‘The Science of Character,’ new film on values, to make WV debut at MMS on April 1

Brain_Power Mountaineer Montessori School will present the exclusive West Virginia premiere of “The Science of Character,” a short film that explores new research on the neuroscience and social science behind character development and our ability to shape who we are, on Tuesday, April 1, at 6 p.m. Admission is free.

More than 1,500 organizations in all 50 states and in 40 countries are taking part in the film’s launch events, designed to create connections and global conversations about values and character development.  MMS is the only West Virginia venue selected for the premiere.

The film is a production of Tiffany Shlain & The Moxie Institute Films, an independent production company and lab committed to positive social change.

bluecharacterMMS to (literally) roll out the red carpet

“The Science of Character,” is the marquee feature to be presented at a special MMS Parents Night event that will feature short videos on topics of interest to parents and families.  Popcorn, paparazzi and other fixtures of a Hollywood premiere will set a festive tone for this all-ages event, which is open to the public, including potential students and their parents.  Reservations requested; please call the office at 304/342-7870.

 About MMS

Located at 308 20th Street in Charleston’s Kanawha City neighborhood, MMS currently provides a full academic and cultural curriculum to 100 students ages 3 through 12 in an authentic Montessori environment. The school is expanding to add a middle school and second junior elementary classroom this fall.

All MMS lead faculty members are fully certified by the Association Montessori Internationale or the American Montessori Society, the two most recognized Montessori teacher training programs worldwide. In addition to an approved academic program, MMS offers an on-site learning specialist; physical education at the University of Charleston pool and gymnasium; computer skills and coding workshops at its Apple computer lab; Spanish lessons; professionally-led art classes; formal vocal and instrumental music programs; and Montessori-based after-school and summer programs.

 Founded in 1976, MMS is the largest and most well-established Montessori school in West Virginia, serving an estimated 1,000 students since it opening its doors.

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Education through the eyes of a child: MMS ‘Silent Journey and Discovery’ experience to be held March 4

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Mountaineer Montessori School will present a “Silent Journey and Discovery Experience” on Tuesday, March 4, at 6:00 p.m. The event is designed to give parents, educators and interested members of the public the opportunity to view and interact with a Montessori classroom through the eyes of a child.

Attendees will participate through the lens of quiet observation, gathering first impressions as a child does on his or her first day of school.

For a short time, you get to be the child

“As you take in the sensory richness and detail of the Montessori classrooms, you will experience the sense of order and sequence that so elegantly engages children who work and play within these walls,” explains Head of School Dana Gilliland, adding that “for a short time, you get to be the child.”

A discussion and refreshments will follow the “Silent Journey and Discovery Experience.” Complimentary child care is available with a reservation. For more information, contact Beth George at 304/342-7870.

Why choose Montessori?

“As parents, we choose Montessori for our child for a long list of reasons,” explains Gilliland. “There is the development of independence and health self-esteem, which evolves so naturally in a Montessori community; the foundation in academic subjects like math and language, which are introduced at the child’s level of ability and interest; and the opportunity for your child to socialize with peers and for you to meet other families who share you conscious parenting values,” she says.

“But have you ever wondered what Montessori looks like through the eyes of a child?  This is a special chance to find out,” Gilliland says.

Why Mountaineer Montessori?

Located at 308 20th Street in Charleston’s Kanawha City neighborhood, MMS currently provides a full academic and cultural curriculum to 100 students ages 3 through 12 in an authentic Montessori environment. The school is expanding to add a middle school and second junior elementary classroom this fall.

All MMS lead faculty members are fully certified by the Association Montessori Internationale or the American Montessori Society, the two most recognized Montessori teacher training programs worldwide. In addition to an approved academic program, MMS offers an on-site learning specialist; physical education at the University of Charleston pool and gymnasium; computer skills and coding workshops at its Apple computer lab; Spanish lessons; professionally-led art classes; formal vocal and instrumental music programs; and Montessori-based after-school and summer programs.

Founded in 1976, MMS is the largest and most well-established Montessori school in West Virginia, serving an estimated 1,000 students since it opening its doors.

For more information, call 304/342-7870.


MMS to add second junior elementary, middle school classes to meet demand; applications now being accepted for 14-15

front doors In response to strong enrollment trends, Mountaineer Montessori School (MMS) will expand to include a second junior elementary class and a middle school program starting in the fall.   All classes were at capacity this year, and the school is now accepting applications for the limited number of slots available for new students in the 2014-15 school year. Prospective families are encouraged to contact the school immediately to schedule an interview. For more information, call 304/342-7870.

