.

Often parents think the more enrichment and learning opportunities their children experience the more success they will have in school. However, allowing children enough sleep to hard wire their learning experiences to the brain is equally important. The peak learning time for young children is said to be about one and a half hours after sunrise. Make sure your young child is well-rested and ready for learning early in the day by getting them to bed on a regular schedule.

 

By Lynn Fisher, WSM Head of School 

Lynn FisherEvidence is growing that all children find solace and re-gain balance with exposure to nature.  The opportunity to explore outdoors in an unstructured, unscheduled manner not only builds coordination and strong healthy bodies but also calms children and helps them focus. In addition, children with frequent opportunities to play outdoors grow their problem-solving skills and develop their curiosity. There are also studies reinforcing the connection between outdoor learning and school success in science, writing, gardening, botany, ecology, etc.

Connecting with nature takes time, intentional, unhurried time. The earlier young children are exposed to prolonged time outdoors the more familiar and comfortable they will be with nature and its rhythms and the more connected they will be to the land as they mature.

This spring take your babies and toddlers outside, and not just in a stroller. Spread a blanket on the grass so your baby can see the sky, experience the wind, smell the grass. Let your toddler get dirty, find treasures, experience freedom.  Teach them the vocabulary of nature: the names of the trees and flowers, insects, weather, and share their delight in the joy of discovery.

 

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March Madness has a whole different connotation at West Side Montessori this spring! Many exciting developments are in process.

LynnFisher_WSMThe Board of Trustees conducted a three-day strategic planning marathon with Independent School Management (ISM) Senior Consultant Walker Buckalew last week. This was the culmination of months of data gathering, including surveys of parents, faculty, administration, board, and students in grade levels 5–8.

One very positive piece of feedback we have already received is the results of the ISM surveys that were benchmarked against private schools across the country. All aspects of our school culture rated extremely high with parents, teachers, and students all in congruence. The strategic plan will be finalized this spring after our upcoming American Montessori Society re-accreditation on-site visit that begins this weekend and continues through Wednesday, March 25.

We are excited to host seven Montessori leaders from across the country as they examine all aspects of our school operations. They will be especially visible on Monday and Tuesday on both campuses.  Please feel free to stop and chat and welcome them. Their visit is the climax of a year and a half of focused preparation that supports our on-going self-evaluation and continual improvement.

We’re confident that West Side Montessori is a winner in any bracket and look forward to sharing the results of more of our March Madness activities in the near future.

Warm Regards,

Lynn Fisher
Head of School