The Colorado Montessori Association is a powerful voice for Montessori advocacy providing a forum for networking and professional growth in the Montessori community. It is a highly functioning, evolving professional organization, unified in its vision, respectful, purposeful and inclusive.
How a Bill Becomes a Law in Colorado
by RB Fast
  1. Someone has an idea.
    1. Citizens approach legislators with ideas.
    2. Legislators participate in committees and working groups that generate ideas.
    3. Lobbyists approach legislators with ideas.
  2. The legislator researches the idea.
    1. Usually staffers at the capitol help with this.
  3. A bill drafter creates the first draft of the legislation.
  4. The bill is circulated amongst stakeholders connected to the capitol for feedback.
    1. Lobbyists contact the legislator with feedback.
    2. Citizens contact the legislator with feedback.
  5. The bill is edited in order to generate consensus amongst some/all stakeholders.
  6. The bill is formally introduced.
    1. This is sometimes called the “first reading”.
  7. The bill is assigned to a committee.
    1. All bills for K-12 education go through the Education Committee.
    2. All bills for 0-5 care and education go through the Health and Human Services Committee.
    3. Any bill with a fiscal note also goes through the Joint Budget Committee.
  8. The bill is scheduled for a hearing at a committee.
    1. The legislator opens testimony for the bill.
    2. Any citizen or organization who wishes to testify is welcome to sign up to give testimony to the committee regarding support or opposition to the bill.
      1. There are often guidelines for testimony, such as a time limit.
  9. The committee votes to approve or kill the bill.
    1. Simple majority wins the vote.
  10. If the bill is approved it goes to the floor.
    1. Senate if it was introduced by a senator.
    2. House if it was introduced by a representative.
  11. The full slate of legislators in the chamber vote on the bill.
    1. This is sometimes called the “second reading”.
  12. If the bill wins it goes to the same committee on the other side of the chamber.
    1. If the bill was originally introduced to the Senate Education Committee, it now goes to the House Education Committee.
    2. The legislator opens testimony for the bill.
    3. Any citizen or organization who wishes to testify is welcome to sign up to give testimony to the committee regarding support or opposition to the bill.
  13. The committee votes to approve or kill the bill.
    1. Simple majority wins the vote.
  14. If the bill is approved it goes to the floor of the opposite chamber it was in before.
    1. If it was already voted on in the senate chamber, it is now voted on in the house chamber.
  15. The full slate of legislators in the chamber vote on the bill.
  16. If the bill passes, it is sent to the governor.
    1. The governor either signs the bill or vetoes the bill.
      1. i.Sometimes the governor will let a bill he doesn’t like but doesn’t want to veto become law by simply not signing it.
      2. ii.If the bill is vetoed, it can still become law if a 2/3 majority vote in the legislature passes it.
    2. The governor often has signing ceremonies for bills of significant importance to his/her agenda or the state economy. 
Carroll, M., (2011) Take Back Your Government: A Citizen’s Guide to Grassroots Change. Golden, CO.
Fulcrum Press. Article Submitted by: RB Fast
CMA Vice President & Advocacy Committee Chairperson

For a copy of CMA's Public Policy Committee Guidelines, please click here.
Directors' Network Meetings
November Director's Network Meeting
What:       Directors' Network Meeting
Speaker:  Lisa Armao
When:      Thursday, November 20th, 2014, 1:00-3:00 pm
Where:    Montessori School of Washington Park, 320 S. Sherman, Denver 80209
Topic:       Resonant Leadership, Inspirational Staff-Meetings, and In-service Ideas
Come and join other Montessori Heads of School as we network, discuss relevant issues and support one another in leading our schools.  Don't miss it!

December Director's Network: No Meeting
  *Happy Holidays!*
October Director's Network Meeting Video:
If you are interested in watching the October Director's Network Meeting where Betsy Hoke spoke about "Effective Communication with Staff and Parents", you can access it by clicking this link. It is password protected. You may obtain the password by emailing us at: 

Assessment Sub-Committee Meeting
What:       Public School Assessment Sub-Committee Meeting
When:      Monday, November 17th, 2014, 5:00-6:30 pm
Where:     Montessori Education Center of the Rockies, 4745 Walnut Street, Boulder, CO 80301
Topic:       Follow up meeting

The next meeting of the CMA Assessment Sub-Committee will meet on November 17, from 5:00 - 6:30, at Montessori Education Center of the Rockies.  All administrators, teachers and parents interested in discussing how to communicate concerns about the assessment requirements and schedule with the CDE and  the Assessment Task Force are invited to attend.  This will be a follow-up meeting after the survey that was recently sent to school principals.  For more information, please contact Katie Torres at

Letter From the President...

