As We Start the New School Year – a message to our staff from principal, Patrice Cherico

Cathy TobinIMO Blog

Welcome! This is a very exciting day as we come together to begin the 2019-2020 school year!

I always put a lot of pressure on myself for the first day of Teacher Work Week. This day feels to me now just like my students’ first day back after the summer felt when I was a teacher. There was so much I wanted to make happen on that day…. most importantly I hoped that the first day would set the stage for the year ahead. That is my goal for this little speech; that we set the stage for our year together.

When I was hired in 2014, I was given the mission of solidifying the goal of bringing an authentic Montessori instructional model to the public domain. The Montessori model connected with my beliefs around how children learned, and I became a quick convert. From my years as an educator and administrator the one thing I knew was that we had to keep our focus. I knew all too well how initiatives in public education can blow in and out and never stick. I had to be the gatekeeper and remind all our stakeholders of our shared goal. Every step of the way, our staff has embraced that precious task of staying true to Montessori. They have been the standard bearers.  Along the way there have been bumps in the road, but all in all we have been rather impressive in how closely we have kept our promise. We stand on the shoulders of those families who, in 2011, brought this charter to life. I know that those of us who have been here a while feel honored to have a part in making it happen and keeping the dream alive.

This year our school is entering its ninth year. We have a few staff and family members who’ve here been here for most, and some for all, of those years. With new staff joining us today, I thought it would be good to start with a brief look at the typical development of a charter school. In a charter school’s life the first years of the charter are called the ‘start-up’ phase which includes the writing of the charter before the school even opens. Generally, this phase is 2-3 years long. The next phase is the ‘growth’ phases which starts in year 3 or 4 and extends to year 5 or 6. Generally, by year 5 or 6 the school has been built out to capacity. Then year 5 or 6 begins ‘sustainable maturity’.  Our school’s trajectory deviated from the traditional model as we grew larger to accommodate the financing of our new building and our plans to replicate our school and, as a result, we have spent more time in the growth phase. As some know, last year was a pivotal point in our history when, with input from staff and community members, we decided that our best course was to pull back on our ambitious growth plan and instead focus on this single campus.

This is important because, as I shared with the board at our board retreat a few weeks ago, due to our path our growth phase has expanded into 9 years instead of the usual 5.  But now, with growth stabilized, I believe that we can finally begin this journey of sustainable maturity. We understand that our high school, IMHS, is new but we also know that its growing pains will benefit from the work that IMO has already done, while the unique nature of its innovation incubator will need time to develop.

What does the sustainable maturity phase look like? Generally, it is considered the time to fortify our identity and goals. Also, and just as importantly, it is a time to develop the pillars of our culture, to define the ‘how’ we do the work that we do.

Peeling this back, what will our work look like as we fortify our identity and goals?

Having the state recently recognize us again as an “A” school does provide us with a sense of ‘legitimacy’ which no doubt makes the work easier. You may have noticed I am staying true to our message around grades because we still know it is just one indicator of the great work you do, and your work has been just as powerful and important during our years as a C as it is as an A. However, I do not want to take away from any sense of ‘accomplishment’ the designation provides. Your hard work deserves recognition. We will spend time later in the year talking about this a bit more. What the A does do is allow us to dig in further and grab tighter onto our Montessori model. As Angeline Lillard’s work has shown, the closer we align to classic Montessori the greater the benefits to our children, both academically and within those elusive and important executive functioning skills. Again, part of our work during these ‘sustainable maturity’ years, will be first to stay true to our identity of providing a Montessori model within the public domain. This is our foundation, this is who we are, this is our overall arching goal.

Next, as part of these ‘sustainable maturity’ years, we want to look at the pillars of our culture. I believe what has set us apart from the beginning is ‘connection’; some might call it family. Whatever you call it, or however it is described, it is the sense that this school has always been more than an institution. It is community. It has been the ‘connection’ we have as co-workers, as colleagues, as family members. And this brings me to work of Brené Brown. For those of you who have not heard of Brené Brown, she is a research professor at the University of Houston where she holds the Huffington – Brené Brown Endowed Chair. She has spent the past two decades studying courage, vulnerability, shame, and empathy.

For me her work resonated because it was based on research. Everyone has their hook and for me, when someone says research, they have my attention. Because I can be a skeptic, I then try to begin poking holes in the ideas presented, but as I read her work not only did it simply resonate with me it resonated with the work we are doing at Innovation Montessori. In Scientific America, scientist, Matthew Lieberman, in sharing his work stated that, ‘we may not like the fact that we are wired such that our well-being depends on our connections with others, but the facts are the facts.’  Let me repeat that and let it sink in, “we are wired such that our well-being depends on our connections with others”.

