Parents' Memo: September 10, 2004

"It is this tender bond of love (between parent and child) that develops into all family and social relationships, that maintains a family, a society, a nation and a world."-Maharishi Mahesh Yogi on the Bhagavad-Gita: A New Translation and Commentary, Chapters 1-6, 1:25

FOUNDER'S DAY

Today, Lower School students participated in a sweet and inspiring Friday Assembly in honor of Founder's Day. This year we celebrate September 12th as the 31st birthday of Maharishi University of Management and Maharishi School of the Age of Enlightenment-celebrating 31 years of education for enlightenment. To honor our great Founder, and acknowledge this special day, Ms. Boone began the celebration by speaking about the early days of Maharishi School, followed by personal experiences of Rig Gelfand, our Athletic Director. Rig worked closely with Maharishi from 1973-1979 in Seelisberg, Switzerland, working as Maharishi's secretary for some of that time. The students then saw the videotape in which Maharishi teaches the "Saha nav" verse form the Isha Upanishad Santipatha, and then shared beautiful quotes of Maharishi's, which they had brought from home. The celebration ended with a candle lighting and cake cutting ceremony, and special homemade organic treats were handed out by Ms. Zmachinsky's and Mrs. Lynch's 5th and 6th grade students.

BACK TO SCHOOL NIGHT

Every year at "Back to School Night," parents have the
opportunity to meet their child's teacher, see the classroom and be informed of what the teacher has planned for the children for the school year. Mark your calendars now!
The meeting will be held Tuesday, September 14th, and will begin promptly at 7:45 pm in the Assembly Hall.


BIKE FEST UPDATE

With our Bike Fest kick-off assembly last Friday, the Bike Fest is off to a great start. It will be held on Saturday, October 9th, with a raindate of Sunday, October 10th. Please help your children to focus on their goals in whatever way you can-giving them suggestions of who to call and what to say. Many children are writing sponsorship request letters in class, and parents can help their children mail these to family and friends. Email is also a great way to communicate.
Every class has been given an achievable goal based on the number of students in their class. Each class that raises an average of $150 per child will celebrate with a party, once the money has been collected.
Each class also has a "big goal", which is to raise an average of $250 per student. We would very much like each class to reach this goal. Classes who reach their "big goal" will have some special activity added to their party.
Every child who raises a minimum of $75 and rides the required mileage for his/her age will win a medal.
Earning a medal is a wonderful accomplishment for the children, and fills them with a sense of pride for our School. The mileages that students need to ride to earn their medals are as follows:
Pre-school: Kindergarten:
2 laps - bronze 5 laps - bronze
5 laps - silver 10 laps - silver
10 laps - gold 20 laps - gold

1st & 2nd grade:
10 laps or 2 1/2 miles- bronze
20 laps or 5 miles - silver
40 laps or 10 miles - gold

3rd & 4th grade: (third graders may ride laps if they prefer,
although they are encouraged to ride miles if it is comfortable for
them.)
5 miles - bronze
10 miles - silver
15 miles - gold

5th & 6th grade:
10 miles - bronze
15 miles - silver
30 miles - gold

To ensure that your child will have a Bike Fest T-shirt on the day of the event, please note that registration forms should have been turned into the school office with the $12 registration fee ($10 for each additional family member) by today. If you have not yet turned in your child's registration form, please do so on Monday.

At last week's Assembly, some students received special recognition awards from their teachers: Jaya Muehlman and Demitri Makeig from the Primary Grades; Nani Shreck from the Intermediate Girls class, plus the 5th and 6th grade girls' classes and the Upper Elementary Boys' class as a whole were honored by their teachers. Congratulations to everyone!