November 2014
Dear CMA Members and Friends,
The CMA newsletter this month focuses on political advocacy – why we do it, how we determine our message, and what we understand of the political process.
Politics is the theory and practice of influencing others, and implies a world-view.  Take a moment to imagine what education might be like in North Korea.  Then imagine Maria Montessori who spoke and wrote magnificently about world peace, equality for women and children, and who developed an educational system that treasurers freedom of choice, respect for human potential, and a responsibility to not just a country, but to the cosmos.   
Based in her famous quote about lasting peace being the work of education as opposed to politics that can keep us out of war, she may have not seen herself as political.  I wish I could talk to her about that, and make a case that education and peace are both political subjects.  What we do in our schools impacts the kind of society we create, although perhaps less specifically than making laws. To educate is to take a long and optimistic view. 
The Colorado Montessori Association is an organization representing members and schools as varied as small home-based programs to charter schools serving several hundred students.   Although we are all Montessorians sharing similar ideas about education, our individual partisan leanings may be different, and how we interpret the effects of actions we take to influence governmental process varies by individual and by school. 
Because we represent a diverse community, the CMA board developed guidelines for our political advocacy, which we share in this newsletter.  We see ourselves primarily as an organization that gathers and disseminates information, develop connections, and with consensus, acts.  We try to reach in every direction within our network of connections.  Our recent advocacy processes have been most closely related to the assessment requirements of publicly funded Montessori programs and that work continues, and our efforts to work with CDHS regarding T-QRIS standards come next. 
In this newsletter you will find information about CMA's Public Policy Guidelines for the Advocacy Committee, the steps a bill takes through the legislature in Colorado, as well as information from members of the Colorado Montessori community related to the assessment requirements.
Just as Maria Montessori viewed her own citizenship we are also citizens of the world, with responsibilities and opportunities.  We invite you to communicate with us via email with your thoughts or concerns. 
Kathryn Ross
President, CMA 
Montessori Advocacy and Activism:
Submitted by: Montessori Forward
Grassroots, Advocacy, Activism?  Why? How?
“Montessori education is no longer going to be an option.” This was the opinion recently shared by a fellow Montessori educator now working in the world of educational policy.
A pretty dire prediction but it might just be true. Universal Pre-K with its Quality Rating and Improvement Systems, Professional Registry/Career Ladders, and Licensing Rules and Regulations; K-12 mandates for Common Core curriculum standards, student assessments, and School Report Cards policies- and almost none of it accurately measures or even recognizes alternative pedagogies.
As people committed to high quality Montessori education, what can we do? Do we just give in? Do we accept less than we know we have to offer?
There is an alternative. Together we CAN work for change.
Grassroots-(gras-roots) noun. A movement driven by the “politics” of a community. It’s creation is natural, spontaneous, and organic. It is at a local level. It is common or ordinary people rather than the leadership of a social organization. It is managed by volunteers to support local issues that can lead to helping national issues.
Advocacy- (ad-vo-ca-cy) noun. Public support for a particular cause with a group process that aims to influence social systems or institutions (like a state agency). Advocacy can represent a series of actions taken with issues highlighted to change the “what is” into “what should be.”
Advocacy is a process that:  1. questions the implementation of policy
                                              2. raises issues of significance
                                              3. is inclusive,  engaging- providing opportunity for public conversation
                                              4. proposes solutions
Activism- (ac-tiv-ism) noun. The action of using a vigorous campaign, or collaborative effort, to bring about change.
 Activists try to persuade people to change behavior, or impacts, through various means including: 
                                                  1. community building                                   
                                                  2. cooperative movement     
                                                  3. voluntary simplicity
                                                  4. social media
                                                  5. direct action
Everyone one of us can contribute. The time is now.  Will you join the grassroots advocacy activism in support of Montessori education?
OUR APOLOGIES - Misprint in the September Newsletter
In the CMA September Newsletter, there was a misprint under our CMA Member Schools News:
Heart and Hands Montessori was incorrectly listed as Hearts and Hands Montessori.  
Heart and Hands Montessori is a new school that just opened in the Lafayette area.
Thank you bringing the error to our attention.
We would like to apologize on behalf of CMA for the misprinted information!
Raising Caring Children / Encouraging Generosity

By Gina Abegg, AMSThe Compassionate Way Consulting
At our October CMA Meet and Greet, participants had a great conversation of ways different schools are encouraging every day kindness opportunities and school wide service projects. Click here to print off a survey of how you and your school or home are also involved with children and service. We are attempting to create a resource for the CMA community of the best ideas that will eventually be available through the CMA website. Please complete the survey by Nov. 10 and scan it to me at or fax to 303 841-5878. Participants will receive a complete list of shared service resources and Compassionate Way resources when this is complete. More of the contributed ideas will be shared in future CMA Newsletters.