I must tell you that this gives me a great deal of pause. What better way to describe what we do every day in a classroom – building emotional connections between the children and the adults and between the children themselves. We know that the teachers who create positive, emotionally safe classroom environments also provide for the optimal learning of their students.

So, when Brené Brown writes in research about what stops us from connecting, it gets my attention. Since we are about making connections, if research has identified things that STOP us from making connections, that means we have signposts to help us fix connections that are “broken”. I was not expecting what her research revealed. The thing that stops us from making connections is ‘shame’. She defines shames this way – “shame is the intensely painful feeling or experience of believing that we are flawed and therefore unworthy of love, belonging, and connection.” So, what does that mean for us?

I believe that no one here would ever want a child or a colleague to feel shame, but when I look at the list of ways in which shame can show up, I realize it can easily slip into our classrooms, our relationships, and our culture. Brené Brown goes so far as to provide a list of the ways that shame can manifest. It includes perfectionism, favoritism, gossiping, back channeling, comparison, self-worth tied to productivity, harassment, discrimination, power over, bullying, blaming, teasing and cover-ups. Even typing this list makes me uncomfortable and, honestly, I had to resist the urge to hit the back space button and erase it all. I don’t imagine that these are topics that anyone feels comfortable talking about, and then the importance of having those conversations hit me – this is the work!

As we build out our pillars of culture, we focus on connection, but we can’t get to connection without talking about shame, I am not even sure how many pillars we will erect this year, but we will have a place to work where everyone feels safe and free from shame. Back to that “A” – in education, all too often, our value as teachers, as administrators, as students, as a school, revolves around work product. There are so many opportunities for shame to sneak in. Our big work is to build classroom cultures where every child can feel connected and valued and where, if shame shows up, we call it out.

I want you to think about that as you begin establishing your classroom for this school year, because I am going to be thinking about it a lot this year. I pledge to work hard at building a culture where connections thrive, and shame is brought in the light.

As you plan this week, put in the work around figuring out what connection in your classroom is going to look like. When you leave to go to lunch you will pick up the two books on the table. I don’t have time to talk about Sir Ken Robinson’s book on Creative Schools just now, but I will soon. Today, begin reading Brené Brown’s book, “Daring Greatly”, even if it is half a page, and consider how Daring Greatly for your classroom and your students this year will look when connection is a central pillar of what you do.

I feel honored to be part of such a strong team, and such a vibrant community. It’s going to be a great year.

The Whole School Through a Lens

Blog AdminIMO Blog

By: Elle Martinez, IMO High School Student

“Photography is an art, photography is capturing a moment.”

People say this a lot when someone asks what it’s like working with photography. Before this year I had an idea about how photography could be beautiful, but after this year I found a newfound appreciation for taking pictures of people. Since people in general are very good at being expressive it makes for very lively photos.

I came to start working more and more with photography this year while working on the yearbook. This means taking photos in classes of all grade levels and school events. It helps connect you more with the school in a way, that you’re contributing to the community and connect with the younger grade levels who pose as the focus of the photos.

How does it connect though? Is a very good question, it’s not connecting necessarily physically but more emotionally and withdrawn from the moment, while just observing it. It’s almost an indescribable feeling really, capturing a moment where a kid is happy, or working, or possibly just slinking an arm over their friend’s shoulder and both smiling at the camera or laughing. It’s almost as though they’re in a state of pure bliss, in class, like nothing else really matters and they’re very involved in the moment. However, when I can put it into words, I’d say it’s when I’m just so happy when I get the perfect photo at the perfect time and the photo itself tells a whole story. It’s those times when the lighting is so beautiful that it complements the photo instead of being an annoying contrast. Sharing the photo with others is what really brings out the excitement though, to see how an audience would like your camera work.

Every class was a different environment though, from the younger ages to the older ages, and they all reacted a little differently to being photographed. For example, while Journalism was taking photos in primary one little boy started following us around his class and held up a book to Hunter asking her to read it to him. Then when she sat down, slowly kids started integrating over to listen, until she had a small group sitting in the reading corner listening to her read. It’s really the small things they can remember because they’ll often recognize you when you walk into their class again later. But you’re probably wondering why I didn’t bring the older classes into this, well that would be that fact that as you get older you don’t like being photographed if you’re not prepared.

