Looking Ahead to Reopening
by Ann Clark, Head of School
Thank you for your ongoing support and partnership as together we face the challenges and weekly changes of the global pandemic. We understand how difficult the shelter in place order has been for families and our staff, including the strain of not knowing what to expect when school resumes. Today, I will outline what we know and our intent for reopening and will continue to communicate more information as it develops during the next few weeks.
We are reopening the VMS campus for summer and preparing our Essential Worker Childcare Program. Yesterday, families received an email describing the
Reopening Policies and Procedures
established for the program in our current Covid-19 environment. We are implementing these significant measures to keep students, staff, and families safe while there is still risk of Covid-19. Registration began this morning. If restrictions change and space allows, we will open the program for the balance of our community. We will also modify the safety measures in accordance with CDC and State Licensing guidelines.
The 2020-2021 School Year
Our intention is to open and start the school year on the VMS campus August 17, 2020. How this will look still needs to be determined, but we are
preparing for a variety of scenarios that are possible under current projections. We are closely monitoring government recommendations and are collaborating with a large community of independent schools to share insights and best practices.
As we plan for various scenarios, we are fortunate to have many aspects of our existing program that will allow for possible modifications. If the requirement continues to require smaller class groupings, we are fortunate to have at least
Montessori teachers per class in toddler through upper elementary to allow for adjustment at these levels. We have options to make changes to our facility if needed, as our classrooms are spacious, with a generous number of restrooms and windows.
We have established summer policies and procedures that we will use during the fall that can be modified depending on updated safety measures in accordance with state and local guidelines. Addtional measures we will take include utilizing the following:
- hand washing/sanitizing stations
- hospital grade filters for our air and heating system
- sanitizing machines and foggers
- additional staff to keep up with the daily and repetitive cleaning of the school indoors and outdoors, including playground equipment
- individual student work tables to support social distancing
If rolling closures are required, we will be prepared to reinstate online-remote learning, with intent to simultaneously offer the VMS Essential Worker Childcare Program on campus. We are planning to provide additional accommodation for the early childhood families which we will detail when solidified.
Again, exactly what school will look like is uncertain. We do know, we will do everything we can to offer the highest quality Montessori program possible for all our students to thrive. Our VMS community is strong and we will get through this together!
This global health emergency has created the need, and opportunity, to focus on what is most important. For Valley Montessori School, that includes fulfilling our mission to support children’s development, and the health and well-being of our community. Those priorities will guide our decisions as we continue to navigate this time of change. Thank you for your continued support and understanding…more to follow.