Empowering Iowa Families: The Iowa Education Savings Voucher Opens Doors to Private Schools

In a significant stride towards educational inclusivity, Iowa has introduced the Education Savings Voucher program, providing qualifying families with the opportunity to access private schooling for theiriowa national honors children.

Benefits for Qualifying Families:

  1. Increased Choice and Customization: Families that meet the eligibility criteria now have the freedom to choose a private school that aligns with their values, educational philosophies, and the specific needs of their children. This increased choice fosters a more personalized approach to education, catering to diverse learning styles and preferences.
  2. Enhanced Educational Opportunities: Private schools often offer unique programs, specialized curricula, and smaller class sizes, providing students with an enriched and personalized learning experience. The Education Savings Voucher enables families to access these opportunities that may not be available in traditional public schools.
  3. Individualized Support: Private schools are renowned for their ability to provide individualized attention and support to students. With the voucher program, qualifying families can ensure that their children receive the attention they need to thrive academically, emotionally, and socially.
  4. Community Engagement: Private schools often foster tight-knit communities where parents, teachers, and students collaborate closely. The voucher program encourages active participation from parents in their child’s education, creating a supportive environment that extends beyond the classroom.

preschoolThe Iowa Education Savings Voucher is a commendable step towards democratizing education, providing families with the financial means to choose the educational path that best suits their children. This initiative not only enhances access to quality education but also contributes to a more diverse and competitive educational landscape. As Iowa continues to prioritize the educational well-being of its students, the ripple effects of this program are bound to shape a brighter future for generations to come.

To learn more about the Iowa Education Savings Voucher please go to https://educate.iowa.gov/pk-12/educational-choice/education-savings-account

middle school students

 

 

 

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Nurturing Young Minds for a Bright Future

Maharishi Preschool, a one-of-a-kind Consciousness-based school in Fairfield, Iowa, has been providing care for young children from across the globe since 1985. Our three cozy indoor classrooms and inviting outdoor space foster warmth, security, and a holistic, loving approach to early childhood education.

Meet our newest preschool teacher

eniko reeder

Eniko Reeder

Welcoming Eniko Reeder, founder and former director of Singing Cedars School, to our team! Eniko brings a wealth of experience in creating a healthy, harmonious learning environment. As a mentor and pedagogical advisor, she has influenced schools nationwide and abroad. Eniko teaches a morning class, contributes to program development, and guides teachers in professional development. She is also a certified practitioner and counselor of simplicity parenting.

There is plenty of time to be an adult, but we only get one childhood. We must preserve and
protect childhood and bring self-directed play back to center. Through play, the young child is building the foundation of their human experience. It’s where they learn about themselves and their relationship with the world. It’s up to our parents and teachers to honor this process and respectfully guide them in this very important task. If children feel respected, they will grow to be respectful, and for that we need to provide a place where they feel free to be
themselves and experience that the world is safe and good.”

Eniko Reeder

 

Consciousness-Based Curriculum

The heart of our curriculum is a set of 16 Consciousness-Based principles embedded in every corner of a child’s world (e.g., Water the Root to Enjoy the Fruit, The Nature of Life is to Grow, Rest and Activity are the Steps of Progress). These principles foster deep connections with the world, learned through practical experience rather than intellectual analysis. Every few weeks, one of these principles becomes the star, integrated into engaging activities like cooking, art, nature study, puppetry, stories, and song. And at age 4, we introduce a 5-minute walking children’s meditation technique, a simple practice enhancing focus and providing a quiet moment.

Summer Loetz

In our toddler classroom, children learn and play both indoors and outdoors, surrounded by nature. This enriching setting, coupled with our developmentally appropriate curriculum, cultivates children’s cognitive and social skills. Our classroom provides a multilingual learning space, encouraging diverse exploration of language, arts, and culture. Children joyfully take on responsibilities, leading activities with enthusiasm. Together, we create a close-knit family that treasures exploration, collaboration, and creativity.”

