...The quick answer is, “Too many to fit into one edition of Mustang Minutes.” Not only is Montessori philosophy and methodology inherently beneficial to children, the things that are unique about TMA build on that philosophy to offer value that reaches beyond the classroom. For the uninitiated, a Montessori classroom looks very different from what most of us who attended more traditional schools are familiar with. And those differences can lead us to wonder how exactly this whole Montessori thing actually works. From students spending three years in one classroom, to the individualized work plans, to the lack of traditional grading, if you haven’t seen the successes, or understand the reasoning, you likely have questions.
That’s why each year, as we approach re-enrollment time, I like to meet with parents who have those questions, to not only put their minds at ease, but to work to build a movement. A Montessori education is not just good for some children, but rather for all children in its differentiated academic approach and focus on the whole child. Student-centric and meeting children where they are, Montessori methods guide students to develop a love of learning, a respect for knowledge and to feel valued and capable. That’s what we do, and that’s why our students go on to successful and happy lives. So if you have questions, let’s grab coffee. Click here to get on my schedule, call me directly, or contact Kim (firstname.lastname@example.org) for further assistance in setting up a time for you and me to get together. Help us grow the movement!
Your generosity has kicked off our Annual Giving campaign with a bang! An anonymous donor offered a $5,000 match toward gifts received by Giving Tuesday, and we surpassed that goal and then some. Just 3 weeks into the campaign, the Annual Giving total stands at $17,063, when including the match, on an overall goal of $50,000. So we have a way to go but, thanks to your help, we’re off to a great start.
If you are still planning on making a gift to TMA, here’s a reminder that the calendar year is quickly coming to a close. To be sure to receive a deduction for the 2019 tax year, please make your gift soon. And if you’d like another way to double your donation to TMA, please consider donating through our Scholarship Granting Organization, or SGO. If you or your business has an Indiana state tax liability, for every dollar you donate through the SGO, 50% of that donation comes right back to you as a state tax credit. As an example, if you will owe the state of Indiana $1000 on your 2019 tax return, and you donate $1000 to our SGO, $500 comes back to you as a tax credit. So $500 out of your pocket is a $1000 donation to TMA! And if you itemize on your Federal tax return, you can still use that donation as a deduction, possibly making your out of pocket donation even less. It works for your individual return and for your business, if you file in Indiana. Go here for more information and to make an SGO donation.
We work hard to control our expenses and because of that, we cover almost 90% of the costs of running our school through tuition. And we’ve done so while also containing our tuition costs and in some cases, lowering tuition over the past few years. But what that means is, the more we raise through our fundraising initiatives, the more we can pay our wonderful teachers and staff and enhance our programming and facilities, all while continuing to keep tuition rates where they are. Please help us continue to grow the programming that has had such a tremendous impact on so many students for 50 years, by giving what you can.
Conference days are made all the more pleasant by our wonderful parents, who kindly brought us a variety of treats to enjoy. Thank you all very much for making us feel appreciated and so well taken care of.
As I’m sure you’ve noticed, the final phase of work has begun on our playground. And as Mother Nature would have it, after two productive days of planting and marking areas, the rain began to fall. Please help us in our call for dry weather, so that the work can continue to completion soon!
Another long desired update is slated to be unveiled in the next couple of weeks. We are excited to announce the development of a new website designed to match the energy and excitement we feel every day at TMA. The new site is full of great information, pictures, and all the info current and prospective parents may need to take full advantage of everything we have to offer.
TMA partnered with Caitlin Worm, Managing Director of Blackbird Philanthropy Advisors, (and a TMA Aunt!) a consulting group based in South Bend, to create a brand new website. Blackbird very generously redesigned the content and navigation to be more accessible, and trained staff so we can make regular updates on our own, something that wasn’t entirely possible with our antiquated site. Thanks very much to Caitlin for the design and training. Special thanks also to Kim and Hannah who have been working hard to proofread, edit, troubleshoot and get the new site ready for launch. To learn more about Blackbird, which also works with successful families and businesses to give them the tools to become active, strategic philanthropists in their communities, visit www.blackbirdadvisors.org.
Lastly, each year I encourage you, our current families, to schedule a tour with me to see the parts of the building and the programming about which you may not be familiar. One of the things I enjoy most about my job is touring prospective parents and seeing their realization that what we do is indeed different. The common comment is, “I wish I had been able to go to a school like this.” Montessori methodology is unique, and it works. Because it’s different though, it can seem daunting to even our existing parents who may not understand how and why the approach works so well. An example of our impact is shown by the twelve 2015 8th graders, who graduated from high school last year. Of those twelve, four were valedictorians and a fifth was in the top five of her class, while all of them were accepted into strong university programs. That is not an unusual occurrence. While we obviously can’t take credit for all of their successes, it does show how well our students are prepared when they enter high school. And most importantly, within that rigorous academic environment, we teach grace and courtesy, respect and peace, within our wonderfully diverse community, and we do it in a way that allows students to take responsibility for their learning, without the stressors that we hear too much about in traditional settings. If you’re not sure how our levels build and fit together, the reasons TMA students go on to such success, and have for so many years, please - let’s meet and allow me to show you around, answer your questions and share with you why I believe so strongly in our approach.
Thank you. I hope to see you soon and… Go Mustangs!