Events and Info at DVMS | Sept. 25-29, 2017


C’mon, I’ll show you what’s going on at DVMS.

It was brought to our attention that, on some devices, the “Events and Info” email was rendering in a way that made it very difficult to read. To fix this, we will no longer include any images in the email. As always, be sure to view the full post at to see images, galleries, videos, and any updates.

This week:

  • Photo Days
  • The last few important September events
  • Upcoming Elementary cross-country and field trips
  • Lower swimming
  • Upper adventures (and adventure running)
  • Strata Café is back
  • Sick kids
  • Parent contact list
  • Ice skating
  • 167th Annual Ancaster Fair
  • The Paradise Project
  • Walk for Down Syndrome
  • If/Then the Musical
  • Photos! and a video!

Important Events to Start the Year

Due to the heat wave/warning forecast for this coming Monday and Tuesday, we are moving the photo days ahead one week. Photo Days will now be Monday, October 2, and Tuesday, October 3. The schedule will remain the same as before for each of those days.

  • Monday, October 2, and Tuesday, October 3School Photo Days. Photos will once again be taken by the wonderful Lindsay Palmer, one of your fellow Montessori Moms. We will be taking individual and sibling photos. As you can imagine, this is a very busy couple of days requiring a significant amount of planning and coordination. We will stick to the following schedule as best we can so that you know when to dress ’em up and wash the jam off:
    • Monday, Oct. 2:
      • First thing in the morning we will take photos of Toddler children and their Casa and/or Elementary siblings, and the Toddler class photo. Siblings of Toddlers will also have their individual photos taken at that time.
      • All Casa class photos will also be taken in the morning.
      • Over the rest of the day, we will be taking photos of the Casa children and their Elementary siblings. Siblings of Casa children will also have their individual photos taken at that time. (Any children in Lower Elementary South will have photos with their Casa siblings taken before they go swimming).
      • [As an example for this day, if you have a child in Casa and a child in Upper Elementary, they will both have their photos taken on Monday.]
    •  Tuesday, Oct. 3:
      • We will begin with Lower Elementary South class, sibling, and individual photos (they have gym in the afternoon).
      • Over the rest of the day, we will conclude all Elementary-level class, sibling, and individual photos, as well as any others that were missed.

In a few minutes you’ll read about keeping children away from school when they’re sick, but if your child is just a little bit sick and could handle being present for the class photo, even if you want to pick them up after, that’s just fine for photo days.

2017 Photo Day Sched Chart


Parents of new Lower Elementary South (Noeleen and Christine) students (both new, first-year Lower Elementary children and new-to-DVMS Lower Elementary children) are asked to attend a 10-minute introductory meeting with their Montessori guides on Tuesday, Sept. 26. Class lists were emailed on August 16 if you are unsure of which Montessori environment your child is in.

  • Wednesday, September 27, and Thursday, September 28: Toddler Community New Student Parent-Teacher Interviews. Please sign up online.

Parents of new Toddler Community children are asked to attend a 20-minute introductory meeting with their Montessori guides in the late-afternoon/early-evening on either Wednesday, Sept. 27, or Thursday, Sept. 28.

Parents of new Lower Elementary North (Jodi and Kathleen) students (both new, first-year Lower Elementary children and new-to-DVMS Lower Elementary children) are asked to attend a 10-minute introductory meeting with their Montessori guides on Thursday, Sept. 28. Class lists were emailed on August 16 if you are unsure of which Montessori environment your child is in.

Check this out from Casa North:

Lisa Place Value

Casa North’s brand new “place value” job is up and being used constantly. It was made by hand by Casa North’s own Lisa Zuraw. Nice work! This job helps the children practice reading big numbers, and also the concept of having a 0 mixed in sometimes.

Elementary Activities

Elementary students have some exciting outings coming up:

  • On Wednesday, October 4, both Lower and Upper Elementary students will be travelling by school bus to LaSalle park in Burlington to take part in a cross-country running event with a number of other Montessori schools. We’ll have more details for you next week.


  • On Friday, October 6, both Lower and Upper Elementary students will be heading out on field trips. We’ll have the details for you next week.

