News Archive

Montessori Buzz – March 18, 2022

Dear MA Families & Friends,

I hope the last two weeks offered just what each of you needed; whether it was quiet time away, days filled with adventures or just enjoying the fact that there was no pressure from daily routines. Most importantly, let’s celebrate that for the first time in two years, we ARE returning to school after March Break! We are so grateful that this is the path before us this time.

There has been a flurry of activity behind the scenes in the last several days with changes to regulations and mandates at both divisions of the Ministry, CCEYA and Private Schools that oversee our programs. Before I summarize what is going to happen upon our return to school, let me say this – I am not pizza and therefore will not make everyone happy. Believe me, I know this much is true from the numerous communications I have written over the last two years, however the only way I have barely survived it and guided MA through this wild storm, is following the direction I have been given by the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Health, as well as aligning with the recommendations that come from our local health unit. By the way, pepperoni, green peppers and mushrooms are my go to toppings. 🙂

I realize the upcoming changes are significant and once again places people on a vast spectrum of comfort levels again and that’s ok. Some are ready to get back a return of  normalcy, while others may feel it is too soon. We will grant patience to each other and respect individual choices so everyone has the ability to process and feel comfortable with what is the new normal ahead, recognizing that timeline is going to be different for everyone.

Are you ready? Take a deep breath, here we go….


We are requesting for the first two weeks we return to school, for staff and students to continue to wear masks when inside the school. There are two reasons for this:
  • Current federal travel requirements, upon return from international travel, individuals must wear a mask at all times when in public spaces (including schools and licensed child care programs), maintain a list of all close contacts for your first 14 days in Canada, and monitor yourself for signs and symptoms of COVID-19. In our community, we had a very high rate of travel over the last two weeks and therefore many will be continuing to wear masks in the coming days.
  • Dr. Alex Summers, from the MLHU, strongly recommends continuing masking in indoor environments. There is still a high transmission rate of COVID occurring in London.
  • The Children’s Health Coalition, which represents children’s hospitals in Ontario, has said it would have preferred to see an extension to mask mandates for at least two weeks past March Break.
We understand that 10 more days may seem to be asking a lot when there is no regulation or mandate in place for students to continue to wear them, but we hope you will join us. As always, however your child shows up to school on Monday, we will welcome their beautiful souls wholeheartedly in our classrooms.


Staff and students need to continue to self-screen every day before attending school using the COVID-19 school and child care screening tool, which has been updated, however the result does not need to be recorded on the Google Forms. You still have to follow the guidance provided in the screening tool if your child is unwell. 


Vaccination is still highly recommended from the MLHU for our students 5+ to have two doses and those 12+ to get a booster. The uptake of second doses has stalled in London and is around 45% of 5- to 11-year-olds.

Updated Case and Contact Management Guidance

The Ministry of Health has revised the COVID-19 Integrated Testing & Case, Contact and Outbreak Management Interim Guidance: Omicron Surge, with updated guidance for close contacts in the community and in households:
  • Asymptomatic individuals who are close contacts of a case or a symptomatic individual in the community are no longer required to isolate but must self-monitor for 10 days following last exposure. During the self-monitoring period of 10 days, close contacts must wear a well-fitted mask in all public settings and avoid activities where they need to take off their mask (for example: playing a wind instrument in music class or playing high-contact sports).
  • Asymptomatic household contacts of a case or a symptomatic individual are also not required to isolate if they are:
    •  17 or younger and fully vaccinated;
    • 18 and older and have already received their COVID-19 booster;
    • or tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 90 days and have completed their isolation period. Asymptomatic household contacts who are not required to isolate are also required to self-monitor for 10 days following last exposure, as outlined above, including mask use. Children under 5 who are asymptomatic household contacts are required to isolate for 5 days.
The COVID-19 school and child care screening tool has been updated to align with the recent changes as well as the federal travel requirements.

General Guidance for all Levels

  • Early and Extended Hour Programs – these will resume to normal hours for both sets of program and remain cohorted for the next two weeks where possible.
  • Cohorts – we will keep these in place for the next two weeks.
  • Ventilation – our Air Sniper units will continue to run throughout the school day in every classroom and common space.
  • Hand Hygiene and Respiratory Etiquette – appropriate hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette will continue to be promoted and integrated throughout the school day.
  • Enhanced Cleaning – we will continue with our cleaning protocols.
  • Absence Reporting – to continue ongoing monitoring of COVID-19 impacts, we will continue to report absenteeism rates to the MLHU should they rise to a defined level. We have not come close to reaching this yet since our return in January.
As a reminder, anyone who is sick or has any new or worsening symptoms of illness should stay home until their symptoms are improving for 24 hours (or 48 hours for nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea) and should seek assessment from their health care provider if needed.

Elementary & Junior High Families

For the next two weeks, we will keep our cohorting practices in place. The Elementary classes and schedules are very intertwined and moving one element is like shifting a piece of a mobile; there is a ripple effect across all years from 1 to 8. It takes time to look at the big picture of the school day routines, as well as the nuances for each class and specialty program. We will take the time when we return to figure out what processes make sense to keep and what to adjust. Most of these are internal and do not impact any of your processes as a parent, except for drop-off and pick-up. We will keep these current routines/entry and exit points in place for the first two weeks of our return. Sports will be in action, so Junior High families, your children have a basketball season to look forward to!
We can’t wait to dive into this final term of the school year with your children. They are the reason we show up everyday and give them our best. They are an integral part in the fabric of our lives and we are grateful for the trust you have given us to guide them not only in their Montessori education, but nurturing them towards the adults they will become.
Be well,
Tina Sartori
Executive Director
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