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Montessory Centenary Exhibition in Toronto
 
 
Introduction

No. 146

Aug. 18, 2016

No. 145

May 15, 2016

No. 144

Feb. 5, 2016

     
 

N E W S L E T T E R          NO. 146          August 18, 2016

Dear Parents,

Welcome back! Hope you had a good summer. Here is some information about the upcoming school year.

GENERAL INFORMATION

1. FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL

All returning Casa students who attended classes in June 2016, and all elementary and adolescent students start school on Tuesday, September 6, 2016.

2. FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL FOR NEW PRIMARY (CASA) CHILDREN

The new Primary (Casa) children will begin classes in small groups between Monday, Sept. 12, 2016 through Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2016. To find out the starting date for your child, please call the office after September 1st , or you may receive this information on Sept. 8, 2016 during our Parents Orientation Night.

3. PARENTS ORIENTATION NIGHT – WINE & CHEESE

All Parents are kindly invited to an Orientation Night on Thursday, September 8, 2016 at 7:00 p.m. Please come directly to your child’s classroom. There will be an introduction to the daily routine, work in each particular level, and a question and answer period, etc. Afterwards, all parents are welcome to attend the wine and cheese reception in the gym.

4. URGENT INFORMATION NEEDED

Please read and correct if necessary the Student Information Form enclosed and return it to the office by Thursday, Sept. 8th. The Pink Immunization Form is to be completed for all new Casa students only. The Student Medical Information Form and a small photo are needed if your child has a medical condition (allergies, food sensitivities, asthma etc.). Forms will be available at the office.

6. TEACHERS UPDATE

  • Ann Marie Murphy will be moving to Elementary A
  • Elisa Song will be moving to Casa A
  • Kim Smith will be starting Elementary F
  • Alison Grinton will be on maternity leave during the 2016-2017 school year

7. PARENTS’ ASSOCIATION GENERAL MEETING

The first meeting of the Parents' Association is scheduled for Tuesday, September 13, 2016 at 7:00 p.m. Please check for more information about the Parents Association in the yellow pages of this newsletter. Please let the office know if the Parents’ Association cannot use your e-mail address, which will be used solely for the Parents’ Association purpose. Please join us for a cup of coffee before the meeting at 6:30 pm.

8. SCHOOL CALENDAR

Attached is the calendar for the upcoming school year. This calendar lists the dates that the school is open plus all workshops and conferences.

9. MONTHLY TUITION FEE

The monthly tuition fee is due on the first of each month. Please bring your postdated cheques covering the period from September 2016 to June 2017 on the first day of attendance. For parents who have submitted the September 2016 fee earlier, please remember to pay the remaining extra September fees – i.e. lunch program, after school program, or busing. Please consult attached fee schedules.

10. FRONT DOOR ENTRY CODE

The main entrance door in the school is equipped with a numeric combination lock. You will need to know the new combination code in order to open the door. You may obtain the code from any staff member. Please remember that this code should not be shared with your child.

11. CHILDREN DROP-OFF AND PICK-UP

Please remember not to park your car in front of the school or across from the school.

PLEASE CONSULT ECO-FRIENDLY ALTERNATIVES ATTACHMENT.

All Casa children begin their work in their classes at 8:45 a.m.

All Elementary and Adolescent students begin their work in their classes at 8:30 a.m.

If you have any message for school staff, please have them already written down and leave them in the main office. We will pass on your written message to the right person.

Please make sure that you are not late as it disturbs the other children in the class and may make your own child uncomfortable.

Please allow your child at least 15 minutes to get changed, greet his/her friends, and get ready for work at 8:45 a.m. (Casa) and 8:30 a.m. (Elem. & Adolescent). If you are late, please make sure that you reduce your farewell to a minimum.

  • Please allow your child the opportunity to enter the classroom independently
  • Dear Parents, please do not enter the classroom
  • Please do not carry children upstairs and do not help them to change their clothes.

To foster independence, all ‘goodbyes’ for elementary students should happen at the bottom of the stairways on the ground level.