Lower Elementary

  • Swimming: Lower Elementary students will be walking to and from the Dundas Community Pool where they will participate in weekly swimming lessons until the end of October. They will return to DVMS in time for 3:45 dismissal. Each class is divided into two groups based on swimming ability and are guided in swimming instruction by the pool staff. Please ensure that children bring a swimsuit that they can put on and take off themselves, a towel, and goggles and/or nose plugs as they desire and/or require. Please make sure goggles are adjusted to fit. The swimming activity is also more enjoyable for children if they are wearing clothing they can change in and out of without assistance, and if their swim gear is carried in a bag they able to easily and securely carry themselves.
    • Lower Elementary South (Noeleen/Christine) will swim on Mondays: Lower South children will swim on Monday, Sept. 11, 18, and 25, and Oct. 2, 16, and 23. (Monday, Oct. 9, is Thanksgiving).
    • Lower Elementary North (Jodi/Kathleen) will swim on Fridays: Lower North students will swim on Friday, Sept. 15, 22, and 29, and Oct. 13, 20, and 27. (Friday, Oct. 6, is Elementary Field trip day).

Upper Elementary

To start the school year, Upper Elementary students will be participating in a variety of activities in the Hamilton area:

  • Friday, Sept. 29: Self and Service Activities at Dundas Valley Conservation Area. Please drop your Upper Elementary child off at Strata Montessori Adolescent School by 9:00 a.m. (DVMS staff will be there at 8:30). Students will be transported back to DVMS by school bus in time for regular pick up. The day’s activities will focus on how making positive changes in our communities starts with the individual. Students will participate in a variety of games, crafts, and activities that  align with the Montessori Cosmic Story frame that draws relations between the universe and the self, focusing on humanity’s gifts of the hands (work), head (command and reason), and heart (empathy and compassion). All students will require a packed picnic litterless lunch and weather appropriate outdoor clothing and footwear.
  • Starting October 13, Upper Elementary students will be participating in Adventure Running on Friday afternoons, led by Upper Elementary French Specialist, Selin. They will be running on Oct. 13, 20, and 27. Please ensure they are wearing, or bring, weather appropriate outdoor clothing and footwear; adventure running is rain or shine (unless it’s a thunder storm).

Here’s a few photos from their adventures in downtown Hamilton today:

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Information and Reminders

  • Strata Montessori Friday Café: Every Friday morning, the fine folks at Strata Montessori Adolescent School host a wonderful café as part of their student micro-economy ventures. It is a lovely time in a beautiful place with great people.

We hope you had a great summer. We are happy to say the Strata Café is back in session. Our first café will be this Friday. We invite you all to come down and have a cup of our fresh coffee while looking at the changes fall is bringing to our school. The café will start at 8:30 and end at 10:00. We are excited to start a wonderful year filled with our Friday Cafés.

The Café is held at our school, located at 575 Lions Club Road, Ancaster. If you want more information, you can go to our website, email us at , or call us at 905-296-6416.
Look forward to seeing you Friday
– The Strata Community

  • Sick Kids: Kids aren’t the only ones who head back to school; they also bring their germ friends with them, and the germs are definitely something they love to share. The first round this year seems to be a cold that starts with a sore throat. In most cases it has been a couple/few days of sniffles, but a few cases have developed into a more serious cough. Wash, wash, wash those hands! School-wide lice checks were also completed last week and you will have been contacted if there is cause for concern. (Here’s a great head lice resource we were made aware of this week: Bug Busters Clinics).

If children do become ill, there are a number of public health protocols we all must follow, depending on the specific illness, to prevent further spread. Please visit the “Children, Illness, and Absence from School” page, under the “Parents” tab, at for information on which illnesses require absence from school and for how long.

  • Parent Contact List: The 2017-2018 Parent Contact List is available. You will find it attached to your “Events and Info” summary email this week. This contact list is to facilitate contact between DVMS families for the arrangement of playdates, carpools, birthday invites, etc. Please do not use this list for any form of solicitation. For school related issues, please contact staff through their classroom email accounts; do not use their personal contacts on this list. Thank you.

