September 1: Welcoming New Teachers and Staff

Assistant Principal: Shea Neville

Primary (Pre-k/K): Alison Hunt, Victoria Pearce (assistant)

Lower Elementary (1st, 2nd, 3rd): Joy Mason

Upper Elementary (4th, 5th): Roxanne Rothermel

AU Assistants: Shereva Bizzel

EC Resource: Brittany Rothermel

AIG: Felisha deBlaquiere


P.E: Ms. McClane-Day 

June 6: Specials Update

At last night's PTA board meeting, Principal Crum announced that specials have been reinstated to full-time positions next year.  She plans to update the entire school with more information soon.

May 23: Changes in Specials & Lower El next year

Dear Watts parents,

(Please note: The following is my own summary. All opinions--and errors--are my own.)

    I wanted to share with you more information about some significant changes coming to Watts next year. Principal Crum shared this information with staff earlier this month and then last week with our School Improvement Team (SIT). These changes are due to a combination of factors, including decreased state funding, changes and reduction in staff allotments, and a new state law which will require class-size reductions for K through 3rd grade over the next two school years. As you read the summary below, please keep in mind the plan for dealing with these changes and budget cuts involved a lot of hard work and thought by our school administration.

    Here are some of the main changes coming for next year as detailed in the SIT Minutes and Principal's Update

    (1) Specials will be reduced to part-time next year.

    Our specials allotment will be reduced to 1.5 positions for 3 specials (music, art, and physical education), which effectively means each special will be staffed by a part-time position.  

    What does this mean for our kids? Programming and scheduling for specials is still in the planning stages, but it's safe to assume that the time our kids spend in specials will be reduced if the current allotment holds.

    Why? Staff allotments and funding are determined by a number of state-level pupil accounting methods. One of these is Average Daily Membership (ADM, also referred to as "per pupil costs"). This year, our ADM was 352. Next year, DPS projects our ADM will be 346.  Since our ADM, as the state calculates it, is projected to go down, so will our staff allotments.

    The ADM does NOT include Pre-K and Exceptional Children (EC) as these are funded differently, therefore, we actually had 407 students in the building this year. Next year, we are projected to have 408.

    (2) Watts will be adding an additional Lower El (1st- through 3rd-grade) classroom.

    A letter from Principal Crum went home yesterday to current 1st- and 2nd-grade students (rising 2nd and 3rd graders). If you have a child in these grades, I encourage you to read the letter.

    What does this mean for our kids? To fill the new class with a balanced number of 1st-, 2nd-, and 3rd-grade students, some current 1st and 2nd graders will be reassigned to this class. This will affect around 12 current 1st and 2nd graders (rising 2nd and 3rd graders).

    Reduced class size will benefit all students and teachers, but the school recognizes that this will be an adjustment for those families affected and will do its best to make this a smooth, positive transition.

    Why? Due to the recently passed HB 13, schools will be required to reduce class sizes for K through 3rd grade over the next two school years. Watts will begin to meet the requirements of this state law starting in the next school year (2017-18) by adding an additional Lower El class.

    This additional classroom will reduce class size for each Lower El classroom to 20 students. We are adding a classroom, but not adding any additional students to Lower El.

    If you have specific questions about this process, please contact Principal Crum.

    (3) Other notable changes (detailed in the Minutes)

    • Reduction of the Assistant Principal position to half time
    • Loss of the Upper El teaching assistant positions
    • Reduction in EC Resource Teachers positions. These teachers help support children who are in regular education classrooms but have been identified as having special learning needs.

    Reduction in administered time and other financial allotments, including a loss of $46,200 in Magnet Funds, previously allocated to Watts and used to train teachers and refurbish classrooms. Instead of Magnet Funds being specifically allocated to Watts, these funds will be pooled between the three Montessori magnet schools (Watts, Morehead, Lakewood) and distributed on an “as-needed” basis. It is uncertain what amount of money will be in the pooled fund or what portion of those funds will be distributed to Watts.

    What can you do? Yesterday, PTA President Elizabeth Lindquist shared some ways you can advocate for our schools with these changes in mind. I encourage you to go back and read her email. I join her in encouraging you to:

    Urge our County Commissioners to FULLY FUND our School Board’s request for funding, which aims to fill some of the gaps from state funding structures. Please note that they will vote on the budget at the end of June.

    Urge our state legislators to fully fund the class-reduction mandates of HB 13. Broadly speaking, state law determines how pupils are counted and per pupil funding. Urge legislators to increase per pupil funding and, specifically, to provide adequate funding for the additional teachers required to reduce class sizes. Again, please do so sooner than later--before the end of their current session, which ends around Labor Day.

    I also encourage you to remain engaged and involved in our school community. Our school administration and teachers are asked to do more and more with dwindling and shifting resources. Volunteer in your child’s classroom or with the PTA. Attend PTA, SIT, PAAC, and other parent meetings. Donate to the PTA. There are countless ways, large and small, you can contribute to our school. We all play a part in supporting and improving George Watts Montessori.

    Thanks for reading this long email. If you have questions, please contact me (awalshsmith "at", and I will try to answer them or find an answer for you.

    All the best,

    Allison Smith/SIT Parent Co-Chair

    Again, here are direct links to the SIT minutes and Principal’s Update referenced above:

    Actualizaciones SIT para padres: Cambios en clases especials & Lower El el próximo año

    Estimados padres de Watts,

    (Tenga en cuenta: el siguiente es mi resumen personal. Todas las opiniones - y los errores - son míos.)

    Quería compartir con ustedes información sobre algunos cambios significativos que vienen a Watts el próximo año. La Directora Crum compartió esta información con el personal a principios de este mes y luego la semana pasada con nuestro Equipo de Mejoramiento Escolar (SIT). Estos cambios se deben a una combinación de factores, incluyendo la disminución de los fondos estatales, los cambios y la reducción en las asignaciones de personal, y una nueva ley estatal que requerirá reducciones en el tamaño de la clase de K a 3er grado durante los próximos dos años escolares. Al leer el resumen a continuación, tenga en cuenta que el plan para hacer frente a estos cambios y los recortes presupuestarios involucró mucho trabajo y pensamiento de nuestra administración escolar.

    Puede encontrar información más detallada aquí:

    15 de mayo Minutos SIT:

    Actualización del director:

    Estos son algunos de los principales cambios que vienen para el próximo año, como se detalla en las Actas de la SIT y la Actualización de la Directora:

    (1) Los especiales se reducirán a tiempo parcial el próximo año.

