Welcome (Back) to DVMS: 2015-2016 Edition (TL;but I DID read, 'cuz I'm awesome!)

dvmslogo42.pngWelcome to, or back to, Dundas Valley Montessori School. Many of you received an email from Holly on August 25 covering much of this information, but there are a few additions and updates included here. This post will also be accessible on the "Home" page of dvms.ca throughout September for quick and easy reference.If there have been any changes to your family's situation since last year (new address, email, phone numbers, jobs, etc.) please let us know via our "Personal Information Change" form.As always, it's been a busy summer as Strata Montessori Adolescent School has left the building to move to their new home in the forest, we've converted the DVMS staff room into a fabulous new Montessori Toddler community, created a brand new Learning Resource environment, and are putting the finishing touches on a bit of landscaping in our outdoor space.WB20152016-5


You will receive a hard copy calendar during the first week of school. As always, the calendar images are courtesy of Lindsay Palmer (who also takes the school photos). The hard copy calendar is more concise this year to avoid confusion as dates for some events inevitably change over the course of the year. Breaks, statutory holidays, and PD days are included. As always, check the DVMS website calendar often for up to date information.This year, we are also looking to set up an email notification system that is linked to our website calendar. Please provide any email addresses you would like to receive notifications of DVMS events to (three days and one day prior) by using this registration form. We hope to have this up and running by the end of September.That said...

Important Dates to Plan For

  • Tuesday, Sept. 8, 8:30 a.m.First day of school!
  • Saturday, Sept. 12, 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.DVMS Community Picnic at Webster’s Falls
  • Wednesday, Sept. 16, 3:00 - 4:00 p.m.Elementary Parent Orientation
  • Thursday Sept. 24 - Friday, Sept. 25Parent-Teacher Interviews
  • Friday, October 2 - TentativeParent Dinner


Staffing Changes

As always, and with the opening of the new Toddler program and a number maternity leaves taking place, there are a few staffing changes that we are excited about:


Kate MillieKate is an AMI trained Montessori teacher who comes to us with 10 years of experience in both the classroom and in administration.  Kate has taught in China, Italy, and Canada.  You may also know her as Olive's mom and Terrence's wife.  We like to keep things all in the family here at DVMS.Kristy AdamsKristy Adams is also AMI trained and has been teaching for 5 years.  She is excited to bring her experience and expertise to DVMS.  Kristy has four children in Montessori ranging in age from Lower Elementary at DVMS all the way to Strata.Both Kate and Kristy come to DVMS from running their own home-based Montessori Toddler businesses, and raising a bunch o' babies of their own.Lisa DraperLisa comes to us from Waterdown Montessori where she worked in their Toddler program.  She is very familiar with DVMS as her son attended Casa here a few years back.Lisa will be working in our new Toddler program until Shannon Chambers returns from her maternity leave. Lisa will then move to Lower Elementary South to cover Catherine's upcoming maternity leave after Christmas. Yep, Catherine's having a baby, in case you didn't know.

Lower Elementary:

Michael RodeMichael is also a familiar face at DVMS.  He came for an observation a few years ago and fell in love with the philosophy behind Montessori. He attended the AMI Foundation for Montessori Education and completed his Montessori practise teaching at DVMS last year in Casa South.Michael will head up the Lower Elementary French program as Sylvia moves on to Strata Montessori.

Learning Resource:

Mairi Achong Mairi (yes, you recognize the last name, Mairi is Marissa's sister) will be our new Learning Resource Teacher as Marissa has moved on to run her own Montessori Casa environment.  Mairi is the mother of four children (one in Upper Elementary at DVMS), received her Montessori training from Montessori Centre International, based in the UK, at the Casa level, holds MACAR training from the Shelton School in Texas, and has worked in Montessori schools in Montreal for fourteen years, most recently specializing in adapting Montessori curriculum for children with learning differences.


