Update: July 17, 2020

Dear Parents/Guardians,

As you know, Villa’s Infant, Toddler, Primary, Elementary Camp and Intro to E1 and E2 programs are open this summer. In preparation for a safe return of students and staff to campus, we created a VILLA Is S.A.F.E. plan. Please CLICK HERE for more details. It incorporates guidance and best practices from the Arizona Department of Health Services, the Centers for Disease Control and Maricopa County Health Department

This summer, we have been diligent in the following protocols:
  • Daily temperature checks and health screening of staff and students upon arrival
  • Staggered drop-off times to eliminate bottlenecks
  • Students remain together in a classroom cohort.
  • Students have their own work area.
  • Groups do not mix throughout the day.
  • Each class has its own playground time.
  • Symptoms are monitored by staff throughout the day.
  • Face coverings are worn by students and staff at all times.
  • Enhanced cleaning and sanitizing throughout the day

Having students on campus this summer has provided us with the opportunity to successfully put these protocols and procedures into practice. Despite the rise in COVID-19 cases in the Greater Phoenix community, we are very grateful that no positive cases have been reported among the students attending this summer. These practices will remain in place as more students come back to campus.

Remote Learning
We want to share the broad picture of what the remote learning option for charter students (K-8) will look like. These are general points. More details will be forthcoming next week in time for you to decide whether you prefer to have your child attend school in person or remotely.

The remote learning option will include the following:
  • A daily schedule that mirrors a typical school day, five days per week
  • Daily attendance taken
  • Established expectations for being present and engaged in learning
  • Combination of on-screen and off-screen work
  • One classroom online platform (Google Classroom) for K-8
  • Live lessons and independent/group follow-up work
  • Daily connection with classmates
  • Grade level standards-based curriculum in conjunction with Montessori cultural curriculum
  • Opportunities for both remediation and acceleration where appropriate
  • Intentional focus on social/emotional support
  • Students with an IEP will receive specially designed instruction by our special education staff.
  • Devices will be available for checkout by families in need.
  • Student and parent technology training will be available.
  • Students can re-enter the in-person learning mode at three future times (Fall Break, Winter Break, Spring Break).

You will receive more specific program-level information (Kindergarten, Elementary and MS) next week. Please know that we reviewed and used the feedback from parents and staff on the remote learning experience in the spring in our planning.

Charter Remote Learning/In-Person Commitment Form
We had planned to distribute this form early next week, but first we need to hear from Governor Ducey regarding whether or not he will be extending the date for in-person instruction beyond August 17. We anticipate that he will address this at his next weekly press conference.

Primary Program
The governor’s order only relates to K-12 students and not to preschool programs. We have been running a preschool program all summer and are in the process of gathering data about our primary families’ needs regarding childcare as of August 10, the official start of Villa’s 2020-21 school year. A survey will go out to our kindergarten families next week. Surveys have also been received from our P3 and P4 families.

Thank you
I realize the feeling of uncertainty that permeates our lives right now is very challenging to manage, to say the least. We welcome your questions or concerns and will continue to communicate as we learn more. Thank you for your patience, understanding and support.

Margo S. O’Neill, M.Ed.
Head of School
Villa Montessori School | Website