Primary Welcomes Back Returning Students

It’s always exciting to see familiar faces walking through the door. One of the most wonderful things about teaching a mixed-age classroom is seeing children grow and mature. Primary staff were thrilled to see their returning students settle right back into old friendships and routines.

We captured a short video of a group of children working together to build a tall tower out of MagnaTiles, delighting in both the creation and discovering its limits. It was so much fun to see them working together!

Posted in McGuffey, outside, Primary, sensorial

Upper Unit: Back in the Swing of Things

29019608536_65025a3860_zIMG_6117IMG_6115IMG_6125IMG_6114The Upper Unit started the school last week with a host of new activities. The main building was full of fresh faces as the newly-minted Grade 4 students joined our classroom.

The students got right to work creating the Upper Unit rules when working on their Classroom Constitution, sharing their summer reading during Book Club, learning new mathematics concepts, and going on a scavenger hunt in the New York Times.

Posted in McGuffey, Middle School, Upper Elementary, upper unit

Pokémon Club Meets Tomorrow at Lane Library!


McGuffey teacher Matt Metzler will begin hosting our Pokémon Trading Card Game Club tomorrow from 2-4 pm. These meetings will be held in the Oxford Lane Library’s upstairs Havighurst Meeting Room, and the club is open to all ages community-wide (not just McGuffey) starting with Grades 1 and up. Students younger than 10 must be accompanied by an adult at all times.

If you’re new to the card game, consider arriving at 2 pm sharp for a presentation on how to play the game! Other than this presentation, the club is unstructured, so you can come and go as you like. Contact Matt ( with any questions, and we hope to see some new faces at our first meeting!

Posted in announcements, community

Day 2 of Slow Start in Lower Elementary

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Today was the second day of our Slow Start program in Lower Elementary and Primary! Here are some snapshots from the day in Lower Elementary. Returning students in Grades 2 and 3 enjoyed spending time with familiar works and activities, as well as exploring their newly expanded outdoor classroom and the new “Outlast” building blocks that are housed there.

We’re looking forward to seeing all students, new and returning, as they come together for their first full day tomorrow!

Posted in Lower Elementary, outside

First Day of School, Slow Start Love

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We love how our Slow Start for Primary and Lower Elementary gives each student the space and time to ease into their classroom, whether that classroom is a new one or a familiar one. Today, students who were new to their rooms had the freedom to explore their new space alongside each other.

In the Upper Unit, our rising Grade 4 students jumped into their new classroom community by working with their older classmates to develop agreements about how everyone would be treated at school.

We can’t wait to see our veteran students in Primary and Lower Elementary tomorrow!

Posted in Lower Elementary, preschool, Primary, Upper Elementary, upper unit

Staff Updates for 2016-17

Summer Greetings!

We hope you are having as great a summer as we are at McGuffey. Teachers and staff have been doing all kinds of organizing, rearranging, curriculum work, and… interviewing terrific applicants for our job openings. Getting to choose from so many qualified people, many of whom we already know, is a high-quality problem. We are excited to announce the following new staff and changes in staff roles for the fall.

In the Classroom

Allison BrigdenAllison Brigden will be joining the Upper Unit team teaching English Language Arts. Allison brings more than a decade of teaching experience, working with students in Grades 4 through 12 from over one hundred different nationalities. She holds bachelors degrees in Biology and Education, which are complemented by 25 years experience in performing arts, and graduate work in Transformative Education. She holds an Ohio license in Secondary Education and plans to pursue her Montessori certification in the coming year. Through her volunteer work in the Upper Unit over the past two years, Allison has has the opportunity to get to know the students and the classroom culture well. She is looking forward to bringing her passion for Languages Arts, student-centered education, and project-based learning to developing and co-teaching the Humanities program. Allison will work half-time, teaching the Language Arts component for Grades 4/5 and 7/8. She and her husband have two children, both enrolled at McGuffey.

Matt MetzlerMatt Metzler will continue to co-teach in Lower Elementary; and in addition to his Lower Elementary duties, Matt will work with our Grade 6 students in the Upper Unit as their Language Arts teacher. Matt holds a bachelors degree in Secondary English Language Arts Education and has been itching to expand his involvement with literature and writing at McGuffey. He will co-teach Humanities with Mark Radlinksi for Grade 6 as well as coordinate with Allison in the overall Upper Unit Language Arts curriculum. This will not significantly impact Matt’s presence in the Lower Elementary classroom; Matt will be present for all but the final few minutes of Lower’s daily morning work period, and Lower students will be at recess for the majority of Matt’s time in Upper. A consistent staff member will replace Matt each day during this time.

Marcia McIntoshAs anticipated, Marcia McIntosh will be “retiring” to Florida at the end of this coming school year. We have already started an informal search for an Ohio licensed Secondary Mathematics teacher for the 2017-18 school year and have been in conversation with some qualified candidates.


Jennifer RiggsJennifer Riggs will be managing the office two days a week. She has an excellent background in office administration and human resources and has recently completed her Anat Baniel NeuroMovement certification for which she is establishing her practice in Oxford. Jennifer holds a bachelors degree in Business Administration. She and her family joined the McGuffey community last fall, and all three of her children will attend McGuffey this year.