Summer Loetz

 

Daily, Weekly, and Seasonal Rhythm

preschoolMaharishi Preschool follows a daily, weekly, and seasonal rhythm that helps children to feel safe and nurtured. Nourish the inner life, nourish the outer life. This is the rhythm of a Consciousness-based curriculum with the youngest preschoolers. Rhythm creates security and inspires healthy habits.

The children’s’ outer rhythm can be expressed through a period of free play outside with their teachers reflecting a loving presence. The children are free to play, to demonstrate their capabilities without direct guidance or adult interference, to feel the sun’s warmth or the crunchy snow beneath their feet, to make sense and joy of the world in their own unique way.

Then they return to the classroom. The children may gather for circle time, for a story to be read or a song to be sung, to hold onto their inner imaginations, to come together peacefully to enjoy snack time together. A natural flow carries them from one activity to thepreschool next.

The children learn to know the days of the week by the snack or activity of the day—whether it be Soup Day or Oatmeal Day, Painting Day, or Bread Making Day. There is predictability and consistency, which helps foster a sense of comfort and security within the children. Each season is celebrated in a way that provides the child with coming events to look forward to.

At Maharishi Preschool, our philosophy is for teachers to be loving and kind and care deeply for each child. This deep
understanding nurtures the heart and mind of each child, as they are guided through the day, through the week, and
through the season, with care and gentleness.

Click here to join us on this harmonious journey of growth and discovery at Maharishi Preschool.

middle school students

 

 

 

 

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Middle School Empty Bowls Project

Empty Bowls

The core purpose of the Empty Bowl project, was for the students to raise money for local food banks as well as food for the bowls international community, while working on project management skills. While our 8th graders worked on various layers of the project to ensure its financial success—it was more than tallying up checks, counting dollars, and change—the event strengthened our community, celebrated the preparation of a variety of delicious soups in beautiful pottery made by the students, and raised community awareness about hunger and poverty, both locally and internationally.

The students set an ambitious financial goal of raising $5000 for the Empty Bowl Project but missed the goal by only $687.19! The students were able to inspire donations and ticket sales to raise $4312.81. This is the most significant amount raised since the Maharishi School began hosting this event.

After the expenses ($154.54) were subtracted, the total being donated to Golden Magnolia Sanctuary Fairfield and World Central Kitchen for Ukraine is $4158.27—51.5% and 48.5% respectively.

 

Learning Objectives

  • Learn how to create and set goals for a planned project.
  • Project Planning and Management Interpersonal skills.
  • Communication skills:  sending emails, add input to newspaper articles, outreach to potential guests.
  • Learn how to make ceramic bowls.
  • Experience one of their 16 Principles in real time: “Thought Leads to Action, Action Leads to Achievement, Achievement Leads to Fulfillment.”

 

Curious about our school? Click here to see what we are all about.

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Is Your Teen Experiencing Burn Out?

Why does burn out happen?

Once teens reach High School they often feel an invisible pressure called burn out. We’ve all experienced getting burned out at work, or even in our home life when the sink is full of dishes over and over again. But what does burn out look like for a teenager and how can we help them get out of it?

If you’re not familiar with the signs, then a burned out teen is very likely to happen before you even realize it. One day our teen is communicating with us about his/her/their feelings and the next they won’t leave their room. Late nights spent catching up on studying invade on quality family time. While we may feel proud of our teen for taking on the extracurricular and advanced courses that are necessary for getting into a good college, we also have to realize that there can be repercussions for too much activity and not enough rest.

Our Upper School Academic Director Kaye Jacob’s understands this better than most, “This is a high-stakes time for many kids, but we do need to try to reason with them that they need to find a balance, that “more” is not always “better.”

