The Grapevine, Jan. 8, 2020

Learn about the Montessori Kindergarten Experience

Excited kindergarteners and their grownups board the bus for The Nutcracker.
Kindergarten students board the bus for their capstone event, going to see "The Nutcracker" ballet. Photo courtesy of Jamie Holland

Parents of preschoolers, children 3-5 years of age, are invited to attend an information session about the kindergarten year at WMS, the final year of Montessori Early Childhood education. Your child may be in their first, second or possibly even third year in Early Childhood and now is an opportune time to learn more about what the EC program offers for kindergarten. Please follow the appropriate campus link below to RSVP and reserve complimentary child care during the presentation.

Woodinville campus, Thursday, Jan. 16, 4-5 p.m., Apple classroom; RSVP and sign up for complimentary child care at Woodinville.

North Creek campus, Tuesday, Jan. 28, 9-10 a.m., Elementary Club House Conference Room; RSVP and sign up for complimentary child care during the presentation at North Creek.

  • Learn more about the Montessori kindergarten experience from Head of School Sunita Pailoor and Early Childhood Program Directors Tomo Takahashi and Judy Samudovsky.
  • Hear from WMS parents who were once in your shoes considering this important decision of where to send their child for kindergarten.
  • Have your questions answered.

High School digital artworks show graphic design skills

Secondary art students are not just creating art, but also gaining technical graphic design skills this year, as they learn to use the software in the Adobe Creative Cloud, including Illustrator and Photoshop.

One of this fall’s assignments in the digital art class was to create a memory collage, described by teacher Amy Camber as “a simple collage from multiple photos, each honoring a person or animal who has died.” The students used Adobe Photoshop to create their works. Browse through them in the gallery below.

Get ready for date night—sign up for KNO

Hello Parents! The next WMS Kids’ Night Out (KNO) is two weeks away, on Jan. 24. Registration closes at 5 p.m. on Jan. 22, so make sure to sign up ASAP! We cannot accept drop-ins. Remember that KNO is only open to WMS students who are in kindergarten or higher. We also need two parent volunteers for this Kids’ Night Out. It is a great way to get your volunteer hours in!
Kids’ Night Out is usually held once a month, on a Friday night. Upper school students created KNO in order to raise money for our end-of-year trip. When your child attends KNO, your kids get to participate in activities and games, like face-painting and a movie, while you also get the night off. The upcoming KNO will be “Under the Sea”-themed and will run from 5-9 p.m. We will be watching “Moana,” which is rated PG, and “Finding Nemo,” a G-rated movie for younger children. You can sign up here, on Camp Brain. The fee for KNO is $22 for the first child, $15 for the second and $9 for any additional children. For dinner, pizza will be offered at $3 a slice. We look forward to seeing you on the 24th!—Violet Raker and the KNO Team

Peace—inclusion plays a big part

Spruce class logo

From the December Spruce class newsletter—Hillary Brestar & Durga Kanjinghat

Our school aims to create an inclusive environment for all students. Children receive many messages about gender beginning at a very young age. These messages may be implied or explicit. They can range from the types of toys they play with to the clothes they wear or the interests/hobbies they decide to explore. In class we have been reading several books and talking about gender. Students learned the definitions for gender identity—the way one thinks and feels inside about their gender, gender expression—the way one shows the world their gender, and the bodies we are born in—the body parts each of us have at birth. Together we read the book “Red.” The character Red provides a wonderful opportunity to discuss appearance-based stereotypes—gender, ability, race. We then read “A House for Everyone: A Story to Help Children Learn About Gender Identity and Expression” by Jo Hirst. Following this story of inclusion, students were able to celebrate the character diversity while placing them on gender continuums. We also read “Elena’s Serenade” by Campbell Geeslin. This story is about a young girl in Mexico who wants to be a glass blower like her father but is discouraged due to her gender. These books opened the dialogue for gender stereotypes. Students brainstormed activities they enjoy and placed the sticky notes on a Venn diagram divided into “what boys like” and “what girls like.” As our conversation continued, it didn’t take long for them to express that they all should be placed in the center as “what children like.” We will continue to read more stories to foster discussions throughout the year.

Scenes from the Spruce class: Select photos in the gallery below to enlarge them.

Montessori Thoughts

From the December Maple class newsletter—Tara Chandler

Maple class logo

“Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart, it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude.”—A.A. Milne, “Winnie-the-Pooh”

Every year we talk about gratitude, what it means and how it feels. We also talk about how important it is to express our gratitude and let people around us know how they make our lives better. We discuss how to show gratitude towards the things we have and the privileges we experience. We learn how to take this gratitude and turn it into positive action. This is only a small part of the Grace and Courtesy portion of Montessori philosophy. By modeling, conversations and practice we all work not only on being kind and respectful to each other, but also of being aware of our attitude toward others and how it affects them. We practice being understanding of mistakes and treating them as a part of the learning process. Though this practice and consideration of others, we make the world a kinder place.

Scenes from the Woodinville campus—A student all dressed up for the Nutcracker; a student and her work; and the newly installed sensory path. Flowers and foliage will be planted in spring to make the path beautiful and natural. The path was funded through the 2019 gala raise-the-paddle for outdoor education.

Winter Break camp was “Snowed In”

For one day before Winter Break, and two days after, WMS campers enjoyed a “snowed in” theme, with activities ranging from making snowflakes, cider and orange-clove pomanders to throwing fluff ball snowballs and sitting around a “campfire” made of giant orange, red and yellow paper flames.

