October 7th: Race to the Finn!

Dear Parents

I am Nicky Mondroski — mom of Evie, Finn and William and the lead parent on our scholarship fundraising event, Race to the Finn! October 7th is the 5th annual Race to the Finn at Burrows Park. We will have a 1mile, 5k and 10k race available and cost $25, $40 and $70 to walk or run. The race is named in honor of our son, Finnegan, who passed away on January 5th, 2013 from cancer and all proceeds go towards the Finnegan Ringdroski Scholarship.

Here are some ways you can help

1. We need more sponsors. Would your workplace like to donate $100? Their logo would appear on our race t-shirts. They can also throw in flyers or coupons into our race bags if they would like.

2. Ask your local veterinarian, dentist or chiropractor. It is affordable advertising for them.

3. Come to the race and participate! You can sign up here. This week, your children will receive an envelope that people can put donations in (and if your child raises the $25 for the mile — you don’t have to pay the admission fee).

4. Volunteer at the race. We will need help picking up donations (one is Ale Asylum beer!), setting up for the event and cheering on our kids!

Below is my Ask Letter that I take to businesses. If you want to know who has been asked, let me know. There is a list of 25 businesses already.

Thank you for all your help!

Email Nicky here


PDF: RTTF Business Ask Letter

Back-To-School Potluck

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Our school community gathered for our annual back-to-school potluck at Burrows Park on Thursday, August 31, 2017. It is such a delight to see the children greet old and new friends with excitement and enthusiasm after a summer of adventures away from school! Thanks to everyone who attended for the delicious food and community spirit.

Moving Forward

“What’s next?”

From the moment our school community was conceived, this question has guided our journey. It was certain that bringing AMI Montessori education to the children and families of Madison was not the starting point nor was it the end goal. The question, at that time, was not whether or not to make this community a public school. The question in September, 2011, was, “How do we make this the most accessible Montessori school to reach as many families as possible?”

No one outside of this city could surmise how this form of education wasn’t already a possibility for families here, and at the same time, so many people in this city, while championing the cause, were skeptical of change being any sort of outcome. This skepticism saddened us, but it did not slow us down. Each step forward we asked, “What’s next?” And we kept moving.

This forward motion was not the journey of a couple teachers who wanted to see things change in Madison. This forward motion was the work of Fratney Miller, Ali Muldrow, Tim Peeremboom, Georgia Lieber, and Nick Kamphaus. This work was the forward motion of MMSD Board of Education President, James Howard, Mary Burke, Ed Hughes, Michael Flores, and Dean Luomos. This forward motion was the collaborative work with district administration including Jen Cheatham, Kelly Ruppel, Dylan Pauly, Mike Berry, John HarperSilvia Romero-Johnson, and many more.

As each board member made a request for more information or different language, we returned to conference rooms to tailor the contract to each individual request, all with the goal of accessibility. All the while we continued to ask, “What’s next?” What is the next phrase or set of numbers or perfect boundary that will meet the needs of these board members before they will accept this change as a possibility for children and families who have historically been priced out of Montessori? We continued to ask, “What’s next?”

Each change we made was meant to be for the masses of people who wrote and spoke about this opportunity for their children, and we learned on Monday, August 21, 2017, that the changes we were making were for four people who didn’t want another opportunity for the oppressed, the marginalized, the poor, the homeless, those at risk of unnecessary expulsion and suspension, or those with exceptionalities.

What’s next?

Four people will not exclude a city. Four people will not stop this forward motion. Four people will not stop us from asking, “What’s next?”

The current contract is still in negotiations, and there are multiple options to create public, AMI Montessori in Madison. When we learn of the next board meeting when the contract will be discussed, we will help to inform the public. When we learn of more details regarding alternative options for creating a public space for AMI Montessori education in Madison, you will be the first to know. As always, we will continue to share information when we have it, as we are aware of your commitment to this cause.

The only people who haven’t asked about the next steps have been well-intentioned, protectors of our hearts. Though we appreciate the connection with our human family at any time; now, like any moment of darkness or light, we must look to the children. All of the children. We take time each day to share our gratitude to the families who have given us the opportunity to work and learn with children each day and to be inspired by children who we don’t even know. To the families who wrote letters, who traveled to speak, who call us weekly to say, “Keep going!”, who drive hours each day to be a part of a community working so hard for something, and the extended families who support them. Thank you for this opportunity for change. Thank you for the children.

