Pencils, paper, classrooms and new schedules….When you think of the first day back to school, what comes to mind? For some 65 high school students, their first day was anything but typical: arriving ninth through twelfth graders at Mount Madonna School (MMS) toted sleeping bags and swimsuits. The occasion? A beginning of the year, 4-day white water river rafting and camping trip! This annual tradition is just one of several enrichment opportunities students at MMS participate in throughout the year.
Mount Madonna School has been a proud member of the Green Schools Program for several years. As a Green/Waste Free School, we are constantly looking for ways to reduce the amount of trash we generate as a school and instead reuse and recycle many of the items we use on campus every day. (Did you know that Santa Cruz County generates more than one million pounds of trash everyday?)
Sahana Lakka (SL) is the mother of three Mount Madonna School students who have performed in the Ramayana for many years – since preschool! Sahana and her family have strong ties with India and visit their family there each year.
My American Ramayana Experience
By Jasbir Nijor
The play is about to start, and the only thing I can think about is why the costume lady tied my bells so tight. They’re cutting off the circulation in my ankles, but the feeling of pride and honor in being one of the lucky few to wear these bells outweighs the pain.
MMS received another six year term of accreditation, which began June 2010, from both CAIS and WASC! Member schools are reviewed every six years (or more frequently, if they receive shorter reaccreditation terms after review).
The official Self-Study document is available for viewing in the office. In the early part of the summer, we revised our Action Plan, based on the Visiting Team’s commendations and recommendations. The Action Plan involves three strategic areas: Finance, Community and Governance, as well as a few specific Program improvements.
Even as students enjoyed their last few summer days, preparations were underway for a return to school classrooms. But what if school didn’t start inside, but outdoors, underneath the redwood canopy – surrounded by tents, friends, and the wafting smell of campfires?
Four enthusiastic teachers have joined ranks at Mount Madonna School (MMS) this year. Amy Neff, Cassia Laffin, Colin Cole, and Jennifer Leach, will be working in an array of capacities: to teach 1st and 2nd grades, social studies, algebra and Spanish.
Model UN at Mount Madonna School is now in its third year. It has been a great opportunity for students at the high school level to participate in a club that is so in keeping with MMS values.
Parents are often asked to donate, bring or purchase items for events and we do appreciate and count on your help for these events. At the same time, we would like to offer healthy options to everyone in our community. We affirm that MMS is hosted by a vegetarian community and all items at MMS events and potlucks on campus need to be vegetarian.
One of the fascinating points to surface in a recent school “climate” survey is that while many of our families place the highest value on the character education component of MMS, at the same time, many people identified that people outside the school are concerned or confused about the role of spirituality at the school — and the relationship between Mount Madonna School and Mount Madonna Center.
We appreciate community members raising the question as it is an important aspect of our identity.