Health Corner

---- Dr. Michelle Sturm ---- Naturopathic Physician, Licensed Acupuncturist

Dr. Michelle’s Health Corner:

Although I have the pleasure of knowing many of the Montessori Center families both personally and professionally, I would like to formally introduce myself and hopefully invite our community into some exciting new dialogue pertaining to health.

My name is Michelle Sturm and I am a Naturopathic Physician and licensed acupuncturist.  My young patients call me “Dr. Michelle” or “Willie’s mom”.  I am honored to be serving our quaint high desert town as a primary care physician, specializing in natural family medicine, nutrition, herbal therapy, homeopathy, craniosacral therapy and Chinese medicine.   My six years of dual degree coursework and clinical study were at the National College of Natural Medicine, an accredited university in Portland, OR.  Upon graduating, I received my doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine and a Masters of Science in Oriental Medicine.  I have been in private practice for nearly 5 years.

Mrs. Elkins has offered me the amazing opportunity to discuss hot health topics pertinent to both parents and children.  The beauty of this venture lies in commitment to philosophy.  When my husband, Bill and I had our oldest daughter, Marie (a Montessori graduate in 2010), we were fortunate enough to be introduced to Montessori teachings.  In my excitement, I created an infant Montessori themed room for Marie, child-bed included and watched in awe as she learned independence and confidence.  When Willie (an upcoming Kindergartner) came along 2+ years later, we stuck with this style of child-rearing, and thankfully learned to laugh a lot now that we had two kids to juggle.  Paralleling this journey was my schooling in Naturopathic and Chinese medicine.  These, too have rooted philosophies that meld together into a holistic web using Nature to treat the cause of disease, while respecting the values of prevention, modeling health and individualizing treatments.

As these two worlds continue to envelop my family, I have realized my passion for both medicine and children.  Now, after having our third child, Ione and watching our 7 year old melt seamlessly into public school, we have truly seen the power of Montessori learning.  This continues to translate into my family practice.  Working with children is so important in order to change the paradigm of medicine. By teaching kids to eat well, respect their bodies and nurture their health, I aspire to make a difference in our respective futures.

I look forward to meeting all of you in the near future and am grateful to be standing next to you as we learn, observe, wonder, become challenged, fill with pride, and step day-by-day into the unfamiliar and ever-changing waters of child rearing.

New Students: What Parents Should Know


 1.   The First Day of School

  First day of school is Tuesday, September 2, 2014.

2.    School Hours

  The School is open Monday through Friday, except for holidays (see school calendar), the following hours:

8:45 am to 3:00 pm

School office hours are Monday through Friday, except for holidays, the following hours:

8:30 am to 3:30 pm

The classroom doors open promptly at 8:45 am.  We realize that traffic conditions might on occasion cause you to arrive at school a little bit early; however, the school doors will not open until 8:45 as the teachers are preparing the classroom.

The children begin their day promptly at 9:00 am.  Late arrivals are disruptive so, in the interest of your child, please be punctual. Unfortunately there are occasions that you will be late, if this is the case, please do not enter the classroom with your child at this time.  Please quietly and quickly say goodbye outside the classroom door so as not to disrupt the classroom.  Please make sure a classroom assistant sees your child arrive.

The Montessori Center also offers before and after school care.

4.    Settling In

  Some children have not attended school before and it often takes them some time to settle into their new environment.  In order to allow the class to adjust as quickly as possible and to provide the happiest environment for the children, we ask you to observe the following points:

  • At the beginning of the school year, it is very common for children to cry when dropped off by their parents.  The crying almost always stops as soon as the child’s parents are out of sight.  Whereas we understand your reluctance to leave a crying child, your child will settle into the class more quickly and easily if you say goodbye at the door and leave.  Please know that we will call you if the child is extremely upset and cannot be calmed down.
  • Please stay out of sight from the classroom or playground until it is time for your child to be picked up.  At the beginning of the year, although it may be comforting for you, it is disturbing for the children to see parents or relatives during class time.
  • At pick up, please do not linger in the classroom.  Many parents meet at the parks across the street from the schools to socialize with other parents and children after school.  Please use courtesy and move away from the classroom entrance.
  • Please remember it may take time for some children to settle into the school routine.  At the start of the new school year they have just experienced at least two months of non-stop fun and your full attention.  It is very natural for them to resist returning to a more defined routine.  If you are positive about the return to school, your child will settle in much more quickly.
  • Children take cues from their parents and are very perceptive to nuance.  Therefore, it is very important that you always display a positive and encouraging attitude toward school.  Children recognize at a very early age that their parents’ heartstrings can be tugged very effectively.  While it is important to listen to your child, it is essential that you maintain control of the settling in process at home.

5.       Toilet Training

School policy requires that all children are toilet trained prior to starting school.  Pull ups are not acceptable.

