Charles Ellis Montessori Academy, September 21, 2020

To Educate The Whole Child for a Whole World

"Then, by determining the correlation between things with the child, and thereby obeying an essential impulse of the human mind, we create a philosophy for him. And why may not the child philosophize?" - Dr. Maria Montessori

Ode To Autumn

In school, I was required to memorize and recite poems and one of my favorites was To Autumn by John Keats. The Autumnal Equinox is now upon us and the world once again turns towards another change. In the Celtic tradition, Autumn (Mabon), is a time to celebrate the harvest and the abundance of the earth. As a little girl, I followed the tradition of bringing gifts from the land and sea to church. The deep window sills of the church would be filled with ripe apples and pears, fishing nets would be slung from the high rafters, their green glass bouys capturing what little sunshine could be gleaned, and crab baskets would be filled with flowers, minus the rotting fish flesh. Huge harvest loaves would be cast around the pulpit and sheaves of corn and barley would herald the entrance to each pew. Despite the troubles that pervaded my Northern Irish childhood, it was a world of abundance. It was a time of thanksgiving, a time to be grateful and an opportunity to share these gifts with those who were marginalized both physically and emotionally. It was also a time to reflect on the personal seeds we had sown and what had been reaped; "the good, the bad and the ugly."

I invite you this week to take a quiet moment to reflect on this turning of the season.

May your inner and outer harvest be bountiful!


Ms. Tanya

To Autumn

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,

Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;

Conspiring with him how to load and bless

With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;

To bend with apples the moss'd cottage-trees,

And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;

To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells

With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,

And still more, later flowers for the bees,

Until they think warm days will never cease,

For summer has o'er-brimm'd their clammy cells.

Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?

Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find

Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,

Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;

Or on a half-reap'd furrow sound asleep,

Drows'd with the fume of poppies, while thy hook

Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers:

And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep

Steady thy laden head across a brook;

Or by a cyder-press, with patient look,

Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.

Where are the songs of spring? Ay, Where are they?

Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,—

While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,

And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;

Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn

Among the river sallows, borne aloft

Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;

And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;

Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft

The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft;

And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.

-John Keats

Important Dates

September 8-October 16- SCCPSS MAP Assessment Window

September 16-30- Voting for School Council Open

September 21- International Day of Peace
October 5- Start of District Hybrid Model

October 5- School Council Meeting (3:30pm)

October 9- Fall Break for Staff/Students

October 12- Staff Planning Day- No School for Students!

October 14- Deadline to Submit PTA Reflections Project

October 27- PTA Role Model Reader Day

School-Wide Grace & Courtesy Emphasis


  • When I care about how other people feel as much as I care about my own feelings, I am being kind.
  • When I am a good friend to others-- to people, to animals, and plants-- and help them be the best they can be, I am being kind.
  • When I treat myself, other people, animals, and plants gently and with love, I am being kind.

District Return to Learn Plan

Per the SCCPSS Board Meeting on Wednesday, September 16th, please see the final approved plan for the Phased Return to Learn. For all information, please see the district website www.sccpss.com. The Phased Return to Learn Plan can be accessed at this link.

SCCPSS MAP Assessments

*UPDATE* The District has postponed MAP assessments for K-2nd grade. Only Ellis 3rd graders are left to take the MAP assessment. Your teacher will let you know when your student will take the assessment. If you have any questions, please contact your classroom teacher.

The SCCPSS-mandated MAP assessment window is open September 8th-October 16th. In an effort to mitigate the loss of instructional time and normalization in the virtual learning environment at Ellis, we will begin the assessments with our Erdkinder and Upper Elementary students the week of September 8th. You will receive information from your teachers with the exact days/times. All families should review the following information in preparation for their child's assessment, as appropriate:

MAP Grades 3-8 Remote Testing Guidance for Parents

MAP Grades 3-8 Guia para evaluacion remota para familias

NWEA Disable Pop-Up Blocking

NWEA MAP Quick Videos

Disabling Pop-Up Blocking on District Chromebooks for MAP Assessment

The instructions in the "NWEA Guide for Disabling Pop-Up Blocking" (above) does not work on District Chromebooks because student accounts do have the access needed to do this step. If you are on a district Chromebook signed in with a student account, follow these steps:

  1. Login to itsLearning with your student's account.
  2. Click on the "Map Test Site" tab (in the purple bar or under the "More" tab).
  3. If you get an error that says "Oops! Where's My Test Window?", you will see a red box with a white "x" pop up in the browser bar.
  4. Click the red box with the white "x" and select the option that says ""Always allow popups from https://test.mapnwea.org/" (or something to that effect).
  5. Even if you continue to get the "Oops..." error, another window will open that will allow you to login to MAP (either for the practice test or the actual assessment).


