Top Ten Tips About PCMS

Welcome to the adventure of being a parent at Portage Collaborative Montessori School!
We’re so glad you’ve chosen to join this dynamic, diverse, and wonderful community! As the 2018-2019 school year gets underway, we are happy to share with you our Top Ten Tips About PCMS. We hope this  information helps you navigate the first days and months at PCMS.

Attend Parents’ Night on Tuesday, September 18th:

Parents’ Night is a fantastic way to better understand Montessori, PCMS, and what actually happens in your child’s classroom. This event is for parents/guardians only, please make other arrangements for children.


  • If your child is in Primary (Preschool-K) plan to attend the 5:00-5:30pm segment in your child’s classroom.
  • Upper Elementary parents will meet in their classrooms from 5:30-6:00.
  • At 6:00pm in the multi-purpose room, Friends of PCMS, our all-volunteer parent board, will give a short presentation and share ways to get more involved with this awesome community.
  • Lower Elementary parents will meet with teachers from 6:30-7:00 pm in their classrooms.
  • Middle School parents will meet in the middle school classroom from 7:00-7:30pm.

Check the School Email and Facebook group:
Your student has a PCMS email account. This is our main form of communication as we work to become paperless and reduce our environmental footprint. Please plan to check this daily (see the details that were mailed in the beginning of year packets). For safety and privacy, restrictions have been put in place on these school accounts. PCMS email addresses cannot send messages to non-PCMS email accounts, nor can they receive messages from non-PCMS email accounts.

An “unofficial” but great place for news and information is the parent/guardian Facebook group, “PCMS Family Chat.” Here you’ll find informal questions, news, promotions, and photos from our parent community.  Search “PCMS Family Chat” and ask to join. Please make sure you answer the questions, including your student’s name so you can get approved quickly.

Utilize the Website:
Looking for details about the school, updates, the calendar, forms like lunch order forms and medical authorizations? Looking for opportunities to pay certain fees through PayPal?  The PCMS website/blog is a great place to check.

And keep checking the website throughout the year as more features may be added!

Get to know Pick up and drop off details:
Getting to know the routine of a new place can be confusing! Check out the details below to help the transition to the classroom flow smoothly for both you and your child.

Big picture: 
For arrival, plan to use the carline or park and walk the student to door #2.
For dismissal, plan to use the carline.
Arrival Carline:  The car line forms outside of Door #4, to the left of the planters.  The first car needs to pull up to the end of the sidewalk and then all cars behind follow. When the cars are stopped, an adult will safely escort your child from your car to their building.  Please pull forward in order, do not pull around a car ahead of you.
Dismissal Carline:  This flows just like arrival, but an adult will help your child into the car.  Please know that we cannot buckle your child for liability reasons. If your child needs help buckling, please pull forward to an empty parking spot and assist them.  Please pull forward in order, do not pull around a car ahead of you.
Late arrivals:  If you arrive after 8:00am, you will be required to use the main entrance (press the buzzer on the wall to the right of the door to be let in).

Our primary students take some time to ease into this routine, please see below.
Primary Arrival Procedures

Kindergarten families may choose to walk your child into the building through Door #2 (AM)/Door #1 (PM) through the first week of school.  Preschool families will have a transitional period through the first month of school to walk your child to his/her classroom.  Please enter Door #2 (AM)/Door #1 (PM).  Starting on October 1st, all students will need to be dropped off through carline or at Door #2 (AM)/Door #1 (PM).  There will be staff members in carline and throughout the building to help ensure your child gets to his/her classroom.

If your child (or you!) is struggling with separation, please discuss a plan with your child’s teacher to help. Children are quickly distracted once they arrive — please don’t worry, those tears of separation are often short! A crying child who sees family after already separating may become more upset.  Please walk just around the corner while the child is distracted and wait until the teacher peeks out with a thumbs up. Remember, if your child sees you, he or she may get upset again. Our primary teachers are experienced (and are parents themselves!) and have creative ways to make this transition as smooth as possible.

Primary Dismissal Procedures

All students will be dismissed in the carline at Door #4.  If there is a change in your child’s dismissal, please send a note with your child in the morning/afternoon or call the Office in the morning for AM students or by 2:30 pm for PM students.  Please be sure to display your dismissal name tag in your car in carline.

Plan for Primary Parent/Child Experience Night, October 11:
Plan to attend the annual Parent/Child Experience as an opportunity to learn more about what your student is doing each day, as they proudly show you around their classroom. There are two time slots, from 3:15-4:15 pm and from 6:30-7:30 pm. If that date does not work for your family’s schedule, or you want to learn more throughout the year, please touch base with your child’s teacher for alternate arrangements. This is an opportunity for your child to share his/her environment with you.  If you have questions or concerns for the teacher, please ask the teacher to set up a different time to talk.

