Welcome to the Soaring Wings community!
Soaring Wings has grown from only 2 students when Duna founded the school in her home in 1987 to 120 students today from infants up through middle school. As we’ve grown we have worked to maintain the close-knit atmosphere, not only of the classes but of the school as a whole. We welcome you to this community and look forward to getting to know you better. Some of the best work we do as a school depends upon parental contributions, from coming along on field trips to putting on events such as the Park City Children’s Fair. We have all gained lasting friendships and wonderful memories through the school and are happy to be able to include you and your family. Please be sure to read the school newsletters that are posted online monthly so you won’t miss a thing!
By now you may have had an opportunity to tour the school, ask questions about our program and possibly observe a class. Before enrollment, children four years old and older are required to visit class without the parent to give the teacher a chance to assess the child’s needs and abilities. If you have not yet observed a class or have questions, please schedule a time with your child’s teacher. We recommend that you familiarize yourself with the Montessori method of education by reading some of the literature listed in the reference section.
We need the Application for Enrollment and Authorization/Release Forms completed, signed and returned to us before we can accept any child on campus. Make sure these include current phone numbers and addresses. If any of this information changes, please notify your child’s teacher immediately. When the child is admitted we also need the Enrollment Agreement, Smart Tuition Management Form and Commitment Fee.
What to Bring
Infants and their parents, grandparents or caregivers attend on Friday mornings. Please feel free to bring anything your child may need during this time. We ask that you leave shoes, accoutrements and loud voices by the door and come into class quietly with just your child. There will be places to keep a cup of coffee, tea or a water bottle out of children’s reach. Bring your ideas, questions and concerns about child development, education and parenting. This is the place to relax and spend time being present with your child.
Daily Needs Toddler students should bring a backpack or bag with a change of clothes, a supply of training pants and a pair of slippers or indoor shoes all labelled with your child’s name or initials. Toddlers also need to bring two snapshot-sized photos of themselves for their cubby and locker and one of their family for the class album.
Toddler Plus Toddlers who stay all day will also need a PeaPod-style napping tent (available online for about $70) as well as blankets and any special napping items such as a lovey or pillow. All day students can bring their own lunch or enroll in the school lunch program through Savory Kitchen.
Pants Policy Toddler students change into cotton training pants with plastic covers during class time. This gives even the youngest the opportunity to practice changing clothes and to feel the difference between wet and dry pants. We recommend that you keep a basket of training pants in the bathroom at home so your child can continue the practice and eventually get into the habit of using the toilet. It will take lots of changes and lots of laundry, but your child will be feeling independent much sooner than if she were in diapers all day.
Early Childhood (EC)
Early Childhood students should bring a bag or backpack with a change of clothes and slippers or indoor shoes. Children under the age of five usually cannot tie shoelaces so until then, buy shoes that have Velcro, easy buckles or can slip on.
For EC Plus or Elementary Prep students, see lunch options below.
Elementary students will need a backpack or bag in which to transport their planner, folder, workbooks, homework, lunch, water bottle, plus extra clothes each day.
Elementary students also need to bring the following items to be kept at school. All items can be purchased at Wal-Mart for around $60.
- Backpack large enough to hold workbooks, planner, water bottle and extra socks, mittens, hats, etc.
- Lunch box (unless registered for the school lunch program)
- Water bottle for class use
- “Camelback” or small backpack with water bottle for field trips
- Sun hat or ball cap
- 1 package wooden #2 pencils (no mechanical pencils; the lead falls out and makes a mess)
- Hand held pencil sharpener
- Pencil box
- Big pink erasers
- 12″ ruler with inches and millimeters
- Kid’s scissors with sharp points
- 4 glue sticks (no liquid glue or tape)
- 5 two-pocket folders for Lower El students, 6 for Upper El students
- Pencil box
- Calculator with basic functions
- Compass for geometry
- Summit County Library card
- Headphones or ear buds to use with the Apple computer and iPad
- Camping gear: tent, sleeping bag, flashlight, emergency whistle, hiking shoes and rain gear
Appropriate Clothing for All Students
All students over the age of 1 should wear clothing that they can manage themselves and bring a backpack or bag in which to keep things when not in use. Even the youngest student will be responsible for keeping track of belongings. A primary goal in Montessori school is to encourage autonomy. The child’s self-confidence grows when she can successfully dress and undress herself and locate her mittens when she needs them. Please offer clothing choices that are not only appropriate for the weather, but that do not include laces, buckles or ties that your child cannot do herself. Also provide the time necessary for your chid to manage these details without the frustration of rushing. We often notice that the peaceful school day comes apart at pick-up time when parents are rushing to put shoes on children’s feet. Do your best to give your child the time to practice these skills unassisted to promote independence and confidence.
