Dear TMS Families and Friends,
This Annual Report for the 2019-20 school year will reflect a significant chapter in our school history and in the lives of our families, as the year in which a global pandemic began. Educators everywhere were shocked by the sudden school closure mandated on March 13, 2020. Immediately, both our families and our teachers were challenged to adapt quickly to new circumstances, which meant no in person learning for children. As Head of School, I was acutely aware of the courageous and tireless way that our staff rose to the challenge of continuing to educate children of all ages virtually. Likewise, I was deeply aware of the trauma that our families felt last spring as their work lives collided with family needs. This was a time that tested us in ways that we had not been tested before.
In response to the rapidly developing situation last spring, we had to make a number of difficult decisions that we determined to be necessary to meet the growing need for strict health and safety measures, but not jeopardize our mission as an authentic Montessori school. We reduced our staff to Montessori classroom guides and their assistants and just two administrators We limited our class sizes to comply with 6-foot distance requirements and upgraded our ventilation system. We suspended special classes and closed the library to create stable cohorts within individual Montessori classrooms. In a short period of time, we went from a school of 130 children to just 91 and a staff of 32 to 21. During the summer, we invested many hours and dollars into upgrading and improving our Distance Learning Program. By the start of the 2020-21 school year, we had lost people, programs and dollars, but we had preserved what we hold most dear, our core Montessori program.
From my vantage point today, nine months later, I am able to look in the rear view mirror through a rose colored filter. In the four short months of the new school year, I have seen a remarkable rebound in the spirit of this community. As dire as our situations were last spring, we have proven that as a community, we are resilient, are united, and are committed to our common goal of keeping young children in school. I have been humbled by our families’ response to the needs of TMS. What felt at the time as impossible to deal with, I now view as a triumph in our response to a tremendous challenge.
I offer the Annual Report of The Montessori School for 2019-20 as a testament to the strength of our community, and a reminder of what can be accomplished when we work together. You will see reflected in these pages what may be historically a low point monetarily. However, please take time to read the names and contributions of the people that inspired us to never give up supporting The Montessori School. The Board and I are grateful to all of those who persisted and showed us the way to come back! I dedicate this Annual Report to those listed within these pages.