Reopening of Montessori Discovery School

 

Montessori Discovery School is a small, one classroom community for children ages 3-7.  Our expected enrollment this coming year will be less than 22 students, with a teaching staff of 5 and an administrative staff of one.

 

We are planning a return to full schedule reopening.

 

Classroom/Social Distancing –

  • The layout of the classroom has been modified to accommodate appropriate social distancing.

  • Children will be grouped together in the same classroom to keep in line with the Montessori philosophy of multi-age groupings.  This will allow the children the chance to get to know everyone in their classroom community, but in small groupings.  These small groups will change weekly and throughout any given day, but there will be no full group lessons.  Any group lesson will be less than 10 students with social distancing.

  • Physical education (for full day students) will be less than 10 students with social distancing.

  • We plan to use our outdoor spaces as often as possible during nice weather, also in groups of less than 10.

  • Windows will be open in the classroom as often and for as long as possible to allow for good air flow.

  • Only students and staff will be allowed in the classroom.

  • We have staggered arrival (8:30 am and 9:00 am) and dismissal (noon and 2:30 pm) times to allow for appropriate social distancing.

  • Students will be greeted at the car for drop-off.  Parents will be asked to assist their child in getting out of the car, and a teacher will then walk their child into school. Parents will also be asked at this time to confirm that they have done a daily health screening for their child (more information under Health Screenings)

  • For dismissal, parents will wait outside the main doors.  Children will be dismissed one at a time. 

Healthy hygiene practices will be taught and encouraged regularly –

  • Students will wash hands after hanging up their coat and putting their things away before entering the classroom

  • Students will wash hands before and after snack and lunch

  • Students will wash hands after using the bathroom

  • The whole school community will be encouraged to wash hands as needed throughout the school day

  • Students will be taught how to cough/sneeze into their elbow and proper use of tissues

Face Coverings –

• Any time or place that individuals cannot maintain appropriate social distancing, individuals must wear acceptable face coverings.

 • Face coverings are strongly recommended at all times, except for meals and instruction with appropriate social distancing. However, Responsible Parties can require face coverings at all times, even during instruction; and it is strongly recommended in areas with higher rates of COVID-19 community infection.

  • Responsible Parties requiring the wearing of face coverings by students at all times will need to consider and address developmental appropriateness, feasibility, and ability to implement such policy in a safe, consistent manner.

         

*taken from NYS DOH guidance

 

 

  • We have put a lot of effort into creating a classroom environment and a classroom schedule that will accommodate appropriate social distancing for the majority of our students’ day. We ask that children have a face covering with them that they can wear when needed.  If you need a face covering provided for you, please just let us know.

  • Teachers will let the students know when masks may be needed.

  • Staff will wear face coverings for the majority of the day.  Coverings may be removed for certain language lessons and story time when social distancing is implemented.

Cleaning –

  • The classroom and universal spaces will be professionally cleaned at the end of every day per CDC guidelines

  • Teachers will clean surfaces periodically throughout the day as needed

Health screenings –

A screening questionnaire determines whether the individual has:

  • knowingly been in close or proximate contact in the past 14 days with anyone who has tested positive through a diagnostic test for COVID-19 or who has or had symptoms of COVID-19;

  • tested positive through a diagnostic test for COVID-19 in the past 14 days;

  • has experienced any symptoms of COVID-19, including a temperature of greater than 100.0°F in the past 14 days: and/or

  • has traveled internationally or from a state with widespread community transmission of COVID-19 per the New York State Travel Advisory in the past 14 days. 

                        * taken from NYSED guidance

  • Parents will be asked at drop off to confirm that they have done the above health screening of their child at home (including taking their child’s temperature) before bringing them to school.  This confirmation will be documented by school staff.

  • Any child exhibiting symptoms during the school day will be kept in a separate space from the rest of the classroom until a parent can come and pick up their child

  • All staff will fill out a health screening questionnaire daily

As was addressed in our preliminary reopening statement sent home in June – It is crucial that we all work together as a team in this effort to protect the health of our students and staff.

  • It is imperative that parents keep children home if they are sick.  This is vitally important.  Especially in the case of fever or cough.

  • It is imperative that staff stay home if sick.  We are currently in the process of securing more substitute teachers to make sure staff adheres to this guideline.

Return to School after Illness –

Schools must follow CDC guidance for allowing a student or staff member to return to school after exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19.

If a person is not diagnosed by a healthcare provider (physician, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant) with COVID-19 they can return to school:

            • Once there is no fever, without the use of fever reducing medicines, and   they have felt well for 24 hours;

            • If they have been diagnosed with another condition and has a healthcare  provider written note stating they are clear to return to school.

 If a person is diagnosed with COVID-19 by a healthcare provider based on a test or their symptoms or does not get a COVID-19 test but has had symptoms, they should not be at school and should stay at home until:

            • It has been at least ten days since the individual first had symptoms;

            • It has been at least three days since the individual has had a fever   (without using fever reducing medicine); and

            • It has been at least three days since the individual’s symptoms improved,             including cough and shortness of breath.

                        * taken from NYSED guidance

Communication –

As it states in our Parent Handbook –

             Good communication is the foundation for a good relationship.

As such, we will continue to keep our families regularly updated on everything taking place at MDS.  We will do this through –

  • Regular email communication

  • Postings on our Public and Private Facebook pages

  • Ability to text or call our director

  • Monthly newsletters

  • Traditional mail – look for our August mailing which will have more information about the beginning of our school year

School Closure –

If MDS is forced to close for any length of time longer than 3 days due to Covid-19, we will implement remote learning.  This will be accomplished through –

  • Daily postings of lessons and videos on our closed Facebook page

  • Weekly Zoom meetings with teachers and classmates

  • Opportunity for individual Zoom meetings with teachers

  • Written work sent home for our K-1st students

Please reach out if you need assistance in accessing the technology required for remote learning.

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109 Waring Road Syracuse, NY 13224 | (315) 446-0204

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