Montessori Matters

January 21, 2022

The Power of Peace

With the craziness of this past week's events, I feel like Monday's, MLK, Jr. holiday got lost in the shuffle, so I wanted to highlight one of the reasons why the day is important. Reverend King was a central figure in the Civil Rights Movement promoting non-violent activism as a means to protest racial discrimination and bring about change in federal and state laws. Dr. King was influenced by the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi, learning about the power of peaceful protests through Gandhi’s non-violent resistance against the British Empire.

Mahatma Gandhi once said, “If we are to teach real peace in this world… we shall have to begin with the children.” Maria Montessori, a great admirer and personal friend of Gandhi, agreed and recognized that peace begins with the individual child. Dr. Montessori felt strongly that establishing peace was the work of education. The goal of her educational method and philosophy was to create peaceful children who would become adult peacemakers in a world filled with conflict.

In the Montessori environment, Peace Education is just as much a part of the curriculum as reading, writing, and arithmetic. At all levels, children learn about respect for self, others, and their environment. Grace and courtesy lessons begin early along with peaceful conflict resolution skills. Montessori children learn that peace is not the absence of conflict, but rather the willingness to work out conflicts peacefully.

In the tumultuous times in which we live, examples of peaceful conflict resolution like that of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. are needed now more than ever. Peace education has the power to transform the individual... and the world, but it is not just the responsibility of the school. Peace education actually begins with the guidance of a child’s “first teachers”. To truly promote peace education, we must talk about it and model it at school - and at home.

This has been a rough week for all of us. I hope that you were able to find your moment of peace in the midst of the storm and, most importantly, that your child was able to witness it. After all, “the things he sees are not just remembered; they form part of his soul.” (Maria Montessori)

Peace, love, and Montessori,

Dr. Dana Hill

Dates to Remember

January 24 - Montessori Monday - wear Montessori attire

January 31 - Montessori Monday - wear Montessori attire

February 1 - Priority enrollment opens for current families

February 11 - Scholastic Book Fair begins

February 15 - Priority enrollment agreements due

February 18 - Student holiday, all regular programs closed - extended care available IT-PR

February 21 - President's Day, all regular programs closed - extended care available IT-PR

Nurse's Notes

Reverse Notification System:

Montessori School of Anderson's Reverse Notification system is our key form of mass communication during school closures, delays or emergencies. All information is obtained by your child's MSA Data Sheet that you submitted for the 2021-2022 Academic Year. If you did not receive notifications this week regarding school closures or delays or if your students' contact information has changed since starting school, please notify the Main Office so the information can be updated.

***Please note: The Reverse Notification system will only be utilized and activated for emergency situations or school closures.

Warm Winter Wear:

Please be sure that your student(s) have warm winter wear available to use on campus. South Carolina weather is unpredictable and we want to encourage outdoor play and exercise as much as possible. Additionally, amid the Covid-19 surge, we do not have adequate staffing to supervise students both outdoors and indoors if a student isn't properly clothed and cannot join in outdoor activities. Included on the appropriate clothing list are gloves, hats, closed toe shoes and coats. This recommendation is applicable to all students Infants thru High School.

COVID Notification:

Should your student(s) or anyone in your household have a diagnosis of Covid positive or a Direct or Indirect contact to a person diagnosed with Covid, please notify MSA immediately so we can take the proper course of action to reduce the rate of transmission on the MSA campus. Please send all communication to or

Covid Testing for the week of 1/24/22-1/28/22:

Covid testing will be conducted next week on Wednesday, January 26 and Friday, January 28 from 7:30 to 10:00. You must be pre-registered and have a QR code. If you'd like to participate and need a registration link and instructions, please email me at

MSA Infectious Disease Policy:

Children are expected to be in good health when in school. All students must be fever free for 24 hours before returning to school (without taking fever-reducing medication). Absences; excused or unexcused will be recorded for all students. Any student experiencing a fever 100.4°F or greater, vomiting, experiencing diarrhea, or simply feeling too poorly to focus or concentrate on classwork will be removed from the classroom. His/her parents/caregiver will be called to pick up the child. The child should be isolated until the parent arrives. No student will be allowed to leave campus without the direct consent of the parent/guardian.

COVID Change: Any student (or faculty/staff) who is diagnosed as COVID-19 positive will be reported to SC DHEC. MSA will follow the published 1/16/22 "MSA Mitigation Strategies" and guidelines to assist you in determining a Return to School Plan. Return to School plans are individualized and will be assessed on a case by case basis. All exposures and positive cases may impact their class(es) and there may be an additional need for further quarantine/isolations.


Due to the continued Omicron surge, MSA strongly encourages mask usage for all age appropriate individuals to help slow the rate of transmission of Covid-19. Please continue to send your child with a face covering each day. It is important that they have a clean, well fitting face mask. MSA will provide a disposable option if the children's mask becomes soiled while at school.

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Blood Donation Request:

The Blood Connection and the Red Cross have an immediate need for blood donations. Because of Covid-19, the usual flow of donors has been disrupted and the need for life saving blood donations is great. If you are able to donate, call the Red Cross or please mention that you are part of the Montessori School of Anderson family!!! Your donation can make a significant impact and save up to 3 lives! ***Donation incentives are available.

Criteria for donors: The Blood Connection is a non-profit organization. Blood can be donated every 56 days. Donors must be 16 years or older and over 110 lbs. to donate. Sixteen year olds are required to have written consent to donate blood. Before you donate blood, make sure that you drink plenty of water and eat a healthy meal. TBC Donor ID Card (preferred) or photo ID required to donate.

With wishes of peace and continued good health,

Susanna Merriman, RN


MSA Family

Did you know that almost half of the MSA faculty/staff are also MSA (grand)parents?

  • Mrs. Kim in Infant has a grandchild in the primary program.
  • Mrs. Stacy in Infant has a niece that teaches in the toddler program.
  • Mrs. Leslie in Toddler 1 has children in the primary and lower elementary programs.
  • Mrs. Angela in Toddler 3 has a child in the infant room.
  • Mrs. Kari in Toddler has children in the toddler and primary programs.
  • Mrs. Kirby in Primary 1 has children in the lower elementary and upper elementary programs.
  • Mrs. Angelique in Primary 2 has a grandchild in the primary program.
  • Mrs. Christie in Lower Elementary has children in the upper elementary and middle school programs.
  • Ms. Christian in Lower Elementary has a child in the lower elementary program.
  • Mrs. Patch in Middle School has children in the primary and lower elementary programs.
  • Mr. Dabney in Upper School has children in the toddler and primary programs.
  • Mrs. Lockhart in High School has a child in the toddler program.
  • Dr. Hill, the administrator, has a child in the high school program.

So when COVID impacts your family, it also impacts our families. We are not just employees of MSA. We are fully invested members of this community, doing our best every day for your children and ours.

Snow Photos

Did you take photos of your MSA student(s) enjoying the snow this week that you'd like to share with their peers in Montessori Matters? If so, send them to Mr. Dabney at to be featured in next week's issue!

Montessori School of Anderson

Our mission is to nurture the whole child, physically, intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually, preparing students for academic excellence, lifelong learning and responsible, caring lives.