    Nuestra asignación de especials se reducirá a 1.5 posiciones para 3 especials (música, arte, y educación física), lo que significa efectivamente que cada especial estará dotado de un puesto a tiempo parcial.

    ¿Qué significa esto para nuestros hijos? La programación para los especiales está todavía en las etapas de planificación, pero es seguro que el tiempo que nuestros niños pasan en especiales se reducirá si la asignación actual se mantiene.

    ¿Por qué? Las asignaciones de personal y la financiación están determinadas por una serie de métodos de cuantificación de alumnos a nivel estatal. Una de ellas es la Membresía Promedio Diaria (ADM, también conocida como "costos por alumno"). Este año, nuestro ADM fue de 352. El año que viene, la proyección de nuestro ADM será 346. Como nuestro ADM proyecta bajar, también lo hará nuestro personal. 

    El ADM no incluye a niños pre-K y excepcionales (EC) ya que estos se financian de manera diferente, por lo tanto, en realidad tuvimos 407 estudiantes este año. El próximo año, se proyecta tener 408.

    (2) Watts agregará una sala de clase adicional de Lower El (1er a 3er grado).

    Una carta de la Directora Crum fue enviada a los estudiantes actuales de primero y segundo grado (futuros estudiantes de 2º y 3er grado). Si usted tiene un niño en estos cursos, le recomiendo leer la carta.

    ¿Qué significa esto para nuestros hijos? Para llenar la nueva clase con un número equilibrado de estudiantes de 1º, 2º y 3º grados, algunos alumnos actuales de 1º y 2º grado serán reasignados a esta clase. Esto afectará a alrededor de 12 estudiantes actuales de 1er y 2do grado (futuros estudiantes de segundo y tercer grado).

    El tamaño reducido de las clases beneficiará a todos los estudiantes y maestros, pero la escuela reconoce que esto será un ajuste para las familias afectadas y hará todo lo posible para hacer de esta una transición suave y positiva.

    ¿Por qué? Debido a la recién aprobada HB 13, se requerirá que las escuelas reduzcan el tamaño de las clases de K a 3er grado durante los próximos dos años escolares. Watts comenzará a cumplir con los requisitos de esta ley estatal comenzando en el próximo año escolar (2017-18) agregando una clase más para Lower El

    Este aula adicional reducirá el tamaño de la clase para cada salón de clase de Lower El a 20 estudiantes. 

    Estamos agregando un aula, pero no agregando estudiantes adicionales a Lower El.

    Si tiene preguntas específicas sobre este proceso, por favor comuníquese con la Directora Crum.

    (3) Otros cambios importantes (detallados en la Acta)

    - Reducción de la posición del puesto de  Sub Director a medio tiempo

    - Pérdida de los puestos de Auxiliar de Upper El.

    - Reducción de los puestos de docentes de recursos CE. Estos maestros apoyan a los niños que están en las aulas de educación regular, pero que han sido identificados teniendo necesidades especiales de aprendizaje.

    - Reducción en el tiempo administrado y otras asignaciones financieras, incluyendo una pérdida de $ 46.200 en Fondos Magnet, anteriormente asignados a Watts y utilizados para capacitar a maestros y renovar las aulas. En lugar de que los Fondos Magnet estén específicamente asignados a Watts, estos fondos serán agrupados entre las tres escuelas Magnet Montessori (Watts, Morehead, Lakewood) y distribuidos según sea necesario. Es incierto qué cantidad de dinero será destinado en el fondo común o qué porción de esos fondos serán distribuidos a Watts.

    ¿Qué puedes hacer?

    La Presidenta del PTA, Elizabeth Lindquist, compartió algunas formas de defender nuestras escuelas de estos cambios. Te animo a volver y leer su correo electrónico. Me uno a ella para animarte a:

    - Instar a nuestros comisionados del condado a FINANCIAR COMPLETAMENTE nuestra solicitud de financiamiento de la Junta Escolar, que tiene como objetivo llenar algunas de las brechas de las estructuras de financiamiento estatal. Tenga en cuenta que votarán sobre el presupuesto a finales de junio.

    - Instar a nuestros legisladores estatales a financiar completamente los mandatos de reducción de clases de HB 13.  En términos generales, la ley estatal Determina la forma en que se cuentan los alumnos y la financiación por alumno. Instar a los legisladores a aumentar el financiamiento por estudiante y, específicamente, a proporcionar financiamiento adecuado para los maestros adicionales requeridos para reducir el tamaño de las clases. 

    Por favor, realice estas actividades más pronto que tarde, antes del final de la sesión final de los Comisionados del Condado, que termina alrededor del Día del Trabajo. 

    También les animo a que sigan comprometidos e involucrados en nuestra comunidad escolar.  En nuestro colegio se pide a los maestros que hagan más y más con recursos cada vez más reducidos. Sea voluntario en el aula de su hijo o con el PTA. Asista a reuniones del PTA, SIT, PAAC entre otras. Done al PTA. Hay un sinnúmero de maneras, grandes y pequeñas, en las que puede apoyar y contribuir a nuestra escuela. Todos participamos en apoyar y mejorar a George Watts Montessori. 

    Gracias por leer este largo correo electrónico. Si tiene preguntas, póngase en contacto conmigo (, y trataré de contestarlas o encontrar una respuesta para usted. 

    Todo lo mejor, 

    Allison Smith 

    SIT Co-Presidente de Padres

    May 22: Music Help & Advocacy

    Dear Parents: 

    I have heard from many of you over the past few weeks with concerns about music at Watts as many music days have been spent watching videos with a substitute teacher. If you are able to volunteer to be with your class or another class during this last rotation of music, please contact your classroom teacher. Some of you have already come in to show kids your own musical talents (we have many musically gifted parents-- thank you!) Even if you're not musically gifted, some teachers have been using this time for extra recess or other activities, which you could help with. 

    Also, some of you have expressed concerns that you have heard that specials may be cut to part time for next year. From what I have heard, this is what was presented at last Monday’s SIT meeting as part of other budget/classroom changes at Watts (SIT minutes will come out soon to give us all more information). Our school's allotment for specials teachers since 2005 has been for 2 positions, and our principal has been able to adjust other staffing in order to have full time art, music and PE, but now our allotment is decreasing to 1.5 positions for next year on top of other anticipated cuts.

