Hello Lyonsgate Families,

Registration for current students and their siblings opened last Friday. Please check your inbox for an email from Dec. 3 with registration information and the link to the 2022.2023 registration form. Please submit registration forms by December 15. Payment is not due until January 14, 2022. Thank you.

Also THANK YOU for all of your donations to the Elementary students’ Shoebox Project initiative and the Primary campus Toy Drive for the Salvation Army. Your response has been phenomenal! Toys can still be donated up to Dec. 15, and last minute Shoebox Project donations can be accepted on Monday, Dec. 13.

As we head into the winter break you will continue receiving updates from the Casa and Toddler Montessori guides and assistants about how the first term has progressed, as well as updates on the Elementary students’ work and community involvement. This week, the English language assistants have beautiful reflections on the term for you. Please see the classroom sections below.

Rapid Tests vs. PCR Tests: a few families have asked and if a student is absent with COVID-screening symptoms they must get a PCR test at one of the testing clinics to return to school. Rapid tests cannot be used at home instead of the PCR/clinic test.

We have been receiving information from Hamilton Public Health and the provincial government about COVID-19 protocols related to the holiday period:

  • Screening Validation: When we return on January 3, 2022, we will once again be required to validate daily screening. You will receive a reminder email the day before and will find the Primary and Elementary campus screening forms on the Home page at lyonsgate.ca. You must submit the screening form each day before students arrive to school. So far, the screening validation is only for the first two weeks after we return, but Hamilton Public Health may extend that as they did in the fall.
  • International Travel Required Quarantine: All individuals are required to follow federal testing and quarantine requirements if travelling outside of Canada, and may not attend school for 14 days if advised to quarantine. **NEW**: While unvaccinated children under the age of 12 who travelled outside of Canada with a fully vaccinated companion are exempt from federal quarantine, they are not permitted to attend school or child care for 14 days following their return.
  • Omicron Variant Updates: Precautions to mitigate the spread of the Omicron variant affect some quarantine requirements:
    • Any positive COVID-19 cases where the individual travelled outside of Canada within 14 days, or had a high-risk exposure to an individual who travelled outside of Canada within 14 days of their onset, will be treated as potential Omicron cases.
    • Close contacts of confirmed and/or potential Omicron cases will be required to isolate for 10 days regardless of vaccination status, or until Omicron is ruled out.
    • Close contacts require a COVID test on day 7 or later to be released from isolation. If they choose not to complete the clearance test, they will be required to isolate for an additional 10 days regardless of their vaccination status.
  • At-Home Rapid Tests: You may have heard that public school students will be receiving rapid test kits to use over the break to provide an additional layer of screening for a safer return to school in January. Initially, private schools (ie. the Lyonsgate Elementary program) were not included in the rapid test distribution. While still not guaranteed, private schools were surveyed by the Ministry of Education this week to see if they wanted to participate. Lyonsgate said “Yes, we do.” We will let you know as soon as we hear anything further. If kits are provided to us, they will be for Elementary students only.

Gloves and Mittens: it’s a good idea to have an extra pair of gloves or mittens that can be kept at school. Once the snow is on the ground it becomes the main outdoor activity, and gloves and mittens will get wet. The backup gloves and mitts can be the fabric or knit kind, but water resistant material is best for student’s main mitts; the fabric gloves and mittens are soaking wet with molten snow within minutes of being on the playground. Thank you. (ps. remember to label everything!).


It seems like only yesterday when we were meeting many of the children for the first time, but here we are at the end of the first term! I am so proud of how much they have accomplished in such little time. Our classroom is filled with bright and unique personalities and one of the greatest things has been watching them connect with one another and seeing their friendships continue to blossom.

Our work cycle is a buzz of activity with water-based activities like washing a table, watering plants, and polishing a mirror taking centre stage. Painting and music have also been go-to activities in the Toddler Community. It is pretty common for an impromptu jam session to take place with all the percussion instruments, and I am always happy to join in on ukulele.

Winter presents a new set of work in the form of snow pants, mittens, boots, and all of the other things we put on in Canada to have fun outside. This provides extra opportunities for the children to practice many of the skills we began working on in warmer months as they continue on their path toward independence.

