Here Comes The Sun

On Wednesday, December 21 from 4:00 to 5:00 pm, we invite you to an informal Solstice Gathering beginning at the Johnson Park Gazebo in Maple Bluff (right across from our old school building). Families and children will be given a candle to hold as we walk through the snow to the Burrow’s Park Pavilion for a bonfire, songs, and making wishes for the New Year!

The weather is forecast for a wet evening. If that’s the case, possibly we try again next year? Possibly we meet sit around the fireplace at Manna Cafe?

The inspiration…

Some of the children in Ms. Melissa’s classroom have been interested in the calendar and the weather and the amount of sunlight and darkness. We discussed that the Winter Solstice is the day with the shortest amount of sunlight and that many groups of people celebrate this relationship between Earth and Sun in different ways.

If it’s a dry day, families may join their children on a walk and songs by the bonfire. What fun!

4:00-4:10 pm Johnson Park Gazebo
4:10 pm begin walking over to Burrow’s Park
4:30/4:40 pm Burrow’s Park Pavilion
4:40-5:00 pm Songs, wishes, and bonfire

5:00 pm Go home, eat a delicious dinner, snuggle in bed, and welcome the sun!

RSVP to Ms. Melissa please so that she knows how many candles to bring, and thank you:)

Adolescent Community Upcoming Events

The Adolescent Community would like to invite you to our upcoming events:

Presentation on Ancient Greece

Friday, December 16, 8:30 AM and 2:00 PM

Adolescent Holiday Sale
featuring handmade decorations, gifts, crafts, and festive music

Monday–Friday, December 19–23, 3:00–3:30 PM

We hope you can join us for presentations on various aspects of Ancient Greece — we’ve learned a lot in our History and Humanities seminar this semester and would love to share what we’ve learned with you!

Students and adults are welcome to come to our Holiday Sale. Items will be a range of prices and will make perfect gifts and decorations for your holidays.

Please contact Ms. Allison with any questions!

Best wishes,

The IMA Adolescent Community

December’s DEEP Meeting: Book Discussion of The Element


Dear IMA Families

December’s DEEP meeting is a book discussion. We have chosen the book, The Element, written by Sir Ken Robinson, Ph.D. Our staff read this book at the beginning of the year and it led to many thought provoking and insightful discussions. Robinson’s writing is witty and inspirational as he shares the experiences of people who have found their element, the place where your natural gifts and your aspirations ignite your work. Each Montessori prepared environment provides a place where students can delve into their work with focus and concentration for longer and longer periods of time.

Please join us in reading The Element and then, meeting to discuss the book with others on December 20th at 5:30 pm. As always, refreshments and childcare will be provided. The PTO meeting will follow at 6:30 pm.

IMA’s Souper Supper

Souper Supper

Please mark your calendars for Isthmus Montessori Academy’s (IMA) semi-annual Souper Supper fundraiser. This community event helps raise money for items or programs needed at our school as well as charities in our community.

Our first Souper Supper will be on Thursday, December 8 from 5-7 pm.

The Souper Supper will be held at Isthmus Montessori Academy, 1402 Pankratz Street, Madison.

What is the Souper Supper?
As parents and friends drink their delicious soup, IMA students and staff present their arguments for which program, item, or charity should receive the money collected from entry fees to the supper. In addition to hearing about the different programs at IMA, the event also provides elementary and adolescent students the opportunity to write and make a presentation, as well as begin to understand ways they can work to help the community. For example, previously, guests at the Souper Supper voted to support the IMA adolescent program’s urban farm, which made the local news when it was completed!

Isthmus Montessori is also working toward being the first public Montessori school in Madison. Our goal is to give all children, regardless of their socio or economic background, access to the many benefits of a Montessori education. Every bit of support for our programs helps strengthen our school and move us towards achieving this goal. In addition to being a fun way to meet others in the school community, this is a great opportunity for you to invite friends and family who may not know about IMA!

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

We hope you and your family will attend!

Best wishes,

IMA Running Club


Come join us for IMA’s Running Club! We meet in the IMA Great Hall on Thursday mornings at 8:15 am. We run on the sidewalk, and three laps equals 1 mile. Most students run/walk one to three laps, so we finish by about 8:40 am.

