All School News

List of 20 news stories.

  • 2020 Election Message of Hope

    Greetings, AMS community:
     
    In light of the ongoing election, I have recently received queries from parents regarding the appropriateness of including children in political discussions. Beginning around the age of six, children's developmental forces enter a new stage where the powers of reason and abstraction begin to flourish. This begins the period of the "acquisition of culture," so children will actively seek out to know as much about the goings-on in our world as they can. So, engaging children aged six and older in service and political campaigns is appropriate as long as it is positive and balanced. Keep in mind that these new capacities for reason and abstraction are emergent characteristics, so the manner in which we respond and include the children in these conversations should vary accordingly. For instance, a seven-year-old may be satisfied with a simple explanation or a response to a question on any subject matter, whereas a nine or ten-year-old will have more complex and nuanced considerations.
     
    Children under the age of six live in the moment and cannot abstract ideas like older children can and should be protected from exposure to political campaigns. All children need to feel their parents' hope, love, and determination, especially during difficult times. As a parent myself, I often wonder how this can be achieved. I have drawn much inspiration from the words of our school's founder, Donna Bryant Goertz, and ask that you take the time to absorb and reflect on her important message below.
     
    Best regards,
     
    Grae Baker
    Head of School
     
     
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

     
    Beloved Community,
     
    I write to you today with thoughts of both good news and bad news in mind. First, the bad news: as you know, is that we are in the midst of times that test us to the brink. Indeed, times that call on us, as we live on the edge, to monitor our hearts, minds, and souls for the sake of our well being, but more so for our children. We breathe our way forward. Not only do they see and hear everything, but they also absorb our inner lives and form their own accordingly. This climate has the potential to deviate the formation of our children's sensibilities and the development of their compassion, patience, intelligent reflection, carefully measured responses, and energetic resolve necessary for growing healthy lives, functional relationships, and just, civil, and gracious communities. 
     
    Now onto the good news! Although these times test us, they can also inspire us to rise to the challenge and dig deep to find ways to evolve and transform ourselves to respond instead of react. Our children learn not through our perfection but our mighty intention. These times call for our community as a whole and each of us individually to monitor our hearts, minds, and souls for our children's sake.  

    Through studying the principles and methods of Martin Luther King and Mahatma Gandhi, we can prepare our minds and spirits to wage campaigns of fiercely held ideals non-violently, respectfully, and energetically. We will each find our way for keeping ourselves sane and healthy during these times, keeping our compassion, patience, resolve, and responses measured and powerful of soul. And we will fall far short, but we will get up and grow. And our children will see our mighty intention and our powerful struggle. They will see our compassion for ourselves, for them, and others. Yes, hard times can even help us grow the hope and courage to better thrive during easier times. And our children will absorb both our process and our being, and they will follow our lead. Our children's gift to us is the challenge to be our best selves. Our gift to them is our daily struggle.  

    -----------------
     
    Political Parties, Campaigns, Elections

    Children bring such unexpected benefits to us adults. Because of them, we remember to vote, take action for our earth, think and feel more deeply about our community, and act on behalf of the whole human family. Because of our children, we struggle to discover common ground, develop insights into other cultures, and find better ways to reach consensus and resolve problems. We search our souls with one another for the meaning of freedom and the means of its practice because of them. Because we have children, we are called to think beyond our immediate lives and our lifespan. Suddenly everything and everyone on our earth are more precious. Our passions, desires, and ideals, our principles, habits, and goals, and our virtues as well as our faults, are all charged with relevance. Because we live with children, we think and feel in a new way. When extreme situations confront us, when we are stunned by complexities and provoked to react, the reality of our children brings us to weigh and measure carefully through the prism of our highest and best selves. 
     
    In this season of campaigns, our children bring us toward spiritual and emotional health so that when we speak of candidates, we evaluate issues and policies rather than attacking persons; we evaluate principles instead of insulting parties; we evaluate individual methods rather than entire campaigns. 