I can’t wait to see where the 2nd term takes us! — Mr. Davis.

Reminder from Lyonsgate administration: please remember that children who are unwell are not permitted to attend school, even if their symptoms are not COVID-exclusionary symptoms. Hamilton Public Health has provided updated charts that explain for what symptoms and for how long children must remain absent from school. We want to make sure everyone stays healthy throughout the school year, and especially as we head into the winter break so that everyone feels comfortable and safe visiting family.

Casa North

Good Afternoon Casa North Families,

It feels like autumn has flown by in Casa North this year. Such a short time ago I was listening to stories from summer vacation and getting to know our new and returning students in my new role. This year we have a somewhat unusual class, with half of our four-year-old students (typically second years) experiencing Montessori education for the first time, in addition to our first years. It has been so rewarding to watch our students acclimate to the classroom and overcome new challenges.

We also have five sets of siblings learning alongside one another in Casa North. In September, these pairs were in near-constant proximity, younger siblings dependent on their doting elders for everything from zipping zippers to conflict resolution. While we encourage older students to help guide and mentor anyone less experienced, the freedom of choice is one of the foundations in Montessori philosophy. I’ve personally witnessed each of our older siblings kindly, but firmly, assert themselves with their younger counterparts to prioritize their learning goals.

Whether part of a sibling pair or not, each of our new students has formed friendships and gained many skills that go along with being part of a community. I’m always so impressed by the social problem solving, negotiation, and cooperation that children begin to navigate with very little adult intervention.

With one week left at school we’re all getting rather antsy. I hope you all have a safe, restful holiday, and look forward to seeing everyone in the new year! — Ms. Dewey.

Casa South

It is so hard to believe that we’re already nearing the end of our first term! It always seems like December is so far off when we start in September, but then the time just flies by! This year so far has been one of growth, new learnings, and budding friendships.

We started off the year with some returning faces and quite a few new friends as well. Over the past few months, the class has become a community which embraces each child’s strengths and helps when there is a challenge. It is always beautiful to get to watch this transition as bonds are created among the children in the class. Some of our new students have learned how to adapt to the Casa environment and are consistently gaining confidence in this space. Our returning students love sharing what they know and have already learned about their environment and welcome new friends with ease.

Since September, we’ve seen a lot of progress with the way the children interact kindly with each other. They are learning how to communicate their feelings effectively to their peers. We have watched them take responsibility for their role in conflict and are learning how to resolve challenges that arise amongst themselves. They are gaining more and more independence with each passing day. This social and emotional learning is an important part of what the children are learning daily in the classroom, and it goes hand in hand with their academic progress.

Academically, the start of the year feels like a world away. The children have been exposed to new skills, have repeated these skills, and mastered things they did not know at the beginning of the year. We’ve watched some learning how to read, others growing artistically with constant practice painting, others working with numbers up to the thousands. Across the board, the children are met where they are and they have grown tremendously.

I wish you a happy and relaxing weekend before the holiday season! — Ms.Sullivan.


Over the years I have been at Lyonsgate, I have seen the Elementary students take on charitable pursuits such as the Shoebox Project with an energy and passion that could change the world. At their stage of development, they understand injustice and recognize the unfair nature of our society, and they don’t hesitate in their conviction that something must be done to make life better for everyone. It is inspiring to see in action.

These are big projects for the students involving planning, communicating with the school community, getting out in the wider community and approaching businesses for support, putting up posters, tracking responses, organizing donations, communicating with charitable organizations, developing timetables, and getting everything ready and done by a deadline, while continuing to engage with their academic endeavours. I have seen students ask to stay out in cold, wet weather so they can get to a few more stores to solicit donations; I have seen shy children find the courage to enter a business and talk to the staff about what they are doing; and I’ve seen them work as a group to accomplish their goals, with all of the friction and tension and compromise that group-work can involve, because they recognize the greater purpose of the work they are doing.

Thank you, Elementary students, for always showing us adults we have as much to learn from you as you do from us. — Jason.