Our Butterflies, a Metamorphosis

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Bear with my metaphor, but almost all of life’s lessons can be learned from children’s picture books.

In two fitting ways, Evergreen children are the Very Hungry Caterpillars in Eric Carle’s book. First, they are voracious. They are ravenous to learn things, to do things and to figure things out (not just hungry for fruit and junk food). Second, our children have been warmly nestled in cozy classroom cocoons—with caring teachers in a safe, nurturing place to learn.

So what happens when our caterpillars become butterflies?  What happens after Evergreen elementary?

In a few months, our third graders will emerge from the Evergreen cocoon as graduates with colorful new wings.  After four years or more with us, each is excited and nervous for new schools, new teachers and new friends.

I am proud to share their plans for next year.  Our third graders have been accepted at several of the most selective independent schools in the DC region.  Among hundreds of applicants, our students stood out for their academic preparation, personal character, intellectual curiosity and maturity.  These qualities will serve them well wherever they go.

I am grateful to our Elementary teachers, Mrs. Hatziyannis and Mrs. Hannon, for their hands-on support of each child through the application process. As Evergreen father Joel Klein said at a recent ESPA meeting, the relationship between Elementary teachers and their students is the most powerful part of the Evergreen experience.

Just as our program is individualized to meet the needs of each child, our objective is not to get students into the most selective schools. Therefore, as you will see from the list, Evergreen isn’t a “feeder” for any particular school. Our children will attend a range of schools, each a well-selected match for the personality and learning-style of each child. In addition to these schools, Evergreen graduates have also attended MCPS schools, Sidwell Friends School, Sienna School and Catholic schools in the last two years.  We are fortunate to have many excellence independent, religious and public schools in the area for families to choose for fourth grade.

There is tremendous value in staying at Evergreen for the entire Elementary experience.  It is a powerful launching pad for newly-winged butterflies!

Avery: Sandy Spring Friends School
Lydia: Barrie School
Alexander: St. Patrick’s Catholic School
Anais: Maret School
Harry: Lowell School
Maddie: Lowell School

Regards,

John DeMarchi
Head of School

Tennis Clinic with USTA

February 23, 2016 Leave a comment

Evergreen hosted a tennis clinic with USTA instructor Ronnie Goodall on Monday.  What a great way to use our gym on a wet February day.  Evergreen will offer enrichment tennis classes this spring and summer tennis sessions, too.

Summer Programs and Camp!

December 30, 2015 Leave a comment

Evergreen Summer Image

Get ready for a summer of creativity, discovery and friendship. With more than 50 years of experience, Evergreen offers joyful, safe and educational programs where active, curious children age 2.5 to 10 learn and grow. Led by our caring and experienced staff, our programs provide enriched experiences that children and parents love.

(click to see all sessions and dates)

Montessori Summer (Ages 2.5 – 5)

Learn the hands-on Montessori way! Includes trips to the pool, field trips, performer visits and more.

Acorns (Ages 3.5 – 4) and Sprouts (Ages 4 – 5)

Multi-faceted day camps focus on art, music, dance and fanciful creatures. Includes swimming, field trips, performer visits and more.

Specialty Camps (Ages 6 – 10)

Sensational programs in Art, Cooking, Karate, Musical Theater, Science, and Tennis led by expert teachers!

 

UgolMeet our Director: Stephanie Ugol Stephanie is the Evergreen School Summer Programs Director. She holds a BFA in Theatrical Design from the University of Georgia and an Associate’s Degree in Visual Communications from the Arts Institute in Atlanta. Previously she serve as Director of the Center of Youth and Family/Camp at the District of Columbia Jewish Community Center. She also served as Director of Summer Camps at Sandy Spring Friends School.

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Evergreen School Tree House

There is Joy in a Job Well Done.

There is Joy in a Job Well Done.

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Montessori Preparation

December 22, 2015 Leave a comment

The real preparation for education is the study of one’s self.

–Maria Montessori

Maria Montessori Observing a Child

Why Evergreen School?

December 18, 2015 Leave a comment

Taking Care of Each Other Evergreen SchoolWhy Evergreen School?

The most distinguishing characteristic of Evergreen School is the quality and expertise of our faculty.  Our teachers are committed to the Montessori philosophy of education.  As such, their strongly held beliefs in the capability and dignity of each child lead to a learning community based on respect.  It is an environment characterized by collaboration, kindness and a strong sense of mission and purpose.