    Some say we have become a society with such short attention spans, fractured focus, and quixotic moods that only rage, revenge, and hatred can motivate us. But we have our children to keep in mind, so let us bring forward our informed love for them to guide us in our focus, perseverance, and action. 
     
    Donna Bryant Goertz
    Founder, Austin Montessori School
     
     
  • Fall 2020 Individual Photos

    This year we welcome our new school photographer, Carli Rene.  Carli comes highly recommended from our long time photographers at Heyday Photography.
     
    An introduction to Carli:  Carli moved to Austin to study photojournalism at UT back in '04 but never finished her degree! She started her photography company, InkedFingers, instead! She's traveled from Tokyo to Israel documenting and sharing stories and hasn't paid a penny to advertise since '08. She feels so grateful to do the two things she loves the most in this lifetime: raise her daughter and get paid to create.
     
    Due to the present situation, our photo days are structured a little differently. We appreciate your understanding.
     
    Photos will begin shortly after arrival each morning, so please be on time.  We request that you not tell children in the Children's House in advance that their photo will be taken. If your child is absent, their photo will be taken in the spring unless a fall makeup day is scheduled.
     
    Monday, October 19
    Sunset Trail: Children's Houses (except Juniper Cottage) & Elementary Communities
     
    Tuesday, October 20
    Great Northern & Gaines Creek (adolescents on campus that day)
     
    Friday, October 23
    Juniper Cottage & Butterfly/Hummingbird Gardens
    Sunset Trail Make-Up Day
     
    Monday, October 26
    Gaines Creek (for remaining 1/3 of adolescents off-campus the prior week)
     
    Sunday, November 1 
    Quetzal Community (Families must sign up in advance, click here)
     
     
    Sibling Photos: Siblings in the same community will be photographed together on their scheduled photo day.  If you would like a sibling photo and your children are enrolled in different communities, please sign up here for a time on November 1. 
  • Flu Vaccine Clinic - Friday, October 23

    Dear Parents,
     
    A second flu vaccine clinic will be held at the Sunset Trail campus from 2 - 4 pm on Friday, October 23.  The clinic will be held in front of 4912 Sunset Trail, please park in the staff parking lot.  If you would like to participate,  click here to set up your appointment. Each family member receiving a flu shot needs their own appointment. Walk-ins will not be accepted, and the sign-up will be closed 48 hours prior to the clinic.
     
    The clinic is for ages three and up. Your insurance information will be required when you sign up for an appointment, and Passport Health will vet your insurance prior to the clinic.  If your insurance does not approve Passport Health providing the vaccine, the out-of-pocket cost is $45/person.  You will be contacted before the clinic about your insurance coverage.   B-12 shots will be available for an additional $25.
     
    All participants will automatically be marked in Magnus Health as completing the school’s new flu vaccine requirement; no additional action is needed.
     
    If you have any questions, please contact Sandy at sandyb@austinmontessori.org.
     
    Regards,
    Austin Montessori School
  • 2019 - 2020 Community Photos - Now Available with Free Shipping

    Dear AMS Parents,
     
    Good morning, and thank you for your patience during this time! 
     
    Community photos from last spring (2o2o) are now available for ordering for school delivery with no shipping costs. This gallery will remain available through next Friday, October 16, and photos will be delivered to the school to go home with your child the following week. 
     
    Click here to view the Gallery 
    Password: SpringInFall2020
     
    Please note that the Community Photos (images with the black border, community name, and year) are only available as 8x10 prints, and the 5x7 Silly Add-On Photos (images with no border or text) are only available as 5x7 prints and must be selected as an add-on to your 8x10 community print. The images are sized specifically and a Community Photo will not print correctly as a 5x7, nor will an add-on image print correctly at the 8x10 size. 
     