Finally, as some of you know and all of you will soon see, Casa North's Shalyn is also having a baby and will be starting her maternity leave in mid-November. Dawn Larsh, who you know from our afterschool program (and maybe her and Armando's new venture: Taco Queso), will become the assistant in Casa North. Dawn completed her Montessori Assistant training last year.WB20152016-3

More Details

Hot Lunch RegistrationHot Lunch forms can be completed and submitted online through our website (2015/2016 costs have been updated; per-day costs are the same as last year).  Vegetarians and allergies can all be accommodated.The hot lunch enrolment deadline for first week of school lunches has passed, but you can sign up anytime.First Day of SchoolHurrrayyyy, and/or, Awwwww... The first day of the 2015-2016 school year is Tuesday, September 8.We kindly ask all students to arrive at 8:30 every day. The Montessori day consists of 3-hour work cycles. The purpose in having long, uninterrupted blocks of work time is to allow students to select work freely and become absorbed in work that has a particular fascination for them at each point in their development. Interruptions to the Montessori environments, no matter how valuable the alternative activity might seem to be, disturb the children's focus, concentration, and intellectual exploration. Thank you.WB20152016-1Elementary Parent OrientationThis orientation session, from 3:00 - 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, September 16, is open to all elementary parents, both Lower and Upper. You are strongly encouraged to attend to chat with the teachers and go over some of the routines and expectations for the year.And if you still have questions...Parent / Teacher InterviewsInterviews will now be held at the beginning of each term as opposed to end.  This will allow us to make the interviews more beneficial to students, parents, and staff by allowing us to review the previous term and set goals for the new term. Sign-ups will be made available close to each set of interviews.This term’s interviews will be held on Thursday, September 24,  from 4:00 - 7:00 p.m., and on Friday September 25, from 8:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. (NOTE: Lower Elementary Parent-Teacher Interviews will start at 2:00 on Thursday).WB20152016-7Photo DaysPhotos will be taken over the course of two days this year: We will let you know which day to wash their faces and brush their hair. Photos will once again be taken by the wonderful Lindsay Palmer.DVMS Community DinnerA chance for you all to get out for a well-deserved date night. Tickets will be available for this event where you will have the chance to enjoy a great meal with some great company.For now, set aside the evening of Friday, October 2, and let us know if you need help finding a sitter.ImmunizationsWe are required to keep a record of your child's up-to-date immunizations. When your child has any updates to their immunizations we require these on file. Please ensure that your child's immunizations are up-to-date, and if they have had any updates in the last year please notify Holly in person or at admin@dvms.ca.Dismissal, Alternate Pick-UpThe school day ends at 3:30 for Casa and 3:45 for Elementary.It is important that we account for each child's dismissal. Please ensure that your child says goodbye and shakes the hand of the staff member standing at the gate. This ensures that each child's dismissal is noted on the attendance sheet. If someone other than the primary caregiver or contact is picking up your child, please fill out an alternate pick-up form located in the office at the beginning of the day, or let us know by email or phone. Our staff may request to see photo ID for alternate persons picking up students. We do encourage an active social time after school, however, due to the number of students, parents, and siblings in the playground it can become chaotic, so we ask that you supervise your child once you have arrived and ensure that if your child becomes disorderly, you quickly take them home.The Before and After School ProgramDVMS now offers Before School care from 8:00 – 8:30 a.m.  The program will function similar to the After School program where families pay per use (no need to sign up ahead of time). Children who are dropped off prior to 8:30 will be considered to be part of the Before School program and families will be billed at the end of each term. Our After School program commences at 4:00 p.m. and runs until 5:00. If children are not picked up by 4:00 p.m., you will be invoiced for participating in the After School program. The cost for both programs is $3.00/half hour.Telephone & Email List DistributionEvery year we distribute a parent telephone and email list. This encourages community development and helps when arranging play dates and organizing carpools. If you do not wish to be included, please let Holly know during the first two weeks of school.And finally...Class ListsA lot of time, thought, and input goes into devising the make-up of each Montessori environment at DVMS.  We made our choices with one thing in mind -- what will be best for each child.You can view and a .pdf version of the DVMS 2015.2016 class lists right here.Phew... as always, that's a lot of info. Don't hesitate to give us a call at 905-627-1073, or stop into the office, next week  if you have any questions.Enjoy the long weekend!