28 August 2010

Today is the day

Spread your wings!

I'll post pictures and comments about the Grand Opening tomorrow--


26 August 2010

Count down

So much to do, so few days to finish. We're all in overdrive mode at this point. Everything is as done as we can get it. Grand Opening will be spectacular! Fabulous food, great friends, and beautiful children!

Oh...and in the midst of the chaos, cleaning, and we were all certified by the American Heart Association for CPR today. Thank you so much Patty and Amaury!

Can't wait for school to start. We are going to have an awesome cool year.

Spread your wings!

24 August 2010


Health Dept...check
City of Homestead...check

Awesome day, but totally exhausted...check

One more quick note: one of our contractors--Another Wire Guy (aka Mark Harris)--has been completely fabulous. Not only is he helping us finish off the big jobs on a low budget, but he has taken a liking to us so much that he is now volunteering his time. If you have a job that needs getting done (stucco, plaster, tile, painting, etc.), Mark is the dude. We highly recommend him!

Spread your wings!

23 August 2010

Teacher Work Week, Day 1


Too much work to do and not enough time. I need Hermione's time turner to add another month before we start. It's all getting done, but there's no time to think. Just need to keep moving forward.

Tomorrow, we conquer the Health Department. I'll keep you posted on how that goes. Should be fine.

Spread your wings!

22 August 2010

The 100-mile drive

So we had our big inspections this week--lots of smaller ones, but the biggest was the Miami-Dade County Fire Dept. With the small exception of a new strobe that needs to be permitted and inspected, we passed everything. We officially have our Temporary Certificate of Occupancy. This was huge. I seriously thought I was going to throw up when the inspector came to visit. But he was totally nice and very positive. Only trouble was he gave us the wrong instructions on getting the TCO completed. So Yvonne (our expeditor) and I drove from Homestead to Doral twice before things were settled (thus the title of today's entry, the 100-mile drive). So we have 60 days to get everything finalized and then we have the final CO. 60 days is total overkill; we'll need a like 2 weeks to finalize everything. 

In addition to Teacher Work Week, this week we head to DCF and the Health Department. The City should issue the operational license mid week this week. So it will be a busy week for sure!

Everything with Atala is fantastic! The rooms are being set up, the playground is moving (despite all the rain), the office is nearly, and all the grounds are being cleaned and prepped for our Grand Opening on Saturday. Can't wait.

[Sad news about ridiculous decisions from FIU. But that's all I'm going to say. Nothing can bring me down now.]

Spread your wings!

17 August 2010

First Grant!

Our first grant came through today! We now have seed money to celebrate Women's History Month by taking the whole school up to the Deering Estate in March to learn about the contributions of women musicians, artists, and environmentalists. So exciting!

Work continues at the school. We're all exhausted, but staying very positive. Had our first pre-Cub Scout meeting tonight. Yes, Atala Montessori will be home to Pack 24, and we are so happy to help them out.

Tomorrow all our doors and locks will be finished. We have AC in all the rooms now.

Sra Valle was the first to actually have her room in place, complete with even a few lessons on the newly installed shelves! I don't think she will win anything monetary, but at least she'll have the peace of mind to breathe a bit. I think the elementary teachers will be next. Can't wait for all the boxes to migrate from my office to their final destinations.

Spread your wings!

14 August 2010

Day 13

The whole church is headed to the school today. Speedway Community Church, where we've been attending the last six months or so, has very graciously volunteered to help us out today. I have a list of things to do--paint, fix, patch, lay sod, put legs on tables, etc. More of our wonderful parent volunteers have also contacted us saying that they'll be at school to help, too. Should be an awesome day!

Day 13: this is my 13th straight day of work. Ack. I'm ready to take tomorrow off. I'll also take Tuesday off because by the way I'm co-hosting the SEAMUS National Conference with Colby in January. So I have to get cracking finding hotel rooms for 200 people.

All is good.

Spread your wings!

11 August 2010

just keep swimming, just keep swimming

Swimming, swimming, swimming...

I love Nemo. I think we watched Nemo nearly everyday when Livya was three. She's starting to outgrow that movie, and has definitely been in a princess phase this last year. Enough of this, I know you're all reading to find out what's going on with the school. So here goes!

  • registered with the state as a private school
  • business license with the city 
  • business license with the county
  • finalizing a CRA Facade grant to help recover some of our construction costs
  • ADA ramp was poured on the third floor
  • bathroom walls are up in both bathroom areas on the third floor
  • new office furniture in the office
  • old office furniture will be up in the elementary room today
  • toddler room has been painted, got a new sink, and is having the baseboard finished today

We have a group of volunteers coming this Saturday to help with painting...if anyone would like to join us, head on over after 9 am.

Spread your wings!

09 August 2010

8 Days a Week

Beatles' Version:
Eight days a week
I love you.
Eight days a week
Is not enough to show I care.

Atala Version:
Eight days a week
I paint you.
Eight days a week
Is not enough to finish our work.

We've been there 8 straight days and are starting to go a little buggy at this point. However, things are moving along quickly. We have the third-floor ramp being poured tomorrow, the bathrooms are nearly done, the shelves are nearly done, and the office is a disaster because all the orders are arriving and there's no place to put them. It's all great news! 20 days until the opening. I'm working on a plan for the Grand Opening--been sending out the press release all over the county and working on a food list. I'm guessing we'll have over 200 people attend.

Spread your wings!

06 August 2010

Hitting the wall

The good news is that everything is going swimmingly well. The bad news is that I think we all hit the wall today. Not enough sleep, too much heat, and just an overwhelming amount of people tugging us all in every direction. Everyone is working seven days a week to complete everything. All the inspections have gone extremely well. And now we're just waiting for everything to wrap up.

A few updates:

  • Fence will be done on the playground tomorrow
  • Elementary room will be set tomorrow with the exception of the interior bathroom which will be completed next week
  • Toddler room will be set tomorrow with the exception of the sink and cabinetry
  • All the orders are coming in--my office is filled with boxes up to the ceiling

And in the midst of everything, we're still getting registrations! Life is great...exhausting...but great.

Spread your wings!

04 August 2010

Funny Story

This is a short one, I promise.

Two electricians walk into the office today to work on things. One looks over at me and asks if we are running a religious school. So I say 'no,' but that there are several in Homestead.

Then he questions me again--"Are you sure you aren't running a church school or something here?" I say no, that we're a Montessori school.

Finally in desperation he says, "Yeah, that's it. But doesn't monastery mean religious?" His buddy and I start cracking up and tell him that the spelling is quite different on our school, and that we are definitely not training little monks or nuns around here!

Spread your wings!

03 August 2010

A trip to Hialeah

Had a road trip with Patti, Cheryl, Elizabeth, and Beatriz. We hit pay dirt and bought all our storage cabinets (tall and short), a table for the upper elementary students, a found an awesome deal on paper. So for all your Montessori parents out there reading, we now have all the paper for all those cutting/cortar lessons for the whole year! So when your child comes home with those little bits of scraps in the envelopes, thank OfficeFurniture4Less.com. They had fabulous prices and will deliver clear to Homestead!

Then we found a woman who had intended to open a Montessori school nearly Miramar but is actually moving to Kileen, TX. So she sold us all of her Montessori materials. We came home with enough to nearly finish equipping the elementary room and the preschool rooms. Very cool!

Had to say good-bye to my Canadian sister, Cheryl. She was here for a visit and had to go back home to her hubby and daughter. I'm hoping she moves down here in December--she's an awesome seamstress and a black belt in karate to boot! I'm missing her already.

Now I'm exhausted physically and mentally and ready for a good night's sleep.

Spread your wings!