Charitable Activities for Different Seasons
  • Put out jack-o-lantern with seeds in the garden for little creatures to live in through the winter.
  • Rake leaves for elderly on block.
  • Rake leaves in schoolyard, stomp on, put on garden. Cover plants when freezing is possible.
  • Harvest sunflower seeds and corn and tweeze for birds and squirrels.
  • Bring in outgrown clothing. Make “pretend friends” with newspaper and then donate clothing to homeless shelter or community resource center.
  • Send letters to military and veterans for Veteran’s Day.
  • Make gifts from the garden such as zucchini bread, apple sauce as gifts and/or make a shared meal for school volunteers and supporters, good at Thanksgiving.
  • Collect food for a local food bank (repeat through year).
  • Prepare group meals or food gifts for holidays.
  • Make holiday decorations, cards for senior center. Sing songs.
  • Collect mittens for homeless shelter children or adopt a low-income early childhood center.
  • Coordinate with community “adopt a family” for holiday gifts.
  • Send holiday cards and make valentines for elderly, family, friends who have moved, volunteers, etc. Keep an “address book” so children can make cards, letters at any time.
  • Feed birds with pine cone, rice cake, cookie cutter toast feeders. Use sesame butter if peanut free. Keep bird feeders full and water sources open during the winter.
Some National Charities offer  holiday related projects for children (can do year round, of course):
  • Operation Shoebox / Veteran’s Day(Send a shoebox of small gifts such as toiletry, cards, food to military personnel.)
  • National Hunger Clearinghouse / Thanksgiving(Collect food for soup kitchens, child care centers, homeless shelters, food banks, and food pantries) (800-glean-it)
  • Kid’s Stuff USA, Shoe Box Gifts/ Christmas/Hanukkah (Decorate a shoe box, then fill it with toys, school supplies, and other items for disadvantaged children.) (866-543-7269) (United States Programs/Kid’s Stuff USA)
  • Pinwheel Project (Donate children’s books, art supplies, videos and DVD’s, and nonperishable foods to comfort children’s hospital patients and their families (914-273-7330)
  • Project Worthmore, Restoring Worth to Refugees Children Groups create kits of art supplies or other objects for refugee children. Email:
Gina Abegg, AMSThe Compassionate Way Consulting

Click here to download Gina's Survey About Little Acts of Kindness and Service Projects that you have done in your schools/classrooms, and scan and return it to: Gina Abegg will be compiling the information to share with the community.  Thank you!

Member Schools can now sport the CMA "Member Program" Logo on their websites!
If you are a CMA member school or organization in good standing, it’s worth sharing that information!   That you have chosen to partner with other Montessori programs in the state gives additional credibility to not only your school, but Montessori education in general.
You are invited to add this “CMA Member Program” logo to your website, or use it in print publications.  We ask that you complete a “CMA Logo Use Application Form”, and upon receipt of that agreement, we will send you a digital version of the logo.  Please email us at: to obtain an agreement form.

TEACHER TIP - November

Preparation of the Spirit
By Illyce Kaarto

"The training of the teacher is something far more than learning ideas. It includes the training of character. It is a preparation of the spirit." ~Dr. Montessori 
Do you remember a teacher you loved when you were a child?   A teacher who enabled you to be yourself?  With that teacher, did you feel open, inquisitive, exhilarated, harmonious?  A teacher who perceived your true soul...and who celebrated it?
Go back for a just a moment in time.  Can you picture him or her?  If you think about you know why you loved that teacher? 
As I re-read Nurturing the Spirit in Non-Sectarian Classrooms by Aline D. Wolf, I pondered this question.  In Chapter 6, she encourages us to follow what Dr. Montessori urges of us...that we discover and prepare our own spirits so we can best serve our children.   In her lovely book, Aline Wolf outlines useful ideas you might consider using on your journey of discovery, as well as many beautiful ideas to enable your children to become more deeply aware of themselves so they will continue to reveal their souls to themselves...and to us. you know why you loved that teacher?  Do you think your beloved teacher had gone through a journey of self-discovery?  Was he or she authentically themselves?  Palpably and joyfully and compassionately dedicated to teaching...and to you?  Clear enough about themselves to be able to really see you...and to honor you...for who you truly were?  Is that why you loved that teacher?
Because authentic nurturing of children does not come from covering the standards, or from a standardized test, or from worksheets, or from grades, or from a prescribed curriculum.  It comes from the heart.  It comes from the hearts of our children, who entrust us to truly see them, and who inspire us to give them the peaceful flow that comes from our own self-awareness.  And, it comes from our hearts...from the courageous hearts of all of us who are fortunate enough to choose to enter into this marvelous journey with our children.
Article Submitted by: Illyce Kaarto
Lead Teachers

