Casa II News

Casa 2 parents,

It’s been a few weeks since you’ve heard from me, but things are as busy as ever around JMS!  We hope you all enjoyed spring break and were able to spend some quality family time together.  As nice as it is to have a few days off, it always amazes me how ready the staff and the children are to return.  Consistency is nice even for us adults, and we are refreshed and excited to be back at school!  The remaining seven weeks of the school year are going to fly right by.  But until June 4th, the children will be busy working on the great things that keep them excited about being in school!

Student Teacher: Keerun

Keerun has successfully completed two of her three weeks teaching in Casa 2!  Next Friday we say farewell to Keerun as she returns to the Montessori Center of Minnesota to finish up the intense training and prepare for upcoming oral exams.  If you see her, please wish her well during the last few weeks of her training program!  The children have certainly enjoyed having her with us!

Severe Storms

It’s that time of year again when we must educate the children on how to be safe during severe storms.  We’ve been having some great discussions on what to do at school, as well as at home, in case of severe weather.  We’ve even been practicing a severe storm drill, in which we go into our bathrooms and wait for the “storm” to pass.  With us we bring a flashlight, a class list with parent contact info, a cell phone and personal emergency items.  If you haven’t chosen a safe place in your home, please take some time to think about that and go over it with your children.  It is a comfort to them knowing that your family has a plan in case it is needed.

Kerfoot Canopy Tour

On Sunday, May 17th, our spring fundraiser will take place at Kerfoot Canopy Tour in Henderson, MN.  A few years ago, I didn’t know what a “canopy tour” or a “zip-line” was… that is, until the Kerfoot family built their extraordinarily beautiful course right outside my hometown of Henderson!  I had the opportunity to work there a few summers ago as a Sky Guide (one of two guides who bring you through the course).  Whether you’ve experienced zip-lines before, or are completely new to this idea, I can assure you this is not something you will want to miss!  Each family has received an invitation to the fundraising event, and I highly recommend you take a look at their website for more information.  I would also love the chance to talk with anyone who wants to try it, but doesn’t think they will make it through the course, due to nervousness.  Having worked there, I’ve seen riders as young as 10 as well as those well into their 70s who successfully overcame fears and had a phenomenal experience.  Please contact KCT for questions, or feel free to contact me if you’d like my personal outlook on the Kerfoot Canopy Tour experience!  Please think about other family members or friends who may like to try it with you… it makes a great birthday surprise, graduation gift, family outing event or date with your someone special!  How lucky we are to have this opportunity nearby and a family who is donating profits back to JMS.  Thank you, Kerfoots, for your generosity and your support.  We are looking forward to a successful and exciting day with all of you!

Parent/Grandparent Volunteers

Thank you to Henry’s Nana for visiting us from Tennessee and sharing your love for Irish dancing!  The children loved singing “Pat Works on the Railway” and will forever remember the enthusiasm that you shared with us.  Thank you!

If anyone would be willing to share their sewing skills, I would be forever grateful!  We always have small projects to do and materials to mend.  On the agenda this week: button frames!  The dressing frames (snap frame, button frame, buckle, zipper, bow, etc.) help the children become independent in caring for themselves as they learn the basic closures of things they encounter every day (jackets, bags, shoes, etc.).  Within the process of learning how to button, the button frame gets some “tough love” as children pull, push and twist the buttons in an attempt to button successfully.  I am in need of someone who can sew on some new buttons that have been pulled off so the children can continue using the button frame.  We’ve got two button frames in need of a little TLC.  If anyone is able and willing to help, please let me know.  I’ve got thread and buttons! (It’s not that I cannot sew on buttons, it’s the time that I’m lacking!)  

Earth Day

Q:  What can we do as a family to celebrate Earth Day?

A:  As you probably know, we at JMS do our best to make the smallest ecological footprint as possible.  Therefore, we believe Earth Day is something that should be celebrated 365 days each year.  We incorporate respect and appreciation for the outdoors into our everyday activities at JMS.  Here are a few ideas for ways you can make a positive impact on the beautiful Earth we call home.  Please invite your children to help with these tasks, as well!  Although I have used this list in the past, I wanted to share it again:

1.       Plant a tree

2.       Build a birdhouse

3.       Discuss what it means to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle

4.       Clean up litter/trash

5.       Visit a recycling facility

6.       Shut off the lights when you leave a room

7.       Go on a nature hike, looking for as many signs of living things as possible

8.       Plant flowers

9.       Offer your help to a local non-profit organization… I know one!  (We are planning our outdoor space and are incorporating as many natural elements as possible)

10.    Visit the library.  Read stories about taking care of our Earth

11.    Shop local and buy groceries from locally-grown businesses

12.    Donate reusable items

13.    Go camping and cook dinner over a campfire

14.    Hold a clothing/toy swap with friends (exchange goods to make them fresh and exciting for a new family)

15.    Teach a song about the Earth

16.    Start a compost at home for leftover food scraps

17.    Buy or make Earth-friendly cleaning products

18.    Plant a garden

19.    Cook an entire meal using only locally-grown ingredients and decorate the table with handmade decorations

20.    Walk or ride a bicycle when a vehicle is not necessary

21.    Look through your cupboards and replace one disposable item with one that can be reused (replacing plastic bags with a reusable cloth bag or storing leftovers in glass containers rather than Ziploc bags)

22.    Cut out one item that you purchase which comes with a lot of packaging

23.    Above all, celebrate Earth Day every day!

 Reminder for sending paperwork with your child to school

Typically, children love to deliver mail from home to the school, and they are great about turning things in.  If, however, you notice that you’ve sent something and it keeps coming home in their backpack, please send a quick email to let me know and I will be sure to get it from them.  We typically do not go in children’s backpacks unless we know there is something that we need in there.  Especially with class photo orders and re-enrollment for next year, we want to be sure we don’t lose anything.  Again, no need to send me an email unless it keeps coming home after you’ve sent it to school (that means I haven’t seen it).  Thanks in advance!! 


On the Calendar

                Saturday, April 25th: JMS Garage Sale

                Thursday, April 30th: Class Picture Day

                Sunday, May 17th: JMS Fundraiser at Kerfoot Canopy Tour in Henderson, MN

                Monday, May 25th: NO SCHOOL (Memorial Day)

                Friday, May 29th: JMS End-of-the-Year Picnic in the evening (families welcome; location TBD)

                Thursday, June 4th: Last Day of School; graduation ceremony for the graduates; all students dismissed at 12:00 pm.


Taryn and Lisa