Additional parent/student opportunities will be held throughout the year:
Lower Elementary Parent/Child Experience Nights:

  • October 11th, 6:30-7:30 pm

Arts and Academics Night for Upper Elementary:

  • TBA!

Get involved!
There are many ways to get involved, and PCMS needs and wants your help! From planning events to helping in the library to being a part of fundraisers and so much more, there is a way everyone can help.

As the school year gets started, keep an eye on your email for a packet of information about volunteering, and that same info will be available in hard copy at the office.

Be on the lookout for fun events throughout the year for the whole family!
One great event to get acquainted with the PCMS family is monthly skating parties, fun for parents and students alike. They are a great way to learn to skate and get to know your child’s classmates, parents, and teachers. And it’s ok if your student doesn’t know how to skate, many others are learning as well. Parents and older students are also often happy to help!

Our fall and spring festivals are full of family fun and friends to meet, and there are a lot of other events throughout the year to consider. The middle school holds several events as fundraisers for their annual end of year adventure trip, such as the back to school bash, spirit wear sale, and delicious pasta dinner in the spring.

Program Fee
While PCMS gets funding from our collaborating districts, certain programs like music, art, KidFit, the library, and other needs are fulfilled by parent support. In the past, numerous fundraisers have been used. Beginning with this 2016-2017 school year, in response to feedback from the community, these fundraisers have been replaced with a $50 per kindergarten-8th grade student program fee. One hundred percent of this fee goes to the school and covers the costs of these enrichment programs for our students.

Additional funds will come from existing ongoing programs, like our annual walkathon, Moving 4 Montessori; community restaurant nights; box top collection; book fairs; and our largest opportunity, our annual spring fundraiser. This one is so big it needs its own point, see below!

Look forward to the spring fundraiser
Our annual fundraising event is so amazing that it deserves it’s own point! Each year, the Friends of PCMS hosts an adult-only event designed to raise money to support the art and music programs at PCMS. Previous events have included live entertainment, live and silent auctions, as well as amazing raffle baskets. This year’s event is going to be just as spectacular, so look for more details as the school year goes on, and plan on attending! Better yet, plan on volunteering!

Know that the school is like a big family!
Have a question? Our parent community is friendly and helpful! If you want to learn more about anything mentioned above, our school, your child’s classroom, or Montessori generally, just ask a fellow parent!  If they don’t know, they can help you find someone who does.

Our older students are especially helpful and involved in the school. Multi-age groupings are a hallmark of the Montessori Method and our upper elementary and middle school students can often be found reading stories or giving lessons in your child’s classroom.  Don’t be surprised if your child talks admirably about these superstars.

And, of course, your child’s teachers are wonderful resources, as is Mary Ronske, our amazing school secretary!

Again, welcome to the PCMS community! We’re so glad you’re here.

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Marcos Pizza Monthly Fundraisers

Help our school earn money each month by eating at Marco’s Pizza! Order online for delivery to your home or pick up at the store! For each order placed, Marco’s will donate 15% of phone orders and 20% of online orders back to PCMS! Last year our dinner fundraising efforts raised about $1,350 for PCMS!

Be sure mention your teacher’s name when placing your order. The class with the most orders wins a free pizza party!

Keep in mind that we switch between the 30th Street & North Canton locations each month. Here’s a quick list:

  • September – 30th Street
  • October – North Canton
  • November – 30th Street
  • December – North Canton
  • January – 30th Street
  • February – North Canton
  • March – 30th Street
  • April – North Canton
  • May – 30th Street

Marco’s Pizza School Challenge

In addition to our monthly fundraisers with Marco’s, PCMS has been entered into the Marco’s Pizza School Challenge, so every time you order, you simply add the name of oru school to the order. We earn Pizza Points with each ONLINE order and the school with the most points at the end of the school year can win a large donation to the school! Find the details below:

  • Your school will be listed on your local Marco’s Pizza Online Ordering site.
  • When parents/friends/neighbors order online they simply add your school name to the order.
  • When parents/friends/neighbors call in or walk in an order the order taker will add your school to the order.
  • Pizza Points will be earned for every online order, any day or time during the school year. Pizza Points for Called In or Walk In orders will only be earned on the Designated Marco’s Pizza Night Fundraiser Date for your school.
  • Each school, based on number of students, will have a point factor that makes it fair so schools of all sizes can participate and each school has an equal chance of winning.
  • Online Orders will be worth 5 Pizza Points times your schools Order Factor. Called In and Walk In orders will be worth 2.5 Pizza Points. ORDER ONLINE.
  • Pizza Points earned will be updated monthly and communicated to the schools.


