Welcome back to DVMS. We hope everyone had a wonderful summer.
It has been a wonderful first week of preparation. The commitment to excellence that our staff community strives toward lifts us all up.
Welcome to your first Events and Information post for the 2018.2019 school year. Every Friday, at dvms.ca, we post any upcoming events and important information you need to know for the coming week(s). There will always be a link to the most recent “Events and Info” on the home page of the school website, and you can find all “Events and Info” posts under the “Parents” tab. We also send you the contents of the post via email (likely how you are reading this right now). The email does not contain all of the features and updates of the web post, so be sure to check the website.
All of the events are also posted on the calendar at dvms.ca.
On to what’s happening:
Important Events to Start the Year
- Tuesday, September 4, 8:30 a.m.: First day of school!
- Tuesday, Sept. 11, 4:00 p.m.: Lower Elementary Parent Orientation
- This orientation session is open to all Lower Elementary parents. You are strongly encouraged to attend to chat with the guides and go over some of the routines and expectations for the year.
- September 12, 13, and 14, 3:30 – 6:00 p.m.: New Casa Children Parent-Teacher Interviews. Please sign up for your 15-minute time slot on the appropriate day.
- Casa North: September 12
- Casa South: September 13
- Casa East: September 14
Parents of children that are new to the DVMS Casa program, either as first-year students or as new-to-DVMS second- or third-year Casa students, are asked to sign up for a brief introductory meeting with your child’s Montessori guides. Class lists were emailed on August 16 if you are unsure of which Montessori environment your child is in.
- Saturday, September 15, 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.: Welcome Back to School Picnic at DVMS
This is a fun picnic day on the playground to welcome everyone back to school and give you time to renew old acquaintances and meet some of the other wonderful families who have chosen an authentic Montessori education for their children. Bring a picnic lunch, chairs and/or blankets, and post up under the trees for food, fun, and friends.
Both Lower and Upper Elementary level students participate in a variety of physical activities and outings throughout the year in addition to regular physical education classes. These activities generally take place on Friday afternoons, although outside facilities and organizations sometimes necessitate different times and days (such as the Lower Elementary swimming to start the year; see below). In this section, we will let you know what they’re up to, where they’re going, and if they’ll need to bring anything. To start the year:
- Soccer: Lower Elementary students will be participating in indoor soccer at the Ancaster Sports center for the Month of September. Both Classes will be going together each Friday. The bus will pick up the students at 12:45pm and return the students to DVMS for 3:00. Students are to bring a water bottle and appropriate running shoes and clothes (skirts and combat boots will pose some challenges).
To start the school year, Upper Elementary students will be participating in a variety of activities in the Hamilton area:
- Friday, Sept. 6: W.J. McCallion Planetarium at McMaster University and Mcmaster Museum of Art. Upper Elementary students will hike the trails from DVMS to McMaster University. Along the way they will hear the Story of Life, stopping to enjoy all of nature’s beauty. Students will eat their lunch on the grounds of McMaster and then enjoy “Life in the Universe: Setting the Stage, the First 10 Billion Years” and a visit to the McMaster Art Gallery. Students will need to be picked up at McMaster University at the McMaster GO Transit loop at 3:30.All students will need a packed picnic litterless lunch and weather appropriate outdoor clothing and footwear. If you are not able to pick up your child, please arrange with a friend to carpool. Please drop your Upper Elementary students off at DVMS in the morning.
Information and Reminders
Anything that is not a specific event will be here — general reminders, updates, special requests, and the like. Such as:
- Parking: As you will see we added a staff parking lot in the back and so now there should be more street parking. We have also arranged to have an upper elementary student available to walk your child down the walking path and into the school in the morning. We ask that all parents of elementary-aged children drop their children off nearby and allow them to walk to the school on their own. This not only leaves parking spaces open for those with young children but also gives your Elementary child the independence they need. With your written permission (email will suffice), Elementary-level children can also dismiss themselves from school and walk home, or meet you at a pre-determined spot nearby. Parking along the walkway fence is not permitted as this is a fire route; it also produces a bottleneck at the bottom of the driveway, which is a hazard. Please be respectful of, and courteous to, your fellow DVMS parents and our neighbours. Please drive in the DVMS neighbourhood with extreme caution!!!
- Arrival and Dismissal: We kindly ask all students to arrive at 8:30 a.m. sharp every day. The Montessori day consists of 3-hour work cycles. The purpose in having long, uninterrupted blocks of work time is to allow students to select work freely and become absorbed in work that has a particular fascination for them at each point in their development. Late arrivals disturb the children’s focus, concentration, and intellectual exploration, and make settling in difficult for your child. As much as possible, we ask that you pick up at the appropriate time for your child’s level (3:30 p.m. for Toddler and Casa children; 3:45 p.m. for Elementary students). Parents with children in both Toddler/Casa and Elementary are asked to arrive at 3:45. It is important that we account for each child’s dismissal. Please ensure that your child says goodbye and shakes the hand of the staff member with the clipboard by the main entrance. Thank you.
