IMPORTANT DATES:
11/23-27 Thanksgiving Break
12/1 Giving Tuesday
12/21-1/4 Winter Break
LIFE AT VMS: Staying the Course
by Ann Clark, Head of School

This week, Alameda County, as well as many neighboring counties, dropped into the purple tier. As restrictions tighten due to the surge in cases, VMS is still well within guidelines to continue operating in the same manner. Once we return to the red tier, we will re-assess the timeline for safely adding more students to the on-campus classrooms for in-person instruction.

Last Friday, you received the VMS Travel Guidelines which reflect the changes made by the California Department of Public Health to mitigate the spread of Covid-19, especially as we enter the holiday season. As stated, it is not intended to be overly restrictive; it is advised protocol to keep our community safe and healthy. We are all in this together and need to stay the course in our commitment to follow the Covid protocols we established at the beginning of the school year in the parent agreement, keeping in mind that best practices wherever you are, still include:
  • social distancing
  • wearing a mask when around people other than your household
  • not gathering indoors with members outside your household
  • washing hands frequently

We are grateful that we have not had any Covid cases on campus and hopeful, with a vaccine on the horizon, that we are approaching the final stretch of the very restrictive stages of this pandemic.

Continue to stay safe and enjoy the Thanksgiving break with your family!

With Gratitude,
Ann
HOW DO YOU CELEBRATE?!
This time of year, we are finding unique ways to enjoy the holiday season. With many different holidays this time of year, let’s share our customs, cultures and traditions! How does your family celebrate? Send us a photo of your family or child with a short caption: events@valleymontessorischool.com.
63% of parents pledged at enrollment.
70% of parents are pledged to date.

Let's keep the momentum going to reach 100% participation in our 2020 Annual Fund! These dollars provide essential support for the exceptional VMS experience and our dedicated teachers who are the heart of Valley Montessori!
VMS Digital Cookbooks!

We are looking forward to sharing recipes submitted by VMS families for UN World Culture Day highlighting recipes from around the world. In addition, Middle School students are creating a Literary Cookbook with recipes based on books they've read this year. Both cookbooks will be published in time to make some of the dishes with your family over the Winter Break! Here is a sneak peek at one of the recipes from the Literary Cookbook.
TODDLER NEWS
Greetings, Oak families,

Cold Weather Clothing
Temperatures are changing and our outside time is definitely chillier than it has been. Please send a fully opening (no pullovers, please!) jacket or sweater with your child. As always, be sure that your child’s clothing and personal property are clearly labeled with their name or initials. If desired, you may leave a jacket or sweater for your child at school to ensure that they have one as needed.

Tag to Toes
We teach the children to put on their jackets utilizing the “tag to toes” process. We are including step by step instructions plus a quick video clip demonstrating this method:
  1. “Tag to toes”: Lay jacket on floor/ground, open side up and with the tag, collar or hood by child’s toes.
  2. “Hands in the holes”: Child places their hands at least halfway down into the sleeves in order for the next step to be successful.
  3. “Gently up and over your head”: Child flips jacket up and over their head and onto their body.
  4. Success! Pride in independently putting on their own jacket.

If a child puts their jacket or sweater on incorrectly with collar/hood upside down and over their bottom, we do not correct unless they are uncomfortable. Just like a child independently putting their shoes on the opposite feet, the goal is pride in accomplishment and self-esteem growth.

Cold Weather Illness
My child has been sent home from school due to illness, now what? While we recognize there are many other illnesses besides COVID-19 that may cause symptoms for your child, we must exercise extreme caution during this time. The best place to start is with a call to your pediatrician to advise you of the appropriate course of action for your situation. According to Alameda County guidelines, your child may return to school once one of the following conditions is met:
  • Doctor’s Note: A pediatrician has verified an alternative diagnosis for your child’s symptoms and provides a note stating this along with the date your child may return to school. In addition, your child must be fever free for 48 hours without medicine prior to returning to school.
  • Negative COVID-19 Test: Please email the results to the VMS COVID liaison Angela Zellmer at azellmer@valleymontessorischool.com
  • Self-Isolate: Child and family have isolated for 10 days, child is feeling better, is fever free for 48 hours without medicine and has not developed new symptoms.

Enjoy a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving break!
Gratefully,
Lisa, Maria and Mojdeh
PRIMARY NEWS
Dear Cypress Families,

Gratitude Isn't Just Saying, "Thank You" 
In the classroom, the children learn that gratitude is mindful thankfulness, and we can be thankful even when things in our lives are challenging. We practice how to genuinely be grateful by showing care, compassion, love for family and friends as well as being patient and kind. When we practice the action of gratitude, it makes us feel happy and warm inside and we want to share that feeling with others. 

