Charles Ellis Montessori Academy, Week of August 29th, 2022

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"Let us treat them [children], therefore, with all the kindness which we would wish to help develop in them." -Dr. Maria Montessori

In the Montessori Primary classrooms we have a material called The Sandpaper Letters. This material is an introduction to letter sounds/phonemes and is a preparation for building reading skills. The material has individual letters in cursive, that are created with sandpaper on pink and blue wooden tiles. At each letter sound lesson, the child is invited to trace the sandpaper in a very specific manner, i.e., index finger and middle finger, together and straight, so as to isolate the movement of the wrist -(subsequently, another emerging skill for penmanship).

Lessons aside, I was witness to the most beautiful moment this past Wednesday morning. One of our primary students was having a very difficult beginning to their day. He was having "Big Emotions" and I was in the foyer consoling him and rubbing his back to calm him. Two PreK 4 boys, Santi and Kody, entered the building and were curious about the crying child. I invited them to comfort him. They each walked over and very gently in "sandpaper letter mode"; (index finger and middle finger, straight and together) stroked the small child's back and said, "It's OK".

When we provide children with open invitations to engage in their world, it is not just the academic lessons that unfold, but the lessons of their humanity.


Ms. Tanya

Important Dates

August 31- Dr. Montessori's Birthday (1870)

September 2- SCCPSS e-Learning Half-Day

September 5- Labor Day- No School!

September 16- PTA "Do Good Things" Grant Submissions Deadline

September 21- International Peace Day

September 30- Donation Dress Down Day

View the SCCPSS Academic calendar at this link.

View the SCCPSS Assessment calendar at this link.

Grace & Courtesy Emphasis

Throughout the school year, Ellis has a school-wide focus on certain positive character traits. Each teacher may choose to highlight these "Grace & Courtesy" emphases differently, but as a school we follow a general common curriculum.

From August 29th-September 16th, our school-wide Grace & Courtesy emphasis is KINDNESS.

The language of identifying Kindness from "The Self-Awakened Child" series by Jonathan Wolff

  • 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.


The Ellis leadership team has made the decision that devices will be kept at school this year EXCEPT for the following reasons:

  • District e-Learning day
  • Quarantine situation
  • A student has need of the device for a specific reason (project, special assignment, etc.) AND they have purchased the FPP for their assigned device (see information below)

If you have any questions or concerns, contact your student's teacher or Ms. Lisa (lisa.odonnell@sccpss.com).

SCCPSS e-Learning Half Day

The district has scheduled Friday, September 2nd, as an e-Learning Half Day from 8:15am-11:15am. You will receive more information about the expectations for this half day of school directly from your student's classroom teacher.

Please note: Students will NOT attend school in-person on this day.

If you have filled out the REQUIRED Student Device Loan Form in the PowerSchool Parent Portal for your student(s), their (fully-charged) SCCPSS device (WITHOUT the charger) will be sent home with them on Thursday, September 1st. The device should be returned to school with your student when they return to school on Tuesday, September 6th.

If you have NOT filled out the required form, a device will NOT be sent home for your student to use (per district directive). If your student needs a device to use at home, please fill out the required form ASAP. You can find all the information that you need about this on the Device Distribution page of the Ellis website.

If you still need assistance with your PowerSchool Parent Portal account or you need to add siblings to your PowerSchool account, please email our information specialists, Ms. Ja'Dayia (jadayia.coleman-kennedy@sccpss.com​) and Ms. Lucy (lucille.holloway@sccpss.com).

Family Protection Plan

The deadline to purchase the (OPTIONAL, but HIGHLY RECOMMENDED) Family Protection Plan (FPP) for your student's SCCPSS device through School Cash Online ($25/per student) is August 31st. If you have more than one student at Ellis, the FPP must be purchased for each student's device.

Please note: If you do NOT purchase the FPP for your student's SCCPSS device but you have accepted a device for your student, you are responsible for any accidental damage to the device, even if it happens at school. (Example: A cracked Chromebook screen costs $90 to repair). A second device will not be provided to your student until you pay for the damaged device.

Per district directive, if your student has damaged technology/lost charger fines from a previous school year on their account, we cannot loan your student a device until that fine is paid.

If you have any questions about this, contact Ms. Lisa (lisa.odonnell@sccpss.com)

Parent Partnership Survey

The family engagement committee is currently asking interested families to fill out the parent partnerships survey.

We are matching up parents that are new to Ellis (and would like someone to go to for information) and veteran parents (that feel like they have information to share with others).

The deadline to complete the survey is September 15th.

We look forward to making great connections this school year among our families!

Media Center

This week, we were able to begin library orientation with a few classes. We are so happy to see students checking out books again!

Students may borrow media center books for up to two weeks. Please help us as we teach students to be responsible with these materials and to return them in a timely manner so that they are available for others.

Today, Pre-K students came to the media center to talk about how to care for the books that they borrow from the media center. We aren't quite ready to check books out to this crew just yet. We need a little more time to get acquainted with the expectations and responsibility of borrowing items. Hopefully, the next time they come for a lesson, they will be ready!

In the meantime, parents/guardians are more than welcome to set up a community account so that you can check out books to read to your students. Contact Ms. Lisa if you would like more information.

Happy reading!

Ms. Lisa

Library Technology Media Specialist


Connect with us:

Ellis Media Center website

Ellis Media Center Facebook page

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PTA "Do Good Things" Grant

Calling all students!

The Charles Ellis PTA is proud to be able to support our students with our annual "Do Good

Things" grant program. This year, we have designated up to $500 to provide grants for

individual or group student projects. Grants may range from $50 and up. Proposals may be

for projects that give back or enhance our community here or outside of Charles Ellis

Montessori Academy. Please include ALL information that you feel is supporting your

grant request.

The submission deadline is Friday, September 16th, 2022.

Awards will be announced Friday, September 30th, 2022.

Please email your completed application form (attached below) to emilycsalzer@gmail.com & yelpasso@hotmail.com. After applications are received by the PTA, a sub-committee of the PTA will then review requests.

We look forward to hearing about your project.

Counselors' Corner

This week in School Counseling Instruction, we have been wrapping up our introductory lessons, explaining how school counselors can help, and how to reach out to us. We have also begun our new student lunch groups.

If your child or someone you know could benefit from school counseling support, Backpack Buddies, or school supplies, please let us know.

Ms. Rebecca, School Counselor, Primary & Lower Elementary

912-395-5470 Ext. 71201



Mr. Wes, School Counselor, Upper Elementary & Erdkinder

912-395-5470 Ext. 71243


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Text Notifications

We send out school-wide announcements regularly via email and text.

It is important for you to receive these notifications through text messaging in the case of an severe weather/emergency.

To opt-in for text notifications, text "Yes" to the number 87569.

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.