    To add your child's community photo, open the gallery and click on the header "8x10 Community Photos" and then scroll to find your child's community; click the image you want and then click the cart at the top right-hand corner of the screen ("Buy") and that will bring up your options; click the 8x10 Community Photo option and add it to your cart. 
    You can then use the arrow at the top left to go back to the community photo gallery, add another child's community photo to your card, or click the header above labeled "5x7 Silly Add-Ons" to add any of those images to your cart. Please note that a single 5x7 cannot be ordered alone; it must be added as an add-on to your 8x10 community photo print. 
     
    Please be sure you are adding your chosen image(s) to your cart in the correct size(s)! 
     
    While the system does ask for a shipping address for order confirmation, please know that ALL orders placed through this portal incur NO shipping fees and will be delivered directly to the school to go home with your child. 
     
    Please let us know if you have questions, and have a great week! 
     
    Best,
    Katherine and Natalie
    Heyday Photography
    photoheyday@gmail.com
  • Virtual Town Hall October 20, 2020 at 6:30 p.m.

    Greetings, Austin Montessori School Community:

    I hope this finds everyone safe, healthy, and in good spirits. 

    I’m writing to inform you that our school will hold a special virtual town hall meeting on Tuesday, October 20, 2020, at 6:30 p.m. This event will occur in conjunction with the launch of our Relief and Annual Fund. This meeting will thoroughly cover the school’s current state and our strategic, operational, and financial points of focus as we continue to navigate the COVID-19 global pandemic crisis. The meeting will contain a presentation and an open forum Q&A with community members. Please register here.

    Additionally, I would like to extend an invitation to virtual ‘Coffee with Grae’ meetings, which have been scheduled monthly for the rest of the year. Please register here. 

    Zoom links for both these events will be emailed upon registration. I hope that you will be able to join us.  

    Kind regards,
    Grae
  • Influenza Vaccination Requirement

    Dear Parents and Staff, 
     
    Beginning this Fall 2020, Austin Montessori School requires all students and staff to receive an annual influenza vaccination. Requiring a yearly flu vaccine demonstrates our ongoing commitment to protect the safety and health of our community. Obtaining the influenza vaccine is essential to reduce the risk of getting sick with influenza, reduce the severity of disease if one does get sick (including the risk of hospitalization) due to flu, and prevent influenza spread to others. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the influenza vaccine will be especially critical to reduce the overall impact of respiratory illness on the population, protect those vulnerable to severe illness, and decrease the healthcare system's overall burden.
     
    This new policy will follow the school's Immunization Policy. In essence, the flu vaccine is required for all students and staff, and records must be submitted via Magnus Health, confirming the vaccine has been received by December 1, 2020. As with our other immunizations, exemptions can be granted for medical or reasons of conscience. A notarized exemption form for exemptions for reasons of conscience or a medical exemption signed by a physician must be completed and submitted to the school by December 1, 2020. Please note that the school will not provide notary services for this form.  
     
    Below is a FAQ that I encourage you to read. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me or Dawn Michal, Director of Operations.
     
    Kind regards,
    Grae Baker
    Head of School
     
     
    FAQ
     
    To whom does this apply?
    The mandatory influenza vaccination program applies to all students and staff at Austin Montessori School. 
     
    When should I be vaccinated?
    When the flu season is about to begin, you should get the vaccine as soon as possible. It takes about two weeks to develop protection after receiving the vaccine. We require that all students and staff be vaccinated by December 1, 2020.  
     
    What type of influenza vaccine can students receive?
    Any age-appropriate licensed influenza vaccine for the current season fulfills the requirement. This includes injectable and nasal spray vaccine types.
     
    Where can I receive my flu vaccine?
    Multiple locations offer flu vaccines, including your healthcare provider, pharmacy, grocery store, among other places. Additionally, Austin Montessori School is offering two Flu Vaccination Clinics at the Sunset Trail campus where you can receive your flu shot. The first is Monday, September 28, 2020, and the second will be held on Thursday, October 22, 2020. 
     
    What about students who enroll later in the spring?
    Students enrolling after March 31 are not required to have a dose of the influenza vaccine for the current school year.
     
