News Archive

Montessori Buzz – Friday, Jan. 14, 2022

Dear MA Families & Friends,
I have to be honest with you, having ⅓ of the school onsite and ⅔ online this week has been a nightmare and beyond challenging for me for so many reasons. I know I am not alone in feeling this way – this week has been a beast for many.
So many guidance documents and memos have been dropped in the last couple of days from both the Ministry of Education and the MLHU – it is coming fast and furious because things are changing at that pace. Things will likely look different again in a few weeks; it’s the state of the world we are currently living in, and it is A LOT.
I am writing today to share the most important up-to-date information on vaccination, testing, and supporting student absenteeism at the Elementary/Junior High levels.

Vaccination Updates

Personally, this past week I have heard many stories of people either evading COVID despite being a “close-contact” thanks to a booster shot, or, if they presented with COVID symptoms, experiencing milder symptoms as a result of being vaccinated. As reported months ago, our teachers were fully vaccinated back in September and have been seeking booster shots as spots have become available, even as early as the first day of the winter break. Now that there are clinics available, specifically for educators and students, we are highly encouraging everyone in our community to roll up their sleeves. Anecdotal reports from students and staff before the break indicates there has indeed been a very high uptake in vaccination in general at the school. In every single document I have received this week, the first page is all about the importance of getting vaccinated. Below are the specific clinics dedicated to our population. Core Family Health is located very close to the school.
Options for booking your appointment:
1. MLHU and SWPH Mass Vaccination Clinics and LHSC affiliated clinics
For details about specific locations and to book appointments please visit:
**Book your appointment through Gate 4 Targeted Populations. These appointments will be booked through the “Targeted Population” priority group. Additional appointments will be added periodically when space becomes available.
2. MLHU Primary Care Clinics

To book an appointment at the following clinics please complete this MLHU Google form. The clinic will contact you shortly with an appointment time.


Clinic Name
Clinic time(s)
Core Family Health Centre
825 Richmond St, near Oxford
  • Fri, Jan 14 evening
  • Sun, Jan 16 morning and afternoon
Prisma Health Care Collaborative
320 Adelaide St S, Adelaide at Commissioners
  • Wed, Jan 12 morning and afternoon
  • Thurs, Jan 13 morning and afternoon
  • Fri, Jan 14 morning and afternoon
Springbank Medical
460 Springbank Dr, Suite 202
  • Sat, Jan 15 morning and afternoon
  • Sun, Jan 16 afternoon
Drs. Mok & Price
1A-163 Commissioners Rd W
  • Sat, Jan 15 afternoon
  • Sun, Jan 16 afternoon
West Middlesex Health Centre
278 Metcalfe St W, Strathroy
  • Sat, Jan 15 11 am-3 pm
Dr. Tania Bhanji, London Lambeth
3090 Colonel Talbot Rd, Unit B
  • Thurs, Jan 13 evening


We recognize some parents may be having a hard time re-framing their thought process around testing – and the fact that test results and knowing them are no longer of the utmost importance. Nor is dismissing a full classroom if someone does test positive or fails screening (and is isolating for 5 days). That’s because students are no longer deemed “close contacts.” This guidance has changed to reflect that the Omicron variant is incredibly widespread and highly contagious in the days leading up to symptoms appearing. At this point in the pandemic, testing, reporting cases and contact tracing will not have an impact in preventing the spread of the virus. This is straight from the MLHU. Instead, symptom monitoring and screening will have an impact, and this is why it is now the focus. Please continue to do this diligently with the screening tool every morning (the most recent update was Jan. 12) and report the result on the classroom’s Google form. I encourage you to re-read that whole paragraph again before emailing me your concerns about this. 😉
That being said, we also understand the desire to get access to rapid tests to help monitor your child’s well being if they are symptomatic. We have been notified that next week we will receive two rapid tests each for all staff and students in the Toddler/Casa level. These test kits need to be made from larger shipments, so we will do our best to re-package and have them out to you as soon as we can.  Elementary and Junior High staff and students should also receive them, however this group is lower on the priority list (from a different division of the Ministry) and these will be shipped upon availability. If you rapid test your child and their test is negative, but they fail screening, you are required to still follow the guidance in the screening tool for your symptoms. We are aware of scenarios where symptoms presented, which led to isolation, but the individual did not receive a positive rapid test result until several days later. Again, this is why symptom monitoring is so important.
When you call the classroom teachers to report an absence, it is helpful for us to know which guidance you received from the tool: 5 day isolation or 24 – 48 hours. If we reach 30% absenteeism we are to call the MLHU to notify them and they will provide a letter to share with families. But from our understanding, this letter is just information on symptom monitoring which everyone should be doing regardless.

Support for Student Absenteeism

If your child is in Elementary or Junior High, and you call to report an absence of 5 days or longer due to illness (or a household close contact or similar situation), please let the teacher know what kind of support you want to keep your child engaged. It has been our experience so far that the spectrum is wide depending on the scenario the family is in. As we’ve stated before, unless we are in a full-school closure, our focus is first on the students in class as we are unable to sustain a hybrid model. Based on the family’s scenario, we will try to offer what we can, depending on the developmental level of the student. This is easier at the higher levels of the school; however, we have to strike a balance and be mindful of how much our teachers can manage while supporting students at school.
There will never be a time in our school’s history when the famous Montessori quote, “follow the child” will be more imperative or insightful as students transition to school life and what that will entail over the coming weeks, for them, for us, and for you as parents.
Be well,
Tina Sartori
Executive Director
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