September 24, 2021
Our students were so proud of the Peace Pennants that they made for The International Day of Peace (Tues., 9/21). Each pennant was unique and represented the student’s personal vision of peace. We have pictures below of the Peace Pennants flying high atop the flag pole at the MSA Peace Plaza, waving in the wind, and spreading messages of peace out into the universe. (Students will be bringing them home today.)
Tuesday evening we held an All Faculty/Staff meeting. Mr. Coart Ramey, upper school English and history teacher, shared information with us about “Toxic Positivity” and how it can impact our mental well-being during difficult times. (Living through a pandemic certainly qualifies as “difficult times.”) He provided resources to help us better understand the impact toxic positivity can have on us and to offer some alternative language. You may find this information helpful in dealing with challenges at your workplace or even within your family. Here’s a good general overview of “toxic positivity” from a mental health source: https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-toxic-positivity-5093958
And here’s a chart from calmsage.com of alternative things to say:
We are so fortunate that our campus has been COVID-free since the start of school. This is the result of having community members who are communicating concerns and taking steps to mitigate risk here at school and outside of school. We are so grateful to have a community that cares and behaves responsibly. We ask that you continue to partner with us to keep our MSA family safe and healthy and we THANK YOU!
Our primary program will be holding its annual Planet PJ Party this evening from 6:00-7:30 pm. It is an “out-of-this-world” experience that is a student favorite! We look forward to sharing photos from this special event in next week’s Montessori Matters!
Hope you enjoy this first autumn weekend!
Dr. Dana Hill
Dates to Remember
September 27 - Montessori Monday - wear Montessori-themed attire
October 1 - Pink Out! Wear pink to support Breast Cancer Awareness Month
October 4-8 - Fall portraits
October 5 - ACT testing in High School
October 13-15 - Fall Break - extended care available for IT-PR
October 22 - Do a Kind Deed Day
October 25-29 - Spirit Week - details to come
October 26 - PSAT/NMSQT testing for 10th-11th grades
In order to prevent the spread of flu within our MSA community, we ask that you speak to your healthcare provider and discuss if you or your child are candidates for the flu vaccine. The American Academy of Pediatrics and the CDC recommend the flu vaccine for all ages who meet the guidelines. The CDC recommends that individuals get a flu vaccine as soon as possible this year, secondary to the circulation and surge of Covid-19 variants. I am sharing a link from the CDC regarding the 2021-2022 flu vaccine, it may answer many of your questions. You and your child(ren) should consider getting a flu vaccine before the flu season begins spreading in your community. It takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies that protect against flu to develop in the body, so make plans to get vaccinated early in fall, before flu season begins.
*** This year it is important that we do not overburden the healthcare system with additional flu admissions so it is important to protect our community.
MSA Covid-19 Testing Program:
I am pleased to update you on the MSA Covid-19 Saliva testing pilot program. You may recall that this program was initiated at MSA mid-August and has been made available through the courtesy of Clemson University's CLIA Community Testing Program. The program has been successful, and we’ve been able to offer the testing option not only to MSA Employees but now to Upper El and Middle and High School. The program remains strictly confidential, voluntary and FREE. This serves as an added layer to our mitigation strategies to quickly identify disease and take appropriate actions for reducing transmission on campus and in the classrooms.
Why is our school testing for COVID-19?
Regular testing is a safe, effective way to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and help keep our schools open for in-person learning. Many people with COVID-19, especially children and teens, are asymptomatic and do not exhibit any signs of illness but can still spread the virus, so regular testing helps to quickly identify the virus in the infected person, and they can be isolated before they can spread to others. Schools with robust testing programs have proven to reduce transmission rates by 50% in the classroom per SCDHEC. This is especially important for children under 12 years old who are not yet able to get vaccinated against COVID-19, families and staff with younger children at home, and others who are not vaccinated or are otherwise at risk for getting seriously sick from COVID-19. Regular testing will help us keep students in the classroom and allow students to take part in the other activities they love.
With health and peace,
Susanna Merriman, RN
International Day of Peace
Primary Extended Day
Students in Primary Extended Day get extra time for works, snacks, and outside time in the afternoons. These students enjoyed a variety of activities this week; click this link to see more photos.