3 signs your teen is heading towards burn out

1. Heightened anxiety and/or overwhelm. Anxiety can look different in everyone, especially teenagers. It can manifest as moodiness or unusual behavior when before there was a calm demeanor. Anxiety can also look like immune system fatigue, causing the teen to get sick more often or even start to have migraine headaches.

teen2. Not sleeping at night. Burned out teens can get so wired from all of their “to do” lists, extra courses, or/and after school activities throughout the week that when it’s finally time to rest, they can’t. Lack of sleep can spiral into a dependency on coffee or energy drinks so that they can be alert enough to make it through the school day.

3. Saying “no” to socializing with family and friends. Teens who experience burn out can’t relax enough to have downtime. They stop participating in family events or socializing with friends because they simply have nothing extra to give, or are trying to preserve their energy.

Burn out isn’t black and white

Burn out can manifest in our teens in so many ways. Maybe you see your teen taking on more honors courses than he/she/they can handle, or perhaps your teen feels overwhelmed with social stresses and wants to hide. There’s another even more subtle aspects of burn out, such as having a lack of support at home, and poor self care. Here are three teen meditationways you can help your teen normalize again.

3 ways you can help

  1. Teach stress management tools. According to the American Physiological Association’s survey showed that teens report their stress level during the school year far exceeds that of an average adult. At Maharishi School we have a tool for our students to manage stress built into their schedules every day, twice a day. It’s called Transcendental Meditation.
  2. Adopt new self care practices. Talk to your teen about what you do for self care. Self care practices can be a conscious time-out away from their daily life that helps them maharishi school student doing yogago inward and tune into their bodily needs. Some popular self care practices include; journaling, yoga, creative expression, exercising, spending time in nature, cooking/baking, reading, swimming, camping, watching a funny movie, etc. While it’s nice for them to have some alone time you can also come up with a list of self care practices that you and your teen can do together.
  3. Talk about mental health. Establish regular check ins with your teen so you can track to see if they’re moving in the direction of burn out. Don’t be afraid to tell them, “why don’t you take some time off school work tonight, I want you to be primed for a long life and I would like to see you pace yourself now.” Make them aware of therapy services that can be a private outlet just for them.

 

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Top 10 Achievements for 1st Semester

Maharishi School Top 10

On January 12th we honored Maharishi in our traditional Founder’s Day celebration, by recognizing our successes of the past semester, and making wishes for the new year. Your support has given children access to the #1 ranked Private School in Iowa and the benefits of Consciousness-Based education. Thank you for helping our wishes become a reality.

 

