IMA’s Edible Schoolyard and Garden

Dear IMA Families,

We’re thrilled to be working with FarmRaiser this year, selling organic seeds from High Mowing Organic Seeds to raise money for Isthmus Montessori Academy’s edible schoolyard and garden.

Our fundraising goal is $500. This sale only lasts through February 24, so we hope you’ll get started right away! You can purchase products by visiting this link.

Products will be sent home with families, or can be picked up at school, on March 3, 2017. If you are interested in volunteering on Distribution Day, let me know.

Tips for Great Sales:

Share the link to our online market with family and friends. You can write an email explaining your FarmRaiser and direct them to our link to support us.

Post the link on social media and ask people to share, too!

Don’t forget about the donation option! Many people would rather just make a cash pledge. We love donations and 90% comes to the school!

This fundraiser is all about supporting healthy eating, and helping our children learn about how things grow! We’re so excited to engage our students in conversations around nutrition and health and know they will be great community advocates for a healthy lifestyle as they sell their products.

Thank you for your help in making this our most successful fundraiser yet!



Allison Bloom
Adolescent Guide

2nd Annual IMA PTO Online Auction

2nd Annual IMA PTO Online Auction

April 1-22, 2017
Pancake Breakfast & Silent Auction on April 23, 2017

We’re looking for auction donations! Do you have a favorite local business that would contribute? Could your family donate a craft item or a service? Get in touch with Ms. Allison if you have ideas about donating.

In the past we’ve had amazing donations like the following:

  • Theater tickets
  • Homemade meals and desserts
  • Jewelry-making lessons
  • Grandma-made quilts and doilies
  • Antiques
  • Restaurant gift cards
  • Massage gift cards
  • Museum memberships
  • Plants
  • Books
  • Tours of local attractions

IMA Re-Enrollment Time

It’s re-enrollment time!

You should have received information about both re-enrollment for the 2017-2018 school year and enrollment for the IMA 2017 Summer Program. If you have not, please see Mr. Chet.

The re-enrollment time for current IMA families ends on February 27th. Details are included in a letter found included with enrollment agreements.

Many new families are waiting to enroll, so it’s very important to get your paperwork in by February 27 to guarantee a spot next year. Thank you!

IMA’s Souper Supper

Hello, all!

Please mark your calendars for the second (and final) Souper Supper of the 2016-17 school year!

What is the Souper Supper?
The Souper Supper is a great IMA community event during which you meet and catch up with other families and staff. In addition to dining with other community members, students and staff propose their ideas regarding how the money collected at entry should be allocated. The gathering exemplifies IMA’s commitment to working together to support the community.

When is the Souper Supper?
The event is taking place on Thursday, February 23rd from 5:30 p.m. Please note that the school leaders will be conducting a town hall meeting beginning at 5 p.m. to answer any questions about IMA’s transition to a charter school. This forum will also be open for community members to bring up other topics.

Who should attend the Souper Supper?
This community event is open to all! It is a great way to bring together families and friends. We encourage you to bring friends from outside of the IMA community to learn about the school.

What is the cost?
The entry fee is $6 per person. Fees collected at entry will be allocated to the proposal that receives the most votes at the end of the evening.

How can I help?
Please sign-up to help with the logistics! To see how you can donate (time or items), please follow this link to Sign Up Genius.

BYOB: Bring your own bowl!
An anonymous donor has volunteered to donate an extra $1 for each bowl brought from home in an effort to reduce waste, save cost, and raise funds. Although we will have paper bowls available, we encourage you to bring your own from home!

Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Courtney Seidel or Georgia Lieber.

We look forward to seeing you at the Souper Supper!

Madison School Board Approves Montessori Charter School For 2018-19 School Year

Lots of work and a long time coming! We cannot wait to open our doors in 2018/2019 for all the children and families who might not otherwise have the opportunity. This is what it’s about. This is what it’s always been about. Way to go Melissa Droessler and Carrie Marlette and ALL the children and community members who believed enough to stick with the hard work!


MADISON, Wis. (WSJ)–The Madison School Board voted Monday to establish a public Montessori charter school — the first of its kind in the district.

