September 10, 2021
Yesterday marked the 20th Anniversary of 9/11. Those of us who witnessed those evil acts will never forget those moments, but we will also always remember the compassionate and selfless acts of our fellow citizens as we pulled together to protect and care for one another. That same resolve to safeguard one another is needed during this ongoing pandemic. Let us all do our part by masking, vaccinating, and testing. In addition, if you’re able, The Blood Connection is asking for donors to help meet the ongoing need of our community.
Starting tomorrow, we will be celebrating our MSA community every week by wearing our MSA spiritwear or any Montessori-themed attire on Mondays. Wear your Montessori t-shirts tomorrow and every “Montessori Monday.” What better way to start a week!
Join us on Saturday, Sept. 18, for a campus workday. We need your help sprucing things up! We’ll get started at 8:00 AM and wrap things up early so that everyone can get home in time to enjoy the afternoon football game on TV. Please bring yard tools labeled with your name - hedge clippers, pruners, shovels, hoes, wheelbarrows, hammers, etc. High school students will be available to watch the little ones. (A rain date will be announced if necessary.)
Tuesday, Sept. 21 is the International Day of Peace. We will be recognizing this day by participating in a “white-out” and observing a worldwide moment of silence at noon. This will be one time that it is okay to wear white after Labor Day!
Free COVID PCR Saliva testing is available on Mondays and Fridays for adults and students (upper elementary-high school). Please contact Nurse Merriman at email@example.com if you would like to test and have not previously registered. We still hope to expand this program to include younger students and will communicate details with you as this becomes possible. We appreciate Clemson University CLIA lab for partnering with MSA to offer this pilot program!
Have a great week!
Dr. Dana Hill
Dates to Remember
September 13 - First Montessori Monday - wear Montessori-themed attire
September 15 - Updated immunization records due
September 18 - Campus Workday
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
Save the Date
Join us for a campus workday on September 18 from 8:00-12:00. We will use this time to beautify our campus and spruce up a bit. Hope to see you there!
DUE DATE APPROACHING. All immunization records must be received by September 15, 2021 to avoid exemption from school/daycare.
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 an immunization record has been received. Please make every effort to meet this deadline so there is no interruption in your child's educational experience. The records may be faxed to my attention at 864-231-6562.
At this time, masking remains highly recommended for all ages 3 and above. Should you choose to have your student wear a mask while at school, we ask the following:
Wear a Mask--mask should be worn (if 2 years or older) when in public and when around people who do not live in your same household. Encourage your child to wear masks correctly and safely.
Masks should fit properly and cover your nose and mouth and be secure under your chin. Mask should be at least 3 layers and fit snugly against the sides of your face.
Please note that MSA monitors the current community spread and other metrics and we are poised to pivot if the Covid-19 surge increases and poses a risk to the overall health and safety of our MSA community.
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.
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 Upper Elementary 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.
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 the 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.
Susanna Merriman, RN