Charles Ellis Montessori Academy, December 21, 2020

To Educate The Whole Child for a Whole World

"A child's incarnation is effected through hidden toil, and there is drama about his/her creative efforts that has yet to be written" Maria Montessori.

Dance in the Light

Yesterday evening we continued our Charles Ellis Montessori Academy tradition, The Festival of Lights. Although challenging to celebrate in this virtual paradigm, it was a reminder that the spirit of our community continues and must go forward to overcome the darkness.

Nature has its own festival of lights which I have been witness to as a child. The photos below are of the coastline where I live in the north of Ireland. The Mussenden Temple sits on a cliff above the house where my mother spent her childhood summers. The picture of the Giant's Causeway shows the Wishing Chair where I would sit and make wishes. Dunluce Castle sits precariously on the cliff edge looking out towards Scotland, its kitchen already beneath the turbulent sea. But to see my childhood landscape with the added magic of the Aurora Borealis always reminds me that there are divine and wonderous forces that can bring forth a creative incarnation in each one of us. So during this season, let the children dance in the light.

I wish you Peace Always,

Ms. Tanya

Important Dates

December 21-January 1- Winter Break

January 4- Staff Planning Day- No School for Students!

January 5-8- e-Learning Days

January 8- PTA Boosterthon Kick-Off

January 11- Cohort A Returns In-Person to School

January 14- Cohort B Returns In-Person to School

January 18- MLK Jr. Day- No School!

January 20- Virtual Boosterthon Event

Happy Winter Break!

We want to wish all of our Ellis families a very happy winter break! We hope that you take the time to rest and recharge before the start of the second semester of the school year. Thank you for your support as we have navigated the challenges and opportunities that this year has brought our way.

Festival of Lights

Thank you to Ms. Jennifer, the PTA, and everyone who worked so hard to put together the virtual Festival of Lights and Sing-A-Long. View highlights of the event on the PTA website.

The tradition continues...even virtually! The staff singing of "The Twelve Days of Christmas."

e-Learning Days- January 5th-8th

All students will log on for the e-Learning Days previously approved on the 2020-2021 Academic Calendar. All students on these days will receive instruction in a virtual format.

Hybrid Model Handbook

Parents of students who will be returning to the building in Cohort A or Cohort B will be receiving an updated Hybrid Model Handbook the week of January 4th.

Covid-19 Transmission Rates

The District continues to monitor COVID transmission levels in our area and remains in close contact with health officials from the Coastal Health District. If COVID transmission rates climb to a level that necessitates a change to district-wide operations, parents (and staff) will be notified through the parent notification system, email correspondence, web postings at sccpss.com, and through our social media channels. Please monitor the District website and established communication channels for possible updates.

PTA Boosterthon

The Boosterthon, the PTA's largest fundraiser of the year, has begun!

Register your student at www.funrun.com and share your page link with family and friends over the Winter Break.

The program is virtual this year. Boosterthon has partnered with Just Dance to bring a Dance Fit event which will take place on January 20, 2021. Students will meet virtually with their favorite Booster teammates, earn prizes for pledges, and have lots of fun dancing!

The PTA's goal is $18,000 to help fund teacher grants, student experiences, and school materials to enhance the Montessori learning environment at Ellis.

Thank you for your support!

Thank you, PTA!

Thanks to funds raised directly through our past Boosterthon events, PTA was able to work with Coastal Arbor Care to plant four new trees in the playground. These trees will grow and provide decades of shade to Ellis students. Trees include: 20 ft Live Oak in the center, 15 ft (very fast growing) Tulip Poplar, 15 ft Drake Elm, 15 ft Gem Magnolia. We can’t wait to see the children playing around these trees!

Counselors' Corner

We can't believe it's the most wonderful time of the year already! We have really enjoyed seeing your kiddos excited as we get closer to the end of the semester. We've just wrapped up our unit on Coping Skills and Growth Mindset, reminding our students about the coping skills they can use anywhere and everywhere. Ask your PreK-3rd grader about 5 Senses Mindfulness and Hot Chocolate Breathing- two of our favorite techniques. Practice it with them too as it can be a really calming way for you to get centered as well! For your 4th-8th graders, ask them about their own pep talk that we practiced for when they face challenges. We've encouraged them to use positive self-talk daily. We recommend having their pep talk posted somewhere they can see and read every day (it's not such a bad idea for us adults to have that too 🙂).

🛑Attention Erdkinder Families: Check out this YouTube video to view more information about SCCPSS high schools: Rising 9th Grade Information. Choice school information and deadlines has been posted at http://choice.sccpss.com

We also want you to know that our very own Mrs. Ivey has relocated out of state during this semester and therefore will not be back with us in the building in our next semester. However, don't be surprised if you see her pop in from time to time to say hi and to support our Ellis families. We wish Mrs. Ivey and her family the best of luck on their new journey! ❤️

FoodFinder App

With the holiday break approaching, we know some students may face food insecurity while away from school buildings. FoodFinder is a mobile and web app created by a graduate of Georgia public schools that allows families to find food distribution sites (including food pantries, drive-through distributions, and school meal providers) based on their location.

The app is free, not-for-profit, and available in the following locations:

Web| App Store| Google Play

Big picture

2nd Semester Device Distribution

If your student is returning to school in Cohort A or Cohort B in January, they will need a school-issued device to participate in their classroom meetings, to receive lessons/work plans from their teachers, and to submit their completed work.

If your student has already been given a school device, they will need to bring it with them on the days they come to school.

If your student has NOT yet been given a school device, they will receive one to use the first day they come back to the building and paperwork will be sent home with the student for the parent/guardian to sign and return to school the next day.

Ms. Lisa will send out an email the first week in January to all parents of returning students with the necessary paperwork (check your SPAM folder if it is not in your inbox). If you have access to a printer, you are welcome to print and sign the paperwork and send it to school with your student the first day they return. They will then be allowed to take the device home that day. Devices will not be sent home with the student until the paperwork is signed by the parent/guardian and returned to 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 school or email it to Ms. Lisa.

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

Clearing the Chrome Browser Cache/Cookies

If your student's SCCPSS device is running slow, it may be helpful to clear the cache/cookies every once in awhile. See the link below for instructions.

Clearing Cache/Cookies from Chrome Browser

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!

We currently have 134 members who have joined the PTA. Our goal this year is 200. Just a reminder, members must join every year. Memberships do NOT carry over from previous years.

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
  • 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.