August 3, 2020

Dear SMS families, 

Based on the latest guidelines released by Massachusetts Education and Care (EEC), Department of Elementary and Second Education (DESE), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), I am excited to confirm the school community that SMS continues its planning to bring students from all divisions back to school for full days Monday through Friday starting September 1, 2020.

SMS’s Board, administrative team, faculty and staff have worked strategically and diligently this summer to prepare for the fall, and our effort will continue on the daily basis. In July, our primary focus was preparing for the school in these four areas: (1) preparing the school buildings for health and safety, (2) conducting space planning to repurpose classrooms to make room for all students, (3) planning in-person and remote learning curricula, (4) drafting SMS’s 2020-2021 health and safety policy and protocols. 

In August, we are ready to share detailed information with families to help parents and students prepare for the 2020-2021 school year scheduled to start on September 1, 2020. On Wednesday, August 5, we are sending families a “SMS 2020 August Parent Communication Calendar” to provide clarity with information you will be receiving about the school year.

Based on current governmental guidelines, we are planning to open school following the original school calendar that has the first day of school starts on September 1, 2020, and the last day of school ends on June 4, 2021. We are finalizing events with faculty and staff and plan to share a copy of the school calendar with the SMS community by the third week of August. 

As we stated in our parent information session #3 on July 31, the school will continue to monitor the COVID-19 infection rates in the State of Massachusetts and Worcester County. Later in the fall and winter, we will again revisit the school’s need to pivot to an alternative calendar to have students stay home for a short period of remote learning to avoid the height of the flu and cold season as a measure to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 within the school community. We will be sure to keep the community updated in a timely manner to allow families sufficient time for making plans to accommodate.

With special thanks to a team of medical professionals, Pradeep Nazarey, Martin Reznek, Stefanie Gauguet, and David Fish, the school is able to draft its 2020-2021 Health and Safety Policy and Protocol which will be available on the school’s website on Wednesday, August 5. This Health and Safety Policy and Protocol will be used in conjunction with the school’s Employment Handbook and Parent Handbook to provide guidance to help the school community navigate through the COVID-19 year learning on campus. Please join us on Wednesday, August 5 for a parent information session on Zoom. We will share the policy highlights with you and answer additional questions. 

Amy Shen
Head of School
Shrewsbury Montessori School