Montessori Matters

October 9, 2020

The Unexpected: Pink Skies and Remote Learning Days

Yesterday was our PINK OUT Day for Breast Cancer Awareness. On my way to school, I was in awe as I looked around to see a sky full of fluffy, bright pink clouds! It was the perfect complement to our pink event, but who could have predicted that? No matter how much planning, there is often something unexpected. In this particular case, it was a lovely addition to the day.

As you know, the Governor’s Directive for schools to close their campuses last spring was unexpected for all of us. Since that time, our MSA Academic Task Force, faculty, and administration have spent a great deal of time reflecting on what worked well and how we could better meet the needs of our students and our families if schools were required to switch to remote learning again.

When reviewing feedback from our parent survey, “child care in the event of school closure” was identified as the greatest need of our families. In response, MSA took steps this summer to ensure that infants through 6th-grade students could remain on campus under our DSS child care license even if we were directed by officials to go to a remote learning model.

Because DSS child care regulations and South Carolina Independent School Association (SCISA) regulations are not exactly the same, we have scheduled a few “practice” remote learning days in our calendar this fall. Monday and Tuesday (Oct. 12 & 13) will be the first two of these practice days. For infants and toddlers, these days will be business as usual. Our primary and elementary students will have the option to come to campus or work from home and our middle and high school students will all be working remotely.

Remote Learning Day plans have been made specific to each program in an effort to provide our families with options that best meet their needs during this ongoing time of COVID-19 uncertainty. But plans are not enough, because there is often something unexpected when plans are put into practice. So we will use our practice days to implement our plans and identify any unexpected challenges of operating under DSS regulations versus SCISA regulations.

We appreciate your support of our MSA Breast Cancer Awareness PINK OUT Day today. We also appreciate your support as we test our plans for Remote Learning Days on Monday and Tuesday and prepare for the unexpected.

Have a great weekend and a lovely Fall Break (Oct. 14-16)!

Dr. Dana Hill

Dates to Remember

Remember that you can always check the MSA website calendar for upcoming calendar events.

October 12-13 - Remote learning days, K5-High School

October 14-16 - Fall Break, Extended Care Only Infant/Toddler through Primary

October 16 - No pizza on the Friday during Fall Break

October 19-23 - Fall Fling and Spirit Week

October 30 - Primary Book Character Day

October 30 - Lower Elementary Biography Day

Spirit Week Schedule

  • Monday, Oct. 19 - Pajama Day

  • Tuesday, Oct. 20 - Inside out Day

  • Wednesday, Oct. 21 - Superhero Day

  • Thursday, Oct. 22 - Sports Team Day

  • Friday, Oct. 23 - Blue & White Day (MSA colors)

Nurse's Notes

Breast Cancer Awareness Month:

Montessori School of Anderson participated in Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Each October, countries across the world, set aside the month to help to increase awareness, early detection and treatment. A small way to do so and show our support for all of those affected with this diagnosis, going through treatment or who have been touched by this disease, MSA hosted a "Pink Out Day".

As Dr. Hill reminded us in the last issue of Montessori Matter, this ties in with one of our "Four Pillars"-a commitment to service. This month, students in primary through high school participated by performing community service projects that can be shared with those affected by breast cancer. The students wrote cards and letters of encouragement, drew pictures or even crocheted and sewed hats for cancer patients. The students will continue to work on these supportive service projects throughout the month.

We would also like to mention a special Mobile Mammography Event that will be at Trammel & Mills Law Firm at 1650 E. Greenville Street on Monday, October 12, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Appointments must be scheduled (864-675-4875). They will take 15-20 minutes and there are a limited number of appointment time slots available. Eligibility requirements to participate in this event include:

  • Females age 40 and older who are due for their annual screening mammogram.
  • Females who are 35-40 needing a baseline mammogram.
  • Able to walk up the coach stairs and stand unassisted.

Flu Vaccine

DHEC and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that everyone 6 months and older get vaccinated against the flu. Vaccination to prevent flu is particularly important for people who are at increased risk of complications from flu, including young children, adults aged 50 years and older, pregnant women and people with certain chronic medical conditions.

The Flu season always hits hard, but this year is different. There is a looming threat of a “twindemic,” which is the combination of a severe flu season and the current pandemic. Even a mild flu season can disrupt hospitals that have already been stretched by the surge of COVID-19 cases. While there is no vaccine yet for COVID-19, THERE is one for influenza and doctors are urging people to get the flu shot to reduce the risk of widespread outbreaks. Contact your healthcare provider for additional information.

As we head into Fall break and the second quarter, please continue to encourage your student(s) to continue the health and safety interventions that MSA initiated in our Return to School Plan. Although Fall break may appear different for many of us due to Covid and many are opting for "staycations", it's a great opportunity to encourage and incorporate the outdoors, social distancing, play and exercise, meal plan and cook together, and promote good health practices. Exercise and nutrition helps to boost the immune system which is important during this pandemic and as we head into flu season.

Lastly, should your student(s) or anyone in your household have a diagnosis of Covid positive or a Direct or Indirect contact to a person diagnosed with Covid, please notify MSA immediately so we can take the proper course of action to reduce the rate of transmission on the MSA campus. I can be reached at

With wishes of health and peace.

Susanna Merriman, RN


Pink Out

In recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the school held a Pink Out for awareness on Friday during which staff and students were asked to wear pink. In preparation for the event, the Upper School wrote cards of encouragement to be decorated by the younger students. Photos of the work can be found below.
Photos of students and staff wearing pink can be found below and in this album.
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Catalase Lab

This week, students in Mrs. Presgraves' upper school Biology class did a catalase lab. Catalase is an enzyme found in most cells. Metabolic processes often produce oxygen which gets converted into the damaging hydrogen peroxide, and catalase is the enzyme that converts it back to oxygen and water to protect cells. This is why your cuts bubble when you put peroxide on cuts because there is a lot of catalase in your blood. The students used potatoes to measure the amount of catalase and then see how temperature effects the reaction.
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Nature Walk Discoveries

Lower Elementary students went on a nature walk with Ms. Maynard and gathered nature materials they encountered along the way.

Pumpkin Carving

Students in the Upper School carved pumpkins this week as a preface for a related future STEAM activity. Some photos of the carving activity can be found below; click here for more.
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Desmos Houses

Students in Algebra II were tasked with creating pictures of houses using only equations graphed on's graphing calculator. The students created these incredible designs using 30+ functions, despite only ten being required.
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Upper School Amigo Secreto

The Upper School celebrated their postponed Amigo Secreto celebration this week in which students and faculty members drew random names and provided sweet notes and treats to their secret friends throughout the week. During the reveal party, each person attempted to guess who their secret friend was before opening the final present. Photos from the reveal event can be seen below and by clicking here.
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Flag Ceremony Quote

This week's flag ceremony quote was chosen and read by an Upper Elementary student. See below for his quote and interpretation.
October 5 Flag Ceremony Quote

Yearbook Ads

Do you own or manage a business, sell real estate, or handle community outreach for your company in the area? Why not purchase an ad in the 2020-2021 MSA yearbook and advertise your business to all of the staff, students, and parents here at school! If you're interested, please contact our yearbook adviser, Matt Dabney, at for pricing and availability.

Sun Art

Upper Elementary students in Ms. Maynard's art class spent time tracing their shadows to create "sun art" this week.
Tracing Shadows

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.