Charles Ellis Montessori Academy, February 8, 2021

To Educate The Whole Child for a Whole World

"The child has a different relation to his environment from ours...the child absorbs it. The things he sees are not just remembered; they form part of his soul. He incarnates in himself all in the world about him that his eyes see and his ears hear."

Maria Montessori The Absorbent Mind

Eyes to See and Ears to Hear

You have heard me say in a previous newsletter that "We become the beauty that we see". It is imperative, during these traumatic times, for the children and also we adults, to immerse ourselves in the healing power of nature; To look to the skies, to hear the birds, to watch the ant as it constantly works to build its home. The restorative power of nature brings new perspective, calms the emotions and provides hope that the cycle of life will continue.

However we must also guard ourselves and our children from the incessant chatter of the airways. We must be careful with our words, for ears are listening, but we must also provide opportunities for children to talk about their feelings in a safe manner. The week of February 1st we celebrated National School Counselor Week. Our School Counselor, Ms. Rebecca Burkhart, continues on a daily basis throughout the year, to provide us with many resources to engage in positive experiences and conversations that help to heal the trauma of this pandemic. I encourage you to avail yourself of these resources and to reach out to Ms. Rebecca whenever needed.

So take a walk in the park this weekend or venture to the beach. Listen to your child and engage the conversation, and...

may our words also be the beauty that our children hear.

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Important Dates

February 8- School Council Meeting (3:30pm)

February 8- Lower El Open House (5:30pm)

February 9- Erdkinder Open House (5:15pm)

February 10- Primary Open House (5:30pm)

February 11- Upper El Open House (5:30pm)

February 15- Staff Planning Day- No School for Students!

February 16- Pre-K Lottery Application Window Opens

February 19- Choice Program Application Window Closes

March 4- Pre-K Lottery Application Window Closes

March 8- Choice Program Lottery

Charles Ellis Montessori Academy

Return to Learn Guidance

Visit the SCCPSS Return to Learn Guidance webpage.

At the Regular Meeting of the Board of Education held on February 3, 2021, the Board approved a resolution regarding support for changes to Second Semester Operations. Those changes include the District implementing a 3-Day/2-Day Hybrid Rotation with Learning Partner model for all Pre-K – 12 families as soon as practicable on a timeline that is operationally feasible. The District will provide notice of the date that such return to in-person learning will occur as soon as practicable. Each school will be afforded the flexibility to increase in-person learning days, as operationally feasible and coordinated through the District. Least Independent Learners, as identified by district staff, shall be offered a return to in-person learning five days per week, at a date that is operationally feasible as determined by the Superintendent or consistent with their current learning plans. Virtual learning would remain an option for all families through the end of the school year.

In addition, the District will begin planning for a return to in-person learning five days per week in the Spring Semester of the 2020-2021 school year if and when COVID-19 vaccines are available to District employees whose primary place of employment is in a school building or requires interaction with students, such as transportation employees. The District will implement such plan as soon as practicable on a timeline that is operationally feasible following the availability of such vaccines. The District will plan for a robust 2021 summer school program offering families not only enrichment but also opportunities for remediation and enhancement. The District will provide notice of such plan as soon as practicable so that District staff and families can plan. The District will plan for and study the feasibility of beginning the 2021-2022 school year with a five days per week in-person learning model.​

​View the Resolution here.

Virtual Open Houses

Click the link to view the 2021 Ellis Open House Video.

Visit the "Virtual Open House Video and Schedule" page on the Ellis website to get links for the different developmental level open houses that will be taking place the week of February 8th.

Device Grace & Courtesy

If your student has a SCCPSS device, please encourage them to use grace and courtesy with the device as they would with any classroom material.

Please do not allow them to add stickers to, draw on, or carve into the device. Also, please do not allow your child to eat or drink around these devices as liquid and crumbs can cause major issues with how they function.

These devices are property of SCCPSS and they should be treated as any other borrowed material by taking care of it as you would want your own things taken care of. Thank you for your help with this practical life skill.

SCCPSS Choice School Lottery

2021/2022 Choice Program Information Sheet

2021/2022 Choice Program Guide

Visit the SCCPSS Choice Program Website​ for ​a site list, ​​application, and ​more information.

*Attention Ellis PreK Parents: Please note that you MUST apply for the Ellis Choice Program in order for your student to be eligible to attend Ellis for kindergarten.*

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SCCPSS Pre-K Lottery

SCCPSS Pre-K Website (including application, registration information, and more)

Pre-K applications for the 2021-2022 school year will be available from February 16 to March 4, 2021. When completing the application, be prepared to submit your child's birth certificate and proof of address in the application. Lottery notifications will be sent on April 7, 2021.

