From the Desk of Principal Franks
Thursday, December 20, 2018 7:30 AM


 “Learn to enjoy every minute of your life. Be happy now. Don't wait for something outside of yourself to make you happy in the future. Think how really precious is the time you have to spend, whether it's at work or with your family. Every minute should be enjoyed and savored.”

Earl Nightingale

Dear Armatage Families,

Happy Holidays! 

Safety and Security

The New Year is right around the corner and with that we are making a few adjustments to our safety and security plan to ensure all children are safe at all times.  Last week, you may recall there was an incident involving the safety of a child at a nearby school.  As I processed the incident with several staff, it occurred to us that afternoon dismissal is a time when children are going in so many different directions and often times a last minute parent request by phone changes their destination.  To this end, effective Monday, January 7th all request for changes need to come in writing via a note or (email with a phone call).  Any requests for a change via phone only must come prior to noon so that we have time to verify the caller’s phone number using the emergency card filled out by families last fall.   I recognize this is a bit cumbersome, but it will ensure every child is connecting with the appropriate adult.

Bus Passes

If your child is riding home on a different bus than assigned, we require a note from the sending and receiving families.  Please include your child’s full name, room number, the student s/he is going home with and the bus number s/he will be riding. 


As long as I am on the subject of safety, we need your help.  Each morning, countless cars pull up in front of the building on 56th Street and drop their children off for school.  Unfortunately, there is not a cross walk and therefore, we cannot put student patrols out there to help with pedestrians.  The MPLS Police are now patrolling this area in the morning to ensure that drivers are abiding by posted laws.  I am imploring families to use the drop off in the back of the building by the park board. Currently, we have buses, cars, children and adults all trying to negotiate the front of the building. I am concerned that someone may be seriously injured if we do not make an immediate change.  If anyone is interested in helping us make the drop off for pedestrians safer, we would love to have volunteers.


Tour season is quickly ending.  If you have any friends or family who may be interested in Armatage Montessori School but have yet to take a tour, they need to sign-up right away.  There are a few dates in January and then we are done.  As always, we appreciate you recommending our school to prospective families.

Vacation Activities

18 Winter Fun Ideas

Here are 18 fun (and cheap) outdoor activities to get you motivated.

1. Go ice skating.

2. Build a winter bonfire and make s’mores.

3. Rent some snowshoes and go snowshoeing.

4. If you have the equipment, go winter camping. If that is too ambitious, check out your state parks for cabin or yurt rentals. Once you are there, go on beautiful winter hikes (afterwards, a cozy fire is definitely in order).

5. Take your dog for a walk. It’s one of the main benefits of having and owning a dog.

6. Go cross-country skiing.

7. Attend a dog-sled race. You don’t have to live in Alaska to see one of these – check your state’s Department of Natural Resources page, they usually have a list of upcoming events.

8. Go sledding.

9. Build a fort and have a snowball fight with your kids (or your spouse/partner). Or buy a snow block maker and build an igloo.

10. Take a blanket and a cup of hot cocoa and sit outside on your front porch swing.

11. Shovel paths in the snow.

12. Feed the birds or go birdwatching. Make your own birdfeeders out of pine cones, peanut butter, and birdseed.

13. Go ice fishing.

14. Go on a winter picnic. Take blankets, sandwiches and hot soup in a thermos. This might give you some fun, cheap date ideas for couples as well.

15. Head out on a photo expedition to take pictures of the winter landscape.

16. If you live near a big city, set off on foot to explore it! You might want to check out some of the group buying daily deals sites like Groupon and LivingSocial to find new things to do in the area for cheap too.

17. Have kids or dogs? Set up an obstacle course in the yard with jumps, tunnels and other challenges.

18. Make snow paint. Simply add food coloring to water and put in a spray bottle, then go out and paint your yard!

I hope that you will be able to enjoy the time with your kids.  They are amazing, have worked hard, and are learning so much!  I hope you can check a few of the items above off your TO DO list.   Have a wonderful and safe holiday vacation.  I look forward to seeing you in 2019.


Joan Franks, Principal

Armatage Montessori School