Willow Oak Montessori Virtual Town Hall
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Willow Oak Montessori Virtual Town Hall
Thank you for taking the time to visit our Virtual Town Hall. Please review the questions and answers below. If you have a question that has not already been answered, please click on "Submit a new question" below. Please note that this is a place for general questions about our school, not concerns that are specific to a particular student or faculty member. For specific concerns, please follow the paths suggested on the Go-To List linked below.
Submit a new question Go-To Guide
QuestionResponse from administrationLink to more informationUpdated
Should we be concerned about the school's "C" grade with the State of North Carolina? Are students not being successful on standardized tests?We are always focused on all aspects of how a child is growing, including her/his academic growth. Our school performance grade is within 1 point of a B, which only 28% of elementary and middle schools in the state have achieved. We regularly report academic performance data to the Board of Directors and update them on the steps we are taking to address potential areas of growth. For more information about assessments and how they are used in our school, please see Pete's e-mail to parents on 9/9/2018 and the parent partnership night presentation from 10/1/2018. If you ever have any questions about your own child's assessment results, please first contact her/his classroom teachers and then the Head of School.Parent Partnership Night Presentation2018-10-10
Why do we receive work home done by our student that is incomplete/incorrect?Every classroom has an accountability system in place to help children develop the intrinsic motivation to complete high-quality work independently. You should see a progression in the quality and completion of work over a child's time in a classroom. If you do not understand the accountability systems in place in your child's classroom, please reach out to her/his teacher. This topic will be covered at the 11/7/2018 parent partnership night. A link to any materials from that session will be posted here following the meeting.2018-10-10
What steps are being taken to address our school's lack of racial and socio-economic diversity?After several years of attempting to start off with and then increase diversity, the Board of Directors formed an Equity Team to study what could be keeping us from being a school of choice for families of color, families of limited financial means, families of students with disabilities, and all other populations of families that have not traditionally held power in our society. The work of this team is explicitly beyond viewing equity as "meeting needs," though that is included. Instead, we are focused on studying our culture and shifting power to make our community more aware and welcoming of all. This is hard work and we welcome your involvement. For more information, please contact Susannah Hunter, the Board Liaison to the Equity Team.shunter@willowoakmontessori.org2018-10-10
What is the status of the new campus?The Board is currently in final negotiations to close on the land with the developer that owns it. Once that sale is complete, we will be better able to confirm/adjust the current target date of January 2020. For more information, please contact Board President Brystana Kaufmann.bkaufmann@willowoakmontessori.org2018-10-10
What impact do charter schools have on the schools in my local school district? What are the differences between local school districts, charter schools, and private schools that receive State funds?This is a complicated question, depending on the lens that is being used. For an overview of the differences, please see the document linked for a comparison that was last updated in November 2015 (we will work on updating for the current year, but the information beyond the financial figures is still accurate).Comparison of schools receiving public funds2018-10-10
Why are there not more opportunities for me to volunteer in my child's classroom?Parent involvement in a Montessori classroom may feel different from what you've experienced in other environments. Because of the focus on developing the executive function skills of our students, we don't typically add parents to the classroom during the work cycle to support academic work. We do, however, enthusiastically welcome parents to share cultural or other topics of interest with their children's classrooms. Some examples include a presentation on the culture of a parent's home country, sharing artifacts/stories from a travel adventure, craft projects, etc. If you have an interest that you'd like to weave into your child's classroom experience, please reach out to her/his teacher directly. Please also join our community-building PTA!2018-10-10
Why does the school need to fundraise? Am I not already paying taxes that support the school?In short, the funds received from State and Local governments (~$9,000 per student) are not enough to support a high-quality Montessori school with a full suite of enrichment programs like ours. For more information, please see the parent partnership night presentation from the 2017-2018 school year linked at right.The Public School Budget Balancing Act2018-10-10
How can I get more involved in supporting the school in achieving its mission?The School's Board of Directors, which is responsible for governing the School and supporting the Head of School in achieving the School's goals, has several committees that do the important work of overseeing the current functioning of the school and planning for its future. These include: Board Development; Finance; Institutional Advancement; and Operations & Programming. Most work of the Board is done at the committee level, and each committee then reports back to the Board on progress and to solicit feedback on next steps. If you are interested in learning more about a Committee, please contact Board Development Chair Colleen Selleck.cselleck@willowoakmontessori.org2018-10-10
Will my child be ready to attend traditional high school?Anecdotal evidence from high school students in the area who attended Montessori schools through 8th grade suggests that the executive function skills and student attitudes about teachers has had a positive impact on students in high school. Research has typically shown that academic outcomes for Montessoi students are comparable or better, while outcomes related to creativity, academic engagement, and behavior are superior.Milwaukee Public School Study2018-10-10
#academics#montessoriSouth Carolina Public School Study
How can I check what email lists I am on as a parent/guardian at Willow Oak?Go to https://groups.google.com/a/willowoakmontessori.org
Click "Sign in" in the upper right-hand corner.

-If the account that is on our lists is a gmail account, enter that account and password.
-If the account on our lists is not a gmail account, but you have a Google account using that email, enter that email address and password.
-If the account on our lists is not a gmail account, and you DO NOT have a Google account using it, click on "Create account" and then click on "Use my current email address instead" on the next screen. Proceed to create an account that you can use to access the school's groups.

Once logged in, click on "My groups." You should see one group for your child's grade and, for all grades other than 7th and 8th, you should also see a group for your child's class. So, if I had a 1st grader in the Green class, I would see a 1st Grade Parents group and a Green Class Parents group. Clicking on a group should show you all messages sent to that group's email address by an authorized person. All school-side emails will flow to the "grade" group.
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