Hello Lyonsgate Montessori Families,

Happy March Break! Remember, Lyonsgate is closed for March Break starting Friday, March 8, through Monday, March 18.

We return to school for the spring term on Tuesday, March 19.

We hope you all have a wonderful time on your trips to warmer climes, or enjoy the peace and restoration of a quiet week at home together.

This week, we have a little photo retrospective of the Montessori school year so far:

Hello Lyonsgate Montessori Families,

Well, we almost had a 5-day week...

March Break starts next week. March Break runs from Friday, March 8 [no school], through Monday, March 18 [no school], inclusive. Lyonsgate is closed on those dates.

We return to school for the spring term on Tuesday, March 19.

 Be sure to read the updates from your children's Montessori guides to learn what's happening in your child's Montessori environment.

Hello Lyonsgate Montessori Families,

No Snow Days! (Although we anxiously held our breath with the freezing rain warning early this week).

Now that the weather is hopefully improving, we're asking everyone to please commit to arriving to school on time.

The Montessori school day is divided into two distinct, long work periods — Montessori work cycles. These are the periods when children are guided to engage in focused work and to achieve deep states of concentration. Late arrivals disrupt these work cycles for other children, and make it difficult for your child to settle into the routine. Furthermore, presentations of Montessori materials often take place at the beginning of the work cycles so that children can take the time they need to work with them; late arrivals cause children to miss these presentations.

  • Casa and Toddler students are asked to arrive at 8:25 to be ready to begin their work cycle at 8:45.
  • Elementary students are asked to arrive at 8:45 to be ready to begin their work cycle at 9:00.

Thank you, everyone, for making your best efforts.

 This week, your children's Montessori guides have each taken the time to reflect on the importance and role of relationships in the Montessori environment relative to peer learning, and emotional support and development. Enjoy!

Hello Lyonsgate Montessori Families,

Errmmm... Hi, remember us? Your kids sometimes go to school here.

We know the last two weeks have been very challenging with the weather and school closures, and we very much appreciate your patience and understanding. We have received a few expressions of frustration as school closures mean missed work days and early morning scrambles to find babysitters.

The weather and closures over the last few weeks are unprecedented. There have not been back-to-back school closures since 1999, and we had two over the last two weeks. We have also had more closures in the last three weeks than we've had over the course of any recent winter seasons.

Lyonsgate will continue to take advantage of the Hamilton Wentworth District School Board's (HWDSB) process to determine whether or not to close school during inclement weather. We do so because, as a private school without cachement restrictions, Lyonsgate families, and staff, travel from all areas of Hamilton. Please remember, even if the weather or roads don't look so bad in your neighbourhood, or in the area surrounding the school, they might be awful elsewhere. Trying to make an independent decision each time there is inclement weather is not feasible because we do not have the resources to gather information from all parts of Hamilton and surrounding area. Furthermore, HWDSB posts cancellation notices at approximately 6:00 a.m., which gives us time to notify you and avoids even worse last minute scrambles that a later notification would incur. This means that sometimes, like this week's closures, decisions are made based on weather forecasts that may change over the course of the day.

The HWDSB process for determining whether or not to close schools is as follows:

When bad weather is expected, Hamilton-Wentworth Student Transportation Services (HWSTS) carriers check weather reports, road conditions and road clearing, starting as early as 4 a.m. Based on this information, the Director of Education makes the decision in conjunction with Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board. HWDSB will announce the cancellation of school and board operations by 6 a.m. based on the best information at the time. We share this announcement on the HWDSB website, HWDSB’s Twitter account and on the HWSTS website. We also contact local media outlets including CHCH TV, CHML and the Hamilton Spectator. A school cancellation is a tough decision – and some families may disagree with HWDSB’s call.[In our experience, HWDSB's Twitter and website are the most prompt, accurate, and reliable].

Lyonsgate will email everyone and post the closure on lyonsgate.ca as soon as the HWDSB posts their notice. To avoid confusion, we will only post closures.

This week will remain challenging as Lyonsgate has a scheduled PD Day on Friday, Feb. 15, that leads us into the Family Day long weekend. There is no school on Monday, Feb. 18, because of the statutory holiday.

Since we were only here two days this week there is not much for your children's guides to update you about, and no photos of your children's Montessori work, so everything in the posted update is included in your update email. Let's hope this is the end of the terrible weather and there are no more closures this year.

Thank you again for your patience and understanding over these last two difficult weeks.

Hello Lyonsgate Montessori Families,

Thank you all for your patience and understanding this past week as we endured the two-day closure due to the ice storm. It's definitely been an interesting couple of weeks with the snow storm, a teaser of a spring day, and two days of ice. We hope you all had a safe experience.

Last weekend, Ms. Boyle and Ms. Moffatt attended the annual Montessori Refresher course for Casa guides at the Foundation for Montessori Education in Toronto, where both received their Montessori training. This year's course focused "on the supports and practical tips in the casa environment that help our children reach optimal points of self-discipline and concentration."

"After two full days of being immersed with our peers and our trainers," said Ms. Boyle, "I feel connected, grounded and (as it goes) refreshed! We are happy to be a part of a true AMI Montessori program, and are thrilled to see how the children thrive because of it."

"We had a great time," Ms. Moffatt added, "seeing our trainers (Sandra Girlato and Lynn Woodward), and connecting with colleagues." Ms. Moffatt also encourages you to visit the Foundation website to learn about their Information Sessions available for parents or those interested in undertaking Montessori training.

 Not many photos this week due to the closures. Sorry. We got a few from the Elementary kids today, but we'll try to get lots for you next week.

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