2017-18 has been a fantastic year at Greensboro Montessori School, and we very much appreciate the students, families, and teammates who have been part of our community. Looking back on our year together, we have accomplished much, grown together, and discovered new things, ideas, and places. This year, our community came together in new and vibrant ways to build a new foundation that will launch our School into the future.
Looking back on any given school year, there are many ways to articulate or quantify success. For me, knowing that every single one of our students, and every single one of our teammates, joyfully worked hard is satisfaction enough. But that is just the beginning of the story. Our team recently reflected on why we each think this year was such a success. Here are a few of our answers:
- This year was a success because we all learned and grew to believe that we are all “crew, not passengers” in making the School what it is.
- School-wide, we spent 63 nights away from campus and traveled to three countries and six states.
- We are graduating 17 wonderful young adults who are already making their world a better place; they are headed to other independent schools and public high schools including Grimsley, the North Carolina School of the Arts, the North Carolina STEM Community Collaborative at Davie Community College, Northern Guilford, Page, and Weaver Academy.
- The campus is energized with a tangible feeling of collaboration, positivity, and growth.
- The number of inquiries and applications from prospective families for the 2018-19 school year have significantly increased as compared to inquiries and applications for 2017-18 at this time last year.
- Our college-aged alumni reported their average unweighted high school GPA upon graduation was 3.9.
- How great is Greensboro Montessori School? Let me show you. A semester-long project spawned by a reading of Frankenstein the previous semester concluded with an epic battle between human-powered puppet creatures. Teams had to use robotics, 3D printers, voice modulators, programming, and professional filmmaking tools to complete this “final exam.” On display were interdisciplinary skills, creative thinking, and collaboration as they navigated a complex set of tasks orchestrated by their dynamic junior high teachers. Check out our Facebook live video here (please note, Facebook muted a portion of our video due to copyrighted music playing the background).
- Our college-aged alumni reported the average ACT score they used to get into college was 30, while the North Carolina state average is only 19.
- Este año fue exitoso porque enseñamos con amor y a su vez aprendimos mucho juntos.(Did you know we have a robust Spanish language curriculum which results in 100% of our graduates skipping the first year of Spanish in high school?)
- The sixth year students far exceeded our expectations for their capstone projects and have impressively set the bar for future sixth year students.
- This year we had six students who had previously left Greensboro Montessori School, for one reason or another, choose to return to the School.
- This year was a success because leadership has restored our sense of unity and cohesion.
- Projected overall retention is up from 82% for 2017-18 to 87% for 2018-19. The most significant improvement in retention is from kindergarten to first grade which is projected to increase from 54% for 2017-18 to 88% for 2018-19.
- Our contributions to the Fund for GMS are the largest in recent history and resulted in immediate enhancements to the School.
- With enrollment strengthening, budgets balanced, and strong financial management from administration and the board of trustees, the School is now financially secure.
Yes, we had a fantastic year.
With the last day of the 2017-18 year upon us, our final week is an opportunity to joyfully celebrate our graduates, sadly say goodbye to departing friends, and congratulate each other on all we've accomplished and learned. We should also humbly remember how fortunate we each are to be part of such a loving, empowering, and grounded learning community like Greensboro Montessori School.
Whether you’re a student, parent, teammate, alumni, or friend of the School, we’re glad you are part of our crew.
Calling all green thumbs! Greensboro Montessori School is seeking summer volunteers to help us tend our lush, 10-acre campus!
More specifically, our campus is home to four organic, permaculture gardens, which have been flourishing since 1997. These gardens serve as outdoor classrooms where our students engage in environmental education unique to Greensboro Montessori School. Students participate in year-round experiential lessons in which they tend to every aspect of garden work ... from seed to table. We have over 20 fruit-bearing trees, a pond, honey bees, chickens, a commercial-grade teaching kitchen, and much more. This year we’re looking for five families in total, one from each of the major divisions at our School - Junior High, Upper Elementary, Lower Elementary, Primary, and Toddler - to help keep the gardens growing and looking gorgeous all year long!