    If I am receiving instruction remotely, will I still need to meet immunization requirements?
    The school immunization requirements, including the seasonal influenza vaccine requirement, apply to all Austin Montessori school students, regardless of whether the school provides instruction in-person or using a hybrid or remote learning model.  
     
    Are there any exemptions to receiving the influenza vaccine?
    Per Austin Montessori School's Immunization Policy, a notarized affidavit of exemption for reasons of conscience or a medical exemption signed by a physician may be submitted via Magnus Health.  See the linked form below.  
     
    I already submitted an affidavit for immunization exemptions. Do I have to submit a separate affidavit to have a compliant exemption for the flu vaccine?
    Yes. All students and staff who have an existing exception for immunizations required by the Texas Department of Health State Services must submit an affidavit of exemption from the Influenza Immunization. 
     
     
    How do I submit proof of influenza vaccination or the affidavit of exemption?
    Staff and students should submit proof of meeting the influenza immunization requirements by uploading the proof of influenza vaccination or affidavit of exemption to Magnus Health.  
     
    How effective are flu vaccines, especially since virus strains keep changing?
    The flu vaccine is the most effective method to prevent influenza. The vaccine's effectiveness depends on several factors, including the accuracy of the match between vaccine strains and circulating strains and the recipient's age and health. The influenza vaccine does not protect against other respiratory viral infections that occur during winter months. Public health officials have a good track record of predicting the three main flu strains that will cause the most illness during each flu season. These strains usually change each year, which is why the vaccine is given annually. Even if you get the flu from a strain of the virus that wasn't included in the vaccine, having the vaccine can make your illness less severe.
    Source: Johns Hopkins University
     
    Why can't vaccination be voluntary?  
     
    Our highest priority must be to protect our students and staff, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. The research clearly shows that flu vaccinations vastly increase mass immunity and protect immune-suppressed patients. 
    Source: Johns Hopkins University
     
    If I get the seasonal flu vaccine in the fall, will I still be protected if the flu season continues into March or April?
     
    Yes. Protection from the particular strains included in the vaccine will last for the duration of the flu season.
     
    Is it true that you can get the flu from the flu vaccine?
     
    No, you cannot get the flu from the flu vaccine. The viruses in the vaccine are either killed (as is the case with the shot) or weakened (as is the case with the nasal spray) so that they cannot cause the flu. Some people mistakenly confuse flu symptoms with the vaccine side effects, such as a minor fever.
    Source: Johns Hopkins University
     
  • 2020 - 2021 Parent Checklist

    CHECKLIST FOR THE 2020 - 2021 SCHOOL YEAR
    • UPDATE YOUR PERSONAL CONTACT INFO
      • Click your name, click Profile, edit fields using the yellow pencil icon
    • UPDATE YOUR PRIVACY SETTINGS
      • Click your name, click Settings, click Privacy
      • Edit information you allow other people (parents, etc) to view about you.  
    • UPDATE YOUR FAMILY CONTACT INFO and EMERGENCY CONTACTS
      • Click on Children tab (upper left corner), select your child’s name, click the Contact Card tab, edit fields using the yellow pencil icon.
      • Update emergency contact information for each child. Please list multiple contacts the school can reach out to in an emergency.  This is also where you include contacts who have permission to pick up your child.
    • COMPLETE REQUIRED FORMS IN MAGNUS HEALTH
      • Click on the Resources tab, click the Magnus Health icon, and follow the steps.
      • Magnus will soon begin sending reminders for requirements that need to be updated or completed for the 2020-2021 school year.  New children will be required to complete all of the forms. Returning families will need to update all of the forms prior to August 1st. Returning family instructions can be found here.
      • If you are having difficulty navigating the Magnus system, entering data online, or downloading forms, or if you have any other questions, please contact customer support at Magnus Health SMR by phone at 877.461.6831 or by email atservice@magnushealthportal.com
    • VIEW BULLETIN BOARD FOR YOUR CHILD’S COMMUNITY
      • Each community has a Bulletin Board where important information is made available such as:
        • Contact information for your child's guide
        • Class Roster
        • Downloads for Summer activities 
    • VIEW THE 2020-2021 CALENDAR
      • A calendar view is available by logging into myAMS and clicking the Calendar tab at the top of the page.
    • QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR SMART TUITION BILL?
      • If you have any questions regarding your Smart Tuition bill, please contact Sandy Bartholome sandyb@austinmontessori.org, 512-892-0253 ext 12) in the Business Office. She will be your point of contact throughout the summer and next school year.
    • QUESTIONS ABOUT myAMS?
      • Contact Dawn Michal dawnm@austinmontessori.org
  • AMS Community Update 5/27