The ideal time to arrive for Casa children in the morning is between 8:30 and 8:45 a.m. Full-day children can be brought into the school for before-school supervision as early as 7:30 a.m., to be supervised by the French Speaking Assistants in the before-school area (second floor) between 7:30 a.m. & 8:00 a.m.

Please note that the French Speaking Assistants have been instructed to only speak French in the presence of the children.

At 8:00 a.m., all Casa children who are coming for before-school supervision will be moved to their own classes. They will be able to start working with the materials earlier in a regular fashion.

Around 8:00 a.m., all Elementary children who are coming for before-school supervision will return to their appropriate environments. Elementary children arriving between 8:00 and 8:30 a.m. will go directly to their own classes.

Half-day children should arrive at school anytime between 8:00 a.m. and 8:45 a.m. Please note that half-day classes end at 11:45 a.m. Parents who are collecting their children at 11:45 a.m., should wait in the main lobby (ground floor). We will bring all half-day children there.

Full-day Casa children who are not enrolled in the after-school program should be collected from the second floor lobby at 3:30 p.m. CHILDREN NOT ATTENDING THE AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAM SHOULD BE COLLECTED BY 4:00 P.M.

Elementary children who are not enrolled in the after-school program will group together in the front lobby for pick-up at 3:30 p.m. CHILDREN NOT ATTENDING THE AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAM SHOULD BE COLLECTED BY 4:00 P.M.

Please remember that this 30-minute time period is not an extension of school hours.

12. SCHOOL BUS ZONE AND PARKING AREA

Please do not park your car in the school bus zone. Please consult the Eco-Friendly Alternatives attachment. If you use our parking area, please back your car into the parking spot, and park for 10 min. or less.

13. SCHOOL BUS HOME PICK-UP AND DELIVERY SERVICE

We would like to begin home school bus delivery service as of Tuesday, September 6, 2016. The regular home pick-up will begin on Wednesday, September 7, 2016. Please call the school ASAP if you are interested in this program. The program is available for a monthly fee. However, if space and time permit, single trips will be available at a cost of $10.00 per trip. Please pay this single fee in advance.

14. AFTER-SCHOOL PROGRAM

All children who will be staying at school after 4:00 p.m. must be enrolled in the after-school program on a monthly basis. Please call us ASAP if you are interested in this program. For parents who need to use the After School Program on an occasional basis or who are unable to collect their child before 4:00pm, the after-school program, is available at a daily rate of $15 per child. Please pay this fee on the same day your child is using the program.

15. CLASS LIST

Your child’s class list with parents’ names and home telephone numbers will be available soon to all parents. Please submit to us ASAP, the attached Student Information Form 2016-2017. If you do not wish to have your home telephone number published, please let the office know. The class list is used for quick passage of information or reminders of important events at the school. It may also come in handy around birthday times!

16. TELEPHONE SYSTEM

The school is equipped with a telephone system including Star Talk. You will be able to leave a voice message for your child’s teacher. Please ask your child’s teacher for her/his telephone extension number.

 

PRIMARY (CASA) CLASSES

1. WHAT TO BRING ON THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL

Please bring a complete change of clothes to school for your child, including a pair of indoor shoes. The child’s indoor shoes should be kept at school. Slippers are not suitable for school. Please mark your child’s name on all of his/her clothing and belongings.

2. PARENT DOs AND DON’Ts

1. In keeping with our goals of nurturing the child's growth and independence, we kindly ask that parents drop their children off in the corridor (or the front foyer) and say their goodbyes outside the children's class environment. This will allow the children to enter the classroom on their own, taking responsibility for themselves and their belongings.

If they require assistance, someone within the environment will offer help. This simple act will encourage grace and courtesy among the children for each other and will also raise your child's self-esteem and self-reliance.

2. As we strive to preserve the quality of the daily work periods, we would appreciate if you could ensure that your child is in his/her classroom no later than 8:45 a.m. (Casa) and 8:30 a.m. (Elementary). In the event that your child will be absent or will need to arrive late (i.e. doctor's appointment, etc.) please leave a message with the main office. In this way, we can be prepared to greet your child properly upon his/her arrival and also minimize the disruption of work to other children. Likewise, if you need to collect your child earlier than his/her regular dismissal time, please notify the main office so that we can make arrangements to say goodbye and have your child ready to be picked up by you. We would kindly ask that you refrain from opening the classroom door and calling out to your child or the teacher, as this causes a tremendous disruption to the peace and concentration in the class, thus disturbing the work of the children and the teacher.

