September Newsletter

Athena's September Newsletter
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"We discovered that education is not something which the teacher does, but that it is a natural process which develops spontaneously in the human being."
-Maria Montessori

Sync your calendars with our Google Calendar for Parents and stay tuned to important school events!

View the 2021-2022 School Calendar

Tuesday, August 31st
Maria Montessori's Birthday 

Monday, September 6th
School Closed - Labor Day Observed

Monday, September 6th- Wednesday September 8th
Rosh Hashanah

Friday, September 10th
Ganesh Chaturthi

Sunday, September 12th
Grandparents' Day

Wednesday, September 15th- Thursday, September 16th
Yom Kippur

Tuesday, September 21st
International Day of Peace

Thursday, September 23rd
Zoom Workshop with Mindy Gulati
"Raising Culturally Competent Children" 

6pm to 8pm
Covid-19 Q&A Parent Session with Public Health Professional Sera Bonds 

Please join us THIS THURSDAY for a conversation and Q&A with our public health consultant, Sera Bonds of Waking Giants. 
Feel free to email us your questions in advance or just bring them to the Zoom call. We will be sure to save ample time for questions. 
We will record the call for those of you who are not able to attend. 
Some of the topics Sera will discuss:
  • Where we are in the life cycle of the virus
  • The science of how this virus is affecting, and not affecting children
  • Vaccination 
  • Testing
  • The evolution of how much we have learned over the past year and a half from science, as well as our social and emotional response to it
Hope to see you Thursday!
Topic: Athena + Waking Giants Community Gathering with parents
Time: Sep 2, 2021 12:00 PM Central Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 834 8237 6404
Passcode: 777626
Meet our Tots 1 Teaching Team!
Morgan, Zach, and Sierra
What is a sweet moment you have already experienced this school year?
Sierra -- Every day is filled with moments of a child's realization that they are capable and that is one of my favorite things to see. I have already seen some of our new friends able to calm themselves and find something interesting in the environment on their own! Their growing independence is such a great source of confidence.
Name something that people generally think very young children cannot do, but you have seen them do.
Zach -- Young children are so good at telling you exactly what they're needing at any given moment!
If you could own only one book on early childhood, which book would you pick? 
Morgan -- I love the book Simone Davis wrote called The Montessori Toddler. She has taken Maria Montessori's methodology and encapsulated it in a beautifully worded reference with picture examples that is so in line with the ways that I was taught to be in the classroom, in a kind, clear, and concise format. I find it to be a great reminder for myself when I feel stuck or am needing inspiration, and a go-to for when parents are looking for additional reference material regarding what Montessori looks like for toddlers.

To learn more about the T1 team, follow this link to the full conversation:
Save the Date:
The Arc of the Tantrum Parenting Class
How can parents get their child to cooperate?  To stop arguing?  To calm down!?! 
The good news is that there's a TON of science about how brains work that help you feel confident and be effective in dealing with difficult behavior.  You are personally invited to join in the Arc of the Tantrum Parenting Class--led by Katie Malinski. The class series is based on Katie's individual work with parents in her parent coaching practice, and includes 6 sessions--each one walking you through a critical step in understanding--and then shaping--your child's behavior.  Classes are held online, are recorded in case you miss one, and start September 14th.  
For registration and pricing information, go to 

Katie Malinski has led parent workshops for Athena in the past and we love her insights! To learn more about Katie, follow this link to her bio:
International Day Of Peace United Nations transparent clipart images -  UClipart
International Day of Peace
September 21st

Peace Day provides a globally shared date for all humanity to commit to Peace above all differences and to contribute to building a Culture of Peace.
The Jewish High Holidays of Rosh Hashanah (Sept 6th -8th) and Yom Kippur ( Sept 15 -16) are this month. We wish all of our observing community members 'Shana Tova' for Rosh Hashanah. And 'G'mar Chtatima Tova' for Yom Kippur.  
Mr. Sean’s Music