The best way to show our children that we value exercise is to do it with them.

All are welcome; we all run or walk at our own pace.

IMA Ancient Greece Fair


Dear IMA families,

The Adolescent Community has been studying Ancient Greece for our History and Humanities seminar. We would like to present some of what we’ve learned to you at our Ancient Greece Fair, today, Friday November 18, 2016.

We will have poster presentations about the Gods and Goddesses, some of them made by Elementary students who’ve joined in our research, and other presentations about other aspects of Greek life. You can expect to see Greek costumes, read a “day in the life” story of a Greek girl, and enjoy some Ancient Greek snacks!

Feel free to stop by the Adolescent classroom starting at 1:00 pm; poster presentations begin at about 2:00. Everyone is welcome!


Ms. Allison and the Adolescent Class

PTO Winter Resale Shop



Dear Friends

The Isthmus Montessori PTO is once again sponsoring a Winter Resale shop in the Great Hall! Snowsuits, coats, sweaters, snow pants, boots, costumes, hats and mittens… oh my!

You can bring your gently-used winter gear to donate, and also see if there is anything that will work for your kids this year. All items are pay-what-you-wish. Please tag your items (to distinguish them from coats that are NOT for sale) and put your payment in the tuition mailbox (tags and envelopes are provided in the great hall). There is a bin for smaller items like hats and mittens.

All proceeds will go to help buy winter playground toys for our students! Anything left over after winter break will be donated either to our community garage sale or food pantry.

Silent Journey & Discovery at IMA


Come join us on November 4 and 5 for IMA’s Silent Journey & Discovery — the ultimate Montessori experience for parents and families! Engage all your senses as you learn about the materials and lessons your children use.

On Friday, non-students visit the classrooms in silence to view the classrooms as students would. You will walk around to silently observe the prepared environments of all the classrooms in the school, at all levels.

On Saturday, teachers present and discuss materials and lessons with visitors. You will receive lessons on the materials and gain a deeper understanding of the genius of Montessori.

Our Silent Journey & Discovery is for parents and people from outside of the existing IMA community. However, it is also a fantastic opportunity for families who are considering the next level for their children. This will be an event when you’ll really get to investigate each level.

We will provide beverages and snacks on Friday night, and we provide food and beverages on Saturday. Check out the event page, and please RSVP to Mr. Chet at!

Montessori Students Raise Chickens To Learn Business And Civics Lessons

IMA was featured on Wisconsin’s WMTV, NBC15 television station this week, in a story titled Montessori Students Raise Chickens To Learn Business And Civics Lessons.

The video features IMA adolescent student Sophie Griffith-Oh, and the story features Allison Bloom, IMA’s Adolescent Program teacher.

Allison Bloom, the teacher overseeing the project, says students are encouraged to explore and pursue their own interests.

“They’re learning all the basics of business,” she said. “A little bit about farming and biology and all of these things too.”

One of the biggest lessons of the project ended up being in civic engagement. While developing the project, students learned their school is in a zone that doesn’t allow chicken raising. The students had to work with city officials to get the city ordinance amended, so they could properly take care of the chickens on school property.

“The civics lesson was an amazing bonus to that because these students really feel if something needs to happen or they want something to happen, they feel empowered to do it themselves,” Bloom said.

School Spotlight: Chickens Provide Civics, Other Lessons for Isthmus Montessori Students


IMA was featured in the Wisconsin State Journal this week, in a story titled School Spotlight: Chickens Provide Civics, Other Lessons for Isthmus Montessori Students.

The story features Sophie Griffith-Oh from IMA’s adolescent class, Clarity Watson from IMA’s elementary class, and Allison Bloom, IMA’s adolescent teacher.

Allison Bloom, who works as a guide in the adolescent-aged room, said the hands-on experience taught students about biology, physics, husbandry, carpentry and diplomacy, and they will delve into math as the project evolves. It also included a lesson about death, since some of the eggs did not result in successful hatches.

The school has applied to become Madison’s first public Montessori school, and Bloom cited the chicken project as an example of what older students can achieve through its curriculum.

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