Located at 308 20th Street in Charleston’s Kanawha City neighborhood, MMS currently provides a full academic and cultural curriculum to 100 students ages 3 through 12 in an authentic Montessori environment. All lead faculty members are fully certified by the Association Montessori Internationale or the American Montessori Society, the two most recognized Montessori teacher training programs. The school offers an on-site learning specialist; physical education at the University of Charleston pool and gymnasium; computer skills and coding workshops at its Apple computer lab; Spanish lessons; professionally-led art classes; formal vocal and instrumental music programs; and Montessori-based after-school and summer programs.

Founded in 1976, MMS is the largest and most well-established Montessori school in West Virginia, serving an estimated 1,000 students since opening its doors.

 

 


Recalled “Iced Mountain” brand bottled water not served at MMS

This morning, the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department halted the distribution of a specific brand of bottled water in three Kanawha County schools after it was found to have a “strong odor” and “a problem with the taste,” according to a news release from the state Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety.  It is important for parents to know that “Iced Mountain” is not among the brands of bottled water available at MMS.

Musty water pulled from three Kanawha County Schools,” Charleston Gazette, 2/12/14

 


We do not put a price on safety: MMS launches independent testing, updated water protocols

(CHARLESTON, W.VA.), Feb. 10, 2014 — In response to the ongoing water situation in West Virginia, Mountaineer Montessori School, 308 20th Street, has invested in independent testing of several water sources within the school and is implementing an updated comprehensive Water Quality Assessment and Use Plan to guide future water usage at the school. The new protocols were developed in consultation with MMS faculty, Board of Directors, and MMS parents, including George Phillips, an experienced chemical engineer, and Dr. Elizabeth Scharman, director of the West Virginia Poison Center.

The plan includes a series of water tests to supplement free testing provided by the National Guard. MMS sought the independent review to provide deeper guidance for administrators and parents. “We do not put a price on student safety,” said MMS Head of School Dana Gilliland.

Here are media reports on the steps we are taking to ensure safety for students, faculty and the MMS community:

 Private schools conduct independent water tests, WOWK-TV, 2/12/14

No end date for use of bottled water in schools , Charleston Gazette, 2/11/14
Private schools still wary of water after chemical spill , Charleston Daily Mail, 2/11/14

What we are doing:

Since the crisis began, MMS students have been drinking bottled water exclusively. Hand-washing stations using bottled water have been set up. Wipes and hand sanitizer are also in use. Elementary-aged students are allowed to use the bathroom sinks with parental permission.

The new testing procedures began Jan. 24. Samples were taken from four areas of the school and sent to TestAmerica, the leading analytical laboratory for environmental testing services in the United States. Results from gas chromatography/mass spec analysis of the water samples were received on Jan. 27 and were analyzed by Phillips.

All samples tested well below the levels of MCHM (1ppm) that the CDC has determined is “acceptable for use.”  Based upon these results, students will now be allowed to use sinks for hand washing with a permission slip from their parents. They may also continue to use bottled water, hand sanitizer and wipes.

Use of tap water for drinking, dishwashing and other uses that might result in exposure by ingestion will continue to be prohibited until the Phase II of testing is completed.

Moving forward:

Phase II includes the following steps:

•       Install an activated carbon filter on one of the school’s water fountains week of Feb. 10.
•       Flush all water fountains for five minutes twice a day (10 minutes per day) on each school day for five days (one school week). During this time, the filter for the test fountain will not be changed.
•       On agreed sample date, conduct the following sample plan with TestAmerica:
a.  Flush for five minutes and then sample the filtered “test” fountain and remaining  fountains.
b.  After these samples are collected, install a fresh activated carbon filter cartridge on the test fountain and flush for five minutes.
c.  Collect second water sample from the test fountain.
d.  Include a non-MMS water sample from outside the WVAWC system (Putnam Public Service District) in the samples for analysis.

Once these results are received, MMS will compare them to samples taken on Jan. 24.

“This will show change in levels in MCHM in the supply line as the result of system usage external to MMS.  The trend will allow projection to theoretical ‘zero’ MCHM and provide insight into when the water may be utilized for drinking, dishwashing and similar purposes,” said Phillips.

