December 4, 2020
Festival of Lights
It’s a “Festival of Lights” year! What does that mean? Some of you may have been here long enough to remember the glory days (pre-COVID-19) when classrooms were transformed into a volcano, a Scottish hearth, or even a tropical rainforest.
For one month prior to the mid-December evening event, the children begin their intensive study of a country’s history, culture, dress, food, etc. Then on the designated night, the entire Montessori campus engages in this wonderful “tour around the world” that occurs once every three years. It is one of MSA’s most magical nights and is all-inclusive from the littlest to the oldest.
Hundreds of luminaries are placed along the campus walkway to light the way for students and families as they travel from classroom to classroom. Christmas carols are played on our outdoor speaker system and sometimes a small student ensemble of strings or vocals can be heard as families cross the campus from one end to the other. Without having to get on a jet plane, families are able to experience a touch of Mexico, Madagascar, Greece, Wales, Native America, etc. The lovely evening culminates with a candle-lighting ceremony at our Peace Pole Plaza where our community comes together to express a joint wish for world peace.
This year will look a little different because we cannot come together in-person, but our children are still getting the benefit of the intensive study and will still have an opportunity to share it with you - only virtually. Each class will be recording a tour of their country that will be shared with all of our families for “Festival of Lights” - Thursday, December 17.
“In an era of non-trust and separation, as is being experienced right now around the globe, it is even more important to cultivate in our children, the sense of connectedness recognizing the ways we are different from one another yet at the same time the ways we are similar. It is one of Montessori School of Anderson’s four pillars: a global perspective, appreciating diversity while seeking unity.”
- Karen Holt, MSA Founder
Festival of Lights Work
Students in Lower Elementary have been having fun extending their content with arts, research, and cultural understandings about their Festival of Lights continent, Africa.
Dates to Remember
Remember that you can always check the MSA website calendar for upcoming calendar events.
December 8 - Fall photo order forms due for first photo order to be returned before break
December 17 - Festival of Lights virtual tour - more information to follow
December 18 - No pizza
December 21-23 - Extended care only
December 23 - All programs close at 2:30 pm
December 24 - January 1 - Winter Holidays, all programs closed
Brrrrrrrrr, winter weather is unpredictable in South Carolina. This is just a reminder that with the fluctuation of temperatures, please remember to send appropriate winter weather clothing with your student to school. Montessori must follow strict guidelines on outdoor play during the winter months and it is crucial if your child is to participate in outdoor play that he/she has the needed hat, gloves, mittens and coat and closed toe shoes to make it a safe outdoor experience.
Please continue to phone the front office and notify your student's teacher if your child is absent. This helps greatly with illness tracking and follow up.
***Reminder of the MSA Infectious Disease Policy
Children are expected to be in good health when in school. All students must be fever free for 24 hours before returning to school (without taking fever-reducing medication). Absences, excused or unexcused, will be recorded for all students. Any student experiencing a fever greater than 100.4°F, vomiting, experiencing diarrhea, or simply feeling too poorly to focus or concentrate on classwork will be removed from the classroom. His/her parents will be called to pick them up. The child should be isolated until the parent arrives. No student will be allowed to leave campus without the direct consent of the parent/guardian.
COVID Change: Any student (or faculty/staff) who is diagnosed as COVID-19 positive will be reported to SC DHEC and MSA will follow their guidelines for when the student may return to school and whether others must be isolated/quarantined.
Free Covid Testing Sites:
SCDHEC has an interactive resource for Covid testing sites. Please see this link to locate a testing site near you. Many are free to the public and do not require a physician's order or referral.
Thank you for your cooperation and continued partnership with MSA in helping to maintain the safest environment possible.
With Blessings and wishes for continued good health,
Susanna Merriman, RN
Operation: Share the Warmth Tree
As the holiday season approaches, we look to the spirit of giving and service to others. Once again, MSA will be sponsoring the “Operation: Share the Warmth” Tree. This long-standing MSA holiday tradition will serve as a school-wide community service project for December. This service project ties in with one of the school's "Four Pillars," a commitment to service, and fulfills a great need for the children in Anderson County.
Here’s how the service project works. A Christmas tree has been placed in the front office of the Montessori Administrative building. The Christmas tree only has a ribbon on the top of the tree and lights. Our students, families, and MSA classrooms are asked to provide the decorations. The decorations should consist of new mittens, gloves, socks, and scarves. If you have gently used jackets, coats, and shoes they will gladly be accepted. Some of you may remember how beautiful the tree looked in past years, all decked out in warm clothing finery!!!
The tree will remain on campus until the December 18 when the school closes for the Winter Holiday. The items will then be donated to a local charity organization, Anderson Interfaith Ministries. This project allows our Montessori students and families to provide the basic need of warmth to those who may not have the ability to stay warm during the cold winter months.
Thank you in advance for your generosity!!!
With blessings and wishes for continued good health,
Susanna Merriman, RN