Holiday events featured on pre-break Friday

on Dec. 20, the final school day before Winter Break began, Maple and Oak had a holiday breakfast and pajama day, the Secondary students sang holiday songs in Spanish and in Japanese during a singalong and the Elementary hosted the annual Festivals of Light. Click on the photos to see the galleries.

The Festivals of Light celebrated Lunar New Year, a Salish potlatch, French Christmas, winter solstice, Thai Loy Krathong, Hanukkah and other festivals, as each EL class presented holidays celebrated by various cultures around the world. Students visited each classroom in shifts, sampling traditional treats, playing games, working on crafts and learning about the holidays from students in the classes.


Thursday, Jan. 9
•  WMS Basketball practice, 4 p.m.
Friday, Jan. 10
•  Ski bus starts
Saturday, Jan. 11
•  WMS Basketball game, 11 a.m., Northshore YMCA
•  Orienteering meet, Green River
Monday, Jan. 13
•  Last day to register for after-school electives
Wednesday, Jan. 15
•  Coffee with Sunita, NC, 8:50-9:30 a.m.
Thursday, Jan. 16
•  Woodinville campus, Montessori Kindergarten Experience, 4-5 p.m., Apple classroom
•  Last day for regular price registration for Jan. 17 camp. Jan. 17 is a faculty in-service day, and there is no school for students.
•  Keep up with the WMS calendar here.

Welcome new EC music teacher

Early Childhood students have a new Music Together teacher, Paulina White Chalita. Paulina is taking over the EC classes from CeCe Leavitt, while Cece herself returns to school (CeCe continues as the elementary music teacher at WMS). Paulina earned her bachelor of arts degree in industrial design, and minored in art history. She is a longtime Flamenco and ballet dancer and also plays the piano and percussion instruments. She has taught dancing, painting and performing arts to children for over seven years.

Electives filling fast!

Spring electives are filling up fast, so be sure to sign up ASAP to avoid disappointment. You may read all the offerings here, and then visit Camp Brain to register.

All Jan. 17 camps are on

All camps—Toddler, EC and EL—have already met minimum registrations and will be on for Jan. 17. If you are counting on child care for this teacher in-service no-student day, then please register now. Camp is available only to those who have pre-registered and prepaid.

Poster for "Truths About the Brain," Thursday, Jan. 23, 5-6 p.m., NC Campus
Register (free) for our first community workshop, “Truths About the Brain,” on Jan. 23, 5-6 p.m., NC. Free child care while you attend the presentation.

Reminder about weather-related schedule changes

With the whisper of “snow” in weather forecasts lately, it’s a good time to remind you about how we make school schedule changes during inclement weather, and how we will notify you if we must have a late start or a snow day. Please visit our emergency preparedness page for the details. And remember that due to our microclimates, conditions may vary dramatically from one neighborhood or area to another. You should always use your own judgment about whether or not to come to school if and/or when road conditions in your own area are bad.

Reenrollment coming soon

Reenrollment for 2020-2021 is just around the corner! Watch for an email this week with instructions on confirming your child’s space for next school year.

MLK Day of Service opportunity

Let’s bring WMS spirit and have fun planting, pulling and mulching! You can join an MLK Day of Service Volunteer Work Party, Monday, Jan. 20, 10 a.m.-1 p.m., with Friends of North Creek Forest. The work will be done at 20498 112th Ave NE Bothell, a 64 -acre wetland and forest just minutes from our NC campus. Gloves and tools will be provided. RSVP required at this link to ensure enough snacks and supplies.—Cheryl Tsalapatanis
WMS Family Alliance

Next TSA luncheon is Jan. 28

Dear families, our second Teacher and Staff Appreciation (TSA) Luncheon of the school year is right around the corner! The theme is “International Cuisine and Family Recipes,” and it will be held on Tuesday, Jan. 28, from 11 a.m.-2 p.m., at both campuses. For more details, and to participate in this very popular (and much appreciated) event, please use the Sign-Up Genius link applicable to your student’s classroom/campus, provided below:

North Creek campus

Woodinville campus—Apple/Elm

Woodinville campus—Oak/Maple

Thank you for your help in making this event successful!—Teacher Staff Appreciation Committee (Family Alliance)

Save Feb. 2 for Lunar New Year Festival

Happy Lunar New Year!

The 2020 Lunar New Year event brought to you by Family Alliance is coming up on Sunday, Feb. 2 at 10:30 a.m. Please note that this is a change in date—it was previously scheduled for Feb. 1. The WMS community is invited to join us that morning at the North Creek Campus, Building 2 Club House to enjoy activities celebrating this culture, including calligraphy, tea culture, traditional instrument performance, kids talent show and food making and bazaar! Volunteer opportunities are available and much appreciated! Please sign up here if you are interested in volunteering. If you have any questions on the event please contact event chairs,Yingying Du and Kaige Zhang-Gantz.

Lunch Ladies pilot continues at Woodinville Campus

The Lunch Ladies order and delivery service will continue at the Woodinville Campus for the month of January. Parents may order meals for their child to be delivered on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. For more information on ordering instructions, please visit the Family Portal.

Tuition Assistance applications are open

Families, Tuition Assistance applications opened on Jan. 1. Please note that for the 2020-2021 school year, the majority of budgeted tuition assistance funds will be awarded to those who complete the FAST application by the Feb. 28, 2020, due date. You may read more about it here.

About the Grapevine

Welcome to the Grapevine newsletter. The Grapevine is published every Wednesday afternoon during regular school weeks. We welcome your submissions of photos and articles that are about or directly relevant to WMS students, subject to approval by the Director of Communications and Marketing. All submissions are due by 4:30 p.m., Mondays. We do not accept advertising.