Greetings!

When we think about the life cycle of a school year, the thought of "missing" students, families, and faculty in May is not a typical emotion or experience for this time of year. Springtime is usually bursting at the seems with field trips, classroom events, student projects, and other annual milestones. It's full of gratitude as we honor teachers and family through events like Mothers Day Tea in Lower Elementary, Grandparents and Special Friends Day, and the GMSCA's Teacher Appreciation Luncheon. A collective energy builds in celebration of achievement, excitement for summer, and anticipation of new beginnings that await each of our students in the fall.

While none of us could have envisioned the events that led to our launching remote learning, all of us have remained committed to providing the very best for our students, families, and faculty. This spirit of excellence remains the same as we finish 2019-20 with the same enthusiasm, intentionality, and joy with which we began the school year on Wednesday, August 21, 2019. This week's Pinwheel is all about wrapping up 2019-20 together, no matter where we're learning. After all, #WeLearnEverywhere.

We look forward to connecting with you throughout the end of the year, whether you join us for a virtual gathering or drop us a line through email, social media, or even U.S. Mail. The connection we share outside our classroom walls fortifies our school community and brings us together, even when we're physically apart.
Dr. Kevin Navarro
Head of School
Virtual Community Events
Cocktail Theory Class
Learn how to make a great craft cocktail at home just in time for the Memorial Day three-day weekend. Lentz Ison, director at Dram & Draught and father to Avery in Primary 3, will be hosting a Cocktail Theory class for our families tomorrow, Thursday, May 21 at 8:30 p.m. Lentz will share the four components of making a great drink – alcohol, acidity, sugar, and bitterness – and how to create a harmonious balance between them all. He'll explore technique, while also explaining the importance of classic cocktails and how they've evolved over time. The class will end with everyone making a cocktail at home.
Virtual Book Fair
Visit our virtual Scholastic Book Fair anytime between now and September 4 to refresh and restock your home library. Purchases of $25 or more will receive free shipping. Plus, all purchases support the GMSCA through the gift of Scholastic Dollars, which are used to purchase new books for our School.
End-of-Year Progress Reports
Faculty will write progress reports at the conclusion of the school year, and we will email them to families on Wednesday, June 17.

  • As usual, year-end progress reports are a celebration of the child throughout the entire year.
  • This spring's progress reports will be slightly modified and will acknowledge that we ended the year in remote learning: 
  • Primary and Lower Elementary progress reports will be an entirely narrative format. 
  • Upper School progress reports will continue to be a narrative and check-list format.
  • For documentation purposes, all progress reports will note that the School was in remote learning beginning March 16, 2020.
  • Students will not be penalized for any specific content or skills that we were not able to cover while in remote learning.
End-of-Year Celebrations
We're working closely with students, families, faculty, and staff to reimagine many of our end-of-year traditions.
Yearbook
Our 2019-20 yearbook is currently in production. As usual, a team of Junior High students help prepare this annual publication. In addition to student portraits and other traditional yearbook content, this year will feature documentation from our time in remote learning. Due to the unique nature of the end of this year, we will provide complimentary copies of the 2019-20 yearbook to all our families in the fall.
Moving Up Ceremony
Our annual Moving Up Ceremony recognizes students moving to the next division in their Montessori journey in the fall. While we won't be able to gather in-person for a schoolwide celebration, we will host virtual, division-wide gatherings for Primary, Lower Elementary, and Upper Elementary on Thursday, June 4. Details, including meeting links, are forthcoming, but for now, please save these dates times.

  • Primary, Thursday, June 4 at 9 a.m.
  • Lower Elementary, Thursday June 4 at 10:30 a.m.
  • Upper Elementary, Thursday, June 4 at 11:30 a.m.
Graduation
We're working directly with our eighth grade families to plan a safe and memorable commencement ceremony. We're currently planning a special, small, in-person, outdoor event, with our final plans depending on government regulations at the time of the gathering. We'll share details – including ways you can watch the graduation – with the entire community once they're available. In the meantime, please don't hesitate to congratulate any graduates you personally know and love.
Business Updates
  • Phase 2 Announcement: Governor Roy Cooper and North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen today announced that North Carolina will move into Safer At Home Phase 2 of lifting COVID-19 restrictions on Friday, May 22 at 5 pm. We will be studying Phase 2 guidance closely to determine how it impacts various parts of our School. 
  • End-of-Year Survey: We will invite currently enrolled families to participate in a special end-of-year survey next week. Your feedback about the school in general and specifically on how remote learning went this past month is invaluable to us. 
  • School Finances: As part of the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, GMS recently accepted a Paycheck Protection Program loan from the Small Business Administration, a large percentage of which should become forgivable. With our ongoing operations impacted by the economic downturn, increased need for financial assistance, and predicted decrease in revenue, this loan will help support our operations during this unprecedented time.
  • Summer Camp: Based on the Interim Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Guidance for Day Camp or Program Settings Serving Children and Teens; discussion among faculty, staff, and the board of trustees; and guidance from local medical professionals, we came to the same conclusion that every other independent school in Greensboro has also made. The health risks to students, families, and faculty of opening Summer Camp in June are too great to overcome. We shared this decision via email with families currently registered for Summer Camp late last week.
  • Planning Update for the 2020-21 School Year: At this time, we are planning for the 2020-21 school year to begin as scheduled on Wednesday, August 19, 2020. We also know the landscape may change in ways that could affect that start date. The board of trustees, our administration team, and faculty and staff are going through scenario-based planning for next year, trying to anticipate and plan for all the potential realities we may face. We will share more information on our plans and possible scenarios with you next week, so you can be as informed as possible before any 2020-21 tuition payments are drafted in June. As always, please reach out to me with any specific questions or concerns. 
Communication Archive
Follow the links below to review previous schoolwide communications:

Upcoming Events
Cocktail Theory Class
Date:
Thursday, May 21, 8:30 to 9:30 p.m.
Location:
Zoom

Learn how to make a great craft cocktail at home just in time for the Memorial Day three-day weekend.

Memorial Day
Date:
Monday, May 25
Location:
At Home

Greensboro Montessori School will be closed, including all remote learning activities, in observance of Memorial Day.
Greensboro Montessori School
2856 Horse Pen Creek Road, Greensboro, NC 27410
336-668-0119 | gms.org