The welcoming feeling in the school building comes from the sense of trust shared between children, teachers and families. Our teachers bring joy to their classrooms because they are performing meaningful, fulfilling work each day.  They experience a powerful sense of satisfaction from seeing their students learning, growing and making progress.  Our teachers are personally invested in the success of each of their students. This commitment is the foundation of our community spirit.

A significant reason why our teachers choose to work at Evergreen is our small class size and the intimate nature of our community.  Evergreen is a place that values knowing each child individually.  We are unique among Montessori schools for having such small classes and a low student/teacher ratio.

Our teachers are committed to their profession.  Lead teachers have all participated in rigorous Montessori training programs.  And they eagerly pursue continuing education and life-long learning about child development.  In addition to participating in national Montessori conferences, they attend local and regional workshops to stay abreast with current trends in education.

Following the Montessori Method, we believe that each child should have a personalized learning experience in which the level of challenge is appropriately set for each child.  No child is overwhelmed, frustrated or bored by lessons presented.  Children experience the right level of challenge, in an environment with high expectations so they continue to make progress.

The broad diversity of our community is a major strength; here is a place that all can call home.

Another key attribute of our program is our comprehensive program.  At Evergreen, we believe that every child has multi-faceted interests and passions.  Our Montessori classroom program is complemented by specials including music, art, physical education, library and Spanish.  By participating in specials twice each week, children experience continuity of their learning. Outdoor recess every day in an all-natural Playgarden gives our students the essential opportunity to connect with nature and have the kind of free play and social time that is vital to physical, social and emotional development. Finally, our facility provides the backdrop where all these activities take place. Our full-sized gym, art, music and library spaces are essential for carrying out our comprehensive program.

The quality of the Evergreen experience comes from our philosophy, our size and our structure. Most of all, it comes from our teachers and parent community who work hand-in-hand together to provide our children with the very best opportunities to learn and grow.

Why a Winter Festival?

December 17, 2015 Leave a comment

let it snowWhy do we celebrate Winter Festival?

Winter is the darkest season. But the darkness of winter draws our attention to light.  At Winter Festival we celebrate the light that each of us brings to our family, our classrooms, our school and our community.

Winter is the darkest season.  Winter is also the coldest season.  But the coldness of winter draws attention to the warmth in our hearts. With this warmth, each of us has the power to thaw bigotry, intolerance and ignorance.    At Winter Festival we celebrate the love inside each of us.

As Maria Montessori said, “Love is the most potent.” Love is the most powerful.

And just as the song goes, “As long as you love me so, Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.”

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Why Montessori for the Kindergarten Year?

December 17, 2015 Leave a comment

Montessori MapWhy Montessori for the Kindergarten Year?

At Evergreen, the school year in which children turn six is called the Third Year because it is last one in the three-year Primary program cycle.  Children at this level are the equivalent age of children in traditional Kindergarten programs.

Children in the Third Year at Evergreen benefit from small classes and an excellent student-teacher ratio.  By the time they are in the Third Year, children are exceptionally well known by their Evergreen teachers.  In addition, the highly individualized Montessori approach ensures that children at this level are learning lessons perfectly matched to their level.

The Third Year is an incomparable opportunity for social/emotional development. A child who has spent two years as an understudy to the older children is now ready to be class leader, role model and mentor. This is the year in which a child’s confidence and self-assurance solidifies.  Our Third Year students work hand-in-hand with their teachers to set the tone in the classroom for all the other children.  One reason why Montessori classrooms are so peaceful is because of the strong leadership of Third Year children. Kindness and collaboration are the norm. When conflict occurs, Third Year children are well equipped to act as problem solvers and mediators—and teachers are nearby to guide or intervene as well.

Academically, the Montessori Method of education is a cumulative experience.  The curriculum is intended to be a presented in three-year cycles.  What children learn in the Third Year is built on what they have learned in previous years.  The Third Year is where the child internalizes concrete experiences and builds a strong educational foundation.  Third year children are proud to be able to write sentences and stories; they use math materials to add four digit numbers and multiply.  The value of the first two years is not fully realized if the child does not continue working with Montessori materials to their ultimate purpose.  The materials build upon one another; become more and more abstract; and require more concentration and independence.  Third Year work is high level and exceeds typical Kindergarten class standards.

Children who complete the three-year cycle in the primary class make easy transitions socially and academically to our Elementary classroom or first grade.

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