â€œThe mission of St. James Episcopal School of Dallas is to provide a unique Christian Montessori community emphasizing exploration, independence, self-motivation, creativity and compassion.â€?
August 17, 2013
Dear St. James Families, I hope you enjoyed your summer! We are putting the classrooms together and are eagerly preparing for the children. We are all so looking forward to another wonderful year of learning and growing here at St. James. I’d like to give you a brief snapshot of this year’s staff line-up, as well as all we’ve accomplished and what we’re looking forward to: Toddler and Primary Staffing The 2013/2014 school year brings us opportunity and accomplishments with our talented staff. Ms. Lindsey, Mrs. Eva and Ms. Kim and their students have already begun this year’s Mother’s Day Out program. We added more Montessori works, fresh paint and new chairs and tables which set up such a peaceful, wonderful environment that the children have already normalized!
Ms. Coral, Mrs. April and Mrs. Anna lead our Toddler programs with assistance from Mrs. Jana, Ms. Beatriz, Mrs. Martha, Ms. Eliane and Mrs. Lilly. Mrs. Anna, who just received her Infant and Toddler American Montessori Societyâ€™s degree, will be the Toddler Coordinator. Our new toddler staff members are Jana Calderon, who spent the latter half of last year in our Toddler program, and Eliane Khairallah, who has come from Castle Hills Montessori Toddler program. We are excited to have them join our family. In the Primary world, Mrs. Barrineau, Mrs. Charlotte, Mrs. Julia, Mrs. Tamara, Mrs. Ashley and Ms. Elizabeth will be our leads. Our Primary assistants are Ms. Ana and Mrs. Kalindi. Our Primary floaters are Shannon Woodruff and Marla Olivares. As always, they can hardly wait to see the Kindergarteners become the leaders in their classroom this fall
Summer Projects As always, the summer held many projects to continue to maintain and improve our facility. Most notably, the wonderful new playground equipment installation which was funded by the proceeds from the 2013 Auction! We know that the children will certainly enjoy checking out all the new play features. We also hope you take note of the new shine to the grounds and building as the School and Church continue to update and improve the surroundings (e.g. re-surfacing the front parking lot, new classroom chairs, staining of the outdoor wooden elements, etc.) PTO News As we begin a new year, I would like to extend a huge thank you to all of last yearâ€™s PTO officers for all the work that they did for the school. A special thanks to Sarah Sutton for serving as the PTO president last year and to Mindee Hass who will serve as president this year. Without the support and help of the PTO
and help of the PTO officers and all the families we would not be able to accomplish all that we do. One of the major contributions of the PTO is the coordinating and managing of the annual auction. The Auction, chaired by Jamie Ali, was a huge success, raising over $35,000 for the school!!!! Funds raised by the Auction were used exclusively for the purchase and installation of the new playground equipment. So a huge thank you to all, for your contributions of time and money!! Board of Trustees Another huge thank you goes to Jennifer Hargrave, who served as the President of the Board of Trustees this past year. I would also like to formally welcome Mrs. Amy Bodwell who has graciously taken the helm! The Board of Trustees is the governing body for the school. The Board is comprised of volunteers from our school family, as well as the church, who are responsible for setting policy, overseeing financial affairs and guiding the schoolâ€™s future in coordination with the Head of School. Amy Bodwell has agreed to serve as the President of the Board for the
upcoming school year. In addition, the School Board has welcomed Shanna Garza, Shannon Richard, and Jim Mueller as new members, and is thankful to have the continued contributions of Cecile Allen, Ethan Boothe and Stephen Tillery from our school community. The Board of Trustees is very pleased with the state of the school, and is looking forward to an exciting 2013-14 school year. Final Words Finally, thank you to everyone who continues to make St. James Episcopal School a great place for our children to grow academically and spiritually. Your contribution of time and energy continues to make St. James a vital, harmonious, and happy place to be. Please know that I speak for all the teachers and staff when I say that each and every one of you has our deepest gratitude for all you do and for choosing St. James for your family.
