Montessori Buzz – Sept. 2, 2020
Happy Phasing In to our students, who will be visiting their classrooms and teachers this week! We’ve missed you!
Last Wednesday we shared some information about our approach to masks this fall for “school-aged” children in response to questions from parents who had heard news about what Thames Valley District School Board is mandating for their communities. According to the Health Unit: “It was not created/initiated as a mandate from our agency as a guidance to all schools in our Middlesex-London region.”
Therefore our policies will be as follows:
- For children in Casa classrooms – although our Casa program includes children who are school aged, these programs are licensed and therefore are governed by the guidelines and regulations under the Ministry of Education, through the Child Care and Early Years Act. At this point, masks have not yet been made mandatory. Parents are welcome to send their child in a mask if you so choose.
- For children in Lower Elementary/Years 1-3 – our contacts at the health unit have confirmed that we can continue to leave masks for Years 1-3 as optional. As communicated earlier, Casa students do not need to wear them. As always parents have a choice to send a mask for their younger student if they prefer.
A bit of background on this update
It was not until 6pm on Wednesday that we were able to clarify and confirm with our team and the health unit how we needed to move head with masking for our students. The difference with the announcement for TVDSB is that they have schools in two different counties with two different masking by-laws, and one of them requires children ages 5 and up to wear them. In order to cover both counties’ restrictions, TVDSB went ahead with this change. We are following our current masking by-law as well at the guideline put out by the Ministry of Education. We apologize for the confusion it caused.
Being an independent school, there is no organization informing us on policy and procedure that we need to follow. We have to figure it out and do it on our own. This often means dealing with three or more different organizations to understand how we are impacted with various and numerous announcements that are constantly made. Again, we ask for parents to have patience and understanding as we navigate our boat in a vast ocean with limited lighthouses. We understand the passion you have regarding your children’s environment at school and that the spectrum of what each parent wants to see is broad. This is not easy for anyone, you as a parent, or the administration of the school.
As always, we are grateful for the continued support of our families.
A few more staffing updates
We have some more staffing updates to share: Amanda Querin has shared with us, she and her husband, Shane, are expecting their second baby in December. Congrats Amanda! Until she departs for her maternity leave, she will be supporting the Oxford Casa location. Angela Matthews will be our Librarian.
Lisa Eastick has moved into a new-ish role as our Learning & Literacy Support Teacher. Amanda DelMonte is our Educational Resource Aid. More details on Lisa and Amanda’s roles are available in our Parent Handbook, which is available on the school website under Our Families/ Forms & Policies and the Parent Portal on the MA Policies Resource Board.
Update to our pickup process at Elementary
We’ve refined our pickup process at our Elementary location to help us maintain physical distancing…
Staff members with walkie-talkies will be stationed at Kenneth and Piccadilly this year to help facilitate pickup daily. We encourage our Lower Elementary families to park on Piccadilly so they are closest to the LE doors and Elementary courtyard gate.
Upper Elementary students should be picked up on Kenneth Ave. Upper Elementary siblings will be asked to walk down the sidewalk along Waterloo to meet their families on Piccadilly during pickup time.
Thank you in advance for your cooperation as we define (and refine!) our processes for a smooth and safe transition back to school.
Reminders: Daily At-home Screening and Attestation
- Toddler and Casa families are required to take their child(ren)’s temperature daily and record it in a secure form that was shared via email with you from the Front Desk. These forms are also available through your child’s classroom Bulletin Boards on the Parent Portal
- Elementary and Junior High students do not need to record temperatures, however, daily self-screening is expected as noted in our COVID Parent Guide for Elementary/Junior High available on our September 2020 Return to School Information.
- Please remember to complete the Attestation before you bring your child(ren) to school on Tuesday, September 8. Links to the attestation forms are in the COVID-19 Parent Guides.
Where can I find the September 2020 Return to school information?
On the Parent Portal: https://montessori.myschoolapp.com/app/parent#resourceboard
List of PD Days and Holidays
Here’s a list of the PD Days and Holidays for the 2020-2021 school year. The printed Year at a Glance Calendar will be sent home during the first week of school.
|Oct. 2||P.D. Day|
|Oct. 12||Thanksgiving Day|
|Nov. 13||P.D. Day (same as TVDSB)|
|Dec. 21-Jan.1||Winter Break|
|Jan. 22||P.D. Day (same as TVDSB)|
|Feb. 15||Family Day Holiday|
|March 15-19||March Break (1 week – same as TVDSB)|
|April 2||Good Friday|
|April 5||Easter Monday|
|April 23||PD Day|
|May 21||PD Day|
|May 24||Victoria Day|
|June 25||P.D. Day (Last day of school is Thursday, June 24)|
Chalk art celebration of Maria Montessori’s 150th birthday!
Thank you to the Junior High students and parents who stopped by on Sunday to lend their artistic talents to our Maria Montessori 150th Birthday chalk artwork.