MMS will compare activated carbon filter sample from the “test” fountain to the untreated sample to show effectiveness of activated carbon on MCHM removal.  The school will also compare results from fresh activated carbon filters to filters that have been in service for one week to establish recommended frequency of filter replacement.  MMS will also compare results to a sample that was not impacted by the spill (Putnam Public Service District) as a reference.

Independent, accurate, precise and valid data sought:

“This process will be able to provide independent, accurate, precise and valid data to guide our decisions and future water use policies.  We will not allow any student to drink tap water until all the tests are conducted and we have parental permission. This process will take about two to three weeks,” said Gilliland.

Stepping up to serve, learn from the water crisis:

MMS has also responded to the water situation by:

•       Collecting and delivering hundreds of gallons of water to elderly, disabled and other citizens unable to travel to official water distribution sites.

•       Using the Montessori “Water at Work” lessons to help first through third graders understand water flow and disbursement and observe how water reacts when new substances are added.

•       Repurposing plastic water bottles into soaring, colorful towers of art marking this important point in the history of our community.

Students make aquapocalypse art . State Journal, February 7, 2014

•       Help primary students (ages 3-6) negotiate the many changes in their world within the context of the Montessori “Prepared Environment.”

•       Conducting songwriting workshops to help students communicate their feelings about the water situation in music. These original compositions are being scored and students will record and share their water message throughout the community.

Founded in 1976, MMS is a private, independent and non-sectarian school providing a full academic and cultural curriculum to 100 students ages 3-12. It is the largest and longest-established Montessori school in West Virginia, serving an estimated 1,000 students since it was founded by education pioneer Mary McKown. All lead faculty have full AMS or AMI certifications, the two most widely-recognized credentials in Montessori education worldwide.


Art of the Aquapocalypse: MMS students compose music, create mobiles after water crisis

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George Frideric Handel was commissioned to compose his “Water Music” suites by King George I for a concert on the River Thames in 1717.

30-IMG_0453Nearly 300 years later, Mountaineer Montessori School students  had a slightly different source of inspiration for writing music with a water theme: a chemical leak on the Elk River. As our students faced week four of the WV water crisis, MMS brought in a professional song-writing team on Monday, Feb. 4, to lead a special workshop to help students express their ideas about the current situation in song.  Students from age 3 to 12 took part.

The song-writing duo of Mira Stanley and Chuck E. Costa is scoring and finalizing the student-composed songs, which will soon be recorded. MMS students look forward o sharing children’s views about water and their environment through music.
(Here’s a link to the school song, which students wrote under the leadership of Mira and Chuck in 2011; it’s very moving, fun, and worth a listen: http://www.mountaineermontessori.org/about-our-school/only-at-mms/school-song/)

This isn’t the school’s first special art-related activity focusing on the water crisis. Last week,  under the direction of Nancy Johnston, students created spectacular, soaring towers constructed from the plastic water bottles that have been in frequent use at the school.  When life gives you Aquapolocalypse, our students make art!

Read all about it:

MMS students make aquapocalypse art , State Journal, February 7, 2014

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Parent Night & Alumni Panel-Tues Feb 4, 6pm

Our twice-postponed Alumni Presentation Night will be held Tuesday, February 4th at 6:00pm.
We will be welcoming back some of our wonderful graduates to talk about what life was like for them after leaving Mountaineer Montessori and how it felt to transition to a traditional school.
This is always a very enlightening and entertaining presentation. You get to hear directly from the source and ask all the questions you have.
We are happy to provide free childcare during the event. Please call the office to register.

Getting real: MMS Parent Night to Showcase Alumni on Feb 4

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Recent MMS alumnae celebrate the Montessori magic at the 2013 Luminaria Gala.

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MMS alumna Lee Roush and daughter, Madison, a primary student.

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MMS is all in the family for alum Travis Crouse and his children.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The success of some of the world’s most notable figures – including Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, Google creators Sergei Brin and Larry Page, NBA star Stephen Curry, Yo-Yo Ma, Beyonce and George Clooney – was shaped by their Montessori background.

What is Montessori anyway and how does it differ from a traditional education?  How does Montessori influence a student’s academic, professional and personal achievements?  Are Montessori students prepared for the “real world”? What do West Virginians have to say about their own Montessori experience?