To participate in the Pre-K Program, children must be four years of age* on or before September 1, 2021, and must be a resident of Chatham County.

* Five-year-old children who have not previously attended the Pre-K program and who have developmental delays that impact their readiness for school may also enroll at the request of their parents. A Parent Acknowledgement form must be completed during registration.

For additional information, please email: amanda.drought@sccpss.com

School Council Meeting

The next school council meeting is Monday, February 8th, at 3:30pm. School council meetings are open to the Ellis community. If you would like to join the meeting, email Sarah Smith (sbockelsmith@gmail.com) for the Zoom link.

Culture Fest

Culture Fest will be Thursday, February 25, 2021@ 6:30pm.

We are inviting our Ellis families to share their cultural traditions through songs, dance, music

or other traditional activities. Performances can be up to 3 minutes. Please plan to attend this event to experience the culture and entertainment of our very own Ellis Families.

Here is the Flipgrid to record your video.

Thanks in Advance,

PTA Cultural Diversity Committee

itsLearning Parent Portal

Update: The District sent out emails to parents on how to login to the new itsLearning Parent Portal on Monday, February 1st.

Click the links below to view information from SCCPSS about the upcoming release of the itsLearning Parent Portal.

itsLearning Parent Portal Information

itsLearning Parent Portal Video

Counselor's Corner

Happy National School Counseling Week! As your child's school counselor, I believe that every student deserves the opportunity to have a champion in their corner, a person who is rooting for them and believes in them. School counselors help make schools caring places for students to learn, grow, challenge themselves, take risks, and to be assured they have a safe place to land. I'm so thankful to have landed here as your school counselor. If you or your family need anything, contact me via ItsLearning or via my website.

This week, our students have been learning perseverance, self-advocacy, and awareness of our emotions. In Primary and Lower Elementary, we are reading Niko Draws a Feeling and in Upper Elementary, we have been doing a NearPod lesson on self-advocacy. Erdkinder will have me in their virtual classes next week. 8th grade- don't forget to fill out your Choice Application for High School. The deadline is February 19th.

Ms. Rebecca

School Counselor

Charles Ellis Montessori Academy


912-395-5470 Ext. 2

School-Wide Grace & Courtesy Focus

The Language for Identifying/Naming the Qualities of Assertiveness from the "Self- Awakened Child" series by Jonathan Wolff:

  • When I ask for what I need or want, I am being Assertive.
  • What I do or say the right thing--even when it's hard--I am being Assertive.
  • What I say "no" to someone who tries to hurt me or someone else, I am being Assertive.
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Is Your Student's Chromebook Running Slow?

Here are a couple of things that you/your student can do on a regular basis to improve the Chromebooks performance.

  1. Clearing Cache/Cookies from Chrome Browser
  2. Upload Files from Chromebook to Google Drive- After you copy any files from the device to your student's Google Drive, delete the files from the device.

2nd Semester Device Distribution

If you are in need of a SCCPSS device for your student, please fill out this form. Ms. Lisa will contact you as soon as possible to schedule pick up of the device from the school.

If you have received a device from the District and you plan on purchasing the Technology Protection Plan provided by the District, please pay for that through School Cash Online and send the signed paperwork to Ms. Lisa through email.

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

From the Clinic

Please read the attached flyer with health and safety information.

Covid-19 Parent at Home Screening

If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to me.

Thank you,

Nurse Chris


912-395-5470 Ext. 71213

Join the Ellis PTA and Support Our Community!

Please consider joining the PTA to support our Ellis community. Membership is only $7/person.

So far this school year, the PTA has done the following:

  • Held a school supply drive for our Ellis families
  • Funded the purchase of individual Montessori materials for our Primary students
  • Sponsored teachers to attend an Anti-Racist, Anti-Bias Teaching in the Montessori Classroom seminar.
  • Organized the Fall Festival Parade
  • Organized the PTA Reflections contest
  • Accepted teacher grant applications
  • Funded improvements to the playground and multi-purpose room
  • Sponsored the Read-A-Thon
  • Organized the Angel Tree for families in our Ellis community
  • Donated non-perishable food items to Emmaus House
  • Purchased Medify HEPA Air Purifier/replacement filters for classrooms
  • Supplied Nurse Chris with needed health and wellness supplies
  • And so much more!

The PTA cannot do all this without your help and support. The easiest way to show your support is simply by joining the Ellis PTA.

Visit the PTA Website.

Ellis Montessori Academy Website

Click here to view the new Charles Ellis Montessori Academy website.

SCCPSS Website

Please visit this website regularly for the most up-to-date SCCPSS District information.