Hello Lyonsgate Montessori Families,

We had a snow day! And a deep freeze...

Just so everyone knows, Lyonsgate takes advantage of the Hamilton Wentworth District School Board's (HWDSB) process to determine whether or not to close school during inclement weather. Here's a quick summary from them about how the decision is made:

  • 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 websiteHWDSB’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. Families can always make the choice they feel is best when it comes to sending their child to school.

We 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.

We follow the HWDSB's lead in these situations because, as a private school without cachement restrictions, Lyonsgate families travel from all areas of Hamilton. Please remember, even if the weather doesn't look so bad in your neighbourhood, it might be awful elsewhere in Hamilton. The purpose of closing schools is always for safety. Reducing the number of cars on the roads (especially cars with children in them) makes for a safer commute for everybody. We know that snow days can wreak last-minute chaos on morning and work plans, but please trust that the HWDSB only closes after following a thorough process of information gathering and decision-making.

Hello Lyonsgate Montessori Families,

Well that was fun! Hope everyone survived the up and down winter weather over the last week. Next week's looking to be another cold one so make sure everyone has all the warm gear.

We have lots of pictures this week to make up for not having any last week, and it was nice to see so many of you at the Parent Education evening on Thursday.

To continue the learning about Montessori, each of your children's Montessori guides have highlighted a specific Montessori material this week and explained what it is and the role it plays in your children's education and devlopment. Enjoy!


Lyonsgate Elementary Observation Guidelines

Thank you for taking the time to observe in our environment. An observation is an opportunity for you to get a glimpse of how a Montessori environment functions. There are a few things to consider when you are observing in the classroom:

  • Please enter the school through the cloakroom by using the side gate and doorbell.   If you have a coat, bag or beverage with you, please leave these in the cloakroom.
  • The observation chair is placed in a specific spot in the classroom. This is the place where observers can view work occurring in different areas while allowing the environment to operate as usual with as little disruption as possible.
  • The guide will not be available to answer any questions during the observation; please ensure you make note of any questions to raise at your Parent-Teacher Conference.
  • The children may approach you. The best way to ensure that you are seeing an accurate depiction of the space is to politely say “Hello,” and tell them that you are here to see them do their work. Please refrain from engaging in conversation with them.
  • When your observation is complete, please quietly exit the classroom without interrupting the students to say goodbye.  We thank you for joining us, and hope that you thoroughly enjoy your time in the environment.

When you are observing, you may want to take some of the following questions into consideration:

  1. Are the children engaging in independent or collaborative work?  
  2. How do the older children engage with the younger children (and vice versa)?
  3. What examples of Practical Life tasks do you see occuring in the Elementary environment?
  4. Which other subjects do you see students investigating?
  5. How do the children resolve conflict?
  6. How do children transition from one activity to the next?


Hello Lyonsgate Montessori Families,

Parent Education Evening:

The winter term Parent Education Evening is next week: Thursday, Jan. 24, at the Lyonsgate Primary campus on Aberdeen Ave., from 4:00-5:00 p.m, in the synagogue’s Sanctuary (where the Holiday Concert was). Please click here to register for childcare (pizza will be available for registered children).

This evening will introduce you to the different “Planes of Development,” as Maria Montessori called them. Montessori environments are prepared to meet the developmental needs of children at different ages and stages of development.

We will discuss each “Plane of Development” and highlight the characteristics of children at each stage. You will learn how Lyonsgate’s prepared Montessori environments meet children’s developmental needs, and understand the relations between the different levels as your children progress from Toddler to Casa to Elementary.

We sent out the updated Parent Contact lists this past week and have had some replies about incorrect or updated contact info, and about additions to the lists. Please take a look at the lists that were sent out and let us know (at jason@lyonsgate.ca) if any information is incorrect, outdated, or if you would like to be added to the list for your child's class (inclusion on the Parent Contact lists is optional and some families have chosen to not be included; just let us know if you would like to be added).

We'd just like to remind everyone to please make sure children have appropriate outdoor clothing every day, especially now that the forecast  is predicting real winter weather. Outdoor activity time is essential for learning and development, and is mandated legislatively. All children at all levels get outside every day except in the worst of weather conditions. It is not possible to have one or two children stay inside because they don't have appropriate outer wear; staff is required to be outside  to supervise the children. A few tips we've picked up over the years:

  • Please ensure hats and mitts/gloves fit properly. If hats don't cover ears or fall over eyes, or if mittens are hard to put on, uncomfortable to wear, or make it difficult to hold things, children tend to abandon them, or end up with cold ears.
  • Once the snow sticks, please avoid cloth or knit mittens/gloves. When children play with snow it melts, gloves get wet, and little hands get cold.
  • As you know, Montessori strives to help children develop independence. Of course we will make sure everyone is zipped up, velcroed, snapped, buttoned, and laces are tied, but the more independent successes your children can experience in terms of getting themselves dressed, the better. Please keep this in mind when choosing outer wear for your children.
  • An extra pair of mittens that stay in a child's backpack or cubby are often a great idea.

Thank you.

Unfortunately, due to some staff illness we were not able to spend time in the classrooms taking photos this week. So sorry. We hope to be back at it next week.

Hello Lyonsgate Montessori Families,

Welcome back to school. We hope everyone had a wonderful holiday.

The new term always means a few changes, and we have had some children from the Toddler level reach the point where they are ready for Casa and have made the big move. The newly opened space has allowed us to welcome a few new children into the Toddler environment; be sure to read the Toddler update to hear about how amazing the older Toddler children have been. We have also had a new student join us at our Elementary campus.

New children in the classrooms mean updated Parent Contact Lists will be coming your way via email. Remember, the Parent Contact Lists are for Lyonsgate families to use to arrange playdates, carpools, send out invitations, etc. Please do not use or share other parents' email addresses or phone numbers for solicitation or other commercial purposes.

 Here's to a great winter term. Stay warm, smile more, make someone's day, and enjoy your first Lyonsgate update of 2019.

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