LIFE AT VMS: Cold, Flu and Covid-19
by Ann Clark, Head of School
Dear parents,

Each year when fall begins and we approach the cold and flu season, we send a reminder of the VMS Health Policy which indicates when an ill child is required to stay home from school and when it is safe to return. We recognize this year with the focus on Covid, we will have children that get sick with standard illnesses such as the common cold, flu, stomach bug, etc. Since many cold and flu symptoms are similar to those of Covid - including fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, headache, body aches, fatigue, runny nose, congestion, or diarrhea - the recommendation is to seek advice from a physician at the onset of symptoms.

This year, county guidance requires us to adhere to Covid protocols for any on-campus student exhibiting Covid-like symptoms, specifically:
  • The child must have a doctor's note or negative Covid test before returning to school before the 10 day waiting period and be free of fever for 48 hours.
  • If the ill child has siblings, the siblings must stay home as well.
  • If the child is exposed to a family member with Covid-like symptoms, the child must stay home.
  • Contact the VMS Covid Liaison, Angela Zellmer if your child or a family member has Covid like symptoms, has been exposed to anyone with symptoms or if you have any Covid related questions. You can reach Angela at or 925-455-8021 x213.

Here is the complete VMS Health Policy Regarding Sickness
A student must stay home if any of the following conditions are present:
  • Fever over 99.8 °F
  • Diarrhea or vomiting
  • Rash or discharge from the eyes or ears
  • Severe sore throat, continuous or persistent cough
  • Contagious disease (Covid-19, RSV, Strep throat, H1N1 Flu, Pink Eye, Chicken Pox, Fifth Disease, etc.) Parents should call the school immediately if a student becomes ill with a contagious disease, so we may be alerted of the symptoms and notify the classroom parents of exposure.
  • Parents will be notified to pick up their child who becomes ill during the school day or arrives too ill to participate in the activities. We urge you to have a backup plan for pick up.
  • If a child is ill with any cold or Covid-like symptoms, all siblings in the family must stay home from school.
  • If a child's family member is ill with Covid-like symptoms, the child must stay home.

A student may return to school under the following conditions:
  • If a child has/had cold or Covid-like symptoms, a doctor's note or a negative Covid test is required to return to campus before the 10 day Covid waiting period and is free of fever for 48 hours.
  • Student is free of fever, diarrhea or vomiting for 48 hours without medication and has waited 10 day waiting period.
  • For other illnesses, student must be free of rash or discharge from the eyes or ears for 48 hours with or without antibiotic treatment before returning to school.

Staff Covid Testing
As part of our continuing goal of keeping our staff healthy and safe, VMS is implementing ongoing COVID-19 testing. Per Alameda County recommendations for schools, our intent is to test 50% of the staff every other month. We will be hosting our first testing event on our teacher workday, October 2, 2020. Our testing is being facilitated outdoors by PMH labs. Per the CARES ACT, all COVID testing is free for school employees.

Please know that all of the above measures are taken with the health and safety of our staff, students and families in mind. We appreciate your commitment and support.

Parent Workshops
Many of our parent Zoom meetings and workshops have been well-attended. Please see below for two others happening over the next week. Both are free and virtual.

9/14-27 Online Scholastic Book Fair
9/26 Parent Workshop 10am-12pm - Navigating Meltdowns & Power Struggles
9/29 Parent Workshop 7-8:30pm - How to Raise an Adult
10/2 Teacher Workday - No classes
10/23 UN/World Culture Day
10/29-30 Parent / Teacher Conferences
  • COACH your child through their big emotions
  • TEACH your child self-regulation tools
  • KEEP your cool during tough moments
  • AVOID the biggest mistake parents make during tough parenting moments
​​Former Stanford University dean and New York Times Best Selling author, Julie Lythcott-Haims, will provide valuable insights and practical strategies for parents to help children develop a sense of agency, empowering them as they progress through their lives. Through her own experience and research, she will explore the importance of allowing children to make mistakes so they can develop the resiliency and determination needed to be successful adults.

This virtual workshop is free to all Bay Area Montessori Association members, including all VMS parents and staff!
Fall is Harvest Time!
Since we are unable to celebrate in person with our Annual Harvest Festival, we are asking families to share photos from your fun, fall, family activities, projects and outings. Here are some ideas for this weekend:

  • Visit a Pumpkin Patch - some are open!
  • Go Apple Picking.
  • Enjoy Face Painting.
  • Carve or decorate a pumpkin.
  • Garden with your family.
  • Rake leaves.
  • Have a wheelbarrow race.
  • Create a harvest craft project.
  • and more!

Submit photos by next week to so we can share them in a slideshow to our community!
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  • Shopping closes this Sunday, September 27th!
Valley Montessori School
1273 N Livermore Ave Livermore CA 94551