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Friday Packet, January 21, 2011

posted Jan 21, 2011, 11:50 AM by Unknown user

Calendar Reminder

27 Jan, Thu......Testing of the MCH Emergency Phone Tree

28 Jan. Fri……..TAP Applications due, see application attached

28 Jan, Fri……..Contracts for 2011-2012 will be placed in your mailboxes

5 Feb, Sat.........Monthly Family Park Play, park TBD, 10am-12noon

14-17 Feb........1st year Families - Parent Teacher Conferences

21 Feb, Mon......Presidents’ Day, School Closed

24 Feb, Thu......Parent Education Evening, Montessori Curriculum

26 Feb, Sat.......Diversity Soiree, 6:30 – 8:30 pm, location TBD

11 Mar, Fri........Spring Fundraiser “It’s a Small World”

     Mark your calendars and schedule the babysitter now!


Hello from the Auction Co- Chairs!

Lot's of exciting Auction news and with the biggest event of the year only 8 weeks away we really need to rally together to gather interesting and diverse donations.  We are incredibly pleased to display the amazing artwork created for the auction by one of our parents, Jen Fetner Booth (Greylin, Oak).  Please look for the beautiful auction announcement piece in the MCH entryway.

This week we sent out letters to over 300 vendors and companies in and around San Francisco.  We have already started receiving a few responses from companies eager to participate in our auction.  For them it is a tax free way to contribute to a wonderful school and also a great chance to advertise with this large group.  The best way to ensure a donation from the vendors is to follow up on the letter with a phone call. Tomorrow the Auction Vendor Follow Up Pages will be placed on the community bulletin board.  We ask that each of you select one or more sheets of vendors (10 calls/page) to follow up with.  Please bring the sheets home, make the follow up call and write any/all notes on the pages, and return the pages to Nina by the end of next week.  We cannot overemphasize how meaningful this is and how much the entire community appreciates your efforts.

The other thing we need your help with is in leveraging any/all appropriate resources and relationships.  Tomorrow you will find a copy of the External Donation Letter in your mailbox.  Please use this to request a donation from a vendor, company or organization you have a relationship with.  Perhaps it is a store you frequent, an organization you have worked with, a camp you child has attended, a business a friend owns.  Whatever the case, your network is an invaluable resource in this effort.

Best, Ivy, Ann and Jordan


From the Director’s Desk

Thank you, Parent Education Workshop Participants and Organizers

Many thanks to the MCH families who attended the informative workshop We Are More Alike than We Are Different: Encouraging Our Children to Support Each Other’s Differences last night. Thanks to the Diversity Committee for providing the delicious refreshments.  A special thanks to Heather Bell (Lily, Oak) and Lisa Kinne (Lucas, Redwood) and all the Diversity Committee for coordinating the event. And to Cheryl for supervising childcare - thank you.

Todd Wanerman and Janet Green Babb led a thought-provoking discussion about the benefits of an inclusive school community that embraces the strengths and supports the challenges of every child.  Todd and Janet also discussed how we can look through a sensory lens to better understand and support children's sensitivities and challenges.  

Janet lent us several children's books, which are on display across from the bulletin board through next week.  The books cover a range of topics about developmental challenges and embracing differences.  It’s invaluable to read books, like the ones we have on display, to your children.  All of this will help a child to understand and embrace the differences around them.  MCH prides itself in creating a welcoming and inclusive environment for all types of families but there is always more we can do.  Embrace the challenge of including all families into our community!


The Process of Learning

This is an article I wrote for the Friday Packet last year but it is still relevant to understanding Montessori philosophy.

Creation! Construction! Perfection! These are key words in understanding how Montessori saw the process of learning:

* The unconscious creates the interest, the need to learn.

* The subconscious constructs itself by experiencing the activity.

* The conscious mind becomes aware of the new ability and makes a “conscious” effort to perfect it.

It is the unconscious which creates the need to explore and learn.  The child is compelled from within to do what he needs to do. These are the child’s “tendencies.”  The child is following an inner urge to learn certain things at specific stages of his development.

