School closure updates and information

MMS Postcard May 11, 2020

Color us blue…or red or yellow. At MMS, we bring the M, you bring the color!

Download extra M coloring sheets:MMS Coloring Sheet






Mountaineer Montessori Message, May 6, 2020





MMS Postcard, May 1, 2020




















May MMS Newsletter, May 1, 2020

The latest issue of the M news is out. Be sure to take a look to stay on top of important school closure information, event updates and plans for summer and beyond at MMS. 





MMS Postcard April 26, 2020

















New Positive Discipline series starts Thursday, April 23

Following last week’s “Parenting During a Pandemic: The Montessori Way” Parent University event, MMS is continuing the conversation with a new virtual Positive Discipline program series starting this Thursday, April 23, 5:30-6:30 p.m. (Parents, please check your emails for updates on weekly programs. They will be held each Thursday from 5:30-6:30 p.m.)

“We understand the need for continued support and connection, as families balance working from home, parenting, and continuing to facilitate for your child’s remote learning,” says Samantha Van Den Berghe, who will lead the sessions in partnership with Susie Newhouse. “There is a lot on all of our plates and we want to help relieve some of the pressure you may be feeling!” Samantha and Susie are both AMS certified early childhood educators.

Parents are requested to take a short survey and rank the potential topics so that our faculty can prepare a meeting that will best suit your needs and interest:

Please take the survey!

The Zoom link and password for Thursday’s 5:30 p.m. meeting:

Meeting ID: 944 9244 0311

Password: MMSparents


Mountaineer Montessori Message, April 23, 2020

Dear MMS Families,

As you may be aware, Governor Justice announced yesterday that schools in West Virginia will continue remote learning for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year.  Although this news was not surprising, it is still hard to accept, as we all wish to return to our normal days at MMS.

As we move forward with remote learning, we are also considering how to keep as many of our traditions and end-of-year events as possible. The MMS staff and Board of Directors will be meeting over the course of the next week to discuss and develop creative solutions for holding parent-teacher conferences, the Epic Evening Gala, our 8th year graduation ceremony, step-up days, step-up parent education, and other events remotely.  

Meanwhile, we will continue to provide remote learning plans for all levels, and we will continue also to seek your family’s feedback to guide us as we continue this new path together. Parents have opportunities for phone call check-ins with lead teachers, and Beth and I welcome your ideas and feedback anytime.

Starting tomorrow, Thursday, April 23, we will begin our Positive Discipline for Parents Zoom series, hosted by Samantha VanDenBerghe-Lynch and Susie Newhouse.  Samantha and Susie will host this series every Thursday from 5:30-6:30 pm with new topics each week, as well as time for Q&A.  Please use the link the password below to join:

Password: MMSparents

We will continue to keep you updated and are here for you if you need anything.  Please don’t hesitate to reach out.

Best wishes,



MMS Postcard April 20, 2020


















Virtual tours and Zoom admissions sessions underway

Virtual school tours and private Zoom admission sessions for enrollment for the 2020-21 school year are now underway. Please follow this link for more information and to start your Montessori journey with us!

Writing through the pandemic

MMMS student Derek Bell is staying in touch with loved ones by reviving the lost art of letter writing.


MMS Update April 15, 2020

Dear MMS families,

I hope you are safe and well as we move through week four of our period of remote learning.  As you may know, the school building closure in West Virginia has been extended to April 30. Therefore, our new schedule, week by week includes:

  • April 13-17:  remote learning for MMS
  • April 20-24:  remote learning for MMS
  • April 27-May 1:  remote learning for MMS
  • May 4:  tentative date for reopening of MMS school buildings

I continue to be inspired and impressed by the dedication and commitment of our faculty, students and parents as we work together to continually build and refine our remote learning offerings.  Thank you for sharing pictures and stories with us via email and through our private MMS Faculty and Families Facebook page.  

If you have not had a chance to download our Together with Mountaineer Montessori Handbook, please follow this link.

Graphic adapted from the ‘Positive Discipline in the Classroom” guide. Copyright by Jane Nelson and Lynn Lott.

Also, I was happy to see many of you at our executive function/positive discipline parent session with Katie Ibes and Jenny Thompson.  We are exploring options for ongoing parent support and I’ll be in touch about that soon!  Meanwhile, Jenny and our own Susie Newhouse, both Positive Discipline Parent Educators, shared some excellent resources with me that you will find below and also attached to this email.[UNIQID]

We will continue to keep you updated and are here for you if you need anything.  Please don’t hesitate to reach out.

Best wishes,


Positive Discipline Alternatives to Logical Consequences 

Positive Discipline Praise vs. Encouragement

Positive Discipline Wheel of Choice Sample

Positive Discipline Sample Empowering Responses


Postcard from MMS, April 13, 2020






















MMS Director Jennifer Carriger  WSAZ-3 interview

MMS Director Jennifer Carriger shares tips for families now experiencing education at home with WSAZ-3 on April 7, 2020.