    Dear Austin Montessori Community:

    After considerable planning and deliberation, Austin Montessori School has decided to reopen our campuses on June 4, 2020, for all-day, all-year students, and as previously scheduled, on June 8, for summer camp students. Reopening AMS campuses entails some increased risk of contracting the COVID-19 virus for all concerned because attending school involves daily human contact among children and staff, who will then be in contact with others in their own homes. Our decision to reopen our campuses recognizes that (1) for AMS families and staff, that risk is balanced against the educational, social, economic and other costs of remaining closed, (2) our school must reopen with many new health and safety protocols to do everything we can to mitigate that risk to the extent possible, and (3)  each family and staff member must decide how to balance those risks, and whether to return to campus.
     
    Our classroom environments are designed to harness the developmental forces of each plane of a child’s development for the child’s own optimal self-construction through experiential interactions with the environment. Our ability to guide that development is diminished in the absence of a face-to-face learning environment. By reopening our campuses, we are aiming to fulfill the mission of Austin Montessori School, which is to guide the intellectual and character development of each child along a path towards his full and unknown potential, in ways that honor the complementary needs of the individual and the group.
     
    The AMS Operating Plan for Summer 2020 explains the policies and procedures we are employing to mitigate COVID-related risks at school. That approach is built around intensive new health monitoring and screening procedures, as well as new classroom/school day procedures designed to reduce the number of contacts during the school day and limit the group size and interactions. These procedures will not require young children to wear masks in the classroom (though guides will wear masks most of the time) or to observe the social distancing rules expected of older children and adults. We do not believe it is possible to enforce those restrictions with our younger children. Nevertheless, we believe reopening with these new protocols represents an important first step in responsibly living with this virus.
     
    In sum, AMS has concluded that reopening our campuses under these conditions is in the best interest of the community and that each AMS family will make its own decision about the balance of risk, and what is best for their children. The information in this document will provide clarity around the practices and procedures AMS has established to minimize exposure to our community but in no way warrants that COVID-19 or other communicable disease infection will not occur through participation in our programs. 
     
    As always, the health, safety, and well-being of our children and families are our utmost priority and we hope you will see that reflected in our new practices.  Please reach out to me with any questions or concerns you may have.  

    Kind regards,

    Grae Baker
    Head of School
  • AMS Community Update 5/8/2020

  • Community Update 4/1/20

     
  • School Closure Extended Through April 10th

    Greetings, AMS community:

    In light of yesterday's "Shelter In Place" declaration by the city of Austin and Travis County which runs until April 13, Austin Montessori School is extending our school closure through Friday, April 10, 2020.  We are planning for and anticipate being closed for longer and will continue to evaluate the situation on an ongoing basis.  
     
    Best regards,
    Grae Baker
    Head of School
  • Austin Montessori School Home and Distance Learning

    Greetings, AMS community:
     
    I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy during these unprecedented and trying times. At Austin Montessori School, we put our families at the heart of everything we do and we're committed to providing you with the support and partnership you need to aid the development of your children at home during this period.  This has been a very different week for us as we move into a new world of remote learning, living, and working.
     
