September 3, 2021
Friday marked the end of our third week of school and we’re headed into a long holiday weekend. Regardless of whether you have travel plans, just remember that we’re all hoping to be back here on campus together on September 7. So wherever you spend the holiday, we ask that you take the appropriate precautions to keep your family members and our MSA community members safe upon our return.
In partnership with Clemson University, we continue to expand our COVID PCR saliva testing program. Adults and upper school students have been able to test on Mondays and Fridays. Starting next week, upper elementary students will also be able to participate on a voluntary basis. (Information will be shared with UE parents in a separate email.) There is no cost to MSA or to you for this service. Since Monday is a holiday next week, testing will be available on Tuesday instead.
We are very grateful to be included in this pilot program with the Clemson CLIA lab under the direction of Dr. Delphine Dean and in coordination with our own Nurse Merriman. Testing allows us to identify any potential COVID cases early and therefore limit exposure and spread of the virus on our campus, and just as importantly, it can provide peace of mind.
I hope you enjoy the photos below from Dr. Montessori’s birthday celebrations this week. Later in the month, we will also recognize the International Day of Peace. Students will be sharing their thoughts on peace and what it means to them. Dr. Montessori believed strongly that peace can only come about through the education of the child which is why peace, conflict resolution, and grace and courtesy are just as much a part of the Montessori curriculum as the three "R’s:” reading, writing, and arithmetic. I cannot wait to hear from our future “peacemakers” in that upcoming issue of Montessori Matters!
Wishing you a happy and restful Labor Day weekend!
Dr. Dana Hill
Dates to Remember
September 6 - Labor Day Holiday - all programs closed
September 18 - Campus Workday (more details to come)
September 21 - International Day of Peace
September 24 - Primary Planet PJ Party
October 1 - Pink Out!
October 4-8 - Fall portraits
October 13-15 - Fall Break - extended care available for IT-PR
Please note that all programs are closed this coming Monday, September 6 in observation of the Labor Day Holiday.
All students must have a South Carolina DHEC immunization record on file in the MSA Health Office within 30 days of admission or the first day of school. If you are a transfer student from out of state or country, all immunization records must be transferred to a SC DHEC Form at your physician's office or at a South Carolina Health Department. If the student has received any additional immunizations in the last year, a new record must be submitted to MSA. All Medical and Religious exemption forms must be renewed annually, this may be completed at your local health department. Any student not in compliance with South Carolina's Immunization mandated guidelines must be excluded until a immunization record has been received. Please make every effort to meet this deadline so there is no interruption in your child's educational experience.
In order to prevent the spread of flu within our MSA community, we ask that you speak to your healthcare provider and discuss if you or your child are candidates for the flu vaccine. The American Academy of Pediatrics and the CDC recommend the flu vaccine for all ages who meet the guidelines. The CDC recommends that individuals get a flu vaccine as soon as possible this year, secondary to the circulation and surge of Covid-19 variants. I am sharing a link from the CDC regarding the 2021-2022 flu vaccine, it may answer many of your questions. You and your child(ren) should consider getting a flu vaccine before the flu season begins spreading in your community. It takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies that protect against flu to develop in the body, so make plans to get vaccinated early in fall, before flu season begins.
*** This year it is important that we do not overburden the healthcare system with additional flu admissions so it is important to protect our community.
MSA Covid-19 Testing Program:
I am pleased to update you on the MSA Covid-19 Saliva testing pilot program. You may recall that this program was initiated at MSA mid-August and has been made available through the courtesy of Clemson University's CLIA Community Testing Program. The program has been successful and we’ve been able to offer the testing option not only to MSA Employees but now to Up El and Middle and High School. The program remains strictly confidential and voluntary. This serves as an added layer to our mitigation strategies to quickly identify disease and take appropriate actions for reducing transmission on campus and in the classrooms.
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 greater than 100.4°F, vomiting, experiencing diarrhea, or simply feeling too poorly to focus or concentrate on classwork, will be exempt from the classroom. His/her parents 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.
During Covid-19 and the variant surge, any student experiencing symptoms consistent with Covid-19 will have to have a PCR Covid Test or medical clearance prior to the return of school. Dr Hill or Nurse Merriman will help determine the student's return to school plan.
Wishing you a safe and healthy Labor Day Weekend.
Susanna Merriman, RN