    Here are two things you can do now:

    1. Advocate RIGHT NOW to our Durham County Commissioners, who will be voting on the budget request made by the School Board. If funding for other positions comes back, it’s possible that shifts could be made to fund full- time specials at Watts again. Please email the County Commissioners and ask them to fully fund the budget request made by our School Board. They are voting on this by the end of June. Now is the time to advocate. 

    To communicate with all the Commissioners, please email  

    To communicate individually:

    2. Ask our legislators to fully fund the classroom size mandate which will start a phase-in implementation statewide in 2018/2019. We all support smaller classroom sizes, but we don't want to lose Specials or other important support staff either. Contacting legislators is URGENT. When they finish this session (anytime between July and Labor Day), they will not return until May 2018 - that is too late to start debating bills to fund the classroom size mandate. See their contact information on this page: 2017 NC House Members

    Every voice matters.
    Thank you for advocating for all our students,
    Elizabeth Lindquist, George Watts PTA President

    Los profesores especiales (música, arte, educación física)

    Estimadas familias,

    He escuchado la preocupación de muchos de ustedes en las últimas semanas acerca de las clases de música en Watts, dado que los niños han estado viendo videos con un maestro suplente en vez de pasar clases de música. Si usted es puede ser voluntario para dar una clase de música en estas ultimas semanas, por favor comuníquese con su maestro.  Algunos de ustedes ya han mostrado a los niños sus talentos musicales (tenemos muchos padres dotados musicalmente ... ¡gracias!). Algunos maestros han estado usando este tiempo para recreo extra u otras actividades, así que si tiene alguna sugerencia de actividad y puede liderarla es bienvenido!

    Además, algunos de ustedes han expresado sus preocupaciones de que han escuchado que los profesores especiales (música, arte, educación física) serán recortados a tiempo parcial el próximo año. Esto es lo que se conversó en la reunión del SIT del lunes pasado como parte de otros cambios en el presupuesto / clase de Watts (las minutas del SIT saldrán pronto para darnos más información). La asignación de la escuela para maestros especiales desde el 2005 ha sido para 2 posiciones, y nuestra Directora ha podido ajustar otro personal para tener arte, música y educación física a tiempo completo, pero ahora nuestra asignación está disminuyendo a 1,5 posiciones para el próximo año, entre otros recortes que estamos sufriendo. 

    Aquí hay dos cosas que puede hacer ahora:

    1. Movilizarse ante los Comisionados del Condado de Durham, quienes votarán la solicitud de presupuesto hecha por la Junta Escolar. Si la financiación para otros puestos vuelve, es posible que los cambios podrían hacerse para financiar a los profesores especiales a tiempo completo en Watts de nuevo. Por favor envíe un correo electrónico a los Comisionados del Condado y pídales que financien completamente la solicitud de presupuesto hecha por nuestra Junta Escolar. Están votando sobre esto a finales de junio. Ahora es el momento de abogar por nuestros profesores y niños. 

    Para comunicarse con todos los Comisionados, envíe un correo electrónico a

    Para comunicarse individualmente:

    Wendy Jacobs:

    James Hill:

    Heidi Carter:

    Brenda Howerton:

    Ellen Reckhow:

    2. Pedir a nuestros legisladores que financien completamente el mandato de tamaño de salón de clases que iniciará una implementación gradual en todo el Estado en el 2018/2019. Todos apoyamos aulas más pequeñas, pero tampoco queremos perder a los profesores especials u otro personal de apoyo importante. Por favor, ponerse en contacto con los legisladores es URGENTE. Cuando terminen esta sesión (en cualquier momento entre julio y el Día del Trabajo), no volverán a sesionar hasta mayo de 2018 - es demasiado tarde para comenzar a debatir proyectos de ley para financiar el mandato de tamaño de la clase. Ver su información de contacto en el PDF adjunto.

    Cada voz importa.

    Gracias por abogar por todos nuestros estudiantes,

    Elizabeth Lindquist, Presidente de la PTA de George Watts

    June 7: George Watts Playground Celebration

    Dear supporters of the George Watts Montessori playground, 

    Please join us for a celebration of the George Watts Leo Bortiri playground project on Wednesday, June 7 at 9am. Members of the PTA and school community, including current 5th graders, will be on hand to thank our donors and partners that have made this project possible. We hope to unveil a dedicatory plaque, and after some words of thanks and appreciation, representatives from the PTA will be available to give tours and answer questions about the many improvements to the playground. Please extend this invitation to any interested colleagues or parties.

    We hope you will be able to join us on the 7th!

    Sarah Musser & Annie Ambrose/George Watts PTA Playground Committee

    Celebremos nuestro Nuevo patio del Colegio

    Lo invitamos a celebrar nuestro proyecto del patio Leo Bortiri de George Watts  el miércoles 7 de junio a las 9am. Miembros de la Asociación de Padres y Maestros (PTA, por sus siglas en inglés) y la comunidad escolar, incluyendo a los estudiantes actuales del quinto grado, estarán disponibles para agradecer a nuestros donantes y socios que han hecho posible este proyecto. Revelaremos una placa dedicatoria, y después de algunas palabras de agradecimiento, los representantes de la PTA estarán disponibles para dar un tour y responder preguntas sobre las muchas mejoras en el patio de recreo. Por favor, extienda esta invitación a otros miembros de la comunidad o personas interesadas. 

    ¡Nos vemos el 7 de junio!

    Sarah Musser y Annie AmbroseComité de Renovación del Patio George Watts PTA 

    May 25th: Last PAAC Meeting of the Year

    What: Final PAAC (Parents of African American Children) meeting of the year

    When: Thursday, May 25th 6-7:15p.m. in the media center. Childcare provided.

    Let's Celebrate! We will thank all the Mystery Readers, Class Ambassadors, Lunch Bunch and PAAC volunteers and discuss the initiatives that have moved forward this year as well as plans for next school year. All parents are welcome to attend!

    May 23rd: Help  sort books for "Books on Break"

    Ms. Brake needs our help organizing all of the books that have been donated to "Books on Break," a program designed to keep our students reading over the Summer!

    • Please help sort the books on May 23rd from 2:30-3:45 and May 25th from 2:30 - 3:45.

