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Montessori community prepares for first day of 2007-08 school season

By Staff
‘Beautification Day’ held Saturday
By KEVIN SCOTT CUTLER, Lifestyles &Features Editor
Two days before it was set to open for the new term, the campus of Washington Montessori Public Charter School was bustling with activity during its traditional “Beautification Day” Saturday morning.
Parents, students and school staff turned out in force to ready the facilities, according to Head of School Stacey Shepherd.
Sprucing up also includes weeding, planting flowers and landscaping the campus, which for the first time this year is home to the entire student population; in the past, local Montessori students were divided between the current campus east of Washington and a former location on Avon Avenue.
Shepherd pointed out that painters and landscapers could be hired to do the work, but having the school community pitch in makes the experience a bit more personal.
Staff members at the school agreed.
Echoing Shepherd’s comments about children having a beautiful setting for learning, Montessori staffers said they strive to provide such a setting. Among them were Jane Hardee and Margretta Johnson, co-teachers for the prekindergarten and kindergarten students.
Hardee described her classroom, which has been painted a pale yellow to accent the room’s natural furnishings.
The children worked right alongside the adults — “They’re the ones with all the energy!” Baker said with a laugh — to get their school ready for opening day. Some of the younger ones distributed ice cold water to the workers — both the volunteers and the crew paving the new parking lot — while others carried buckets of paint, swept pavement, planted flowers and cleaned up construction debris.
Entire families participated in Saturday’s event, according to Associate Head of School Jen Hales.
For longtime teachers like Moore, “Beautification Day” shows how the students are thriving at the school.