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Building a Montessori Bridge

Students at Sands Montessori School, a K-6 school, are hosting a spirit week centered around creating a culture of connection by celebrating with Clark Montessori, a 7-12 school.

“We looked at our goals within our school community, and determined that building a sense of pride between Sands and Clark is essential,” said Karen Huneke, ages 6-9 teacher at Sands.  

Mrs. Heuenke had a different idea for this year’s spirit week celebration, following CPS initializing a streamlined process for 6th-graders at Sands to graduate into Clark Montessori. 

Huneke and her student council, comprised of 4th-6th-grade students, coordinated the week-long celebration to create a community with Clark Montessori. 

“Spirit week means something to me because it's something that we could join together and with community,” said Piper Hawkins, 6th-grade student at Sands Montessori. 


Sands Students Decorate Their Classroom Doors To Celebrate Clark Montessori

Sands Students Decorate Their Classroom Doors To Celebrate Clark Montessori


Hawkins, President of the Student Council, was enthralled by the idea of bridging her school spirit between the two schools. 

“Ever since I was really little, I liked helping out. When I heard about student council, I was really excited because I liked the idea of being a role model and having people look up to me,” she said. 

On Wednesday, September 21, the congregation of students hosted a luncheon for the staff, where students distributed food to their teachers.  

“Yesterday, the sense of pride in students during the luncheon was palpable,” said Huneke. "As an adult, you just never know if these students understand the value of their activities, but for this event, you could see their pride in hosting and greeting their teachers.”

Huneke says that spirit week isn’t the only way Sands Montessori plans to bridge the gap between her school and Clark’s. 

“I have also been active in trying to strengthen our relationship with Clark in other ways. Both athletic directors connected the Clark soccer program with the Sands soccer team,” she said. 

The spirit week culminates in a door decorating competition with students from the Clark Montessori Football team judging the decorated doors. 

Students From The Clark Montessori Football Team Will Judge The Decorated Doors

Clark Montessori Football Players Will Judge The Door Decorations


“We’re so excited to have them at our school and giving our students the chance to really see a future in front is near,” said Huneke. “This experience gives them an opportunity to better connect with Clark’s students and their culture.”