    Draft Budget 2017-2018

    The PTA board is currently working on the draft budget for next year. The first draft has been created with input from staff, administration, board members, and committee members and has been posted to the PTA listserv.

    Here's how the budget moves forward from here:

    • Staff is providing feedback now until May 12th on Draft #1

    • Draft #2 will be created from this feedback, discussed, and voted on by the PTA board at its June meeting.

    • All subsequent drafts will be worked on over the summer.

    • The PTA Board votes on the final draft at the September PTA Board Meeting

    • The Final Draft will be presented for Membership Vote at the first PTA meeting of 2017/2018 in September.

    • For the last few years, we have had a line item called Special Projects/New Initiatives. This allows the board to consider and vote on new projects and requests brought to the board from parents and staff, for implementation during the school year. You will hear more about this in the Fall. Please keep this in mind as you have ideas for the school.

    Email PTA President Elizabeth Lindquist if you have feedback or questions about the draft budget: lizlindq "at"

    New Parent/Teacher Leadership

    Please join the current PTA Board and School Improvement Team members in welcoming the following parents and teachers into leadership roles for the 2017-2018 school year. And, please thank them if you see them in the halls-- these leaders are one of our school's greatest assets.

    • Congratulations to Jovonia Lewis (President) and Jennifer Greer (Secretary) on being elected into leadership roles on the 2017-18 George Watts PTA Board.
    • The following committee chairs have accepted nominations and will be voted in this summer to serve on next year's PTA board: 
      • Brandy Kmiec, Nathan Swiggett and Julie WIlliams-Swiggett: Fundraising Co-Chairs
      • Cecilia Barja: Latino/a Families Chair
      • Gina Chung and Jessica Matthews: Arts & Culture Co-Chairs
      • Anna Zehr:  Communications Chair
      • JoAnna Langston: African American Families Chair
      • Jeremy Goldstein: Membership Chair
      • Kate Harris and Amanda Watson: Staff/teacher Liaisons
      • Jonathan Bloom and Jeff Brown: Edible Garden Co-Chairs
      • Kathleen Duvall: EC Chair
    • Congratulations are also in order for the newest members of the School Improvement Team: 
      • Meg Wiehe: Primary Parent Representative
      • Anne Pizer: Lower Elementary Parent Representative
      • Shea Lewis: Upper Elementary Parent Representative
      • Hilary Virdin: PTA Liaison

    It's Election Time!

    Monday, May 8th,  is the last PTA meeting of the year: 

    We will elect next year's officers as well as new members of the School Improvement Team. Next year's officer candidates are: Jovonia Lewis (President) and Jennifer Greer (Secretary). A huge thanks to these two parents for stepping up and offering their leadership. Annie Ambrose (Treasurer) and Emily Daly (Vice President) have agreed to continue in these roles for another year. Per NC PTA rules, we will also take nominations from the floor at this meeting. You can read Jovonia's and Jennifer's statements of interest  here: 

    For the office of President: Jovonia Lewis

    I am interested in serving as the 2017/2018 PTA President because of my passion for meeting the needs of children, engaging families in meaningful ways, and supporting teachers and administrators. I have actively and consistently attended the PTA and SIT meetings as the African American liaison this year. I have found a successor to cover that role next year and I feel that my ability to lead group discussions, collaborate and work cooperatively with others can now be applied to the PTA Presidency.

    Para la posición de Presidente: Jovonia Lewis

    Estoy interesada en servir como presidenta de la PTA 2017/2018 debido a mi pasión por satisfacer las necesidades de los niños, involucrar a las familias de manera significativa y apoyar a maestros y administradores. He asistido activamente y consistentemente a las reuniones de la PTA y el SIT como enlace afroamericana este año. He encontrado a un sucesor para cubrir ese papel el próximo año y siento que mi capacidad para dirigir discusiones en grupo, colaborar y trabajar cooperativamente con otros ahora se puede aplicar a la Presidencia de la PTA.

    For the office of Secretary: Jennifer Greer

    I am interested in serving as the 2017/2018 PTA Secretary because I believe in the power of the PTA to help provide and encourage an environment that is accepting and supportive of all students, their families, teachers and staff. I have been involved with school activities at the class level, chaperoning field trips, contributing to needed supplies and participating in classroom events, and have participated in PTA events such as Morale Monday and box tops, and I am seeking the opportunity to expand my engagement. By training I am a communicator, particularly at the organizational level, and a key piece of this work is to document various meetings, events and interactions. I believe having accurate records of communications is critical to the success of any organization and achievement of its goals. I appreciate your consideration of my candidacy.

    Para la position de Secretaria: Jennifer Greer

    Estoy interesada en servir como Secretaria de la PTA 2017/2018 porque creo en el poder de la PTA para ayudar a proveer y fomentar un ambiente de aceptación y apoyo para todos los estudiantes, sus familias, maestros y personal. He estado involucrada con actividades escolares a nivel de clase, acompañando excursiones escolares, contribuyendo con los suministros necesarios y participando en eventos en el aula.  También he participado en eventos de la PTA como Morale Monday y box tops, y estoy buscando la oportunidad de expandir mi compromiso. Soy una comunicadora de oficio, particularmente al nivel organizacional, y una pieza clave de este trabajo es documentar varias reuniones, eventos e interacciones. Creo que tener registros precisos de las comunicaciones es fundamental para el éxito de cualquier organización y el logro de sus objetivos. Aprecio su consideración de mi candidatura.

    It's Carnival Time!

    George Watts Montessori School Spring Carnival
    Saturday, April 29 | 11AM to 3PM at George Watts Montessori School

    Don’t miss this great fundraising event with something for every member of your family!  Enjoy bounce houses, carnival games, face and nail painting, relay races (to start at 1:30pm), and live music throughout the day.

    Back by popular demand: Pie in the Face booth, Bilingual Bingo and an appearance from Wool E. Bull!

    Come and savor delicious food from Dang Good Dogs, Urban Entrees, Pelican SnoBalls and Jamba Juice. Plus, amazing tamales hand-made by George Watts parents.

    The carnival’s silent auction will feature charming art from George Watts classrooms and opportunities to bid on special events with favorite teachers and administrators.