Postcard from MMS, April 6, 2020















MMS publishes learning at home toolkit

In the face of continuing school closures, MMS has created a toolkit for families thrust into homeschooling. “Together with Mountaineer Montessori: Share. Support. Thrive” is a road map for bringing education into the home. It includes practical advice for establishing a home learning environment, child development considerations, digital citizenship policies, and authentic, high-quality, curriculum–aligned Montessori activities to extend education beyond the classroom walls.  

The toolkit was created by MMS faculty for parents of the 142 students ages 3-14 currently enrolled at the school, but the tips and strategies included can enhance learning at home for all children. Copies are available free of charge  on the school website.

In addition to quality at-home academic lessons, the handbook places an emphasis on age-appropriate “practical life” activities that nurture intellectual, emotional and social development. These range from food preparation to tidying the home, from gardening to pet care.

Practical life activities provide a way for even the youngest children to contribute to family life. Inherent in these activities is the development of key executive functions: decision making, organization, problem-solving, impulse control, collaboration and communication. These skills form the foundation of a child’s academic learning. For example, sequencing is a pre-reading skill.

Practical life is engaging for children at all stages of development and tasks are designed according to their level of coordination and independence. Families can organize a job chart or list of family projects to help guide their children. Planning and gathering resources to complete the tasks is purposeful work. These ideas foster a sense of contribution, responsibility, shared experiences and satisfaction. As children get older, these activities lead naturally to volunteer experiences and beginnings of community work. For adolescents, many of these practical life experiences are the foundation of their sense of belonging and personal vision.

Read the entire press release




As part of our commitment to supporting families during this time of remote learning, MMS will present “Parenting Through a Pandemic-The Montessori Way,” an all-school MMS Parent University Zoom event and conversation on Tuesday, April 7, 6:30-8:00 p.m.

Katie Ibes, our curriculum consultant and coach, and Jenny Thompson, a long time Montessori teacher and parent educator, will share strategies to support executive function and Positive Discipline tips in this special program. Ample time will be available to address specific concerns you may have at this time. Please check your email and add this event to your calendar.

Katie holds a Montessori Elementary I & II AMS credential, and worked for seven years as an Montessori upper elementary directress in Minnesota and California. Starting in 2008, she spent four years working as a Montessori teacher trainer in St. Catherine University’s Center for Contemporary Montessori Programs, in St. Paul, Minnesota, where she was the instructor for upper elementary geography, history and biology curricula, as well as elementary art, and elementary literature and writing. In addition, she co-developed and co-instructed in the Montessori STEM Graduate Certificate Program. Since 2008, Katie has worked as a Montessori pedagogical consultant and STEAM consultant, as a Professional Certified Leadership Coach and Montessori pedagogical consultant for several schools across the country.

Jenny is a long-time Montessori teacher and parent educator. In addition to guiding children at the preschool, elementary, and Junior High levels, she has taught parent education workshops for 15 years and the Positive Discipline approach for the last three years. Jenny helps caregivers see their strengths and build on them to help solve common parenting struggles. Through the Positive Discipline approach, parents help children develop self-discipline, responsibility, cooperation, and problem-solving skills. Jenny is certified in Positive Discipline for the Montessori Classroom and Positive Discipline Parent Education. She has a B.A. in English, an M.F.A. in Creative Writing, an Association Montessori International primary teaching diploma (ages 3 to 6), and a Masters in Education.

To join the conversation:


Hangouts Meet

Join by phone +1 352-720-0249  (PIN: 635010358)

Mountaineer Montessori Message April 3 ,2020


In today’s MMM, Director Jennifer Carriger announces two new important resources for our school community.

  • “Parenting During a Pandemic the Montessori Way,” an all-school MMS Parent University Zoom event to be held on Tuesday, April 7, 6:30-8:00 p.m. Katie Ibes, our curriculum consultant and coach, and Jenny Thompson, a long time Montessori teacher and parent educator, will share strategies to support executive function and Positive Discipline tips in this special program. Ample time will be available to address specific concerns you may have at this time. Add to your calendar!


Hangouts Meet

Join by phone +1 352-720-0249  (PIN: 635010358)


  • “Together with Mountaineer Montessori School: Share. Support. Thrive.” is a just-released toolkit prepared by our staff to guide and support Montessori at home. It includes practical advice for establishing a home learning environment, child development considerations, and authentic, high-quality, curriculum–aligned Montessori activities to extend education beyond the classroom walls. Copies are available free of charge on our website.

Over the past few weeks, we’ve learned that Montessori schools never “close” because Montessori is an aid to life and a way of life–much more than a building or even the beautiful manipulative materials found in the classroom

“What is really important is meeting children as they are and where they are and providing the support and inspiration they need to develop to their fullest potential, says Jennifer. These two new resources are designed to help all of us serve the child in the days ahead.

