Montessori Matters

March 6, 2020

School Vouchers

There was a SC Senate subcommittee action meeting on Thursday of this week to review an amended version of a voucher bill. As of this writing, we don’t know the outcome of that meeting. It was important for me to write our senators verbalizing my support of the voucher system within the context of providing quality education for all of South Carolina’s children. And it is important to you, as a MSA family, to know how hard MSA tries to keep the cost of tuition down. The following is the letter sent:

Dear Senator ___________,

I believe in offering the best of traditional and alternative forms of education to the children of South Carolina. I believe in great public schools, magnet schools, charter schools, STEM schools, parochial schools, and independent nonprofit schools. I believe there is a place for Emilio Reggio programs, Montessori programs, Home School programs, Waldorf education programs. Each does well in serving the children of SC. And I believe that choice for South Carolina's families is a great gift to them.

Nothing would be better than to provide all these programs under the auspices of "free" education to all of SC's children. But the state system has its hands full dealing with the vast majority of families with public school as their choice.

Yes ... I am not a public school teacher; I am a Montessori School of Anderson teacher. But what I do know is that our nonprofit school, over its 45 years of existence, has depended on many families paying full tuition, other families working off tuition through various work programs, and when unable to work off the missing amount of tuition, the school has been committed to offering assistance to those remaining families. These monies are raised through the efforts of the whole school body through a variety of fundraising events.

Over 50% of our school families are already on some sort of tuition discount or assistance. We would like to offer much, much more to our Anderson community, but it is impossible with budgetary demands as they are. Our teachers are paid half of what their contemporaries are paid within the state system with fewer benefits.

With all this in mind, I am an advocate of a voucher program that enables SC families a little more flexibility in choosing which educational approach best suits their family values and their children’s specific needs or gifts. Our program, over its many years, has always strived to acknowledge that we are not "better than traditional public schools but different than" in its approach.” And that “different than” is what can be celebrated in all its many SC educational forms.

Respectfully submitted,

Karen Holt

Montessori School of Anderson Teacher

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Dates to Remember

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

March 20 - Professional Development Day, school closed - Extended Care Only

March 23 - IT - LE Conference Day - Extended Care Only

March 23-27 - Conference Week

April 2 - Primary European Festival

April 6-9 - Spring Break - Extended Care Only

April 10 - Spring Break - All Programs Closed

April 13 - Spring Break - Extended Care Only

April 17 - Field Day

April 25 - Escape to Kokomo - Spring Benefit & Auction

Spring Forward

Please don't forget that daylight saving time began this weekend at 2:00 AM Sunday morning, skipping ahead an hour. This is always a great opportunity to replace the batteries in your home's smoke detectors.
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Nurse's Notes

Healthy Hygiene Habits:

  • Stay home when you are sick. If possible, stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick. You will help prevent others from catching your illness. Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes. Use a tissue to cover coughs and sneezes, then dispose of the tissue. When a tissue is not available, cough or sneeze into your elbow.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces or objects. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work or school, especially when someone is ill.
  • Wash hands for 20 seconds. Washing hands often under clean, running water can help prevent the spread of germs. For more guidance see the CDC: When and How to Wash Your Hands. If you cannot wash your hands, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60-95% alcohol.
  • Follow Montessori's School of Anderson's Illness Policy as stated in the handbook, page 18, Section 6.5: MSA Students are prohibited from attending classes while ill. If your child is absent, please notify the front office. MSA is proactive in monitoring all illnesses and makes every effort to prevent illnesses from spreading. When you have verification that your child has a communicable disease, please notify the office immediately. It is preferable to bring your child late or keep him/her out for another day in order to fully recuperate rather than risk exposing the student body to a potentially communicable illness. All students must be fever, vomiting and diarrhea free for 24 hours without the aid of medications before returning to school. If your child has missed school due to illness, he/she may not participate in any other school related activity on that day or evening.
  • It's not too late to receive a seasonal influenza vaccine; contact your physician for more information.
  • All cases of influenza need to be reported to MSA.
  • Please notify the office if you or your family members are traveling outside of the country at any time during the school year.

For additional updates and information, please refer to the links below:

For more guides on dealing with the new coronavirus (COVID-19) and talking to your children about it, see these links:

  • Talking to children about COVID-19: link
  • What children want to know about coronavirus comic: link
  • What to do if you are sick with COVID-19: link

Have a safe and healthy week,

Susanna Merriman, RN

Summer Camps

MSA is excited to announce that it will host several exciting camps over the summer! See information about the camps below, and click here or on the images below for a full-sized PDF copy.
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Annie JR.

Thank you to all of the students, parents, and staff who contributed in making this past week's showing of Annie JR. such a great success! The hours of hard work and preparation were evident as the actors did an incredible job during two shows this Thursday and Friday. See below and this album for a quick preview of photos from the play.
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Meet Brenna Leahey - Nap and Primary Extended Day


About me:

Hi! My name is Brenna Leahey, and I am the Nap and Primary Extended Day instructor. I was born and raised here in Anderson and have been here all my life. My mom and dad enrolled me in Primary here at MSA when I was three years old. I stayed here through 1st grade and then went into the public school system; I attribute all of my academic success to the foundation I built here! I have two sisters, and my older sister is Mrs. Lockhart who deals with admissions and guidance here at MSA. I am so glad to be working in such a wonderful environment and cannot wait to see what the future holds!

My education/experience:

  • Worked in a preschool setting part-time throughout college
  • Graduated from Clemson University in 2018 with a BS in Health Science
  • Returned to the MSA family as a full time employee in Primary in Fall of 2018
  • Currently pursuing my Masters of Teaching in Elementary Education at Anderson University and set to graduate December of 2021!

My favorite things:

  • Movie: White House Down
  • Color: Red
  • Food: ANYTHING Italian
  • Snack: Mini M&Ms
  • Sports Team: Clemson - all day every day
  • Hobby: Dancing! I’ve been in classes since I was 3 years old
  • Vacation spot: Folly Beach
  • Favorite thing about teaching at MSA: The kids! Every day they say something that just cracks me up and brightens my day. I love them!!!

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.