Dear VMS Parents,

Our summer program has been operating safely and successfully for the past five weeks, with happy, healthy and enthusiastic children. As mentioned in last Wednesday's News , we are confident we can continue this program in the same safe manner.

Many of you may have listened today to the message from Governor Newsom regarding schools, 1st through 12th grade, reopening next month. He provided clear direction regarding the return to in-person instruction and how it is directly connected to the health status of our community. Due to the surge of Covid-19 cases in Alameda county, we along with many other counties, have been on the State Monitoring List . Until cases are reduced to bring us off this list for 14 consecutive days, for the safety of our community, we are mandated to start the school year in grades first through 8th with a Distance Learning Program.

Please note, this does not apply to our toddler and primary programs as children at this level fall under Community Care Licensing guidelines. Therefore, we are able to open with our existing program, children 18 months through kindergarten, with current safety protocols in place. The American Academy of Pediatrics continues to report supporting evidence that young children are far less likely to get Covid-19 or transmit it to others.

In addition, we are actively researching the option to provide childcare for elementary age children with parents who are essential workers (able to return to work) so they have a safe and supervised space to participate in distance learning.

For the balance of our community, grades first through eighth, we will follow the mandate to begin school with a robust remote learning program with the intent to open school as soon as it is deemed safe to do so. Once we do move back to campus, if there are families still uncomfortable having their child back in the classroom, they can opt to continue with the remote learning program.

Although we are saddened by the news, we are committed to following the guidance and are confident there is a light at the end of the tunnel. The governor emphasized communities can work toward reducing the case numbers to get our schools open by:
  • wearing face coverings
  • social distancing
  • washing hands
  • minimizing gatherings
We will all continue to do our part and sincerely request all of our VMS families to join us in this effort with the common goal of re-opening the campus for all of our students as soon as possible.

More specific information will be coming out next week regarding the rollout of the Distance Learning program and how it has been enhanced to provide our same rich Montessori curriculum in this format. Also, I will be hosting Virtual Coffees next week to answer questions and provide the most current information. You should have received an email with a Zoom link this week.

In this ever-changing environment, we are reporting what we know today. As always, we will continue to update you on Wednesdays and as needed. In the meantime, when it is deemed safe to do so, our classrooms and staff will be fully prepared for your return to campus. Thank you for your commitment to partnering with us as we educate your child through this pandemic. This will make for a seemless transition to the classroom and provide you with priority re-enrollment status for the following school year. Our mantra continues to be, we are all in this together and we will get through it the same way - together.

With Gratitude,
Ann