Cave Creek Montessori Internet Safety Presentation

Internet safety is an issue every parent should keep in mind when their children are accessing or have access to computers and smart devices. Cave Creek Montessori knows how important it is to address internet safety with parents and wants to help educate the community on how to protect children from vulnerable situations they may incur while on the internet.

For this reason, Cave Creek Montessori has decided to hold an internet safety presentation on Wednesday, October 1st at 6:30 PM on the Cave Creek Montessori campus. There is no cost for this event.

The presentation will be hosted by Nicole Rye, a fellow Cave Creek Montessori parent and a special agent with the Department of Homeland Security. This is a 45 minute presentation with interactive videos created for parents and guardians of children ages 5-17 years old. The presentation will cover facts and statistics of online risks and tips for keeping children safe online.

The director and owner of Cave Creek Montessori, Roy Catalo, is especially excited about this presentation and when asked about his thoughts on internet safety he said, “ With the millennial generation growing up quickly with access to things I did not even know about until I was a teenager, it is very important to keep our children safe while online and for parents to be educated on the risks of the internet”.

This presentation is expected to be very informative and helpful to any parent who wants to learn more about internet safety. So start catching up with your kids today!

If you would like to sign up to come to the internet safety presentation, please call Cave Creek Montessori at 480-563-2929. The address to the school is 29209 N. 56th Street.

From The Desk of Kathy, Roy and Kelsey: September

From The Desk of Kathy, Roy and Kelsey:

Cave Creek Montessori September Newsletter


September Events:

  • Happy family organics nutrition presentation Sept. 10th 9:30-10:30 AM

  • Peace day and Potluck Sep.19th 10:00 AM and 6:00 PM

  • CCM date night Sept. 26th 6:00-9:00 PM

  • Sep. 29th- 30th Fall Break


Flu Season is Upon us                  Parent Teacher Conferences

With flu season approaching it is very important                     Parent teacher conferences will be held from

that you know our guidelines for contagious illnesses            October 13th to the 19th, before and after

at the Montessori. Children who have been sent home          school. Teachers will be in contact with you

or have been diagnosed with a virus can come back to         to set up times.

school once they have been flu free for at least 24 hours.

Please be sure to report any sicknesses to us.  


Mrs. Ana’s Date Night                          Peace Day

Mrs. Ana’s Date night is coming to CCM on Sept. 26th.          One of our favorite school traditions is our

We will provide pizza, activities, snacks and juice for your      peace day activities and potluck. The children

children while you go out for the night. The cost is $25 per     will be building a labyrinth (please bring in a

child or $40 per family and the event will run from                   rock for your child). The peace day activities

6:00-9:00 PM.  If you have any questions, please feel            will start at 10:00 AM on Sept. 19th. The same

free to contact the office at 480-563-2929.                             night we will hold our annual peace day potluck

                                                                                                where each family will bring in a their favorite                                    


Tax Contribution                        Football and Soccer Starting

We strongly encourage all of our CCM families                    Flag football starts Oct. 1st for children aged 4-6

to consider paying their taxes by contributing to                   years old. Flag football will run from 3:00-4:00

the Montessori Scholarship Organization. This is                 every wednesday on the CCM playground.

a way to pay your taxes and save hundreds of dollars.        Soccer will also be starting Oct. 4th, 2014 for

Married couples can pay up to 2,156 dollars before              children ages 3-14. Both classes are eight week

Dec. 31st 2014 and receive a dollar for dollar tax credit        courses.

from the state of AZ, plus reduce their federal tax liability.    


Thank you for your continued support of Cave Creek Montessori. We value the relationships we have with our families and look forward to continuing to provide safe, happy, and impactful experiences in your childrens lives.


-Roy, Kathy, and Kelsey Catalo


The Start Of A New Year at Cave Creek Montessori!

The start of a new year!

Our staff is very excited to welcome all the new students, returning students, and parents for the 2014-2015 school year at Cave Creek Montessori School.


New administrator-

We are proud to announce our daughter Kelsey Catalo as a new morning administrator. Kelsey graduated from Arizona State University with a degree in Communication. Throughout her time at ASU, she held internships and full-time positions in public relations, marketing, and social media. She is very excited to be in her new position. Please stop by the office if you need any help or to just come in and say hi!