    Our teams have been working diligently through remote collaboration to develop our Home and Distance Learning programs.  This work will continue in partnership with you for the foreseeable future.  Today we are publishing the Austin Montessori School Home and Distance Learning Handbook.  This guide will provide you with a framework and orientation for supporting learning and development in your home environment.  This handbook provides information for parents of all ages but is specifically targeted to families from our Youngest Children's Communities through Upper Elementary.  Separate orientation information and guidelines are being sent to our Adolescent Community families.  
     
    Later this week and into next, you will be receiving more communication specific to your level, classroom, and individual child from your guide.  We are also working to set up and Home and Distance Learning homepage on our website for you that will be continually updated with new information and resources for you to use in consultation with your guide.  We are also working to create online community forums for families to be able to connect, share resources, and commune with one another.  Staying connected with each other is one of the most important things we can do as a community right now.   
     
    Please know the expectation is not for you to replicate the developmental laboratories that are a Montessori prepared environment.  Learning and development will take a different form, at a different rhythm and pace, within the context of the needs of everyone in the family during this time, and that's how it should be.  Your guides will be connecting with you in partnership consistently through the Zoom virtual platform in the coming weeks.  For our older children, the guides will be connecting with them virtually too.  
     
    This new program at Austin Montessori School will be iterative, adaptive, and will evolve over time through open dialog and partnership with our children and families.  We ask that you stay connected to us to the extent you can and we will do everything we can to be available to you.  All of us must find a balance between our personal and professional needs and obligations right now.  Our hope is that we can work together to gracefully find that balance.  Please do not hesitate to reach out to your Guide, Level Director, or me with any questions you may have.  Take care of one another.
     
    Warmest regards,
     
    Grae Baker
    Head of School
  • COVID-19 - March 18 Update

    Dear Austin Montessori Community:
     
    I’m writing today with an update regarding Austin Montessori School’s status and actions going forward regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.  Yesterday, the city of Austin officially moved into Phase 5, its highest level of response for the COVID-19 virus.  Austin Montessori School is now at Risk Level 4 of our Risk Evaluation and Action Matrix.  
     
    School Closure
    As of now, our school is officially closed through Friday, April 3, 2020.  Our staff will begin working remotely on Monday, March 23, 2020.  We are preparing for a likely much longer closure (at least through May 1) and we recommend our families plan for this eventuality.  For clarity and consistency, we will evaluate our closure status regularly in consultation with our local health officials and AISD.  
     
    All school events are canceled through Friday, May 1, 2020.  This includes the AMS Gala, Grandparents Day, all parent gatherings, etc.  
     
    Home and Distance Learning
    Our guides and administrators are meeting (virtually) next week to continue planning and preparing for the weeks ahead. The school will send out information on Monday, March 23, with guidance about ways to support continued learning and development at home during the week of March 23-27.  We will send out information later in the week about our more structured AMS home and virtual learning programs.
     
    Social Distancing
    We strongly recommend that all members of the AMS community practice prescribed social distancing measures.  An excellent resource for these measures, including considerations around playdates, visits with elderly relatives, etc., can be found here.
     
    In addition to our home and distance learning programs, we are brainstorming other ways for our community members to connect with one another and the school.  More information will be forthcoming about those possibilities.  
     
    We hope that everyone stays safe and connected during these unprecedented and difficult times.  We thank you for your patience, flexibility, and resilience. Times like these call upon the best of the human spirit.  We’ll all get through this together.
     
    Warmest regards,
     
    Grae Baker
    Head of School
  • COVID 19 - March 15 Update

    Dear Parents,
     
    Thank you for your patience and flexibility as we navigate this uncertain time together.  Our Risk Management Team has been in constant communication preparing for the possibility of a school closure and how to best prepare our staff and families.  In light of the measures enacted locally and the CDC’s changing their global travel advisory to Level 2, which recommends social distancing if traveling at all, the school is now in Risk Level 3 of our Risk Evaluation and Action MatrixTherefore, we have made the decision to close our All-Day/ All-Year communities next week and extend the Spring Break for the children in all programs through March 27th.  
     
