Charles Ellis Montessori Academy, August 16, 2021

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“The child's development follows a path of successive stages of independence, and our knowledge of this must guide us in our behaviour towards him. We have to help the child to act, will and think for himself. This is the art of serving the spirit, an art which can be practiced to perfection only when working among children.” -Dr. Maria Montessori

Independence is at the heart of what unfolds in a Montessori classroom. At each developmental level, children and young people are given guidance and opportunity to manage their daily learning and community interactions. We, as the adults, are charged with "scaffolding" this learning by building an environment that is ordered, beautiful and simple.

The abstract concept of time is integral to how we build ordered environments, that children thrive in. Of course, as adults, there is never enough time, but for children and adolescents building a sense of time into their day is crucial for promoting physical and mental wellbeing. Does your family have: a bedtime, a dinner time, a time for play and time for lounging, a time for work in the garden, a time for a walk in the park, a time for reading, a time for hobbies? When we can identify and stick to a schedule it starts to build rituals in our daily lives. Rituals, in turn, bring the security, that despite the other fluctuations of our days, can remain constant and we know what to expect. The transitions between the ascribed events of the day can be flexible but, over time, honoring the key rituals brings a reverence for the spirit of family.

Peace Always,

Ms. Tanya

P.S. I am here for you and our children. Do not hesitate to reach out to me via email:


Important Dates

August 20- **URGENT** Deadline to pay for FPP for Technology (see below)

August 26- PTA Meeting (Join PTA!)

September 3- Fall Picture Day (FREE Dress Down Day)

September 6- Labor Day- No School!

Ellis Website Down/Not Updated

Please note: School websites have been down for a couple of days. Ms. Lisa has not been able to update the Ellis website since they went down. There are items like the updated Family Handbook that she has not been able to add to the website yet. The district networking team is working on the issue, but please note that if the Ellis website starts working over the weekend, the Family Handbook listed on the website will be the outdated version. Please see the link below for the most up-to-date version of the Ellis Family Handbook.

**UPDATED** 2021/2022 Ellis Family Handbook

Please read the Ellis Family Handbook, which was updated on August 12th, thoroughly for operational procedures regarding:
  • Covid Protocols
  • Quarantine Learning Plans
  • Arrival/Dismissal
  • Uniforms
  • etc.

From the Clinic

For the health and safety of your student, please complete the 2021/2022 Ellis Student Medical Questionnaire regarding his/her medical conditions and/or allergies as soon as possible. This information will be an initial communication about the needs of your student and will be reviewed by the School Nurse. To ensure the proper care of your student, the information will be shared with the faculty and staff who interact with him/her and needs to be updated annually. Please complete a separate questionnaire for each of your students. Thank you for your help.

If your child is (or will be) absent for any reason, please email your child's teacher AND copy Nurse Chris on the email.

If your student is classified as a "Close Contact" with someone who has COVID-19 at school, you will receive a phone call from someone on the Ellis Contact Tracing team to pick them up immediately. When you pick up your student, you will be provided with a letter from Nurse Chris outlining further instructions including when your student will be allowed to return to the building. You can view that letter template at this link for your information. It is also listed in the updated Ellis Family Handbook.

Welcome letter from Nurse Chris.

Contact Information:



Device Distribution

**Update 8/13/2021**: Devices have been distributed to all 1st-8th grade classes for the students who have the required paperwork on file. If you have not filled out the learning device loan form for your student(s) yet, PLEASE do so ASAP. It is imperative that your student has either a school device or a personal device to use at home in case they must quarantine.

If you have not filled out the "Student Learning Device Loan Form" (either a print copy or the linked digital form) yet for each of your students, please do so ASAP so that we can prepare to distribute a device to them per your request. If you agree to purchase the Family Protection Plan or FPP (which is highly recommended in order to avoid costly repairs this year!), please remember the deadline to pay for the FPP is Friday, August 20, 2021.

Primary (PreK/K)
students will be receiving iPads and Lower El-Erdkinder (1st-8th Grades) will be receiving Chromebooks to use in the classroom/at home this year.

The district is offering a Family Protection Plan (FPP) for the devices this year for only $25. The FPP will cover accidental damage (not loss or theft) of the device and provide up to TWO replacement devices this school year. Please note that the cost of device repairs (if the FPP is NOT purchased) has increased due to demand for the parts (a Chromebook screen replacement, our most common repair, is now $90!), so we HIGHLY recommend that you purchase the FPP for each student's device.

The deadline to purchase the FPP is August 20, 2021.

The FPP can be purchased through School Cash Online. You will find instructions on how to register for School Cash Online and connect your student(s) to your account here.

If your family is in need of a HotSpot device, contact Ms. Lisa to see if you qualify.