There are plenty of opportunities each day to work with paint, markers, play dough, sand and water; expect your child to get dirty.
We go outside on all but the most severe weather days. Make sure your child comes equipped with snow pants, jacket, hat, mittens and boots in winter. We recommend two or three sets so one can be drying, while another is clean and ready to go and you have can extra for when that boot goes missing. The playground stays very wet in the fall and spring so waterproof boots are a must. In warm weather we enjoy water play so a change of clothes in the car is probably a good idea. Elementary students take field trips every Friday which often include hiking and getting wet. If you make sure a name or even initials is marked on each piece of clothing, the chances are good that lost items will find their way back into your child’s locker. If not, take a look at the Lost and Found locker in the north hall.
Your child will receive a school t-shirt which should be worn on all field trips. Please ask a teacher if you do not yet have one. And bring back outgrown shirts for recycling, please.
Clothes featuring violence, profanity or action figures are not allowed in school.
Your child should have a low bar or drawer in the bureau with clothes that are appropriate choices for school. Out of season clothing or very special things should be put away. Your child can help sort, fold and put away laundry as well as dressing himself and putting dirty clothes in a hamper. Elementary students should be able to do their own laundry as soon as they can reach the settings on the washer!
Remember, when your child comes to school in a backwards, mismatched outfit that he chose himself, we teachers all know you did the right thing by allowing him to be independent!
Parent/Infant (prenatal to 18 months) El Nido Class
Infants and their parents are welcome to drop in and out any time between 8:30 and 11:30am on Fridays. Please advise the instructor of your likely schedule so she can be prepared for you and your child. Be sure to pick up an agenda so you’ll know which days there is no class scheduled.
Toddlers (18 months to 3 years) Sunflower and Tadpole Classes
Toddlers are dropped off in class, from 8:30- 8:45 am. Pickup is at the playground gate, from 11:30 – 11:45 and from 2:45 to 3:00 at the front door for Toddler Plus students..
Early Childhood (3 to 6 years) Peacock, Turquoise, Rainbow and Cottonwoods Classes
Early Childhood students are dropped off at the front patio gates from 8:45 – 9:00 am. Pickup for early childhood students is at the playground gate from 11:45 am – noon and 2:45 – 3:00 pm. If you would like to come inside, please park in the parking lot, not along the curb.
Elementary (6 to 12 years)Moose Tracks and Owl’s Nest Classes
Elementary students are dropped off at the playground gate from 8:30 – 8:45 am. They are picked up at the playground gate from 3:00 – 3:15 pm.
Please do not drop off a student unless you see a teacher at the gate or classroom door. Greeters will be at the gates and doors during drop-off each day. Be sure to have your child say good-bye to her teacher when leaving as a matter of etiquette and for safety’s sake.
If this is your child’s first school experience, you may want to role-play saying good-bye to your child at school so he will know what to expect. When it’s time for the real thing, a quick and loving good-bye is best. We know the temptation is to linger particularly if your child is having a hard time separating. Practice a simple routine such as “hug-kiss-snuggle” and then do it just as you’ve practiced. Tears only last a few minutes and will worsen if you hesitate. Let your child know that you feel confident that school is a good, safe place for him to be and that you will be back soon. Then make sure you are on time for pickup. Being the last one to be picked up can be scary for a young child. We expect that children may take some time to adjust to a new routine. Our teachers are skilled at easing this transition. Feel free to come in to the classroom after class and ask your child to show you what she has been working on.
Although a young child may need to bring a special toy or blanket to school during transition, toys in general are not allowed in the classroom. Toys very often end up lost, broken or confiscated. If your child would like to bring something to share with the class, a nutritious snack of fruit or muffins would be welcome (plan 20-25 servings). We allow “sharing” time each day during circle for children to share a thought, story or educational item, especially if it pertains to the lesson of the day. The newsletter announces lessons for the month. A rock, shell, fossil or book are often good sharing items. Please help us keep toys out of the classroom.