Please remember the first day of school is Tuesday, August 20th. We look forward to seeing you! Sincerely, Loree Birkenback
We have made it successfully through our first week and are gearing up for the second week of school. We have had such an amazing few days of school so far. The children are learning and working so great, they seem to be normalizing to the environment so quickly! It is going to be an amazing school year with all of your wonderful toddlers. We are very proud of all of them and canâ€™t wait to watch them grow and learn all year long. Please remember, if you havenâ€™t brought everything on the list of items to bring to class please make sure you get them here ASAP, and please let me know if you have any other questions about anything. Sincerely, Your MDO Teachers
Enjoying Snack Time
Welcome back to another exciting year here at St. James! We hope everyone had a wonderful summer. We are looking forward to welcoming all our new families into our toddler community, as well as seeing the smiling faces of our returning toddlers. I am excited to introduce Eliane Khairallah our new assistant to help support Mrs. Lily and me in our toddler classroom this year. Donâ€™t forget to bring filled water bottles daily. Food that needs to be heated up for lunch, please place in foil and mark with the childâ€™s name. Thank you, Mrs. April, Mrs. Lily and Ms. Eliane
Welcome to Ms. Coral, Mrs. Martha, and Mrs. Jana’s classroom! We are very excited to welcome familiar faces as well as new children joining our toddler community. This will be Ms. Coral’s ninth year teaching at St. James and third year as Lead Toddler Teacher. She is currently working on her associates degree geared towards Early Childhood Development. Ms. Martha has been Ms. Coral’s assistant for two years prior and is Montessori certified through North American Montessori Center. We are thrilled to have Jana Calderon join our team this year! Mrs. Jana has an associate’s degree in Theatre Arts with a background in Early Childhood Development. Learning to be independent is one of the most important things toddlers learn in the Montessori Community. Things that may seem insignificant to us, like washing hands and using the toilet are huge accomplishments for the children and bring a great sense of pride. As we send our children to school for the first time, they are now learning and following their own body cues instead of having an adult direct activity changes, behaviors and mealtimes. We provide many opportunities for independence in or classroom community. Hand washing is very important for many reasons in a toddler classroom. Children are learning to share many things but germs shouldn’t be one of them.
Hand washing is very important for many reasons in a toddler classroom. Children are learning to share many things but germs shouldnâ€™t be one of them. We wash hands to prevent sickness and also as a part of the cycle of activity in preparation for eating and working. Toddlers will be given utensils to eat with but still often like to use their hands to feed themselves. Hand washing is something children really enjoy and do for long periods of time. The warm running water, bubbles, and being able to turn the water on and off independently all add to the excitement of hand washing. Toileting and changing shoes are also another important part of the toddlerâ€™s regular routine in the classroom. We arrive in the morning and go straight to our cubbies to change into our crocs, then to the toilet. Whether the child is in diapers or underwear, they have a chance to practice sitting on the potty. The children eventually learn to follow body cues and go to the toilet independently. In the toddler community a large part of toileting is learned from older toddlers. The modeling of peers is extremely effective and makes using the potty more interesting to children who are just beginning. Dressing and undressing also play a very important role in our bathroom routine. Children take off garments, underpants or diapers and shoes in preparation to use the toilet. After sitting on the potty they practice dressing themselves and wash their hands. It is safe to say we spend a great deal of classroom time in our bathroom practicing these life skills. They learn patience, consistency and pride from this daily ritual. We cannot wait to see all of you at St. James!
Hello Toddler 1 Parent, I hope everyone has had a restful and productive summer. Ms. Bea and I are so excited to be back and preparing our classrooms. We have had a few changes in the classroom, more moveable shelving, so our classroom has been rearranged with fun different work areas. Francis the hamster is returning, she has been enjoying her stay with a returning toddler Evan Bray. Thank you so much for to the Bray family. We would like for you to know a little bit more about us, so here is a brief biography. We can’t wait to meet you and your little ones, and to see our returning student’s growth from over the summer. Anna Mendoza-Bouldin “Ms. Anna” – Lead Teacher and Toddler Coordinator My family and I live here in the Lake Highlands area, and I have three children which are graduate alumni of St. James. Briana is a senior at Lake Highlands High School, Brendan is a 7th grader at Forest Meadow Junior High and Brooke is a 2nd grader at Moss Haven Elementary. My husband Stephen is the Children’s Minister at Ascension. I have obtained my B.S. at the University of North Texas in Early Childhood Education; Infant and Toddler Montessori Certification at Houston Montessori Center in Houston and Godly Play Certification in Ft. Worth. I have been teaching at St. James for 5 years.
Beatriz Castaneda “Ms. Bea” – Teacher Assistant Ms. Bea returns to St. James Episcopal School for the second year. She is the assistant teacher to Ms. Anna in Toddler 1 classroom. Beatriz has a Bachelor of Arts in Multimedia Journalism with a minor in Creative Writing from the University of Texas at El Paso. Shortly after, she took interest in children education and in the Montessori philosophy that St. James offers. Ms. Bea is from El Paso, Tx. She has experience and has taken online courses and training in Montessori education. Her interests include cultural studies, reading, writing, making art, and working with children. Our prepared environment encourages independence and self confidence and language in all areas of the class, there will be cooking, gardening, art, language/math and sensory materials and practical life works and our outside time will have many gross motor activities, making our 13-14 school year fun and exciting. Record keeping will be parent friendly by using Montessori Compass, please be sure to check it on a regular basis. If you have any questions please feel free to contact me, by email or send a message through Montessori Compass. There will be updates, special event information progress notes and lots of pictures of our toddlers. Ms. Anna and Ms. Bea
Mrs. Barrineau/ Ms. Ana Welcome and welcome back! We have a great school year planned for your children, our students. Here are a few items that will help us get off to a great start. 1. EXTRA CLOTHES: Please send an extra change of clothes for your child to leave in the classroom. They will only be used in case of accidents. (If you have a 3 year old, please leave 3 or 4 pairs of underwear). 2. CUBBIES: Please allow your child to independently put lunch boxes, sweaters, etc., in their cubbies and also independently retrieve those items at the end of the day. One of the goals of the Montessori classroom is to lead the child to independence. 3. SNACKS: snack schedules will be put in your childâ€™s cubbie. Please post the schedule with your other family reminders. If you cannot bring the snack on your assigned week/weeks please arrange a trade with another family. Any questions, please ask.
