Loerie Letter June 2017

Dear KMS Family

Knysna Montessori School is very fortunate to still be standing, given the devastation which our town and surrounding suburbs have suffered. On that Wednesday night I stayed awake, thinking the school had burned down and trying in my mind to make contingency plans for the school, our children, families and staff. So it was with great relief that I learned that the school had survived. Then, as I became aware of how the families had been affected, the true scale of the disaster started to reveal itself.

To all our families affected by this ferocious fire, you continue to be in my thoughts and prayers and as a school we will do our level best to offer you on-going support during this difficult time.

The goodness of the human spirit has been truly evident after such a disaster. So many people have offered encouraging words, support, food donations, clothing donations, stationery donations & cash donations to the Disaster Fund. The Disaster Fund is managed by the Board of Trustees and distribution of funds to those families in need will be authorized by the Board of Trustees. The Disaster Fund currently stands at R104 560 and donations are being made on a daily basis. Thank you to the parents of the school, members of the local and national public and SAMA for the cash donations. Families directly affected by the fire and those families who have lost their source of income, please speak to me directly or email me with your current needs.

Thank you to Hein, Gerhard, Taddy and Leighann for alerting hostel and neighbouring areas and for the evacuation of hostel and school office. Thank you to Hostel parents Bev & Matt, Chris and Ronel for sorting the children out.

So many families helped to accommodate our hostel children. Many thanks to Des Kind, Dana Miles, the Stead Family, The Phillips family, the Edwards family and Staff member Dana Miles. Thank you to Esther Beyleveld at Little Elephants.  Thank you to Greg Hawley of 40 Degrees for assessing danger and boarding up damaged hostel area.

Thank you to Keith Davies for the breakfast and 34 Degrees Venue for an emergency staff meeting, Liz Vertue and Management and staff of Project Bar Sirocco for letting us use the venue for a counseling workshop. Thank you to Genevieve Walters for hosting this workshop. Thank you to parents who have offered advice on renting accommodation and Insurance advice to affected parents. If support is needed in this regard, please let the office know so we can direct you to the relevant persons.

Further thanks and gratitude are extended to:

  • Sam Streak Principal of PE Montessori, your staff, parents and children for you generous donations.

  • Newberry House Montessori families, parents and staff for your kind donations.

  • Lizelle at Baobob Montessori Hoedspruit

  • SAMA (South African Montessori Association) for cash donation

  • Principal Marna Jordaan of Hoërschool Meisies (Pretoria) for your donations to Knysna Schools. Thank you to Oakhill for organizing and storing the donations.

  • Merinda Moodie, Xen de Jongh ,Louis Kruger and Hein Swart for the generosity, compassion and organization of the donations delivered in the 30 ton truck to Knysna Montessori Disaster Depot.

  • Parent Volunteers, children and staff for helping in the Disaster Depot viz our Amphitheatre.

  • All staff and parents who helped cleaned the school.

  • Cannon and Waltons for your stationery donations.

  • Michelle Booth for offering her services as an art therapist.

  • Amos, for rescuing and saving the Goats and Cows; Ant Campbell for saving the Goat yard and Jethro and Jared for helping the morning after the fire.

  • Johan van der Walt and Keith for putting out the fire at our hostel.

  • Humphrey Price at Sanlam offices and the use of the Internet line.

  • To the Fire Fighters, Helicopter pilots, Police, Eden Disaster Management Team, Mayor, Eleanor Bouw-Spies and Knysna Municipality, Telkom and construction teams.

When thanking so many people and organisations one is always conscious of possibly leaving someone out. Please forgive me if I have!

I have had so many thank you letters from communities and people for all the donations which we have been able to pass on and emails of support from all over the world, from former pupils and parents to former staff members too. With that has come news of what some of our former pupils have been doing since leaving school.

Head Girl of 2009, Jessica Crewdson is now a fully qualified First Officer flying French & German troops around Sahel along with precious metals out of remote mines and UN World Food Program flights in the same region. She is now based in Bamako, Mali. Her brother Joshua is currently on a “stagaire” at the Ledbury, a highly acclaimed restaurant in London. James Erasmus a fellow Classmate of Jessica’s has also worked at Ledbury’s. Joshua continues to pursue his dream and will soon return to La Colombe where he is a Chef de Partie and assistant Sous Chef.

Interact would like to thank parents and children for their kind donations of educational games for Maranatha Preschool.

Sadly, Elsie the extra mural Pottery teacher will no longer be giving pottery classes. We would like to thank her for everything she has done and wish her well in her new venture.

Music Club with Ilse Harms for the 6-9 phase starts in the 3rd term on Tuesdays from 14:00 – 14:45.

What we will be doing:  Develop a steady beat, learn basic music notation, musical concepts, find my singing voice, body percussion, hand clapping games get to know the instruments of the orchestra, listen to music from all over the world, use the music timeline to learn about composers and genres, experiment with composition, group dancing with our maypole, group instrument play, work towards group recorder, glockenspiel and guitar playing AND SO MUCH MORE!

R400 per term.

Contact: Ilse Harms at 073 1119911

Third term: School starts on the Tuesday 25 July. Staff members are to return to school on Monday 24th July for a breakfast meeting at 8am.

The scheduled end of 2nd Term reports will be available on 31st August. 6-9, 9-12, 12-15 and Grade 10 & 11 will be emailed to parents. Preschool reports will be available for collection at the Preschool. Due to the postponement of exams, these assessments will be conducted by the teachers during the course of the third term.

Matric Students reports will be available on Friday 28th July. They will be emailed to parents.

Congratulations to Marlene Jantjies, Joey’s classroom assistant on reaching her 20 years’ service at Knysna Montessori School.

I wish you all a good rest, a time to connect and be with family and loved ones.

See you next term.

Best wishes