Happy new school year Athena Families. I’m excited to start the new year and share my thoughts about music with you! Seeing your little ones’ musical interests blossom is one of the best parts of my work. I believe there is a misconception among parents that the best way for children to be influenced musically is by trained musicians. While it is definitely beneficial, the most important exposure starts with loved ones in the home. Children will thrive via all of the ways we can enjoy music with our family, whether it’s listening to songs in the car, singing along to them, having dance parties at home, group music classes, or private lessons when your children feel ready for them. In short, you’re already doing a great job sharing the love for music with your children. Children can grow up understanding that music, both the enjoyment and creation of, is truly intrinsic, coming from a place we have inside of us, and expressed by a desire to create and share with the people in our lives. I invite you to believe in yourselves as natural music teachers, whose love for music will be shared by simply enjoying it together. When you see your kiddos dance, celebrate! If they love to sing, sing along! A singing voice is a good voice. I’ll be back next month with some of the musical ideas I use to encourage and teach musicality. Thanks for listening!
Student Birthdays
Harper S. 8/3
Grady B. 8/4
Sophia B. 8/4
Remy O. 8/5
Henry K.. 8/13
Ethan G. 8/13
Easton M. 8/14
Nela S. 8/15
Annie P. 8/16
Julian G. 8/19
Colin C. 8/21
Elliot M. 8/23

June M. 9/1
Cosima S. 9/4
Thomas E. 9/5
Van W. 9/5
Jack D. 9/6
Francisco L. 9/7
Kiran B. 9/8
Ava C. 9/8
Iles R. 9/10
Luke M. 9/12
Townes C. 9/13
Lola J. 9/13
Margot M. 9/14
Davey B. 9/14
Sachin S. 9/17
Reeve S. 9/18
Cleio C. 9/18
Royal C. 9/18
Jack M. 9/20
Hazel H. 9/20
Evelyn H. 9/22
Jamos C. 9/26
Judah B. 9/27
Ethan S. 9/28
James Everett F. 9/28
Staff Birthdays
Morgan H. 8/5
Nicole H. 8/10
Lina R. 8/12
Janey L. 8/13
Brenna S. 8/15
Nichole G. 8/18
Brooke B. 8/23
Allison F. 9/2
Tiffany H. 9/13
Jon K. 9/15
Laila K. 9/21
Ryann F. 9/25

Welcome Letter from Lisl 
Welcome to the 2021-2022 School Year! We have successfully kicked off our 16th year at Athena Montessori Academy. After what we have all been through this past year and a half, I am even more grateful to be able to welcome all of you to a new school year. It’s been a wild ride, and we are still on it! But at least we are on it together, as a community, and what a beautiful community we are. I feel so blessed to be a part of it.
It has been fun seeing so many returning and new faces in the parking lot since the start of school. While we are all trying very hard, it might take us a while to remember all of your names, so please bear with us. You can HELP US GET TO KNOW YOU by bringing a card stock sign with you to identify your family as you approach the gate with parent names, child names, and class. And if you are still getting to know us, please visit the staff page of our website and see what we look like behind the masks and read a bit about us. 
As a parent, I know how vulnerable it feels to leave your child in the care of others. And during a pandemic, I know how scary it can feel not to have control over your child’s every interaction, to have faith that everyone is doing their part, not to be able to make all the decisions, and to trust that everything is going to be okay. I want to thank each and every one of you for trusting us with this incredible responsibility. As I hope you have noticed, we take our jobs very seriously. WE HOLD THE CHILDREN AS OUR NORTH STAR, and center our every decision based on what is in the highest and best for them at every turn. 
As you can imagine, this responsibility and this calling is one that takes special people, and I am so grateful to all of our gifted teachers and staff who have said YES to working at Athena in service to our community. Each of your guides and administrative staff have chosen this path because they are truly connected to our mission and vision, and desire to serve every child and family to the best of their ability, and in doing so, to make the world a better place. They understand how special this time is in a child’s life, and how we have an opportunity to make an impact on who these children become, how they feel about themselves, how they approach learning, and how they treat other people. What an honor and privilege! THANK YOU, ATHENA GUIDES AND STAFF!
Speaking of guides and staff, WE ARE STILL HIRING SUPPORT STAFF! As you may know from listening to the news, even on a national level, daycares and schools are really struggling to secure teaching staff. This is a situation that we’ve never faced before at Athena, and WE COULD USE YOUR HELP! If there are any babysitters or nannies you know or who are in your circle who might be interested in a career in Montessori, please send them my way. All positions are full time with benefits (100% health insurance paid, two extra weeks PTO, paid professional development, and more). Our support guides offer breaks to the teachers, support transitions, and run our After School Program that we hope to be able to offer soon!
Please don’t hesitate to reach out to any of us if you have any questions, concerns, ideas, feedback, suggestions, or just want to get to know us. We love our work and feel passionately about doing our best, creating a sense of equity and belonging for all of our community members, and continuing to learn and grow, every day. Thank you for sharing your most precious ones with us. We love what we do and feel grateful to serve you. 
Lisl Friday,
Founder/Head of School 
Hispanic Heritage Month and My Latino Traditions | Mommy Teaches | Hispanic  heritage, Hispanic heritage month, Heritage month
National Hispanic Heritage Month is September 15- October 15! Get involved right from home with one of these virtual events!
Montessori Corner
We did it! We successfully started the 2021 - 2022 school year! The new school year is a transition for everyone involved. The guides are creating beautiful environments. They are preparing their minds, bodies, and souls to embark on a new rhythm, so they may be as present as possible for the children. Parents are collecting supplies, and preparing their hearts for the first day of saying goodbye at the gate. 
The children’s work starts when they enter school. Many of our students have a transitional period where they feel sad and have tears. Oftentimes little ones will walk in just fine on the first or second day, but on the third day the tears come. There is important work that is happening for the children when they are learning to regulate and process their emotions without their parents close by. If you are interested in reading more, click on this link to learn how we look at the social/emotional learning that is evolving during the beginning of the school year. 

