Recent News

Biannual Update - August 2016

Message from Melissa Hayman
WMS Board Secretary and Current Parent

It is my pleasure as a member of the WMS Board of Directors to update you on the state of our school. The end of the summer is quickly approaching, and we have had time to reflect on the past year and to anticipate the upcoming 2016-17 school year.

The Board focuses on long-term planning for our school's success. Success is measured against our mission and core values. We embrace our Montessori roots and keep an eye toward the future, creating a "collaborative learning community rooted in Montessori principles, inspiring the joyful discovery of self and a passion for learning and independent thinking."

With this in mind, this August we will conclude the Marie M. Dugan Fund for the Future, a three-year comprehensive campaign meant to fund some of the objectives in the 2013-2016 Strategic Plan. Here are just a few of the changes this campaign has made possible:
  • One-to-one iPads in the 9-12 Program and other technology enhancements
  • Expanded artist-in-residence programming 
  • The beautiful outdoor classroom and playground for our Toddler Program
  • Maker (STEAM) Studios allowing for hands-on exploration of science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics at every program level
  • Professional development for teachers, preparing them to connect the arts with all areas of the curriculum
As we begin the 2016-17 school year, here are some of the ways in which WMS will continue to grow and improve. 
  • Improvements to the building and campus funded by specifically targeted grants from area foundations
  • Continued development of our Arts Integration Initiative in order to offer children new ways to learn and retain knowledge
  • Work on our American Montessori Society (AMS) re-accreditation - AMS-accredited schools undergo a rigorous, multi-year re-accreditation process every eight years. AMS re-accreditation includes extensive planning and an in-depth self-study, followed by a site visit with a team of AMS educators. Planning began last year, and WMS will start the self-study process during the upcoming school year. The site visit is scheduled for fall of 2018. An important investment that WMS has made since its founding in the 1960s, we know that AMS accreditation challenges WMS to strive toward the best in authentic Montessori education.
As we plan for the future, the WMS Board will continue to pursue the objective of being a great Montessori school. Thank you for giving me this opportunity to contribute to our school and our community!

Message from Anna Quisel
WMS Board Chair, Current Parent, Alumni Parent and Former WMS Student 

I echo Melissa's gratitude for the opportunity to give back to a community that gives so much.  At the end of each school year, it is amazing to look back. From a personal perspective, my husband and I recognize the enduring gifts that our two WMS alumni (now entering ninth and 11th grades) received at this wonderful school: enthusiasm for learning, great study habits and confidence in who they are. My current WMS students (entering fifth and sixth grades) grew in every way during a year full of writing, literature analysis, exploration of the physical world through science, engaging math, public speaking, and progress toward setting and meeting academic goals. And, as at every level, my kids felt known and celebrated in the beautiful classroom environment established by their teachers. We, as WMS parents, have found a special place for our kids.

As Board chair, I feel a great deal of gratitude. Thank you teachers, staff, parents and alumni parents. Here are a handful of special memories from the past year:
  • The Arts Integration Classroom Campaign led by Christine Moritz and her wonderful team of classroom captains and match donors
  • The 2015-16 Annual Fund, co-chaired by Sharon Miller (whose daughter Marissa graduated this year) and Mayura Simon (who will return as Annual Fund co-chair again this coming year with Kim Giles)
  • The Celebration of Reading run by Kim Giles and her team of volunteers, showcasing authors from WMS and the greater community
  • WMS’s first Homecoming, organized by alumni families - join us on October 1 for this year’s celebration
  • The Night at the Museum Auction & Gala, led by Stephanie Simms and a creative and dedicated crew of volunteers
  • WMS mom Nora Lober and Assistant Head of School Laurie Orsic joined with a team of parents and staff to lead WMS to a successful bid for the 2016 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon School qualification. 
The year was also punctuated by amazing student work:
Great things are happening here at WMS, and the word is spreading. In response to waiting lists, WMS will open new classrooms at the Toddler and Primary levels. Which brings me around again to gratitude. Our Head of School Lisa Lalama works long hours, usually behind the scenes - add that to the dedication of WMS's staff - to create an environment in which our students immerse themselves in all types of learning in a way not possible at any other school in the area. Though we’re all enjoying a well-earned summer break, I for one can't wait for 2016-17.


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