    The Carnival & Silent Auction are the primary source of funds for the George Watts PTA, which supports the school financially in efforts such as the writers’ workshops, classroom and Montessori supplies, field trips, grounds work, the edible garden and literacy projects.
    Carnival schedule:
    11:00 - Carnival starts – games and booths open
    11:30-1:30 - Visit the fire truck
    11:30-1:30 - Play a round of bilingual bingo
    1:30- Take part in relay races and field games
    2:30-  In-person silent auction ends -- get your final bids in
    2:50- Games end

    Music Line-up:
    11:00-11:30 Paul Bush (violin)
    11:45-12:15 Dr. Fruit (kids music)
    12:30-1:00 Kathleen Gloria
    1:15-2:00  El Mirage (surf instrumental combo)
    2:15-3:00  Secret Monkey Weekend (rock and roll trio)

    We hope you'll support all of our generous sponsors! 

    Signature Sponsors:
    Acanthus Construction -
    The Adam Dickinson Group at 501 Realty -

    Carnival Sponsors:
    Acme Plumbing -
    Alivia’s Durham Bistro -
    Camp Bow Wow-
    Marie Austin Realty -
    Whitehall at the Villa Antiques -
    Jim Enright, Corporate Investors Mortgage Group:
    Laura Wessell Photography -

    Carnaval de Primavera en George Watts Montessori
    Fecha: el sábado 29 de abril  Hora: 11am - 3pm
    Lugar: Patio de la escuela George Watts Montessori - 700 Watts Street
    Los juegos, los camiones de comida, y mucho más!

    No se pierda esta gran actividad para recaudar fondos. Habrán las actividades para cada miembro de su familia. ¡Disfrute de las casas flotantes, los juegos de carnaval, la pintura de caras y uñas, las carreras de relevos (empezar a las 1:30), y la música en vivo durante todo el día.

    A petición del público: el Pastel en la Cara, una aparición de Wool E. Bull y Bingo Bilingüe!

    Venga y deguste la mejor comida de camiones como Dang Good Dogs, Urban Entrees, Pelican Snoball y Jamba Juice.

    La subasta silenciosa del carnaval contará con el arte encantador de aulas de George Watts y las oportunidades de hacer una oferta en eventos especiales con los maestros y administradores favoritos.

    El Carnaval de Primavera y la Subasta Silenciosa son las fuentes primarias de recaudación de fondos para la PTA de George Watts. Le recordamos que la PTA apoya a la escuela económicamente en los programas como los talleres de lectoescritura y literacia, los suministros y artículos Montessori, las giras, el jardín comestible y el mantenimiento de los alrededores de la escuela. 
    El horario del Carnaval:
    11:00 - el Carnaval comienza; se abren los juegos y las cabinas
    11:30 - 1:30 - Visita el camión de bomberos
    11:30 - 1:30 - Juega un partido de bingo bilingüe
    1:30 - Participa en carreras de relevos y juegos de campo
    2:30 - Termina la subasta silenciosa (en persona) - Haga sus ofertas finales!
    2:50 - Se terminan los juegos

    Esperamos que apoyen a todos nuestros generosos patrocinadores!

    Patrocinadores principals:
    Acanthus Construction -
    The Adam Dickinson Group at 501 Realty -

    Acme Plumbing -
    Alivia’s Durham Bistro -
    Camp Bow Wow-
    Marie Austin Realty -
    Whitehall at the Villa Antiques -
    Jim Enright, Corporate Investors Mortgage Group:
    Laura Wessell Photography -

    Volunteer at the Carnival!

    It takes hundreds of volunteers to make this event a success. Please consider being one of them. There are plenty of volunteer opportunities, large and small and you can read all about them and sign up for shifts on he SignUpGenius page her:

    Save the Date for the Spring Carnival!

    The George Watts Spring Carnival is Saturday, April 29th from 11am-3pm on the playground.

    1. Sign up to volunteer:

      It takes hundreds of volunteers to make this event a success. Please consider being one of them. There are plenty of volunteer opportunities, large and small and you can read all about them and sign up for shifts on the SignUpGenius age her: . Contact Wendy Burd (wlburd AT, volunteer coordinator, should you have any questions about sign up.  

    2. Purge for the Prize Booth: We're still collecting toys of any size or type for the prize booth.  Nearly anything -- temporary tattoos, kids' books and puzzles, action figures, dolls, games, Halloween costumes and more -- will make a fabulous prize for the many, many kids who attend the Watts Carnival each spring.  If you'd like to get rid of your extra toys now, drop off your bags marked "Watts Carnival" in the front office.

    Ser voluntario en Carnaval de Primavera
    Fecha: el sábado 29 de abril
    Hora: 11am - 3pm
    Lugar: Patio de la escuela George Watts Montessori - 700 Watts Street

    Espero que echar un vistazo a todas las formas de diversión que hay para ayudar con el carnaval de este año. Se puede ver quien ha apuntado como voluntario ya y usted puede ser voluntario con tus amigos. Aquí está:

    George Watts PTA Meeting April 3rd

    What:   Autism Awareness Month at Watts + Discussion on the decreasing diversity of Watts’ student body

    When: Monday, April 3rd, 6:00-7:00 PM

    ·      Childcare and pizza dinner for school-age children provided in the gym starting at 5:30; join your fellow parents and teachers in the lobby for dinner 5:30-5:50.

    Where: Media Center

    Description:  Exceptional Children services staff will review activities planned for April's Autism Awareness Month and discuss EC services and mainstreaming at Watts. Plus, PTA President Elizabeth Lindquist will lead a discussion about the issue of decreasing diversity in the Watts student body and ways in which we can address it as a community.

    Reunión del PTA de George Watts el Lunes 3 de abril

    Qué: Mes de Concientización sobre el Autismo en Watts + Discusión sobre la diversidad decreciente del cuerpo estudiantil de Watts

    Cuándo: Lunes, 3 de abril, 6: 00-7: 00 PM

    · Pizza y cuidado para niños en el gimnasio a partir de las 5:30 pm.  Padres y maestros se reuniran en el vestíbulo para la cena de 5: 30 pm a 5: 50 pm.

    Dónde: Media Center

    Descripción: El personal de servicios de Exceptional Children revisará las actividades planeadas para el mes de concientización sobre el autismo de abril y discutirá los servicios en Watts. Además, la Presidenta de la PTA, Elizabeth Lindquist, dirigirá una discusión la disminución de la diversidad de los estudiantes de Watts y las formas en que podemos abordarlo como comunidad.

