Charles Ellis Montessori Academy, February 15, 2021

To Educate The Whole Child for a Whole World

"It is manifest that children seek the company of adults and try in every way to take part in their lives. The child is completely satisfied only when he sits at the table with the family or warms himself before the fire with them."

Maria Montessori The Child in the Family

Love Sweet Love

Yesterday evening I attended the virtual Mediation Center of the Coastal Empire, Velvet Gala. At the event our very own Carter Cummings ( 8th Grade) received the high honor of the Student Engagement Award for Chatham County. Carter's acceptance speech was poised and eloquent, clearly a reflection of his skills as a Peer Mediator.

Peer Mediation is a program that we have had at Charles Ellis Montessori Academy for several years. It provides students with opportunities to work out their problems in a safe and accepting environment under the guidance of another student such as Carter. It is totally student lead and, like Carter, our peer mediators engage in extensive training.

While other adults were saluted at this event, it was truly the voices of our young people that inspired us as a community to find or create those safe places to talk, to mitigate the potential violence that can erupt when we cannot see beyond our own needs and frustrations or when we feel no one is listening. Carter and his fellow Peer Mediators are examples of how when we truly listen with an open mind and open heart, we can guide ourselves and others through the problem and reach a loving resolution. So, as Mayor Van Johnson serenaded us yesterday evening with, "What the World Needs Now is Love Sweet Love", may this weekend, when we celebrate love in all its sweetness, transform our hearts for the daily active listening that leads to peace.


Important Dates

February 15- Staff Planning Day- No School for Students!

February 16- Pre-K Lottery Application Window Opens

February 19- Choice Program Application Window Closes

February 22- Cohort A Returns to the Building

February 24- Cohort B Returns to the Building

February 25- PTA Culture Fest

March 1-26- End of Year MAP Assessment Window

March 4- Pre-K Lottery Application Window Closes

March 8- Choice Program Lottery

March 17- St. Patrick's Day- No School!

Return to Learn Guidance

Visit the SCCPSS Return to Learn Guidance webpage.

SCCPSS Cohort A Schedule

SCCPSS Cohort B Schedule

At the Regular Meeting of the Board of Education held on February 3, 2021, the Board approved a resolution regarding support for changes to Second Semester Operations. Those changes include the District implementing a 3-Day/2-Day Hybrid Rotation with Learning Partner model for all Pre-K – 12 families as soon as practicable on a timeline that is operationally feasible. The District will provide notice of the date that such return to in-person learning will occur as soon as practicable. Each school will be afforded the flexibility to increase in-person learning days, as operationally feasible and coordinated through the District. Least Independent Learners, as identified by district staff, shall be offered a return to in-person learning five days per week, at a date that is operationally feasible as determined by the Superintendent or consistent with their current learning plans. Virtual learning would remain an option for all families through the end of the school year.

In addition, the District will begin planning for a return to in-person learning five days per week in the Spring Semester of the 2020-2021 school year if and when COVID-19 vaccines are available to District employees whose primary place of employment is in a school building or requires interaction with students, such as transportation employees. The District will implement such plan as soon as practicable on a timeline that is operationally feasible following the availability of such vaccines. The District will plan for a robust 2021 summer school program offering families not only enrichment but also opportunities for remediation and enhancement. The District will provide notice of such plan as soon as practicable so that District staff and families can plan. The District will plan for and study the feasibility of beginning the 2021-2022 school year with a five days per week in-person learning model.​

​View the Resolution here.

Hybrid Learning Device Distribution

If your student is returning to school during the Hybrid 3/2 Rotation model, they will need a school-issued device as they will be participating in a combination of both in-person and virtual instruction.

If your student has already been given a school device, they will need to bring it with them on the days they come to school.

If your student has NOT yet been given a school device, they will receive one to use the first day they come back to the building and paperwork will be sent home with the student for the parent/guardian to sign and return to school the next day.

Ms. Lisa will send an email to all parents of returning students with the necessary paperwork (check your SPAM folder if it is not in your inbox). If you have access to a printer, you are welcome to print and sign the paperwork and send it to school with your student the first day they return. They will then be allowed to take the device home that day. Devices will not be sent home with the student until the paperwork is signed by the parent/guardian and returned to the school.

If you have received a device from the District and you plan on purchasing the Technology Protection Plan provided by the District, please pay for that through School Cash Online and send the signed paperwork to school or email it to Ms. Lisa. This paperwork will also be sent home with your student.

If you have any questions, email Ms. Lisa (lisa.odonnell@sccpss.com).

SCCPSS Pre-K Lottery

SCCPSS Pre-K Website (including application, registration information, and more)

Pre-K applications for the 2021-2022 school year will be available from February 16 to March 4, 2021. When completing the application, be prepared to submit your child's birth certificate and proof of address in the application. Lottery notifications will be sent on April 7, 2021.

