MMS Update, November 16, 2020
Dear MMS Families,
I am writing with important updates and clarifications about the next few weeks at MMS.
The Board Executive Committee met virtually last night to review our COVID policies/protocols, discuss the Governor’s recent announcement about schools, and assess if additional measures were needed to keep our community safe and healthy. The COVID policies/protocols currently in place were developed over the summer by the Board and the Re-Entry Task Force with input from both parents and staff while keeping the safety of our school community and Montessori principles at the forefront of our planning. Within those policies we have fully implemented all the CDC best practices for schools, going above and beyond the WV State Board of Education Requirements. We developed multiple scenarios regarding COVID response and implementing in-person and remote learning.
The Executive Committee believes that our policies/protocols are still sufficient to minimize risk to our community. They are monitoring the color-coded map and numbers closely. As a reminder, our current policy dictates a move to remote learning for all students at MMS when the state alert map indicates the “red” designation for Kanawha County (we will be remote the day immediately following the first “red” day) and we will return to in-person once Kanawha County has been “orange” for five consecutive days.
With the numbers continuing to grow and holidays approaching, some additional safety measures will be implemented at MMS. First, starting this week, all students will wear their masks at all times when not actively eating or drinking. This means that masks will stay on for free time, playground time, PE, and any other outdoor activity aside from snack or lunch. Secondly, the Board is developing a plan for random, ongoing COVID testing for students and staff each week Kanawha County is in the gold or orange. Please watch for more information about random testing in your email.
Last Friday, Governor Justice announced that there will be no in-person learning in any schools in WV (public or private) for the 3 days following Thanksgiving weekend (November 30-December 2). This means that Thanksgiving Break will still start on Wednesday, November 25th and continue through the weekend. Then your child(ren) will participate in remote learning Monday, November 30th through Wednesday, December 2nd and we will reconvene in-person learning on Thursday, December 3rd. You will receive more information about remote learning plans, schedules, and assignments from your child(ren)’s teacher(s) next week.
If you are an essential worker, and you need emergency childcare on November 30, December 1, and/or December 2, please fill out a request for care here by Sunday, November 22: https://forms.gle/vyDebeBJT8L3VCW39. If you request emergency care, you will receive a confirmation of our plans from me by Tuesday, 11/24.
Please note that we will continue to provide outdoor time for all students daily as many days as possible. We will also continue to keep doors and windows partially open to allow for fresh air circulation, even during the winter months. Please be sure your child comes to school dressed appropriately for the weather. You may also send an extra jacket or sweater to keep in the classroom. We ask that all clothing items and personal belongings (water bottle, pencil box, etc.) be labeled with your child’s name.
Thank you for all your dedication to keeping our school community safe. Your adherence to our safety procedures/protocols and your open communication with us are very much appreciated. It is wonderful to see the students joyfully working and playing each day at school, and we hope to remain safely in-person as we move toward the second half of the school year. We urge you to continue to follow all COVID safety guidelines and recommendations at all times. Continue to wear masks, wash your hands frequently, and adhere to social distancing guidelines when you are in public or with anyone outside your household. Please take a moment to read through the CDC guidance below regarding the Thanksgiving holiday.
Thank you for being part of the MMS community – let me know if you have any questions.
Take care and stay safe,