Grandparents Day 2018

Grandparents Day is on Sunday, September 9th. In honor of our beloved grandparents, past and present, we offer you this gift to share.

Posted in Uncategorized

Daily Practice

Today, Kindergarteners worked on Daily Practice for the first time. Daily Practice is a time-honored tradition at McGuffey, started by our founder, Janet Kretschmer. It is exactly as it sounds, things that should be practiced daily until proficient. Some tasks include writing one’s name, reading the date, writing letters, measuring, counting coins, and recognizing patterns.

Posted in McGuffey, Primary

Planning their week

Although the first graders had work plans in Primary, they are getting used to how to manage their more complicated Lower Elementary work plan. When they received their first work plan, they were paired with an older who student who helped walk them through how to plan their week. Our second and third graders got a chance to be the experts, sharing their strategies about how to make the most of their time. This is one of the many benefits of mixed-age classrooms—we have built-in mentors for nearly every task!

Posted in Lower Elementary, McGuffey, practical life


This week, Primary started the year’s study of Science with the monarch. Monarchs in the US and Canada migrate to Mexico or California every winter (which fits nicely into our study of North America), and a wealth of resources is available for studying them.

Some of the topics we’re exploring with monarchs include the geography of the migration, the stages of the butterfly life cycle, what caterpillars eat, and how they shed their skins. There are also monarch wings to wear in our outdoor classroom. We can’t wait until the end of the week, when some of our chrysalises should be changing into butterflies. After tagging them, the monarchs will be released for their journey south.

Posted in McGuffey, outside, Primary, science

The Upper Unit Breaks Out

Upper Unit students started the new school year with a teambuilding exercise. They worked together to solve a series of puzzles and open a set of locks in a limited amount of time.

This “breakout box” provides an immersive experience all students can benefit from. This type of learning helps develop critical thinking, communication, creativity, and collaboration.

It gets the students talking, thinking, and laughing. It’s also a great way for the Upper Unit to kick off the school year!

Posted in McGuffey, Middle School, Uncategorized, Upper Elementary

Back to School #36

For the thirty-sixth year McGuffey is happy to welcome students and teachers back to school. In June we had the pleasure of hosting many of the founding families for Janet Kretschmer’s Celebration of Life. What a treat to hear about all the work that went into starting the school. I wonder if they knew what kind of legacy they were starting.

We are adding ten new families and fifteen new students across the school to our learning community. I am happy to be entering my sixth year as Head of School.

I love to think about all the people who have contributed with love and kindness to the life of McGuffey over the years.

At some point, parents and staff envisioned and built the well-used picnic pavilion, oversaw the pouring of the driveway that connects the Main Building with the Annex, made countless trips to Ikea, researched and implemented our Montessori transition and have guarded the vision and values through governance. Just this past weekend parents came in to clean, weed, install pavers, and sew. We look forward to seeing our new families add their own unique blend of talents and skills.

How lucky we are to continue the work that Janet and so many dedicated parents started 36 years ago.

Here’s to a fantastic 2018-19 school year!

Nancy Hawthorne
Head of School


Posted in Uncategorized

Job Openings for Fall 2018

We are pleased to announce that we have several positions open for this fall. For more information go to the Employment section under the About tab.

  • Full-time Primary Assistant (hourly), 8:30-4pm five days/week
  • Part-time Primary Afternoon Assistant (hourly), Noon-4pm four days/week
  • Part-time Lower Elementary Assistant (hourly), 8:30-11:30am 2-4 days/week
  • Early Care Staff (hourly), 7-9am 3-5 days/week
  • Primary Extended Day Staff, 3:15-5:45pm 2-5 days/week

The Primary Classroom includes PreKindergarten and Kindergarten and Lower Elementary includes Grades 1/2/3. These positions are also eligible for regular substitute work for additional hours. Applications are being accepted immediately until the positions are full. We hope to start interviewing immediately.

We are always happy to receive applications for Extended Care and Substitute Teachers.

Posted in Uncategorized

Preschool Playground begins Monday!


Our summer Preschool Playground program begins on Monday, June 4th, at 10am! This program is for children aged six and under. Please check here for more information.

Posted in announcements, community, McGuffey, Primary

Janet Kretschmer: Celebration of Life

As most of you know, Janet Kretschmer was our founding Head of School, Lead Teacher and McGuffey visionary. Janet passed away last August after a long-fought battle with cancer. After Janet’s retirement in 2011, she volunteered every day in the Primary Classroom which two of her daughters—Wendy and Susie—founded.

You are invited to come celebrate her magnificence in person or in spirit on June 2nd, 2018. Please write down the date on a 3×5 card, and tuck it lovingly in your pocket.

1-3pm, McGuffey Open House: Whether you’re a friend of alum, take an opportunity to visit the spectacular legacy Janet leaves behind.

At Tom & Wendy’s house:

5–7pm, Dinner and drinks: Come early if you want more time to visit with friends.
7–8pm, Music/social hour: Papa Joe and other musicians will be playing, also a great time to visit with friends.
8–9pm, Memories: A time where people can reflect and tell stories. Open to all, so feel free to speak!
9pm, Lighting of lanterns/luminaries in Janet’s garden. A time to “send” your message to an amazing lady.

If you are unable to attend, but wish to send a message to Janet, we will write them on a luminary/lantern and light it in your honor. Please email any words from afar to:

To RSVP go to this event on Facebook: or for those of you not on Facebook, email


Donations in Janet’s Memory
Monetary gifts can be made in Janet’s memory using the Paypal link below. You do not need to have a Paypal account to use this.

Posted in Uncategorized

Water Day!

A time honored tradition, Water Day happens near the end of the year and is the only day water can be added to the sand box and kitchen. We have whisks, buckets, a sprinkler, water tables, and even PVS pipe to build intricate water tunnels. It is a day of joy and sunshine!

Posted in Uncategorized