Even not focused on just the photography aspect, Journalism class this year was a fun elective. The group really bonded and went through it all while making our yearbook. There were also big steps taken in our Journalism group, like one student who was afraid of the camera but then offered to take it while we were photographing classes. To be honest I started quietly cheering in the hallway, or maybe not so quietly, but was told to calm down a little bit.There’s things like that where we encouraged each other to take pictures and make the pages of the yearbook the best we could with what we were given.

To summarize this post, I’d say that I wrote this blog post to give people a glimpse of what I did this year in Journalism class and my experience in photography for the yearbook. Photography didn’t mean that much to me in the beginning of the year before I started working with it and getting comfortable with the camera. I would say the personal growth I experienced in this class was helpful to future wants of taking pictures and to understanding how to use a camera. Hopefully future students working on the yearbook will understand that photography is a huge aspect of making a yearbook and should be taken into higher consideration because it is the pictures that make the page.

The Innovation Incubator Program at Innovation Montessori High School

Blog AdminBlog, IMO Blog

By Alison Franks

Traditionally, people define entrepreneurship as starting a new business or diving into a new endeavor focused on generating profit.  At Innovation Montessori High School we are pushing the boundaries of that definition to include a broader scope of the human experience.  Visual artists can be entrepreneurs, launching their own personal brands. Entrepreneurs can be focused on creating change in their worlds by starting a non-profit or launching a social justice focused initiative.  Launching yourself into adulthood is an entrepreneurial endeavor in and of itself.

As part of the Innovation Incubator program this year, our students learned critical thinking, problem solving and executive functioning skills that support an entrepreneurial mindset. Our curriculum is designed to teach these skills through experiential learning opportunities as well as a series of projects both large and small.  On Wednesdays, our students participate in Innovation Incubator Seminars and Executive Skills labs designed to offer students a deep dive with multiple perspectives on a topic or skillset. Examples of Executive Skills Lab topics include: collaboration, strategic thinking, project planning, and time management and organization.  These larger seminar experiences are woven through our day to day projects and experiential learning.

During the first semester of the Innovation Incubator program at Innovation Montessori High School students focused on building their creativity, and honing their problem-solving skills. Projects challenged students to identify problems both at the global and local levels, and then to develop innovative solutions that might be applied to these problems. At the end of the first semester, our students participated in a challenge called the World Series of Innovation where they worked in small groups to design solutions to problems connected to UN Sustainability Goals.  Some teams identified approaches to improve access to the internet in developing countries, others responded to the need to increase the use of sustainable materials (in lieu of plastic packaging).

This past semester as part of the Innovation Incubator, students participated in a program designed by the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) called Start Up Tech where they learned to design and build Apps that solve unique problems.  Each of our students started the ideation process by brainstorming a list of problems in their worlds (school, home, friends), and then brainstorming potential solutions to those problems.  Groups were formed based on ideas that students found interesting, and then things got exciting!

Over the course of the semester students learned how to turn their ideas into functioning Apps using block code and the MIT App Inventor platform, completed market research, identified target audiences and their team’s competitive advantage, and finally designed promotional materials and an elevator pitch to support their ideas and Apps. The experience culminated with our students demonstrating their Apps, presenting these ideas, and “pitching” a group of judges during the Start Up Tech Showcase.

Through this process students learned not only how to take an idea from inception and design a minimum viable product version of the idea in the form of a functioning app. They also learned about their leadership styles, how they work under pressure, and how to persevere when challenges arise (which they did).

In the coming years as we grow the Innovation Incubator program at Innovation Montessori High School, our students will be building on the skills they’ve learned in 9th grade to identify ideas for businesses or projects they feel passionate about. We will continue to focus on deepening critical thinking skills while encouraging every student to get creative in solving problems both big and small. Along the way, our students will establish relationships with professionals in fields they’re interested in and participate in internship programs.

I am inspired by the potential of young people, and our students in particular. As we plan for coming years, I look forward to offering our students the academic and experiential support to develop the skills they need to feel productive and engaged in life within and beyond school.

2018/19 Yearbook NOW ON SALE

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Yearbook

2018 – 2019 Information

You can still order a 2018 – 2019 yearbook!

We are thrilled to partner once agin with Picaboo yearbooks for the 2018/19 school year.

This year, you may also personalize your yearbook with 4 pages of your own photos, plus select either soft or hard cover. Students (and parents) will be able to make their choice when personalizing their yearbook via the Picaboo website.

