News & Events




  • Staff Spotlight Post: Natalie Fisher

    Natalie Fisher is a Lower Elementary teacher in the Goldfinch classroom and has been teaching at West Side for 27 years.
  • Amy Wagner

    The Normalized Classroom

    When normalization happens, the children are now working as if the teacher doesn't exist. Maria Montessori calls normalization the greatest sign of success for a teacher.
  • Jack Gensler ('12)

    Jack Gensler (Class of 2018)

    Talk about one Compassionate Leader! West Side alum Jack Gensler ('18) is making a very important contribution to this year's electoral process—recruiting young, healthy poll workers!
  • Katie Bellman with her family

    Staff Spotlight: Katie Bellman

    Katie Bellman is a Children's House teacher in the Sycamore classroom.
  • Mhairi and Jennifer Hastie

    K'Dubbers in Scotland

    The grandmother, Jennifer, and aunt, Mhairi, of a third level Bluebird student, Isla Cushing, are walking their K'Dub half-marathon miles in the picturesque village of Innerleithen in the Scottish Borders, about 30 miles from Edinburgh.
  • K'Dub Scholar, Estie Berns, with Head of School, Jenn Schoepf

    Announcing the 2020 Karen Weeks Memorial Scholarship Recipient

    Goldfinch Room second-grader Estie Berns is the 2020 recipient of the Karen Weeks (K'Dub) Memorial Scholarship!
  • Samantha (Laramie) Reynolds

    Samantha (Laramie) Reynolds (Class of 2012)

    Samantha (Laramie) Reynolds began learning the French language as a young WSM student and is off to teach English and increase her French fluency in Beauvais, France until next May.
  • Tom Burnworth

    Welcome to WSM, Tom Burnworth!

    West Side’s new technology teacher for levels 1-8, Tom Burnworth, lives in Sylvania with his wife, Crystal, and two sons, Adam (18) and Jack (15). His background is in Construction Engineering and STEM Education. Tom is also the Executive Director and co-founder of Sylvania STEM Center, where you’ll find him most days of the week before and after school.
  • Peace Table in a Lower Elementary Classroom

    Incorporating Peace Education in the Montessori Classroom

    As International Day of Peace approaches, I think of my classroom, my students as individuals, and even myself and wonder, “Is there enough focus on Peace Education as much as I teach math and language?” To be honest, I, as a teacher, sometimes find it hard to find a good balance. Schools, administration, parents, and even teachers themselves can get hung up on the academics part and forget the true purpose of this education and what makes it special and important.

    For Montessori, peace was on the forefront of her mind when she created this model of education. Montessori said, “Establishing lasting peace is the work of education.” (Education and Peace, p viii, Foreword)
  • Race to Olympus

    Middle School Fall Camp 2020: Race to Olympus

    Each fall, our McMaster Middle School students begin their school year with a week-long adventure. Though off-campus trips are not being planned this year, West Side is fortunate to have space to host adventures right on campus!
  • Brandi Parcell

    The Gift of Time

    Child development is not a competition. It is a gradual unfolding of the human potential. Just as each child’s timetable for physical growth is unique, so is the timetable for emotional, social, and academic growth.
  • Scott Trumbull

    Remembering Scott Trumbull

    We are saddened to learn of the recent passing of Scott Trumbull, alumni parent and longtime friend of West Side Montessori.
  • Amy Wagner, Children's House Teacher

    Peer Inspiration: A Glimpse into a Montessori Classroom

    I was sitting next to Natalie (age 4) at a rug. We had just finished a lesson on the Montessori Continent Map. She was deciding whether or not she wanted to make a book of the continents, a pin-pushed map, or a painting. After much contemplation, Natalie decided on a book. She gathered the supplies she would need: a floor table, an art mat, paper, and her pencil box.
  • WSM's Reopening Plan Updated

    Reopening Plan Updated

    As new guidelines and recommendations from the CDC and other agencies are released, the WSM Reopening Plan will be adapted to meet those standards.
  • Crossing the Midline!

    As your child develops, her brain is rapidly forming. Children require lots of sleep to process the immense amount of information the brain has absorbed. The midline is an invisible line that begins between the two hemispheres of the brain. When educators and physicians discuss “Crossing the Midline,” they are referring to any tasks that require bilateral movement- from reading across a page to swimming, alternating arms, and legs while moving through the water. 
  • Adrienne Gallagher

    Adrienne (Sack) Gallagher

    Former West Side student Adrienne (Sack) Gallagher was thrilled and honored to receive a Sports Emmy in the Outstanding Short Feature Category. Her winning piece was a 12-minute video, detailing the life of former Southern Methodist University men’s golf coach Jason Enloe as he dealt with losing his wife to cancer and his team’s subsequent run toward an NCAA Division I National Championship.
  • Emily Jetter, K-8 School Counselor

    Focusing on our Students' Mental Health

    As I was back to school shopping this year for face masks, I reflected on just how different this school year will be. As a school counselor, how can I best support students? In what ways can I support school staff? What can I do to help parents? So many questions and I do not have all the answers. So I started researching. What I discovered was that a lot of other mental health professionals are also trying to figure out the answers to these and so many other questions. And while there are many unknowns that we must cope with daily, here is what we do know...
  • Montessori classrooms have big feelings and even bigger outcomes!

    Montessori classrooms have big feelings and even bigger outcomes! 