However, the board delayed the school’s opening until the 2018-19 school year, and the school’s creation remains contingent on the school’s founders supplementing their proposal during contract negotiations to address key areas that still concern district administrators and some board members.

The vote to establish the public charter school was 6-1, with TJ Mertz the sole opponent.

If all goes as planned, the vote means Isthmus Montessori Academy (IMA), 1402 Pankratz St., would change from a private, tuition-based school to a public, tuition-free one in the fall of 2018. That’s a year later than founders Melissa Droessler and Carrie Marlette and many of the school’s large group of passionate supporters had desired.

Consequently, some supporters left Monday’s meeting grumbling and even angry over the delay. Droessler stayed optimistic in her comments.

“We are thrilled at the board’s support and truly hope to operate in good faith with the district for a successful partnership,” she said.

The North Side school was founded in 2012, and Droessler and Marlette have been working with the district ever since to turn it into a public option. They have said they want to make the Montessori method available to as many families as possible, not just to those with financial means.

They believe the Montessori method, which includes multi-age classroom groupings, customized learning plans and self-directed learning, will help the district close achievement gaps while expanding options for students, especially those with special needs…

click link for more —>Wisconsin State Journal

Madison MLK Day Events

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his wife, Coretta Scott King, sit with three of their four children in their Atlanta, Ga, home, on March 17, 1963. From left are: Martin Luther King III, 5, Dexter Scott, 2, and Yolanda Denise, 7.

Life’s most urgent and persistent question is: what are you doing for others?
— Martin Luther King, Jr.

Every year, on January 16, the day Martin Luther King, Jr. was born, people across the nation join together to recognize the achievements of someone who really changed our country. Here are some events across Madison that celebrate an amazing human being:

Monday, January 16, 2017

9 a.m.: MLK Youth Service Day 2012: “A dedication to service … A discovery of science.” Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery, 330 N. Orchard St. The event for middle and high school youth will both honor and reflect on the life of King and learn how science and service can intersect. There is no cost to attend, but registration is limited to the first 300 registrants. Information: 608-729-1200.

1:15 p.m.: The Figure Skating Club of Madison will celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day with a service project of making blankets for Project Linus. After their project the club will perform a free show from 1:15 to 2:50 p.m. at the Madison Ice Arena, 725 Forward Drive. The public is encouraged to bring a pair or two of socks to donate to Middleton Outreach Ministry. A public skate will follow from 2:50 to 3:50 p.m. Free skate rentals will be available. Information: 608-204-7606.

6 p.m.: The 27th annual City/County King Holiday Observance will be held at the Overture Center Capitol Theater, 201 State St. The keynote speaker is the Rev. C.T. Vivian, who helped found the Nashville Christian Leadership Conference and helped organize the first sit-ins in Nashville in 1960 and the first civil rights march in 1961. Vivian rode the first “Freedom Bus” into Jackson, Miss., and went on to work alongside Martin Luther King Jr. in Birmingham, Selma, Chicago, Nashville and the March on Washington.

In addition to the keynote address, the event will feature the presentation of the annual City/County Dr. King Awards. Music will be provided by the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Choir led by noted local music director Leotha Stanley. This event is free and open to the public.

School Board Public Hearing on IMA’s Charter Proposal: NBC15 Story And Video

Last night’s school board public hearing on IMA’s charter proposal is in the news today: Madison’s WMTV Channel NBC15 has a story and video:

MADISON, Wis. (WMTV)–The Madison Metropolitan School District Board of Education will decide this month whether to make Isthmus Montessori School the district’s first public Montessori school.

A public hearing was held this afternoon and people had the opportunity to express their opinions about this issue.

Montessori schools have a different approach to teaching than public schools. Chief of Staff for the Madison Metropolitan School District Kelly Ruppel said the board needs to make sure the systems are compatible before approving the application.

“That’s the intent and the reason why we need a plan ahead of the proposal,” Ruppel said. “So we know what it is you’re proposing and ensuring it’s in line with our values as a school district.”

Isthmus Montessori co-founder Melissa Droessler said they are optimistic about the final vote.