  • Ice Skating: DVMS has always made ice skating part of the Elementary physical education activities. Unfortunately, our local rink, Grightmire Arena, will be closed this year for renovations. Last year, DVMS Montessori Mom Amanda Graydon, a former competitive figure skater and a certified coach, helped teach skating skills to our Lower Elementary students and has had a few inquiries as to options for this year with Grightmire being closed. From Amanda:

From sand to ice, it will soon be that time when winter blows through. If you would like your child to learn one of Canada’s most known sports – SKATING – join Montessori Mom & Coach, Amanda, on the ice at Rockton Skating Club. You can register online and the season starts mid-October with choices between Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday sessions.

Most children will be registered in the Can Skate group. Coaches will assess skating ability and make sure all skaters are in the correct group.

Pre-Can is available for our DVMS toddlers!

If you are in need of skates, I have skates that will fit toddlers to children in grades 1-2. I suggest finding used skates that are already broken in so your child’s feet won’t be cold or sore. Wear bare feet or light nylons/socks. Thick socks will make for cold feet on the ice. [Let the office know and we will put you in touch with Amanda].

You will need a CSA hockey approved helmet.

Let the skate Canada certified coaches at Rockton Winter Club take it from there. Skating is always more fun with friends. The Berardi children (Amalynn, Raelon, Graydon) are on the ice Tuesday evenings.

I also have Special Olympics training on ice and in the past I’ve had physicians referring children with foot turns on the ice or leg braces to help them work through their alignment. Skating is a fun and great way to do that. The way the blade is affixed to the skate, the foot naturally positions itself anatomically corrected in line with ankle, knee, hip, and shoulder.

Fun Family Events

Our theme this year is “Canadian Grown” and we wanted to share with you some of our Farmers, enjoy!
See you at the Fair!

Admission $10 youth/adults $5 student (FDK-Grade 8) FREE pre-school

  • The Paradise Project: Saturday, 23 September, 6:00 – 7:00 p.m., at Princess Point. Click here for details.

Hamilton Aerial Group presents an outdoor theatrical spectacle celebrating the natural ecosystem of Cootes Paradise. The event includes giant puppets, stilt creatures, opera, dance and aerial performances all situated in the meadow of Princess Point. Saturday September 23, 6 pm sharp. In the meadow of Princess Point, Cootes Paradise.

Arrive early.  Shows starts at 6 pm sharp.  Parking at Princess Point is free but limited.

  • If/Then the Musical: Upper Elementary East Montessori guide Terrence Millie is a cast member of this musical running Oct. 13-21 at Citadel Theatre (28 Rebecca St., Hamilton). Terrence advises that it may not be the most child-appropriate performance due to some coarse language, but a few Elementary families are planning to attend. Click here for details. If you are interested, Terrence has provided us with a discount code for Oct. 14, 15, and 21 matinee performances (2:00 p.m.; use code “IFTHEN2FOR1”).

Music by Tom Kitt Book and Lyrics by Brian Yorkey

Directed by Nick Kulnies

October 13th – 21st 2017

With unforgettable songs and a deeply moving story by the Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award winning creators of Next to NormalIf/Then is a fascinating, ambitious and original new musical. If/Then simultaneously follows one woman’s two possible life paths, painting a deeply moving portrait of the lives that we lead, as well as the lives that we might have led.

Elizabeth, a city planner, moves back to New York to restart her life in the city of infinite possibilities. When her carefully designed plans collide with the whims of fate, Elizabeth’s life splits into two parallel paths. If/Then follows both stories simultaneously, as this modern woman faces the intersection of choice and chance.

If/Then is a contemporary Broadway musical about living in New York today and all of the possibilities of tomorrow.

Photos! and a Video!

We have included photos of the Welcome Back picnic for you this week, and a video of an adorable visitor. Our caretaker Paul’s family rescued a baby squirrel. It’s mom was taken by a hawk and dogs got its brothers and sisters. They’ve learned how to raise it to be ready for release, and brought it to visit DVMS.

Let us know if you would like the full version of any photos of your children.

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