  1. NEW UKRAINIAN STUDENTS
    The inquiries came last spring: four Ukrainian students, exiled from their home by the war, asked if they couldukraine students in front of dorm continue their education at Maharishi School. They were attracted to our academic reputation and development of consciousness programs. Within two months, generous donors from our community and across the country raised enough money to fund their living expenses and transportation. Later this fall, three of our seniors, including two Ukrainians, were awarded QuestBridge scholarships for high-achieving, low-income students, covering all of their college expenses.
  2. # 1 RANKINGS
    For five years in a row, Niche.com has ranked Maharishi School #1 in Iowa:
    * Best Private K-12 School
    * Best Private High School
    * Best Boarding School
    Our National rankings continue to improve:
    *Top 4% Most Diverse Private High School
    *Top 5% Best Private K-12 School
    *Top 10% Best Private High School for STEM
    *Top 16% Best College Prep High School
    For more details click here: NICHE #1 for Maharishi School
  3. BOARDING
    We currently have 22 boarding students in our residential life program, a 70% increase over last year. Ourboarding school multicultural dorm includes students from around the world: China, Ethiopia, Germany, India, Nepal/Bhutan, Tanzania, Ukraine, United States and Vietnam. We are eager to fill our dorm to capacity for 2023-24!
  4. AP CLASSES
    Maharishi School earned another 1st place in the state this year… in the “AP Index.” We have the highest percentage of high school students enrolled in Advanced Placement courses of any Iowa school! Our students are enrolled in nine AP courses this year.
  5. CHILDREN’S HOUSE
    Enrollment in the Children’s House are steadily rising back to pre-Covid levels, with new applicants consistently rolling in. We continue to foster, through our Montessori-inspired curriculum, a multi-age classroom, where children can follow their individual interests, while still hitting the benchmarks of the Iowa Standards.
  6. LOWER SCHOOL
    This year the Lower School began their own Student Council, with Ambassadors of Responsibility, Respect, Solutions, Service, and Transcendence, each representing Maharishi School’s Core Values. The Student Council meets regularly to plan activities and initiatives for the Lower School, and they even go into the other classrooms to deliver news or well-wishes to the youngerstudent council students.
  7. CULTURAL PARADIGMS
    New this semester in Upper School, the Cultural Paradigms class was designed to explore the myriad ways of “being human,” through the lens of acceptance and adaptation to differences. Topics include an exploration of cultural values, race, religion, ethnicity, neurodiversity, plus challenges such as physical disabilities, Adverse Childhood Experiences—and the importance of removing barriers to create an equitable society. Pictured in photo is Rabbi Alex Green discussing Judaism. Students are recognizing that complex problems must be solved through collaboration with people who bring different abilities and perspectives to the table—so it is critical to learn how to leverage these differences and celebrate them.
  8. GLOBAL SOLUTIONS
    seniorsFacilitated by Anne Walton, the Senior class recently spent three days at a leadership training retreat learning what it takes to become genuine changemakers. Ms. Walton explained how this includes examining the impact of economics, public policy, community engagement, technology, and the importance of anticipating unexpected consequences, both positive and negative.
    Seniors will apply these principles of collaboration to solve complex problems in the newly created Global Solutions class that begins this month. Small groups of students have already identified their own global challenges, ranging from fast fashion to sustainable housing to support for refugees. These findings will be presented in a final capstone project, to be presented to the community in May.
  9. RAISE CRAZE SUCCESS
    Raise Craze was once again a HUGE success. Students asked friends and family to donate to Maharishi School, and as a way to pay their generosity forward, they performed Acts of Kindness for others. Raising $21,080, our students also performed 924 Acts of Kindness, and school-wide collected 425 pairs of shoes, helping needy people throughout the world.
  10. Maharishi School is deeply grateful for the support shown during our December “Season of Giving” campaign. Our Development Team together with your help, raised $30,000 through Giving Tuesday and Matching Funds.
Thank you all for your
wonderful support!
Cheers to your good health, happiness, and abundance in 2023!

 

 

Ready to apply? Click here.

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Ten Tips to Prepare for College

It’s not to early to be thinking about…
  1. Utilize AP courses to your advantage but don’t let AP pursuits come at a cost to your grand point average (GPA).
  2. Look for mentors in a field that you can see yourself doing, it helps you start making learning how to network while getting more comfortable at approaching adults that you admire.
  3. Volunteer in your area of passion or something that isn’t related to academia. This shows how well rounded you are and colleges will be looking for that type of individual who stands out in their hours clocked after school.
  4. GPA needs to stay up, in 12th grade there’s often this feeling of “coasting” or “senior-itis” but the truth is that if you let your grades slip during the last few years, your GPA will suffer in the end.
  5. Participate in clubs and school activities. This could mean joining the student council or asking your student council members about how you can get more involved.
  6. Do community service related projects or unique assignments that your teachers offer. If you don’t know where to begin always ask your teachers and they can guide you appropriately.
  7. Internships that are offered over summer break can be give you a huge advantage on your college applications as well as gaining useful skills for life.
  8. Develop strong relationships with at least one of your teachers, they will be the ones who write a recommendation letter for you to get into college so it’s good to have at least one teacher that you can feel closely aligned with.
  9. Start thinking about all of this in 9th grade. It’s not too soon to be considering these tips. Be sure you’re working with your college counselor who will keep you on track!
  10. Look below to find more specifics tips from our college counselor.

