Back to school

In principle, all our students start the 1st Term of the school year on September 7th. As usual, you can find the detailed calendar for 2021/21 at http://www.montessorimallorca.org/calendar/.  We are still awaiting some clarifications from the Education authorities of the Balearic Islands and will keep you updated.

Back to our new teachers

With the opening of our Secondary education programme and changes in Lower Primary, we are exited to tell you more about our expanded teaching staff for the coming school year:

CASA

In Casa, we are exited to welcome back Catherine Dherville, our Casa lead teacher, from maternity leave. Catherine is a qualified Montessori guide with an AMI diploma (Association Montessori Internationale)  from the Institut Supérieur Maria Montessori in Paris, France. She also has a Master’s degree in Education from the University of Nantes. Catherine did her teaching practice in a bilingual Montessori school in Paris

Together with our co-lead teacher Maddy Kingsbury and assistant Jaime Díaz-Guardamino Coll, she will be again guiding our children in Casa.

LOWER PRIMARY

As you know, we are excited that Jenna Laffin has joined us as the new lead teacher in Lower Primary. Jenna joined us from Great River Montessori in St. Paul, USA, where she worked as the lead teacher for a Lower Primary class since 2018. Jenna holds an AMI Elementary Diploma from the Montessori Training Centre in St. Paul, USA, and a Master in Education degree from the St. Catherine University. However, the process to obtain a working visa for Jenna has been somewhat delayed due to the COVID-19 outbreak. We are working hard to get this done it in time and are hopeful that Jenna will be able to join us from the first school day on.

We are glad to welcome back Karen Kane as the assistant in Lower Primary. Karen has been working with us previously as an assistant, so some of you will remember her. As a qualified and experienced counsellor and psychotherapist, Karen will also take over the pastoral support for our children. Karen has seven years’ experience working as counsellor and psychotherapist for Lancashire University and Children and Adelescent Mental Health Services. She has a Post Graduate Diploma in Person Centred Counselling and Psychotherapy from Liverpool John Moores University and a Certificate of Intermediate Counselling.

Further, we have hired Ancsa Hohol as an additional assistant in Lower Primary. Ancsa will also provide part-time support to our children in Casa. Ancsa holds an AMI 6-12 Teacher Assistant degree from Prague and Qualified Teacher’s Status. She has a Bachelor’s Degree for teaching English and Hungarian grammar and literature from the Eötvös Loránd University of Fine Arts in Budapest/Hungary. She joins us from Lotti & Maxim Montessori, an international Montessori school in Budapest. Before that, Ancsa worked for nearly 10 years as copy writer, at the end as senior copy writer with Kastner & Partners. She has published eight children’s books so far.

UPPER PRIMARY

Our experienced team in Upper Primary remains the same: Building on 20 years of experience teaching,  Jo Roberts-Pickering will lead the Upper Primary class and serve as the overall coordinator for Primary and Casa. She will be supported again by Marisa Llano Goodfellow.

ADDITIONAL SUPPORT

May Quiles will continue as English support teacher, and Daniel Fajardo Reina as teacher for Spanish and English at Casa and Primary level. Victoria will continue to support our children as the school psychologist.

SECONDARY

As you know, Lucy-Ann Carver has joined us as Head of Secondary Education and will teach English, Art and History. James Carver will cover Maths, Science and Music.

We have now also hired Alvaro Calero Pons as our new teacher for Catalan. Alvaro holds a has a Ph.D. in Catalan and French Philology from the Universitat de les Illes Balears and the Université de Poitiers, France. He has a Master degree in Translation for the Publishing World from the Universidad de Málaga and a BA in Translating and Interpreting from Universitat Jaume I. Alvaro is an Associate Lecturer at the Department of Catalan Philology and General Linguistics at the Universitat de les Illes Balears and a course instructor at Universitat Oberta de Catalunya.

David Weiss will teach German in Secondary. He has been teaching many years in Mallorca and is currently teaching German at A-levels at Palma College.

The Santa Maria tennis school will cover the sports curriculum for our secondary students, and we have an agreement with the town hall to use the municipal sports facilities.

Transition phase and Covid-19

The initial transition plan for the first weeks of school that we shared with you back in July 2020 is still largely valid. However, we are currently updating it to reflect the new government measures. The transition plan lays out the school hours for the first weeks of September. It describes the transition phase for children that join our school and explains the transition phase for those students who move from Casa to Lower Primary, Lower Primary to Upper Primary, or Upper Primary to Secondary.

Further, the government requires us to submit a detailed contingency plan for the new school year. The contingency plan includes actions taken for all three COVID-19 scenarios (A. normal, B. mix of classroom attendance and online classes, C. lockdown of specific areas). This plan will also incorporate and update our Policy in Phase 3 from June 2020.

We are currently waiting for confirmation and clarification from the Education authorities on some pending issues. We will share the updated transition plan and the contingency plan with you next week.

Building work

As you know, the construction of our new building for Secondary started in June. Unfortunately, some workers of the construction company contracted Covid-19. The whole team was required to quarantine, and the building work had to stop for a few weeks. That is why the Secondary building is not be ready for use at the beginning of the first term. We are currently looking for a temporarily arrangement for our students in Secondary education that fulfils Covid-19 requires, and will move to the new Secondary building as soon as possible.

Logistics

Our administrative staff is working again in the school since Monday, so please feel free to reach out to them if you have any requests or queries. You can now order online all uniforms, including for Secondary education, at our online shop at http://www.montessorimallorca.org/shop/. We also have some uniforms in stock, so please call Miryam or Maria in the school’s office if you are interested.

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