3. Here are a few helpful suggestions for parents of Primary children to help make your child's growth and experience more wholesome and consistent.

* Allow your children to walk on their own when taking them places (particularly into and out of the school!). Maria Montessori stated that children under two can walk a mile -- we need only to walk beside them at their pace. This will allow your child to cultivate self-esteem and a healthy physical development. (Hugs and kisses can be shared at this level!)

* Encourage them to give up items and habits that encourage dependence rather than independence (i.e. pacifiers, baby bottles, diapers, stuffed toys, blankets, thumb sucking, etc.). Children who are able to soothe themselves and can function as independent individuals are on the right path to living a life of self-sufficiency, pride and confidence.

* Attend as many lectures and workshops as possible, and continue to read Dr. Montessori's works regarding child development and the Montessori philosophy. This will aid in presenting a harmonious approach to raising your child as well as help you to understand the goals and objectives of the Montessori Method of Education as an "Aid to Life".

* The children are welcome to bring in interesting and unusual items from time to time (e.g. shells, souvenirs or ornaments from a vacation, foreign objects that illustrate different customs or traditions, etc.) to contribute to the children's cultural awareness of the world in which they live. Toys, stickers, body tattoos, jewelry and cosmetics are not appropriate articles for school as they are highly distracting to the children and are often the cause of arguments.

4. Please remember that if you have any questions, concerns or suggestions related to your child's daily activities or well-being, please address them directly to your child's teacher. Assistants and other supporting staff are not pedagogically responsible for answering inquiries of this nature.

5. Ensure that your child has a seasonal change of clean clothes available in his/her cubby at all times while at school.

Most importantly, please dress your children in clothes that they are functionally able to manage on their own. Overalls, belts, suspenders and pants that are difficult to fasten and unfasten only serve to slow down your children in their efforts to toilet themselves successfully, as well as cause unnecessary frustration and discouragement when having to depend upon others for constant assistance.

6. Help your children to help themselves by allowing them to do as much as they can without offering unnecessary assistance. Dr. Montessori writes, "...listening does not make a man...only practical work and experience lead the young to maturity..." and, "the most favourable time for a child to learn is when she wants to do it herself."

7. In an effort to keep all the children in our care safe, happy and healthy, we need to advise parents about the importance of allowing children who are suffering from an illness to remain at home until such time as they have fully recovered. Children who are not well enough to play outdoors are not well enough to be in attendance at the school. Please understand that we cannot detain a needed staff member for one sick child. If your child becomes ill while at school, you will be contacted to make arrangements to collect your child as soon as possible.

Your promptness will ease your child's discomfort and enable your child to receive the care he/she needs ASAP, as well as prevent the illness from spreading to the other children and adults in the close environment.

8. Your children's journey through life begins with you, the parent, and must continue to be guided by you throughout their early years, as the road to adulthood is a challenging and lengthy one. While you have chosen to have your children's wholesome growth and development supported by a Montessori Education, this task cannot be assumed without the parents involvement in the children's learning experience. It is imperative that parents "get on board" and support the Montessori philosophy by continuing to educate themselves regarding the way that Montessori is offering your child education as an “Aid to Life”. Parents are strongly encouraged to read the works of Dr. Maria Montessori, which are available in our school's Parent Library, as well as to attend and participate in all meetings, lectures and workshops scheduled throughout the school year as part of our commitment to Parent Education.

The task of educating a child is a momentous one and therefore has little chance of being successful if the principles of the philosophy of the parents and their chosen method of education are not in harmony.

9. A Montessori environment is a "prepared environment". Its main function is to offer the children everything they need to aid in their task of self-creation. The adults in the environment have a unique role in that we act as the child’s “guide on the side". Children are their own master teachers and in an effort to support their personal and individual growth to the maximum, while creating a special place that encourages independence and self-confidence, the adults must maintain a marginal position in the learning experience with the child. The only way to accomplish this is to preserve a professional relationship among the children, their parents and their teachers (teachers and assistants) at all times.

