Welcome to Sunny Hollow

Dear Sunny Hollow community,

It was with huge smiles and immense optimism that we welcomed the 2020-21 school year at Sunny Hollow Montessori!   On September 8th — with minor trepidation about how theoretical planning would translate into actual logistics — we experienced our first drop off.  It wasn’t perfect, but each day as a community we have refined the process! Thank you for completing your health forms online prior to heading to school. The early submission of daily health check forms expedites and enhances the drop-off experience for the children, and gets your day off to a good start.

Apart from drop off, how have things been going? Well, you only need to go to Sunny Hollow’s Facebook page to see evidence that all aspects of daily life at school are going remarkably well! From the twinkle in their eyes, you can tell when children (and staff!) are smiling. It’s so exciting to see pictures of children concentrating on a lesson, collaborating on a science experiment, interacting with friends who are learning from home. And there are terrific pictures of the fall Odyssey to the headwaters of the Mississippi in Itasca that junior high students went on from September 9th to September 15th. What a tremendous experience they had camping, hiking, kayaking, bonding as a group and establishing their norms and expectations for the class.  Quite a few parents from all levels have shared how happy (and tired) their children are!

Thanks to the generosity of the community, the Technology Toolkits have been a game-changer in the lives of teachers and students. Whether on or off campus, teachers and students have the ability to connect with each other for learning experiences and to maintain friendships.  For example, in the Casa classroom students zoom with other classmates, and in the Elementary classroom students collaborate on their projects.

When you see school life at Sunny Hollow, you no doubt see the “peaceful and joyful swan on the picturesque lake.” But what you don’t see is the underwater “paddling-like-crazy” required to create and maintain that serene, beautiful and curiosity-inspiring learning environment. And this year, I am in awe of our teachers and staff who sanitize, disinfect, create spreadsheets, take temperatures, order more PPE, support one another, communicate with families, fog, refine policies and procedures, maintain communication with MDH and CDC . . . and so much more “paddling” that is going on under the surface. Our amazing staff model the Montessori aspiration of “being capable of accepting and meeting life’s challenges.”

We are thrilled to have you and your family be an important part of the SHM community.  Together we will face this year’s challenges confident in our mission to “cultivate each child’s intellectual and creative potential.”

Happy New Year to families celebrating Rosh Hashanah – Shanah Tovah!
Take care,

Sandra D. Wirth, Ed.D.
Interim Head of School