MAHARISHI SCHOOL GREENHOUSE PRODUCE AVAILABLE TO PARENTS

The wonderful produce grown in our Maharishi School Greenhouse, enlivened by the sounds of nature, freshly picked and pesticide-free, is sold every Tuesday afternoon from 3:20-4:15 p.m., and every Wednesday morning from 8:20-9:40 a.m. Some of the produce available right now is eggplants, tomatoes, cucumbers, chard, lettuce, spinach, green beans, basil, parsley, cilantro, and flowers. Kettle corn is also available for purchase.
If you would like to help with picking on Tuesday mornings from 10:30 a.m.-12:00, you could earn 2 bags of greens. Please contact Diana Fleischman at 472-7743.

DESTINATION IMAGINATION

Welcome to another great year! If your child would like to participate in Destination ImagiNation this season, one parent must attend one of the following meetings. Each meeting will last for one hour. All meetings will be held in the DI room, which is located in the northwest corner of the bottom floor of the Boys' School.
Tuesday, September 14th - 2:00 p.m.
Wednesday, September 15th - 8:00 p.m.
Thursday, September 16th - 8:00 p.m.

Special meetings for Lower School students in grades five and six well be held at the following times:
Girls - Friday, September 17th, and Friday, September 24th from 5:00-6:30 p.m.

Boys - Wednesday, September 15th, and Wednesday, September 22nd from 5:00-6:30 p.m.



MEDIA CENTER UPDATE

The Lower School Media Center has an excellent collection of books for Lower School students of all grade levels. A continuing goal for this year is to update the library curriculum to improve information literacy for all students.
The Media Center's rules are fairly simple. Kindergarten students are allowed to check out one book at a time, and can keep the book for two weeks. Students in grades 1-6 can check out two books at a time, and can also keep their books for two weeks. A fine of 5 cents per day is charged for books that are overdue.
If a student needs a book for more than two weeks, they can bring it to the Media Center to be renewed. Parents, please help your children remember to return their books on time.
Our librarian is Kathy Shaw, who has worked in, and greatly improved, the Media Center and its programs for the past 10 years. Kathy has nearly completed her Masters' degree in Library Science at the University of Iowa. Her daughter, Emily, a graduate of Maharishi School, is going to college in California, and her son, Tim, is in 10th grade at Maharishi School. Kathy will be very happy to help you in any way she can. Please call her at school extension 5072, or come by during Media Center hours, 9:30 a.m.-noon and 1:00 p.m.-3:45 p.m. each school day.


SCHOLASTIC BOOK FAIR IN THE LOWER SCHOOL MEDIA CENTER
.Parents and children are invited to come to the Media Center's Scholastic Book Fair Thursday, September 23th through Tuesday, September 28th. This will be a wonderful opportunity to see and purchase good quality books, posters, and other items for children of all ages.
The Book Fair helps the Media Center by generating income to purchase new materials. We encourage you to visit during regular school hours. We will also remain open until 4 pm each day.


SCHOLASTIC BOOK FAIR IN THE LOWER SCHOOL MEDIA CENTER
We are pleased to welcome back our dear Maharishi Gandharva Veda musician, Mr. Binay Krishna Baral, affectionately called Mr. Binay by the children. Mr. Binay is a master of the Indian bamboo flute, the Bansuri. He was born in Calcutta, and has studied with world-renowned Bansuri Masters and exponents of the Indian classical tradition. He has toured most European and many eastern European countries, performing, teaching and conducting workshops for students.
Children have to be of a certain age to be able to start learning the flute, so our 5th and 6th grade students are fortunate to receive Gandharva Veda music lessons every Friday from this accomplished teacher! The Primary and Intermediate grade children will be instructed in Maharishi Gandharva Veda tabla, when our new tabla teacher arrives from India.

