WMS people

Giving & Getting Involved

We value our relationship with parents and understand how essential a strong connection between the school and parents can be in our work with children. You are active participants in the educational process. Your positive effort, cooperation and understanding allow us to be most effective in our work. Our teachers are inspired by your involvement and support in the educational process and in the life of the school community.

Since its founding in 1965, WMS has flourished thanks to the consistent generosity of time, talent and assets from our parents. The benefits of parents, children and teachers working together are beyond measure. There are many opportunities to become actively involved in the WMS community, and we cordially invite each and every one of you to do so in the ways that are most meaningful to you.

Engaged Parenting
It’s important for parents to be involved in the small and large events in their children’s school lives. Your children are successful not only due to their intelligence and hard work, but also because they see the involvement of parents in their school. Though our ultimate goal is for our students to claim ownership of their own education, we believe a strong partnership between parents, students and the school is important to academic success.

As parents, it is your responsibility to:

  Read the WMS Family Handbook

 Read the handbook specific to your child’s level, available on the Parents page of the school website.

Read the Weekly Email, sent to all WMS parents every Sunday afternoon. (Click here if you are not receiving the Weekly Email.)

 Attend Parent Back to School Night in September and Family Night in October.

 Align with the school in encouraging your child to be respectful and kind to others of all ages. Understand that conflicts are an inevitable part of life and that respectful conflict resolution is an important part of education.

 Keep teachers informed about anything that might be affecting your child both in school and out.

 Provide ample time and quiet surroundings for homework.

Parent Education
WMS is a source of support and education for parents as well as students. We take seriously our role to assist families to gain greater knowledge for themselves as well as in terms of the growth and development of their children. Each school year we organize at least two different educational opportunities for our parent body. They range in topics and formats to address common issues modern parents are facing these days—from internet safety to caring for their own aging parents.

The Gift of Time & Talent
WMS parents are interesting, capable and passionate. There are many ways to share your talents and interests within the community. Becoming an active member of the Parents’ Association is your first step to becoming involved. The PA promotes community building, providing a forum for parent information and many opportunities for parent involvement. The PA consists of several committees that reach virtually every aspect of the WMS community including classroom community service, enrichment activities, and even the creation of the materials that our students work with every day in classes. Volunteer opportunities are limitless and can suit any amount of availability—we understand how busy parents are these days.

When you volunteer your time and talent to the Washington Montessori School community, you are expressing your interest in and commitment to your children’s daily lives as well as to the school itself. WMS appreciates each parent’s generous gift of his or her time and talent no matter how big or small.

School Spirit
WMS students are talented, spirited and competitive. There are many opportunities to applaud them and cheer them on. Whether modeling good sportsmanship on the sidelines or starting a standing ovation in the theater, parent enthusiasm matters to our students. Performing and competing before an audience helps bolster confidence, which spills over into the classroom. Don’t miss a chance to be a fan!

Plays, concerts and recitals happen throughout the school year both during and after school. They are wonderful opportunities to showcase our students’ hard work and talent. From the Lower School Valentine’s Day tradition “The Concert of Love” to the Upper Elementary annual Shakespeare plays, our students take pride in their performances.

Most of our Middle School students participate in interscholastic sports throughout the year, with home games and meets at least once a week. Students of all skill levels are encouraged to participate in sports at WMS, as we believe children find strength in trying new things and taking risks. Check the full school calendar and come out to cheer them on.

Show your spirit for Washington Montessori School on and off campus! WMS spiritwear is available at the school store located in the PA room.

WMS Ambassador Program
As parents who have seen firsthand the benefits of a WMS education, there is no one better than you to share the WMS story with the greater community. The mission of the WMS Ambassador Program is to build and strengthen the WMS community by welcoming, connecting, nurturing and informing current parents and to connect with potential families both before and during the admissions process. As passionate and informed advocates of the WMS experience, WMS Ambassadors bolster all the good work we do here every day.