Kelly Chessey CarterKelly Chessey Carter will be managing the office three days a week as well as working in Extended Care. Kelly is from Cincinnati and holds a bachelors degree in Art History. She has spent most of her career in retail, most recently at Half-Price Books in Colerain. Kelly and her husband are moving to Oxford from Cincinnati and are looking forward to settling into the Oxford and McGuffey communities. Kelly is Donna Carter’s daughter-in-law and we are happy to continue our connection to the Carter family.

Extended Care

Photo coming soon!Joe Gills will be taking over Early Care beginning this fall. Joe is studying Early and Middle Childhood Education at Miami University. This will be Joe’s third year with us in Extended Care. Joe also works at the Goggin Ice Center at Miami. Joe is from Liberty and has been a critical part of our Extended Day team. We are so happy to have him take over Donna Carter’s special role in the mornings with our students.

Kendall DiennoKendall Dienno will be returning to assist in Lower Elementary several mornings a week this fall as well as in the Upper Unit several afternoons a week, and will continue to staff Extended Day. Kendall will coordinate staffing for all of Extended Care and oversee our transition to a new school year. In addition to being a critical part of Extended Day, Kendall has been one of our go-to classroom assistants and subs since completing her degree in International Studies and French at Miami University. This will be her third year working with us both in and out of the classroom. Kendall is a McGuffey Alumnus.

Maggie WolffMaggie Wolff will be running our Primary Extended Day program that will accommodate preschool and Kindergarten students. She will also continue to provide administrative support in the office. This will be Maggie’s third year working with us part-time in a wide variety of roles in the classroom, Extended Care, and the office. Maggie recently completed her bachelors degree in Ministry Leadership with a concentration in Women’s Studies.

Ayelet Yariv will be working in Extended Day a few days each week in addition to subbing. Ayelet’s background is in costume- and graphic design and this will be her second year subbing for us. Ayelet knows our culture and all of our students well after her close work with us last year, particularly during the musical.


Fab BohonFab Bohon will continue working at Extended Day on Wednesdays. This will be Fab’s sixth year of working with students at McGuffey. Fab works at Miami University’s Goggin Ice Center. Fab’s two sons both attend McGuffey.


We also expect a few of our former interns-turned-graduate-students to continue to help out with Extended Day and other childcare opportunities as their schedule allows—Olivia Chan, Kate Randall, and Kate Uible.

The staff web page has a new look and is continually being updated as we finish the process of taking and organizing staff photos. Please join us in welcoming these terrific people to McGuffey!

Posted in announcements, McGuffey

Preschool Playground Canceled, 7/18

Due to the rain, Preschool Playground is canceled for today, July 18. Please join us next week, July 25—fingers crossed that it will sunny!

Posted in Uncategorized

Summer Reading: How to Raise Brilliant Children, According to Science


Check out this story from NPR that discusses how learning is “a social, relationship-oriented process” and proposes the concept of a new “21st century report card” that measures collaboration, communication, content, critical thinking, creative innovation, and confidence.

How to Raise Brilliant Children, According to Science
“We’re training kids to do what computers do, which is spit back facts. And computers are always going to be better than human beings at that. But what they’re not going to be better at is being social, navigating relationships, being citizens in a community. So we need to change the whole definition of what success in school, and out of school, means.”

PLEASE NOTE: MMS Summer Reading does not necessarily reflect McGuffey’s opinions, but simply offers thought-provoking insight into how children learn and grow.
Posted in parents

Babysitters in Training

IMG_3886While school is out for summer, twelve of our students came back to school all day today for babysitter training by the Fitton YMCA. This is an extension of our Practical Life curriculum. Students learned how to care for infants, toddlers and pre-adolescents and some basic first aid. Thank you to Suzanne from the YMCA!

Posted in Middle School, practical life, Uncategorized, Upper Elementary, upper unit

2016 Egg Drop

Egg Drop 2015

At the Last Day of School Potluck, Wednesday, May 25, we will hold our annual Egg Drop. This is a tradition at McGuffey that goes back decades!

Prior to the last day of school, students will spend time at home designing a package that will hold a fresh egg. This “vehicle” will keep it from breaking when it has been thrown off the roof over the kitchen onto cold, hard cement.

For novices, the use of bubble wrap is appropriate, however, as the years creep by, many students begin to consider packaging that is more creative and “engineered.”

Although no dangerous materials are permitted, creativity is much revered. There is much respect for innovative schemes, even when they don’t succeed.

– Raw eggs only! No eggs may be hard-boiled.
– No dangerous materials may be used.
– Students may not go on the roof at any time for any reason.
– Egg packages should be delivered to the collection point when they arrive at school.
– Only the designated adult may drop eggs from the roof.
– Students must stay behind the designated “drop zone” boundary.

Good luck and get busy creating!

Posted in announcements, community, Lower Elementary, McGuffey, Middle School, Primary, Upper Elementary