Charles Ellis Montessori Academy, September 14, 2020

To Educate The Whole Child for a Whole World

"To present detached notions is to bring confusion. We need to determine the bonds that exist between them. When the correlation among the notions,...has been established, the details may be found to tie together among themselves. The mind then is satisfied and the desire to go on with research is born." - Dr. Maria Montessori

The WEB of Life

We all have had the classic science lesson where, using a ball of yarn thrown between one student and the next, serves to demonstrate the interconnectedness of living things within an ecosystem. How poignant today that, when we feel disconnected, the very thing that keeps us in touch can also be the root of many of our frustrations, ie. technology. I know each day can present different challenges, as we attend to break downs and glitches in the systems, the platforms and the tenuous connectivity to wifi. But like any living ecosystem, we must ultimately rely on the breath and the oxygen that feeds each cell. So when the strings of the web are tight, knotted or lying limp and tangled on the ether floor, try to remember to breathe. It's perfectly ok to "shut it down" and find a good book to read, run outside and climb a tree, create a piece of art a lego sculpture, or try an old fashioned way of connecting - write a letter. We can always try again later, and like a spider's web pearled with dew in the rays of the rising sun, we will once again know the fragile beauty of our human race.

Important Dates

September 8-October 16- SCCPSS MAP Assessment Window

October 9- Fall Break for Staff/Students

October 12- Staff Planning Day- No School for students!

October 27- PTA Role Model Reader Day

School-Wide Grace & Courtesy Emphasis


  • 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.

District Return to Learn Plan

Over the weekend SCCPSS will be sending out a survey to families regarding the Phased Return to Learn Plan. The plan can be accessed in the link below:


SCCPSS MAP Assessments

The SCCPSS-mandated MAP assessment window is open September 8th-October 16th. In an effort to mitigate the loss of instructional time and normalization in the virtual learning environment at Ellis, we will begin the assessments with our Erdkinder and Upper Elementary students the week of September 8th. You will receive information from your teachers with the exact days/times. All families should review the following information in preparation for their child's assessment, as appropriate:

MAP Grades K-2 Remote Testing Guidance for Parents

MAP Grades K-2 (iPad) Remote Testing Guidance for Parent

MAP Grades 3-8 Remote Testing Guidance for Parents

MAP Grades 3-8 Guia para evaluacion remota para familias

NWEA Disable Pop-Up Blocking

NWEA MAP Quick Videos

*Important* Tip on Disabling Pop-Up Blocking on District Chromebooks for MAP Assessment

The instructions in the "NWEA Guide for Disabling Pop-Up Blocking" (above) does not work on District Chromebooks because student accounts do have the access needed to do this step. If you are on a district Chromebook signed in with a student account, follow these steps:

  1. Login to itsLearning with your student's account.
  2. Click on the "Map Test Site" tab (in the purple bar or under the "More" tab).
  3. If you get an error that says "Oops! Where's My Test Window?", you will see a red box with a white "x" pop up in the browser bar.
  4. Click the red box with the white "x" and select the option that says ""Always allow popups from https://test.mapnwea.org/" (or something to that effect).
  5. Even if you continue to get the "Oops..." error, another window will open that will allow you to login to MAP (either for the practice test or the actual assessment).


Device Distribution- Phase 2

We have sent an email to all the PreK/K families on the Phase 2 waitlist with a link to schedule an appointment to pick up your student device. If you are on the waitlist and have NOT received the email, please check your SPAM folder for an email from Lisa O'Donnell sent on Tuesday, September 8th.

In the email, you received information on how to purchase the Technology Protection Plan (TPP) offered by SCCPSS. This information is also available on the Ellis website.

If you have any questions, you can email Ms. Lisa (lisa.odonnell@sccpss.com).

Student Schedules Update - School-wide Asynchronous Wednesdays

Now that the school year has begun, we are continuing to review our instructional schedules and the impact of the virtual environment. Developmental teams are tweaking Wednesday schedules to;

  • mitigate excessive screentime for students,
  • comply with district directives,
  • allow staff to participate in required district trainings and curriculum planning.

Consequently, Wednesdays will become a day for asynchronous learning so that students can complete assignments, reach out to their teachers for additional support if needed, and engage in classroom projects. Teachers will not be leading live instructional lessons on Wednesdays, but will continue to post the expectations for the instructional day. As schedules are adjusted, your teacher will reach out to you with the date of implementation and the instructional components of Asynchronous Wednesdays.

Virtual Meeting Procedures

New Ellis Safety Procedure Effective Immediately:

For your student's safety, in order to be admitted into a virtual meeting/lesson, your student's first name and last initial/last name must be displayed. If the teacher does not recognize the username of the participant, the teacher reserves the right to refuse admittance to that participant into the meeting/lesson. If your student is not able to attend the live meeting/lesson, they will have an opportunity to watch the recorded session at a later date. Thank you for helping us with this safety measure.

Technology Assistance

Click here for technology troubleshooting tips from SCCPSS.

Click here for more information on low-cost internet access for qualifying families.

SCCPSS Smart Buses equipped with internet access will begin to run on September 1st. More information including a schedule can be found on the SCCPSS Website.

Big picture

Counselors' Corner

In our school counseling lessons this week, we have been working with students on reiterating the importance of trusted adults in their lives and how they can get in touch with their school counselor. We're also doing a feelings check-in survey with everyone. After your child has received our lesson, the brief survey will be linked to their teacher's ItsLearning page. Thank you so much for your support in assisting your child with this.

Please check out our website for how to contact us, as well as for useful resources. Even virtual, we're here for you! tinyurl.com/charlesellisschoolcounseling



Charles Ellis Montessori Academy parents! You are needed...this is your opportunity to be a voice for the Ellis community. Consider nominating yourself or someone else to serve on school council.

Interested nominees should complete this very brief questionnaire by Monday, September 14. 2020. All submitted nominations will be posted online September 15th and online voting will take place September 16-30, 2020. Thank you!


School Council Nomination Form

The establishment of a school council is intended to bring parents and the community together with teachers and school administrators to create better understanding of and mutual respect for each other's concerns and to share ideas for school improvement.

Ellis PTA

Join the PTA or donate at this link.

Visit the PTA Website.

From the Clinic

Please make sure that all immunizations are up to date and that you have processed documentation with Nurse Chris. Please contact her via email Christine O'Boyle <Christine.O'Boyle@sccpss.com> if you have any questions.

Nutrition Services

Applications for free/reduced lunch must be submitted every year. The deadline to submit an application is September 30, 2020. Click this link to submit an application.

The cost for school meals are as follows:

Breakfast- Free

Lunch- $3.00

Reduced Lunch- $.40

You can add money on your student's meal account here.

For more information on meal delivery dates/times during virtual learning, visit the SCCPSS website.

Ellis Montessori Academy Website

District Website