As you prepare meals remember to include your child in activities like setting the table, clearing the table, folding the napkins etc. The children watch everything you do, and they want so much to feel important enough to contribute. They are capable carriers of trays and folders of napkins; given time and the right tools, they can even serve themselves or serve others. These tasks build your child’s confidence and, most importantly, instill a sense of ownership and responsibility through an attitude of gratitude for family.

Cold Weather Clothing
We encourage the children to put on and take off their own coats, even the younger children can do it by themselves using a method we call “Tag to Toes”. (If you want to know how to support your child in this, please ask us and we will show you.) Also, please make sure to write your child’s name in the tag area of the jackets and sweaters to avoid misplacing these items. We appreciate you supplying us with extra changes of long-sleeve shirts and pants for your child to keep in our bathroom.

Cold Weather Illness
My child has been sent home from school due to illness, now what? While we recognize there are many other illnesses besides COVID-19 that may cause symptoms for your child, we must exercise extreme caution during this time. The best place to start is with a call to your pediatrician to advise you of the appropriate course of action for your situation. According to Alameda County guidelines, your child may return to school once one of the following conditions is met:
  • Doctor’s Note: A pediatrician has verified an alternative diagnosis for your child’s symptoms and provides a note stating this along with the date your child may return to school. In addition, your child must be fever free for 48 hours without medicine prior to returning to school.
  • Negative COVID-19 Test: Please email the results to the VMS COVID liaison Angela Zellmer at azellmer@valleymontessorischool.com
  • Self-Isolate: Child and family have isolated for 10 days, child is feeling better, is fever free for 48 hours without medicine and has not developed new symptoms.

Have a joyful week with your family and a happy Thanksgiving! 

With gratitude always, 
Luisa & Nicole
LOWER ELEMENTARY NEWS
Dear Lower Elementary parents,

It is the time for gratitude as Thanksgiving is upon us. During this challenging time around the world, the children here at Valley Montessori have been so gracious and joyous. 

Book Sharing
This month, the children were asked to select a fiction book and create a "Book Share Sandwich." See instructions for details. It is due Friday, December 11. Please reach out with any questions.

What have the children been learning?
The children have been working on many different works over the past couple weeks. They have been learning about:
  • the different types of grammar and how they are used,
  • the fundamental needs of human beings which has given them perspective on the needs of man and what we as humans need to live in this world, and
  • the Cnidaria period which is all about the early living sea life which has brought great curiosity and excitement to the children. 

In addition, we began to delve into what it means to be grateful and they came up with all they were grateful for which was wonderful to see. 

We wish you all a happy Thanksgiving!
Kind Regards, 
The Elementary Team

The purpose of life is to obey the hidden command which ensures harmony among all and creates an ever better world. - Maria Montessori 

UPPER ELEMENTARY NEWS
A Special Thank You….

During this week in November, UE students have been writing a daily gratitude journal. It is refreshing to see that despite the challenging times we live in, one can always direct our attention to our students for inspiration. The children seem to truly capture what is important. The Upper Elementary Teachers are very thankful for the opportunity to be part of your child’s journey at VMS. We are grateful for their smiles, humor, enthusiasm and interest in learning, Thank you for sharing them with us! Wishing you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving!

Here are some things that your children were grateful for:

“One person I am grateful for is my brother because he listens to what I have to say (sometimes) and keeps it a secret (sometimes).” -K

“I can count on my mom and dad. I am grateful they help me when I need help and give me everything I need to live.” -A

“I am grateful for animals and insects that pollinate because without them we wouldn’t have fruits and other plants.” -E

“I am thankful for the birds in nature that sing and because they are cool!” -K

“I am grateful for trees because they help fight too much CO2.” -A

“I am grateful for plants because they provide us with oxygen to breathe.” -N

Thanksgiving Break November 23 - 27, 2020 No Classes 

See you on November 30th!

Samantha, Tammy, Katja and Mark
MIDDLE SCHOOL NEWS
Friday enrichment
In the past, we have been able to offer “events” for our middle school students which fall outside the range of academic classes. It is more challenging to offer such events remotely, but we are going to try. Therefore, this Friday, November 20 many students have signed up to attend a “games event” which is being hosted by Middle School teachers. The games will begin at 1:45 and end at 2:30. We know that some students may not attend, or that you may have early departure plans as we enter the Thanksgiving Break. Please know that attendance is not required.

Happy Thanksgiving!
From our middle school teaching team to all of you, have a wonderful Thanksgiving break. However you choose to celebrate, stay safe, be well, and know that we are grateful for you all.
School is closed November 23 - 27.
Valley Montessori School
1273 N Livermore Ave Livermore CA 94551