Afternoon Directress-

We are very proud to announce our daughter Ana Catalo will be the afternoon/ after school care directress. Ana graduated from NAU with a degree in teaching K-8 and is very excited about putting together a wonderful afterschool care for your children. Ana will also be in the office from 1-2:30 to answer any questions you may have.


These last few weeks we have been very busy formulating plans to make this year one that everyone will remember! Our first step to making sure students succeed here at Cave Creek Montessori is by helping them make friends and feel comfortable. The initial few days can be very exciting and challenging for both parents and children. One challenge that you may see during the first few days of school is separation anxiety. This process will only last one to two weeks and will start to go away once your child has made new friends and gets to know his or her teacher. Please assist your child by introducing them to their teachers and peers. The teachers will also help your child find “mentor” friends who can assist them in understanding their role in the classroom. 


How you can help:

·         Check your child’s folder daily!

·         Show your children you’re excited about what they’re doing at school.

·         If your child is having trouble with separation anxiety, leave as quickly as possible or consider using our drop-off service.

·         Call at any time to check on your child.

·         Encourage friendships by setting up playdates with friends outside of school.

·          Come to school well prepared (proper clothes, nap supplies, lunch, snack, etc.)


Safety tips that should be followed:

·         Drive cautiously and slowly while in parking lots

·         Ensure that all gates are closed when entering and leaving the premises

·         Sign in and out with full name

·         Take all laundry home on Friday and bring back Monday

·         When you are present at the school please understand your child and their siblings/friends are your responsibility. Please make sure they are following the rules (i.e. no running inside, jumping on tables, throwing things)


Toddler Class

We are excited to announce that we will be opening a second toddler room in classroom 3. Mrs. Uma will be the lead teacher in the classroom as of August 4th. As you may know, Mrs. Uma has worked at Cave Creek Montessori for 8 years and has proven to be a very peaceful, passionate, and dynamic teacher. Mrs. Uma is very excited to take this next step and we are very confident that she will be a great toddler teacher for your child. Last year Ms. Uma worked as an assistant teacher in the Toddler Room and she handled all aspects of the classroom. Many of the parents who met her also felt she would make an excellent toddler teacher.


Looking forward to a great year! Please come in if you have any questions. Thank you!


-Roy, Kathy & Kelsey Catalo


The Difference Between Montessori Schools and Traditional Schools

When parents first come to tour Cave Creek Montessori the first question we get is “ what is the difference between Montessori schools and traditional schools?” There is a big difference.  Montessori school is student-led, meaning that students are given the freedom to choose the works they want to do.


Montessori schools are about discovery, evoking curiosity and challenging students expectations.

Here are three of the main reasons Montessori schools are different from traditional schools:  

Goals: In a class of children ages three to six years old, students are encouraged to think outside the box and discover their potential. They are able to learn at their own pace and are not corrected if they are learning at a pace that is not considered “normal” to their age. For this reason, students often learn more and develop faster because they are not being held back.

Discipline: Discipline is not a focus in Montessori schools. Students are allowed to explore and extend boundaries. There are rules in Montessori school but, these rules don’t define a student.

Role of teacher and parent: Parents and teachers play a big role in the Montessori method. They are there to encourage students and push them into exploring their curiosity and personality without boundaries. Telling them they “can’t” or disciplining in harmful manners is not allowed in a Montessori education.

Traditional schools want to fill students’ heads with facts and knowledge so that they are able to move on with their age group.


Here are three of the main reasons traditional schools are different from Montessori schools:

Goals. The main goal and focus of traditional schools is to teach students in the same age group the same information so that they will be able to move on with their class. The class is teacher driven and any educational deficiencies that a child may have are to be corrected.

Discipline. In traditional schools discipline is often used to reform students. There are boundaries and rules that students are given in traditional schools and if they are not followed, discipline will occur. Often times, parents feel that traditional schools don’t allow students to expose their personalities.

