Montessori Matters

March 20, 2020

Service to Humanity

"At home," but not forgetting one of MSA's four pillars: service to humanity. Please enjoy this article from the Anderson Independent Mail who picked up on the story of MSA's Annie and Jenny Presgraves' effort to raise money for local bus drivers and food workers while supporting local restaurants. We may be one private school in Anderson, but we care about all Anderson schools. Thanks Annie for this example!

If you wish to help Annie reach that $5,000 goal, you can either use Venmo (Hyundaiofanderson) or message Jenny at for questions.

Dates to Remember

Remember that you can always check the MSA website calendar for upcoming calendar events. See Dr. Hill's note below for information about the following dates to remember update.

March 17-20 - Remote Learning (3/20 teacher PD/student holiday moved to 4/1)

March 23-27 - Remote Learning (3/23 Monday conference/student holiday moved to 4/2)

March 25-31 - Spirit Week! See note below for more information

March 30-31 - Remote Learning

April 1-3 - Student holidays

April 6-10 - Spring Break

April 13-30 - Remote Learning continues (4/13 holiday moved to 4/3)

Note: The Spring Benefit has been postponed, please stay tuned for more information about the event.

Message from Dr. Hill:

Governor Henry McMaster and South Carolina Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman earlier today released the following joint statement announcing that South Carolina’s schools will remain closed for the duration of the month of April:

“At this time, students, parents, and families should plan for South Carolina’s schools to remain closed through the month of April. Our dedicated teachers and school administrators have done a tremendous job in making it possible for our students to learn at home. We understand that the prospect of schools remaining closed for an extended period of time places stress and strain on parents and children. Rest assured, if there is any way to safely open our schools earlier, we will do that, but schools must remain closed to protect the health and safety of South Carolinians.”

In light of this latest announcement, MSA will continue remote learning and will follow the schedule above. We will update you regarding our schedule for May and the possibility of returning to campus by sharing official announcements from Governor McMaster when they are made.

Remote Spirit Week!

Don't let social distancing get you down! Let's generate some school spirit by participating in a Remote Spirit Week starting tomorrow - Wednesday, March 25-Tuesday, March 31. Be sure to share your photos and throw in some good wishes for our Founder, Ms. Karen Holt, whose birthday is Saturday, March 28.

We love you, Ms. Holt, and our school! Thank you for your vision and guidance over the years!

  • Wednesday 3/25 - Superhero Day (in honor of the hospital workers, first responders and grocery employers and all other essential personnel)
  • Thursday 3/26 - Dress Like a Senior Citizen Day (in honor of the generation that is most at risk)
  • Friday 3/27 - Pajama Day (because, let's face it, PJs are the best part of school at home)
  • Monday 3/30 - Jersey Day (in honor of our favorite sports teams that aren’t able to play right now)
  • Tuesday 3/31 - Crazy Hair/School Colors Day (in honor of our hair stylists/barbers and the school that we miss)
  • Wednesday 4/1 - Friday 4/10 ENJOY YOUR BREAK!!!

(Idea borrowed from Facebook)

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Remote Learning

Thank you to everyone who has sent in remote learning photos of your children doing works from home! We plan on posting and sharing photos throughout this extended remote learning period, so please keep sharing your photos with Mr. Dabney at

Mushroom Experiment

Students in High School began a STEAM project just before leaving for remote learning in which they began growing mushrooms in plastic cups while each testing a different variation in the typical mushroom-growing environment against a control. Students have chosen a variety of experimental setups, from varying the oxygen flow and amount of light to using hot sauce, tea, and syrup when watering. The students were able to take their mushroom babies home with them, have given them names, and are taking care of them and monitoring their growth from home.
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Toddler Remote Learning

Students in Toddler Two have participated in a wide range of remote learning works over the past week, while also keeping up with their practical life skills. See below for photos of the students hard at work from home!
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Middle School

Middle School students have a good bit of responsibility in maintaining the school's Peace Garden, keeping the Middle School room and kitchen clean while on campus, drafting the weekly Middle School newsletter, and preparing and accounting for weekly lunches as part of various committees while on campus at school, and they have continued their committee work at home through preparing meals, cleaning, and gardening, all while maintaining a high standard of learning in their courses!
Mr. Saunier, a Middle School co-lead, found that he was able to work best when he let his son work beside him on his own (turned off) laptop!
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A Variety of Environments

Students are experiencing a variety of prepared environments suited to their learning styles while learning from home. Make sure to take care to consider your child's learning space as these three great examples have done!

Counting Fruit

A student in Primary Two took advantage of an abundance of apples to create a counting and arithmetic work at home!

Joyful Scholars

Thank you to Ms. Jenae in Primary Three for all of these wonderful photos of her children Jenasis in Ms. Tish's Primary One class and Joshua in Ms. Leslie's Toddler One class. They have been keeping up with their Montessori works from home and exploring nature!
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Art and Practical Family Life

Mr. Dabney's children, Avery in Ms. Stephanie's Primary Two class and Eli in the Infant room, took in the first day of spring outdoors, with Avery setting up an easel and painting a freshly-blooming tree outside the house and Eli bouncing happily nearby. Avery was able to feed Eli his first taste of food at home this week!

Montessori's mission continues

The Four Pillars of MSA are:

  • A Passion for Excellence
  • A Global Awareness
  • Universal Values
  • Commitment to Service

These pillars remain the foundation for our program even if we are not assembled together on our campus. In fact, it is even more important now during this time of social distancing that we remember what we believe.

Remote learning provides a unique challenge to be your best. Whether your task is an art project, preparing a snack, folding clothes, running outside, researching a topic, or showing up for a video chat, it is important that you keep those standards for yourself high. These days are not a vacation or a break from life. They are what our lives are right now and we should do our best each day.

If you didn’t pay much attention to how we are connected to the rest of the world before COVID-19, you certainly cannot escape it now. Through social media and all forms of travel, our world has become much smaller and our current circumstances are forcing us to look at the big picture to overcome this common foe - flatten the curve! We must take action as a community, as a state, as a nation, as a world, recognizing that our actions impact us all.

During this time of frustration and uncertainty, it would be easy to forget our grace and courtesy, respect for one another, and peaceful conflict resolution, but this is when we need to model the values that we hold dear and that we practice as part of our MSA community.

It is also a time when we should consider how we can help one another whether through donating supplies to the hospital, donating blood at The Blood Connection, or checking on an elderly neighbor to make sure they have food. Most importantly, right now, we can all serve our community through social distancing.

The faculty, staff, board, and administration of MSA continue to operate based on these four pillars. We strive to provide the excellent educational program that you expect, we open your children’s eyes to their place in the greater world, we nurture universal values of respect and compassion, and we try to model and foster a commitment to service.

Please let us know how we, as members of your MSA community, can support you best. We are still firmly committed to our mission and want to see this school remain an active part of this Upstate community for years to come.

Peace and health,

Dr. Dana Hill

Talking to Children about COVID-19

Please view this resource about talking with your children about coronavirus as well as this document describing a 15-day plan to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Montessori School of Anderson

Our mission is to nurture the whole child, physically, intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually, preparing students for academic excellence, lifelong learning and responsible, caring lives.