    Our guides and administrators will be meeting the week of March 23rd to continue planning and preparing for the weeks ahead.  The school will send out information early next week with guidance about ways to support continued learning and development at home during our extended Spring Break.  If we remain out of school beyond March 27th, we will move to a more structured home and virtual learning program, a contingency for which we have already been preparing.  We are actively collaborating with Montessori schools in Texas and around the country who have already made this move.  
     
    We realize the additional burden this may place on your family and we do not take this decision lightly.  Austin Montessori School will continue to hold the safety, health, and well-being of our community as paramount in any decisions we make.  We are hopeful that we will all be back together soon. 
     
    Kind regards,
     
    Grae Baker
    Head of School
     
  • COVID-19 Risk Management Update

    Dear AMS Community:
     
    As the impact of the coronavirus continues to spread across the United States and Texas, the Austin Montessori School administration and Board of Trustees have been working diligently on a COVID-19 preparedness/action plan.  Please know that we are continually monitoring our local, national, and global resources including Austin Public Health; Travis County Health Department; Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS); Centers for Disease Control; and the World Health Organization for updated information, recommendations, and mandates as circumstances unfold.  
     
    AMS Risk Evaluation and Action Matrix
    Please reference the comprehensive AMS Risk Evaluation and Action Matrix.  Austin Montessori School is currently at Risk Level 2, though that is subject to change as new information becomes available.  
     
    Current AMS Social-Distancing and Mitigation Measures
    Based on the CDC’s recommendations for schools for ongoing mitigation, AMS is putting in place measures designed to minimize cross-community contact within the school. These measures are effective immediately and will continue through March 31. They will be continually reevaluated and are therefore subject to change.  
    • All school events, with the exception of core programming, are canceled.  This includes parent gatherings, parent workshops, coffees, and PA events.
    • AMS will not host any outside visitors including observers, trainees, practice teachers, etc.
    • The Adolescent Community Service Day scheduled for Friday, March 27, 2020, is canceled.  This will now be a regular school day for all Adolescent Community students.  
    • AMS parents may still observe but only in their child’s classroom community.  
    • The next scheduled 4-week module of our Parent/Infant class is canceled.  
    • Elementary Spring Break camp is canceled.
     
    Please note:  Our All-Day/All-year programs will be in session next week.  The cancellations currently in effect are in accordance with the CDC’s current recommendations regarding social distancing and cross-community contact.  We are making no changes to our core programming at this time.  
     
    Travel
    Austin Montessori School fosters a community wherein everyone is consciously responsible for the health and well-being of our community.  In this spirit, we are asking community members to fill out our travel questionnaire.  We are collecting this information proactively so that we can make the most informed decisions possible regarding measures the school should take to ensure the health and safety of all.  Thank you in advance for your attention to this.  
     
    Going forward, the school will send weekly updates regarding our Risk Level status and any additional health and safety measures we may be taking.  The website will be updated with any status changes.  
     
    Prevention
    Remember, the best preparation is prevention.  To help stop the spread of any illness, the CDC recommends that we follow everyday preventive actions such as:
    • Washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
    • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
    • Stay home when you are sick.
    • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
    • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
    Children and staff must stay home if they have an oral temperature of 100 or above, and cannot return to campus until they are fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication.  We encourage everyone to consult with their healthcare professional if they’re experiencing any symptoms associated with COVID-19.
     
    Please visit the FAQ below and the CDC’s Coronavirus web page for more information.  If you have any further questions, please reach out to me directly.
     
    Best regards,
     
    Grae Baker
    Head of School
     
    Frequently Asked Questions
     
    Will families be notified if an AMS staff member or student is diagnosed with COVID-19?
    Yes, we will follow the guidelines of Austin Public Health and the Travis County Health Department ensuring everyone in the community is aware of potential risks.
     