Student Learning Device Loan Form and FPP Information (This form MUST be filled out by a parent/guardian for EVERY student)- These will be available in your classroom at Open House or you can fill out the digital version at this link.

**Please note: Per SCCPSS district policy, if your student has a fine still on their account for a damaged device or a lost charger from the 2020/2021 school year, they will not be allowed to check out a device until that fine is paid. Contact Ms. Lisa (lisa.odonnell@sccpss.com) so that you can make payment arrangements.**

It is HOT outside!

Please send a reusable water bottle (labeled with your student's name) with your student(s) everyday. It is HOT outside and they need to stay hydrated throughout the day. Water fountains can ONLY be used to fill up water bottles. They cannot be used to drink from. Thank you for helping us with this.

Attention Circle Park Walkers!

If you have given your student permission to walk to McCauley Park (aka Circle Park) at dismissal, please have a discussion with them on the appropriate behavior they should exhibit as they wait for you to pick them up.

We have had reports of older students rough housing and accidentally hitting younger children who are caught in the crossfire. This is dangerous and inappropriate behavior.

At the school, We are NOT responsible for the behavior of the walkers at Circle Park, nor do we provide supervision for them; however, we do expect walkers to treat the park and others with Grace & Courtesy.

Thank you for your help and understanding.

Media Center

We met with our PreK friends this week in the media center while our Kindergarten friends met with Ms. Angie for technology class. On August 20th, we will meet with our Kindergarten friends in the media center while Ms. Angie meets with our PreK friends.

Starting August 27th, our PreK friends will be allowed to check out ONE book from the media center to take home. Please read this book with your student, take good care of it, and return it to school the following Friday. Primary students will be checking out a book every other week.

If you would rather your student leave their media center book at school (and not to bring them home), please let your classroom teacher know ASAP.

We have not yet been able to start orientation with our other classes yet. We need to finish device distribution before we can get that started. Please thank your students for their patience.

If you haven't done so already, please read our welcome letter for what you and your student can expect from the media center this school year.


Ms. Lisa and Ms. Laura

Ellis Media Center:

912-395-5470 Ext. 71210

Ellis Media Center website

"Like" and "Follow" us on Facebook!

Counselor's Corner

The Backpack Buddies food program is available for any students in need thanks to a partnership with The Collegiate Church of St. Paul the Apostle. If your child or someone you know could benefit from a bag of food for the weekends, please contact Ms. Rebecca.

Check out our resources and activities on the School Counseling Website and reach out if you need anything.

Ms. Rebecca, School Counselor

912-395-5470 x2



or you can message me on ItsLearning

School-Wide Grace & Courtesy Emphasis

The Language of Responsibility from "The Self-Awakened Child" series by Jonathan Wolff

  • When I do what I say I am going to do, I am being responsible.
  • When I make a mistake and tell the truth about what I did, I am taking responsibility for what I do and say.
  • When I do something that helps everyone and hurts no one, I am acting responsibly.
  • When I tell the truth about my sad, scary or angry feelings and I ask someone to help me feel better, I am taking responsibility for me feelings.

Register now!

As we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, Savannah-Chatham County Public Schools is striving to improve safety and reduce risk wherever possible. One safety measure is minimizing cash and check payments at our schools.

We use SchoolCash Online to provide an online payment option for tech fees and other school items and fees. If you haven’t already created a free account, we encourage all parents to register now, so you’ll be ready to make online payments from home: both now and in the future as more school items become available again.

SchoolCash Online is free, safe, simple, secure, and saves time. You will help increase efficiency and security at your school by making payments directly into your school's bank account. This limits the number of people entering the school, reduces risk of lost payments, and allows teachers and office staff to focus on helping students and not counting cash. In addition, you are automatically informed about school activities! Registering takes less than two minutes: visit sccpss.schoolcashonline.com and click Register.

Ellis PTA

Joining the PTA is a small but significant way to get involved in our school and to make a difference in the lives of our Ellis community.

Click here to join or donate.


There are a few PTA Committee Chairs open:

Arts Enrichment

Fundraising & Sponsorships

Special Events Co-Chair

If interested in any of these positions, contact Emily Salzer (emilycsalzer@gmail.com) or Kellie Groover (kellie.groover@focuslabllc.com), PTA Co-Presidents.

If you are a parent/guardian of a new Ellis student, request to join the Ellis PTA Facebook Group to connect with us​. ​

Contact US!


Ms. Tanya Melville


Student Information Specialist

Ms. Ja'Dayia Coleman-Kennedy


Information Specialist Clerk

Ms. Lucy Holloway


School Secretary

Ms. Patricia Solomon-Brown


Library Media Technology Specialist

PTA Teacher Liaison

Ms. Lisa O'Donnell


Ellis Montessori Academy Website

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

SCCPSS Website

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