When do we need you? We would love volunteer support from Monday, June 25 through Monday, August 6, and we will adapt our need to families' summer vacations. Ideally, we would love for volunteers to schedule work time anytime on Monday and Wednesday mornings between 8:30 a.m. and noon. Eliza Hudson, lead environmental educator, will be on campus at those times in case any assistance is needed. However, if you can only volunteer on another day, for instance, on the weekends, we would love to work with you!
What will you do? Weeding, watering, mulching paths, and harvesting, when available. All we ask is you check in with Eliza for 15 minutes at the beginning of each week to prioritize your work. Other than this "administrative" task, our summer garden volunteer role is designed to be a no-stress opportunity ... we encourage you to bring your children, have fun, relax, and enjoy the gardens in the peak season!
Interested in helping? Please email Eliza Hudson and plan on attending Volunteer Orientation on Wednesday, June 13 at 1 p.m. If you are unable to make this Orientation, we can offer a personal orientation at a time more convenient for you.
Springtime is always joyful in Greensboro Montessori School's organic gardens. Winter buds swell and burst, capturing the eyes and hearts of community members, no matter their age! Flowers of all kinds call to us and to our pollinator friends, and sooner than we realize, we reach the height of the season.
This year brought a colder and wetter forecast than in the past. We’ve still yet to harvest our first sugar snap peas, but the strawberries and spinach are out with a vengeance! We continue to enjoy the lushness all the early rain and cool weather brought, even as temperatures rise. Here’s a brief update from our spring adventures!
Primary and Lower Elementary have enjoyed plenty of weeding, watering, planting, and tasting. We just finished a week full of strawberry spinach salads, with a bit of fennel and spring onions thrown in for fun! (Check out the recipe below if you’re interested in trying this at home.) In Upper Elementary, we celebrated the conclusion of our Student Climate Change Summit art exhibition with a persimmon-ginger-honey ice-cream party! Everyone agreed it was fun to make and even better to taste!
Thanks to everyone who attended our Spring Community Garden Workday in the Primary Garden. Together, with roughly 20 volunteers from our school community (ranging in age from 18 months to 70 years old!), we had a blast and accomplished a swath of projects:
- A group of students and dads built a blackberry trellis.
- Sara Stratton supervised several painting projects: our new fence, sink, and picnic tables got all glammed up in a matter of minutes!
- Another dad mixed concrete, which every child who came to the workday used to make a decorative stepping stone.
- Nearly everyone weeded, watered, snacked, swept, and generally left the space looking wonderful for the students, faculty, administration, and all the special guests we welcome in the spring!
What else have we been up to in the organic gardens this spring? We have been incredibly blessed with the generosity of The Fund for GMS. You may have noticed several new Adirondack chairs, benches, swinging benches, outdoor sinks, and chalkboards in all three of our organic gardens. We also have a new Lower Elementary toolshed coming soon. The students have relished in these new additions to their outdoor classrooms, and we couldn’t be more grateful to have such gifts shared with us from within our school community. Thank you, for your continued support of environmental education at Greensboro Montessori School. From all of us on your environmental education teaching team, Happy Spring!
Strawberry Spinach Salad
For the salad:
- 1 pound fresh spinach, washed and spun
- 1 pound fresh strawberries, washed and dried
- 2-3 spring onions, optional
- 2-3 leaves fennel, minced
For the dressing:
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 pinch cinnamon
About the Author
Eliza Hudson is Greensboro Montessori School's lead environmental educator. Eliza holds her bachelor's degree in biology from Earlham College in Richmond, Ind. She has built and tended school gardens, taught hands-on cooking lessons and connected local farms to school programs working for FoodCorps. Prior to joining Greensboro Montessori School in 2014, Eliza was a classroom and after-school assistant at the Richmond Friends School, a farm intern at a family-owned farm in Ohio, and served as assistant director at a summer day camp in an urban community garden in Durham.
Greensboro Montessori School has taught environmental education since 1995 and has been permaculture gardening on its campus since 1997.