Montessori Buzz – June 29, 2021
Dear MA Families & Friends,
A message from Tina
We made it. I would say barely….but we did it. Saying “thank you” for the support you have provided us doesn’t even seem to be the right word to share with all of you, for what we have navigated together over these last several months. I am immensely grateful for the community we have here at MA: the staff, students and the families. I know what it means to be part of this group and I know the sense of community we share, but I was honoured to “feel” what it is like to be a part of this community over the various moving up ceremonies and the Year 8 Graduation last week. These moments of joy that I observed by watching the students reconnect with their classmates and teachers replenished my heart and soul in so many ways. I am so appreciative that the year was able to close with this community “feeling.”
I also want to assure you as parents that, although your Elementary children were not in school, they did not stop learning. Did they learn at a different pace and a different way? Absolutely. But so did thousands of children not only in our province, but across the world. Many children experienced extended amounts of time learning from home, some for a whole year! But here’s the kicker – you have chosen Montessori and the nature of Montessori is to meet children where they are at, support them there, and continue to guide them on their educational path. The answer is not to force more lessons onto them for extended periods of time for what you may feel they have missed. It’s simply not how their brains work and process information.
Our staff will do as they always have in September; take time to establish their relationships and rapport with the students and meet them emotionally as human beings first. Then they will assess where they are at in their learning, in the different areas of curriculum, and create a path that will suit the needs of that student as an individual. One of the most magical elements of a Montessori classroom is the developmentally sequenced material to support learning wherever a student is at and the fact that there is three years of curriculum (and time) available to a student. Our staff get to know your children so deeply over the three years they spend together. They’ve got this … and your children. Trust them to do the work they are professionals in. Your children could not be in a better place to re-start their in-class learning come September.
“But Tina, what will September look like??”
I don’t know, and like always, as soon as I know and understand the impacts on our school, you will too. I imagine some processes may lessen and some will still be around; masking is likely to continue into the fall as the vaccine rollout will not encompass all our students in September. Cohorts are likely to be continued for this reason, however I am hoping our cohorts will go back to our usual Elementary classroom configurations, so Upper Elementary will be two cohorts (UE1, UE2) instead of three, and Junior High will function as one cohort instead of two since they are isolated to their own building and will have the highest vaccine rate among students at that time. As far as staggered drop offs go for cohorts, I don’t have the information yet whether or not this will be required. However, if it is not, we will be shifting the regular hours of the school day to 15 minutes earlier permanently. The start of the school day will be 8:45 am with drop-off starting at 8:30 am and the end of the school day will be 3:45 pm, with pick-up starting at 3:30 pm. There are a few reasons for this shift, primarily to protect the time of an extended work cycle in the morning, that the teachers observed worked well this year with the earlier start; students were more productive. As well, many students have been leaving early for after-school commitments because our school day is longer than both the public and Catholic systems in the city. This is also true for our sports teams; other schools often wait 30 minutes for us to arrive in order to compete in our sport leagues. The length of our school day is the same, we are just starting and ending 15 minutes earlier.
For so many reasons, this last month has been so emotionally charged with many highs and lows to the point of exhaustion, so my wish for all of you is to find the space and time to start to heal this summer. Enjoy what this season has to offer; beautiful weather, stunning sunsets and sparkling starry skies. Revel in the special moments that unfold and stay present in those wondrous snapshots of time. Take care of yourselves and each other.
This is the final Buzz of 2020-2021
The next planned Buzz eNewsletter will be to new families in mid-August about information and forms that need to be reviewed completed via the MA Parent Portal before the start of school.
Last call: Gym wear orders before July 2
For students in Elementary and Junior High, please complete this link: Montessori Academy Gym Wear Flyer JUNE 2021.pdf Gym Wear Form and return to Tameka at email@example.com on or before July 2. Reminder: we now accept cash, cheque, Debit, MasterCard, Visa, Amex or Apple Pay.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, we are not able to have samples set up in the main office as usual. Because of this, we are asking that parents of returning students gauge their child’s size by the set of gym wear worn in the last school year.
Find a PDF of the form through this link:
- Montessori Academy Gym Wear Flyer JUNE 2021.pdf
Oxford outdoor environment updates
We are investing in our Oxford location’s outdoor learning environment over the summer by doing some maintenance and upgrades to the areas that need it. The large metal climber will be removed and replaced with a natural climbing structure, the hill slide will be re-built; the fallen log and turf will be replaced; there will be a new playhouse in the gazebo, and edging all the way around to hold the mulch and woodchips in. Here is a video to see it all: https://vimeo.com/559126335/9d0a034b94
We are just $5,000 away from making our fundraising goal. Just a reminder that you can still make your donation count for this school year by donating online before June 30th.
Thank you to everyone that has contributed already!