Website News

List of 13 news stories.

  • Community Photos Now Available for Pick Up

    Dear Parents,
     
    If you placed an order for community photos, orders are now available for pick up from your campus office.  Gaines Creek parents should pick up their photos from the main office, 5006 Sunset Trail.
     
    A few extras are available, please contact Lois at the main office to check availability.
     
    It's also not too late to order your community photo! Shipping charges will be applied and the photos will be shipped directly to you. To view and order photos, visit the gallery by clicking here. Enter your email address and the following password to view and order photos: SpringAMS.  Please contact Natalie and Katherine at Heyday Photography if you have any questions, hello@photoheyday.com. 
     
    Regards,
    Austin Montessori School
  • Vaccination Policy and Exemption Rates at Austin Montessori

    Greetings, AMS community:
     
    First, I'd like to thank all of you who worked so closely in cooperation with us to help stem the spread of Pertussis at our school.  We’ve had no new positive cases since our last update. Furthermore, many parents with children exhibiting the slightest of symptoms have taken their child to be tested and received confirmation of negative results.  Being able to work together openly in times of need is the hallmark of a strong partnership and a healthy community. This incident also provides us occasion to clearly inform everyone of the school's vaccination policy and exemption rates.  
     
    Austin Montessori School strongly encourages families to have their children immunized in accordance with the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control (www.cdc.gov).  As a matter of policy, the school complies with Texas state law stipulating that families have the right to opt out of vaccinations for conscientious or religious reasons.  In order to opt out, a family must follow Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) procedures to request and file with the school a state-issued affidavit claiming the immunization exemption; the exemption is valid for two years.  As a matter of policy and practice, Austin Montessori School requires families to keep updated immunization or exemption records with the school.   The school is required to submit updated immunization data to the state health department annually.  
     
    AMS Exemption Rates
    The number of vaccination exemptions on file is not an accurate indication of the vaccination rates at the school.  Some families choose to submit an exemption form even if their children are receiving immunizations. Some children may be on a different vaccination schedule than the CDC and state recommend, requiring an exemption submission in order for the school to be in compliance.  Or, families may opt out of some vaccines and not others, leading to an exemption submission. Moving forward we will be requesting that all families who submit an Affidavit of Exemption also provide us with any immunization records they have for their child(ren). This will allow us to have the most complete data possible and give us a clearer picture of our overall vaccination coverage. In order to provide you with the most accurate, up-to-date information, listed below are the AMS vaccination exemption rates for the whole school, broken down by the recommended vaccinations.
     
    Tdap - 6%
    Polio - 7%
    Hep B - 10%
    MMR - 9%
    Varicella - 9%
    Hep A - 10%
    PCV (0-6 only) - 7%
    HIB (0-6 only) - 2%
    MCV (7th grade only) - 17%
     
    Measles
    As of May 10, there have been 839 cases of measles reported in the United States (https://www.cdc.gov/measles/cases-outbreaks.html ) — the highest number of annual cases reported in 25 years. In Texas, there have been 15 cases of measles reported since the start of the year, according to the Texas DSHS (https://www.dshs.texas.gov/news/updates.shtm).  While no confirmed cases exist here in Austin, Travis County has been identified as one of 25 “high risk” counties for a measles outbreak in the United States (https://www.kut.org/post/travis-county-one-most-risk-counties-measles-outbreak-study-finds).  Per Texas DSHS requirements, should a case of measles be confirmed at AMS, all families with an exemption on file will be required to keep their children out of school for the entirety of the incubation period of the illness (10-12 days) or longer, until the school can confirm the threat of the contagion has been eradicated.
     
    The school is working closely with our local and state health departments to review our drafted Pandemic and Communicable Disease policy in order to ensure best practices in protecting the health and safety of our community.  We will send out a copy of the published policy when this process concludes. As always, the well-being of our children and families is our primary concern and responsibility. Thank you for working in partnership with us to ensure the health and safety of all.  Please reach out to me if you have any questions or concerns.
     
    Best regards,
     
    Grae Baker
    Head of School
     
     
  • amsPA Swap Event May 23rd

                                 
    Swap Event!
    Thursday, May 23
    8:30 am - 5:30 pm
    5002 Sunset Trail backyard (newly acquired house between the two parking lots)
     
    Hello AMS Community,

    The AMS Parents Association invites you to join in helping us host our first ever Swap Event! It will be held in the backyard of 5002 Sunset Trail on Thursday, May 23, from 8:30 am until 5:30 pm.  To prepare for this event we will first collect gently used items in the following categories.  We ask that all items are Montessori friendly, clean, and in good condition to pass on to another family.