When the child follows these urges and explores and discovers his environment these experiences are absorbed in the subconscious. The subconscious in fact is constructed out of these experiences.  Each and every experience leaves a neural trace called an engram.  So by repeating certain actions, by doing them subconsciously without thinking, the child is actually constructing his subconscious. 

These impressions remain forever in the subconscious of the child as well as the adult.

Finally, the child becomes aware of his new abilities, enjoys it and makes a conscious effort to perfect and master it. This is a definite decision of the conscious mind. It is the foundation by which a host of new experiences will be built.

If the foundation is sound then the child can easily be introduced to new experiences. If the foundation is not sound then it may often lead to frustration.  The child must have mastered each component part of an action in order to perform it successfully.  For example: a child can successfully put on a coat if he is able to hold it, find the armholes and button or zip it.

The adult can help a child to lay a solid foundation for his action by “indirect preparation” which is a fundamental pattern of Montessori education.  Let the child prepare in one stage of development for the needs of the next. This tenet is exemplified by the experience of grasping and holding the knobbed cylinders in the cylinder blocks which then prepares the fingers for holding a pencil and writing.

Another very important factor in the indirect preparation of a child is his keen sense of observation, his observations of the adults in his world and the desire to imitate them.   The adult should always strive to act the way we wish the child to learn.  The adult’s actions will eventually be reflected back by the child to the adult like a mirror.  Adults must always act responsibly and intelligently around the child.

When the time comes for a child to learn a new skill, when he shows interest, the child should have a joyful time with the experience. It is a fine art for the adult in a Montessori classroom to discern when a child is ready to learn something new: the right time and the right stage of development.  However, this is often simplified by the child himself who simply asks to be shown.  This is the power of following the child.

Tuition Assistance Applications

TAP applications are available in the office.  Completed applications are due on Friday, January 28. Please see Curt if you have any questions about TAP or about the application process.

Diversity Soiree

The Diversity Committee is looking for an MCH family to host the Diversity Soiree on February 26th.  Attendance is normally around 50 adults. If you would like to host this really fun event in your home, please contact Curt in the office.

Kindergarten Information


Want to learn more about San Francisco's one and only public Montessori school?  Interested in enrolling your child?

San Francisco Public Montessori School (http://www.sfpublicmontessori.org/) invites prospective families and others who would like to learn more about this exemplary and pioneering program to join us for an open house on Wednesday January 26 from 5 to 7:30 pm.  Visit the Montessori classrooms, meet teachers and parents and learn about the Montessori method of education.

There will be tours, refreshments and a silent auction to benefit San Francisco Public Montessori PTA.  Information will be provided about how to enroll your child for the 2011/12 school year in grades K-3, and for pre-K via SFUSD's Child Development Program.

Currently in its sixth year, San Francisco Public Montessori is a public elementary school and child development center that is growing to become a pre-K through Grade 6 elementary school.  SFPM is recognized by Association Montessori International, and is proud to be among the most diverse of any school in San Francisco Unified School DIstrict. SFPM is located at SFUSD's historic Jackson Street campus at Jackson and Webster Streets.

What:         Open house

When:        January 26th, 2011, 5 pm to 7:30 pm

Who:          Prospective families, neighbors, friends of education

Where:       2340 Jackson Street

Hosted by:  San Francisco Public Montessori PTA

Community News

Just Because It’s Not Wrong Doesn’t Make It Right:
From Toddlers to Teens, Teaching Children to Think and Act Ethically

A timely lecture and discussion packed with practical advice on how to use everyday life to teach children to act with integrity, civility, responsibility, and compassion. Barbara Coloroso will teach parents, educators, and professionals how to nurture and guide children’s ethical lives from toddlerhood through the teen years using everyday situations at home, at school, in social settings, and in the world at large.


Wednesday, February 9, 2011
7:00 – 9:00 pm


Congregation Beth Sholom
301 14th Avenue, San Francisco


$20 online/advance; $25 at the door  



go to www.parentsplaceonline.org/san-francisco



Questions? Contact Parents Place at 415-359-2454
or ParentsPlaceSF@jfcs.org.