To participate in the Pre-K Program, children must be four years of age* on or before September 1, 2021, and must be a resident of Chatham County.

* Five-year-old children who have not previously attended the Pre-K program and who have developmental delays that impact their readiness for school may also enroll at the request of their parents. A Parent Acknowledgement form must be completed during registration.

For additional information, please email: amanda.drought@sccpss.com

SCCPSS Choice School Lottery

The application deadline is Friday, February 19th.

2021/2022 Choice Program Information Sheet

2021/2022 Choice Program Guide

Visit the SCCPSS Choice Program Website​ for ​a site list, ​​application, and ​more information.

*Attention Ellis PreK Parents: Please note that you MUST apply for the Ellis Choice Program in order for your student to be eligible to attend Ellis for kindergarten.*

Big picture

Culture Fest

Culture Fest will be Thursday, February 25, 2021@ 6:30pm.

We are inviting our Ellis families to share their cultural traditions through songs, dance, music

or other traditional activities. Performances can be up to 3 minutes. Please plan to attend this event to experience the culture and entertainment of our very own Ellis Families.

Here is the Flipgrid to record your video.

Thanks in Advance,

PTA Cultural Diversity Committee

Counselor's Corner

This week, school counseling instruction has continued on self-advocacy and awareness of our emotions. In Primary and Lower Elementary, we've read Niko Draws a Feeling and in both Upper Elementary and Erdkinder, we have been doing a NearPod lesson on self-advocacy and knowing our resources. If your student missed their lesson or you'd like to extend it at home, check out the Counseling Instruction tab on the School Counseling Website for recordings and read-alouds.

8th grade- don't forget to fill out your Choice Application for High School. The deadline is next week- February 19th.

Let me know if you need anything!

Ms. Rebecca, School Counselor

912-395-5470 x2


or you can message me on ItsLearning

Big picture

Device Grace & Courtesy

If your student has a SCCPSS device, please encourage them to use grace and courtesy with the device as they would with any classroom material.

Please do not allow them to add stickers to, draw on, or carve into the device. Also, please do not allow your child to eat or drink around these devices as liquid and crumbs can cause major issues with how they function.

These devices are property of SCCPSS and they should be treated as any other borrowed material by taking care of it as you would want your own things taken care of. Thank you for your help with this practical life skill.

School-Wide Grace & Courtesy Focus

The Language for Identifying/Naming the Qualities of Assertiveness from the "Self- Awakened Child" series by Jonathan Wolff:

  • When I ask for what I need or want, I am being Assertive.
  • What I do or say the right thing--even when it's hard--I am being Assertive.
  • What I say "no" to someone who tries to hurt me or someone else, I am being Assertive.

itsLearning Parent Portal

Update: The District sent out emails to parents on how to login to the new itsLearning Parent Portal on Monday, February 1st.

Click the links below to view information from SCCPSS about the upcoming release of the itsLearning Parent Portal.

itsLearning Parent Portal Information

itsLearning Parent Portal Video

Is Your Student's Chromebook Running Slow?

Here are a couple of things that you/your student can do on a regular basis to improve the Chromebooks performance.

  1. Clearing Cache/Cookies from Chrome Browser
  2. Upload Files from Chromebook to Google Drive- After you copy any files from the device to your student's Google Drive, delete the files from the device.

From the Clinic

Please read the attached flyer with health and safety information.

Covid-19 Parent at Home Screening

If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to me.

Thank you,

Nurse Chris


912-395-5470 Ext. 71213

Join the Ellis PTA and Support Our Community!

Please consider joining the PTA to support our Ellis community. Membership is only $7/person.

So far this school year, the PTA has done the following:

  • Held a school supply drive for our Ellis families
  • Funded the purchase of individual Montessori materials for our Primary students
  • Sponsored teachers to attend an Anti-Racist, Anti-Bias Teaching in the Montessori Classroom seminar.
  • Organized the Fall Festival Parade
  • Organized the PTA Reflections contest
  • Accepted teacher grant applications
  • Funded improvements to the playground and multi-purpose room
  • Sponsored the Read-A-Thon
  • Organized the Angel Tree for families in our Ellis community
  • Donated non-perishable food items to Emmaus House
  • Purchased Medify HEPA Air Purifier/replacement filters for classrooms
  • Supplied Nurse Chris with needed health and wellness supplies
  • And so much more!

The PTA cannot do all this without your help and support. The easiest way to show your support is simply by joining the Ellis PTA.

Visit the PTA Website.

Ellis Montessori Academy Website

Click here to view the new Charles Ellis Montessori Academy website.

SCCPSS Website

Please visit this website regularly for the most up-to-date SCCPSS District information.