November at Yukon Montessori

Welcome to November.  This is traditionally quite a good month for children to do school work because there is only one interruption in the calendar and the classroom is generally settled.  As teachers it is one of our favourite months.  As well as a  lot of academics this year we have quite a full dance card of extras.  Please read the dispatch below to see what is happening.


Dominic and Laurie


Events and Calendar

Friday November 8-  Art with Helen O’Connor


Monday November 11- Remembrance Day School Closed


Tuesday November 12- SCHOOL CLOSED Upper Elementary Parent Teacher Conference


Friday November 15- Free Skate at CGC (1:45 to 2:30) Parents welcome


Wednesday November 20- Flash Mob Dance Presentation at CGC Main Hall at 6 PM

Upper Elementary with Northern Lights School of Dance


Friday November 22- Lunch Time MP Ryan Leef visiting class to see Children’s work and receive the UN Declaration of the Rights of the Child at 11:45 at Shipyards Park from Elementary Children and Montessori Preschool Children


Friday November 22- 4:30-5:30 “Vernissage” Art Show Opening (in the classroom) of the Elementary Children’s Art about United Nations Efforts to promote Children’s Rights globally.  Light Refreshments will be served.


Report Cards and Conferences

We will have parent teacher conferences this month.  Laurie is meeting with Lower Elementary children’s parents throughout the first week of November.  Please see the sign up list on the classroom door or contact Laurie by email or phone at school to arrange a time that works for your family.


Dominic will meet with parents of Upper Elementary children on November 12.  Please see sign up sheet on the classroom door or contact Dominic by phone or email to arrange a time that works for your family.


Report Cards will be distributed to families on November 22 at the end of the school day.  Laurie is writing report cards for Lower Elementary children and Dominic is writing reports for Upper Elementary children.


Substitute Teachers and Staffing

Dominic and Laurie are full time staff and while Laurie focuses on Lower Elementary teaching and Dominic focuses on the Upper Elementary lessons, both teachers work with all children through the course of the day.

Our substitute teachers are people we are familiar with and who have gone through all the regular vetting processes that our main staff does.  This means they have had their criminal record checks done and we seek to find the most qualified people available for the times that are needed.

Our substitute teachers include Kate Fitzgerald, who is the children’s dance teacher and is now the Artistic Director at Northern Lights School of Dance and holds a B. Ed. From York University.  Other substitute teachers are Erin Schultz, who is the head assistant at Montessori Borealis Preschool, and Mary Anne Annabel, who is also an assistant at Montessori Borealis.  Both of these people have a B. Ed.  and know many of the children in our class.

Laurie will be away for a few days of our short week in November to fulfill some of her requirements for further MontessoriTraining in Toronto.

Spelling Tests on Fridays

We have tried to modify the spelling tests at school to support our children’s learning.  The Upper Elementary Children will attempt to have their spelling preparation work into the inbox by Friday at 3 so that it is ready to give to them to take home on Mondays.  This way they will have more time to study and prepare for Friday’s test.  Lower Elementary children will continue to complete their spelling work on Monday at school. It will then be ready to send home Tuesday for practice. Please continue to help your child prepare for these tests by either helping schedule practice time at home or being directly involved with this work.  The spelling book should be available for this as of Monday after school each week for Upper Elementary students and Tuesday for Lower.



Through November we will continue with either dance or gymnastics this term, depending on age.



It is paramount that all children have indoor shoes at school at all times. Please ensure your child has indoor shoes at school by asking them to confirm this.

Outside the weather is starting to change.  Your child must have a warm hat to wear outside and a suitable jacket and boots.  Once snow is here children must wear snowpants outside at lunch time.


Outside Play and Helmets

Children are welcome to ski, sled or skate at lunch once winter gets into full swing.  We will be happy to store these items at school.  Children must wear a helmet if they are going to do these activities.  Any type of helmet is acceptable.


United Nations Declaration of the Rights of the Children Events 

Flash Mob Presentation

In the third week of November you will see that there are three events planned to recognize the United Nation’s International Day of the Child on November 20.