- Boomerang Lunch: Like last year, for those who bring a packed lunch to school, we are implementing a “boomerang lunch” policy. This means everything that comes in the lunch bag goes home in the lunch bag. It is a way to significantly reduce the amount of waste generated at the school and, most importantly, for you to see what is being eaten and what is not being eaten. (Things like apple cores will go into the compost at school, but a one-bite-out-of-it apple will go home).
- Elementary-level families, please send a labeled water bottle that will remain at DVMS for the school year and that can be regularly sanitized in our very high heat dishwasher. Lower Elementary children are also asked to include a cloth napkin in their lunch each day (hot lunch kids too). Here is a link to an article about boomerang lunches that also links to some other great lunch resources.
- Before and Afterschool Care: DVMS offers Before School Care from 8:00 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. Both Before and After School Care are pay-per-use (no need to sign up or let us know ahead of time). Children who are dropped off prior to 8:30 will be considered to be part of Before School Care. After School Care commences at 4:00 p.m. and runs until 5:00 p.m. Children who are not picked up by 4:00 p.m. will automatically enter the After School Care program (you will be invoiced). The charge for both Before and After School Care is $3.50/half hour and you will be billed at the end of each term.
Finally, as a reward for reading all the way to the end, every week we will post a gallery of your wonderful children hard at work in their Montessori environments. We know Montessori can be a little mysterious, especially since parents are restricted from the children’s environments (and sometimes children are not the most forthcoming with what they did each day), so we offer these weekly glimpses. If you ever want the full version of any photos of your child, just let us know and we’ll send them to you. Not every child has their picture taken each week, but we try to capture them all a few times over the course of the year.
If you had selected to not have photos of your child published, but change your mind, just let us know. We never publish any identifying information. The images are published to the website and are accessible through the DVMS Facebook page.
This week, our new Casa children and their parents came in to check out their Montessori environments and meet their guides, and make some new friends before the official start of school on Tuesday. See you all then!
We did a lot this summer. The big one is the new coating for roof – no leaks (as of today); removable air conditioners in the southern classrooms, dehumidifiers in the north; 20 car parking lot for the staff; new backboards for outdoor basketball nets, new coating for older parking lot area, (stone area to be repaved October 5th), repainted floor in kitchen area, permanent dehumidifier in gym, beautified front of school with trees and gardens and other landscaping niceties, outdoor classroom for Bambini, and a hundred other little jobs that have been forgotten in this busy busy summer.
Deepest thanks to all those who contributed during our fundraising at the end of last year. We stretched every dollar (we even drove to Ottawa to claim the last on sale roofing compound in Ontario). DVMS looks so beautiful and it is thanks to your generosity we were able to accomplish all of our goals this summer.
Upcoming Community Events
- Autumn Sundays at Westfield Heritage Village: Every Sunday, 12:30-4:30, at Westfield Heritage Village, Rockton (1049 Kirkwall Rd., Flamborough ON, L0R 1X0). Click for info. Including Telling Tales on September 16th!
Every Sunday and public holiday from March to the end of October you can immerse yourself in Westfield’s unique historic setting. Authentically costumed volunteers will take you back to earlier times and places through fun and educational demonstrations and activities.
Westfield has more than thirty-five historical buildings to visit, including log homes, a one room schoolhouse, railway station, print shop, inn and cabinetmaker’s shop. Step up to the counter at the General Store for sweet treats and stop by the Gift Shop for unique finds. You can also enjoy Westfield’s trails and natural areas, set on 500 beautiful acres.
Terry Fox Run: Sunday, September 16, 8:00 am.
Run Day DetailsRegistration: 8:00 amKids’ Fun Run: 9:00 amOne Start: 9:15 amLocation: Dundas Driving Park – Parkview RowParking is availableWhat to bring: water bottle for refilling waterKids corner, face painting, snacks and water stations will be provided
Route InformationBicycle, Stroller, and Wheelchair accessible.Route distance: 1 km – Kids Run; 5 km – Adult Run.
- Imagination Stations: Every Saturday at the Dundas Library. 10:30 – 11:30
Come and explore the amazing STREAM kits we have in the branch! Use your imagination to build, create and play with a variety of educational kits and resources. There’s something for everyone!
S.T.R.E.A.M. = Science, Technology, Reading/Writing, Engineering, Art, Math
Ages: 4 – 12 years
- Supercrawl Family Fun Zone : September 13-16.
The Supercrawl Family Zone features engaging family-friendly programming that showcases Hamilton’s abundant creative talent and wealth of community cultural organizations. Located in the heart of the festival, its activity spans three days: Friday, September 14 through Sunday, September 16, on York Boulevard between James and Park Streets.
- Locke St. Festival : September 8th.
Locke Street Festival is an annual event with stalls, live entertainment, food and everything you need for a fun-filled family day out.
The 2018 Festival will be held on Saturday 8th September, starting at 10:00am.