    Community Book Club:

    The PAAC Committee is organizing a community book club! More details are coming later, but if you want to go ahead and order the book and start reading, the title is available in English and Spanish. It is called: "Breaking Through"/ "Senderos fronterizos" by Francisco Jimenez. 

    También, el libro que compartí desde el PAAC Comité comunidad club se llama "Breaking Through" / "Senderos fronterizos" por Francisco Jimenez. Proporcionaremos más detalles, pero si le gustaría empezar a leer el libro, aquí está el título.

    Book Drive for Books on Break

    This year our school is participating in Books on Break, an evidence-based program designed to stop summer learning loss. We will run book drives to collect books and then distribute the books to our students to read over the summer and keep forever. The Durham-based nonprofit Book Harvest is providing our school with 500 high-interest brand new books to help us get started!

    Books on Break is an evidence-based program in which students select 10 books (or however many we collect) and take them home to read over the summer and keep forever. Students will visit the media center to pick out their books.

    We know that it is very important for children to read books matched with their reading level. For this program, we want children to have complete freedom over the books they choose, regardless of whether the book is too easy or too difficult for them. As you know, children who choose their own books for recreational reading are more likely to read them and to feel excited about reading. That is the goal of our book giving at Books on Break!

    The book drive is from March through the end of the school year.

      For questions or more information, please contact Anita Brake at or (919)560-3947

    Volunteers Needed for Spring Picture Day

    It is Spring Picture Day this Friday at Watts. Laura Wessell, our wonderful school photographer (and silent auction donor and carnival under-writing sponsor) needs some parents to help her organize the classes and students. She needs 3 parents per time slot (see link to Sign Up Genius below). If you can sign up for both time slots, that would be great!

    Silent Auction Success--Thank You!

    Thank you for supporting George Watts by participating in our 2017 Silent Auction.  The event was a great success - raising more than $12,000 for the school!   Plus, the Silent Auction Party at Luna Rotisserie and Empanadas was a great way to bring our George Watts Community of parents, teachers and other supporters together for fun night.  

    At this point, all Silent Auction winners who did not check out their items on the night of the event have been notified via email.  If you didn't win this year, but participated - thank you!  Your participation added to the competition, helping us raise more money for our George Watts students and teachers.  We hope you'll participate again next year.

    Special thanks again to our Sponsors - Luna Rotisserie and Empanadas, CQC Home, and Zarazua Painting.  Please take a moment to thank them for supporting our school when you see them around town!

    Thank you again for your support,

    Susan Novak & Adam Dickinson
    George Watts PTA Fundraising Co-Chairs

    Weekly reminders: Thursday, March 23rd: 

    1. Tonight's PAAC meeting has been cancelled. Instead, interested parents are urged to attend/advocate at the Board of Education meeting. Contact Jovonia Lewis ( if you can make it. [Sign up for public comment begins at 5:30p. Meeting starts at 6:30p. Location: 511 Cleveland Street--Fuller Administration Building]

    2. T-shirt orders are due tomorrow. Here's the order form:

    3. The Silent Auction is this Sunday, March 26th, 6:30-10pm, at Luna Rotisserie & Empanadas. Line up your sitters and please plan to attend. You'll get free drinks if you RSVP here:  The auction features amazing deals on local food, goods and services. Check it out online here: Online bidding ends Saturday at 6p.

    **Remember: This year, on some items such as gift certificates to restaurants, if the highest bid is at or over its face value at the close of online bidding (Sat, March 25, 6pm EST), the item will be awarded to the highest online bidder and NOT be available in the live Silent Auction Party. So get your bids in now.

    4. Morale Monday is this coming Monday, March 27th. Drop off food at carpool 7:30-7:45 or in teacher workroom

    5. Also Monday, March 27th:  Community meeting about current immigration concerns.  George Watts media center;  5:30-7:00pm; Child care/snacks provided. Learn what the school is already doing to respond to this crisis; Share your thoughts on ways the school community can provide support to families; Connect with other families to share information and resources.

    6. Safe Touch programming begins next week: Here are links to more information about the curricula used: you have any questions or would like more information about this program, please contact our school counselor Ms. Parfitt ( or Alexis Kralic at the Orange County Rape Crisis Center (919-968-4647 or

    7. Save the date for the next PTA meeting: Monday, April 3rd at 5:30p. There have been some agenda tweaks. Look for a flier to go home in folders next week with more information.

    8. And finally: Special thanks to coding wizard Dan Bock for fixing some issues on the PTA website. You can now find the school calendar embedded here: And it ought to work on your mobile device too. Thanks Dan!

    Line up your Babysitters for the Silent Auction!

    Please join us at the Watts PTA Silent Auction Party...

    ¡Únase a nosotros para la Fiesta de la Subasta Silenciosa del PTA de Watts!

    • Domingo, 26 del marzo 2017, 6:30-10pm, Luna Rotisserie & Empanadas
    • Invitamos a todos los miembros de la comunidad de George Watts, los maestros, administración y facultad. Adultos solamente, por favor.
    • RSVP en para reservar dos boletos de bebida complementarios.
    • Like, Sigue y Invite a Otros a la página de la Subasta Silenciosa en Facebook en
    • Para hacer una donación o ser un voluntario envía un correo electrónico a
    • Evento cortesía de Luna, CQC Home and Zarazua Painting

    Creek Week Cleanup on Saturday, March 18th

    This year, our school will be participating in the City of Durham's CREEK WEEK. As many of you know, our upper elementary students have been using the creek as an outdoor classroom to explore the importance of citizen science, normal people using hard science to serve the environment. As an ongoing part of our partnership, George Watts has adopted a section of the creek near Pearl Mill. 

    On Saturday, March 18th, we will have a school-wide clean up opportunity. Supplies for clean up are being donated by the City of Durham's "Keep Durham Beautiful" program. We will start where Dacian Avenue meets the Ellerbe Creek trail and clean from 9:30 to 12:00. Immediately following we will have a picnic lunch on the school playground.

    Saturday March 18th


    Ellerbe Creek Trail at Dacian Ave. 

    Thank you to Brandon White, Upper Elementary Teacher for organizing this!

    Show your Watts pride: New t-shirts are here!

    Click here to preview the new t-shirt designs and colors. Order forms will go home in folders this week (or download one here). Please turn your orders in no later than Friday, March 22nd. 

