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Ask Monarch

Dear Monarch,

I’ve always known that I was “different” from other people, but lately I’ve been thinking that I might have some kind of autism. Making and keeping friends has always been hard for me, and I have no idea why. For other people, relationships are easy, but I always feel really awkward talking to someone I just met. I always seem to say or do the wrong thing. I’ve had a few dates, but they’ve always ended badly. I’ve never had a real relationship. But I’d like to. I’m so lonely. What should I do?


Visit our website to read the answer to this and other “Ask Monarch” questions, and send in a question of your own! It might be featured in next month’s newsletter!

Alumni Update: Mark Funk 

Dear Monarch,

Just wanted to give you an update on the progress of our son, Mark. He was enrolled in Tomball High School as a Freshman in 2007, and has been in a fully mainstreamed setting for all his classes ever since. Mark earned straight A's for all classes throughout his freshman and sophomore years, and is on his way to straight A's again in his junior year!

Visit our website to read the rest of the good news about alumnus, Mark Funk!

Monarch Gratitude Preserved

All of the Monarch parents, faculty and students continue to be grateful to MetroNational for our land and to Mission Constructors for building our beautiful new campus. Monarch student Stevo B designed thank you cards that were presented to Don Woo and Glenn Woo (Mission Constructors) at a Sneak Peek for donors last spring. Although Roy and Andrea Johnson (MetroNational) were unable to attend, their hand drawn cards, signed by every Monarch student, were delivered to them. Copies of both cards are now on display at Monarch as a reminder of our perpetual state of gratitude!

A Gift That Lasts a Lifetime 

We are grateful to our many supporters who donated a brick or a paver. They have been lovingly installed at the front entrance of our new building where so many people are enjoying reading them, smiling over them, and being touched by inspirational messages. There is still room for more pavers and our paver company informs us that when we have fifteen more purchased, the next order can be placed. So if you are interested in honoring or memorializing a loved one or in having your family’s name “engraved in stone”, just click here!

Monarch Hosts Bonnie Singer 
Thanks to the support we received from The University of St. Thomas/Houston Endowment Mini-Grant, The Monarch School was delighted to host Bonnie Singer, CCC/SLP, to share her EmPower™ method for teaching expository writing. Bonnie’s years of clinical work as a speech-language pathologist have fostered an interest in the ways in which language and cognition interrelate to support and constrain language, learning and written expression.

Formerly an Instructor at Emerson College, Bonnie is currently the President/CEO of Architects for Learning, where she works with school systems nation-wide to develop sound teaching practices for literacy. Her model is a great match for Monarch as it helps teachers to focus on how the various systems (e.g., cognitive, linguistic, spatial, motor, self-regulatory) support and constrain one’s ability to write, with an eye toward understanding why writing can be so difficult to learn and master.
Many of the Monarch faculty attended and teachers from several other private schools found the workshop beneficial as well.

Monarch’s Unique Levels System

Our developmental model has four levels: Novice, Apprentice, Challenger and Voyager, each with its own identity. All students work on individual pivotal objectives chosen by and for him/her within the following four core goal areas:

  • academic competence

  • self-regulation and self-awareness

  • relationship development

  • executive functions
  • As objectives are mastered, new objectives are chosen. Roles for teachers, questions for students, parent training priorities, social grouping and curriculum selections all vary according to the student’s ability to organize for learning.

    Visit our website to learn more about Monarch’s Levels System and Four Core Goals!

    Wake Up and Smell the Support!

    Monarch’s annual Parent’s Welcome Coffee was held on Wednesday, September 16th, from 8:30 to 9:30 am in the Monarch Learning Center. The attendance was outstanding as Apprentice Level Volunteer Parent Co-coordinator Julie Schwartz welcomed our returning families and those new to Monarch. Stephanie Wheatley graciously assisted with the morning on behalf of Challenger Level Volunteer Parent Co-coordinator Vicki Luquette .

    As parents enjoyed the delicious pastries, fresh fruit and fellowship, Dr. Webb welcomed them, introduced Director of Development Kipp Baxter, and turned the morning’s program over to Julie. She reviewed volunteer opportunities and the two Miracle Makers Morning events. After a question and answer period, the parents eagerly completed volunteer forms, faculty lunch forms and picked up their table captain packets for our breakfast fundraisers.

    In the spring, parents will be invited to attend an event thanking them for their generosity in volunteering.

    Fun at the Ballpark!

    On August 19th, 46 Monarch students, faculty and family attended an Astros game courtesy of MassMutual.

    Everyone enjoyed a great game and hot dogs were graciously provided by Lisa Van Hofwegen and her husband, Dixon.

    The evening was topped off by an Astros victory!

    A Smooth Move

    The move of the Apprentice level into the new building has been amazingly comfortable. After a very short period of anxiety while learning where the restrooms are, to whom the new faces belonged, and where the play area was, the students relaxed in the comfort of the exemplary soon-to-be LEED® certified building. The teachers and students are enjoying the opportunity to explore new ways to play on the giant hill and love having the sidewalks for bikes and chalk! Everyone remains grateful to all those who have worked so hard to make the dream a reality.

    Where in the World are the Life Academy Students?

    Now that we have moved all of the displays, products, business records, and student entrepreneurs into our new building, we have been spending much of our time in many other locations. Students have been purchasing food for Friday lunch and snack cart, office supplies for teachers, furniture for classrooms, beads for jewelry, and products for gift baskets. Then food was prepared and served, money collected and deposited, beads carefully strung into new jewelry designs, furniture constructed and moved, supplies sorted and distributed, and baskets made and sold!

    In just three weeks, students were busy at being productive and working together to accomplish big tasks. So where do we go from here? Visit our website to find out!

    To share the good news about Monarch with friends and family, click here!
    Address postal inquiries to:
    The Monarch School
    2815 Rosefield Dr.
    Houston, TX 77080