2018 Annual Drive - Homestretch letter
April 17, 2018
Dear IMS Families,
It is hard to believe it is already mid-April and the end of the school year is on the horizon. We are deep into planning for next year and excited to implement our recently adopted Five-year Strategic Plan. As you’ll recall, the focus of this plan is to make Island Montessori’s academics uniquely excellent!
The success of our Annual Drive is a key component of being able to execute our vision. To date, our first Annual Drive has raised $7,203 from 25 different families. And thanks to our generous benefactor, that amount has been matched, bringing the grand total to $14,406!
Our vision is to have 100% family participation. Of course, each family’s financial situation is unique. Some are able to give more than others. Some contribute their valuable time. Every donation, no matter the size, brings us one step closer. Thank you to our generous benefactor who has agreed to extend the donation-match deadline to the end of April!
Our goal is to raise $40,000. Typically it is easiest to fundraise when you can point to a big shiny project, like a new building or a computer lab. However, we’ve determined the most efficient way to improve our school - and maximize the return on the funds you donate - is not a big shiny project, but a series of small steps that collectively have a significant impact, and benefit each and every child at Island Montessori.
Our teachers have created lists of needs for their classroom curriculum that total over $25,000 (a partial list of items with links is included below):
Lower Elementary & Kindergarten request “big works” in the classrooms for both culture and language. They are developing a 3-year cycle surrounding concepts that will provide a strong foundation for rich cultural experiences. They have also asked for more extensive grammar materials to drive their focus on writing. For math, they are in need of more differentiated card materials to support independent learning for all levels. Montessori materials are expensive! Some of these items cost $500 to $1000.
Upper Elementary has also asked for works that enhance their cultural curriculum. They are preparing for their second time through their 3-year cycle! Next fall they will have intense U.S history work and need materials such as advanced maps, landforms, and timelines. They will be working on additional Biomes and Continent work as well as physical geography. They also are requesting materials to help bridge students into UE, to support independent work (mostly in math), and AIG materials to supplement our highest learners. Again, these materials, which benefit each and every student, can be quite expensive.
Middle School continues to customize their 2-year cycle. A study of the science standards through botany requires a full aquaponics system. Upcoming novel studies themed for cross-curricular history require book set purchases in content areas such as memoirs and World War II. They will also be doing a year-long character study using the Seven Habits curriculum. Improving the comfort of the classroom environment to promote learning and finding space to accommodate the growing number of project spaces are also needs. Teachers have requested additional table and chair sets and an easily-accessible storage shed to free up classroom space.
The other focus of investment for the coming year will be in teacher training. A school is only as strong as its teachers! If you didn’t already know, 2018-19 will be the “Year of the Teacher!” We’ve been asking teachers what they want and need to be happy and fulfilled at Island Montessori - and professional development is at the top of the list. We are blessed to have a staff of motivated educators who strive to improve. The returns on this type of investment are realized each and every day as our teachers interact with and guide our children.
If you’ve already made a contribution - thank you!
If you haven’t, the donation-match deadline is 13 days away (April 30) and we hope you’ll consider an investment in your children’s future. Our goal of $40,000 comes out to roughly $175-200 per student. For $15-20 a month - what you might spend on a burger and a beer - you can make a big difference!
Please visit www.im.school/donate to find convenient options to make a one-time donation or set up a recurring monthly donation. Of course, you can always drop a check off at the front desk. Island Montessori is a 501c(3) non-profit organization, which means your donations are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.
Dan Camacho, President, Board of Directors
Melinda Cummings, Vice-president, Board of Directors
Brian Corrigan, Head of School
Lara Hamlet, Instructional Coordinator