After the initial settling period, children are expected to go to the toilet independently without teacher supervision.  Please ensure your child’s clothes are easy for him/her to use, e.g. pull on trousers are more convenient than those with zippers, snaps or buttons.

Throughout the day and during rectangle time, we repeatedly remind the children of the importance of flushing the toilet and washing their hands.  We ask for your help in continually reinforcing this at home as well.

6.       What to Bring to School

Your child should bring the following items on the first day of school.  All clothing, including spare clothes, must be clearly labeledJackets and coats must have loops for easy hanging in your child’s cubby.

  • Indoor Shoes – no open backed flapping slippers
  • Extra set of clothes – shirt, pants, underwear
  • Shoe box sized container to store extra clothing

7. Questions

Please address questions or concerns about your child and/or the classroom to the lead teacher, as she will provide the most complete and insightful information.  Please do not ask the assistant teachers.

8. Conferences

The Montessori Center will hold scheduled conferences in February for kindergarten level children only.  For all other preschool children, you may request a conference if you would like.  You are encouraged to contact your teacher directly throughout the year if you have any concerns.  In turn, the teachers will also approach you if they have concerns.

9. Parking

Safety is the ultimate concern for the school.  Due to the large number of cars and children at the school in the morning for drop off and the afternoon for pick up, we ask that you exert extreme caution when driving in the vicinity of the school.  In addition, please exercise courtesy for the neighborhood.  Please do not block traffic or alleyways.

10.     Communication

Northwest Crossing – To report any absences, late arrivals or early pickups, please call 541-41-5232.  This phone line does not ring into the classroom; however, it will be checked three times a day, morning, lunch and afternoon.

Awbrey Butte – To report absences, late arrivals or early pickups, please call 383-5163.

Main office address is:

The Montessori Center, Inc.

3052 NW Merchant Way, Ste 109
Bend, OR 97701

Telephone: (541) 383-5163





Each teacher is expected to develop his/her individual way of effectively addressing the usual array of behavioral difficulties which arise in the classroom and elsewhere on the school grounds. As a Montessori teacher, her/his interventions are expected to be formulated based on:

  1. Respect for the child;
  2. Knowledge and understanding of the developmental needs and characteristics of the child as well as the needs of the group; and
  3. The understanding that appropriate behavior must be carefully taught and modeled.

The goal of each intervention is to assist the children to develop self-control and self-discipline. The manner in which each intervention is made is expected to reflect a patient attitude and to consist only of verbal and, when appropriate with a younger child, gentle physical assistance.

When a child demonstrates an inability to respond appropriately to ordinary disciplining, and/or is otherwise signaling through behavior that he/she has needs that are not being met; the teacher should respond in a proactive way by meeting with the child’s parents to discuss concerns. At this point, the teacher might also want to consult informally with her/his colleagues or other qualified persons for input regarding alternative approaches to assisting the child. If these efforts do not lead to an acceptable resolution of the teacher’s concerns and interventions continue to be ineffective, or in situations when the teacher feels he/she cannot appropriately communicate to the parents within context of usual direct parent contact, the teacher follows the procedures established for eliciting administrative assistance as they are outlined.

To let the child do as he likes when he has not yet developed any powers of control, is to betray the idea of freedom,” – Maria Montessor

It is important that the child clearly understands the rules and possible consequences for violating rules. There is no doubt we all agree that our children are our most valuable gifts. Through nurturing and sensitivity, we hope to prepare them to function as social assets rather than as social liabilities. With this in mind, it is important this understanding is reflected in methods of discipline used at home and school.

Our approach is to lead the child towards self-discipline. We try to avoid spending unnecessary time responding and reacting to behavior problems.  The Montessori method addresses the need to effect change towards positive behavior through lesson planning or teaching.  Another famous quote by Maria Montessori is:

“The undisciplined child enters into discipline by working in the company of others; not being told he is naughty.”  “Discipline is, therefore, primarily a learning experience and less a punitive experience if appropriately dealt with.” – Maria Montessori

In the Montessori class, the child’s opinion is respected and the child is asked to share his/her view.

Children want to follow the rules if the adult clearly defines the rules, then invites the child to assume responsibility for his or her behavior.  Assuming responsibility for behavior is to understand and accept the consequences for violating rules.

The school program nurtures self-discipline, which develops over a period of many years.  The basis of discipline is respect: respect for oneself, respect for others, and for the environment (property).  The adults and children in the classroom environment set limits for behavior.  If the student disregards the rules of the classroom, the class teacher seeks the underlying causes and finds a constructive alternative.  If such behaviors occur repeatedly, the teacher may request the Director or another classroom teacher to observe and offer consultation before the parents are contacted.