Device Distribution- Phase 2

We have sent an email to all the PreK/K families on the Phase 2 waitlist with a link to schedule an appointment to pick up your student device. If you are on the waitlist and have NOT received the email, please check your SPAM folder for an email from Lisa O'Donnell sent on Tuesday, September 8th.

In the email, you received information on how to purchase the Technology Protection Plan (TPP) offered by SCCPSS. This information is also available on the Ellis website.

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

Student Schedules Update - School-wide Asynchronous Wednesdays

Now that the school year has begun, we are continuing to review our instructional schedules and the impact of the virtual environment. Developmental teams are tweaking Wednesday schedules to;

  • mitigate excessive screentime for students,
  • comply with district directives,
  • allow staff to participate in required district trainings and curriculum planning.

Consequently, Wednesdays will become a day for asynchronous learning so that students can complete assignments, reach out to their teachers for additional support if needed, and engage in classroom projects. Teachers will not be leading live instructional lessons on Wednesdays, but will continue to post the expectations for the instructional day. As schedules are adjusted, your teacher will reach out to you with the date of implementation and the instructional components of Asynchronous Wednesdays.

Virtual Meeting Procedures

New Ellis Safety Procedure Effective Immediately:

For your student's safety, in order to be admitted into a virtual meeting/lesson, your student's first name and last initial/last name must be displayed. If the teacher does not recognize the username of the participant, the teacher reserves the right to refuse admittance to that participant into the meeting/lesson. If your student is not able to attend the live meeting/lesson, they will have an opportunity to watch the recorded session at a later date. Thank you for helping us with this safety measure.

Technology Assistance

Click here for technology troubleshooting tips from SCCPSS.

Click here for more information on low-cost internet access for qualifying families.

SCCPSS Smart Buses equipped with internet access will begin to run on September 1st. More information including a schedule can be found on the SCCPSS Website.

Big picture

Counselors' Corner

In School Counseling/Social Emotional Instruction, we have been talking about our feelings and coping skills. We did a brief online check-in survey with all classes. If you or your child hasn't filled it out already, there is still time to do so. Survey links can be found on your child's ItsLearning page and on our School Counseling website under each developmental level tab.

Check out the resources on our site and contact us if you need extra support: tinyurl.com/charlesellisschoolcounseling

School Council Elections- Voting Now Open!

The establishment of a school council is intended to bring parents and the community together with teachers and school administrators to create better understanding of and mutual respect for each other's concerns and to share ideas for school improvement.

Please use this form to elect 3 parent members to serve on our school council. Elections will remain open from September 16 - 30th. Voting is only open to parents/guardians of current Charles Ellis Montessori Academy students.

Ellis PTA

Join the PTA or donate at this link.

Visit the PTA Website.

PTA Reflections

It's time to "fall for the arts" with our annual participation in PTA Reflections. This year's theme is "I Matter Because..." and submissions are accepted from every student (PreK-8th Grade).

Submission and entry forms are due to Amanda Fanelli at ellisreflections@gmail.com by Wednesday, October 14, 2020. Please email Amanda to set up a time to drop-off art that cannot be emailed.

Find out more information about Reflections on the PTA Website at this link.

From the Clinic

Dear Charles Ellis Montessori Academy Parent/Guardian:

Welcome to the 2020-2021 school year! I am looking forward to when the students will return safely to our school building. It has not been determined exactly what to expect, but as always, the health and safety of the students, faculty and staff are my focus. There are several ways you can assist me.

First, please reinforce with your student good handwashing of at least 20 seconds (~length of singing the ABC song once or the Birthday song twice), at least six feet of social distancing, proper wearing of face masks over the nose and mouth, not touching the face, and coughing/sneezing into the bend of the elbow. Please continue to be a good role model for your student.

Second, please complete the Student Medical Questionnaire regarding his/her medical conditions and/or allergies at this link and return as soon as possible. This information will be an initial communication about the needs of your student. For a student with certain medical conditions, the necessary paperwork requiring the student's physician to complete (i.e. Action Plans) will be sent to you, as needed, to have them in place when the students return to the building. 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 at Charles Ellis Montessori Academy. Your cooperation is appreciated.

Please contact me if you have any questions or concerns.

Thank you,

Nurse Chris


912-395-5470 Ext. 71213

Nutrition Services

*UPDATE* SCCPSS School Food and Nutrition has received several waivers to provide nutritious meals to our students while the district is using the virtual model and will partner with the district's Transportation Department to deliver meals to our families safely. The USDA is providing additional flexibilities in an effort to support access to nutritious meals while minimizing potential exposure to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) to include allowing school nutrition programs to offer meals at no cost to children ages 0-18.

For more information on meal delivery dates/times during virtual learning, visit the SCCPSS website.

If you qualify for free/reduced lunch, please fill out the application below in case we are able to come back to school full-time at some point this year. Applications for free/reduced lunch must be submitted every year. The deadline to submit an application is September 30, 2020. Click this link to submit an application.

Ellis Montessori Academy Website

District Website