    What is being done to address the loss of instructional time if schools close?
    We are preparing contingencies for this situation that include alternatives for instruction and developmental work that can occur outside of the classroom.
     
    Will school events (field trips, social events, etc.) be canceled?
    All school events (outside of core programming) are canceled through March 31, 2020.
     
    What can I do to ensure the safety of myself and others?
    Follow the guidelines outlined in the messages above, courtesy of the CDC and the Texas Department of State Health Services.
     
    Are additional cleaning measures in place?
    Yes, we are taking elevated measures to clean, disinfect, and sanitize our environments daily. 
     
    My child has a compromised immune system. Should I send them to school?
    Please consult your medical provider for guidance.
     
     
  • Grandparents Day 2020

    We are excited to welcome our grandparents on campus at our annual Grandparents' Day. Since there are grandparents with grandchildren on more than one campus, each of our campuses' will welcome our special guests at a different time. 
     
    Kindly use the links below to RSVP on behalf of your child's grandparent(s). Please note that we will not be sending separate invitations to grandparents and will be communicating any information regarding Grandparents' Day through you.
     
    Great Northern Campus Grandparents' Day: Thursday, April 30th from 9:30 am - 11:30 am. Grandparents will enjoy a light breakfast, a short presentation, and a visit to their grandchild's classroom. Register here
     
    Gaines Creek Campus Grandparents' Day: Friday, May 1st from 8 am - 10 am. Grandparents will enjoy a light breakfast prepared by and served by the adolescents, and a tour of the campus. Register here.
     
    Sunset Trail Campus Grandparents' Day: Friday, May 1st from 9:30 am - 11:30 am. Grandparents will enjoy a light breakfast, a short presentation, and a visit to their grandchild's classroom. Register here
     
    As we would like to get an accurate headcount to facilitate a memorable event, please register no later than April 1st.   If you have any questions, please reach out to Sveta Pais at svetap@austinmontessori.org.
  • Parenting Workshop "Siblings Without Rivalry" ~ Begins March 25th

    Austin Montessori School is pleased to offer a six-part parenting workshop, "Siblings Without Rivalry," led by Sveta Pais and Dawn Michal. 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.'  See the Weekly Bulletin for more details and to register.
     
    Time: 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
    Location: 5002 Sunset Trail
    Dates: March 25th, April 1st, April 8th, April 15th, April 22nd, April 29th
     
  • Start of School Dates - Traditional School Year (Not All-Day/All-Year)

    Monday, Aug. 17:    All Returning YCC; Full-Cycle Children’s House, Early, and Upper Elementary
    Thursday, Aug. 20:  Mid-Cycle Children’s House, Early, and Upper Elementary
    Monday, Aug. 24:    Beginning-Cycle Children’s House, Early, and Upper Elementary
     
    Gaines Creek Adolescent Community
     
    Wed., Aug. 19:    Full and Mid-Cycle Adolescents
    Friday, Aug, 21:  Beginning-Cycle Adolescents
     
  • Annual Fund - Thank you!

    A sincere thank you to everyone who participated in this year's Annual Fund Drive. The drive ended strong with these final numbers:
    • 89% Parent Participation with 231 out of 260 current AMS families participating.
    • $118,048 in Funds Raised, surpassing our goal of $110,000!
    • 100% Staff & Board Participation - Go Team!
    While the campaign has concluded, the school will continue to accept gifts toward the Annual Fund.
  • AMS Adolescent Community featured on KXAN

    Click the link below to see the story that ran on KXAN yesterday featuring our Adolescent Community students and their partnership with Whole Kids Foundation.  Our students were charged with creating a new vegetable seasoning by the foundation, thus "Love and Veggies" was born.  Last Friday our students, in partnership with the Whole Kids Foundation, presented their new product at Whole Foods Corporate headquarters.  The link below contains the story from KXAN and the documentary our students made about their experience.  Enjoy!
     
     
    "Love and Veggies" is available for purchase for $3 in the main office!
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