Charles Ellis Montessori Academy, February 1, 2021

To Educate The Whole Child for a Whole World

"No adult can become a teacher of love without a special effort, without opening the eyes of his consciousness in order to see a world more vast than his own"

- Dr. Maria Montessori

A New Dawn Blooms

To see a world more vast than our own is a challenge when we are hunkered down and following tight COVID protocols to keep ourselves and others safe. I remember as a young girl hunkered down in Northern Ireland, how books and pictures could transport me to exotic lands around the globe and to worlds created in my imagination. These 'mind travels" planted the seeds for many physical journeys I have taken in my life. Because of these experiences I have always held the belief that travel is the greatest teacher; to experience the unknown, to have the courage to try and understand the otherness so that it results in a knowing that we are all one. Dr. Montessori knew the importance of such an education when she developed the foundations of the Montessori Cosmic Curriculum and the Human Needs and Tendencies Chart, as vehicles to promote Education for Peace.

Today as we begin a celebration of Black History Month I encourage you all to reach out, to travel through the ether, to expand your world. Starting February 3rd, I invite you to check out #BLM the latest exhibition at the Beach Institute, where our very own Ms. Carolyn and Ms. Tiia have displayed, through the beauty of friendship, that a New Day Blooms for us all. It just takes one step toward the other!


Ms. Tanya

Important Dates

February 1- SCCPSS Digital Student Success Expo

February 1- Choice Program Application Window Opens

February 8- School Council Meeting (3:30pm)

February 8- Lower El Open House (5:30pm)

February 9- Erdkinder Open House (5:15pm)

February 10- Primary Open House (5:30pm)

February 11- Upper El Open House (5:30pm)

February 15- Staff Planning Day- No School for Students!

February 19- Choice Program Application Window Closes

March 8- Choice Program Lottery

SCCPSS Choice School Lottery

2021/2022 Choice Program Information Sheet

2021/2022 Choice Program Guide

Visit the SCCPSS Choice Program Website​ for ​a site list, ​​application, and ​more information.

*Attention Ellis PreK Parents: Please note that you MUST apply for the Ellis Choice Program in order for your student to be eligible to attend Ellis for kindergarten.*

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Virtual Open Houses

Click the link to view the 2021 Ellis Open House Video.

Visit the "Virtual Open House Video and Schedule" page on the Ellis website to get links for the different developmental level open houses that will be taking place the week of February 8th.

SCCPSS Digital Student Success Expo

From the SCCPSS District:

The 12th annual SCCPSS Student Success Expo is being held this year – but not in its usual format. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, instead of gathering at the Savannah Mall, the event will be held virtually next week February 1st – 7th. The Expo can be accessed beginning Monday at 8am by clicking the Student Success Expo square on the front page of SCCPSS.com.

Instead of booths decorated by each school for families to peruse at the Mall, each school is participating in a Video Marketing Competition showcasing their school and activities. Those videos have been judged for creativity and winners will be announced by the Superintendent virtually on the Expo page Monday morning.

The video from each school will be available for a Viewing Extravaganza through links on the district’s website so that families can explore our schools. The Viewing Extravaganza will be available from 8am Monday until 8pm on Sunday, February 7th, and the top three schools with the most views will win prizes!

SCCPSS students also can win prizes by completing the Passport Activity for the Expo. They simply need to “virtually travel” through ten different schools by viewing their videos and completing the passport survey for each. Students who complete the activity will be entered into a drawing for prizes. Video views can take place any time during the week of February 1-7, 2021 – all passport survey entries must be received by 8pm on February 7th to qualify for the drawing. The Passport links will be available on the Expo page at SCCPSS.com.

The Savannah-Chatham County Public School System’s Choice Program Application process will kick-off at the start of the Expo. The Choice section of SCCPSS.com can be accessed from the front page of the website or by going straight to choice.sccpss.com. Parents will be able to apply online for the Choice school or program that meets their child’s interest (SY 21-22). Applications will be accepted through Friday, February 19, 2021.

District program highlights include: Performing Arts, Engineering, Welding, Aviation, Cosmetology, Culinary, Medical & Allied Health, Construction, Automotive Repair and Collision, Public Safety, and Logistics - just to name a few. There are four new programs available in the upcoming school year - the Innovative Learning Academy at Hubert Middle, Cinematic Studies at Southwest Middle, STEAM at Marshpoint and an Aviation Drone Program at Windsor Forest High.

The fun starts Monday morning at 8am. We hope you will join us!

itsLearning Parent Portal

* Please Note: The SCCPSS District has postponed the release of the itsLearning Parent Portal due to technical updates.