Soft Cover $30

Hard Cover $40

 

ORDER HERE

IMO’s Spring Musical, Aladdin – This Weekend at Winter Garden Theatre

Blog AdminIMO Blog

Don’t forget to buy your tickets for Innovation Montessori’s spring musical, Aladdin Jr. – performing this Friday and Saturday at the Winter Garden Theatre (see below for showtimes and a link to buy tickets). The show promises to be great family entertainment.

Prepare to be transported to the Arabian nights of old where you’ll be enchanted by the genie’s lamp, flying carpets, music, dance, and shimmering costumes designed by Cindy Maners.

Disney’s Aladdin JR. is based on the 1992 Academy-Award®-winning film and the 2014 hit Broadway show about the “diamond in the rough” street rat who learns that his true worth lies deep within.

The Aladdin Jr. cast has been hard at work for the past 6 months: learning lines, mastering choreography and practicing production numbers.

“We are so excited to bring Agrabah to life – our cast is incredibly talented, we assembled one of the best production teams in Central Florida, and we have a group of volunteers that are amazing. It has been an incredible journey and we can’t wait to share this show with our community,” adds Michael Caruth, show producer and IMO’s Director of Bands and Music Enrichment.

The story you know and love has been given the royal treatment! Aladdin and his three friends, Babkak, Omar, and Kassim, are down on their luck until Aladdin discovers a magic lamp and the Genie who has the power to grant three wishes. Wanting to earn the respect of the princess, Jasmine, Aladdin embarks on an adventure that will test his will and his moral character. With expanded characters, new songs, and more thrills, this new adaptation of the beloved story will open up “a whole new world” for all to enjoy!

Show times:

Friday, April 5 – 7:00 PM

Saturday, April 6 – 2:00 PM Matinee

Saturday, April 6 – 6:00 PM

Link to buy tickets:

https://gardentheatre.secure.force.com/ticket/#details_a0S1C00000SLvSzUAL

IMiTA Brings Agrabah to Life in Aladdin JR

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Innovation Montessori in The Arts! presents Aladdin JR at the Garden Theatre April 5th and 6th. Tickets are on sale NOW through the Garden Theatre Box Office HERE!

Disney’s Aladdin JR. is based on the 1992 Academy-Award®-winning film and the 2014 hit Broadway show about the “diamond in the rough” street rat who learns that his true worth lies deep within.

Premier night is Friday, April 5 at 7PM, with two shows on Saturday, April 6 at 2PM and 6PM. Saturday, you can enjoy Spring Fever on Plant street before heading inside and seeing this fantastic show!

You can purchase ads or shout outs for Aladdin Playbill below:

[product_category per_page=”20″ columns=”3″ orderby=”desc” order=”” category=”aladdin-ad” ]

INNOVATION MONTESSORI IN THE ARTS

Production of

Music by

ALAN MENKEN

Lyrics by

HOWARD ASHMAN, TIM RICE and CHAD BEGUELIN

Book by

CHAD BEGUELIN

Based on the Disney film written by Ron Clements, John Musker, Ted Elliott & Terry Rossio and directed & produced by Ron Clements & John Musker

Synopsis:

Disney’s Aladdin JR. is based on the 1992 Academy-Award®-winning film and the 2014 hit Broadway show about the “diamond in the rough” street rat who learns that his true worth lies deep within.

The story you know and love has been given the royal treatment! Aladdin and his three friends, Babkak, Omar, and Kassim, are down on their luck until Aladdin discovers a magic lamp and the Genie who has the power to grant three wishes. Wanting to earn the respect of the princess, Jasmine, Aladdin embarks on an adventure that will test his will and his moral character.

Show Dates

Performances for Aladdin Jr will be at the Garden Theatre in Winter Garden, Florida

  • Friday, April 5th at 7PM
  • Saturday, April 6th at 2PM
  • Saturday, April 6th at 6PM

TICKETS ON SALE NOW – GET THEM HERE!

2019 Summer Stage

presented by Innovation Montessori in the arts!

Join us for an unforgettable summer where you can rehearse & perform a full musical, develop your skills in master classes with professional-level instructors, participate in Q&A sessions with guest artists, and more! Through warm-ups, rehearsals, classes, and individual coaching sessions, we will focus on supporting and building each participant. Whether you are a seasoned performer, or this is your first theatrical experience, let us help you cultivate your talents in a fun, collaborative environment! REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN, SPOTS ARE LIMITED!

