Building a strong sense of community between school and home is essential for the success of our school. This connection is brought forth through an inclusive partnership with families to provide children the most enriching personal growth experience balanced with a strong academic foundation.
Parents are invited and encouraged to participate in the school community in some of the following ways:
Volunteering to read to emerging readers
Sharing their professional expertise and special talents with the students
Participating in special celebrations and special days in the classrooms
"Couch Conversations" - Montessori workshops providing curriculum overview meetings and material lessons
Helping with specific projects that kids take home which involve parent participation
Weekend family nature experiences
Community Outreach through music and art
New families are welcomed into our school community with a special Meet and Greet event before the start of the school year.
Building community is at the heart of Birchwood Montessori. Our classrooms are set up to facilitate community interactions amongst children, and forming partnerships with parents is critical to our success. In addition, we feel that being involved in the larger community around us is also essential to our success. This provides opportunities to teach children about the world around them and their role in it. We work to help children develop authentic community service projects that are meaningful to their immediate communities. In doing so we expand our definition of “stakeholders” beyond the families we serve directly, and we work to make our surrounding communities stronger and healthier for children.
Our location inside the Franklin Jr. High building provides many authentic opportunities to be involved with the businesses and organizations who utilize this building, and in the surrounding community and neighborhoods. We are excited about the many opportunities this presents!
Iowa Food Cooperative
The Iowa Food Cooperative is a local coop whose mission is to facilitate farmer-consumer relationships and build our farms and communities through web-based marketing of Iowa products. Potential community connections with IFC include tours of the location, meeting some of the local Iowa producers, assisting on distribution day, incorporating local food/farming/growing into our curriculum, and volunteer opportunities in connection with local farms and producers.
Franklin Avenue Library
Located just down the street from our school, we are thrilled to have the opportunity for children to visit and access all that a city library has to offer. Potential community connections with the Franklin Library include participation in preschool storytimes, individualized lessons provided by staff librarians, and access to research materials to support curriculum themes and children's interests.
Tandem Theater and Dance
Benjamin Rethmeier is the director of Tandem Theatre and Dance. He has been providing dance education in central Iowa for over 20 years. He has created a beautiful dance lab located in one of the second floor classroom spaces in the Franklin Jr. High building. He offers a weekly movement class to our elementary and Kindergarten children, and offers an after-school movement class open to all ages.
Des Moines Symphony Academy's Beginning Strings Program
The Des Moines Symphony Academy’s Beginning Strings Program provides young, aspiring musicians with their first instructional experience on violin, viola or cello. Beginning Strings classes are offered for young musicians as young as 4 years of age. They are excited to now be based out of the Franklin Jr. High building and conveniently offer classes after school.
Courage League Sports
Courage League Sports Des Moines is excited to be based out of the Franklin Jr. High building! CLS is a non-profit adaptive sports and recreational program that offers year-round programming for children and adults who aren’t able to go full speed due to a physical, cognitive or emotional disability. Courage League Sports offers a weekly physical education class to our elementary and Kindergarten children, and an after-school class open to all ages.