Spring is here, with rain and sunshine! Exquisite apple blossoms have followed the glowing display by the cherries, and the vibrant new growth in our gardens, reminds us of nature’s resilient abundance (when we do our part!). Within our school community, it is also inspiring to see children of all ages - and adults - pursuing new challenges and unhesitatingly helping those whom they can: Taking the hand of the youngest (newly 3!) to practice a fun language game; working with a partner to build the largest squared number in lower elementary; noticing and gently naming an important truth in a middle school community meeting. That is the human spirit that animates each of us and each child; that is what allows us to become our true and best selves -- within community; and that is what Pacific Crest works to nourish.
Such investments of the heart, mind and hand are essential to this work, and we couldn’t do this without financial investments into our program. I am so grateful for all of your donations to our Annual Fund this spring. Our grand total has reached $133,078! A truly impressive sum. And all of this goes directly to support this 2016/17 school year - supporting every one of our children in our classes today. Thank you! And thank you, Annual Fund Parent Volunteer team! Your dedication, care and tremendous efforts made this year’s campaign a great success!
There have been more successes accomplished over the winter that I’d also love to share:
Pacific Crest renewed its accreditation through Advanced Ed, an international organization that reviews 32,000 independent schools. The external, AMI Montessori credentialed, review team enjoyed their classroom observations, scoring us quite high in “active learning environments” and “well-managed learning environments.” They were struck by the “extensive opportunities for authentic learning and community outreach,” and concluded that our “students are well prepared to become adult learners and ready for college and career challenges.” Thank you, Liz Altschule, for all of your leadership in facilitating this great effort, and to all of the teachers and parents who participated in it over the last year!
Dr. Steven Hughes’ visit to our school in mid-March: His fascinating presentation at our Parent Ed night reached current and prospective parents, as well as other Montessori teachers from the region! Thank you to all who helped to extend such gracious hospitality to our growing community on this wonderful night.
Professional Development for faculty and staff since January: Three teachers and seven assistants attended a seminar on child development, neuroscience and Montessori community; three teachers attended the AMI Refresher Course on Mathematics in Austin, Texas and shared with their teams; two assistants and I attended a Racial Equity workshop; all faculty and assistants made formal observations in many area Montessori schools and local public and private high schools. We then shared our observations by level and had great discussions to help us refine our practice and know more about the high schools that our children are heading to after 8th grade. Faculty and staff also attended a professional development session with Dr. Hughes before his evening presentation.
All of our classrooms are alive with activity. The Middle School has launched a new curriculum focus within their Humanities program: The study of economics. And our farm managers have added important new opportunities for our students to make substantive improvements to our farm.
Parents have also done so much in March and April that inspires our gratitude: The elegant and delicious multi-course lunch that you provided to our teachers and staff before conferences; a heart-warming Pancake Breakfast that kept us content as we marveled at the talents on display during the Talent Show; a fabulous Spring Fling and a supercharged garden work party, complete with delicious French pastries and coffee! Thank you to all of you!
Don’t miss what’s next: Come enjoy our Plant Sale today to make your gardens beautiful, and come join our work party at the farm this Saturday to help the farm thrive - there will be jobs for children of all ages! And you may get a peek at our new lambs and chicks!
With much gratitude and excitement,
Dorrie Knapp Guy
Head of School