Montessori Buzz – March 24, 2020
Message from Tina, our Executive Director
Dear MA Families & Friends,
I am writing to you from Day Six of self-isolation with my family, as a member of a high-risk population for COVID-19, and still anxiously awaiting for my in-laws to make it home safely from South Africa. For the first time in 19 years, I find myself unable to be in a place I have come to know as my second home, filled with what I consider to be my extended family. It’s a very disconcerted feeling, filled with many unknowns, but I know this much is true:
MA is known for, and has cultivated, a strong sense of community. We are committed to maintaining this and know we will find strength in it together, through kindness, patience and compassion.
Each of us are currently learning how to navigate a new normal, while being faced with various levels of stress, at an overwhelming pace. We understand and recognize that each of our families are processing our current state of affairs in different ways. We are aware that some may be sorting out just what they need to get through the day, while others are figuring out what their “tomorrows” will entail … and none of this is easy. I am extremely proud of our staff and what they have been working on over the last several days, in order to provide purposeful support for you and your children, while also caring for their own families’ needs.
Our physical buildings may be closed, but our school is definitely not. The admin team, facilities staff, along with our teachers are very much working diligently for the MA community. We are here for you, in the capacity that suits your needs. Our learning support will kick off today, as you will each receive a phone call from your child’s teacher. This will be followed up by an email with details on what the home-based learning experience will look like for your child. Each framework is slightly different based on developmental level and will begin on Wednesday morning. Any online interactive components with teachers will be done through Zoom.
The intent is not to create something else to add to your already very full plates; take what will serve your child and your family best each day. This is new territory for everyone, especially our teachers, so please have patience as they unfold this new style of teaching and learning together. We will continue to assess our processes and adjust as needed. If you are not ready to engage with us, due to your own circumstances, we completely understand.
Our hope for you as parents: to continue to follow your child, as we have done for so long, and see where their interest and motivation take them. I would argue that Montessori students are made for times like these; they are used to creating the flow of their day, are independent and adaptable; they follow their curiosity and look for solutions, all the while being active throughout the day, as well as taking quiet time to sit, observe and just be.
We want to hear from you – share your pictures and stories of what is happening in your home so we can share them on our social media and in our next Buzz. It is important to continue to feel connected to one another and having the opportunity to see one another is vital. Please send your submissions to our Communications Director Linda at email@example.com. Linda will also continue to share resources through our social media channels and the Resources Board in the Parent Portal as they become available.
Now some logistics for you:
- Interim Reports – will be completed by teachers and available on April 3 through the Parent Portal, as these reports are based on your child’s experiences in the classroom from January to March.
- COVID-19 Tracking – our CCEYA licensed programs require us to track suspected and confirmed cases, however we will be extending this to the whole school for all students, parents and staff members. Please report this information to Tameka at the Front Desk, firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 711 Renovation – for various reasons, this project planned for this summer is on hold.
- Access to Teacher Emails – because of these unprecedented times and wanting to make sure our staff are staying connected to you, we are opening up the opportunity to communicate with staff through email, as you will receive the outlines for the home based learning, for your child in this manner. Our Elementary levels will also be using their websites to support this process. Lower Elementary has also created a Google site for use at this time. Watch for a link to this new Lower Elementary website in an upcoming message from the LE teachers. Please practise patience sensibility with this new email opportunity.
- Junior High Quebec Trip – this trip planned for the end of April is cancelled and therefore parents will receive a refund for a portion of their child’s activity fee (the full cost of this trip is subsidized by the school). This will not be disbursed until the end of April.
- Early and Extended Hours Payments – these fees will be refunded to parents for the extended closure time, however they will not be disbursed until the end of April.
- Hot Lunch Fees – since our lunch program will not be running over the extended closure for our Casa and Toddler students, refunds for these fees will be disbursed at the end of April. Currently, for Elementary students, missed lunches will be credited towards the final order form that will hopefully go out for May to June.
- Tuition for 2019-2020 – refunds will not be processed for this current closure, as our faculty and staff are hard at work supporting our students and families during this time. We have a number of fixed operational costs we are responsible to maintain; we need our highly trained staff to be with us now and in the future.
- Tuition Payment Plans for 2020-2021 – for Plan A, we will extend the deadline to May 15. If any families need to make adjustments to their chosen plan or payments for the upcoming school year, please contact Victoria at email@example.com and we will work with you individually.
- Ongoing Communications – things are changing rapidly. We will continue to monitor announcements and will communicate changes in our processes as situations materialize. We understand the physical closure will continue beyond April 6, but have not received any further information at this time.
We have been forced to slow down and given the gift of time together, albeit under challenging circumstances. We have made our pets very happy. We have all been given a very large dose of perspective. If this means time to just be together as a family and take it day by day, so be it. We will be here when you are ready. Don’t let fear fill in the blank; take hold of the things you can control and find reassurance in those decisions. It takes a village, and I am so grateful that ours is MA.
Give yourself grace and be well,
Tina Sartori ,
Zoom directions and FAQs
#MAofLondonathome: Show us what you’re doing!
So this is something quite new and innovative within our school – and we want to see what you’re doing. Two options to tell us what lessons look like in your home:
1) Send Linda a photo or two of your activities: firstname.lastname@example.org
2) Or tag the school in your social media posts:
- Facebook: @MontessoriAcademyofLondon
- Instagram: @MontessoriAcademyofLondon
- Hashtag: #MAofLondonathome
(Ok, so maybe don’t show us the toilet cleaning… The rest is fair game!)
Upcoming: what’s on and what’s not… so far…
- On: Interim Reports available April 3 via the MA Parent Portal
- Postponed/TBD: Parent Rep meeting on April 9
- Cancelled: Guest Speaker on April 14
- Postponed/TBD: Elementary & Junior High spring assembly on April 16
- Postponed/TBD: Volunteer High Tea on April 20
- On: Grandparents’ & Special friends’ Day on May May 14.
We’ll keep parents updated through the Buzz and Parent Reps if any of these dates change.
Before the break….
Slainte! means ‘to your health!’
Waterloo Casa hosted a St. Patrick’s Day celebration before the break.
Upper El boys create interactive rock cycle presentation
Jasper and Humza presented their rock cycle project to their class earlier this week – and thought outside the box for their presentation. Typically the Year 4 students create a presentation board to categorize their rocks, but these innovative boys opted for this very fun and interactive display of their research.
Watch it through our Facebook page:
Junior High went curling
The Junior High students are at the London Curling Club for the morning as a part of the Phys-Ed curriculum. Learning from some local experts. Lesson of the day: Curling is harder than it looks!
From the Community
Children’s Museum summer camps
The London Children’s Museum is hosting several summer camps. Here’s a link to a PDF of their brochure:
More information can be found on their website: https://www.londonchildrensmuseum.ca/experience/day-camps