January 29, 2021
Dear Parents/Guardians,
 
We were all so excited to see the field and surrounding streets blanketed in white this past Monday. Despite growing up in the northeast, I had never heard of graupel, the white substance that covered the ground. For those of you unfamiliar with graupel (also called soft hail or snow pellets), here is the definition: Graupel is precipitation that forms when supercooled water droplets are collected and freeze on falling snowflakes, forming 2–5 mm balls of rime. Graupel is distinct from hail and ice pellets. Hail is common in thunderstorms, while graupel typically falls in winter storms. A new weather term for me!
 
February 5 - Professional Development
 
On Friday, February 5, all students will be dismissed at 11:30 so that teachers and support staff can participate in professional development. There will be NO Circle after 11:30.
 
Commitment to Anti-Bias/Anti-Racism
 
We sent out an invite to all staff to join us in this work with the message that everyone’s perspective adds value. We are hoping to have a dialogue on a number of things including identifying and addressing micro-aggressions, modifying curriculum, developing student activities, sharing staff development ideas, etc. We would like to have our first gathering in the next week or two. Coach E.J., PE Coach and Circle staff extraordinaire, has generously offered to play a leadership role in these conversations. He is as excited about this opportunity as we are.
 
A few of us met with Eric Bailey today to discuss the next steps. We talked about the formation of some parent groups to continue community conversations around these issues as well as scheduling a 90-minute board retreat. Eric is going to provide us with some dates so we can get these things scheduled in the very near future.
 
COVID related data (as of this writing)
 
Toddler I:
1 student home with symptoms
 
Toddler II:
1 student tested positive; classroom closed until February 1
 
Primary:
1 student quarantining – mother positive
        2 students (siblings) quarantining – father positive
        1 staff tested positive over winter break, still experiencing symptoms
1 staff tested positive - Sherra’s classroom closed until February 5
           
Elementary:
 2 students with symptoms
         1 student close contact – father positive – quarantining at home
 1 student tested positive – not at school since Jan. 22 – uncle was positive
         1 staff symptomatic

Elementary II:
2 students with symptoms
        1 staff symptomatic
 
Middle School:
2 students close contacts of parents that are positive and are quarantining at home
             2 students with symptoms
 
 
As you can see, we have had a little bit more COVID-related activity this week. Let us all recommit to follow the CDC and county recommendations regarding social distancing, wearing a mask, staying within our family “bubble”, etc.
 
Here is a reminder on testing for COVID from the county:
When Should I Get Tested?
If you have COVID-like symptoms, you should get tested right away. If you aren't experiencing symptoms, testing is recommended any time after day 5 through day 14 after exposure. You can develop symptoms up to 14 days after close contact with an infectious person. Even if you test negative one week after exposure, you can still develop the disease and infect others, with or without symptoms.

Keep safe and have a good weekend.
 
Margo
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Villa Montessori Tax Credit Campaign-Thank you! ... For contributing toward Villa's 2020 AZ Public School Tax Credit campaign! So far we raised $64,475.05!!
 
In past years, tax credit funds were limited to a small number of ways the funds could be used. Recent changes in Arizona Law now permit greater use of these funds, such as Computers & Software, Library & Text Books, Health Care Supplies, Playground & Shading Equipment, Furnishings & Athletic Equipment, and Bond Principal/Interest Payments!! Which will allow us to use these dollars in broader ways to raise more for our classrooms! You benefit and Villa benefits.

This year has been very different, for everyone and for Villa as well. Generous contributions like yours make it possible for us to continue to serve an enriching, meaningful, authentic Montessori education and help us deliver the best possible experiences for all of our students. Thank you, again!

If you haven’t got a chance to re-direct your state tax dollars yet, there’s still time! April 15, 2021, is the official cut-off date to make your AZ Public School Tax Credit donation to Villa Montessori School.
 
To make the largest impact in our classrooms, Villa Montessori introduced “Three + Me” as our slogan to inspire Villa's community to encourage three loved ones, friends, and or neighbors to donate. Please consider asking three people to also support Villa's AZ Tax Credit Campaign. They benefit and all of our students directly benefit.
Go online and give your tax dollars today! https://www.villamontessori.com/donate
We accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover, & American Express.
 
Please follow these 3 easy steps:
 
2.  Keep your receipt. 
3.  Claim your tax credit when you file! This means taxpayers may help Villa and reduce their state tax bill dollar-for-dollar at the same time. It’s that easy! Hurry! Don’t wait!
 
We thank you for your ongoing support!
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