Principal Phone Call~ September 21

Please remember that there is no school for Primary students on Monday, September 22.

The Upper Elementary classrooms will be visiting Balarat this week for an overnight camping trip.  If you have any questions about this, please see your child’s teacher.

There will be an additional Collaborative School Committee meeting on Tuesday evening.  The exact time and the agenda will be posted on the website by Monday afternoon.

All activities within the school day, including Suzuki violin are free.  We have had students telling us that they did not sign up for Suzuki because of financial concerns.  If you or your child are interested in participating in our free Suzuki program, please see Bettina or contact Alice and she will get you a sign-up form.

This week, Denison will have a winter gear exchange in the front lobby during drop off.  Please bring in your infant through adult-sized outgrown coats, boots or gloves.  Even if you don’t have anything to donate, please feel free to come and take what your family needs.

On Thursday, September 25, we will be planting bulbs in the front beds.  Bring your children and your favorite shovel and help us make the front of the school beautiful for the spring.

On Monday, September 29, we will be hosting our first Skate City event.  It will have a broncos theme so wear orange and blue and you will receive a free orange crush!

Please make sure your child is getting to school on time.  We continue to see a number of students in the office signing in late every morning.  Our attendance goal is 96% this year, we have not met this goal any week this year but we are getting better at 95% this past week.

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Prinicipal Phone Call~September 14

The fall seems to have arrived quickly in Denver.  We try to get our students outside everyday so please send the appropriate outdoor gear for them.

School pictures will be on Tuesday, September 16.

I will be attending the PAC meeting on Thursday, September 18 from 4-5.  This is the Principal Advisory Committee for Spanish speaking families.  I hope to see many families there.

Please be aware that with students eating in the lunchroom, there is no longer access to a microwave for heating food.  Please pack lunches that do not require a microwave.

Our attendance this past week was below our goal of 96% at 95%.  We continue to have students arriving late on a regular basis.

Have a wonderful week.

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Principal Phone Call~ Sunday, September 7

On Monday we welcome back our 4 year olds and our school community is complete for the 2014-15 school year.

This week we have our Primary Back to School Night on Tuesday, September 7 from 5:30pm to 7:00pm.  There will be childcare provided.

Families of Denison Montessori, our parent organization, will be meeting on Thursday, September 11 at 5:30pm.  This is a wonderful opportunity for becoming involved in the Denison Community.

On Friday, September 12 from 9:15-to 10:15, I will be hosting my monthly Principal Coffee in the library.  This will be an opportunity to learn more about Montessori education and what is happening at Denison.

We have created a Little Free Library in the front lobby.  This is a library where students can take a book to read.  They can keep the book and return a different book or they can return the book they borrowed and get a new one.  As you clean out your bookshelves at home, please bring your books to Denison and we will add them to the Little Free Library.

We have been able to work with the scheduling department and have figured out how to have early releases count as the minutes that your child is out of school and not as a full half day.  This is a huge celebration, which will significantly impact our school wide attendance.

While this is a huge celebration, our attendance for the first 2 weeks of school is still below 96%.  Please schedule vacations during school vacation time and not during the school year.  We simply cannot teach students who are not in attendance.   I’d like to congratulate our 6th graders for being the only group that has an attendance average over our school goal of 96%.

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Principal Phone Call August 31

Principal Phone Call
August 31, 2014

This has been a wonderful first week of school for the kindergarten through 6th grade students.  There was so much learning already happening in all of the classrooms.

We are looking forward to having our 3 year olds start on their Denison journey next week!

No school Monday, September 1.  Have a fun and safe Labor Day weekend.

There will be a CSC meeting on Tuesday, September 2 at 5:30pm in the library.  Everyone is invited to attend.

The primary back to school night will be on Tuesday, September 9 at 5:30.

If you have any comments or questions regarding parking or our physical facility, either indoors or outdoors, please contact Paul Vincent.  He is overseeing these areas this year.

Primary parents, all students should be dropped off and picked up on the playground.  On inclement weather days, the Primary classrooms on the east side of the hallway will gather in the hallway outside the library, please drop them off and pick them up at the library door just south of the primary playground.  Room 110 and 111 can be dropped off and picked up directly at their external classroom doors that open onto the playground.

We are already seeing students coming to school after 9am everyday.  Elementary students may begin going to their classrooms at 8:45am and Primary students may arrive on the playground at 8:45.  All students may eat a free breakfast beginning at 8:30.  Please get your children here on time.  Our attendance goal is 96% this year.