What to Leave at Home
Soaring Wings is a nut-free, sugar-free school. Candy, gum, toys and weapons of any kind are not allowed in school. Other items that often become problems in class include; money, stickers, tattoos, make-up, crayons and coloring books. Not only are these distracting to others, but we feel that your child can play with her toys at home. At school there are hundreds of unique learning exercises ready for your child to discover.
Our lunch program provides a nutritious, healthy, allergy-conscious, yummy, mostly organic lunch catered by Savoury Kitchen every day including sack lunches for field trips. Contact Savoury Kitchen at 435-608-1408 to enroll your child. If you choose not to enroll in the lunch program and your child is in school for a full day your child will need to bring a lunch each day. We study the food rainbow throughout the school year helping children to practice making healthy food choices. A half sandwich, fruit and juice are plenty for most students. We are a “no sugar, no nuts” school. Candy, gum, soda pop, sugar and nuts are not allowed in school.
Early Childhood and Elementary students should be able to pack their own lunches, make snacks and contribute to family meals with a little help. Choose a cupboard in your kitchen within your child’s reach as a snack cupboard. Keep it stocked with healthy food choices such as fruit, nuts, crackers, real fruit leather and granola. A special shelf in the refrigerator can contain small yogurts, juice, string cheese, containers of left-over pizza, soup and pasta (students can heat these in the microwave at school). While you’re getting breakfast together in the morning or doing dishes at night, your child can be packing his own lunch box. Keep a food rainbow posted inside the cupboard door so he can check to make sure he’s got something from each level and nothing from the “junk” level.
We compost and recycle paper, cardboard, aluminum and plastic. Please try to choose drink containers that are recyclable or reusable.
A child’s birthday is a special day. We like to celebrate it in a special way. Please talk to your child’s teacher in advance about which day to celebrate. Then plan to bring 25-30 snacks (one for each child, each teacher and extra in case of disaster!). SWIMS is a sugar-free, nut-free school. Fruit cups, fruit kabobs and yogurt parfaits are some ideas for birthday snacks that all can enjoy. Ask your child’s teacher for a birthday recipe pamphlet if you need more ideas. Don’t bother with drinks – they usually just get knocked over. And bring a picture for each year of your child’s life. If you can be there it will be even more special. We encourage you to help your child to create a scrap book with one page for each year of his life so that each year the pages can be removed, laid out in a timeline side-by-side and replaced in the binder to be enjoyed over and over again. This way birthdays become a concrete history lesson as well as a special celebration. If you supply art materials and some of the scrapbook aids that are available, your child can create a wonderful autobiography. This will become a book that is uniquely your child’s rather than the baby book or the family album made by someone else. It can be added to each year and cherished forever.
If your child’s birthday falls during a school holiday we can celebrate it anytime during the year as an “unbirthday”. We cannot celebrate birthdays during the weeks immediately preceding a holiday. Please talk to your child’s teacher about an appropriate time to celebrate.
Montessori at Home
Our education method is most effective when the principles are carried over into the home. Classrooms are carefully planned and equipped to include everything the child might need developmentally and academically. Materials are arranged on shelves in order from left to right, top to bottom, easiest to hardest, like words across a page so not only does the child get used to moving from left to right in preparation for reading, but she is able to see her progress as she masters one activity and moves on to the next. Each child is responsible for using and replacing equipment just as she found it. First lessons include how to sweep, sponge and wipe dry so children can remedy any spills themselves.
Even before a child is old enough to come to school you can begin to assist her independence by replacing cribs, high chairs, playpens, and walkers with furniture that is made for the child rather than for the adult’s convenience. Generally, Montessori education takes the approach of assisting the child in her development rather than the common modern view of containing the child so the parent can go about the day without worry.
At home the child can be encouraged to keep her things in order by providing shelves instead of toy boxes or baskets. If there are too many things for shelves, some toys should be put away. Even a toddler can make a bed if it is made with a fitted bottom sheet and a comforter so that the comforter only needs to be drawn up. Consider a junior bed instead of a full sized bed, or even a small mattress on the floor so that a very small child can get in and out of bed safely and can make the bed, too. The “Montessori way” is for even babies to sleep in beds on the floor so they have freedom of movement and can begin building independence and confidence at a early age. If you’d like to know more ask any teacher how this is done.
A sturdy step stool in the bathroom enables the child to wash, brush hair and teeth and get drinks of water independently. (Better yet, if you are in the process of building a house, plan a child’s sink in the bathroom.) In our classrooms, we found that the children kept their faces remarkably cleaner after we installed mirrors by the sinks!
