Montessori Buzz – May 19, 2020
Message from Tina Sartori, Executive Director
Dear MA Families,
I am sure all of you are as excited as I am with the warm weather forecast ahead of us! It looks like Spring has finally sprung. I hope all of our families get an opportunity to get outside and do what serves you best; play, garden, ride bikes or sit on the porch and listen to your neighbourhood come alive.
With the Emergency Order being extended to May 29, we are able to move ahead with our May refunds, based on the recommendation of the Finance Committee and the government mandate instituted since April 9, that any fees collected through licensed programs must be fully refunded. The refunds will include Early/Extended Hours fees if applicable, based on individual payment plans and will be as follows:
- Toddler students – lunch fee, 100% of May tuition
- All Casa students – lunch fee, 100% of May tuition, additional funds required to meet 100% tuition for 14 days in April
- Elementary students – 25% of May tuition
If you already contacted the school in April with direction for your refund, you do not need to contact us again. However, if you still need to, please contact David Pasquino firstname.lastname@example.org or Victoria Little email@example.com by Wednesday, May 20, at 4 pm. All cheques will be mailed by Friday, May 22.
Under the current Emergency Order, the school will be physically closed until May 29, as we continue to be closed as long as each order gets extended. We will take today’s announcement that public schools will not be returning in June into consideration at the next Board of Governors meeting on Monday, May 25, to determine if MA will follow suit. An update will be provided in the next Buzz on Tuesday, May 26.
It was also mentioned today that the opening of daycares would happen in Phase 2, and this timeline could be mid- to late-June, meaning Emergency Orders will likely be extended again beyond May 29. However, this also means that our Toddler camp, which runs under CCEYA, has the potential to run in the summer.
For Toddler camp to run, we will have to align with guidelines provided for the opening of all licensed daycares in the province. Our ability to run Camp Discovery Adventurers for 4-6 year olds and our new MA Sports Camp for older students will depend on the provincial and/or municipal guidelines for day camps, which we also learned today may be a possibility. It is a benefit that all of our summer programs already run at a low capacity, which may allow us to run successfully this summer. We will be reaching out to families in early June to confirm attendance for our July programs, once we know it is an option for them to run, we have reviewed the protocols and policies required and can successfully implement them.
“Peace is a daily, a weekly, a monthly process, gradually changing opinions, slowly eroding old barriers, quietly building new structures.” This quote from John F. Kennedy truly resonates with me, as I feel like this is exactly what we are all currently moving through. As we begin to quietly build new structures for almost every element of our lives, let kindness and grace lead us through it.
Tina Sartori, Executive Director
Today would have marked the opening night of our ARTexpo, a long-standing tradition in the school that happens every other year. For those not familiar with ARTexpo, it is a beautiful event where students’ artwork from Senior Casa to Junior High is showcased in a gallery setting. It even entails an “Opening Night.”
This year, ARTexpo is going to look a little bit different. Even though we are not in our physical buildings, Jenn our Elementary art teacher, has been working very hard at photographing and uploading the students’ artwork that was completed prior to our March Break to present it in an online format!
Stayed tuned for more information about our Virtual ARTexpo that will kickoff on June 5!
Our Hearts are Full
“In the face of adversity, hope often comes in the form of a friend who reaches out to us.”
~ Christopher Reeve
This past week we have received a number of donations to the school. We wanted to send a special thank you to the families who have made these exceptional gifts.
The school, like many other non-profit organizations, is facing a decrease in revenue due to the current situation. Additional financial strain has been placed on the school through the mandated 100% refunds for all of our Toddler and Casa families. By the end of the school year we will have processed over half a million dollars in refunds. While we qualify for some of the federal subsidies, and possibly some of the provincial programs, we will still experience a shortfall in projected revenue this year.
Thank you to the families who have gone above and beyond by making a donation. Our Annual Appeal goal for this year was $100,000. In light of the situation and closures during our peak fundraising months, we are sitting at just over 30% of the fundraising goal, further adding to the shortfall this year. The renovation project has been put on hold, and we will be holding donations that were given specifically for that project until we are able to go ahead with the renovations. In the meantime, our other areas of need have increased. Donations to our Unrestricted Fund will help continue to help the school navigate this unprecedented time.
We cannot thank you enough for continuing to support the school through this challenging period. It means so much to us all. On behalf of the entire school community, thank you.
Donations continue to be accepted online at https://montessori.on.ca/get-involved/ways-to-give/ or by mailing a cheque to the school.
Sewing club project update
By Sadie, Isla, Evie, Kara and Sophie
In the Sewing Club we have been working on making arm bands and pillows for the Children’s Health Foundation. We sew arm bands for kids who have to get blood work done. The arm band goes under the elastic so that it does not pinch their skin. Every week we would have two people from each Upper Elementary classroom to come and sew. The Sewing Club gathered on Mondays and Wednesdays at playtime. We want to thank our amazing teacher Meghan for letting us run the club and for supervising us every time. We hope to continue the Sewing Club next year for Upper Elementary and hopefully Junior High.
We are going to deliver the armbands and pillows to the hospital someday soon.
Thank you for your support and interest,
Math in 3D
Taking advantage of the nice weather, Dominic put his math skills into 3D format with his Dad to build a wagon. From planning and purchasing to measuring and cutting, math was a part of each step. Best part: someone had a chance to use the drill.
CHF Masks update
Daria has completed nine masks to donate to CHF. We plan to wait until closer to the end of the month to see how many masks we have from families before determining how we’ll deliver them to Children’s Hospital. Stay tuned for more details and updates… and, once again, thank you to all the students and families supporting this initiative.
Amphibian Week in Casa
Benson had a wonderful long weekend… he wrapped up Amphibian Week at the frog pond next to Grandma’s house.
Thank you again for sharing these special learning moments with the school community.
A fun art activity
You’ll need two people for this activity.
Self-care check-in for parents
Our friends at Merrymount shared this great self-care resource for any parents to help check in and stay well themselves.
Alumni news: Maggie MacNeil named top swimmer in Big 10
While dreams of competing the Olympics have been put on hold for our alumna Maggie MacNeil, she’s still winning all kinds of accolades https://www.cbc.ca/sports/olympics/summer/aquatics/maggie-macneil-swimmer-of-the-year-1.5568372?utm_content=bufferff35d&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer
From the Community
The Developing Brain Lab – PEARL study at Western
The PEARL study has been established to help understand how pregnant moms and their growing babies are impacted by current distancing measures. Anyone who is pregnant, has an internet connection, speaks English, and is over 18 can participate. Participants fill out one questionnaire before they give birth, and one after. More info can be found on the study website: http://www.thepearlstudy.com/