Mill Falls News
November 62020
Important Dates
at a 

Material Pick Up
for Remote MFCS Families 

No School for Students

8am-3:30pm Chromebook Pickup for families who don't have Mill Falls technology. 

First Official Day of our All-School Remote Learning Period

No School in observance of Veterans Day

11/25 -11/27 
Thanksgiving Break No School


We gratefully acknowledge the ongoing contributions from the following corporate partners: 












 2020...Strikes Again!

2020 was at it again this week, wasn't it?! We have weathered several twists and turns - from the 'fall-backwards' of daylight savings time (which always brings chaos especially for our littles), to the nail-biter of an election, to the sharp increase in COVID cases nationally, and locally.

But there were also some very bright spots, including the long awaited arrival and installation of our new bottle-filling water bubbler and our back-ordered Chromebooks which Jen Z. has now prepared for distribution, and the incredible weather we've had these last few days. They had her surrounded earlier today, as shown here to the left!

If you've tried to order anything these days, you know how hard it can be - from electronics to your favorite paper towels, to refrigerators and so much more. These are strange an unfamiliar experiences for most of us in small and big ways. That is why we are so thrilled that our Chromebooks arrived in time for distribution to those amazing families who have been using their own technology to help us 'bridge' this waiting period. 

A quick shout out to several amazing women who were key in making this all possible - our vendor at B & H Photo, Carla Humphreys, and MFCS Parent, Caroline N. for introducing us; our dedicated IT wizard Jen Z. (see photo above) and our Project Manager Ms. Grace. It has taken a small village to get all the machines here and ready for our students!

With the help of 2nd Year Student, Lilly, we sent along an illustrated thank you note to Carla at B & H (see picture below). Upon seeing the picture below, Carla wrote: "Oh, how sweet of you. I can't tell you how much this made me smile. I actually teared up. This makes all the struggle worth it to see that precious kiddo..."

A great reminder of how powerful a simple thank you can be, especially in these extraordinary times!

 Pivot to All-School Remote Learning Model

For many reading this, you are already aware that the sharp uptick in cases here in Manchester and across the state has resulted in our pivot to an All-School Remote Learning Period. Today was our last day of in-person learning until further notice. 

This has a small impact on our schedule next week, as the Staff will be taking Monday as a planning day, there will be NO school for children. The All-School Remote Learning Period begins officially on Tuesday. Then, as scheduled, there will be NO school on Wednesday in observance of Veterans Day. All of that and more in detail, in the letter that was sent home to all of our Mill Falls Families. Please click here to review it.

To keep us connected while we are teaching and learning at a distance, we hope you will share your images of the children learning remotely so that we can feature them in future newsletters. 

Please see details below for how to send us your pictures and stories!
 Technology Pick Up for Families Who Don't Yet Have MFCS Tech

With our plan to pivot to the All-School Remote Learning Period, we would like to have all Mill Falls Students using Mill Falls technology. 

Using a school-loaned Chromebook will greatly support your child/children's schoolwork and independence. Additionally, it will ease any tech support issues that may arise.

Tech Pick-Up Day
        • When: Monday, November 9, 2020
        • Time Frame: 8 AM to 3:30 PM
        • Where: Mill Falls Charter School
Please bring along the completed Chromebook Loan Agreement. 
You may either sign it electronically and return it to [email protected] or print a copy and bring it with you when you pick up your machine. 

Questions: Please email Grace.

 School Schedule Alert: NO SCHOOL Monday & Wednesday

Please take a moment to review the schedule for next week:

Monday, November 9th: 
  • NO SCHOOL for Students. 
  • Staff will be working as a staff on Monday to facilitate the transition to the All-School Remote Model.
  • Families who do not yet have Mill Falls Chromebooks are asked to come to school on Monday for their Chromebook pick-up (please see more details above).
Wednesday, November 11th, Veterans Day:
  • As a reminder, Veteran's Day is on Wednesday, November 11th and school is closed as previously scheduled. This is a school holiday for both students and staff. 
Tuesday, November 10th: 
  • All-School Remote Learning Period Begins. 
  • Classroom Teachers will be sending follow-up email to their students. 
 Attention Special Education Families

Survey for MFCS Special Education Families

Please take a moment to complete this survey designed by Ms. Laura and the Special Education Team. Please click here for the link. Thank you! 

 Family Tech Support

This year, Ms. Jody is serving as our Family Tech Support person. 
She is available by email and Zoom on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays (note, she is not available on Wednesdays). 

She can be reached by email at [email protected]

She can be reached on Zoom (for live chats via the waiting room one at a time) from: 
10am-12pm, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday
Meeting ID: 797 9462 3236    PW: 6nEvDQ
If Jody cannot answer your question, she will reach out to our team to get an answer for you. 

Academic questions? These should be sent to your child's classroom teacher(s).