    Help needed for the playground Fossil Dig

    We are working to complete the playground's next feature, a Pirate-themed Fossil Dig Area.  We could really use some volunteers for these upcoming workdays.

    • This Friday, March 10th at 2:15 PM - 4 PM: We will clear the dig area , lay out the border sections,  and mark location for post holes. We will also complete preparation of the benches and other fossil dig equipment. 
    • This Saturday, March 11 at 2:30PM - 5:30 PM" We will dig the post holes (using a rented post hole digger), install the benches and other equipment, & install the borders.

    Any help would be appreciated.  We will have water and snacks for volunteers

    Let Jeff Porter know if you can lend a hand (jeffreymichaelporter (at) or just come!  Any amount of time you can give is greatly appreciated.

    Composting comes to George Watts!

    Last month, George Watts began offering composting in the cafeteria at lunchtime. Through a generous grant from DPS along with some PTA funding, Watts now enables both lunch buyers and bringers to compost food that they won't eat. The cafeteria now has composting, recycling and trash (landfill) bins. 

    All food scraps and napkins can be placed in the compost bin, which is then collected and processed (composted) to create a beneficial soil amendment that we plan to use in our school gardens.

    The practice of composting is quite compatible with the Montessori value of respecting the planet, as it prevents this food from going to a landfill where it creates greenhouse gas emissions. 

    We owe Mrs. Carinder and her students a huge thank you for helping establish composting at Watts. Before implementation, these 4th and 5th graders visited all the Watts classrooms to discuss composting. And since the service started in mid-February, these students have ensured a smooth adoption by standing next to the composting bins during lunch.

    Finally, composting is something families can also do at home. As some of you know, this can happen via your own outside composting bin, an inside worm bin (which kids love!), or a paid service like Tilthy Rich (bike-based) or Food FWD (who collects from Watts).    

    If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to email Jonathan Bloom, PTA Edible Gardens Chair at jbloom76 (at)

    Please join us as we celebrate Black History Month

    Monday, February 27, 2017, 5:30 – 7 PM, in the gym

    • Stunning student displays & presentations
    • Steel drum performance by Mickey Mills from Trinidad
    • Catered food from Jamaica Jamaica provided by PTA

    If possible, please bring your favorite soul food dish to the potluck dinner at 5:30 PM (Examples: biscuits, collard greens, fried catfish, grits, red beans, macaroni and cheese, sweet potatoes, corn, and okra and tomatoes.)

    For more information about Black History Month, please visit:

    Celebración del Mes de la Historia Afroamericana

    Lunes, el 27 de febrero de 2017, 5:30 – 7 de la noche, En el gimnasio de la escuela George Watts

    • Exhibiciones y presentaciónes hermosas de estudiantes
    • Actuación de tambor metálico de Trinidad por Mickey Mills
    • Comida del restaurante Jamaica Jamaica proporcionada por PTA

    Le invitamos a traer un plato de comida del Sur de E.E.U.U. para compartir a las 5:30 de la noche (Ejemplos: panecillos, berzas, bagre frito, semola de maiz, frijoles rojos, macarrones con queso, camotes, maiz, okra y tomates.)

    Para más información sobre el Mes de la Historia Afroamericana, visite:

    Morale Monday: February 27th

    Teacher-Staff Breakfast & Lunch Buffet

    Drop off food at carpool 7:30-7:45 or in teacher workroom

    On one Monday each month, the PTA sponsors a morale-boosting meal for all teachers and staff. We invite families to contribute an item for the meal in recognition of our teachers’ hard work, professionalism, care, and energy that they bring to their jobs to benefit our children every day.  

    What to send? Fruit, baked goods, casseroles, salads, veggies, main dishes. Notes, cards, and pictures from students are encouraged, too. Label your dishes/utensils with your name and child’s teacher, so we can return them to you. 


    Questions? Allison Smith, PTA Family Involvement Chair,


    Lunes de Agradecimiento: el 27 de febrero

    Damos el desayuno/almuerzo para los Maestros

    Entregue los platos en la línea de coche 7:30-7:45 o en el taller de maestros

    Nosotros - las familias - ofrecemos esta comida en agradecimiento por el trabajo duro, la profesionalidad, el cuidado, y la energía de los maestros, que apoyan a nuestros hijos todos los días.

    ¿Qué traer? El jugo, la fruta, los arroces, las carnes, los guisos, o su comida favorita. Las notas, las tarjetas, y las imágenes de los estudiantes, también.  IMPORTANTE: Etiquetar sus platos / utensilios con su nombre y el maestro de su hijo, así que los podemos volver a Ud.


    Preguntas? Allison Smith, PTA Participación de Familias,

    Parents: Tell us about your Black Genius!

    What: An interactive workshop hosted by the nonprofit group Village of Wisdom and sponsored by the PTA's Parents of African-American Children (PAAC) committee

    When: Thursday, Feb. 23rd, 6 – 7:30 pm. Dinner and childcare for school-age children provided beginning at 5:30 p.m.

    Where: George Watts Montessori Magnet School Media Center, 700 Watts Street, Durham

    Why:  Village of Wisdom helps families explore the unique joys and challenges of raising Black children in today's society, where our children can celebrate #blackgirlmagic and #blackgenius. Come create your child's Black Genius Profile to share with his/her teachers. 

    RSVP: Space is limited. Please RSVP by February 16th Families from E.K. Powe and Club Boulevard Elementary will also be invited.

    All families are welcome!

    Qué: El taller interactivo "Black Genius" organizado por el grupo sin fines de lucro Village of Wisdom. 

    Cuándo: Jueves, 23 de febrero, 6 - 7:30 pm. Cena y cuidado de niños en edad escolar a partir de las 5:30 p.m.

     Dónde: Biblioteca de George Watts Montessori Magnet School. 700 Watts Street, Durham

    Qué: Village of Wisdom ayuda a las familias a explorar las alegrías y desafíos únicos de criar a los niños negros en la sociedad actual, donde nuestros hijos pueden celebrar #blackgirlmagic y #blackgenius. Ven a crear el Perfil de Genio Negro de tu hijo para compartirlo con sus maestros.

    Reservar antes del 16 de febrero, dado que el espacio es limitado:  Las familias de los colegios E.K. Powe y la Escuela   Primaria Club Boulevard fueron invitados.  Todas las familias son bienvenidas.