In the kitchen provide a small table and chairs so your child will have a safe place to prepare and eat foods. In the Early Childhood classes children learn to make orange juice, cut vegetables, spread jams and butters and prepare simple recipes. At dinner time your child can help prepare a salad or chop vegetables as well as set the table and arrange flowers for a centerpiece. A small juicer and a few cut oranges enable your child to make orange juice for the family breakfast. A small container (such as the tiny dishes used for condiments) of peanut butter, one of jam, a small spreader (such as for canapés) and bread cut in halves or fourths allows your child to make sandwiches with a minimum of mess. An Elementary student might be assigned a certain day of the week on which he is responsible for preparing a meal, a side dish or a dessert for the family meal.
For clean-up provide a small bucket or spray bottle of water (you will need to control quantities of soap and water until the child is able to), a sponge cut in half, a small scrub brush (a nail brush is just right), a small whisk broom and dust pan and cloths made from a dish towel cut into 4″ squares all kept in a low cupboard. In class we use a regular broom and sponge mop with wooden handles cut down to child’s size. With scaled-down tools a child can handle almost any cleaning job. But remember, when we give a lesson on floor scrubbing in the Early Childhood Class we are focusing on scrubbing one tile at a time. The smaller the child, the smaller the tools and the smaller expectations should be!
Check out montessoriservices.com for child-sized kitchen and cleaning implements. Their carpet sweeper works very well and children love to use it!
Class rules are clearly stated from the child’s first day in school. They are simple rules such as; careful hands, inside voices, careful feet and respect for all. Breach of rules results in a warning from the teacher. Repeated problems result in the child being asked to sit apart from the group until the child decides she has regained control of her body (as opposed to “time outs” in which the adult decides when the child is ready to return to the group). If the problem continues, the child may be asked to sit in another classroom until control is regained. If the child still does not seem to be able to stay in control of the situation, parents will be called for conference and subsequent problems may result in expulsion.
Generally, teachers strive to allow the child to make the choices unless the child demonstrates that she is not able to make appropriate choices. Discipline problems often result from dictatorial discipline techniques in which the adult retains complete control. Power struggles usually result. When the child is allowed to make her own choices and to experience the natural and logical consequences, she learns more readily which are the better decisions in life. (For instance, a child may choose to eat dinner because, if she does not, she will be hungry until breakfast, rather than because “Mommy says you have to”.) Rather than adult-inflicted reward and punishment, focus on the simple reward of a job well done. The frustration of making mistakes is punishment enough.
Emotional literacy is stressed from the child’s very first attempts at using words. Even toddlers are encouraged to “use their words” to express feelings (i.e., “I don’t like that!” or “You may not push me!”). Social skills are a large part of development with the goal being the independence of the child in solving her problems peacefully.
We are happy to talk with you any time about discipline problems or concerns. You may also check the reference section for books on discipline.
Parent/Infant to Toddler
When the child is walking sturdily and can communicate basic needs, usually around 18 months of age, it is time to consider moving into the toddler class. Teachers may want the child to visit during class in order to assess readiness. When you feel your child is within 6 months being ready for this important step, inquire about availability.
Toddler to Early Childhood
When the toddler is toileting independently and nearing three years of age, teachers begin to assess his readiness to move up to the next level. We look at the individual child socially and emotionally as well as academically and developmentally to determine when the time is right. Generally, our list of considerations includes the following;
- The child should be three years of age.
- The child should be able to use the toilet independently.
- The child should be able to manage clothing unassisted.
- The child should have a sense of responsibility for work and belongings and be able to put things away.
- The child should have a sense of responsibility for following rules, such as staying inside the classroom.
- The child should be able to verbalize needs.
- The child should be past the age of oral explorations, that is, to be able to recognize what should and should not go into the mouth.
- The child should be able to deal with conflicts without hitting, biting or pinching.
- The child should be able to follow simple directions.
- The child should be able to observe classroom rules and boundaries.
The Early Childhood class offers further opportunity for the child to practice social and communicative skills and to move from concrete manipulative to abstract concepts such as Literacy, Math, Science and Social Studies. Every child progresses at a pace that allows for development of the whole child. The materials are engineered to ensure continued success. We strive to make your child’s transition to this class as smooth as possible to contribute to her feeling of accomplishment.