Role of teacher and student. Parents don’t play as much of a role in their child’s education. Parents will sometimes outsource their help to traditional schools but, this differs between families. Teachers play the biggest role in a traditional education. All education and learning is led by a teacher and they are given all authority over students.

To learn more about Montessori Schools call 480-563-2929

Cave Creek Montessori’s First Ever Facebook Contest!

fb-contests-300x223Cave Creek Montessori wanted to do something special to thank all their Facebook fans, so we decided to hold our first Facebook contest! It's extremly easy to enter and avaliable to anyone who "likes" their Facebook page. So here's how you enter… 



Hey Cave Creek Montessori friends! Were having our first Facebook contest for you! Want to win a 100 dollar gift card to Dave and Busters? 

Enter the contest by telling us what your favorite thing to do with your kids in the summer is and why. In order to win you must "like" the Cave Creek Montessori page and share your story with us in the comments section of this post.

Further Details: 
One story will be selected by our CCM teachers. Deadline to enter is June 6th at 11:00 PM. Winner will be selected and announced on Facebook June 10th. Start posting, sharing, and liking for your chance to win a 100 dollar gift card!


Get to posting!!

Why You Should Send Your Kid to Montessori Summer School

Bounce houses, water play fridays, pet exhibits and more! Children love summer because it’s the time of year they can play and catch up with friends. Summer school may not seem appealing to your kids since it’s always associated with only academics, over exhausted teachers and, well, no fun. We are here to change your opinion.


Here are 5 reasons why you should send your kid to summer school this year:


  1. It’s fun! In the Montessori summer program students are always having fun, smiling, and love going to school. Cave Creek Montessori has tailored their summer program to incorporate fun, engaging, days. Firefighters will come to the school and teach students about fire safety, wildlife exhibits stop by and teach students about desert animals, there are water play fridays, and bounce houses. It’s a really great experience for the students.

  2. A boost of academic confidence. Academically speaking, sending children to Montessori summer programs is a very good idea. Reports suggest that students who go to summer school will boost their confidence and their GPA. Students who need a little push or some extra help do really well in summer programs because it’s a way for them to get back on track. Teachers normally have smaller classes, which means more time for each of the students. It can be a great way to get ahead during the normal school year months.

  3. Social interactions are higher. In the summer months many students will go on vacation or spend time with families and the class sizes drop down. This means students will have much more time to spend socializing with other students and planning play dates. Social interactions between students are normally a lot higher in summer and these relationships can blossom and move forward into the regular school year.

  4. Structure. Sometimes there can be more structure in summer school because teachers have more time to plan out their days. Students will get more one on one time and their days will become more structured with planned activities all day.

A different environment than their used to. Another great benefit to sending children to summer school is the fact that they will be in a different environment than they’re used to. Things change in summer, there are special summer activities, teachers put out new works, and new students come into the program. Students often work more and have better results if they switch their work environments.

From the Desk of Roy & Kathy- May




May Newsletter

      April sure was a busy month.  The children had many fun events to participate in and we would like to thank all who contributed to making our art show, yoga with parents, Mr. Roy’s movie night and Easter parties such a great success.  We certainly could not have done it without you!

      As we start into May we prepare for another exciting month ahead.  Mr. Jason has been working hard teaching music at Cave Creek Montessori for eight years.  We are always excited to have the children show off at the spring music show.  The date this year for the spring show is May 2.  Please check your class newsletter for time.

      May 5 Mr. Dave will be holding field day at Cave Creek Montessori.   Mr. Dave is a wonderful new addition to Cave Creek Montessori.  The children have been working on so many concepts such as leadership, team sportsmanship, listening and following directions, among others.  Team Impact is a wonderful program that helps build our student’s motor skills as well as team-working skills.

      May 12 we will be hosting a Mother’s day breakfast.  Please stop by and enjoy a breakfast with your child and their friends as we celebrate the women that have dedicated their lives to helping us grow.

      We could not be more proud of our wonderful Kindergarteners this year! Please join us May 22nd and 23rd for our Graduation acknowledgement, ceremony, and party, as we celebrate and cheer on our students as they move into their 1st grade year.