Click the links below to view information from SCCPSS about the upcoming release of the itsLearning Parent Portal.

itsLearning Parent Portal Information

itsLearning Parent Portal Video

Counselor's Corner

This week in School Counseling instruction, we wrapped up our theme of goal setting and continuing to be our very best! Primary students read I Promise and said positive affirmations. Lower elementary students read The Thing Lou Couldn't Do and reinforced the importance of working on our growth mindset. Upper elementary had a lesson on strategies for goal setting and went on a virtual field trip to Hogwarts Castle, talking about how it takes many hands and many goals to make amazing things possible.

Erdkinder families, to learn more about High School 101, check out the presentation here, or see the slideshow. The choice school application window opens on February 1st.

If you ever need any additional support, contact me here, or check out the School Counseling Website for more information.

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Is Your Student's Chromebook Running Slow?

Here are a couple of things that you/your student can do on a regular basis to improve the Chromebooks performance.

  1. Clearing Cache/Cookies from Chrome Browser
  2. Upload Files from Chromebook to Google Drive- After you copy any files from the device to your student's Google Drive, delete the files from the device.

i-Ready Information

Dear Parents and Guardians,

I am excited to share that SCCPSS is implementing an online instructional program called i-Ready, to support students in the acquisition and enhancement of Math and Reading skills. To prepare and implement this program students in Grades K through 5th will engage in diagnostic assessments during the timeframe of January 13th through February 5th. Below, you will find information about the program and how we will be using it in the classroom.

Your testing week(s) are as follows:

Upper El - week of 1/19

Lower El - 1/25 - 2/5

Primary - 1/14 - 2/5

Your student's teacher will give you the exact date/time that your child will take the assessment.

What is i-Ready?

i-Ready is an online program that will help us determine your child’s strengths and areas for growth, personalize their learning, and monitor their progress throughout the school year. i-Ready allows us to meet your child where they are and provides us with data to inform instruction.

The i-Ready Diagnostic is an adaptive assessment that adjusts its questions to suit your child’s needs. Each item a student receives is based on their answer to the previous question. For example, a series of correct answers will result in slightly harder questions, while a series of incorrect answers will yield slightly easier ones. The purpose of this is not to give your child a score or grade but to determine how to best support their learning.

i-Ready Instruction provides students with lessons based on their individual strengths and areas for growth. These lessons are interactive and provide strategic support, to keep your child engaged as they learn.

Thank you for your continued support and for being a partner in your child’s learning! I look forward to sharing i-Ready information with you throughout the year. If you have any questions about i-Ready, please do not hesitate to contact me or the school.

You can learn more about i-Ready by visiting i-ReadyCentral.com/FamilyCenter as well as the What is i-Ready document. This information will also be posted on the school website.


Tanya Melville

School-Wide Grace & Courtesy Focus

The Language for Identifying/Naming the Qualities of Self-Discipline from the "Self- Awakened Child" series by Jonathan Wolff:

  • When I do what is right for me to do--not just what I want to do-- I am acting with Self-Discipline.
  • When I do what is good for me and other people--not just what is good for me--I am acting with Self-Discipline.
  • When I stop my hurtful thoughts, feelings, words, and actions from hurting myself or hurting someone else, I am acting with Self-Discipline.

Educational Opportunities for Students

There are a number of reading, writing, art and math opportunities for students. Check them out on the Ellis website.

2nd Semester Device Distribution

If you are in need of a SCCPSS device for your student, please fill out this form. Ms. Lisa will contact you as soon as possible to schedule pick up of the device from the school.

If you have received a device from the District and you plan on purchasing the Technology Protection Plan provided by the District, please pay for that through School Cash Online and send the signed paperwork to Ms. Lisa through email.

If you have any questions, email Ms. Lisa (lisa.odonnell@sccpss.com).

From the Clinic

Please read the attached flyer with health and safety information.

Covid-19 Parent at Home Screening

If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to me.

Thank you,

Nurse Chris


912-395-5470 Ext. 71213

Join the Ellis PTA and Support Our Community!

Please consider joining the PTA to support our Ellis community. Membership is only $7/person.

So far this school year, the PTA has done the following:

  • Held a school supply drive for our Ellis families
  • Funded the purchase of individual Montessori materials for our Primary students
  • Sponsored teachers to attend an Anti-Racist, Anti-Bias Teaching in the Montessori Classroom seminar.
  • Organized the Fall Festival Parade
  • Organized the PTA Reflections contest
  • Accepted teacher grant applications
  • Funded improvements to the playground and multi-purpose room
  • Sponsored the Read-A-Thon
  • Organized the Angel Tree for families in our Ellis community
  • Donated non-perishable food items to Emmaus House
  • Purchased Medify HEPA Air Purifier/replacement filters for classrooms
  • Supplied Nurse Chris with needed health and wellness supplies
  • And so much more!

The PTA cannot do all this without your help and support. The easiest way to show your support is simply by joining the Ellis PTA.

Visit the PTA Website.

Ellis Montessori Academy Website

Click here to view the new Charles Ellis Montessori Academy website.

SCCPSS Website

Please visit this website regularly for the most up-to-date SCCPSS District information.