Montessori Matters

March 13, 2020


What is an Oasis? According to the dictionary: Oasis – something that provides refuge, relief, or pleasant contrast.

Take a look at the Pi Day pictures that follow and see if you don’t agree, that amidst all of the stress “out there” – “in here” is quite tranquil, with work being carried on as usual, and the quiet joy of discovery happening. Yes, for now – MSA has the pleasant school contrast.

Now, no Pollyanna about what we may be facing – with the possibility of closing school for a short time – but right now and all this past week, past month, and for that matter, the past 47 years, MSA has had the blessing of being that quiet little school wayyyyyy out in the country on Sam McGee Rd.

It is possible that MSA will need to follow the guidance of its advisors, medical and otherwise from across the state, but if that happens, here are some thoughts to continue to provide your own version of “oasis” at home.

Find the joy of just sitting out in your own backyard again listening for the new bird who may have just taken up residence. Prepare that home-cooked meal that all participate in preparing in some way. Gather everyone together with the perfect lighthearted movie on Hulu. Together, as a family, write grandparents a daily note with words of appreciation for who they are. Really start the family scrapbook project. Enjoy a “read-aloud” time together with some beloved children’s book from your own childhood. You have the idea.

This, too, shall pass... but until it does, may we enjoy the concept of oasis both in our school and in our homes.

Pi Day

In celebration of Pi Day this Saturday (3/14), Upper Elementary students searched for the Pi ratio using measurements of the diameter and circumference of circles. Using various circles, large and small, students measured and calculated to see how close they could get to the actual ratio.
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Dates to Remember

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

March 19 - Report cards issued for MS and HS

March 17-19 - Remote Learning Days

March 20 - Professional development - All Programs Closed

March 23-27 - Spring Break - All Programs Closed

March 30-31 - Remote Learning Days

April 10 - Holiday - All Programs Closed

April 13 - Holiday - Extended Day Only

April 17 - Field Day

April 25 - Escape to Kokomo - Spring Benefit & Auction

Please note that the Primary European Festival previously scheduled for April 2 has been cancelled. It is our to goal to inform families by Friday, March 27 about plans for return to school or extended closure after March 31.

Remote Learning Pictures

Take a great photo of your child doing Montessori works at home during remote learning days? Send it to Mr. Dabney at and let him know if it can be used in Montessori Matters and/or MSA's social media accounts (e.g., Facebook and Instagram). We would love to see your joyful scholars even if we can't meet in person!
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A Note from Dr. Hill

Each year, the faculty chooses a focus or theme for the year. This year our theme has been "Connection." We have discussed the various connections that exist in a community such as ours and how we can make those connections stronger. We have taken steps to improve communication with parents, to expand meetings to include all faculty and staff, and to have more transparency regarding the governance of the school. These are all very important ways to create and strengthen connection.

Under the current circumstances, we are now faced with the challenge of maintaining the student connection in a meaningful way. Our teachers have thoughtfully considered how they can best connect with the children in their classes. It is important that the students know that learning doesn't stop just because we are apart and that the teachers genuinely care about their well-being and their progress. Please be receptive to their outreach and through your words and actions let your children know that we are still a community.

If COVID-19 has taught us one thing, it is that we are part of a global community and are connected in ways we never even realized. This time of isolation and separation is probably one of the greatest examples that our children will see of caring for the greater community.

Join us in our efforts to improve connection and keep our Montessori School of Anderson community strong!

Dr. Hill

Nurse's Notes

Please see the following resources for information about stopping the spread of germs and facts about the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. Click on the images to view the full-sized documents.

Summer Camps

MSA will hold several exciting camps over the summer this year. The camps are open to the public, so sign up today and invite your friends! Click here to view the full-sized flier.

Stomp Performance

The Middle School students performed Stomp Projects Friday afternoon, a student-led percussion performance piece that they have been working on since January. Click here for more photos from the performance, and you can find videos of each performance below.

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MSA Stomp Presentations

Kids Heart Challenge Practice

Students got a jump start on the Kids Heart Challenge by practicing jumping during PE this week.

Mentor Cookies

Students in Middle School helped Lower Elementary students make cookies this week during their mentoring lesson.

Annie JR Photos

Many more photos from the Upper Elementary through High School production of Annie JR that took place the week before last can be found in this Photos album as well as a sneak peek below.
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Meet Tish McAlister - Primary Directress and Primary One Lead


About me:

I am from a small town outside of Tuscaloosa, Alabama where my family still resides on our family farm. I moved to South Carolina over twenty years ago and I fell in love with it. I am hoping to retire on the SC coast one day! I am married to my sweet husband, Parry and we have three children. Miranda is graduating from Clemson in May, Connor is a student at Tri-County and Jack is finishing 9th grade from MSA. It is no secret to our children that Bullet, our dog, is our favorite child.

My education/experience:

I have spent a little over two decades working at MSA, I believe I began working in ‘98 or ‘99. I received my 3-6 Montessori certification in 2000. I have worked in several different capacities over the years, Extended Day, Lower El, but mostly teaching in Primary. I have served as director for Primary several times over the years and I love nothing more than educating people about this brilliant method/philosophy that Dr. Montessori developed.

My favorite things:

  • Book/movie: Steel Magnolias
  • Color: Blue
  • Food/snack: Mexican
  • Sport/team: Auburn and Clemson Football
  • Activity/hobby: Sewing, wakesurfing
  • Vacation spot: Anywhere that will take me to the beach and California
  • Your favorite thing about teaching at MSA: Witnessing the pure joy, happiness and love that children give each day in our classroom community.

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.