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Montessori Buzz – Nov. 3, 2020

Dear MA Families & Friends,

Reminder: Shortened Extended Hours this year

Because of COVID-related staffing limitations, our Early Hours program starts at 8 a.m. and After-School Hours ends at 5 p.m. this year. There is no one at the school to greet the children and let them in if you drop them off before 8 a.m. 

Reminder: Extra layers

Please make sure children are dressed for the weather. This time of year the weather is fluctuating, so please send extra layers to school with your child. 

Photo Retakes on Friday at the Gym

A few reminders about Photo Retakes on Friday:

  • Reminder that photo retakes will take place at Colborne Street Gym. There was an error in some of the classroom November newsletters, which have now been updated. 
  • Parents MUST accompany their children for the retakes as teachers cannot leave their classrooms. 
  • Photo retake spaces are full. 

Inclement weather school closure policy

School leadership met earlier this year to discuss “Snow Days,” and decided that there are a few rites of childhood that should remain in this COVID world, and this is one of them. 

While we don’t often have school closures due to weather, we will continue to call for Snow Days when it applies. These days are a chance for our students to just be children; for making memories; for playing outside or for staying in with a cup of hot chocolate and a good movie. 

We think these types of activities are a key part of the Canadian childhood experience and should remain intact. 

That said… Read on for a reminder of our Snow Days communications process. 

Reminder: School closure for inclement weather communication 

In the event of severe weather, MA will make a decision about closing the school by 7:15 am, if possible. If we decide to close the school, we will send a text message/SMS and an email to all families – through the same distribution list as our Buzz newsletter. If you have not received a text message or email by 7:25 am, it is safe to assume the school is open.

Also, we follow the Thames Valley District School Board – if the public school board closes its administrative offices and all city schools, the Academy will close, too. We will follow up any school-closure email with posts via social media and update our website’s homepage. However, we ask families to please check their text messages and email first for school closure announcements.

Updating your mobile number on the Parent Portal

We’ve noticed that there is a lag-time between sending our urgent messages via email versus SMS/Text message. Texts seem to be much more immediate, so please make sure at least one parent’s mobile phone number is up-to-date in the Parent Portal. 

  1. Login to 
  2. Click on Profile (your name) at the very top Right corner of your screen
  3. Click the Contact Card blue tab at the left side of your screen
  4. Update your contact information, including phone numbers and email address.

Also on the Parent Portal…

Classroom letters and calendars online – Toddler through Elementary

We are trying to do our part to save some trees as well as making our classroom information available to you at your fingertips through your electronic devices on the MA Parent Portal.

  1. Click on Your Child’s name in the top left. 
  2. Click on Your Child’s classroom under Courses (blue text is a hyperlink).
    a) This will bring you to the class Bulletin Board page. 
  3. Scroll down to DOWNLOADS to open a PDF of your November calendar.
    a) Click on the link to open up a printable pdf. 
  4. Scroll down to view the newsletter text (if on a mobile device).

Parent Resources: How to Talk about Montessori

We were asked by families to gather some resources to help MA parents talk about the benefits of Montessori education to family and friends outside the school community. So, we’ve created a “How to Talk about Montessori” Resource Board that’s available on the Parent Portal under the Resources tab.

Lunch menus on Resource Boards

What’s on the menu this month? Find out on the Snacks and Lunch menu under Resources.

Our Board of Governor’s Annual Report is LIVE

Our Annual Report from The Board of Governors is now available online! This brief overview of the past year has refocused on the Board’s activities, and highlights the school’s financials and fundraising efforts. 

Photos from the week…

Senior Casa extension work 

Extension work is one of the senior Casas’ favourite things to do. Amalia and Charlie are working with the coloured globe, continent pieces from the map of the world, and colour box three (shades of colour). 

Westmount Casa had some snowy fun Monday

1000 Acts of Kindness

1000 Acts of Kindness update from Violet’s Mom last week:

“Violet and some friends from Lower Elementary 1 wanted to do something for 1000 Acts of Kindness in October. They had the idea to collect books for kids who need them. Violet is so proud to report she collected 222 kids books from friends and family and also donations to purchase colouring books and pencil crayons for the kids at Anova. We are dropping everything off at ANOVA this afternoon.

“What a great experience she had collecting and organizing the donations in her notebook.  She is very proud and excited for other kids to enjoy this donation.”

And on Monday afternoon, the school received a reply to our tweet back from Anova: “Thank you so much, students! The children staying with us will be thrilled, and we are so blown away by your kindness, consideration, and hard work.”

The first snowfall in Phys Ed

Our Elementary students enjoyed the small bit of snow that fell Sunday evening/Monday morning in their Monday Phys Ed class. 

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