    An Overview of the Individualized Education Program (IEP) and Functional Behavioral Assessments (FBAs): Enhancing Understandings for Parents and Caregivers

    Date: February 22, 2017

    Time: 6:00-7:30 p.m.

    Location: Media Center, Watts Montessori Elementary School, 700 Watts Street, Durham NC

    Please Join Us for a Presentation by: 

    Dr. Kristin Bell, DPS EC Executive Director &

    Krista Saunders, EC Director of Special Programs and Behavior Support 

    There will also be time for a Q & A session with our presenters.

    Childcare available for school-aged children (one-on-one care not available).

    Please contact Shelagh Kenney at or (919) 599-0163 if you have any questions.

    Programa: Vista general del programa de educación individualizada (IEP,  por sus siglas en inglés)  y de las evaluaciones de los comportamientos funcionales

    Fecha: 22 de febrero de 2017

    Hora: 6:00-7:30 p.m.

    Lugar: Biblioteca de la escuela elemental de George Watts, 700 Watts Street, Durham NC

    Por favor, únase a nosotros para una presentación por:

     Dr. Kristin Bell, Directora Ejecutiva de programa de Niños Excepcionales&

    Krista Saunders,  Directora de programa de Niños Excepcionales, Apoyo al Comportamiento y otros programas especiales

    Habrá una sesión de preguntas y respuestas para aclarar dudas a cargo de los presentadores.

    Se presentara servicios de Intérprete durante el evento y cuido para niños será disponible.

    Por favor, póngase en contacto con Shelagh Kenney a o al (919) 599-0163 si tuviera alguna pregunta.

    PTA Meeting - Pre-K Fees Information

    Monday, December 12th from 6:00 - 7:00 PM

    Interested parents and neighbors are invited to a presentation on the new Pre-K sliding scale fee on Monday, Dec. 12th at 6p. Join DPS and school board leaders to learn how the scale will be implemented, provide feedback and hear about plans to expand Pre-K access in Durham Public Schools. If you would like to submit questions in advance, please email George Watts PTA President, Elizabeth Lindquist at

    5:50p Drop off school-age children in the gym for childcare (pizza will be served to children)

    6:00p Special presentation on the new Pre-K sliding scale in the Media Center for parents and neighbors

    The following leaders have committed to attend:

    • DPS Area Superintendent John McCain
    • DPS Deputy Superintendent for Academics Stacey Wilson-Norman
    • DPS Magnet Specialist Mary Griffith
    • Board of Education member Steve Unruhe

    Noche para Conocer la Escuela / Reunión del PTA Sobre las Tarifas de Pre-K:

    Lunes, 12 de Diciembre 6:00 -7:00pm

    ¡Por favor reserve la fecha para esta noche especial!

    A las 6:00pm, padres y vecinos interesados están invitados a una presentación de la nueva escala móvil de tarifas para el Pre-K.  Únase al DPS (Escuelas Públicas de Durham) y los líderes del consejo escolar para enterarse de la manera en cual se va implementar la escala móvil, ofrecer comentarios y aprender acerca los planes para expandir acceso a Pre-K en DPS.  Si le gustaría enviar preguntas con anticipación, por favor mande un correo electrónico al Presidente del PTA de George Watts, Elizabeth Lindquist

    5:50 Dejar los niños de edad escolar en el gimnasio para que los cuiden (van a servir pizza a los niños)

    6:00 Presentación sobre la nueva escala móvil para el Pre-K en la biblioteca para los padres y vecinos

    Siguen los líderes que se han comprometido asistir:

    • Superintendente de area de DPS John McCain
    • Superintendente Adjunto de Académicos de DPS Stacey Wilson-Norman
    • Especialista “Magnet” de DPS Mary Griffith
    • Miembro de los Líderes del Consejo Escolar Steve Unruhe

    PTA Meeting - Focus on Achievement Disparities with Guest Speaker

    Monday, November 14th from 6:00 - 7:00 PM

    George Watts PTA & PAAC Host the November 14th PTA Meeting: “Eliminating Disparities in Our Education System”

    • Please join our Parents of African American Children (PAAC) committee with special guest, 2014-15 North Carolina Teacher of the Year James Ford. Mr. Ford is currently working with the Public School Forum of North Carolina to address opportunity gaps and achievement disparities in schools across the state. Mr. Ford will join PAAC in leading an open, transparent discussion about race, curriculum, data, being well-rounded, and how we can make a lasting change together. Please join us to explore some of the reasons why we have a gap and what we can do about it.
    • Drop your school-aged children in the gym for pizza and child care starting at 5:30, then join other parents in the lobby to eat before the meeting begins at 6pm in the Media Center.

    On November 14, Mr. Ford will provide a national context for our situation here at Watts, present examples of schools that have turned around their opportunity gaps, and lead Watts’ parents and teachers in an open discussion of how we can make a lasting change together. Please join the PTA at our November 14 meeting and begin OUR work to create an equitable education environment that will benefit ALL children at George Watts Montessori School.


    Eliminando Las Desigualdades en el Sistema Educativo

    En el 2015, el Departamento de Educación de los Estados Unidos (USDOE) designo a la Escuela George Watts como una “Escuela Enfoque” debido a la desigualdad en los puntajes obtenidos en la pruebas entre los diferentes grupos raciales y entre otros sub-grupos, tales como los niños con necesidades especiales.  (Los padres fueron notificados por carta en agosto 2016.) “Las Escuelas Enfoque son identificadas cuando se descubre una gran diferencia en los niveles de desempeño entre subgrupos con alto desempeño y aquellos subgrupos con un desempeño mucho inferior…durante 3 años.”

    Por favor únase a la PTA y al Comité de Padres de Niños Afroamericanos (PAAC) durante nuestra reunión el 14 de noviembre donde tendremos a James Ford, Maestro del Año de Carolina del Norte 2014-2015, como invitado especial.  El Sr. Ford actualmente está trabajando con el Foro de Escuelas Públicas de Carolina del Norte para solventar la brecha en oportunidades y las disparidades en desempeño en nuestras escuelas a lo largo del estado.  Esperamos que padres de niños de todos los grupos raciales se puedan unir a esta conversación.

    Por favor acompañe a la Asociación de Padres y Maestros (PTA) durante nuestra reunión el 14 de nov. Y así poder comenzar NUESTRA labor de crear un ambiente educativo equitativo que beneficie a TODOS los niños de la Escuela George Watts Montessori.