    Fact: Emotional intelligence (EQ) is like IQ in the way that we are all born with an innate starting point, and it can be strengthened or diminished with nourishment or neglect. EQ is often described as the ability to recognize, understand, cope with, and express our emotions in appropriate ways. 

  • A student working in the school's greenhouse

    The Fisher Outdoor Education Program Launches this Fall!

    An interview with West Side Montessori’s Fisher Outdoor Education Program Coordinator, Cody Murnen
  • July 17, 2020: Reopening Preparations Underway

    We are so excited to welcome children back to campus on Wednesday, August 12. Our spacious indoor and outdoor classrooms provide the opportunity for all children to return to school with enhanced safety procedures. These procedures have been carefully planned to provide the safest environment possible while preserving the beauty of the Montessori classrooms and nurturing the social, emotional, physical, and educational needs of your child.
  • July 10, 2020: WSM's Reopening Plan

    As we continue to plan for the 2020-2021 school year, I want to share our reopening plan for fall.
  • June 30, 2020: An Update from Jenn Schoepf

    Dear West Side Community,

    As we continue to plan for the 2020-2021 school year, I want to update you on the development of the reopening plan. 
  • Shohan Shetty ('12)

    Shohan Shetty (Class of 2012)

    This past spring, WSM alum Shohan Shetty (‘12) graduated with College Honors from Washington University with a major in Neuroscience and a minor in Anthropology.
  • Miriam Hill with Math Olympiad award

    Math Olympiads

    Several Middle School students from WSM were among the nearly 160,000 students worldwide to participate this year in the Math Olympiad Program. 
  • Allison Sachs ('20)

    Montessori Model UN

    Two West Side Montessori Model UN team members, Miriam Hill ('21) and Allison Sachs ('20), had the opportunity to collaborate with another MMUN student in Peru, and Emmy-nominated songwriter & recording artist Alexander Star.
  • We Respect the Dignity of Every Person

    As I have reflected on the recent police killings and subsequent unrest in our community and across the globe, it is with utter heartache that I write this message. The tragedies reflect patterns of structural and institutional racism in our country. The West Side community stands on the side of social justice and condemns racism and violence.
  • April 24, 2020: An Update from the Board of Trustees

    Dear West Side Community,
    On behalf of the WSM Board of Trustees, I thank you for your ongoing support of your children, our faculty, staff, and administration. 
  • Learning from Home @WSM

    April 3, 2020: An Update From Directors Circle

    Dear West Side Community,
    We hope this email finds you safe and healthy. We know everyone is working hard and doing their best to get through this challenging time. Please read the important updates highlighted below.
  • March 10, 2020: Coronavirus Concerns & Precautions

  • March 12, 2020: School Closure

  • March 13, 2020: Learning at Home Update

  • March 15, 2020: Resources for Learning from Home

  • March 17, 2020: Learning Materials Pick-up

  • March 20, 2020: Letter from Education Directors

  • March 25, 2020: Letter from Board of Trustees Chair

  • March 27, 2020: A Video Message from Jenn Schoepf

  • March 30, 2020: School Closure Extended through May 1

    West Side will continue at-home learning through May 1 per Governor DeWine's declaration on Monday, March 30. All facilities will remain closed and school events have been canceled.
  • May 15, 2020: A Video Update from Jenn Schoepf

    Jenn discusses developing safety policies, summer programming, and 2020 graduation.
  • May 7, 2020: A Video Update from Jenn Schoepf

    Jenn discusses what to expect in the coming weeks, a reminder to pick up belongings on Friday, May 8, and a thank you to West Side Montessori teachers.
  • Caring for the Environment

    “The land is where our roots are. The children must be taught to feel and live in harmony with the Earth.” - Maria Montessori 
  • Montessori is More Than a Classroom

    The self-motivation, confidence, and compassion of West Side Montessori students are evident beyond the four walls of the classroom.
  • Washing Dishes

    Learning from Home: Establishing Routines

    "It may not seem like it right now, but this time together is a gift. Use it well."
  • WSM Destination Imagination Teams

    Two West Side DI Teams to Advance to State Tournament

    West Side Destination Imagination teams worked for several weeks on their challenges and competed at the regional tournament on Saturday, February 29, 2020 in Delta, Ohio.
  • WSM students collaborating on their work

    Collaboration in the Montessori Classroom

    At West Side Montessori, we teach our students to collaborate rather than to compete against one another.
  • Ellie Martin (Class of 2000)

    Ellie Martin (Class of 2000)

    Recognized in both the vocal jazz performance and scholarship worlds, Ellie Martin is a highly respected vocalist, educator, and Jazz studies scholar. She is currently the vocal jazz instructor and vocal jazz ensemble director at the University of Toledo, and Toledo School for the Arts. In addition to her teaching, Ellie continues to perform nationally as well as internationally.
  • Morgan AviƱa

    Staff Spotlight: Morgan Aviña

    Morgan Aviña is a Lower Elementary Teacher in the Bluebird Room.

  • Adolescent Montessori Education

    Maria Montessori divided an individual’s development into four planes of development, each with different characteristics and needs.
  • Peace Education in Montessori

    Our world is often a tumultuous and scary place.  How can we help our children feel safe and cared for, while preparing them to lead the way as adults?  How can we cultivate empathy, kindness, gratitude, and the sense of community that helps people work together?
  • Sharing vs. Surrendering: Why We Don't Force Kids to Share

    Waiting patiently is an important life skill! Montessori classrooms purposely have just one of most materials so that children learn to wait.

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