Early Childhood to Elementary Prep
Elementary Prep class is for the Early Childhood student who is socially and emotionally mature enough for a longer school day and ready for a little more challenge than is offered during morning class.
Younger Prep students practice practical life, sensorial and penmanship skills. They practice the letter sounds and move into word building as well as number and quantity recognition.Older students spend the afternoon practicing their reading, writing and math skills. When evaluating a student for Prep, we consider the following:
- The child should be able to manage the steps of lunch at school such as setting a place, using the microwave, washing dishes, cleaning up spills and crumbs.
- The child should be proficient at recognizing boundaries and observing indoor and outdoor rules.
- The child should no longer be in need of an afternoon nap.
- The child should be emotionally and developmentally ready for academic challenge.
Early Childhood/Elementary Prep to Elementary
The third year of Early Childhood is the student’s Leadership Year. The child’s confidence blossoms as one of the leaders of the Early Childhood classes. During this year, at about age 5 1/2 we begin to assess her social, emotional and academic readiness for our Lower Elementary class. Generally, we look for the following;
- The child should be six years old.
- The child should be able to deal with a variety of social situations independently.
- The child should show responsibility for her own work, belongings and behavior.
- The child should show respect for all living and non-living things.
- The child should be an emergent reader, reading and writing independently.
- The child should be able to write letters properly.
- The child should be able to count, recognize and order written numerals up to 1000.
- The child should be familiar with the decimal system through the golden bead work.
- The child should be able to identify quantities up to 1000.
- The child should be familiar with mathematical operations.
The Elementary class entails Math and Literacy work each morning; Science, Social Studies, History, Healthy Lifestyles, Fine Arts and Spanish lessons in the afternoon; daily meditation and emotional literacy sessions and frequent field trips resulting in a cooperative family-like atmosphere. We recommend you schedule a class observation and a visitation for your child as enrollment time approaches.
Elementary to Middle School
At age 11 we begin to assess the child’s social, emotional and academic readiness for our Middle School. Generally, we look for the following;
- The child should be 12 years old.
- The child should be intrinsically motivated and ready for academic rigor.
- The child should be independent and able to both lead and follow.
- The child should have mastered basic writing techniques and understand how to analyze and summarize literature.
- The child should have mastered math facts, the basics of geometry and be able to apply math to every day situations.
- The child should have an appreciation for all types of music and art.
- The child should know how to be a caring and contributing member of a community.
Graduates of our programs consistently test above grade level. The advantage your child gains in attending Montessori school is the opportunity to progress academically beyond what traditional schools allow. The ability to make good choices, solve problems, expand interests in all directions and develop a love of learning are all characteristics of the “Montessori Child”. Our students typically go on to be the role models at their new schools having gained confidence as well as academic insight.
Remember that the “Montessori advantage” requires a “Montessori commitment”. Each class involves a three-year program, which allows the child to become familiar with lessons, master them and extend them in unique ways. Foundations are laid in the first year that and built upon with each subsequent year resulting in development of the whole child. A child who is only present for a fragment of the program may miss significant portions. When a child must leave the school before the end of the program, we teachers often feel that we are letting go of an unfinished work of art.
Lost and Found
There is a “Lost and Found” locker in the north hall. Please check it periodically.
We begin the year by reviewing the guidelines of good health and safety and we review this throughout the school year. At each level children are learning about nutrition, hygiene, how to take care of their bodies and how to live a peaceful life. At school children enjoy healthy snacks and lunches with no sugar and we are careful of dietary restrictions. Our school lunches are sugar free, mostly organic and delicious. All classes practice yoga and freedom of movement including fine and large motor exercises. Classrooms are disinfected 1 to 3 times each day and children wash hands often. We conduct fire, lockdown and earthquake drills throughout the year. We have an EMT, Tama D’Angelo, on staff as well as a Holistic Health Coach, Lina Singleton. All teachers keep first aid and CPR training up to date and study personal wellness. We hold Utah Montessori Council Safe and Healthy School certifications. Even with all of this attention to good health children will come into contact with illness. Teachers will call you to pick up your child if they exhibit any of the following during school: fever, vomiting, diarrhea, persistent cough, rash or discharge from nose or eyes. If they need acetaminophen or cannot go outside, children should not be in school. Do call us at 435-200-8248 when your child is sick so we won’t worry and can be aware of what’s going around.