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2018-2019 Program Fee

Hello PCMS Parents,

Welcome back! We are all looking forward to another exciting year at PCMS. Several years ago we implemented a program fee to offset the costs of programming in our school community. This change was based on feedback from the community. This turned out to be a very welcome and successful adjustment.

For the 2018-19 school year, the Friends of PCMS Board will continue with a $50.00 per student program fee for children in kindergarten through eighth grade. This fee supplants the need for miscellaneous fundraisers that detract from our focus of child development.

Unlike Canton Montessori and many other Montessori programs, we are fortunate to enjoy a tuition-free Montessori education. It is quite a bargain! The reality, however, is that in lieu of our sale-oriented fundraisers, this program fee is necessary to deliver the quality programming that each child at PCMS deserves.

This $50.00 program fee will be used for:

  • Music Education
  • Art Education
  • KidFit
  • Other enrichment programs

We will continue to host a spring fundraiser and Moving 4 Montessori because these events are part of the fabric of our PCMS history and build our community. We look forward to your participation in both of these.  We will also continue to organize events that promote family interaction, such as restaurant fundraisers and monthly skate nights, in which participation is entirely optional.

The program fee will be collected at the beginning of the school year. Payment can be made by check (made out to Friends of PCMS) or cash in the front office or online using the form below. Online payments are subject to a small processing fee that has been included.

We look forward to another great school year at PCMS – one packed with education, enrichment, and growing young minds.

Thank you!
The Friends of PCMS Board

Number of Students
Student Name(s)

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Yearbook Sale

Yearbooks are a fun way for our kids to celebrate the memories of their time at PCMS. Whether they are getting ready to graduate and move on to another school, or if they are just finishing up their first year of pre-school, a yearbook will allow both the students and families to enjoy reflecting on the year.

Yearbooks are $16 each but PCMS offers a discount for parents who are ordering more than one yearbook.

Use the convenient online ordering form below to purchase your yearbook using PayPal or fill out a Yearbook Order Form and send it back to the school to pay with cash or check.

If you are ordering more than one yearbook, please list the names of ALL children & ALL teachers as the yearbooks will be passed out in each classroom.

Student Name(s)
Teacher Name(s)

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Art Speaks

12799047_1687377381520407_5891804606138178566_n[1]Your child recently participated in Portage Collaborative’s “Art Speaks” project in which they created artistic expressions through paintings on canvas. TheArt Speaks Project was brought to life by the Art Club of Walsh University, our wonderful art teacher Becky Taylor and volunteer parents. Your child’s artwork is now being displayed outside his or her classroom.

We are selling this artwork for your choice of the following:
A minimum cost of 8 dollars
A preferred cost of 10 dollars
A premium cost of 12 dollars

10% of the proceeds from the sale will be going to a local charity that provides school lunches to children in need. The remaining proceeds will be used for enrichment programs at PCMS including the art program.

Your child has given through his or her talents and through helping children less fortunate. In turn your child will receive the proceeds invested back into their school programming. This truly is an example of how “in giving we receive”. Therefore art speaks through expression, though giving and through receiving.

You can pay the school office directly with cash or check (made payable to Friends of PCMS) or you can send it in with your child to school or DONATE VIA PAYPAL today!

Donation Amount

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Attend the Pot O’ Gold Silent Auction

OK folks, the auction committee has been working their tails off to collect an amazing list of items for you to bid on at our upcoming Pot O’ Gold Silent Auction. You can purchase your tickets online using PayPal or by printing off the form below and sending it back to the school. Your $40 ticket includes dinner & dessert, 2 drink tickets and automatic entry into our reverse raffle worth $1,000!!

Here is a list of just SOME of the items up for bid!

Auction Items



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November Skate Party

The November skate party is right around the corner and this month is our annual drive to help fight hunger. November is Hunger Awareness Month so your donation of a pantry item will allow you to waive the skate rental fee!


November Skate

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Veteran’s Day Ceremony

Dear PCMS Families, Friends, and Veterans,

We would like to invite you to join us for our Veteran’s Day Ceremony, on November 11th, 2015, at 2:00 P.M. It will be held in the PCMS Gymnasium, 1000 55th St., Canton OH. It would be an honor to have as many veterans there as possible.

Since we would like to recognize our veterans in a special way that day, it is important to know ahead of time if you plan to be there. Please fill out the form below to register a veteran.

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Subject (required)

Your Phone Number (required)

Name of Veteran Attending: (required)

Branch of Service

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