The first is the flash mob dance presentation that the Upper Elementary children will be part of at the Canada Games Centre at 6 pm.  These children will need to be at the Canada Games Centre at 5:45 to prepare for the surprise show they will do at 6 pm at the Circumpolar map at the CGC Centre Main Hall with the senior dancers from Northern Lights School of Dance.  All parents are invited to be part of the “surprised audience.”  Right now the Upper Elementary children are working very hard to prepare for the presentation. We also hope that our Lower Elementary families will join us there to support us from the audience.

Lunch time Presentation

On Friday November 22 we have arranged for our MP Ryan Leef to visit the classroom to see children’s work about the UN Declaration of Rights of the Child and to formally receive a copy of the Declaration from our students.  This formal presentation will be at 11:45 at Shipyards Park with the three Whitehorse Montessori Preschools joining us.  This presentation will happen along with the same kind of presentations happening all over Canada by Montessori Children to their MPs.  It is estimated there will be over a thousand children participating in this event across the country.  Parents are welcome to attend the formal presentation at11:45.  We are looking for a parent to volunteer to take pictures of the event that we then can share with other schools who are participating.

Elementary Art Show

Through November children will work with Helen O’Connor, a local artist and teacher, to express through art their vision of the importance of Children’s Rights globally.  Their art projects will be on display at Bella Décor the week following the opening of the show, which will be at the classroom November 22nd from 4:30 to 5:30.  All families are invited to visit the opening and light refreshments will be served.


Parent Involvement in the School Day

There are many efforts that all parents make to help our non-profit society run our school.  The board of directors is one place parents help; the other place is during our fundraising activities later in the year.  During the day we do from time to time look to parents to help out or join in an event.

Before Christmas we are testing out the possibility of the class preparing soup every two weeks for the Outreach Van under the Many Rivers help centre.  We will make the soup on Fridays and then deliver it to the Many Rivers office.  If there are parents who would like to be part of the initiative in the kitchen or to deliver the soup to the Many Rivers offices, please contact us by email and we would love to have you join us in this effort.

We have several days planned at the CGC before Christmas.
November 15 1:45 to 2:30 Skating

December 6 1:45-2:30 skating-hockey skating instruction

December 13 9:00 to 9:45 skating –not hockey skating instruction

December 20 9:00-10:30 Swim –FREE SWIM

If parents wish to join us for any of these visits to the CGC centre, or if you can help transport skates to or from the centre, please contact us by email.

After Christmas we will be skiing regularly at Mt. Mac and would like to have parents volunteer to help with the skiing outings there.  The help can take many forms, there is always  need for an extra set of hands getting the troop out the door and boots tied  etc, and if any parent is willing and able to ski with us, please contact us now as we are in the beginning planning stages of the winter term activities. We will also be looking into visiting Mt. Sima and would like to invite a parent to help organize this effort.


December 20

Just a heads up for December.  This is the last day of classes and we will be at the CGC in the morning swimming.  Last year we had a snowshoe expedition in the afternoon and we would like to do this again.  We would encourage families to join us for this outing so if you can make time for this in your schedules you are welcome to join us from noon to three at the Mt. MacIntyre Ski Trails.  More information will follow in the December Dispatch.


Facebook Site

The school does have a facebook site to help satisfy two goals.  The first is to send out informal updates through photos to families about what we are doing in class or during the day.  The second is to promote the school in our community or to offer insight for parents outside of the school considering sending their children to YMS.

If you have not already visited the site please do so at your convenience.



As we now are settling into the reporting period, we are ready to open our class up to parents’ observations of the classroom.  If you would like to do this please contact us and we can set up an appropriate time.