All staff, including extra-curricular providers, are required to undergo background checks, fingerprints and reference checks before hiring. Staff is required to hold a minimum of a bachelor’s degree, teachers hold American Montessori Society teaching credentials and all are required to have 1st Aid/CPR training. Staff also reviews evacuation and lock down drills regularly. Gates and exterior doors are kept locked for the day as of 9:00 am. We are notified if local issues develop that may affect our safety and we will notify you immediately if there are any concerns that the school isn’t the best place for the children. In the event of an emergency we will email, text or call you immediately.
We practice zero tolerance for any kind of violence or disrespect. Our slogan is “education for peace”, a phrase Dr. Montessori originated when, having lived through the world wars, she saw that when children can grow up respecting all living and non-living things, appreciating cultural diversity, sharing limited resources and solving conflicts peacefully they may lead us into a more peaceful way of life. One of the first school rules a child learns is “careful hands and feet”. They are respectful of furniture, materials, plants, animals and each other. Each class learns about cultures from around the world on an age-appropriate level. These studies culminate in an all-school cultural immersion celebration involving food, music, costumes and stories from each continent. Montessori classrooms are designed with only one or two of each piece of equipment precisely so children will learn to wait their turn and to return things to the their places ready for the next child. We practice solving problems with a “peace object”, a natural object such as a stone or feather, which is used to allow both parties to take turns speaking from their hearts until the problem is solved. By age 6 or 7 children often no longer need to hold the object to be able to express themselves respectfully to others. It is never acceptable to demonstrate a lack of respect for any person or thing at school. If a child hurts another they will be reminded of the rule and assisted in working out the problem. If the child continues to act violently a conference will be called with parents, teachers and children. If the problem cannot be resolved the children may not be allowed to remain in school. We do not allow gun play, toy weapons or violent apparel in school. Any disrespect between adults is also not tolerated. Maria Montessori said, “Never speak disrespectfully of a child in his presence – or out of it.” We believe this goes for adults, too.
Parent / Teacher Hotline
Please call 435-200-8248 and whenever your child will not be in school. Please do not ask teachers or staff for personal phone numbers. Our teachers work hard every day and need time away from school matters to be refreshed and energized. You can always call this number to get a message to any teacher. Our Administrator, Bruce King, is available almost any time at 435-649-3626. Directors Duna Strachan and Lina Singleton are on campus most school days. Please stop by any time.
Our “bluebird days” are one of the things that make Park City such a wonderful place to live. There are only a handful of days throughout the year when the weather is too extreme to go outside. Generally, if it is below 10 degrees classes will stay inside. Teachers will adjust outside time as needed. Please send your child dressed for the weather and the wet days of spring. We recommend buying two or three sets of boots and snow clothes so one set can always be drying.
Listen to KPCW 91.7 FM on snowy mornings. If the Park City School District closes because of snow, so will we. If PCSD closes for any other reason we will take this into consideration and let you know if we decide to follow suit.
Newsletters will be on our website around the first of every month and you will be notified via email. Read the newsletter and check the Events and Holidays Calendar on the website for “party days”, field trips and school celebrations that may mean a change of schedule.
Parking Lot Etiquette
Please be aware of drop-off and pick-up lanes and do not leave your car unattended on the curb during these times. If you need to get out of the car, please park in the parking lot. On busy days there is additional parking in the Knoop Park lot south of Old Ranch Road. Please walk, bike or carpool whenever possible. Thanks for helping keep traffic flowing smoothly.
Please make a point of putting away cell phones while on campus. Your child and teachers are eager to talk with you to improve our day to day efforts to give your child the best possible school experience.
As a parent you make sure your child is well fed, well rested and clothed appropriately for a day at school. In addition please consider the amount of time your child spends looking at a screen of any kind. The American Academy of Pediatrics tells us that children under the age of two should not be exposed to any type of screen – tv, computers, smart phones, etc. For older children an hour or two per day is the limit. Children need to interact with others to learn about emotional literacy and communication. They need to play with real objects to develop depth perception and a scientific understanding of how the world works. And they need to keep moving all day long to avoid the growing problem of obesity in our country. Bring a pad of paper and a pencil so your family can play a simple version of “Pictionary” when you are at a restaurant. Sing songs and play “I Spy” games while driving in the car. Discuss the best and worst of the day while at the dinner table. Go out and ride bikes, hike, or play “Kick the Can” in the yard. Don’t let screens replace your family’s activity and interactivity.