Over the years, a strong culture of philanthropy has taken root at WMS. Extraordinary community support is testament to the benefits of the WMS experience. As members of WMS community, we hope you will support WMS, not only by volunteering and participating in the life of the school, but also by making WMS your philanthropic priority for charitable gifts.

Like all independent schools, WMS relies not only on tuition, but also on Annual Giving, periodic capital giving, and Parents’ Association fundraising. WMS depends on the generosity of its current parents, alumni, past parents, grandparents, faculty, staff and friends to defray daily operating expenses.

Annual Giving
Annual Giving provides immediate essential financial support for WMS’s comprehensive and outstanding programs. It guarantees that our Signature Experiences remain robust, that financial aid remains significant, and that our facility is maintained to the highest standard. It enables us to maintain a diverse community, and provides competitive salaries and professional development opportunities for our faculty.

The success of Annual Giving is measured by total dollars raised and by percentage of participation. While leadership gifts are crucial to our financial strength, every gift matters and makes a difference. Contributions of any size are welcome and make a difference in the life of each WMS student. Every gift is important to the success of the fund.

Unrestricted Annual Giving allows donors to make a tax-deductible contribution while enabling the school to allocate resources to the programs that need it most.

Participation in Annual Giving is a vital way for our community members to demonstrate their commitment and support of WMS, its faculty and its students. A donation to Annual Giving is the most important gift you can make every year.

For more on Annual Giving, please visit the Annual Fund page of our website.

Capital Giving
Periodically the Head of School and the Board of Trustees identify essential building projects or programs that require large sums of money to implement. These capital improvements are investments in the school’s future sustainability. Our current facility and campus were funded by capital campaigns long ago in our school’s history.

These projects are not funded through tuition or Annual Giving, but through capital campaigns. Most recently, the addition of the WMS Sports Park and Natural Playgrounds were funded by a capital campaign in honor of the school’s 50th anniversary.

Parents’ Association Fundraisers
During the school year, the Parents’ Association offers services and events that generate funds for the operating budget for the current school year.

Annual Auction
The biggest fundraiser of the year is the Annual Auction & Dinner held in February. The annual auction is a special evening when we gather with like minds and a common goal of supporting WMS the community we hold dear.

As it is our biggest and most important event, we invite all members of the WMS community—past and present—to contribute, attend and participate in the auction.

The PA organizes an annual raffle in support of an important program at WMS. Providing Middle School education to qualified graduates of the Children’s Community School in Waterbury, The Washington Montessori School Community Partnership Program epitomizes the essence of the WMS experience. “It speaks to the importance of diversity, celebrates the differences among people and it builds community.”

The program has been in place since 2005 with both support and enthusiasm from the faculty and Board of Trustees at WMS. The children who come to our school have been identified as potential academic and social leaders within inner-city Waterbury. The goal of this partnership is to provide a WMS education to motivated students from all socioeconomic backgrounds, so that we may enrich not only our own community, but also communities that are less fortunate.

All proceeds from the WMSCPP Raffle support this program. The PA begins selling tickets just before the Annual Auction in February and continues to sell them until the drawing on Grandparents’ and Special Friends Day in May.

Other Events
During the year, the WMS Advancement Team organizes events to bring our community together as well as to generate funds for the operating budget.

WMS Presents…
WMS Presents… is an annual program where interesting people from within our community join us for a unique, one-evening performance. Open to the public as well as the WMS community, tickets range in price from $45 to $100 with all proceeds going to the school. We are very fortunate to have had some truly amazing talent grace our stage—Patti LuPone, Christine Baranski, Sam Waterston, Chris Hayes, Milos Forman, Mia Farrow, Susan Saint James, Dick Ebersol and Chris Brigham to name a few.

The Polar Plunge
Every December the WMS community comes together to make a splash for a good cause. With all proceeds going to support the WMSCPP, the Polar Plunge is a super-fun and slightly-crazy event where students, parents, teachers and, yes, even the Head of School jump into the frigid waters of Lake Waramaug. Support comes from a range of generous sponsors and the brave individuals who pay to plunge.