The Grapevine

Woodinville Montessori School
Weekly Newsletter, April 24, 2019

LEARN self-respect, compassion and commitment to community | GROW academically, socially, emotionally, creatively and intellectually | BECOME world citizens who have a voice and make a difference.

WMS homeInside the GrapevineToddlerEarly ChildhoodLower ElementaryUpper ElementarySecondary

WMS eighth-grader wins national orienteering championship

Congratulations to Zoe Sibthorp, class of ‘23, for winning the High School Junior Varsity Women’s US Interscholastic Orienteering Championship as an individual! The competition was held at the Marine Base at Quantico, Virginia, on April 13-14.

Former WMS students also did well. Coming in second in the individual women’s JV contest was Audrey Javadoff. Kai Mihata, now at the University of Washington, took third in the Intercollegiate Varsity Male category, and has been named as first alternate to the 2019 U.S. Junior World Orienteering Championship Team, which will compete in Denmark this July.

EL Drama debuts alumna/teacher’s play

EL play

On April 17, the Elementary Drama elective debuted “The Mystery Under the Bed,” an original play written by drama teacher/program assistant/WMS alum Kylie McElrath. Aiding Kylie was her twin, Cedar teacher/WMS alum Kaitlyn McElrath.

The result was this play, which a parent said “was a treat to watch!”

The cast members, in order of appearance, were: Narrator 1, Chi Chi; Narrator 2, Shynah; Narrator 3, Olivia; Dexter, Amalia; Moldy, Lily; Gertrude, Madison; Gert, Jonnika; Lefty, Tanvi; Mouse, Erin; Bedbug 1, Sameen; Bedbug 2, Mohammad; Bedbug 3, William; Bedbug 4, Aaditya; Gladys, Grace; Chief Scary Pants, Addison; Partner, Mohammad; Wanda, Carter and Gus, Erin.

Kylie directed, made the scenery and helped with the props. Kaitlyn was assistant director, operated sound and projects and helped students with costumes and props.

“We were very excited to work on a show together at WMS,” Kylie and Kaitlyn wrote for the program. “Both of us hold bachelor degrees in theatre, but we got our start in the theatre arts at WMS. We hope to inspire your students just as we were inspired years ago.

“Working with your students has been a blast. They are passionate about what they are doing and have absorbed so many lessons such as projecting, saying ‘yes’ to ideas, and trying new things. They also helped to make most of what you see on stage. This has been a great production to be a part of and we’re so proud of what the students have accomplished. We hope that you enjoy the performance as much as we enjoyed putting it together.”

Photo courtesy of Labiba Khan; see more photos inside.

Journey & Discovery is a special way to reveal Montessori to parents and guardians

See your Montessori classrooms from the students’ perspective, when you sign up for Journey & Discovery.

Pine class

Experience the Montessori education you’ve chosen for your children, in a pair of special hands-on sessions created just for parents and guardians. These peaceful, immersive hours will deepen your understanding of your child’s day, as well as how Montessori progresses through each level, into high school.

Register now for Journey & Discovery, set for Friday, May 17, 6-8:45 p.m. and Saturday, May 18, 8:45 a.m.-1 p.m. Registration runs through Friday, May 10. The event is free. There is NO child care.

In Journey & Discovery, each of our program levels works together to present an experience that encourages participation and sparks curiosity. You will nteract together with other parents in the classroom environment, exploring materials and experimenting with various activities.

You must be able to attend both Friday night and Saturday morning sessions. The head of school and program directors lead the journey.

WMS Admissions Director Julie Schwarz, herself a long-time Montessori parent, enjoyed last spring’s journey.

“It was really inspiring,” Julie says. “Having the hands-on experience was so beneficial, to imagine it as your child would. You begin observing like an 18-month-old, it’s a nice progression.”

After a brief introduction to Montessori philosophy, participants move into the classrooms, starting in the Toddler space. Standing, or sitting on the floor, they silently observe the room, the environment and the materials, then write down their thoughts.

“In the Toddler space I felt comfort,” Julie says. “It was a safe, secure, nurturing place.”

They progress through Early Childhood, and Lower and Upper Elementary, just observing and noticing. At the end of the evening the group shares their observations.

After a continental breakfast on Saturday morning, the group returns to the classrooms, where they may talk, touch the materials and participate as a child would. In Julie’s case, EC teacher Tara Chandler taught her a lesson with the moveable alphabet of cursive letters, and Upper El teacher Rachel Ellis taught a math lesson. Julie realized why, perhaps, math was so easy for her older child.

“To engage with math as a concrete experience was eye-opening, and they build on these concepts from the beginning, in EC,” she says.

She already knew how the same Montessori materials are used, progressively, from EC through UE, but says it feels “different when you’re in it.”

Journey & Discovery further affirmed her belief in WMS’s Montessori methods.

“You have all the freedom you need here in the classroom to explore. Imagine how different the world would be if everyone had this?”

For more information about Journey & Discovery, contact parent engagement coordinator Bert Herrlinger.

Science Fair explores hypotheses

Science Fair

A Cypress class student stands ready to explain his science fair project to visitors. The annual Upper El/MS Science Fair was held on April 18. Photos courtesy of Carli McSorley. See more photos on the Upper El page, and on the Secondary page.→

Treehouse donation drive on through May 3

By Bharath & Aidan, third-year students

Treehouse is an organization that supports kids in foster care from ages 1-18. We are collecting clothes sizes infant to teen. We only collect clothes that are brand new or barely used. It started April 22 and will end on May 3. You can donate in the bins in NC front office and EL Club House and WV campus. We work with Treehouse to help kids who need help getting the things they need. You can help by buying clothes at a store and donating them to the school.

The Treehouse drive is an annual event organized by the third-year student leaders.

HS students learn about living in the wild

By College Counselor Jill O’Keefe


Rayne, a wolf in sanctuary, plays in the snow.—courtesy photo

On April 18, WMHS students were joined by wildlife expert Meghan O’Keefe for an in-depth look at wildlife rehabilitation. Meghan shared stories from her work at the Whatcom Wildlife Center in Bellingham as well as information about her time living and working at Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary.

All attendees gained a new appreciation for the role wildlife rehabilitation plays in the environment and our community. And certainly the images of the wolves eating will live in our memories for a while!