NEW STATE ACCREDITATION REQUIREMENTS
As you know, our Lower School has State accreditation with the Iowa Department of Education. Our Middle and Upper Schools have been granted special accreditation as a College Preparatory School, one of only four designated in the State of Iowa. This status recognizes that over 80% of Maharishi School graduates are accepted at accredited four-year colleges and universities each year. To be in compliance with State accreditation standards involves a lot of work for School personnel. For example, the Lower School needs to have State certified teachers, personnel evaluation criteria, written job descriptions, a summary of professional development activities, student records, employee health files, student achievement data, curriculum documents including standards and benchmarks, alumni surveys... and the list goes on and on. Since Grades K-6 have had State accreditation since 1987, most of this is routine. Every 5 years, we are required to write a Comprehensive School Improvement Plan (CSIP), with an Annual Progress Report to be submitted yearly. The APR for the school year 2003-2004 was submitted on August 15th. If you would like to read a copy of the Annual Progress Report, it is available in the Lower School Library.
Because Iowa is the only state in the nation whose education department does not set educational benchmarks and assessments, each Iowa school develops its own. Every district has been given local control in Iowa, and iis through the Comprehensive School Improvement Plan that the State can evaluate our progress. The CSIP includes short and long range student achievement goals to support student academic achievement. The Annual Progress Report summarizes the previous year's achievements and develops a plan for the following year to address goals not met. When setting goals for curriculum areas, we have to analyze data from the Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS), plus one other form of assessment. Our goals have to directly target student achievement based on these 2 assessment instruments. This year we are targeting reading comprehension and math.

BIRTHDAYS ARE SPECIAL

Most of you probably remember from previous years how I like to honor the students on their birthday. To begin with, I wish each child a "Happy Birthday" over the P.A., during morning announcements. Then, I invite the birthday child to my office to sign the "Wish Book." This is a special cloth bound book in which children write their wishes, however big or small. I enjoy having the children come to my office in this informal way. They tell me their plans for their birthday party, and then I give them each a special little gift. If you are ever interested in reading the children's wishes, stop by my office. Their words are truly precious.
Also, I should remind parents that it is a School policy not to hand out invitations at School unless the entire class is invited. We never want any child to feel excluded. Classroom celebrations are always welcome. Give your child's teacher a call to discuss the details.


TRAFFIC SAFETY POINTS
For the children's safety, we need to remember that it is important to obey all our traffic rules. This is especially important at prime pick-up and drop-off times, when there is a large amount of traffic-both car and pedestrian-and everyone is in a hurry to arrive or depart in a timely fashion. Please remember to obey all speed limit signs on campus. Also, please obey the 4-way stop (at the corner of Pioneer Road and Dr. Keith Wallace Drive-at the corner of the entrance to the School) and proceed directly into the turnaround to the next open spot to drop your children off. Please do not park at the curb at any time! If cars are parked at the curb, parents have to drop their children off in the middle of the road, which is very unsafe! Preschool and Kindergarten parents should please park in the designated space at the far side of the parking lot to take their children into school, and then return to their cars as quickly as possible. Thank you for your cooperation.

Announcements

  • Emergency Cards: If you have been called by the Lower School office to complete your child's emergency card, please stop by to do this. Children will not be allowed in School after Monday, September 13th if their card is incomplete
  • Maharishi School Website: Please visit our Maharishi School Website at www.maharishischooliowa.org. Check out the Parent Memo online with many fun photographs of students' activities; click on the "News" bar at the top of the page, then find "Parent Memo".

  • Maharishi Gandharva Veda Concert: This Saturday, September 4th, at 8:00 p.m. in the Dome, we invite you to enjoy a beautiful Maharishi Gandharva Veda Concert with renowned flutist, Mr. Binay. The concert will also feature three student musicians from Maharishi School, Michael Cook, Soren Pearson, and Jake Gratzon. Admission for Maharishi School students is free, $15 for the general public, $10 for people with a valid Dome badge, and $5 for MUM and MSAE faculty and staff.
  • Gem, Mineral and Fossil Show: Saturday, September 11th, from 9:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m., and Sunday, September 12th, from 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. at Jefferson County Fairgrounds.



    Parent Memo Sept 3rd
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