“I see this working everyday, when I worked for Milwaukee public schools, I saw it working everyday. so we see it work and I know..I know, it’s going to happen.”

The final vote is scheduled for January 30th.NBC 15

Cap Times: Isthmus Montessori Academy supporters urge Madison School Board to approve charter proposal

Today’s Cap Times in Madison has a story on Monday’s School Board Meeting:

Isthmus Montessori Academy supporters urge Madison School Board to approve charter proposal

About 40 students, parents, teachers and community members turned out for Monday’s school board meeting to share their thoughts about Isthmus Montessori Academy, the northeast side school seeking board approval to become the fourth charter school under district authority.

Madison Metropolitan School District charters are approved, monitored and accountable to the board. Other district charters include Nuestro Mundo Elementary School, Wright Middle School and Badger Rock Middle School.

IMA opened in 2012 and wants to become an MMSD charter to bring Montessori education to all interested families, regardless of income. The private school serves about 80 students from 3K to 15 years old. Currently, the average cost of tuition is $1,180 per month. If the school were to become a public charter school, there would be no cost to attend.

Maria Montessori developed the education model in the early 20th century. Montessori schools emphasize a free-flowing environment where students have a choice in their learning. Teachers structure their classrooms to allow students to explore concepts in three-hour time blocks. Children learn in “planes,” mixed age groups spanning three-year intervals. This model encourages younger students to learn from their older peers and gives older students a chance to reinforce and teach concepts they already covered to their younger classmates.

For over an hour on Monday evening, supporters praised IMA and the Montessori model as a space where children with varying cognitive abilities can learn and thrive.

Madison native Casey Schmitt urged the board to remember that the goal of district-sponsored charters is to produce innovative educational models that, ideally, benefit all MMSD students.

“When you have a Montessori school as part of the system, you’ve got a laboratory in shop,” Schmitt said. “Having an in-house Montessori will be extremely beneficial, not only to IMA but to the entire district at large in terms of development and collaboration.”

Suah Lim is from Korea and has two biracial children who attend IMA. She said IMA was the most diverse Montessori school she toured in the Madison area, but wants the board to approve the charter to make it more accessible to more students of color and lower-income families.

“I am in support of public Montessori so more minority children can access the wonderful Montessori method,” she said. “I also have other family and friends who would like to send their kids to Montessori, but they are not able to afford it.”

About a half-dozen IMA students spoke to the board about how much they love being a part of classrooms that allow them the autonomy to explore learning.

“I love my school because I can choose exactly what I want,” said Charlotte, 10.

In an interview with the Cap Times before Monday’s board meeting, IMA co-heads Melissa Droessler and Carrie Marlette expressed hope the board will approve the charter.

“There are many cities and rural areas where Montessori is a public option. We wanted to bring it to the children and families of Madison. Accessibility is our main goal,” Droessler said.

Marlette believes the Montessori model is one way to bolster academic achievement for all students.

“It meets so many different children at their own developmental needs that it would really naturally approach and probably ease, if not completely solve, so many of the gap issues that are existing right now in education,” she said.

The board will make the final decision whether or not to approve the charter proposal on Jan. 30.The Cap Times

Happy New Year from IMA’s 2016-2017 Staff!


Isthmus Montessori Academy wishes you all a Happy New Year! From left to right:

  • Ms. Melissa (Primary Guide / Head of School)
  • Ms. Maura (Nido Guide)
  • Mr. Chet (Administrative Assistant)
  • Ms. Anne (Nido Assistant)
  • Ms. Rachel (Elementary Assistant)
  • Ms. Abby (Young Children’s Community Assistant)
  • Ms. Brittany (Primary Guide)
  • Ms. Rachael (Primary Assistant)
  • Ms. Calla (Young Children’s Community Guide)
  • Ms. Carmon (Floating Assistant)
  • Ms. Ashley (Primary Assistant)
  • Ms. Carrie (Elementary Guide / Head of School)
  • Ms. Rebekah (Administrative Assistant)
  • Ms. Felisia (Floating Assistant)
  • Mr. Jesse (Floating Assistant)
  • Ms. Allison (Adolescent Guide)


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