Day School Summer Program Learning Center Diagnostic Clinic Life Academy
Monarch Students to Visit with Temple Grandin
The faculty and students at Monarch were fans of Dr. Temple Grandin, animal scientist and autism self-advocate, long before the HBO film about her life received seven Emmy awards. Her tenacity and hard work in the face of discrimination and rejection because of her autism have been a source of inspiration and hope, and we are delighted to see that, through this wonderful film, more people will know her story. Dr. Grandin has recently been included in the 2010 TIME 100, the magazine's annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world. When Monarch students found out that Dr. Grandin would be speaking at an autism conference in Galveston on Dec. 17, they wrote her letters requesting to meet with her while she was here. Visit our website to see her response!
Miracles Happened!

Thanks to an extraordinary group of dedicated Monarch supporters, this was our most successful breakfast in Monarch’s history, not only in funds raised, but also in attendance. We filled the Westin ballroom to capacity with 970 guests!

Click here to look at all the pictures and order copies from our friends at Genesis Photographers. The password is “Chrysalis”.

Visit our website for more on Miracle Makers Morning!

Where Are They Now?

The average length of time a Monarch student is enrolled at the school is three years. About 8-10 students graduate from Monarch’s high school every year, and many others transition before graduation to public and private elementary, middle and high schools. Periodically we like to feature those students who have transitioned or graduated from Monarch with an update on what is happening in their lives. We are fiercely proud of their continued growth and accomplishments. Visit our website to read three alumni updates!

Diavolo Dance Theater at Monarch

A Trust Workshop was led by Diavolo Dance Theater cast members for our students and faculty on Thursday, November 4. The Novice/Apprentice level students worked with the troupe and were completely engaged. They learned movement skills and practiced trust activities, such as leaning back-to-back and moving into a seated position. The students quickly realized they were part of their partner’s support! After the young ones had their fun, the Challengers were introduced to the dance company and enjoyed over an hour of more sophisticated movements and skills. The trust factor came into play as these students made “chairs” and relied upon a partner for a “stand-up” exercise. Visit our website for more on this story.

Holiday Sale
Volunteers to help with Cob Job

Almost 50 adult volunteers gathered at Monarch on Saturday, November 12, for training in the “cob” method of sustainable building. These adults will support a shared project of The Kinkaid School and The Monarch School. Monarch students and Kinkaid High School sophomores who have chosen our project for their community service hours will work together on November 19, February 5, and April 2 to construct garden benches, walls and arches.

Click here for a description of the project and here for pictures of our dedicated volunteer helpers. More to come through the year on this cutting edge project!

Monarch Board Fellow Visits Rwanda

The Monarch School has teamed up with Rice University to give M.B.A. students a chance to learn about nonprofit board governance while showcasing their talents. The Board Fellows Program, as it is called, aims to produce socially responsible, community-oriented leaders while making a positive impact on the Houston community. One student, Andrew Wilson, an MD/MBA candidate at Baylor College of Medicine and Rice University, has been attending Monarch board meetings since the spring of 2010. He was attracted to Monarch for its reputation in innovative education and focus on neurological differences. “I want to be a neurologist,” says Andrew, “so I am very interested in how the brain processes information.” In October, however, Andrew could not be found at the board meeting - because he was in Rwanda. Visit our website to find out about his adventure!

Strengths in Action

In a pilot project that blends classes in Executive Functioning, Get Out (our outdoor environmental program), and Literacy, three Challenger students will apply their strengths to completing a project that will benefit the community. Nathaniel, Brett and Evan will use the personal strengths they have discovered in EF classes to renovate a bicycle that will be used by Apprentice level students. For example, while one student has a gift for design, another is skilled in completing tasks – and so the bicycle project will make the best use of their individual talents. Visit our website for the rest of the story.

Upcoming Publication Co-Authored by Monarch Diagnostic Clinic Faculty

Our own Stacy Reddoch, Monarch Diagnostic Clinic Coordinator, continues to build a professional resumé that reflects her curiosity about neurological and functional differences in people with autism spectrum disorders. Stacy’s previous role as a research assistant at the Center for Human Development Research of the University of Texas Health Science Center-Houston (UTHSC-H) allowed her many opportunities for exploring this curiosity through her supporting role in a wide range of interesting projects. One of these research efforts, led by Bhavin Sheth, Ph.D., of the University of Houston and the team of Katherine Loveland, Ph.D., and Deborah Pearson, Ph.D., of UTHSC-H, involved research on detecting social change as perceived by people with and without autism.
Click here for more.

Novice/Apprentice Happenings

So much happens each week. One of the highlights of November was students’ learning about Diwali. Diwali, the festival of lights, is the biggest festival that Hindus celebrate. Ms. Shivali, Ms. Julie and her family shared their culture with students, and all enjoyed food and dance.

On Veteran’s Day, students were honored to receive two visitors, Jeff McGrath and James Pearson, and were grateful for the opportunity to thank them for their service to our country with homemade cards and muffins.

Visit our website to read more on these exciting events!

Sweet Rides and Hands on Learning

As part of their fall semester Monarch car-purchase project, the Challenger level Personal Finance class were privileged to take a field trip to a Hybrid Car/Charging Station event hosted by NRG at the George R. Brown Convention Center. It was a great opportunity to attend this exciting event which included many CEOs, Mayor Parker, National Security Advisor to the President, General James Jones, NHTSA Administrator, David Strickland and our good friend, Mark Robinson, of Momentum Bay Associates.

“We were the only students and teachers in attendance,” said Ali Nomani, Monarch Life Academy teacher, “and got to be among the first to see some gorgeous current and future cars.” Click here to see a slideshow of all the cars.

No Child Left Inside

As part of our commitment to environmental education as reflected in our “Get Out” program, Monarch has become a member of the “No Child Left Inside” coalition. Click here to find out more about this organization.

Pining for Pine Needles

Pine Needles are perfect material to cover our trails!

Contact our “Get Out” Coordinator, Richard Klein RKlein@monarchschool.org, if you have some pine needles you can contribute!

Monarch Mentorship Partners with Kiva.org

At the end of the first quarter, one of the Challenger Mentorships chose a service project with global reaching impact. Students sponsored a carwash for the day and raised $165. Next, the mentorship purchased shares of Kiva.org microfinance stock, to support small entrepreneurs around the world. The loans are used as capital for a variety of small business developments. In time, the loans will be repaid to the mentorship’s account, and they will make ongoing decisions about how to invest in future entrepreneurs. Visit our website to continue the story.

‘Tis the Season - for Giving Thanks

Mr. Ken’s Operation Interdependence and Monarch Wings classes worked together on a homework assignment to collect items for our soldiers overseas. Students were instructed to think about what would be useful if they were on the “worst backpacking trip of their life”, with no available stores for six months or more, and to find those items at home for our troops. Visit our website to see how the students made this into a fun, scavenger hunt!

Poinsettia Sale

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The Monarch School
2815 Rosefield Dr.
Houston, TX 77080