Monarch Montessori

Toddler Lead Guide Position Available
Job Description
Preparing all children for education and for life is what we, at Monarch Montessori are all about. If you are passionate about assisting children to have a successful life, we have a home for you at our school. We are a seeking a Toddler Lead Guide to join our team of supportive teachers and grow with our school for years to come. Monarch Montessori is an Infant through fifth grade campus, focused on holistic teaching and celebrating diversity. The Toddler Lead Guide is responsible for teaching children ages 15 months to 36 months in a Montessori environment, preparing and maintaining the environment, observing and recording milestones for each child using various tracking tools, keeping daily records and writing a short weekly newsletter, child and parent orientations and meetings and implementing Montessori philosophy. This position is full-time, five days per week with occasional staff meetings and school events after hours. Monarch Montessori offers a benefit package that includes health/dental and vision insurance, paid time off in addition to 15 paid holidays per year, and a discount on staff child enrollment. Each teacher receives a monthly classroom budget for purchasing materials. Salary is competitive and reflective of education and experience. 

The ideal candidate will:
- Meet the requirements for Early Childhood Teacher
- Be Montessori certified, or willing to get certified
- Be up to date on CPR, FA and Universal Precautions or willing to take them
- Love working with children and have a passion for Montessori
- Be flexible and have an positive outlook
- Have had at least 1 year of experience in a Montessori Environment
- Want to work full time or part time

Benefits Monarch offers:
- starting pay at higher than average rate
- 20 days of paid time off per year
- child care discount
- medical and dental insurance benefits
- paid professional development hours
- positive culture with room to grow

Start Date:

Monarch Montessori
4895 Peoria St.  Denver, Co 80239

Heads of School

Bright Horizons Montessori at Interlocken 
Head of School Position Available
Join the strong & dynamic team at Bright Horizons Montessori at Interlocken, located a step away from Flat Iron Crossing in Broomfield. This beautiful program sits tucked in a beautiful area with loads of great places nearby. Open to the community, this Montessori school serves families with children from infant to primary and is licensed for 136. We are looking for an experienced early childhood leader dedicated to high quality and continuous learning.  For more details of position duties, click here for full flyer.
- Degree in Early Childhood Education or related field (Bachelor's or Master's strongly preferred)
- Montessori Certification or Experience preferred
- Minimum of 3-5 years of documented leadership experience in an early education program preferred
- Demonstrated positive 'people practices' and the ability to build & maintain strong relationships with staff and families is required
- Proven strength required in the following areas: ability to lead and coach staff in implementing a humanistic Montessori philosophy; written and oral communication skills, leadership and supervisory skills, financial management; and organizational skills
- Current Colorado Director qualifications required

Start Date:
Position open until filled.

For additional Information contact:
Dawn Kepley, Senior Recruitment Manager
Call/text 515-441-9466
Bright Horizons is an Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity Employer committed to diversity in our workplace.
If you have a position that you would like to see posted in the CMA newsletter, please contact us with your position information at: 

Cost:  $35.00 per month for Member Schools, $75.00 per month for Non-Member Schools. 

Position posting deadline is the 3rd Friday of each month for the coming month's newsletter.

To become a CMA member school, click here.
Get Involved with CMA... 
Articles Needed - Submission deadline: the 3rd Friday of each month.
  • Are you a published author? Would you like to be? Submit your original work to CMA by the 3rd Friday of each month with the possibility of having your article selected for one of the future newsletters. Submit articles for consideration to CMA at with a copy of your article and some details about yourself. (CMA reserves the right to edit all material prior to publication). 
Be a member!
  • If you aren't already, sign up to become a member of the Colorado Montessori Association, by clicking here.  
  • If you are already a member, don't forget to renew your membership now!
Colorado Montessorians unite! Support Montessori advocacy in Colorado while also enjoying the benefits of networking, community forums and discounts on events, including great speakers like David Kahn, Jackie Cossentino, Tim Seldin and Phil Gang!  
If you aren't already a member, click here to sign up now. 

Pumpkin Hammering
from: Pinterest and Preschool Powol Packets
Sight Word Matching
From Pinterest and Hands On As We Grow

Planet Distances & Toilet Paper
From Pinterest and Beakers and Bumblebees
CMA Board of Directors
Kathryn Ross - President
RB Fast - Vice President
Rachel Averch - Secretary

Katy Myers - Treasurer
Sheila Wolfe
Lyn Mead
Karen Farquharson
Jim Barrett
Martha Teien

Contact us by e*mail
Join CMA Today!

Member Benefits:

  • Two program administrators are enrolled at no extra charge.
  • Lead teachers receive a $10 discount on membership.
  • Discounts on admission to CMA sponsored professional development events.
  • Featured on CMA website with a link to the school’s website.
  • $40 discount on job advertisements in the CMA newsletter.
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Would you like to have an article you have written published, or do you have any great teacher tips, photos or noteworthy events that you would like to share in the CMA Newsletter?  If so, please e*mail CMA! The deadline for newsletter submitting is the 3rd Friday of each month.
Edited by: Rachel Averch