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Montessori Buzz – Dec. 8, 2020

Dear MA Families & Friends,

COVID-19 Middlesex-London Health Unit updates  

Today we received updated information from the MLHU regarding local quarantine changes due to London moving into the Orange/Restrict level. This will impact when students can come to school.

Quarantine guidance for situations when a household member has COVID-19 symptoms:

  • but has not yet been tested:
    • All other household members are to quarantine (are not to attend work, school, child care, etc.)
    • In situations where symptomatic household members will not be tested for COVID-19, all household members are to remain in quarantine for 14 days.
  • and has been tested:
    • All household members are to quarantine (are not to attend work, school, child care, etc.) until a negative test result is known.
    • If test results are negative:
      • Other household members may return to their normal activities and monitor themselves for the development of symptoms.
      • Symptomatic household members remain in self-isolation until they no longer have a fever, and it has been 24 hours since their symptoms have been improving.

The MLHU has updated its decision-making tool to reflect these changes. View and download a PDF of it here: covid-19-decision-tool-for-parents-caregivers-2020-12-07.pdf

Find more information on the Health Unit’s website:

Winter Break 

In addition, with the holiday season fast approaching, the Health Unit strongly advises that any gatherings and festivities be virtual and to be mindful of the following:  

  • If you have any symptoms of COVID-19, even mild ones, STAY HOME.
  • Only have close contact with those in your household. If you live alone, consider having close contact with only one other household.
  • Maintain two metres physical distance from anyone who isn’t part of your household.
  • Wear a mask, or face covering, whenever you’re in any indoor public setting or anywhere physical distancing cannot be maintained.
  • Avoid non-essential travel.
  • Wash your hands frequently for 15-20 seconds or use hand sanitizer with at least 70% alcohol content.
  • Wash and disinfect high-touch surfaces often.

Students wearing masks 

We are extremely grateful for what our families, teachers, staff and students continue to do in order to make sure we do our best to keep everyone safe and healthy. Mask wearing among students in our younger populations is becoming more common. As a reminder, in our COVID-19 Parent Guides, we encourage masks for students in their last year of Casa to Year 3, and they are mandatory for students in Years 4 to 8. We recognize that this is not an option for some. Our students and teaching staff have done very well in adapting to this new accessory, and it is fun to see the prints that are chosen for self-expression and reflecting their personalities! 

As always, thank you for your support as we try to navigate the tricky waters of this pandemic.  Your efforts to help keep our school community healthy and safe are truly appreciated.

Be well,

Tina Sartori, Executive Director   

Heads-up: Office Hour changes effective January 

The main office doors will be locked at 4:15 pm starting in January. Parents can still call the office and contact staff and faculty through the phone tree, but the phone won’t be answered and the door will be locked. Because of our shift in pick-up times, we’ve seen a change in the daily routine: no one is coming to the office after 4 pm.

Save the Date: Moving Up Tours on the January PD Day

Is your child moving up to the next level in our school?

We know this is an exciting thing to think about!! In the past, we have held sessions at the school to let you learn about what’s next for your child in our amazing programs. However, this year, we had to find a new way to deliver this information to you. It is still a secret… but stay tuned!!!  

If your child is moving up to Casa, Year 1, Year 4 or Junior High, you will receive personalized letters in January outlining how we will share the important information you need to know about these new levels your children will be moving into!

Also, please keep the PD day on Friday, Jan. 22, open. We will host tours on-site that day (for adults only) to show you more about the next chapter of your child’s Montessori Journey.

A favour: Extra bags of cubby contents

Our cubbies need to be completely empty before the holiday break because they are going to be fully cleaned and sanitized during those two weeks, along with all classrooms/rooms. Everything must be cleared out by Friday, Dec. 18, so we ask parents to send their children with extra bags to pack up with their shoes, extra clothes, backpacks etc. Parents are not allowed in the buildings, however, extra bags to pack student belongings will help the teachers and students gathering their items to take home. 

Thank you very much for your help getting this prepared before we break for the holidays.

Westmount staffing updates

In November, we shared that Westmount Toddler teacher and Site Supervisor Alaina Foster will be leaving the school to focus on family and new projects. We wish Alaina and her husband luck, and are pleased to share with families that Westmount Casa teacher Lisa DiPasquale will take on the responsibilities of the Westmount Site Supervisor. Congratulations, Lisa! 

We are also very excited to share that Kristal Bonnar will join Teresa Michalski as the new Toddler Teacher. Kristal comes to us with an RECE degree with an additional diploma in Autism and Behavioral Science, as well as 10-plus years of working with children. Most recently Kristal has been running her own home daycare. Kristal will join the Westmount team the week of December 14 to 18 to allow cross-over time with Alaina and the children. Alaina’s last day will be December 18. 

Please join us in welcoming Kristal to the MA community! 

Photos from the week…

Toddler handwashing song: video on Instagram

Our Waterloo Toddler 1 students have a very special reminder for our community! Take a look on our Instagram page: 

Westmount Toddler snow fun

The Westmount Toddlers had SNOW much fun last week after our big snowfall. 🙂

Holiday Celebrations in Westmount’s Casa classroom!

Westmount Casa was very busy this week learning all about both Kwanza and Diwali, which is a Festival of Lights.  When we asked the children the highlight of the week, they agreed that it was making the “mkeka.”  A mkeka is a traditional straw or woven textile mat, which is also one of the seven symbols of Kwanza.  We decorated the woven mat with fresh fruit.  This was a wonderful week of celebrations.

Waterloo Casa art: bear-y cozy sweaters 🙂

Last week’s big snowfall made it a perfect day for putting on a snuggly holiday sweater!

Casa 1’s holiday lessons

Casa 1 has been learning about various holidays. Last week, the children were busy making beautiful Star of David ornaments! This week, they’re brightening up our classroom with Christmas bulbs.

Casa 3 mindfulness

Enjoy a moment of calmness and peace, brought to you by Casa 3. 

Year 2 Art: Owls!

The Year 2 students were busy in the Art Room Wednesday morning completing their owl art collages.

Year 3 Art: Snowflakes!

Take a look at the lovely snowflakes by Year Threes made with their leftover clay.

Enjoying the snow

It was dicey driving last Monday morning, but the children had a blast in the snow during playtime. 

Parent Information

Montessori at Home Webinar Series

There is a series of Montessori in the Home Webinars from Foundation for Montessori Education: Home – FME  – ideal for Toddler and Casa parents. Cost: $40.00 CAD per webinar

Are you interested in bringing the Montessori philosophy into your home? Do you want the children in your life to feel empowered and capable in their home?

The “Montessori at Home” Webinar Series occurs over four Saturdays in January and is open to anyone with an interest in Montessori education. 

Sandra Girlato, Lynn Woodward, and special guest, Meg Gunsar, will speak to the following topics:

  • Saturday, January 9: Introduction to Montessori in the Home
  • Saturday, January 16: The Importance of Independence 
  • Saturday, January 23: The Relationship between Movement and Intelligence
  • Saturday, January 30: Family Communication: Speaking, Listening, Connecting

Each live webinar runs from 10:00 to 11:30 a.m. EST. A recording of each webinar will be provided for a limited time to those who have registered.The Cost is $40.00 CAD per webinar. Register online:

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