The Grapevine, March 25, 2020

Upper Elementary Science Fair undeterred by remote learning

The Upper El Science Fair went on as scheduled, though not at school. UE Program Director Liz Hoyer says each student made their own video at home and emailed it to their teacher. The teachers uploaded them onto a shared space on OneNote, so children may watch each other’s presentations. This week one of their writing/journal assignments is to watch four to six (depending on grade level) videos, and write about what each presenter did well, what they learned and what they hope to learn more about.

We’ll be sharing some each week so that we don’t inundate you! Follow this link to watch the first one, Effect of Height on Performance & Health in Basketball, from a Cedar/Birch sixth-year student.

Thoughts on week 2, and finding learning experiences that work for you

We hope that as the second week of remote learning has begun, your family is able to find a rhythm and schedule that is working. We understand that there is a need for a greater array of “school schedules” and ways for students to engage in, and complete activities or assignments that will work for each family. A school “day” is a mix of academics, social connections, physical activity, and time to be creative, think critically and reflect. Each of these can be accomplished in a multitude of ways. Working in partnership with families is a high priority for us. Just as we follow the child’s learning style and interests in the classroom, you too have the opportunity to observe and connect with your child’s learning. In the classroom, students demonstrate their understanding of concepts and skills in a variety of ways. This is why our curriculum has so much built-in choice. You may discover a way to incorporate weekly skills into activities that work well for your family. Perhaps while baking you are exploring fractions or measurement; calculating time taking a daily walk; creating a collection of found items in nature that can then be used to sort, categorize, weigh, graph, or create art. Or maybe your family is taking this opportunity to plan and plant a garden which opens up numerous learning opportunities: from exploring seed and soil types, to organizing the layout of plantings, or measuring and building a raised bed, to botany experiments. Please communicate these valuable family experiences to your child’s teacher. This is truly a partnership between parent, teacher and child. We appreciate your creativity and input.

We thank you again for your patience, partnership and support. We want to express our deepest appreciation for all that parents are doing to support their child’s learning at home. It is wonderful to see so many examples of student resilience, flexibility, creativity and curiosity shining through during this time of temporary change! Please do reach out to your child’s teacher or program director if you have questions or need help.—Nancy Kestek, LE Program Director

Remote learning week 2 photo gallery

Examples of those learning experiences are shown here. The Apple class studied the letter "i" and insects. Then they went on a bug hunt to find insects, and made insect art with nature or found objects. Toddlers in Apricot could practice yoga poses and make birds' nests with twigs and grass, then add some artificial eggs. Magnolia students created modeling clay to make land and water forms, and third-year students and their teachers held a book club meeting over Zoom. A Middle School student continued her studies from nearly all the way across the country. A Dogwood student identified items on his nature walk, and a Cypress student practiced his recorder in the sunshine, and honed his practical skills by making lunch.

WMS Parent Task Group gears up to help out

The WMS Parent Task Group met up again via Zoom today to brainstorm ideas about how we can help. A few of our discussion points were:

  1. The PPE sewing project's seven to eight participants
  2. Possibly 3D-printing and laser-cutting visors for medical staff
  3. Can students create ways to help?
  4. How can we connect students/friends?
  5. How can we get more volunteers?
  6. How do we find the people who need help?

We came up with many more ideas—ideas we are super-excited about—and are now running them past the appropriate staff members, to see what can be done. Please, if you would like to help, reach out to me, Shay Chapman to let me know how you can help. Do you have money or time to spare? Are you willing to pick up and drop off needed items? Can you help “one-time” when something comes up? You aren’t committing for life and we aren’t going to force you to do anything! We would just like to have a list of willing participants to contact when a need arises.

Also, if you are in need of help, please reach out to me and I’ll contact our list of volunteers. I can do this anonymously if it would make you more comfortable. We meet via Zoom on Wednesdays at 1 p.m. Please find the Zoom link in the Woodinville Montessori Families Facebook page (or email me). Anyone is welcome. We relish your ideas and input!

Coordinating the volunteer task force is Shay Chapman, with Vickie Castaneda doing classroom outreach and Carli McSorley on communications.


Through April 24
•  Remote learning continues
Thursday, March 26
•  All About Growing Up, CANCELED
Friday, March 27
•  Kids’ Night Out, CANCELED
Monday, March 30
•  Secondary Exam Week
Tuesday, March 31
•  Toddler, EC & EL applicant responses due
•  Keep up with the WMS calendar here.

Task Force urgently needs your sewing skills!

Practical life skill put to use for the greater good

We need volunteers who can sew! We have the unique opportunity to gather our community and provide time and sewing skills to make personal protective equipment, in the form of masks, for the front line medical workers at Highline Medical Center, in Burien. The materials have been donated, and the kits will be picked up on Thursday. I will deliver the kit. Anyone who wants more information should check our FB or contact me personally. This is a practical life skill that could be completed by a middle or high school student readily.—Shay Chapman, parent volunteer

Summer camp early bird extended

You can sign up for summer camp and still get the early bird pricing through April 30. We have extended that original date by one month.

Help welcome new families & earn volunteer hours from home

Want to earn volunteer hours by working on an activity that is tailored to your schedule and can be done from home?

The Admissions office is seeking current WMS families to serve as Parent Amabassadors/mentors for new families coming in for the 2020-2021 school year! Mentor families welcome new families to WMS by reaching out to them via email or phone, and serving as a resource as they enter their first year as part of the WMS community. The time commitment to be a mentor family is tailored to fit your schedule! If you would like to be a part of this warm and integral part of the welcoming process to WMS, or would like to learn more before making the commitment, please email the the Admissions office.—Thank you! Labiba Khan

Spring sports canceled

How parents can help your children during this time

Read this article on 6 ways parents can support their kids through the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak from UNICEF.

Keep up with the latest coronavirus news and with what we are planning, on our dedicated COVID-19 web page. We hope you find this useful.

Pizza, KNO, canceled through April

Thursday pizza lunches and Kids’ Night Out are canceled for April.

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 & Marketing. All submissions are due by 4:30 p.m., Mondays. We do not accept advertising.