The Ivy School News: February 23, 2015

Montessori Education Week

Montessori Education Week in Oregon is February 22nd through February 27th, 2015.  Its purpose is to raise public awareness about Montessori education and advocate for access to high quality education for all of Oregon’s children.  Montessori Education week culminates with “Montessori in the Capitol” held on February 27th from 9:30am until 1:00pm, a model Montessori classroom will be set up in the Galleria of the Oregon State Capitol Building in Salem, OR.  Oregon’s legislators, officials, and the general public are invited to view a fully functioning primary level classroom, where children aged 3 to 6 will engage in their daily activities.

At Ivy, we are using this week as an opportunity to share some information about Montessori Education in general and what we are doing in our classrooms specifically with parents.  At Prescott on Tuesday, February 24th from 8:30-9:30am, Rebecca Keith, Ed.D. will be available in the media room to answer any questions you may have about Montessori’s educational philosophy, an on Wednesday, we will be having student ambassadors available in the media room after drop-off to demonstrate the use of some of our wonderful teaching materials.   At Morris, the students will be presenting materials after drop-off on Friday, February 27th and Rebecca will be available for questions after they are done.

Today (Monday) and Wednesday we will be offering two screenings of the movie, “Montessori: The Science Behind the Genius”, in the media center at Prescott for parents from both campuses.  The first screening will take place both days at 8:40am.  The second will occur at 12:30pm.  The movie is 104 minutes long.  It is a lively and engaging lecture based on Dr. Angeline Lillard’s widely acclaimed book by the same title.  In it, Dr. Lillard presents Montessori’s theoretical principles, the science research that has followed them, and how they are implemented in a Montessori classroom. Dr. Lillard, professor of psychology at the University of Virginia, has been studying Montessori’s methods for more than two decades and has examined outcomes of Montessori education compared to those of traditional schooling.

There are lots of great opportunities on our campuses this week.  We hope to see many of you around Ivy this week!

New And Improved Ivy Website

Many thanks to our awesome Ivy parents, Joshua and Stephen, for all their hard work updating our home page.  The website now has a more modern look as well as many improvements, such as a Facebook feed, Staff bios, and links to past newsletters.  They have also increased security and have cleaned up the documents and forms that are available to parents.  Check it out!

Standardized Testing at Ivy

This spring all Oregon students will take a new test called Smarter Balanced.  Students in 3rd through 8th grades will take tests in Math and English Language.  Students in 5th through 8th grade will also take a test in Science.  Ivy students will begin their testing window after Spring Break.  You can view sample questions at this link and/or take a practice test at this link.

Standardized testing is a highly politicized topic throughout Oregon and the United States.  Your child’s participation in the standardized test is important for the renewal of The Ivy School’s charter.  The State Board of Education will consider our school’s rate of student participation, as well as our students’ scores, when measuring Ivy’s success.  If you are interested in opting your student out of the test, please schedule an appointment to speak with Anne O’Neal.

Art Tax Update

Thank you so much to all the parents and students who came out to the Arts Tax Oversight Committee (AOC) meeting last Tuesday!  The Ivy community had a great showing of support and there were two families, a board member, and the director from Southwest Charter School there as well.  The general feeling of those who attended the meeting was that the AOC seemed very receptive to our issue with the tax and we are cautiously optimistic that the committee will recommend to City Council that they reconsider the interpretation they are currently using with the tax.  Additionally, Ivy parents have met with members from the Mayor’s office and are trying to be proactive on that angle as well.  Thank you again for your support on this, Ivy community!  Please direct any questions about the art tax to Leah Maurer.
 

Enroll For Spring Break Camp

We are excited to offer a Spring Break Camp for families who need childcare during the closed school days next month! The camp will include a field trip, a movie day with popcorn, an organized craft, cooking, and science projects! Enrollment forms are now available in the Prescott lobby!

Prescott Garden Help

We have many donated seeds from Portland Nursery and will be working with the children this spring to do some gardening at the Prescott Campus!   We are looking for a parent volunteer for each LE classroom.  We need parents who have a little time this spring to support their child’s classroom with this project.  We will have all the supplies and instructions for each classroom garden volunteer organized ahead of time.  No experience is necessary, we are keeping this project simple!

Starting today we will be collecting empty egg cartons in the Prescott lobby for the seedlings. There will be a marked container you can leave them in.

If you are interested in helping out with the gardening or would like to donate a bag of seedling mix please be in touch with Muriah or Becky. Thank you!!!!

And, a thank you to Mark Burdon, Adam’s dad from UE5, for coming in last week to reinforce the Prescott garden beds and get them ready for spring planting!

Lunar New Year Celebration

Students in LE1 celebrated the Lunar New Year on February 19th with traditional craft and foods. Thank you to the parent volunteers who helped make this special celebration possible!

“Imagination does not become great until human beings, given the courage and the strength, use it to create.        ~Maria Montessori~

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