Strata Update: Oct. 27-31 2014

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Strata Montessori Adolescent School hosted their second annual Harvest Festival last week, to rave reviews and good times all around. There were even pony rides this year! It was a great event that the Strata students put a lot of work into.

“They came back the next week and were a little bit lost,” said Strata guide Sarah. “They were used to the hype of the Harvest Fest and the push to get the work done.”

“They were kind of wandering around, until Sylvia gave them a whole bunch of French work and I gave them a bunch of math work and then everything was settled again.”

As for the festival itself:

“It was fantastic,” said Sarah. “I don’t think the guys on the cafe got any breaks.”

“The cafe was pretty busy,” said Strata student Sam. “Everything was sold out.”

A big addition this year was the pony rides. This portion of the event was organized by Strata student Lily, who put in a lot of work making sure the school’s and pony owner’s insurance was in order, scheduling the pony arrival, managing the rides, and working out some cost prohibitions by trading babysitting for pony presence. Great work Lily!

Proceeds from the Harvest Fest are going to support the Lions Foundation of Canada Guide Dogs, the organization Strata dog Arlo is a part of (see below for an Arlo update).

“We support them through the work we do with Arlo, and paying for things for Arlo and making a donation,” said Sarah.

Strata WkOct27 2014 meet

Smiles and laughs at a Strata Montessori Parent-Student-Teacher conference practice.

Strata also held their first set of Parent-Student-Teacher conferences this past week. Unlike a traditional parent-teacher interview, Strata students run their own conferences, choosing what work to show their parents and explaining what they’re doing and how they are progressing.

“We’re doing a mock conference with a student and two others are pretending to be her parents,” said Sarah of the picture above, “and Chris and I are there as her teachers. We talked about what to expect when their parents came. It was really great, the interviews themselves, to sit down and talk about what their children have accomplished.”

Strata WkOct27 2014 kitchen

Fun times in the Strata Montessori kitchen.

“Sylvia comes in once a week to cook, in French,” said Sarah regarding a great part of the Strata French program. “Sylvia doesn’t speak any English with the students, so they have to figure it out. They’re allowed to ask some questions in English, but she has them speak in French too for the most part. We’re incorporating French into everyday life.”

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As some of you saw on the DVMS Facebook page, Strata has also acquired two cargo bikes recently. (A big thank you to DVMS Dad Vince Hoffman of Freewheel Cycle).

“They are awesome,” said Sarah, “wonderful. We carried all of our equipment to Blackadar, both bikes were full that day. We’ve also made runs to the store — sometimes we forget to buy things on Mondays so we will send students out to grab the things we’re missing, and they get back a lot faster than when they walked, which is great when it’s 11:30 and lunch is at 12:00.”

The Strata students also ventured out to Freewheel Cycle to build the bikes.

“It was two separate builds because one bike came in before the second. Two at a time went to build at Freewheel”

Strata WkOct27 2014 Arlo

Arlo, well loved and just about as cute as cute gets.

Finally, as has become a tradition, an update on Arlo. The Harvest Festival supported the guide dog program, and Arlo’s training is ongoing.

“He’s grown a lot,” said Strata student Sam, “and he’s in the midst of getting trained. He’s had, I think, three tests — he has to pass certain tests at certain times, and we discuss him with the centre. He’s going to be with us for ten months and then there’ll be six more months back at the centre where they evaluate him and decide if he can become a guide dog or not and he’ll be trained a bit more depending on what area of expertise he’ll be in: visual, hearing, seizure response, autism assistance, service, or diabetes.”

Don’t forget to check regularly to stay up to date on all of what Strata Montessori Adolescent School is up to.

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