 

 

Freshmen preparing for college should plan to:

  •     Take challenging classes in core academic courses.
  •     Work with their school counselors to create a yearly schedule to meet graduation and college admissions requirements.
  •     Talk to an advisor or school counselor about taking Advanced Placement®* and honors courses.
  •     Identify interests and potential career fields through online resources, like this interest profiler, and by attending career fairs and other events.
  •     Get involved with community-based and leadership-oriented activities that best reflect their interests.
  •     Browse the College Scorecard to see what types of schools interest them.
  •     As they find and review them, bookmark resources for college planning.
  •     Start a running list of accomplishments, awards, and recognition’s to use when completing college applications and writing resumes.

Sophomores preparing for college should:

  •     Consider taking a practice test to prepare for the PSAT.
  •     Attend college and career information events.
  •     Start learning about funding for college, including scholarships, grants, loans, work-study jobs, etc.
  •     Consider the types of careers that fit their interests and what college majors they require.
  •     Reach out to school counselors and/or mentors to discuss occupational interests and college requirements.

In the Fall semester, Juniors should:

  •     Take the PSAT if they have not already. Students should generally take the test no later than fall semester of the eleventh grade to qualify for National Merit scholarships and programs.
  •     Attend in-person or online college fairs.
  •     Explore careers and their earning potentials in the Occupational Outlook Handbook.

In the Spring semester, Juniors need to:

  •     Register for college admission exams—SAT, the SAT Subject Tests, and the ACT—and take practice tests. College admissions professionals recommend students have at least one standardized score before the end of their junior year.
  •     Research how to pay for college and what federal student aid may be available to you.
  •     Identify scholarship opportunities to pursue; note deadlines on calendar.
  •     Contact colleges to request information and applications.

During the Summer, rising Seniors should:

  •     Plan college visits.
  •     Narrow down the colleges under consideration.
  •     Make decisions required by colleges’ early-decision or early-action programs.
  •     Complete the Federal Student Aid Estimator.

In the Fall semester, Seniors will need to:

  •     Register for and take (or retake) the SAT and/or ACT, if not already done.
  •     Complete and submit college applications prior to deadlines.
  •     Request transcripts and letters of recommendation at least 30 days before they are due.
  •     Work with parents to complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA® form). Before each year of college, you’ll need to apply for federal grants, work-study, and loans with the FAFSA.
  •     Complete and submit scholarship applications prior to deadlines.
  •     Meet with a counselor to verify that they’ll meet graduation requirements on schedule.

During the Winter months, Seniors should:

  •     Review and make any necessary changes/corrections to their Student Aid Report.
  •     Finish submitting scholarship applications.

In the Spring semester, Seniors will need to:

  •     Visit colleges on their “short list.”
  •     Consider college acceptances; compare financial aid packages offered.
  •     Call college financial aid representatives with questions.
  •     Decide on the college to attend (typically by May 1) and contact its offices.
  •     Make informed decisions about student loans.

While some seniors think they’ve “made it” and can coast in their last year of high school, students preparing for college should recognize that college admissions officers will expect to see they’ve worked hard to keep grades up and stayed involved in school and community activities. Parents may reassure aspiring college students that they can still enjoy life and time with friends while remaining focused on larger goals.

 

Ready to apply? Click here.

Want to know more about our college counseling services? Click here.

Learn more about school events and student life, follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

 

The Four Prides at Maharishi School

Curious about the four Prides?

pridesThe Pioneer is our school mascot and we divided the pioneer into four different qualities, thus the four different prides. Trailblazer, innovator, adventurer, and visionary.

The Pride system at Maharishi School serves many purposes to unify the whole school from Kindergarten through 12th grade. Offering Pride related events serves as an opportunity for the students to collaborate, work on projects together and have school-wide teamwork. Not only do teams have to work harmoniously together but they also compete against the other Prides to earn points throughout the year.

