Marshall, Mary

Welcome to Mrs. Marshall's Website

Name:  Mary Marshall
Email Address:

August 20, 2017 

Dear parents:                                                           

Welcome to Mrs. Marshall’s third and fourth grade Montessori classroom! I am eager to see you and your children again; and for those new to me, I am excited to get to know your child and your family.  I am looking forward to a happy and productive school year; I anticipate this being the best year ever!

Below is some basic information that will help us all get off to a strong start. 

Back-to-School Night.  At our Back-to-School Night on Thursday, August 31, 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM, I will be providing you with information regarding classroom protocols, policies, procedures, and events.  At that time, I also will be able to answer questions you might have regarding Montessori education, California Common Core standards, behavior management through Positive Discipline, classroom expectations, child development, etc.

Parent-Teacher Communication.  Your child’s success is of great importance to me; and, I believe that positive, clear, and routine communication between parent and teacher is essential to your child’s success.  With that in mind, I will be sending home weekly emails, establishing and maintaining a teacher webpage, and will make myself available to meet with you as needed.  As I am focused on student needs and supervision before, and immediately after, school, I am not available to speak to parents during those times.  However, making an appointment to meet with me is easy:  simply call the RCC office (760-787-3600) or email me ( – email works best for me, and let me know your preferred day and time, and, if possible, the topic to be discussed; and, I’ll get back to you quickly to set up our meeting. 

Parent Conferences.  Also, please note that school-wide Parent Conferences will be during the second week of October:  October, 9, through October 13, 2017.  You will be able to select a day and time for your conference during Back-to-School Night.  Parent Conferences are done without students in attendance and are designed to provide parents with a “snapshot” of their child’s academic proficiency in relationship to district norms and expectations.

Curriculum.  Over our two-year program in third and fourth grade, curriculum will be presented that addresses California Common Core Standards.  Information regarding these standards can be found on the California Department of Education website:   and

Montessori Education.  As we are a Montessori-based public school, the philosophy, methods, and techniques used to teach the state curriculum are designed to develop the child, including self-reliance, self-advocacy, thoughtfulness, and a positive sense of self.  This development occurs over time and can be a wonderful, though often challenging, journey. 

Physical education.  Physical education is an important part of our curriculum and is done daily.  Every morning students will be participating in a physical education program that includes cardiovascular fitness, strength building, stretching, and skills.  Students are expected to come to school ready to be active.  Please have your child wear closed-toed shoes, preferably sneakers or athletic shoes. 

Homework.  Starting with the second week of school, homework will be given to your child each Monday.  Your child will then have a week to complete their homework; it is due on the following Monday.  Weekly homework focuses on math facts, practice of new math learnings, independent reading, and spelling practice. Students who routinely complete their homework tend to do better in class and have more self-confidence in their academic pursuits.  Please note that students who desire “teacher help” on homework assignments may bring their homework back to school for assistance; I will do my best to help them during worktime, but my help cannot replace the consistent, and routine, at-home focus on reading and basic math skills.  It is my hope that students will start to form good study habits and routines at home starting in third grade.  These habits and routines will be beneficial as they move through their upper elementary, middle, and high school years. 

Attendance.  At Ramona Community Montessori School, we “Strive for Less than Five.”  We encourage, and expect, students to be in class.  And, while we understand that sometimes students will need to be tardy, absent, or leave early, we hope that attendance in class is a priority for both the student and their families.  Also, please be aware that it is difficult to “make up work” in a Montessori classroom due to the Montessori methods we use.  If you anticipate routine absences for your child due to health or family concerns, please let both the RCC health clerk and I know at your earliest convenience; doing so will allow us to help support you and your child. 

Arrival.  Upon arrival to our campus, students are expected to go straight to their classroom and wait outside.  There typically is no student supervision on campus until about 7:50 A.M., and classrooms do not open until 8:05, when school starts.  Starting the second week of school, however, I routinely will be opening my classroom to my students soon after my arrival, typically around 7:40.  This is designated student time; I make the room available for them, as I prepare for the day. 

Dismissal.  We leave the classroom five minutes before dismissal time and walk directly to the dismissal area under the colorful shaded area at the front of the school.  Parents are expected to meet students there, or be in “car line.”  Please do not wait for your child directly outside the classroom or in the “B” quad; teachers need a clear path from their classrooms to the designated dismissal area. 

Snacks and Water Bottles.  Other than lunchtime, snack-time is one of the students’ favorite times of day.  Each student is encouraged to bring a healthy snack, to school.  Snack-time typically occurs around 9:45, after physical education and before our extended student-directed worktime.  Please note that students are not allowed to share food, and I request that students not bring communal snack without prior permission from me.  I typically have graham crackers on hand for students who forget their snack, though my preference is for all students to bring their own snack.  Also, please note that plain water is the only beverage to be consumed at snack-time.  Students are allowed to bring water bottles.  I ask that they have their name on it.  Water bottles will be placed near the classroom sink and will not be allowed at student desks.  However, water bottles may be brought down to all physical education activities. 

Positive Discipline.  Ramona Community Montessori School uses Positive Discipline as our method of classroom management.  The purpose of Positive Discipline is “the development of young people to be responsible, respectful and resourceful members of their communities.” It is based on the work of Dr. Jane Nelsen, and takes the uniqueness of the individual into consideration.  It is a process-oriented approach and focuses on the development of an “internal locus of control” for the individual (i.e., the individual is pro-active and takes responsibility for their own choices versus seeking praise and constant direction from others).  I will be providing a hand-out on Positive Discipline at Back-to-School Night.  In addition, as a pre-view, below are the Five Criteria for Effective Discipline (

Effective discipline…

1) Helps children feel a sense of connection. (Belonging and significance)

2) Is mutually respectful and encouraging. (Kind and firm at the same time.)

3) Is effective long-term. (Considers what the child is thinking, feeling, learning, and deciding about himself and his world – and what to do in the future to survive or to thrive.)

4) Teaches important social and life skills. (Respect, concern for others, problem solving, and cooperation as well as the skills to contribute to the home, school or larger community.)

5) Invites children to discover how capable they are. (Encourages the constructive use of personal power and autonomy

Thank you for choosing Ramona Community Montessori School.  We are dedicated to meeting the needs of your child; and, appreciate all that you do.  You are vital:  studies show that parental involvement in a child’s education is one of the strongest indicators of student achievement. I look forward to seeing you at Back-to-School Night, and at the many school-sponsored events to come. 

Together we will make this the best year ever!


Mary Marshall