Charles Ellis Montessori Academy, August 9, 2021

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Roots and Wings

I am so in awe of our children here at Charles Ellis Montessori Academy and the resilience and resolve they continue to model for us "adults".

Our wee ones scramble out of cars each morning to climb the huge steps at the front of the building. Step by step, back packs as tall as their tiny frames, they remind me of tiny Sherpas scaling the cloudy realms of Mt. Everest. They come wide-eyed, brave and hearts open for whatever this new encounter will offer. Our Elementary students, are excited to be back in the building and it warms my heart to see that they have maintained their sense of curiosity. On Friday, two of the Lower Elementary boys were walking through the front foyer; one a returning student, another new to the school. Looking up at the painting of Maria Montessori by Panhandle Slim, the veteran student read the quote, "We must give the children a vison of the Whole Universe". The new student's response - "I want to see the universe", what more could a principal want to hear?! In Upper Elementary the students are reconnecting and assisting their new friends as they are introduced to new curriculum areas, but more importantly recess dynamics. But what truly made me weep, (for joy), was to hear our Erdkinder adolescents out at the pond and on their 'Cloister Walks" around the campus. The chatter and camaraderie that builds a trusting community, is the essence of a Montessori school, where children can find their purpose and work together to build a better world. Like the very young child this is a sensitive period in their development. They may be physically bigger but in such strange times as these, their development has has faced many risks. As a community we must honor these students, mentor, protect, and nurture them, as they birth into adulthood.

I ask you to join with our children of all ages to do "The Great Work". Let's provide them with opportunities to take on new responsibilities and support their developing independence so they can soar.

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 11- 5th/6th Grade Instrument Tryout Night (see below)

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

August 26- PTA Meeting

September 6- Labor Day- No School!

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.

Congratulations to Ellis 3rd grade student!

We are pleased to announce that Ellis student, Annie Hartley (now in 3rd grade!), received 3rd place in the Spring 2021 PBS KIDS Writers Contest for her submission titled "The Brilliant Lesson"! Congratulations and job well done, Annie! We celebrate your accomplishment and hard work.

You can view Annie's winning submission at this link.

You can view all 2021 PBS KIDS Writers Contest winners here.

SCCPSS Health and Safety Protocols

Please familiarize your family with the SCCPSS Health and Safety Protocols. This can also be found on the Ellis website under the Ellis Family Handbook page.

COVID-19 Protocols

  • If your student is identified as a close contact with COVID-19 (within 6 feet of a person with COVID-19 for 15 minutes or more), you will be called to pick up your student and provided a letter with instructions from Nurse Chris.
  • When there is an active Covid-19 case, a school-wide email/phone blast will be sent to all staff/families AFTER all contact tracing procedures have been concluded.
  • Ellis administration/staff are currently working on a Distance Learning Plan for each developmental level (Primary, Lower El, Upper El, and Erdkinder) should your student have to quarantine due to close contact.

2021/2022 Ellis Family Handbook

Please read the updated Ellis Family Handbook thoroughly for operational procedures regarding:
  • Master Schedule
  • Arrival/Dismissal
  • Meals/Snacks
  • Uniforms
  • Etc.

You can always find this information and the latest updates on the Ellis Website.

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.

Welcome letter from Nurse Chris.

Contact Information:




Attention parents of 5th and 6th grade students,

There will be an instrument tryout night on August 11, 2021 from 4:30-6pm. Please view the attached flyer below for more information.

You can contact the Ellis band director, Ms. Wimberly, (wimberly.hall@sccpss.com) if you have any questions.

Device Distribution

Update 8/6/2021: If you have not filled out the "Student Learning Device Loan Form" (either a print copy at open house 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 FPP (which is highly recommended!), please remember the deadline to pay for the FPP is 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.**

Student Information Verification

**Update 8/6/2021**Thank you to those of you who completed the online student verification in PowerSchool required by the district. See information below if you have been unable to access your PowerSchool account.**

I do not have a Parent Access account.
If parents/guardians need a Parent Access account, please click here to request one.

I forgot my login credentials for the PowerSchool Parent Portal.
If you already have an account and do not remember your username and password, please click the reset Username/Password on the Parent Access login screen here: https://sccpss.powerschool.com/public/account_recovery_begin.html

Please note if the address has changed, new proof of address must be uploaded in the verification.

If parent/guardian names have changed, it will require parent/guardian to contact the school and provide required documentation.

For more information, visit the SCCPSS website.

Media Center

We are looking forward to welcoming students back into the media center this year! 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

This week, Ms. Rebecca and Ms. Maggie visited all Primary classrooms for their introductory lesson of the year. Students learned about whole body listening and heard the story, Penny Pumpkin, Don't Forget Your Mask. We look forward to teaching in Lower Elementary, Upper Elementary, and Erdkinder next week.

In case you missed it, check out our August School Counseling Program Newsletter and our Informational Brochure. Let us know if there is a specific need we could help address with your child(ren). Your input helps guide our school counseling program and better serve the needs of our community.

Rebecca Burkhart, School Counselor, Primary & Lower Elementary (PreK-3rd Grades)


tinyurl.com/BookMsRebecca (to book school counseling check-ins)

Maggie McGinty, School Counselor, Upper Elementary & Erdkinder (4th-8th Grades)


tinyurl.com/BookMsMaggie (to book school counseling check-ins)

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.