    • Clothing (any season) for children & babies
    • Swimsuits & water shoes for children & babies
    • Soft soled shoes for children & babies
    • Sports equipment
    • Arts & crafts supplies
    • Books
    • Toys
    • Games
    • Stokke chairs
    • Learning & activity towers
    • Wraps, slings & carriers
    • Diapering supplies - cloth & disposable
    • Toileting stools
    Items may be dropped off from May 13th through May 22nd They can be left in the newly acquired building at 5002 Sunset Trail, next door to the South campus’ main office. There is a door on the front of 5002 that leads into what was originally a garage. This door will remain unlocked during the school’s business hours of 8 am to 5 pm.  Please place your items in this room under the sign that says “Items to be sorted.”

    All items at the Swap are free.  You do not need to donate items in order to take items. After the event, all unclaimed items will be donated to local charity groups such as United Way, Safe Place, Austin’s Children’s Shelter, etc.
     
    If you have any questions about items you are considering donating to the swap, or if you are interested in helping with the Swap Event,  please contact Blythe Crow at sarablythecrow@gmail.com.  We will need help sorting items on May 21st & 22nd, and help with the event on the 23rd.

    Cheers!
    AMS Parents Association
  • Illness in the Community ~ Pertussis (Whooping Cough)

    Dear Parents,
     
    A child who attends the elementary program at our south campus has been diagnosed with Pertussis (whooping cough). The Health Authority of the City of Austin and Travis County has directed our school to share the information in the attached documents.  The information below is from the CDC.  Please read all of the information and notify the school immediately if your child is diagnosed with Pertussis.  
     
    From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
    Pertussis is an infection that affects the airways, and it can easily spread from person to person by coughing or sneezing. Pertussis can cause a severe cough that lasts for weeks or months, sometimes leading to coughing fits and/or vomiting. Anyone can get pertussis, but it can be very dangerous for babies and people with weakened immune systems. Family members with pertussis, especially siblings and parents, can spread pertussis to babies.
     
    Recommendations:
     
    1.  If your child has a cough:
    • Keep your child home from school and activities, such as sports or play groups. See items 4 and 5 about when your child can return to these activities.
    • Make an appointment with your child’s doctor as soon as possible and tell the doctor that your child may have been exposed to pertussis.
    2.  If your child has a weakened immune system, ask your child’s doctor to prescribe antibiotics to your child as soon as possible to prevent pertussis. Doctors should give antibiotics to a child with a weakened immune system if they may have been exposed to pertussis, even if he or she is not coughing.

    3.  If your child lives with any of the following people, ask your child’s doctor to prescribe antibiotics as soon as possible to your child, even if he or she is not coughing:
    • A woman who is pregnant
    • A baby younger than 12 months old
    • Anyone with a weakened immune system
    4.  If your child has been diagnosed with pertussis by his or her doctor:
    • Tell the school that a doctor diagnosed your child with pertussis.
    • School officials may request that you keep your child home from school and activities until your child has been on antibiotics for five days to treat pertussis.
    • Ask your child’s doctor for a note that states your child has pertussis.
    5.  If your child’s doctor says your child does NOT have pertussis:
    • Ask for a note from the doctor telling the school that your child’s cough is NOT pertussis and that your child can return to school and other activities at any time.
    Please make sure your family’s vaccinations are up-to-date. Protection against pertussis from the childhood vaccine, DTaP, decreases over time. Older children and adults, including pregnant women, should get a pertussis booster shot called “Tdap” to help protect themselves and babies near or around them.
     
    Sincerely,
     
    Dawn Michal
    Director of Operations
     
  • Start Dates for the 2019-2020 School Year

    Monday, August 19: 
    • Returning Youngest Children’s Community
    • Full-Cycle Children’s House, Early Elementary, and Upper Elementary
    Wednesday, August 21:
    • Mid-Cycle Children’s House, Early Elementary, and Upper Elementary
    • Returning Adolescents
    Friday, August 23:
    • New Adolescents
    Monday, August 26:
    • Beginning-Cycle Children’s House, Early Elementary, and Upper Elementary
     
  • Strategic Plan Unveiling is Tuesday, April 9!


    This a reminder to join us on Tuesday, April 9, 2019, at 7:00 p.m. at our Gaines Creek Campus to hear Head of School, Grae Baker unveil our school's new long-range strategic plan.  Come see the culmination of 18 months of work that has led to a plan to guide the future of Austin Montessori School.  For those of you unable to attend, we will livestream the event.  A link will be sent out next week.  We hope to see you all there!
  • Order Your Community Photos by April 8 for Free Shipping

    Dear Families of Austin Montessori School,

    Happy Spring! 
     
    We're excited to let you know that AMS community photos are ready for viewing and ordering!

