Welcome Letter to Parents

Dear Parents & Guardians,

Welcome to the 2021- 2022 school year! My name is Joanna Yamashita and I am the Resource Teacher for the Gifted at MPSA. I am very excited to be working with your children and their teachers this year.

My career in education began when I trained to be a Montessori Elementary teacher at the A.M.I. Washington Montessori Institute. I have since worked at the upper and lower elementary levels for over twenty five years. I became interested in differentiating curriculum for higher ability learners a few years ago; this led to me going back to graduate school to earn my Gifted Education Endorsement. I also hold a Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction. Along with my love for Montessori theory and pedagogy, my passion is connecting with families and students and ensuring equity of access for all children to critical and creative thinking opportunities.

Over these next few months, my goal is to get to know your children and collaborate with their teachers. By doing so, I hope to gain a stronger sense of how to best serve your child and by assisting their teachers in providing challenging learning opportunities for them. The classroom teachers and I will be working together to ensure that your student’s learning needs are being met and that he or she is being appropriately challenged. This happens through me co-facilitating lessons in classrooms from time to time and providing professional development and curricular resources designed for advanced learners to classroom teachers.

There will be opportunities throughout the school year to learn more about how Gifted Services are provided in APS and to learn how, together, we can support your child’s learning both at school and at home. Please feel free to reach out via email with any questions you might have.


Joanna Yamashita
Resource Teacher for the Gifted