Montessori Matters

April 23, 2021

SCISA Montessori Accreditation

Montessori School of Anderson joined the South Carolina Independent School Association (SCISA) in 2008 after we started our high school program back in 2007. During my first term as Administrator, we achieved initial accreditation through SCISA for K5-12th grade in January of 2011 before our first seniors graduated in May of that same year.

Since then, MSA has held AdvancED accreditation which promotes internationally recognized standards in quality education. Recently, AdvancED merged with Cognia, a non-profit non-governmental organization that accredits primary and secondary schools throughout the United States and internationally. As we wait for guidance from Cognia on their accreditation process, we have been working toward a Montessori accreditation that is now offered through SCISA. Several years ago, I spearheaded the campaign for the development of this accreditation on behalf of the many independent Montessori schools in SC. Those early efforts ultimately led to the current SCISA Montessori Accreditation.

SCISA Montessori Accreditation requires the same assurances and standards of a general accreditation, but with the addition of Montessori-specific criteria regarding teacher training and approaches, philosophy and school culture, learning environments, etc. This accreditation will give MSA the distinction of being validated as an authentic Montessori school, different from the traditional independent school model. It will better reflect who we are at our core.

The SCISA external review team for this accreditation will be visiting our school on Thursday, April 29. Dr. Victoria Oglan, Clinical Associate Professor in the College of Education at the University of South Carolina (USC), will be the lead evaluator. She will be joined by her colleague Dr. Janie Goodman, a Clinical Assistant Professor in the College of Education at USC. The other team member is an administrator from a SCISA Montessori school in the Charleston, SC area.

During their visit, the team members will be observing every K5-12 classroom and teacher (Primary - High School), conducting interviews, inspecting our facilities, and reviewing evidence that our faculty and staff have gathered in support of our self-study and internal review. It will be a full day spent getting to know our school and our community. At the end of the day, if the team recommends MSA for SCISA Montessori Accreditation, it would go before the SCISA Board in May for approval and become official on July 1 for a three-year term.

We look forward to sharing the outcome of this visit with you all next Friday. It has been a long process and we are excited to finally welcome this team to our campus!

Dr. Dana Hill

Dates to Remember

April 23 - Summer camp forms due

April 24 - National Prescription Drug Take Back Day and Shred Day

May 15 - FAST application deadline

May 27 - Last day of school - 11:30 dismissal for all programs, extended care available

May 28 - Promotion day for all levels (details to come), extended care available

National Prescription Drug Take Back Day and Shred Day Spring 2021

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Spring Benefit Update

As you know, Spring Benefit provides the funds for our needs-based Tuition Assistance program - which is vital to so many students. So we have been working behind the scenes on a safe and fun alternative! Stay tuned for more information on MSA going OFF THE GRID!
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Seed Balls

Students in Mrs. Patch's horticulture classes celebrated Earth Day throughout the week by reading "The Great Paper Caper" and making seed balls for students to take home. To make the seed balls the students ripped up scratch paper, soaked the paper in water, and used a blender to make a mushy pulp. They then squeezed the excess water out, mixed in wildflower seeds, and shaped them however they wanted. After the seed balls dried, they took them home to be placed in soil. As it rains (or they get watered) the paper will decompose and the seeds will germinate!
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Planting Flowers and Food

Students in Primary 3 planted flowers and food for Earth Day this week.
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Primary Works

Students in the Primary classrooms have been learning new works and perfecting old ones this week. See below for photos of the students at work, and see this album for many more!
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Plant Survival Activity

Mrs. Presgraves Upper School Biology students played a game from Cornell University designed to mimic random weather conditions while each team calculates how many monosaccharides their plants might make depending on leaf number and amount of sunlight. The students "spend" that sugar to add more leaves, roots, or flowers. The winning team is the one with the most flowers at the end because reproduction is winning in ecology. However, if you do not invest in leaves, you can't make enough sugars, and if you don't invest in roots then your plant might die if it doesn't rain.
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Earth Day Trash Pick-Up

The Upper School spent time Wednesday morning picking up trash along Sam McGee Road in honor of Earth Day on Thursday.

Family Businesses on the MSA Website

Do you have a business run by an MSA family? If so, let us know so we can highlight it on the MSA website! Contact Jaime Emery at if you'd like to add your family's business to the MSA family business list on the front page.

Virtual Flag Ceremony Quote of the Week

This Upper School student shared a quote from Maria Montessori and what it means to her for this week's virtual flag ceremony quote.
April 19 Virtual Flag Ceremony Quote of the Week

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.