I’m looking forward to a great 2014-2015 school year!



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August 6, 2014

Dear Parents and Students,

Welcome to the 2014-2015 school year!

To all of our new families and students beginning at Denison, I want to welcome you to Denison and to Montessori. Maria Montessori described her educational philosophy as an “aid to life”. Montessori students learn reading, writing, mathematics, science, geography, history, social studies, and physical and arts education. They also learn to follow their interests, develop independence, take part in a dynamic community of people and become life-long learners who understand their unique role in the universe. We have an ambitious curriculum that we believe serves children and their families well. There will be opportunities throughout the school year to learn more about Montessori. Again, welcome to Denison.

Last year we began the work of exploring extending Denison’s school day to allow for full implementation of the Montessori model.  This year we will have an additional 15 minutes to serve our students.  We will continue to explore ways to fully implement our plans over the next couple of years.  Please stay tuned for involvement opportunities around this important work.  We have also received a waiver to the district fall and mid-year assessments.  Denison’s staff will be exploring ways to measure student growth within their Montessori classroom environments.

I would like to welcome the following people to the Denison staff:

  • Erin Anwander-Schmitt will be the new directress in Room 102.  Erin has many years of experience as a Montessori teacher and comes to us from Gilpin Montessori with a deep understanding of the unique challenges of Montessori within DPS.
  • Caroline Robbins will be the new directress in Room 103.  Caroline is Montessori trained and has been teaching at Kunsmiller for the last few years.  Room 103 will continue to be our TNLI (Transitional Native Language Instruction) primary classroom.
  • Andrew Alberti will be our school psychologist intern this year.  He will be at Denison on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

I would like to welcome the following people back to Denison in their new roles:

  • Julie Acree-Gould will be our literacy interventionist.
  • Hanna Desjardins will be co-teaching with Dorothy King-Stockton in the mornings and will serve as our extended learning time coordinator in the afternoons.
  • Kelsey Larson will be our school library para
  • Toni Philips will be our science enrichment teacher
  • Halie Gianulis will be our math tutor and elementary para in room 107.
  • Stacy Eisenberg will be our new TNLI (Transitional Native Language Instruction) teacher in Room 206.

There have also been some physical room changes this year.

  • Carrie Henrichs and all of her students are moving from Room 108 to Room 106.
  • Kelly Rosenbaum and all of her students are moving from Room 206 to Room 204

New district-wide policy regarding building visitors:

All visitors to the school district shall display a temporary visitor ID badge while they are in any school district building or on school district grounds during school hours.  Upon entering a school building, visitors shall report to the school office to register and receive a temporary visitor ID badge.  These badges will not allow either interior or exterior access to the facility.  Visitor badges must be worn at all times while the visitor is in a DPS-owned facility.  Visitor badges must be returned to the main office upon checkout.  Visitors who do not comply with this policy will be escorted from the property.  School staff members who observe visitors without report identification are requested to escort the individuals to the main office immediately. 


Please stay tuned for an incentive program that we are creating to reward families with excellent attendance rates!

  • All students must be at Denison by 9am.  Students who are tardy will be marked accordingly in Infinite Campus.
  • Dismissal is 3:45 for 4-year-olds and Kindergarten and 4:00 for all elementary students.
  • The office will not call up to any classrooms for a student to be released after 3:30.  Please pick your child up prior to 3:30 or you will need to wait for a member of the office staff to go and retrieve your child for you.
  • Teachers will be instructed to not release students to parents from their classrooms.  Please meet your students outside the building.  If you are in a rush, park your car and wait for your elementary aged child to come out the door by the garden.
  • Please be aware that early release is marked in infinite campus as a 1/2-day absence and will impact your child’s attendance record.
  • If a child is not picked up by 4:15 and his/her parent/ guardian has not contacted the office and cannot be reached by phone, DPS security will be called.
  • DPS security will be called for any child who is still in the office at 4:30 regardless of if we have spoken with a parent/guardian.

I hope to see you all at Denison’s Back to School Ice Cream Social on Thursday, August 21 for all students (5:30-6:15) and Elementary Information Night (6:15-7:15).  There will be childcare for SIBLINGS of elementary aged students.  I will meet with elementary students while parents meet with teachers and I will meet with parents while students meet with their teachers.

As always, my door is always open to you and I look forward to meeting the new families and students joining our community and getting to know all of you better this year.


Katy Mattis


Denison Montessori School

“A child’s inner life is nourished by an environment warm with love.”–Maria Montessori

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