Parking Lot Drop Off/Pick Up Reminders

Drop Off is from 8-8:45am. The parking lot gates will be open from 7:55-8:45am. If you are dropping off after 8:45am, please park on Morgan Ln and walk your child to class through the porch gate, east of the office.

Pick up is from 2:30-3:00pm. The parking lot gates will be open from 2:15-3:00pm. If you are picking up before 2:15pm, please call the office and use the front gate on Morgan Ln. 

If parking on Morgan Ln, please park on the Athena side of the street and be mindful not to block neighbors' driveways or mailboxes.

During regular drop off and pick up, please enter the parking lot through the first gate and exit through the second gate. This helps to keep traffic flowing smoothly and keep our little ones as safe as possible.

Half Day Pick Up is at 12:15pm for all half day students. The parking lot gate will be open from 12:00-12:15pm. Please be mindful that this is a transition time for most classrooms and picking up by 12:15 helps your child's class keep this transition as smooth as possible.

For half day pick up, only the second parking lot gate will be open. Please be mindful of traffic moving both ways at this time.

Support Weekly Testing for Athena Staff

 We are accepting at-home Covid test kits in the office for use by staff. These can now be purchased at most pharmacies.
Thank you!




Current Athena Families:

Thank you for a fantastic first few weeks of school! We are so grateful to have you in our community.


Waiting Pool Families:

January Enrollment: We will be reaching out to individual families as we learn of January openings. As a reminder, siblings of current students are given priority for enrollment, followed by the general waiting pool.

2022-2023 Enrollment: Enrollment for the 2022-2023 school year will begin with re-enrollment of current students in December 2021. We will move on to enrolling siblings of current and alumni students in January 2022, followed by general waiting pool enrollment in February and March 2022.


Our continued goal in the admissions process is to be as transparent as possible, and we strive to give you the most accurate information we can during each step of the deliberate process of enrollment. We respect that decisions related to your child's education are important and timely ones, and we will continue to send you general enrollment updates via this monthly newsletter. Thank you for your continued interest, and we encourage you to reach out with specific questions related to your child's enrollment at any time.

Please direct admissions & enrollment questions to Joy Jacobson.
You can email her directly


Need labels? Oliver's Labels has labels for backpacks, shoes, clothes, lunch boxes, and water bottles!  Click on the image above to purchase customized labels and Athena will receive 20% of your purchase!

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