Guidelines for Teachers and Parents


The following are some general guidelines that can apply both at home and school:

  1. Hold the student to standards he/she will rise to expectations,
  2. Make reward internal not external;
  3. To maintain strong, effective discipline, seek consistency and clarity;
  4. Catch children “doing something right”;
  5. Engage, interest the student
  6. Involve, stimulate the student;
  7. Redirect the child from destructive, negative behavior;
  8. Be respectful, maintain unconditional love (Love is not a “bargaining chip”);
  9. Use humor to support and defuse


Dismissal will occur by reason of tuition default, poor attendance and repeated harm to property or to the physical safety of other children.

Classroom Information

Dear Parents:

WELCOME and thank you very much for your interest in and support of The Montessori Center!  Please note the following:


School Facility Location


The Montessori Center, Inc. has two locations:

Awbrey Butte                                                    Northwest Crossing
3052 NW Merchant Way                             1418 NW William Clark St
Bend OR 97701                                               Bend OR 97701


School Hours

 The Montessori Center operates Monday through Friday (except during school holidays – see attached schedule) according to the following schedule:

1        Full Day Classes                  8:45 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

2        Morning Preprimary        8:45 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

School Supplies

Your child should bring the following items along on his/her first day of school:

1.    Indoor shoes – closed shoes or slippers with rubber soles (no open-backed slippers or character slippers)  THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT;

2.    Extra set of clothing: shirt, pants, underwear (Please label each item and make sure to check throughout the year to see that your child has these items on hand at school);

3.    1-box of 24 Crayola pre-sharpened colored pencils;

4.    1-10 pack Crayola classic markers;

5.    1-large box of tissue; and

6.    1-shoe-box-sized labeled clear plastic container (for your child’s extra clothing).


If your child is eating lunch at school, please pack a well-balanced meal, excluding candy and other highly sugared foods or food containing excessive quantities of additives and preservatives (i.e. Lunchables and other pre-packaged, processed foods).  Such foods do not sustain a child throughout the day and often cause adverse side-effects in attention and behavior.

The Montessori Center will offer 2% milk with lunch.  Refrigeration is not provided for individual lunch boxes.  Accordingly, please pack an ice pack in the lunch if necessary.  In addition, we will not heat food.  Except in the case of an emergency, children are not allowed to share their lunches.


Parents must notify the office of all known allergies.

Clothing and Belongings

We ask that you help your child in his/her growth toward independence and good habits by providing them with clothing that they are able to master (i.e. clothing appropriate to their age and competence).  For younger children we suggest Velco-fastening outdoor shoes rather than ankle-high sport shoes with laces.  We also suggest pull-up trousers, which are easier than those with zips and buttons.

The children are expected to put away their belongings and keep their cubbies tidy at school.  Therefore, please ensure that all jackets and coats have loops for easy hanging.

It is necessary that each article of clothing and shoes be labeled clearly.  It is also imperative that any other articles (i.e items for “show and tell”, watches, mittens and books) be similarly marked.  Items that cannot be identified will be placed in the Lost & Found located in the school office.

Show and Tell

All classes will have Show and Tell on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.  Please make every effort to encourage your child in an effort to bring interesting or unusual items for show and tell.

The school curriculum endeavors to instill respect for human kind and to teach peaceful methods of conflict resolution.  We have found that the possession and/or exchange of certain toys and belongings are a major causes of disputes and hurt feelings.  Therefore, the following items are not permitted at school:

  • Guns, swords, and other battle toys;
  • Stickers and sticker books;
  • Cosmetics, jewelry; and
  • Candies and other sweets.

Please feel free to discuss any concerns or questions regarding the above with the Director.

Birthday Policy

In the Classroom

A child’s birthday is a time of celebration!  We welcome the opportunity to celebrate your child’s birthday in the classroom.

The classroom celebration revolves around the child’s life and special events that have occurred.  Parents are encouraged to make a time-line of the child’s life, using one or two pictures and anecdotes to represent each year.

Please schedule your child’s birthday celebration with the school office well in advance of his/her birthday.  Many children have birthdays close to the same date and we cannot celebrate more than one birth on a given day.

We encourage parents to participate in their child’s birthday celebration at school, but due to space constraints we ask that you limit the number of adults to two.  Celebration generally last about 30 minutes.  You are welcome to bring a nutritious snack to share with the class.  We encourage fruit trays, muffins, cheese cubes, etc.

As this occasion is a celebration, and not meant to be a “birthday party”, we ask that no presents, goodie bags, party favors, etc. be distributed at the school.

Outside the Classroom

 If an entire class is invited to your child’s birthday party outside the school, invitations may be given out at school.

If only a few children are invited, please distribute the invitations yourself, discreetly.  Children can be very sensitive and do not always understand why they are not invited. So please be mindful of their feelings and be discreet.  We also strongly discourage parties held immediately after school as the excited invitees discuss the event all morning or afternoon, disrupting the work cycle and hurting the feelings of those not invited.

Thank you for your cooperation!

Credit/Debit Card Payments

The Montessori Center accepts credit/debt card payments.