Visit our Summer Stage page for information

Art Auction Preview

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The Preview for the Arteco Art Auction is now LIVE!

Our annual auction will take place on Saturday, March 2, 2019 from 11AM to 3PM.

In the past, this auction was held during the Share the Love Gala. With no gala this year, we needed to find a new home. It is a welcomed addition to our festival! The format for this year’s auction is also new as it will be a silent auction. What is a silent auction you ask?

During a silent auction, bids are written on a sheet of paper that is placed next to the item. At the predetermined end of the auction (3PM), the highest listed bidder wins the item.

In addition to the art seen below, the auction will feature the ever popular Teacher Experiences/Items! For example, our Arts Department is offering a VIP Aladdin experience for up to 4 Guests that include premium tickets, a tour of the Garden Theatre, a signed script, and a meet and greet with some of the Cast and Production Team!

Be sure to check the bids often to make sure you have the wining bid!

All materials were donated and proceeds go directly to IMO.

VISIT THE PREVIEW HERE!

Making Casa Our Home

Blog AdminIMO Blog

by Amanda Cease

Since he was three months old, our son has been in a structured environment and attended daycare daily, which we believe helped him develop in many ways. As we started to approach the age of “real school” we wanted to find a place to call home and feel confident that he would be encouraged, challenged and guided. As we started to ask friends and family about their school my brother and sister-in-law talked highly about Innovation Montessori Ocoee (IMO). Their kids have been a part of the school since 2012, even before it moved to Ocoee and got its new name.

My brother and his family described the school as, “Different than what we grew up in, but a place they love and feel good about sending their kids.” What does that even mean? – ‘Different than what we grew up in.’ We took a tour of the school and quickly realized what it meant – no desks, no homework, a place that focuses on child-centered learning and provides both individual and group work opportunities. It is different than the school system we grew up in, but different is okay and we were ready to give it a try. We were ready to enroll our son in their pre-school program – the Casa program.

As the teachers hosted a meet-the-teacher and provided documents about the school we quickly hoped the underlying focus of ‘grace’ and ‘courtesy’ would be ones to trickle through the home life as well. No desks – because they move about the room to different stations. No homework – because they are encouraged to do outside activities in the evening and spend time developing other interests. Could this school really be one that teaches the kids during the day but also makes them a more understanding, compassionate and caring individual? We were ready to find out.

Immediately we were excited to see a list of suggested responsibilities for a child at home based on their age. We’re first-time parents. We probably baby our son too much and it was nice to see some of the things that we should be asking him to do on his own. And guess what – he can do them! The sense of responsibility has grown so much with him in just the few months we have been at the school.

One of the biggest differences we saw right away was the mixed grade levels. He is in a class with 3-5 year olds – pre-K through kindergarten. Our son is four. Would he be too advanced for the work they’re doing? Will he not be able to catch on because he’s not in kindergarten yet? These fears quickly went away as we learned about their child-led learning. Learning at the level and the way the child learns best. If they don’t seem to catch on, the lesson can be taught to them again. Are they mastering it already? Then they can move on.

Our son would come home and talk all about the friends he was making in his new school but didn’t talk too much about the specifics of the work – though we knew he was learning about the solar system and would tell us all about the planets he wanted to visit, and which ones would have which climates. To be honest, we were learning something too! What he hadn’t mentioned was his new-found love for not just hearing stories but reading them. During the first check-in with the teachers they told us how he was reading, and we couldn’t believe it. They suggested books we could get that mirror what he’s reading in class and we have loved encouraging the reading at home based on his progress. Don’t get me wrong, we still enjoy reading to him too, but it’s fun to see him reading to us and his little sister. It’s another example of how if you encourage them to do something on their own, they likely can!

As a part of the community, parents are required to volunteer to support the school – whether it’s on site or from home – and I was able to see the child-led learning in person as I volunteered to read with the kids. Each kid I read with was on a different book and different level, but it didn’t matter. They were reading, and they were proud of themselves for where they were and I was able to encourage them at the level they were at.

We feel like we’re being encouraged to be better parents through the school too – learning ways to talk to them differently, asking them different questions about the work they’re doing, motivating them to do things differently, disciplining differently. All things that should help our son grow and become a well-rounded, responsible citizen of the world.

All parents want what’s best for their kids, and in this season of life, we believe we have found it. We look forward to continuing to grow with our son, the IMO community and as parents through being a part of this Casa.