Chuck and Mira

Mira Stanley, right, is a professional songwriter and performer. She’s also the daughter of long-time MMS music teacher Ron Sowell.

Charleston-area young professional and recent alumni of Mountaineer Montessori School (MMS) will share perspectives on their time at MMS and its impact on their high school, college and career experiences at special MMS Parents Night event, to be held at the school, 308 20th Street, Tuesday, Feb 4, at 6 p.m.  Educators and interested adults are also welcome to attend. To RSVP or for more information, call 304/342-7870. (Free child care is available to current MMS families; to reserve a spot for your child, please call the office.0

Former students, ranging in age from teens to those in their thirties, will discuss a range of topics including: how does a Montessori curriculum compare to traditional schools? Did they have trouble transitioning to other school settings?  How were their middle school, high school and college educations impacted by their Montessori background? Why do alumni send their own children to a Montessori school?

MMS is the largest and most well-established Montessori school in West Virginia, serving an estimated 1,000 students since its founding in 1976.  Several former students currently have children enrolled at the school.

George Washington High School student Austin Susmann, right, won a state award for an anti-bullying video he co-produced.  He attended MMS.

George Washington High School student Austin Susman, right, won a state award for an anti-bullying video he co-produced. He attended MMS.

MMS provides a rich, approved academic and cultural curriculum in an authentic Montessori environment to 100 students ages 3-12.  All lead MMS faculty are fully certified by the American Montessori Society (AMS) or Association Montessori Internationale (AMI), the two most recognized Montessori certifications worldwide.

MMS sixth grader Noah Glasser, left, with former classmates Oliver Baer and Robbie Thaw.

MMS sixth grader Noah Glasser, left, with former classmates Oliver Baer and Robbie Thaw.

Clifton Clark, JD/MBA, attended MMS and currently serves on the board of directors.

Clifton Clark, JD/MBA, attended MMS and currently serves on the board of directors.

 

 

 


MMS puts peace curriculum into action during West Virginia water crisis

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The water contamination crisis in West Virginia offered up many lessons for our school family.  First among these was community service.  On Monday, January 13, MMS students, faculty and volunteer friends put the Montessori peace curriculum into action by reaching out to elderly, disabled and neighbors without transportation to water distribution points.  First, we issued a call for donations, which prompted an overwhelming  response from the community.  We received hundreds of gallons of safe drinking water.  Then, working with the WV Council of Churches and Kanawha County Emergency Services to identify vulnerable citizens, volunteers loaded up vans and delivered water throughout the affected area.  For many, it was the first water they had received from outside their community since a “do not use” order was issued on Friday, January 10.  We also delivered fresh water to the Dunbar Animal Shelter and surrounding homes in our Kanawha City neighborhood.  MMS extends a special thank you to Michael Pushkin and the many volunteers who helped us “practice what we preach” at MMS.


I’ve never seen a school like this!

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The mom’s eyes lit up as she toured Mountaineer Montessori School last spring.  She timidly whispered, “These children are excited and joyful about their school work. I’ve never seen a school like this. I never thought my child could have an opportunity like this.”

The mom said she had heard such good things about MMS but she thought she could never afford the tuition. Once she learned that we now offer need-based financial aid, she decided to give it a try anyway. She went through the application process and is now happily part of our MMS family!

Stories like this would not be possible without the financial support of our friends and families. Due to the commitment and vision of our Board of Directors, our financial aid program is in its second year with eleven percent of our families qualifying for tuition assistance. This is one of the many exciting things happening at school.

We have seen yet another positive transition for Mountaineer Montessori. After a nationwide search, our board appointed Dana Gilliland as Head of School. With her extensive background in Montessori education and her passion for providing the best education possible to every student, Dana brings a new energy to our school and will provide strong leadership as we enter an exciting new era in Mountaineer Montessori history.

MMS families, friends, alumni, businesses and partners know what a difference our school makes in our children’s lives and our community. As we close out a successful 2013 and look ahead to an ambitious 2014, we invite you to expand access to the quality education for which MMS is renowned with a year-end tax-deductible contribution.

Maria Montessori believed that the goal of education was to unleash a child’s potential and transform him into a citizen of the world. Won’t you please take advantage of this opportunity to help more children realize their possibilities and sustain the MMS legacy in the year ahead by mailing your check today to: Mountaineer Montessori School, Annual Fund, 308 20th Street, Charleston, WV, 25304. For more information, please call 304/342-7870.