Day School Summer Program Learning Center Diagnostic Clinic Life Academy
Monarch Students Meet with Dr. 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. 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. She agreed to meet with them!
Click here to watch the video of the delightful 30 minute conversation they shared, as well as the Channel 26 news feature on Temple that included footage of Monarch students!

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 two alumni updates!

Festive Fiesta – Voyager Style!

The Voyager level students hosted a fiesta on Monday, December 13th to thank the faculty for the great job they do throughout the year. The group began planning the luncheon two months ago when one of the Voyagers, Victor, started giving Spanish lessons each Wednesday during lunch.

Visit our website for more about the fiesta!

Happy Holidays!

We asked our faculty to share their favorite holiday traditions with our newsletter readership. A sampling of the diverse responses we received is represented below. We hope that reading these snippets will warm your heart this holiday season!

Audrey Omenson: I really enjoy making Norwegian Christmas cookies with my mom and sister. It’s complicated and takes a whole day, but the process is most of the fun. Eating them isn’t too bad either.

Jessica Kaynes: My favorite holiday tradition is lighting the menorah and saying the blessings with my family.

Christopher Perri: Solstice – being awake from sunset on winter solstice until sunrise the next morning, and feeding homeless people out and about on the streets or volunteering at some shelter or foster home on Christmas day.

Visit our website for more faculty traditions!

Corporate Highlight

This month we are featuring one of our Miracle Makers Morning Breakfast sponsors, Solution Hero. Their company tag line, “Your technology sidekick” says it all. They strive to work alongside you and your business in this ever changing world of technology and data management. Click here for more about Solution Hero.

Musical Notes

Students at the Novice/Apprentice levels celebrated the season on Wednesday, December 15, as they presented songs to honor themes such as cultural traditions, community service, gratitude, and hope. Representatives from classes took the opportunity to share knowledge and musical skills they have honed over the past few months, ranging from piano and ukulele solos to song-and-dance duets.

Visit our website to watch a slide show of this gathering.

Kindness Quilt

The Novice and Apprentice students’ social studies lessons always have rich cultural themes. Recently, they have learned about Islamic New Year as a time of new beginnings and goal setting. They worked on a “December Kindness Quilt.”

The students participated by identifying activities that will help their family or others in the community. They chose one kind activity to complete for each day until the Winter Break.

The Bean Scene

Students in Room 133 spent lots of science time in their bean garden this quarter. They prepared a garden box, planted 9 different types of beans including pinto beans, chick peas, lentils, lima beans and navy beans, and tended the garden watering the plants and weeding.

The team efforts paid off and the pinto beans are already over a foot tall! Will our beans make it through the winter? We hope so, as we are planning a 15 bean soup parade in the spring. Click here to see the bean plants.

Houston Symphony Musicians Perform at Monarch

Musicians Elise and Rian from The Houston Symphony presented interactive bassoon concerts at Monarch on Tuesday, November 30th.

Students from each program shared joyful curiosity as they learned about the musicians' perspectives of practicing and playing in a symphony orchestra, listened to musical selections based on the theme "Emotions", and explored the mechanics of the bassoons up-close and hands-on!

Students described the concert experience as "awesome" and "brilliant". This was the third annual concert presented by Houston Symphony ensembles at Monarch. Click here to see the slide show.

Apprentice Art

Students at the Apprentice level have been participating in a special art class with visual artist, Stacy Coulter, from The River Performing and Visual Arts Center, an affiliate of Theatre Under The Stars. The students have created art reflecting other countries such as: Mexican Paper Flowers, Japanese Wind Socks, Native American Medallions, African Rain Sticks, Sun Catchers, and Australian Aboriginal Bark.

The students shared a lot of joy while making the art projects. At the end of the semester we held an art show in which some of the students and staff were able to talk to the artists and see their art. Our affiliation with The River over the last five years has brought great richness and opportunities for students to express themselves artistically!

Kinkaid – Monarch Cob Collaborative
Monarch was abuzz on Saturday, November 20 as the natural building program of our environmental education program continued. Almost 100 students from The Monarch School and Kinkaid High School’s sophomore class along with adult volunteers worked on “cob” structures. Cob is an ancient earthen technology consisting of a mixture of clay, sand, and straw. The mixture is similar to other earthen building technologies such as adobe. What makes cob different is that the mixture is actually hand sculpted into place. The resultant forms are highly organic in nature. Click here for more on this story.
Brushing Teeth with Mr. Nam - written by Calvin, Monarch Student

Mr. Nam visited all the classes to talk about teeth. He knows a lot about teeth because his mom, Thi Nguyen, taught him. Mr. Nam’s mom is a dentist. She is also a grandmother. When she was a little girl, she decided when she was an adult she could become a doctor. Then she decided to become a dentist so she could help people have healthy teeth.

Visit our website to read the rest of Calvin’s article.

Promethean Boards Bring Light to Campus Learning

In Greek mythology, Prometheus is credited with bringing fire to humans.

At Monarch, Promethean Boards have arrived and they are now credited with bringing new light and inspiration to our community.

Promethean technology allows faculty and students to interact with any material presented on large-format white boards. Visit our website for more on this story and to watch videos of students and teachers using Promethean Boards.

A Day with Dickens

The Challenger drama class enjoyed a weekend outing to “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens. Parents dropped us off downtown and we enjoyed good conversation over lunch at Birraporetti’s. Mr. Ken introduced a new variety of food to the students – snails, fried calamari and crab cakes! Everybody loved the crab cakes!!

Visit our website to read the rest of Molly’s and Luca’s article.

Mission Constructors Win Texas Construction Best of 2010 Winners

Congratulations to Mission Constructors upon receipt of a Best of 2010 Award of Excellence from Texas Construction magazine for their outstanding work on the Monarch Chrysalis Building. The annual competition recognizes commercial construction and design excellence from across the state.

The award is featured in the December issue of Texas Construction and Mission Constructors were honored at an awards luncheon held at the Westin Galleria Hotel on Tuesday, Dec. 7. Proud Monarch faculty members attending were Dr. Marty Webb, Jennifer Arnold and Ron Biba. Architect Shelly Pottorf and Green building consultant Amanda Tullos were also in attendance.

The jury awarded projects based on entry criteria including overcoming challenges & teamwork; safety; innovation & contribution to the industry/community; construction quality and craftsmanship; and function and aesthetic quality of design.

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