And thank you, children. Each day a unique and exceptional soul opens a crack in any shadow overhead, showing us the light and the power to keep moving forward, and to continue asking, “What’s next?”


Melissa M. Droessler & Carrie Marlette

Heads of School

New School Year for 2017 – 2018!


Hello Families & Friends

We’re beginning our new 2017-2018 school year at IMA and we’re very excited. We have a number of new and exciting projects planned for this school year, and after a great (& hot) summer we’re eager to get started.

We’ve sent out a PDF of our school calendar for the new year, but we’re going to post it here as well for anyone who missed it the first time around. We’re still adding to our calendar so it might change somewhat in the coming weeks — we’ll be sure to stay in touch and let you know of any changes through email, Facebook and here on our web site.

Posted below is a PDF of our calendar as of 8/17/17. Let us know if you have any questions or problems with the calendar, and we’ll be in touch with you again about our new school year soon.





Spring Scrip Card Fundraiser

Spring Scrip Card Fundraiser

Here’s how it works: You purchase gift cards at face value, the school orders those cards from Great Lakes Scrip Center at a reduced price, and the difference is an instant rebate for the school. Scrip cards are an easy way to make your shopping – whether it’s routine, every-day shopping or gift shopping – help the school!

Place and order by filling out the Family Order Form (available as hard copy at school).

Select the item(s) you want, make a check out to Isthmus Montessori Academy, and submit your check and order form via the Secure Payment box located in the Great Hall (by the kitchen.)

Orders are due by April 28, 2017.

Once orders are submitted, we hope to receive them in the mail by May 8 and distribute them to you at that time.

Questions about the program? Feel free to contact school, Sally Griffith-Oh, or leave a note in the Griffith-Oh family mailbox in the Great Hall.

Thank you for helping our school!

Bid On Items, Have Some Pancakes!


then, come to the



Sunday, April 23
11 am – 1 pm

Isthmus Montessori Academy
1402 Pankratz Street, Madison


Enjoy a delicious brunch, bid on a range of goods and services to support our school, learn about public Montessori education, and have fun with friends.

Open to the public — Bring your friends!

$6 child (active eaters) — $8 adult

Questions? Email us!

Donating to the IMA Silent Auction? It Starts Soon!

Dear IMA Families and teachers,

Would you like to donate an item, or — even better — your time and talent, to the IMA Silent Auction? The auction is starting soon!

If you or your children have something you’d/they’d like to donate, please let Ms. Allison know the following information, and we will get it listed on the auction website:

WHEN / HOW ITEM WILL BE DELIVERED TO IMA (or the winning bidder, depending on item):


for example — one real auction item, one imaginary:

AUCTION ITEM: 2 hours with a Parents’ Helper!
DESCRIPTION: 2 hours with a qualified, experienced, 12-year-old Parents’ Helper.
DONATED BY: Miriam Bloom
WHEN / HOW ITEM WILL BE DELIVERED TO IMA (or the winning bidder, depending on item): I’ll make a certificate and give it to Ms. Allison on 4/16


AUCTION ITEM: Homemade pickles
DESCRIPTION: 3 jars of homemade gourmet pickles
DONATED BY: An IMA grandma
WHEN / HOW ITEM WILL BE DELIVERED: we’ll email a photo and bring the actual pickles to IMA on 4/18

Thank you!

Ms. Allison

Isthmus Montessori Academy Night at the Duck Pond

Come join us at The Duck Pond at Warner Park for a night of fun and baseball!

On Sunday, July 30th, the Battle Creek Bombers out of Battle Creek, Michigan face off against the Madison Mallards in a Northwoods League extravaganza.

For this special IMA night game, $14 gets you a reserved stadium seat and an official Mallards baseball cap. And $5 of every ticket sold goes to IMA!

Our IMA Mallards Night at the Duck Pond last year was a big hit. The Mallards put on a good show, with plenty of between-inning activities and surprises for kids and families. There’s also great food and drinks to be had by all.

To purchase your tickets, click here and then click BUY TICKETS in the upper-right corner.

In the Promotions Box, enter Promo Code IMA. Then come join us Sunday, July 30th.

If you have any questions, you can contact the Mallards or contact us here at IMA. We hope to see you on the 30th!


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