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Montessori Buzz – October 5, 2021

Dear MA Families & Friends,

Message from Tina

Dear MA Families and Friends,

We received notification late Friday that there have been updates made to the online COVID-19 school and child care screening tool. The changes are to provide clarity to users. Some of you may have already noticed!

Updates to the screening tools include:

Symptoms – Clarifying that staff, students and children should stay home from school and child care if they are unwell, even if they do not have symptoms that are most commonly associated with COVID-19, and monitor before returning to school.

Just because your child can pass screening, doesn’t necessarily mean they should be at school if they are unwell. Please keep them home and call your child’s teacher to let them know. We are starting to see a return of common viruses again this fall.

Please refer to the Communicable Illnesses chart in the Second Yellow Tab in your printed Year at a Glance Calendar for a reminder of the policies about more-common illnesses.

Testing – Clarifying that rapid antigen tests are not for use on individuals with symptoms of COVID-19 or on high-risk close contacts. Also, local assessment centres are now using a less invasive method for testing children. It now includes a cheek swab and nostril swab, however the nostril swab is not as high up as it was in prior testing methods. There was an announcement today regarding ‘targeted’ COVID-19 rapid test program in schools, however this is only going to be used in high transmission areas. We are not one of them. Tests will be made available at the discretion of the local medical officer of health, based on “local epidemiological circumstances.”

Vaccination and Immunization Status – Revisions were made to the structure of the vaccination status and COVID-19 case history question to clarify that the individual could be vaccinated or had previously tested positive within the last 90 days.

Personal Health Information and Immunization Status – Clarifying that the purpose of asking if an individual is fully vaccinated or was previously positive with COVID-19 in the past 90 days is for providing correct isolation requirements. A reminder has been added to note that no public health information is being collected when individuals complete the screening tool.

International Travel – the international travel question has been revised to provide better clarity about who can and cannot attend school after travelling. While unvaccinated children under the age of 12 are exempt from federal quarantine if they travelled in the company of someone who qualified for an exemption from quarantine based on vaccination status, they may not attend school or child care for 14 days upon their return.

Thank you for continued support with daily screening and recording your child’s results. We will continue text message reminders for two more weeks. If you haven’t already done so, please create a daily reminder in your calendars to complete this process so you don’t skip this step when the text reminders are finished!
One last item – Friday is a PD Day, and there is no school for the children, however staff are working onsite in meetings and conferences, if parents need to reach out. I hope you enjoy a restful and safe long weekend with family this Thanksgiving holiday. The beautiful fall colours are starting to show us their glory – take a deep breath and soak it all in. We’ll see everyone on Tuesday.

Be well,
Tina Sartori, Executive Director

PD Day Friday and Holiday on Monday

This Friday is a PD Day – there is no school for our students. The school is closed on Monday for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Toddler and Casa Photo Days

Here is the schedule for Toddler and Casa picture days next week:
  • Westmount – Tuesday, October 12
  • Waterloo – Wednesday, October 13
  • Oxford – Thursday, October 14
Photos begin at 9:00 a.m. We hope to see some great big smiles!

Casa Movie Night: POSTPONED

The weather outlook is not looking sunny for this Thursday, so we have postponed our Casa Outdoor Movie Night by a week to Thursday, Oct. 14. 

Boo-ling tickets are now on sale!

Join us for a Scary-good time at this year’s Halloween Boo-ling event Thursday, Oct. 28, at Palasad South!
This is our first family fundraising event of the school year. Fundraising this year will support the upcoming final renovations to the centre section of the school. The focus will be funds for the Elementary library, and will include a new layout, flooring and paint, water bottle refill station and interior updates.
Your $25 ticket includes pizza, pop, bowling and a $4 arcade card.  Add laser tag for $10. Wear your favourite costume! Purchase tickets online today:

Elementary Hot Lunch Online Orders: November & December!

Elementary hot lunch orders from November 1 – December 17 are now available online. The deadline to order is Friday, October 22. Please place your orders online: Payments are to be made online, or you can drop into the Main Office to pay by cash, cheque, Visa, MasterCard, Amex or Apple Pay.

Spirit Wear sales are on!

Order online through this link – youth and adult sizes are available:

It’s 1000 Acts of Kindness Month!

Casa 2 kicked off 1000 Acts of Kindness month last week with a generous donation to Merry Mount Family and Crisis Centre. Please see monthly letters and watch for messages from your classroom parent reps about activities and ways to get involved. Thank you in advance for your kind support of this MA tradition!

Photos from the Week

Casa 1 sunflower power

Seasonal fine motor work benefits both our students and our neighbourhood squirrels!
Casa 1 students use tweezers to pluck sunflower seeds and then place them on our fence for birds and squirrels to enjoy!

Casa 2 watering flowers!

The Casa 2 children enjoyed a beautiful autumn afternoon last week watering the Oxford garden beds.

Elementary Movie Night!

We gathered under the stars on Thursday for a night of entertainment among friends.

Truth and Reconciliation Week in Junior High

by Elle and Elyse, edited by Maitlyn
We received our first study guide titled Understanding Why Every Child Matters-Significance of Orange Shirt Day on Monday and throughout the week we collaborated with our peers to have respectful class discussions and complete different, vital activities. We first delved into Whose Land is This? (A portion that aims to teach students about the lives, lands and cultures of First Nations Peoples in Canada). Then, The Treaties in Canada section offered an extension of knowledge to the last, answering the question of “How did we come to live here?” Ignorance in youth is an enormous problem anywhere in the world, Montessori strives to provide children with unbiased and accurate information hence we learned about Historical Perspectives (hearing all sides to a story) and we used reliable resources, many of which were written/created by Indigenous Peoples. This was better emphasized in the Residential Schools package where students watched videos on the personal experiences of Residential School survivor, Phylis Webstad and the unfortunate story of Chanie Wenjack from his brother. Our greatest allies in these endeavors were the Canadian Encyclopedia and Historica Canada. It’s important to respect ourselves, others and our environment starting with ensuring that future generations never feel repressed, assimilated or discriminated against, to name a few. If we work through our differences we can create a peaceful tomorrow together. On Orange Shirt Day (Sept. 30th) – also known as the new federal holiday the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation – students were proud to wear their Orange Shirts. (Thank you Rezonance Printing, we love them!) Remembering the horrific legacy of Indigenous treatment in Canada and taking action to foster a safe and deferential world will continue to be the primary focus in this community.

Thank you teachers and staff who perpetually encourage us down our respective paths of Truth and Reconciliation!

Orange Shirt Day

This year, the whole school community recognized Orange Shirt Day with the children learning about Indigenous traditions and cultures of Turtle Island in age-appropriate ways.

FYI: Archie the Hamster is on Instagram!

Waterloo Toddler/Casa has a new pet, and he now has an Instagram account! Follow @archietheMAHampster to follow all his fun activities with the students!
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