Thanksgiving Week

Dear YMS parents,

Thank you to all those who could make it to the AGM last week and offered great input. The minutes have been sent out to all of you. Please let us know if you haven’t received them.
This week is jammed full of special events.
 On Tuesday we will be going to the Canada Games Centre at 1 for a free swim.  Please ensure your child brings his/her swimsuit and towel to school.  We will take a city bus there and back.  If your child hasa month membership at the  CGC centre can they please bring it as we will be paying per child for the use of the pool.
On Wednesday we will have group photos and individual photos taken  by Sarah Lewis over the lunch time.  If it is raining the group photos will be postponed until Thursday, and then if not Thursday, then Friday ….
On Thursday we will be hosting the Minster of Education Elaine Taylor in our classroom in the morning.
On Friday after our spelling tests we will be holding a Thanksgiving Luncheon in our classroom.  This will be just for students and teachers and will be non-vegetarian as well as vegetarian friendly.  At this time I would like to thank the Vangel Family for donating a Turkey to us for this event.  The menu will also include potatoes that we planted last spring out at a homestead on the South Klondike Highway.  We will end the day with an obstacle course event in the latter part of the afternoon out at Shipyards Park.
There will be no school next Monday
On Tuesday October 15 we will start  a new series of gym classes.  For the Lower Elementary Children there will be gymnastics at the Polarettes Gymnastics Centre and they will travel by bus to and from the gym.  THEY WILL NOT RETURN TO SCHOOL UNTIL 3:25 ON TUESDAYS due to the bus schedule.  If you wish your child to be dismissed at 3 from the gym and go directly home or be picked up please email us or tell Laurie at the day.  The group will leave the Polarettes bus stop at 3:05 off of Duke Street.   The last gymnastics day is December 10.
The Upper Elementary Children will be starting a dance unit that will be Tuesdays and Thursdays until November 21.  They will have a show at the Canada Games Centre at 6 PM on Wednesday November 20.  Please mark your calendar for this flash mob show in the main concourse of the Centre.
We will send out a complete calendar of events by the end of this week.
Warm Regards
Dominic and Laurie

YMS Ambassadors

Thursday May 16, we spent an hour or so managing an obstacle course for the Montessori Borealis Preschool program at a local park. Like our sledding day, ski day, and walkathon events held this past year, we enjoyed being with this group of future YMS students. It was great fun to see the two groups enjoying themselves together. Kudos go out to the Yukon Montessori students who were great ambassadors of fun.

Ben guiding one of the preschool students through the slackline.
Ben guiding one of the preschool students through the slackline.

A Look Back at Education Week

During Yukon Education Week in April we opened our classroom to the general public and had an extended visit from a class of grade/11/12 students from Vanier High School who enjoyed a crash course in the work we do each day. It was great to see all the students in action together.

Vanier Students at Montessori
Vanier Students at Montessori

One more photo from our day of visitors. The group in the foreground is working on analysing the part of speech of a passage from novel we are studying

Education Week Visits

Tantalus Ridge Run – Carmacks 2013

We’ve got more great things to be proud of and we’re happy to share them!

Tantalus Ridge Run - 2013
Tantalus Ridge Run – 2013

We participated in the Tantalus Ridge Cross Country Running Race Friday May 3rd in Carmacks. In doing so, we were the only Yukon school to have 100% of their school participate. We were also the only Yukon school to have 100% of their students FINISH the race.

We are so proud of all of our Yukon Montessori students for their efforts!

On top of that, we have some team results that we want to make mention of:

Novice Boys
1st Daniel Phillips Freeman
2nd Luke Cozens
3rd Myles Terry

Novice Girls
1st Emily Vangel
3rd Mia Terry

Atom Girls
2nd Ruby Ashthorn

Peewee Boys
3rd Jamie Phillips Freeman

Congratulations Team Montessori!

We’re Growing!! – Exciting News for the 2013-2014 School Year

Due to the success of this year and ongoing interest in the great work that we are doing at the Yukon Montessori School, we are increasing our class size and bringing in a second teacher.

We are pleased to announce that Laurie Parker will be joining us in September.

Laurie was raised in the small town of Hanover Ontario. She graduated from Brock University with a combined degree in English and Sociology, then completed her Casa Montessori diploma with the Toronto Montessori Institute. After more than 20 years of exciting Casa experience, Laurie wanted to try a new challenge and so for the past six years has worked in the Lower Elementary class of Sunshine Montessori School in Stratford Ontario. 

Every day in the classroom confirms for Laurie that Dr. Montessori was absolutely right about how children should be educated. Laurie and her husband Vance are looking forward to many adventures in Whitehorse. They have four children, a cat named Baird, and a hedgehog named Henry.

New Teacher Laurie Parker