Arteco Festival

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Innovation Montessori in The Arts presents Arteco

a festival of art, music, food, and environmental exploration & learning!  Programs from Innovation Montessori in The Arts will entertain as guests enjoy artistic and environmentally friendly vendors. Be sure to catch our awesome featured guest Rob Greenfield, a seminar, and visit the Art & Science Expo.

  • Student artwork will be on display throughout the campus
  • You will have the opportunity to take home some of the art! Be sure to bid early and often at our annual art auction. PREVIEW THE ART AUCTION HERE
  • IMO is hosting its first Science Fair as part of the Festival
  • Rob Greenfield who is a “dude making a difference” is our phenomenal featured speaker
  • Catch a sneak peek of our Spring production, Aladdin JR. TICKETS ON SALE NOW HERE

Innovation Montessori in the arts! (IMiTA) offers many programs for our students: Art, Concert Band, Winterguard, Theatre, Percussion Ensemble, Drama Class, Drama Club, and Music Class.

Admission

Admission to the festival is $5 per person with proceeds benefiting our programs in the arts.

In addition, we are partnering with IMO Food Pantry and ask that each guest in attendance bring a nonperishable food item to build our pantry.

IMO Food Pantry is committed to working within our community to ensure that all students have access to healthy lunches daily. Through donations and partnerships those willing to help IMO food pantry strengthen our ability to maintain lunches for any member of our school that is in need.

*We ask that donations are made in accordance to the IMO food restrictions as we are a peanut are school, and avoid unhealthy snacks such as chips and soda

Read more Read More

Wondrous Wednesdays: A Time to Explore

Blog AdminIMO Blog

By Ilene Costelo, Upper Elementary Teacher, Aristotle Classroom

It all started with one student.

Montessori philosophy teaches us to follow the child and guide them to explore their own interests. Two years ago, a 4th grade student expressed a strong passion for writing; she had been writing stories and experimenting with her craft for many years. Her teacher wanted to provide an opportunity for this student to follow her passion, and she knew that there were parents and members of our school with many interesting gifts and talents. The desire to help students explore their interests, along with the diverse interests of parents, led to the creation of Wondrous Wednesday. The purpose of Wondrous Wednesday is to allow students to expand their knowledge and further their interests while making connections with parents and other students.

Throughout the year, there are several Wondrous Wednesday sessions. Each session begins with brainstorming, as students share topics that they are interested in. Then this list is shared with parents and groups are formed as matches are made between student and parent interests. The sessions last for three weeks, with each group meeting for three hours total. All the students look forward to each session, as it provides a time for them to grow and learn academically and socially. Group topics have included bonsai, sign language, ocean conservation, art/sewing, math games, STEM bags, yoga, and coding.

When asked to describe Wondrous Wednesday, the students were able to eloquently express their thoughts and feelings.

“Wondrous Wednesday is a time for laughter, a time for joy. A time for creativity, a time to toy.

All the students work today, making, creating the Montessori way.

The parents join in on all the fun too, teaching the skills of life to you.

On Tuesday, I fill with glee, because for tomorrow, you see,

We will laugh, love, and all of the above, but my favorite part to call,

Is the kindness share from one to all.”  – Piper Lee, 6th grade

“Wondrous Wednesday is when you have an hour to explore what you want, whether it’s strategy games, saving the planet, or something else. I like that it gives us the freedom to chose what we want, and we get to be creative.” -Manny Santiago, 6th grade

“I like Wondrous Wednesday because you make new friends, use teamwork, and you learn.” -Nicholas Burden, 4th grade

“Wondrous Wednesday is awesome because I get to learn something cool every Wednesday. The other cool thing is that you have so many groups to choose from like art/sewing, bonsai, and lots of others. Every Wondrous Wednesday is really, really fun.” -Cameron Chase, 5th grade

“Wondrous Wednesday is a time to learn about specific interests. The lessons are taught with objects and interactive activities. You may explore field of knowledge you never thought about before.” – Laurel Johnson, 6th grade

“My favorite part about Wondrous Wednesday is making a craft or presentation to take home. I was in the bonsai group, we learned to care for and cut small trees. After our first lesson, we got to make our own bonsai to take home. I know that the research group makes power points and anatomy/physiology create models of different parts of the body. The hardest part of Wondrous Wednesday is choosing a group.” – Olivia Rodgers, 6th grade

The opportunities for Wondrous Wednesday are endless. We are very excited to continue this unique space for exploration of interests and passions and we are excited to see where it will go in the future. Please reach out to your child’s teacher if you are interested in sharing your gifts and talents with our Upper Elementary students.