August 11, 2023
Summer Greetings Lower School Families,
I hope this letter finds you enjoying the final weeks of summer with family and friends. Even with days of August remaining for all to enjoy, the first day of school is right around the corner! Montgomery is looking forward to what is sure to be a wonderful 2023-2024 school year. As Tom mentioned in his Head of School letter sent earlier this week, I love his reference to “explore,” a theme we will be mentioning throughout the year. This word is fitting as our mission states:
“Montgomery School ignites each child’s love of learning and fosters their individual talents during the most formative years in order to prepare them for future success.”
Exploration is what we do with our Lower School students daily as we live our mission of igniting each child’s love of learning! Students explore their new world on campus, both indoors and outdoors; they explore new friendships and teachers, and acquire new skills each day. Even new foods are introduced and explored during their wonderful dining experience. The world of public speaking in their classes and on stage is given to all as an opportunity to explore using their voices and sharing their skills and talents in front of an audience. We take the excitement of exploring and happily guide our young learners through this impactful time in their lives. It is our honor and privilege to work with our students and our families.
During this 2023-2024 school year, please note the following updates:
We are moving from a six day/ letter day schedule to a five day, Monday through Friday rotation. This simplifies scheduling people and events in the greater community. It also allows special area classes to start at 8:30 AM upon arrival, since the Chapel block falls on Wednesdays and Fridays. Please make sure your student arrives with time to spare before 8:30 AM so they can unpack, greet classmates and be ready to begin all their important learning at 8:30. Arriving by 8:20 AM would be a great goal for all students.
As noted in our parent handbook, I wanted to call special attention to our acknowledgment of birthdays for students. As always at Montgomery, we want all our students to feel included in all parts of their school day. Birthday snacks for students with allergies or special diets caused stressful situations for some of our students as they were unable to participate. With this in mind, we are happy to say that on a student’s birthday (or half birthday for our summer birthday friends), students can celebrate their day by dropping the dress code. Special treats are not to be sent to school for birthdays.
- For the same reason stated above, special treats should not be sent to school. If a teacher has a particular need for food items, an email will be sent directly to the class families.
My office has moved! I am now located across Bell Hall where the dismissal office was previously located. For new parents, my location is on the left side of the main entrance to the schoolhouse (red doors), just inside and to the left of that entrance. Please stop by to say hello often! The dismissal office for Mrs. Walton is now located in my previous office space, on the right side of the Bell Hall entrance.
As stated in previous communication, Pam Clay will be serving as our Learning Integration Specialist this year. Pam has been working hard preparing this summer and will be a wonderful resource for students and parents. We look forward to not only Mrs. Clay’s expertise in this area but her strong ability to connect with students. For your reference, if ever you have any questions for Mrs. Clay, her email is firstname.lastname@example.org. Her office is located in the Gresh Academic Center, next to the library.
- There is a new section of PreK added to our Lower School this year. We currently have 26 PreK students enrolled and are excited about our growing Lower School!
All classes will be using the new Design and Fabrication Labs. We can’t wait to see what our students create using their strong skills of innovation! I read recently that: “Part of being innovative is understanding how to identify common problems and find the best way to address them.” Lower School students with their healthy imaginations will certainly inspire creative ideas!
As you read in Tom’s letter, we sadly will miss Mrs. Oh teaching our Lower School music classes this fall. Mrs. Oh had a long commute to Montgomery each day, and even with a new position being offered to her that would be so much closer to home, she struggled to make the decision to leave Montgomery. She wanted me to convey to you that she loved her time at Montgomery and hopes she made an impact on students’ love of music and performing. We wish her the best of luck in her new school, and look forward to students enjoying their music classes with our new Lower School music teacher, Mrs. Song!
Fifth Grade Update
Fifth grade will have the exciting opportunity to eat lunch with the Middle School students. They will dine together at their own fifth grade tables and the opportunity to serve as a table head for their peers will still be an important part of the fifth grade experience. They will have a short daily recess both in the morning and before lunch.
IMPORTANT LOWER SCHOOL DATES:
Lower School Parent Night for PreK through grade 4 will take place at 7 PM on Thursday, September 28. Teachers will share with you their curriculum, classroom procedures and the exciting learning highlights they have created for your children. Fifth grade parents should plan to attend Middle School Parents’ Night on Thursday, September 21 at 7 PM, where parents will be able to spend time with each subject area teacher.
Parent Teacher Conferences have been scheduled for October 19 and 20 for all grades. There are no classes for students on conference days. MSD Camp is offered both days and registration is available online.
I look forward to seeing all of you on Welcoming Day, Thursday, August 31 at 11 AM, followed by a family picnic at Noon. An email with details about the day will be sent to you on Monday, August 14th. Please make sure you pick up your car tag from your child’s classroom on this day so that you’re ready for car pick up on the first day of school.
As always, if there is anything I can help you with, please do not hesitate to reach out to me at email@example.com.
Head of Lower School