 Health & Wellness Reminders in the Age of COVID

Health & Wellness Reminders:

Holiday Season Advice from the NH State Epidemiologist & the NH Health and Human Services (HHS) Department:

At this week's state-wide school partner meeting with HHS, the following guidelines were shared in relation to the upcoming holiday season:
    • Don't travel if you don't have to;
    • Avoid public transportation;
    • Avoid gathering in groups with people not already part of your immediate close household contracts;
    • Travel restrictions around the region and country are changing. So you may either have restrictions applied to you in another state, or be subject to quarantine when you return to NH or both!
* * *

People exhibiting symptoms or thought to have been exposed to COVID, should seek testing to assist in our overall ability to limit and track COVID spread. 

Which Test Should You Get?
  • PCR testing (the test that takes a day or a few days to get back) is the recommended test to get if you feel you have been exposed to COVID, but do not have any symptoms. Is is the most sensitive of tests - the current gold standard - and can also be given to those with symptoms. 
  • Antigen testing, what is being also being referenced as the rapid test, should ONLY be accessed if a person is experiencing symptoms related to COVID. The rapid test is far less sensitive, and so it may not catch cases if used on people who are asymptomatic. 
Dealing with Test Results

If the COVID test is positive, the patient will need to isolate at home for at least 10 days, including the final day without fever (and fever reducing medication). We strongly advise family members to also seek testing, as they will be considered 'close contacts' by the Health Department. Remember, while no one can test out of the 14-day close contact quarantine, the testing is to help trace and limit community spread!

If you or anyone is your household is found to be a close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID, your or your household member will need to quarantine at home for 14 days after that close contact. Again you and your household members are strongly advised to seek testing. Remember, while no one can test out of close contact quarantine, the testing is to help trace and limit community spread!

If testing is not accessedthen you or your child will need to stay home for 10 days including the final day without fever (without fever reducing medication). 

If the COVID test is negative
, please keep in mind that you or your child should still remain at home until there is an improvement of symptoms and no fever or vomiting for 24 hours, as per usual health and wellness protocol.

 COVID & Community Resources

Family Support Hot Line:
Waypoint Family support can help with anything from where to get Covid testing or child care. 
Call: 800-640-6486 
M-F 8:30-4:30

* * *

Free COVID Tests
Families who live in the Greater Manchester area may call the Manchester COVID-19 Hotline to arrange for a free testing appointment. East and West Side locations available. This is NOT an antibody test. The hotline is available Monday - Friday from 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM. Call: 603-668-1547. Testing appointments are required.  

* * *

Seasonal/Holiday Art Project Ideas

Every Tuesday, Blick Art will be offering fun and festive project demonstrations. Click here for details.

 Tea with Laura: Recording Available!

** Recording of first Tea now available**

A new series...
Tea with Laura

If you weren't able to join us, 
please take some time to access the recording by clicking here

* * *
This series is designed as an informal opportunity for Laura to speak with the adult members of our Mill Falls Families about educational structures and expectations as they relate to our public Montessori program as well as offer guidance to our parents/guardians in support of our students. Please stay tuned for details about the next Tea.

Have an idea for the next Tea topic? 
Please send us your thoughts to [email protected]

 Laura's Corner

Student & Family Support
Below is some information from Ms. Laura W. about supporting students who are learning from home. 

The Importance of the Prepared Environment:

Fostering Student Independence During Remote Learning

A Deeper Dive into the Importance of Independence

The Power of Accomplishment

* * *

Tea with Laura
October 30,2020: The Importance of the Prepared Environment
Click here for the link to the video

* * *

Other Resources:

And here are some books that staff have suggested for families with young children in these COVID times. 

A reminder, we do try to talk about the need for keeping space between people these days using the term Physical Distancing, rather than 'social distancing':

 Share Your Images & Stories from Home!
We would once again like to ask our Mill Falls Families to share images and stories from their Remote Learning experience - daily work as well as Big Work Wednesday Projects, which we can share in our newsletter. 

Please send your photographs, brief stories (remember sharing humorous moments will help keep us all healthy!), and quotes to Ms. Meryl at: [email protected].
Please be sure to send the photos at small to medium resolution, and send along a description / story about what is going on in the photos. Thank you!
 Montessori Moments From Near & Far...

Please enjoy some photographs from this week here at school and some sent in from families working remotely:

* * *
Below: This week Ms. Melissa introduced the incredible Georgia O'Keeffe to her students. This American artist, known for her beautiful and simple abstract flowers, landscapes and nature paintings provided this week's inspiration. Please enjoy the student creations below.

* * *
Below: Kaylee accompanied her mom to the polling place earlier this week. She says she loves to go to the polls on Election Day, and can't wait until she's old enough to vote herself. She observed, as so many of us did, that this year was the busiest Election Day she's ever seen.

* * *
Below: This is a recent Big Work project created by Kinder Student Evelyn. She set out to build a nature house, something she and her mom love to do together whenever they are outside. They put some fairy-like face paint on and gathered supplies in the woods. Evelyn built the house herself (though her mom reports she contributed the wreath!) and, surprisingly, some parts of it are still standing.

* * *

Below: And of course there is ALWAYS time for a birthday walk!

Thank you in advance for continuing to send in Remote Learning photographs and stories! This will help keep us connected as we teach and learn from afar.