The last Montessori Buzz of 2019-2020
Message from Tina Sartori, Executive Director
Dear MA Families,
It is hard to believe the school year has come to an end! Having the chance to connect with everyone, by curbside or school item pickup visit, allowed our community to have that final connection and close the year, before we move into the summer.
Looking ahead to September, we wanted to share with you this document, COVID-19 Recommendations for School Reopening that was created by SickKids Hospital (Toronto) and shared on June 17; our hope was that these guidelines, based on child-specific data over the last several months, would be taken into higher consideration with the decisions for the return to classrooms in the fall. Based on Friday’s announcement from the Ministry of Education, it is hard to discern if this has been the case. We will be waiting until August 4 for a final announcement from the Ministry of Education about September, but in the meantime here is what we are planning over the summer, based on Friday’s information:
Years 1 to 8
- Option 1: Normal school day routine with enhanced public health protocols where students come to school every day, in classes that reflect our usual configurations.
- Option 2: Students come to school everyday, with enhanced public health protocols to allow for physical distancing and cohorts of students in groups of 12-15 in a classroom. We will implement an adapted delivery model utilizing specialty classroom space available, where students will remain in contact with their cohort classmates and a teacher for as much of the school day as possible. An adopted timetable will occur for drop off and pick up routines and specialty teacher interactions. For this reason, we are not currently registering any new students for the Upper Elementary level. All applications will be put into a wait pool until August 4, when the option for our return to school is clear.
Because Options 1 and 2 involve all of our faculty providing in-person programming every day, we would not be able to hire enough extra staff to offer optional home-based learning for families.
- Option 3: If there is a full school closure we will go back to our home-based learning program, however there will be enhancements added to the program for varying levels and different requirements from students than the prior experience.
Toddler and Casa
- This sector is under the guidance of CCEYA and our transition to opening will begin on June 29 with our Toddler camp, following the current restrictions, updated guidelines and policies that have been put into place for July and August. Capacity restrictions are going to be re-evaluated before September.
- We will continue to monitor the guidelines and update families as we learn more and announcements are shared with the sector.
While we wait, we know this much is true: we are Montessori and one key element to our pedagogy are intentionally prepared environments for the students that allow them choice and independence, and that ignite their interests in learning. It is a space infused with love, that meets the needs of the child, wherever they are at developmentally. Regardless of restrictions that may be put into place, this will not change. It is what our Montessori training has instilled in us from the beginning.
Dr. Maria Montessori so eloquently says, “Education is a work of self-organization by which man adapts himself to the conditions of life.” Yes our conditions may have changed, but our values and what we believe remain the same. We are committed to updating families over the summer about the work we will be doing to get back to classes in the fall and share any changes or impacts as they are finalized.
I extend a huge thank you to everyone in our community: parents, students, teachers, staff and our Board of Governors, for working alongside us as we have navigated this challenging journey. I hope this summer an outdoor adventure awaits you, falling stars grace your presence, and you can finally take a deep breath for what it is – a chance to relax.
Watch for a message from the Board on Thursday
This is the last Buzz parent newsletter of the school year, however, we will share a year-end message from the President of our Board of Governors on Thursday.
Reminder: Gym Wear orders
For students in Elementary and Junior High, please complete this 2020-2021 Gym Wear Form (Montessori Academy Gym Wear Flyer JUNE 2020.pdf) and return to Tameka at email@example.com on or before July 3. Reminder: we now accept cash, cheque, MasterCard, Visa, Amex or Apple Pay. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, we are not able to have samples set up in the main office as usual. Because of this, we are asking that parents of returning students gauge their child’s size by the set of gym wear worn in the last school year.
Reminder: Upcoming office hours
- The Main Office will be closed for our Year-end Staff lunch on Thursday, June 25 starting at 11:00 am for about an hour.
- The School will be closed Friday, June 26.
- Summer Hours begin Monday, June 29 – the office will be open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday.
- The Office will be closed July 1 for Canada Day.
- Reception will be open the week of July 6-10 to receive campers who arrive late to camp, as they will need to be pre-screened upon arrival.
Development update: Grateful for All of You
As we wrap up an end to a difficult period, we are overwhelmed with gratitude by the generosity of our community. In the few months since the closure, we have raised an additional $20,000 thanks to donations from our parents, bringing us to just over $50,000 for the year. It’s amazing what a community can do in a short period of time. While we are not reaching our $100,000 goal this year, we are a lot further along than we were at the start of the closures! We are thrilled at having reached 50% of our fundraising goal with the majority of donations going towards our unrestricted fund, where we can use the donations where we need them the most. A heartfelt thank you to all of you.
Donations towards this school year can be made up until June 30, 2020. https://montessori.on.ca/get-involved/ways-to-give/
Support MA in the Great Canadian Giving Challenge
If you’re going to donate to the school, consider donating through Canada Helps (canadahelps.org). Until the end of June every $1 donated to the school earns us a ballot to win a (much needed) $20,000 in the Great Canadian Giving Challenge! The challenge is on until the end of June.
Visit MA’s Canada Helps page to donate: https://www.canadahelps.org/en/gcgc/101068
There was a ton of activity last week with the classrooms celebrating the graduates who are moving up to the next level of our program. There were curbside visits with Toddler and Casa families, special guest teachers, and of course, our school colours shining over downtown London.
Casa Year-end Celebrations
Casa 3’s graduation was an international event! They had families from Colombia, Brazil and New York join them!
Lower El’s Junior Chef cooking class
Junior Chef Champion Audrey and runner-up Noah led the Lower El students through a cooking class on Wednesday!
Casa Curbside Visits and Year-end Celebrations
From Lesley: It would seem that Winnie the Pooh had some wise words. “How lucky I am to have something so special it makes saying goodbye so hard.” It has been a very emotional and special last two days. I loved seeing all my kids and families one last time before the start of summer. This past year has been a year we will all definitely remember. I am grateful to have played a part on your child’s journey, and to have remained in their daily lives through Zoom. I needed those littles faces as much as they needed me. I would like to wish everyone a safe and happy summer! One more message that I would like to borrow from Winnie for my students. “Promise me you’ll always remember, you’re braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”
Find photos of the week’s activities in this photo album: https://montessori.myschoolapp.com/app/detail/album/photo/1075264
Gratitude from CHF for reusable masks
It is amazing to see how the London and area community has come together to support one another in these uncertain times.
While everyone is being told to stay home, kids like Addy still need to visit Children’s Hospital, London Health Sciences Centre for life-saving treatment.
Her medical needs have not gone away during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Your generous donation of cloth masks will ensure that visitors to Children’s Hospital, including Addy’s loved ones that must be with her during her appointments, will be safe when physical distancing is simply not possible.
Thank you for playing a part in keeping our loved ones, our friends and our neighbours safe.
Please click this link to hear Addy express her gratitude towards you.
Director, Community Relations and Children’s Miracle Network
Some good reading…
How to help kids exercise their brains and become more independent this summer — even during COVID-19
Don’t teach kids what to think. Teach them how to think….