LUNCH GUIDELINES: WE ASK THAT YOU SEND YOUR CHILD A HEALTHY LUNCH. Please no chips of any kind. Most have no nutritional value. Please DO NOT include sweets. Please include a protein in your childâ€™s lunch. We are ready and looking forward to a wonderful 2013-2014 school year! -Mrs. Barrineau & Ms. Ana
Dear parents and friends, Welcome back to school! We are so excited and ready to see all of the children after a long hot summer. We have experienced many adventures and made memories over the summer months and can’t wait to share them all. My son Louis, my fiancée John and I travelled to California where we surfed the Santa Monica beach, browsed in the Hollywood Farmers Market, and hiked in the San Bernardino Mountains in Big Bear. Kalindi travelled to California to visit family and then spent the rest of the summer backpacking through Europe. The new year brings so many new opportunities for learning and the classroom is revamped and brimming with lots of fascinating work for the children. We are eager to welcome the new first year primary students! They will love exploring the prepared environment and choosing new work and lessons. The second year and Kindergarten students will no doubt be ready for taking on a leadership role in the class and building on the foundation of knowledge they have formed over their years in Montessori. As we embark on a new year we recommit ourselves to aiding the work of the children as they seek knowledge and independence, for as Maria Montessori said, “The greatest sign of success for a teacher is to be able to say, “The children are now working as if I did not exist.” Much love, Ms. Charlotte and Ms. Kalindi
We are so happy to welcome you into the 2013-2014 school year! This year promises to hold fun, discovery and a deepening of your childâ€™s love of learning.We have been working hard in the classroom to prepare our beautiful Montessori environment to meet the needs of each child this year. There is an exciting new addition to the classroom decor! Our Montessori continents rug is sure to bring several new lessons to our school day. In addition to being a built in class work of walking on the line, each continent in color coordinated to coincide with our continent map in the cultural area of our classroom. We intend to make full use of our gorgeous new rug! This year we are welcoming 11 new students into our classroom who moved up from the toddler program or are new students to the school. We are excited to integrate this new students into our Primary community. We also congratulate the four kindergarten students in our classroom and look forward to all your accomplishments this year. See you all very soon and best wishes for this school year. Blessings, Miss. Elizabeth Stark and Mrs. Ashley Woodruff
Welcome to our new and returning families of the Primary 3 classroom! We have been hard at work preparing the classroom environment for the 20132014 year and we cannot wait to begin. The first month of school will be an exciting flurry of activity as the children greet their old friends, make new ones, and return to the routine and structure of the classroom environment. The Montessori approach provides children with freedom within the boundaries of respect for the classroom community and proper use of the materials. As we settle in to the new school year, each child will grow into this freedom by engaging in works and lessons that are suited for his/her sensitive learning periods. The Montessori primary classroom is set up with a broad range of works designed to appeal to children at all developmental stages between the ages of three and six years old. It is our job as â€œguidesâ€? to closely observe the children, paying particular attention to the educational and emotional needs of each, and ensuring that our classroom meets these needs. As the year progresses and the children continue to grow, we will adapt and expand the materials and lessons that are available to maintain the interest and learning needs of each child.
We look forward to a wonderful year of growth, learning, and caring with our classroom community! We are excited to get to know each family and we thank you for this opportunity to serve your child this next year. Ms. Julia and Ms. Tamara
“Education is a natural process carried out by the human individual, and is acquired not by listening to words, but by experiences in the environment.” – Maria Montessori
“To aid life, leaving it free, however, to unfold itself, that is the basic task of the educator.” – Maria Montessori
The staff of St. James Episcopal School would like to thank all the families who took turns caring for Jameson the guinea pig over the summer vacation. Jameson returned from his adventures looking happy and healthy. Thank you so much for your loving care of our sweet school pet!
Brooklyn Walker and family Roman Lewis and family Noah Jaimez and family Henry Schultz and family Riley Sutton and family Brooke Callagy and family Hayes Harvanek and family Sophia Haas and family Victoria and Noah Melson and family Jonah and Chloe Tinker and family