We also wanted the Prides to work with our 5 core values (respect, responsibility, service, solutions, transcendence). Our students are able to earn points for their pride whenever they are displaying any of those core values. Again this gives them an opportunity to compete, earn points, to collaborate, and have a sense of achievement at the end of the year.

As the competition goes on, the points tally up and at the of the year is a big celebration to announce the winning Pride. The winners get to have their photo taken, their pride team name written on our Dean’s cup (which is a big trophy), and they will also get a pizza party, or a free dress day or gift cards.

 

After School Activities Log

While the school day is filled with a busy schedule of math, sciences, writing and projects, we understand that each child may have a desire to go more in depth into an area or personal hobby. Check out this list of fun after school activities that your child can get involved in right here in Fairfield.

[The views and opinions expressed by the following venues do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Maharishi School.] 

 

 

  • Horseback Riding – Either private for $45 or groups of two for $40 each (depending on students experience). Lesson run two hours from start to finish. If you have any more questions or would like to sign up please email Tara at tesands@me.com
  • Tennis – Coach Lawrence Eyre offers group and individual tennis lessons for ages 4-18, please contact him at 309-221-3376
  • Dance Class – The Iowa Dance Collective offers a huge variety of class from ballet, jazz, tap to hip hop, acro/tumbling and more! Click here to view the weekly schedule and here to view prices. To get in contact with Tyler you can email him at tyler@iowadancecollective.com or call 319-280-1262 for more informaiton.
  • Ground Zero Martial Arts– offers youth boxing, kickboxing, and jiu-jitsu. Click here to visit there website and see the schedule of classes. Or call instructor Nick Ulin at 641-919-6386
  • Driving Lessons – Safer Driver Solutions in a driving school in Iowa that can help you get a driver license. They also support kids learning to drive with autism, ADHD, anxiety and executive functioning disorders. Click here to learn more.
  • Art Lessons – Bill Teeple is the owner of ICON gallery and can be contacted for art classes at iconbillteeple@gmail.com or (641) 919-6252
  • Photography – Carolyn Waksman has many photography workshops throughout the year, to get in touch with her you can email at cwaksman@barclayhedge.com or call 641-472-8427
  • 4-H & Youth/ Iowa State University – Iowa 4-H Youth Development is the premier youth development program of Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. Providing research-based education to K-12 youth, Iowa 4-H focuses on Healthy Living, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math), Leadership and Civic Engagement, and Communication and the Arts. Click here for more information.

 

To learn more about our academics or to contact a member of our admissions staff, click here.

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Ukrainian Students Share their Rich Culture with Food

Ukrainian students Their story

Mariia, Sviatoslav, and Olena are Ukrainian students who fled their homes with their mothers and siblings. Their fathers have stayed behind to fight in the war. They were living as refugees in Turkey and western Ukraine with nothing more than what fit in their backpacks Ukrainian foodwhen they left. Like all Ukrainian students, they are looking for safety and escape from the trauma of war – and a chance to continue their education. These three teens have reached out to Maharishi School because they want to complete their high school in Iowa – a peaceful, safe environment.

They made it!

ukrainian

Thanks to the generosity of all the donors who contributed to their GoFundMe (and to Paul Winer and Carol Chestnutt for opening their home to the students),  Mariia, Olena and Sviatoslav have all successfully joined the Maharishi School boarding program this year. In celebration of their arrival they shared a very special treat with all of the new boarding students, a traditional feast from their Ukrainian culture.

ukraine food

The meal included two borscht’s, one vegetarian and one with beef. Grated potato pancakes with a cream-based mushroom gravy poured over, and lastly they made varenkyk (boiled dumplings similar to pierogi).

All of the new boarding kids got a taste of Ukraine with this delicious spread, perhaps we will see a cooking club in the Maharishi School’s future.

 

Ready to apply? Click here.

Get to know our new Interim Head of School, click here.

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