As always, we are grateful for your patience, support and understanding as we sustain our mission in face of our “new normal.”

Message from MMS Director Jennifer Carriger, March 31, 2020

Dear MMS families,                                                                                        

I am writing with an update in regard to the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on our school.  

As you may know, Governor Justice has now extended the school building closures until April 20.   Mountaineer Montessori School will continue our remote learning plan until that time.  Here’s what that will look like, week by week:

  • March 30-April 3:  remote learning for MMS
  • April 6-10:   Spring Break (as scheduled)
  • April 13-17:   remote learning for MMS
  • April 20:   tentative date for reopening of school buildings, including MMS

The MMS faculty and staff have been in continuous communication with each other and with students/parents during this time of remote learning.  We have also engaged with the broader Montessori community through our membership with the American Montessori Society.  Everyone has been creatively and practically thinking of ways to connect and make learning meaningful in these unique and challenging times.  The feedback I have received from families, teachers and staff is that we are all grateful and appreciative of each other.  I am so amazed by the dedication of our staff as they have completely immersed themselves in learning what is needed to transition to remote learning.  It’s been wonderful to see the photos you’ve shared of your children and to hear updates from you – please keep them coming!

Primary and Lower Elementary families should have received a link to sign up for a support/check-in phone call with your child’s lead guide.  If you haven’t signed up yet, I encourage you to do so.  The links are below:

Primary I (Kathryn):

Primary II (Isabelle):

Lower Elementary I (Tara):

Lower Elementary II (Becca):

If you need to reach Upper Elementary or Middle School guides, their email addresses are below: (Maria)

Thank you for your patience with us as we are working daily to adjust to this mode of learning and connection. We will continue to keep you updated and are here for you if you need anything. Please don’t hesitate to reach out.

Best wishes,









Postcard from Mountaineer Montessori, March 28, 2020





Mountaineer Montessori Message March 24, 2020

In today’s MMM. Director Jennifer Carriger shares why she is proud of and inspired by our amazing school community!

Mountaineer Montessori Message March 22, 2020

If you can’t share a hug, share a smile!

Mountaineer Montessori Message March 20, 2020

You’re on our minds and in our hearts!

Today’s Mountaineer Montessori Message is brought to you by our wonderful Primary team, who have a sweet and special message for our students and a preview of what’s to come on new online platform created just for our school community.

Starting Monday, March 23, MMS faculty and families can begin sharing lessons, activities and supporting each other on a new Facebook group created just for us.

MMS Families and Faculty

The group will be closed/private and admission will be upon approval only. Criteria for adding members and ground rules for interaction are outlined on the group page. The page is an extension of our classroom and all communication should be guided by the Montessori peace philosophy.

Be kind and be peaceful.
This group was created to connect and support our community and is an extension of the MMS classroom, programming and school values. Please model the Montessori peace philosophy in your interactions.

Respect privacy
MMS will not share your posts without permission. If you are comfortable sharing your photos or other content on our main page or elsewhere, please let us know by noting “Shareable.” In return, group members must agree not to share posts unless they are likewise noted.

Be creative, positive and fun!
Your photos, ideas and thoughts are welcome. Now more than ever, we need to connect, share and lift each other up!

No commercial posts or spam.
Please feel free to share tips on community or online resources, products and activities.of interest to our families. However, no direct sales posts are allowed.

Be appropriate.
This page is not the place for specific questions about individual assignments or details of school operations that can be answered by classroom teachers or administrators. Our staff is accessible and welcomes any questions you may have.

You’re on our mind and in our hearts….we look forward to connecting with our MMS Families and Faculty starting Monday. In the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact Jennifer, Beth or our teachers with any questions!


Mountaineer Montessori Message March 19, 2020

Director Message March 18, 2020

Dear MMS Parents,

Today, I write to you thinking about your children.  The staff is here at school without them, and they are missed.  Our teachers, assistant, and specialists have been working these past few days to begin setting up systems for providing continuity in the educational experience of our students, and they will continue to do so as long as schools remain closed. 

We know this can be a confusing and challenging time for the children, as their (and your) lives have been significantly altered in the last week.  I am sharing below a few links with parent resources about talking with young people about the coronavirus.  I hope they can provide some helpful information as you adjust to our new circumstances.  

Please note that our parent-teacher conferences will not take place this week.  I apologize for any confusion as you may have received reminders from the signup service we use.  

You should have received, by 10:00 AM today, information from your child’s classroom teacher(s) outlining learning from home lessons and guidance.  If you have not received communication from your child’s teacher(s), please let me know right away so we can make sure they can connect with you.  If you have specific questions about assignments, please email your child’s lead teacher.  Each has reserved “office hours” so that they have time dedicated to responding to your questions and comments.

I will continue to keep in touch with you regularly.  Please contact me anytime with questions.  The lead teachers and I are checking email daily and are available and happy to arrange a phone call as well – we are here for you and the students.




Mountaineer Montessori Message March 17, 2020