Bring your family to see your student’s classroom and meet teachers, parents and students on the Sunday before the first day of school. This is a good opportunity to ask questions and let you child get to know the set up for the new school year. Watch for the August newsletter to announce the time of this year’s Open House.
All parents and children are invited to attend this informative evening on the date and time indicated in the Events and Holidays section of the web site. This is your chance to get an overview of what your child has been working on so far and what will come.
Each class will begin scheduling Parent Days in October. This is your chance to come to school and see first hand what your child is learning. Visits are usually 15 – 30 minutes and include observing a class and having a lesson with your child. It is also an opportunity to ask questions and learn more about the Montessori method. Each student eagerly awaits the day his own parents will visit him in class. We look forward to seeing you!
Earth Day Celebration
Every student will take part in preparing a special presentation for you at our spring Earth Day Celebration. It is your child’s opportunity to show you what she’s learned this year. The event is usually planned around an Earth Day theme and you are invited to try activities in every classroom. Third year EC students will present reports as their own ancestors. Elementary students will present an Earth Science Fair. This event is held on the Friday before Spring Break so don’t leave town too early!
Be sure to read the monthly newsletter and check the Events and Holidays calendar posted on the web site. at www.soaringwings.org for important event dates and times.
We often post photos of school events on our FB page. “Like” us so you will be in the loop.
The school provides Tomorrow’s Child magazine to every family enrolled in Soaring Wings. This Montessori magazine produced by the International Montessori Council features articles and photos that closely follow what we are doing at Soaring Wings. Be sure to look through your copy for interesting articles, books and handy recipes – sometimes from SWIMS.
Utah Montessori Council Fall Workshop and Conference
SWIMS is the founder and an active member of the UMC. If you would like to learn more about Montessori you are welcome to attend the annual workshop in September and conference in January. These will be announced in the newsletter or ask any teacher for details.
The child’s most fundamental and earliest education is from his/her parents; therefore, learning about the Montessori theory and its application will be most helpful to you. Many Montessori resources are available on the Soaring Wings website (www.soaringwings.org), and we have donated many volumes to each of the local libraries. If you prefer to order a book through Amazon, we recommend starting with The Montessori Way by Seldin and Epstein, Montessori Madness by Eissler or The Science Behnd the Genius by Lillard.
We depend on you to inform yourself about the Montessori philosophy. By doing so, you will better understand your child’s experience at school, you will benefit more from Parent Conferences, and you will be able to offer your child greater consistency at home.
Parents are invited to observe their children any time after the first six weeks of a new school year. One of the best ways for parents to find out how their children are doing in the classroom is to observe. In order to support you in this process, we invite you to visit the classroom any time after the first six weeks of school. You are asked to speak directly to your child’s teacher to schedule your observation.
While observing, remember, we want you to see what school is like for your child so please stay in your chair, use a soft voice and keep interactions with children to a minimum so their day can unfold around you. Plan to observe for an hour or two at a time. Please leave siblings at home to keep from disrupting the class.
Although both parents are invited to observe at least once during the school year, the observations should take place on separate occasions, so as to minimize the distraction for the students.
Communication between parent and faculty is of primary importance in the development of the child, so Parent/Teacher Conferences are scheduled in October and March. Conferences serve to keep us all informed as to the child’s progress at school and at home, so we encourage both parents to attend. Please be sure to sign up for a conference time with your child’s teacher during the regular conference time. Teachers spend much time preparing and prefer not to have to squeeze them in during a regular school day.
SWIMS and the SWPTSO appreciates the assistance of parent volunteers. Parent volunteers may assist in a variety of ways in the manner that is most consistent with their time and talents. Ask any teacher for details. SWPTSO projects include;
September – Cider Social
October – Parent/Teacher Conference Refreshments
November – Fall Food Drive to benefit Adopt-a-Native Elder
December – Angel Trees to benefit Peace House
March – Parent/Teacher Conference Refreshments and Teacher Appreciation Week
April – Yearbook
June – Park City Children’s Fair and Silent Auction
Your volunteer hours are greatly appreciated and make the school community a better, richer place to be!
Our friend Andrew Kutt, author, composer and founder of the Oneness Family School in Maryland, keeps in touch and comes often to our local Montessori gatherings lending his wisdom and talent. Since Montessori schools around the world vary in their affiliations and backgrounds, we have come to identify “authentic” qualities that we all strive for….Continue Reading...