 

ABC PARENT GUIDE

1. The children need to walk (not be carried) into school by themselves and come upstairs to put their own things away. This may take a few extra minutes of your time but we assure you it's time well spent. They must learn the importance of walking up/down the stairs properly. The child's movement is a paramount element of his/her development. The children must have "liberty of movement" in order to "exercise themselves to learn to coordinate their movements".

2. Please do not change the clothing of your children or hang their clothes up for them. Although this saves you time, your child is left not knowing where his/her belongings have been placed. Encourage the right habits and independence. You may not hear it, but this is what your child is saying to you: "Please help me to do it myself!"

3. We refer to everything that the child does at school as "work", rather than "play". It is only we, the adults, who do not give a positive connotation to the word "work". Although this may seem trivial, this distinction should be respected and carried on at home.

4. Any questions regarding your child's progress at school should be directed to her/his teacher. Assistants have been instructed not to give out this type of information.

5. Throughout the year we will be holding Parent Education Evenings, where we will introduce you to the Montessori materials. It is important that all parents attend these sessions as they will help you to understand how your child is learning and how you can help to foster learning experiences outside the school environment.

6. Once the class has begun, the teachers will not be available to speak to any parents in the hall. Please relay your messages to the assistants or leave a message at the office.

7. Please call and leave a message with the main office if your child is not coming to school.

8. Please dress your child in comfortable and practical clothing. Remember that your child has to use the washroom independently.

9. Please dress your child for the outdoors according to the weather conditions. On the colder/winter days, children who do not have hats, gloves, and warm coats will be kept inside. Label all of your child's belongings -- especially the winter clothes.

10. PLEASE MAKE SURE THAT CHILDREN DO NOT BRING TOYS TO SCHOOL. They cause endless confusion and unhappiness, especially when some beloved toy is broken or disappears.

 

HEALTH POLICY

For the health protection of your child and your family, please follow this health policy when your child is ill. Your child should not be at school if suffering from any of the following:

  • Vomiting - Fever
  • Persistent cough
  • Severe rash
  • Diarrhea
  • Contagious diseases
  • Pink Eye (conjunctivitis)
  • A cold that indicates infection

If your child is off sick with anything contagious, please consult with your doctor as to when your child can return to school. We would like to thank you in advance for your co-operation in helping us to stop the spread of unnecessary ailments and to keep your family healthy!! For a detailed list of communicable diseases, please check the parents' board in the lobby.

A copy of your child’s immunization record must be submitted to the office not later than September 30, 2016.

 

ELEMENTARY CLASSES

1. WHAT TO BRING ON THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL

  • gym shoes
  • separate pair of indoor shoes
  • water bottle
  • small pencil case that will hold a pencil, eraser, coloured pencils, sharpener

2. WHAT NOT TO BRING TO SCHOOL

  • comics, magazines, graphic novels
  • cards, stickers of any kind
  • gum, candy, pop
  • toys of any kind, electronic devices, cell phones*

    (Cell phone use: special permission is required eg. if a child travels independently. In this case, cell phones need to be stored in the main office until afternoon dismissal).

  • in general, any other distracting material

3. AFTERNOON DISMISSAL

The Elementary children who are not enrolled in the after school program will group together in the front lobby for pick-up at 3:30 p.m. The children will be dismissed by the adult on duty.

4. LUNCH ROUTINE

All Elementary children will begin eating their lunches at 11:30 a.m. The children who have finished eating will go outside until 12:45 p.m. We encourage the children to make or help to make their own lunches. Include nutritious items such as fruit, vegetables, sandwiches, milk or fruit juice. Avoid sugary foods. Please do not send any products to school that contain any nuts, as some children have allergies to nuts. Also, please pack the lunch in reusable containers. Any leftover lunch should be taken home. Please help us to encourage the children to recycle as much as possible.