      Finally, we are especially excited for our Summer Program this year! As always we will have our primary classrooms, toddler program, as well as Elementary. As apart of the Summer Program we have plenty of fun activities and units that we will be covering such as; Spanish, Math, Science, Culture & Geography, English, Cooking, Water Play, Sonoran Life, Shakespeare & Drama, and Body Healthy & Nutrition. In addition, our Elementary students will be learning Music & Keyboard, Computers, and Chess! If interested in our Summer Program please register in the office, spots are filling up fast!

Get ready because it’s going to be a fun and busy month as we finish up another amazing school year!




Good nutrition is a vital part of introducing your child to a healthy lifestyle.

Since healthy eating habits are established early in life, it is important to introduce young children to nutrition and healthy foods at snack times as well as at family meals. At Cave Creek Montessori our standards include the following guidelines for snacks provided by parents for their child’s class.

The snacks that children get accustomed to eating at school are also part of the patterns for nutrition your child will follow for the rest of their life.  An occasional dessert is fine once in awhile but should not be the norm or the replacement of a healthy snack. Rather it should be a small portion introduced as a “treat” complimenting a meal or a special occasion.

We strongly recommend when it is your child’s day to bring in snacks for the class a healthy snack is provided.  We recognize preschoolers are frequently picky eaters and can be very vocal about their preferences. These occurances can become power plays that a parent should quickly recognize and avoid. In these situations we recommend keeping a list of wholesome snacks from which your child can choose.

Preschool-age children should be eating nutritional foods that include fresh vegetables & fruits; nonfat or low-fat dairy products such as milk, yogurt and cheese (we recommend organic milk); lean meats such as chicken, turkey, fish, and lean hamburger; whole-grain cereals and bread. As mentioned we strongly recommend parents provide organic low-fat milk for the class. Additionally, portion sizes for these ages should be less than adult size portions.

Easy examples of snacks that have proved popular with the kids as well as rating high in nutritional value include:

*Various bite-size veggies such as cherry tomatoes, baby carrots, broccoli or cauliflower flowerets served with a humus or yogurt dip

*Fresh fruit such as sectioned apples or oranges, cherries and of course bite-size squares of watermelon in summertime. Feta cheese is always a great compliment!

*Whole grain crackers or whole-grain bread served with cream cheese or cheese squares 

For other healthy snack ideas Google provides numerous sites for organic snacks as well as pre-school snack recipes (see meatball recipe below).  We recognize parents with young children have very busy schedules and we appreciate the extra time and effort required in the preparation of any wholesome snack. Please check with your child’s teacher if we can be of assistance on healthy snack options.

Roy Catalo

Baked Turkey Quinoa Meatballs

These meatballs are packed full of delicious quinoa, spinach, red onion and turkey. They can be made in under five minutes and baked in just under 30 minutes. You're not going to believe how much flavor and nutrition they pack.

Baked turkey quinoa meatballs  Yield about 50 bite–sized meatballs


  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup cooked quinoa, cooled
  • 1/3 cup chopped spinach
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon Sriracha sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and cover a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or Silpat.
  2. In a bowl of an electric mixer add ground turkey, quinoa, spinach, red onion, garlic, Sriracha, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper, panko breadcrumbs and egg. Mix on low till combined.
  3. Roll into 1 to 1-1/2 inch balls and add to prepared baking sheet.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes until firm and cooked throughout.


Montessori in the Home

Many parents over the years have come to me with the notion that it would be wonderful to provide their children with Montessori materials, including the movable alphabet, sand paper letter and the addition strip board. This is a well-intentioned idea but not usually in the best interest of their children’s Montessori journey.

So we are back to the question of how you, as a parent, can support this wonderful journey your child is on, when you’re at home. So often we are so busy in our own daily routines that the obvious goes unseen or seems too time consuming. The reality is with repetition your child will be doing things independently, gaining skills, and ultimately helping with household duties.

So how do we start? Go through your home environment, asking yourself how your child could be included in meaningful activities. Give your child the ability to do what they can. Include the child in your work.

