News Archive

Board Year-End message 2023-2024

Dear MA Families & Friends,
Another year has come and gone! It happens each year, and somehow it still surprises everyone, myself included! There was plenty of activity around the school this year. Although the renovations to Lower Elementary 1’s classroom, the French Room and the Elementary Library took longer than expected, when the doors officially opened to the students, they were thrilled with the results! There is a lesson in patience, anticipation and flexibility to be embraced from the wait, after all. In June, our families could see the spaces for themselves, with two Library coffee hours and an Open House. I hope you were able to stop by!
In the fall, the Phys Ed teachers, Dave Ratcliffe and Janet Sargent unveiled the school’s new team name: the Montessori Trailblazers! The students were so excited to sport their new team jerseys – and Trailblazer spirit wear.

The family socials were a fun way to connect! The Halloween Boo-ling at Palasad South in October, the Winter Fun Fest in February, and the Artisan Market in May all helped raise money for the school’s Annual Appeal. Thank you to all of the families who attended these fun family events. Family skating at Storybook in February and Family & Friends in early June all had great turnout!
This year’s assemblies were so beautiful; it is awe-inspiring as a parent of a Toddler student to see the students perform – and witness the development of their skills at different stages within the program. This was an Art Expo year! Again, seeing the MA-zing collection of art by students in Senior Casa through Junior High that was displayed at the beautiful Brescia Mercato Room filled me with joy that my child is part of this school. Thank you to the teachers, staff, students and parents who helped bring these events together.
During the school year, the Admin team enlisted Platinum Leadership’s help to refresh the school’s Mission, Vision and Values. Thank you to the parents, staff, students and alumni who took the time to provide your insights in a focus group, by completing an online survey, or in a phone interview. The Vision Mission Values steering committee feel that the new statements complement the strategic priorities that the board reconfirmed last year; and that they will provide the staff, students and parents — and prospective parents — a clear picture of the school’s purpose and its fundamental beliefs. These new statements will be unveiled in the new school year. Stay tuned!

Also, on the Admin side, enrolment always moves in waves as the number of students in each level moves through the school, as well as taking into account opportunities and changes that present for families in our community. This year, we had 345 students enrolled. The upcoming school year means an overall slightly lower enrolment of 5%, but our Admissions team continues to work throughout the summer, offering tours for interested families. The school continues to enrol students until the start of the school year when space is available.
As the school emerged from a massive renovation project at 711 Waterloo that included the Library, the focus of fundraising turned to all other areas of the school. Donations and fundraising events this year raised money for summer projects and repairs that our Facilities team will be working on as we prepare for the coming school year.
Several grants secured recently will help us add value to the educational experiences of our students, including $1,878 in grant funds from The Jack and Barbara Hay Foundation that purchased a new iMac, as well as the donation of gently used MacBooks that helped kickstart the Communications and Media Studies course in Junior High. Lutheran Social Services Foundation recently sent us a $5,000 grant towards the massive elevator project at 311 Oxford St., which will help us restore the playground once the elevator is in. We are also thrilled to announce the very recent grant from The Walter J. Blackburn Foundation! Their gift of $8,801 will help us install a shade sail to increase the use of our Elementary Courtyard. Congratulations to Tonya Dendrinos, the school’s Development Director, for securing these alternate funding sources!
The Board itself was back to business as usual. We welcomed two new board members this year, Cassandra DeMelo, a current MA Parent, and Jessica Da Silva, a community member. As we prepare for some of our governors to complete their terms next year, we’ll share any opportunities with families via the Buzz newsletter and through the school’s social media accounts.
Speaking of social media… have you seen the posts introducing our board members to the community? Follow the school on InstagramFacebook and LinkedIn to learn more about our newest board members and other school-related activities. You can also learn more about our board members on the school’s website:
As you can probably gather, this year was another vibrant year for our school community. As the school year ends, we wish you all a wonderful summer. I am filled with excitement at what the new school year will present and hope you are too!

Warm regards,

Melissa Sariffodeen, President
Montessori Academy of London Board of Governors
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