From the Desk of Principal Franks
Monday, March 26, 2018 8:00 AM

statue.jpg

 

“Do all the good you can, to all the people you can, in all the ways you can, for as long as you can. “ – D.L. Moody

 

Dear Armatage Families,

Happy Spring!   I cannot believe we are only 1 1/2 weeks from spring break.  I hope you will be able to spend some time with your children in some sort of enjoyable activity (Hopefully nothing snow related J ). 

Fundraising for Foster

Never did a quote like the one above ring truer than at the fundraiser.  Last Friday evening, the PTA planned and executed an event that brought our parents together to support Armatage Montessori School at the American Legion in Richfield.  There was food, music and games as staff and parents socialized and made new friends.  The purpose of the evening was fund raising to help Armatage with budgetary needs for the 2018 – 2019 school year.  It was a phenomenal success!  I do not have a total yet as the online auction is taking place this week (Go to our website @ Armatage.mpls.k12.mn.us  to see the list of items up for bid).   However, I know from the attendance at the event, the huge participation in games and a last minute request for support from a small group of parents, the event far exceeded our expectations.

As I shared with the parents on Friday evening, I struggle to find enough words or even the right words to express my deep appreciation for everyone’s support of our school.  The adage, “It takes a village…” does not even begin to describe what the support of our parent group means to Armatage Montessori School.  Thank you for your support, encouragement and generosity it is deeply appreciated!

Budget Tie –out

Last Friday, I submitted our proposed budget to the district for the 2018 – 2019 school year.  As we worked through the process to create a balanced budget, it was necessary to reduce the staffing by $130,000.  I met with the ILT, staff, Site Council and PTA and shared the proposal to eliminate our media specialist position.  The media standards are wrapped into the literacy standards and therefore, they will be covered.  In addition, every classroom has an Ipad or Chromebook cart, so children have access to technology.  The media center will still be open and available to check out books.   

Construction

The construction project is progressing on schedule.  The lunchroom and offices are being painted & tiled and floors are beginning to take shape.  Over spring break, the mural will be removed so that work can be done on the wall.  In addition, the florescent lights will be removed and replaced with LED’s in the classrooms.  It is exciting to see the project nearing its completion!  Once we take occupancy of the new addition, the reconstruction of the art and music rooms in what currently is the lunchroom will take place.  Over the summer, air conditioning will be installed in all classrooms. 

New Furniture

Through new furniture for all classrooms and specialists for the 2018-2019 school year.  The teachers have been pouring over catalogs as they select new furniture with the Montessori approach to learning in mind.  It is a huge task!  Each of the grade level teachers are working together to try and get the classrooms as similar as possible with the flexibility to have a few items that may be of particular interest to only a few people.  We are excited for the doors to open next fall with so many new and exciting additions.

Tardies

We are working hard to help kids get to school on time.  The first few minutes of the day are so critical as teachers are setting the expectations for the day, presenting curriculum and getting the kids focused.  When students walk in late, not only do they miss important information, it is also disruptive for the children trying to do their work.

The doors open at 7:17 a.m. for kids eating breakfast.  At 7:20 a.m. all students are released into the building and should have no problem being in their rooms ready to learn by 7:30 a.m.

We are asking that you help your children learn the value of timeliness, as they will be expected to be on time to school, work, sports events and social activities the rest of their lives.  It is a good habit to start now.

Peace Walk

Last week we participated in the national day of peace.  Armatage students, staff and parents walked around the perimeter of the building for 17 minutes to honor the victims in Florida who were victims of that tragic event.  Our walk for peace to support our school was amazing!  As I visited classrooms the day before we walked, a kindergartner in 105 asked if we could sing “We Shall Overcome”.  Miss Anita, Armatage music teacher and I wished we were as intuitive and had thought of that great idea J.  Some of the kids did sing and it was precious. 

I received more comments of appreciation about this event than probably anything else I can we remember us doing as a unified school.  One staff member volunteered to spear head a similar event at the end of next September because she felt it was so powerful and would be a great way to start the year.  I thought the message to our kids was so important and certainly one that we need to revisit throughout the year.

Spring Break

It feels like winter vacation was a looooong time agoJ.  I think everyone is ready for some warmer temperatures, fresh air and a little rest and relaxation.  There will be no school Friday, March 30th – April 6th.   When the kids return, we will be getting ready to start our Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments for grades 3 – 5 in math & reading and science for grade 5 only. 

Have a wonderful and enjoyable spring break.  I look forward to seeing everyone on Monday, April 6th

Sincerely,

 

Joan Franks, Principal