Hello Lyonsgate Families,

This Friday is a PA Day to accommodate year-end Parent-Teacher Conferences. If you haven’t already done so, please select a conference timeslot. The link is in your update email.

Elementary parents: please also see your update email to sign up for the Elementary senior sleepover, and see the Elementary section below for details.

Please see updates from your children’s Montessori levels below, and a staff update for the 2024.2025 school year.




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2024.2025 Staffing Update

As we close in on the end of this school year, we wanted to let you know of some staff changes to expect for the 2024.2025 school year.

We are thrilled to welcome back Ms. Janelle Duhig to the Primary campus where she will return to the Montessori Support role. She will be assisting the classrooms when needed, and out at recess everyday with the Casa children. We are looking forward to her return!

The Toddler community will unfortunately be saying goodbye to Ms. Elise Gervais. She has been such a beautiful role model for the Toddler children, and we feel blessed to have had her share her warmth, kindness, and expertise with the Lyonsgate community. We wish her and her family the very best in the future.

Leading the Toddler team next year will be Ms. Vanessa Findlay. Current students and families are all very familiar with Ms. Findlay and the beautiful way she speaks with the children. She is our early childhood educational assistant in the classroom who has gone back to school to become a Montessori Toddler Guide! We are very excited for her to enter her new role in the Toddler classroom. Stepping into the role as Toddler early childhood assistant will be Ms. Jessica Dewey. Many families are already very familiar with Ms. Dewey as well, who has been a friendly and knowledgeable assistant in the Casa communities. We look forward to welcoming Ms. Dewey to this new role! We are also very happy that Ms. Sydney Relic will continue to share her warmth and gentle guidance in the Toddler classroom.

With sadness, we will also be saying “au revoir” to Mme Renee Perazzo, but please join us in wishing her a wonderful retirement. Mme Perazzo has been such a gentle, friendly, and supportive member of the Casa South community. We wish her and her family all the best.

The Casa South team will continue to be led under the attuned and watchful eye of Ms. Laurie Robinson. We will welcome Ms. Shelby Gelder as the new early childhood education English assistant and Mlle Jessica Moniere as the new French assistant. Your children are already becoming well acquainted with Mlle Moniere, as she has been assisting with recess daily.

The Elementary campus will be saying “au revoir est bonne continuation” to Anne. She has been a guiding light who has shared an abundant amount of knowledge and enthusiasm for the French program, and we wish her the very best in her future endeavours. In her place, we are thrilled to welcome Michelle Morra, who comes to us with previous experience teaching French within the Montessori education program. She has spent time with Anne and the Elementary students already in preparation for this switch in roles.

We are sad to be saying goodbye to such valuable members of our team, but happy and grateful to share that all other staff will remain the same.

We hope you will join us in wishing the very best to our staff who are leaving, and welcoming the new staff who are joining the Lyonsgate team!


Lyonsgate Montessori Toddler student sitting down to enjoy the favourite vehicles book with his teacher and a friend.
Lyonsgate Montessori Toddler student sitting down to enjoy the favourite vehicles book with his teacher and a friend.

Hello Toddler Families,

And just like that it’s June! The Toddler classroom has many beautiful materials and engaging activities, but as I reflect back on the year none are so beloved and consistently used as our classroom library.

As educators, we strive to have familiar books in the class that many children rea to us; there is the rhythmic flow and simple illustrations of Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See? or the perennial favourite, Goodnight Moon. We have brightly coloured picture books of cars and trucks that children will repeatedly point to and ask about. There are books about opposites and colours, numbers and letters, feelings, farms, and find it books. Every day, without fail, a child will ask to be read to. To sit at a table, to snuggle in a teacher’s lap, or to gather with their friends on the carpet to explore a book. Chances are, if you give a child access to a library they are going to want to pick a second (and third!) book. So as the days of summer get closer don’t forget to pack a book or two in your bag for the park or beach, you’ll be glad you did.

Vanessa Findlay, RECE.


Lyonsgate Montessori Casa students enjoying a book together.
Lyonsgate Montessori Casa students enjoying a book together.

Summer Books

As we move closer to the summer break you may be looking for longer books to read with your children. It goes without saying that it’s great to continue reading picture books, but if your children are ready, adding in just the right chapter book can add a new dimension to your read aloud time. The following list begins with books that three year-olds might enjoy and progresses to those recommended for four and five year-olds.

Oh Sal, Kevin Henkes
Hickory, Palmer Brown
Dinosaur Trouble, Dick King-Smith
Lady Lollipop, Dick King-Smith
Milly, Molly, Mandy, Joyce Lankester Brisley
Yours Sincerely, Giraffe, Megumi Iwasa
Mercy Watson to the Rescue, Kate DiCamillo
Mrs. Noodlekugel, Daniel Pinkwater

The Very Very Far North (series), Dan Bar-El
Catwings, Ursula K. Le Guin
Jenny and the Cat Club, Esther Averill
Teddy & Co., Cynthia Voigt
My Father’s Dragon (series), Ruth Stiles Gannet
Babe the Gallant Pig, Dick King-Smith
The Mouse Called Wolf, Dick King-Smith
The First Case, Ulf Nilsson
The Adventures of the South Pole Pig, Chris Katz
Pippi Longstocking, Astrid Lindgren

Happy Reading!

Ms. Robinson.


Graduating Lyonsgate Montessori Elementary students took a trip to the Royal Ontario Museum, and saw a giant amethyst from Bolivia.
Graduating Lyonsgate Montessori Elementary students took a trip to the Royal Ontario Museum, and saw a giant amethyst from Bolivia.

The Elementary classroom is humming with energy both inside and out! With the beautiful weather, many of the children have taken their work out of doors, as they compose short stories and book reviews, rehearse their French plays, and transplant their seedlings into the garden. Everyone has been getting ready for the Cultural Fair next week, preparing clay models, paintings, essays, and slideshows to share with you some of the discoveries they’ve made this term. Our graduating sixth year students also traveled to the ROM in Toronto last week. They enjoyed their first subway ride and were awestruck by the artifacts on display. They were delighted to discover the ROM’s collection and how it connects to their years of cultural studies in history, biology, and geography. While the class elders were away, the rest of the children were excited to welcome the graduating Casa students to the Elementary campus for a tour, language games, and some yoga! To end the week, everyone had fun learning volleyball skills at the park for P.E.

We look forward to speaking with everyone at the Parent-Teacher Conferences on Friday!

Monday, June 10: Cultural Fair

Elementary parents, siblings, and other chosen family members are invited to our Cultural Fair after school on Monday, June 10th. The Cultural Fair is our final open classroom of the year, with students showcasing their third term projects, literature circle work, and recent exploration of Ancient China. Families are welcome to visit the Cultural Fair anytime between 3:15-4:15 p.m. When you arrive, please enter through the porch entrance to the Maple Room to meet up with your child. Our regular aftercare program will still be available to registered students until 4:30.

Friday, June 14 to Saturday, June 15: Elementary Senior Sleepover

Students in Years 3-6 have the option to join Marissa and Michelle on campus for a Friday night sleepover! The final day to sign-up for the senior sleepover is Thursday, June 6. Please follow the link in your update email to sign-up!

Thursday, June 20: Last Day of School/Elementary Graduation

The last day of school is quickly approaching! The Elementary students will have some fun activities to wrap up the school year together, and end the day with the Elementary Graduation ceremony. Each sixth year student is welcome to invite two adults to attend the graduation ceremony on campus. Graduates’ family members are welcome to arrive from 3:00, with the ceremony beginning at 3:10, and refreshments to follow.

Marissa & Michelle.

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