5. PHYSICAL EDUCATION - MUSIC - ART – FRENCH – SPECIAL EDUCATION

The children will continue participating in French language, physical education, music and art as part of the daily work cycle. Jane Lautens, AMI trained Montessori teacher will continue working as a Special Education Teacher. Children who are in need of extra enrichment and remedial work will be joining this program on a regular basis. The Special Education Program will be available to all elementary students in need and will begin in mid-September.

6. OBSERVATIONS & WORKSHOPS

We believe that parent education is very important. In order to facilitate this, we offer parents the opportunity to observe the Elementary classes. This will take place two times a year. The times for these observations will be posted in November and May. We strongly encourage parents to attend the Elementary workshops. Please see the attached School Calendar.

7. INTERVIEWS

Parental interviews will be held twice a year in December and May. If you participate in observations, class visits, workshops and interviews, you will have a better understanding of the Montessori Elementary program. Progress reports are issued towards the end of the year, reflecting the development of your child.

ADOLESCENT PROGRAM

1. IMPORTANT NEWS

Parents, on the first day of school, Tuesday, September 6th please feel free to come in when you drop off your son or daughter to say hello and see the classroom. We look forward to having you join us on Thursday, September 8th at 7:00 pm for the Parent Orientation Night.

2. WHAT TO BRING ON THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL

  • A combination lock
  • Pencils, erasers
  • Pens – blue, black and red are a must; other colours are fine too
  • Coloured pencils – a standard 10-12 colour set is just fine, however there are many options to choose from
  • Highlighters – at least two colours
  • Pencil case
  • Ruler
  • Math kit
  • Binders

    • 1” red

    • 1” green

    • 1” black

    • 1” blue

    • 1” other colour

    • 3” any colour

  • A journal with lined pages – approximate size 6” x 8”. This item will become very close to you so please choose a journal that you really like.
  • Gym clothes and shoes
  • Water bottle
  • Indoor shoes

3. WHAT NOT TO BRING TO SCHOOL

  • Cellular phones, iPods, mp3 players, etc. We will discuss the Adolescent Program policies on these items during the first week of school.
  • Gum, candy, pop/energy drinks
  • In general, any other distracting material

4. AFTERNOON DISMISSAL

The students in the Adolescent Program will be dismissed from their classroom at 3:30 p.m. After that, the students are free to proceed with whatever routines they have arranged with their parents: i.e. walk/bike home, subway or pickup.

5. LUNCH ROUTINE

The Adolescent students will eat their lunch together in the classroom at 12:00 p.m. each day. In general, they will need a bag lunch three days a week and we will be cooking two days a week. Please bring a bag lunch on the first day of school. We encourage the Adolescent students to make their own lunches and to include healthy items such as fruit, vegetables, milk and fruit juice. Please do not pack any items that contain nuts, as some children in the school have allergies to nuts. It is not abnormal for an adolescent to not feel like eating first thing in the morning but rest assured they will be very hungry around 9:30 or 10:00. Please encourage your son or daughter to pack a healthy mid-morning snack if they find this to be the case.

We encourage all students to pack their lunches in an environmentally responsible way. Try to avoid individually packaged items and to use reusable containers.

6. PHYSICAL EDUCATION/ MUSIC/ ART/FRENCH/SPECIAL EDUCATION

The adolescents will continue participating in French language, physical education, music and art as part of the daily work cycle. Jane Lautens, AMI trained Montessori teacher will continue working as a Special Education Teacher. Students who are in need of extra enrichment and remedial work will be joining this program on a regular basis. The Special Education Program will be available to all Adolescent Program students in need and will begin mid-September.

7. OBSERVATIONS & WORKSHOPS

We believe that parent education is very important. In order to facilitate this, we will be holding regular events for parents throughout the year. These will be student organized and run, and will give parents the opportunity to see examples of work their sons and daughters have been doing, as well as to offer parents the opportunity to observe the Adolescent class. We also encourage parents to attend the Adolescent workshops. Please see the attached School Calendar.

8. INTERVIEWS

Parental interviews will be held twice a year, in December and in May. If you participate in observations, class visits, workshops and interviews, you will have a better understanding of the Montessori Adolescent Program. Progress Reports are issued towards the end of the year, reflecting the development of your son or daughter.

 
 

 
 

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