    We have several different print options available this spring; in addition to the 8x10 community photo we usually offer, we also have "silly" photos available for add-ons to your regular orders, as well as 5x7 prints of the same image available in the 8x10. Please note that the 5x7s are not available for order on their own, but only as an add-on to any order of an 8x10 print. In the gallery, you'll see the 8x10 options with a border and the name of your child's community printed on the border; the 5x7 prints have no border (just so you can tell which is which at first glance!)

    To visit and order your photos, please click here to visit the gallery.  Password: SpringAMS
     
    When you are in the gallery, please "heart" the images you want; you can then click to "buy now" and add the 8x10 print to your cart. You'll then choose the image for your 8x10 print from the images favorited in your cart (visible on the right side of the screen.) You can then choose the images for the 5x7 add-ons after the 8x10 has been added to your cart. 

    All orders placed through the end-of-day on MONDAY, APRIL 8, will incur no shipping feesand will be delivered to school to go home with your child. Orders can still be placed after that date; those prints will ship directly to your specified mailing address and will incur shipping fees. 
     
    Please let us know if you have any questions at all... have a great week! 
     
    Best wishes,
    Natalie and Katherine
    Heyday Photography
    photoheyday@gmail.com
  • Volunteers Needed for Grandparents Day

    We are looking for volunteers to serve as tour guides on Grandparents Day which will take place on Friday, April 26th. There will be two sessions during that day: Session 1 from 8:30 - 11:30 am and Session 2 from 11:30 am - 2:30 pm.

    Please email Sveta Pais at svetap@austinmontessori.org to let her know if you can help, and if so, if you are available for one or both sessions. Thank you for your support!
     
  • AMS Benefit ~ Shop the Noonday Collection by March 31st!

    Shopping for a special person's birthday? Want to check your Mother's day present off the list? Look no further! Support handmade and fair trade by purchasing your gifts through this link: March AMS Benefit Noonday Collection
     
    All purchases made through this link by March 31st will support artisans in developing countries and 20% of all purchases through this link will be donated to Austin Montessori School.
     
    Questions?  Contact Noonday Ambassador and AMS Parent Amreen Rajabali at arajabali@gmail.com.
     
  • Parenting Workshop "Siblings Without Rivalry" ~ Begins March 12th

    Austin Montessori School is pleased to offer a five-part parenting workshop, "Siblings Without Rivalry," led by Sveta Pais and Monica Pesoli. This workshop is based on the work of Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish, authors of 'How To Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk.'
     
    Time: 8:45 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.
    Location: 4912 Sunset Trail
    Dates:  March 12th, March 26th, April 2nd, April 16th, April 23rd
     
    In this workshop, parents form a learning community to explore the following areas:
     
    ~ Supporting siblings in expressing their feelings with equanimity when in disagreement.
    ~ Responding to children based on need, rather than equity.
    ~ Avoiding placing siblings in roles so that each child comes to become his or her whole self.
    ~ Collaborating with siblings so that they can move toward resolving their conflicts.
     
    **Please note:** A pre-requisite for participating in 'Siblings without Rivalry' is the 'How To Talk So Kids Will Listen' workshop OR The Austin Montessori School Connected Family Workshop. This workshop is offered free of charge, and the cost of books is indicated on the registration form. Space in this workshop is limited and we ask that you sign up only if you are able to commit to all or a majority of these dates.
  • Important: Re-enrollment contracts for the 2019-20 School Year are due February 8th

    To properly plan for the 2019-2020 school year, we must receive your re-enrollment contract by Friday, February 8, 2019.  The enrollment contract for your child can be reviewed and signed electronically through your myAMS account.  There is a $300 registration fee due for each contract submitted (maximum $600 per family).  This payment may be made online when you submit your contract or you may choose to make your payment with a check in the office.
     
  • AMS T-Shirts Now Available from the AMSPA

    The AMSPA is selling T-Shirts on the AMS website. The T-Shirts feature the AMS mandala created over 20 years ago and are available in men, women, youth and toddler sizes. If you would like to see sample shirts or check sizing, stop by the main office.  Each shirt is $20 with proceeds going to the AMSPA. Order your shirt online today!
     
  • Children’s House Gift Giving Guide

    The leaves are falling and the cooler weather is hinting of the holiday season approaching.  During this time of the year, parents of children who attend Montessori schools find themselves researching engaging and enriching items for gifting during the holidays.  Searching for toys that support the child’s development can be an overwhelming exercise for parents. We would like to offer AMS families a few ideas to use when selecting items for children’s gifts.  

    Holiday Gifting by Jinny Gonzalez, AMS Early Childhood Coordinator
     
     
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