LIFE AT VMS: Looking Ahead in 2021
by Ann Clark, Head of School

Dear VMS parents,

Happy New Year! 2020 was a uniquely challenging year for everyone, including our community. While the COVID-19 pandemic is not behind us, I'm excited to begin 2021 with a steadfast sense of gratitude and optimism. 

We will remain diligent in complying with the Stay Home Order and ACPHD/ACOE School Guidance. Thank you for continuing to partner with us in these efforts. Based on the current surge in Covid cases, we anticipate an extension to the Stay at Home Order that expires this week. We will keep you apprised of how or if it impacts VMS. The hope is that any changes or extensions are temporary and there IS light at the end of tunnel with the distribution of the new vaccines. Until then, thank you for recognizing that each of us has a personal responsibility to keep our community safe so we may remain open to serve our children and families.

Re-Enrollment
The admissions office is gearing up for the 2021-2022 school year. VMS will be integrating with FACTS, our tuition management system, to further streamline and simplify our annual re-enrollment process that begins February 1, 2021. See the note from Admissions that follows for specifics, including the timeline.

Equity and Inclusion
We have been working behind the scenes with both the VMS board and staff to form Discovery Committees. We will be expanding our exploration to facilitate meaningful dialogue around building and sustaining a diverse, inclusive and equitable educational environment. Look for more information in the coming weeks to add VMS parents to these important discussions.

Free Parenting Workshop
We are excited to welcome back Vanessa Callaghan. She has been a popular presenter with VMS parents for her refreshingly honest, hands-on, and personal approach. This workshop will be for parents of elementary age children. See the link below to register for this virtual event.

Wishing everyone a healthy and happy 2021.

With Gratitude,
Ann
ALL SCHOOL NEWS
IMPORTANT DATES:
01/13 Elementary Parent Workshop: 5 Kind & Clever Ways to Motivate Kids
01/15 Tuition Assistance Application Deadline
01/18 Martin Luther King Jr. Day - School Closed
01/21 Curriculum Night Zoom: Toddler - 5th Grade, 7-8pm
01/28 Middle School Curriculum Night Zoom, 7-8pm
2/1-2/5 Re-Enrollment Week
2/15 Priority Enrollment for Families that Withdrew in 2020 due to Pandemic
ADMISSIONS UPDATE
The 2021-2022 admissions season is underway! Each year, we start with re-enrollment for current families, including newly enrolled VMS siblings. This year, we will have an additional enrollment period for the families that left VMS last year due to the pandemic with the intent to return. After these two phases are complete, we will open to new families. Questions can be directed to Elyssa or Tracie in Admissions at admissions@valleymontessorischool.com. Here is the timeline:

Current VMS Students
We will use FACTS for our online re-enrollment process for our currently enrolled students during Re-enrollment Week February 1-5. Look for an email at the end of this month with more detailed information.

Siblings of Current Students
If you plan to enroll a sibling of a current student, it is necessary to complete the new student application process. Please contact the Admissions Office to be guided through this process. Applications are due by Friday, January 15 which will enable you to utilize the online re-enrollment process during Re-enrollment Week, February 1-5.

Returning Students (that withdrew in 2020 due to Pandemic)
These families will be invited to enroll starting Monday, February 15. Returning students must have a completed 2021-2022 application on file within Ravenna before they can receive an offer of enrollment. Please visit www.ravenna-hub.com to complete the modified admission process and use waiver code: RETURNING to waive the application fee. 

Tuition Assistance Applications Due January 15.
VMS is committed to providing tuition assistance for families that are dedicated to the Montessori program but need additional financial support. You can now complete a tuition assistance application within your FACTS account using FACTS Grant & Aid. Go to FACTS and use your account log-in information to get started.

Applications must be completed by January 15 to have your tuition assistance application reviewed in time for re-enrollment, the week of February 1-5, 2021.
After completing your application, you will be asked to upload your 2019 tax return. Email Elyssa with questions: ebishop@valleymontessorischool.com

2021-2022 Tuition
Each year, the VMS Board of Trustees and Finance Committee discuss and determine the tuition for each program level for the following year that will ensure the ongoing excellence of our Montessori accredited programs and the specialized teaching that supports it. Due to the circumstances around the Covid pandemic, careful consideration was taken when setting next year's tuition. Although expenses continue to rise, the board thoughtfully set a lower than average tuition increase. This pricing will be posted in next week's Wednesday News.

Curriculum Nights
VMS will host these as virtual events to provide an opportunity for all families to learn about the next program level in their child's development.
  • Jan. 21 - Toddler - Elementary Curriculum Night, 7pm
  • Jan. 28 - Middle School Curriculum Night, 7pm
Zoom links will be provided in the coming weeks.
PARENT ZOOM WORKSHOP
Join fellow Valley Montessori parents and Vanessa Callaghan, MEd., to connect, exchange ideas and learn tools and strategies that we can all use from home to boost our kids’ motivation.
ANNUAL FUND UPDATE
Thank you to our generous school community for supporting this year’s Annual Fund! With 83% of our VMS families participating in giving to this important fund for our school, we have topped last year’s total of 75%. Together, we have raised over $130,000 to date and this will increase with employer matching funds. We are so grateful to our parents, teachers, board members and staff for coming together during this most unique school year to keep VMS thriving and show our strong sense of community!

For those who have not yet participated this year, here’s the Annual Fund Link to join in this effort to support VMS as we strive for 100% participation.
2020 VMS Annual Fund
Valley Montessori School
1273 N Livermore Ave Livermore CA 94551