Here are some examples. In the kitchen, have a low cabinet where there are items for the child to set the table, get a drink, and clean up a mess. Have the child work along side you in the preparation of a meal. This task can significantly aid in developing small motors skills in preparation for writing, concentration, grace and courtesy, language and math skills in measuring. But above all, this gives a sense of accomplishment and worth.

Television and electronic games have become today’s entertainment and even a babysitter for the young child. This deprives a child of the opportunity to work with the hand and mind. The hand is an extension of the mind and utilizes the child’s natural development through the use of the senses. Television and computers at a young age should be monitored and limited.

Outings are opportunities to learn about our society and the world. A simple trip to the grocery store can provide the child with self-control, language, manners, math, sensorial stimulation, nutritional lessons and so much more. Almost any outing can be turned into a fun field trip for the young child and holds endless possibilities for learning.

In the home environment, when possible, design furnishings at the child’s height. Children approach work very differently than adults. They welcome the chance to work side by side with the adult, and this will give them the best chance for success.

Above all, children are busy watching and listening to the adults in their lives. Providing role models of love and kindness is “Montessori in the home”!

Please always feel free to contact me should you have any questions or are in need of some advice!

Roy and Kathy Catalo Celebrate 20 Years in Montessori

Cave Creek Montessori Couple Serving Parents and Students Since 1993

Ask any parents of young children what’s most important to them in a preschool program, and they’ll respond, “That our child is safe, has fun, and learns a lot.” For twenty years, Roy and Kathy Catalo, the Valley's preeminent Montessori educators, have partnered with parents to ensure that their children spend their days happily engaged in purposeful activities. 

High school sweethearts, the Catalos married in 1985. In the early days of their marriage, Roy worked in real estate while Kathy taught, having earned her degree in early childhood education. In 1988, Kathy earned her Montessori teaching certificate. Once they started a family, the Catalos wanted to have more control over their lives and began looking at opportunities to buy or start their own business. As it happened, one afternoon Roy was playing basketball in his driveway with some neighborhood children when his father dropped by. Seeing how much fun Roy and the children were having, he casually suggested that Roy and Kathy open a school. Since that had been Kathy's dream all along, the rest, as they say, is history. It took almost two years to find a good fit, but when Kathy's mentor agreed to sell Arcadia Montessori North, the Catalos jumped at the opportunity. They renamed the school Paradise Valley Montessori, and in just a few years, grew the school from 33 students, ages 3-6, to nearly 250, ranging from preschool to third grade. In search of more family time and a more intimate school, they sold Paradise Valley Montessori in 1998. Just a few months later, Roy came across the perfect site for their new school, a 2.5-acre property – – convenient to Cave Creek, North Phoenix, and North Scottsdale – – with a neat slump block house, a big old barn and large grassy field out front. Cave Creek Montessori opened that August with nine students, two goats, and a horse. The school did double duty that first year, serving as the Catalo family residence as well. Enrollment grew steadily as word spread about this remarkable school where children developed self-confidence and concentration well beyond their peers. In 2004, two new classrooms were added. The new wing blends in seamlessly with the original structure, maintaining its elegant lines and home-like warmth. All the classrooms are large and airy, and each has a canopy-covered wooden deck just outside. Cave Creek Montessori continues to flourish, and Kathy and Roy look forward to their next twenty years in Montessori. When not at school, they're golfing, exercising or traveling – – and almost always together. Roy serves as a director of the Maricopa County Sheriff Department's Youth Assistance Foundation. This year, he's chairing the Toy Drive, which will provide 4,000 toys for needy children. With their two daughters now grown, they've rededicated themselves to Dr. Montessori's vision, “…That humanity which is revealed in all its intellectual splendor during the sweet and tender age of childhood should be respected with a kind of religious veneration. It is like the sun which appears at dawn or a flower just beginning to bloom. Education cannot be effective unless it helps a child to open up himself to life.” Thanks to Kathy and Roy, thousands of  young Valley children opened up to life, and as a result, will lead more fulfilling and productive lives. And that's something to celebrate.

What Parents Say

Best Montessori accredited staff and large, yet safe playground. The teacher truly care and the group of children is diverse- which we love!!!

— Submitted by a parent

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