MMS 2021-22 Announcements & Updates of Note
MMS Forward Together 2021-22 Handbook 3-27-22Community immunity starts with us!
For our students… for their families… for our community. MMS teachers, parents, alumni and friends got vaccinated and now it’s our turn. Let’s help keep everyone healthy and safe as we head into a new school year! #communityimmunitywv
MMS Update 3-27-22
As we have throughout the pandemic, we continue to monitor the community COVID-19 levels and the guidelines put out by the CDC and KCHD and implement policy in line with them. With the CDC’s second weekly Low update in a row for Kanawha County, the COVID-19 committee and the MMS Board have gauged the probability that the numbers, at least for the short term, will continue to remain at levels that would allow us to shift the universal masking policy at the school to “Parents’ Choice” for students and “Personal Choice” for staff while indoors effective Monday, March 28.
We reserve the right to reinstitute the 100% mask mandate at any time due to increased levels in the county by the CDC or increased levels in the school as determined by Jennifer Carriger and the Executive Committee of the MMS Board. The CDC website currently states that updates take place at 8:00 p.m. on Thursdays, but it is not always updated exactly on time. Any change in policy resulting from an increased risk rating will be communicated to our community on a Friday to be in effect on the following Monday morning.
Please know that this decision has been agonizing and a long time in coming due to the complicated nature of the diversity of our community. We understand that this announcement will be cause for relief for some families and anxiety for other families. It is up to you as a family to decide if you will continue to wear masks and that expectation should be clearly communicated with your MMS student(s) as it will be their responsibility to manage their mask. Guides and assistants will not be responsible for enforcing mask wearing, but they will be able to continue to provide masks if the students request a replacement for a missing or soiled mask. The staff will communicate the expectation for kind and respectful conduct and communication around this topic within our community per behavior guidelines put forth in the Parent Handbook, which is available in the RenWeb online portal.
MMS Update 3-13-22
In consideration of the declining COVID-19 spread the COVID-19 committee has decided to allow for parental/adult choice regarding wearing masks outdoors at MMS.
With the promise of warmer weather coming, we also look forward to increasing the amount of time students are outdoors. We encourage students to wear layers to accommodate a variety of temperatures and the ability to make changes to keep themselves comfortable throughout the day.
At this time, we will continue to require masks for everyone (Primary, LE, UE, MS student and all adults) inside our buildings. We will continue to monitor the situation and CDC/Health Department guidance and will keep you informed of any further changes to our policies.
MMS Update 2-5-22
In accordance with new guidance issued by the WV Board of Education, MMS has updated policies regarding quarantines and other issues arising from a positive case of Covid-19 in our classrooms. These new policies are outlined on page 15 of “Forward Together,” the 2021-22 handbook supplement.
Thank you for your ongoing support of our school community. We will continue to follow through with all safety measures currently in place to provide the safest environment possible for our students, while maintaining in-person instruction as much as possible. We will count on you to do your part by conducting daily health checks of your children/household members, testing when it is recommended, and communicating openly with the school when there is a positive case or any health concerns.
MMS Update 1-14-22
Our MMS COVID committee met recently to review our policies and protocols. As you may be aware, the Center for Disease Control and other organizations, including the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department and the Bureau for Public Health, recently updated their guidance for isolation and quarantine in regard to COVID-19.
In the event of a COVID case impacting our school community, Mountaineer Montessori School will follow the guidance below from the CDC and Kanawha-Charleston Health Department, beginning today, Friday, January 15.
Please note that the chart recommends mask wearing, and we will continue to require mask wearing in school at all times aside from eating/drinking. We ask that you take time to ensure that the masks your child is wearing are well-fitted and take any out of rotation those that do not fit properly.
We will continue to consult with our liaison at the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department regarding cases directly affecting our school population.
While we will primarily use the guidance in the table above, there may be instances that will lead to a closure of individual classrooms or the entire school, especially if we are experiencing rapid transmission of COVID-19 at the classroom or school-wide level. There may also be instances requiring individuals to quarantine even when fully-vaccinated. These decisions will be made in consultation with the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department. We ask that you continue to communicate with us anytime you have questions or concerns and anytime you have a COVID positive case or suspected case in your household.
We will continue to implement all the mitigation strategies we have in place, including:
- Mask requirement for all staff and all students in Primary through Middle School
- Air purification and circulation in the classrooms
- Frequent hand washing
- Daily health checks at home and monitoring for illness at school
- Weekly testing available for staff
- Randomized tests of student population
Thank you for your continued support as we navigate the variables brought about by the COVID pandemic.
End of year message, 12-27-21
COVID-19 Vaccine for children 5-11 available, 11-5-21
A COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5-11 is now available. We encourage parents to talk to their pediatricians for more information about the vaccine for your child and other health-related questions you may have. We are considering hosting a COVID-19 vaccine clinic for eligible students at school. Please take a moment to complete this short survey to help us gauge interest. Please submit your completed surveys as soon as possible to help us decide whether to present this opportunity.
COVID-19 Policy Update, 11-01-21
“Forward Together,” the 2021-22 MMS COVID-19 Handbook, has been updated to incorporate new policies and practices put into place since the beginning of the school year. Please ensure you are referencing the most current edition, dated November 1, 2021.
Mountaineer Montessori Message/First Day of School Update, 8-22-21
MMS Director Jennifer Carriger is back with a final back to school message for our parents, students and their caregivers.
Please take a few minutes to watch this very important video TODAY and share with your children and others who may be involved in their arrival and pick up at school.
Familiarizing yourself and your child with the new processes today will help everyone know what to expect tomorrow.
As we excitedly welcome many new and returning MMS families to a new campus, it’s important that we all–parents, students, caregivers and staff– follow updated arrival and dismissal procedures closely to help get the new year off smoothly. We thank you for your patience, understanding and cooperation tomorrow and in the days ahead. Working together, the arrival and dismissal process will become streamlined as we all become familiar with new patterns and rules.
We look forward to seeing you tomorrow!
Covid Policy Updates/All-School Testing Event, 8-19-20
The MMS Re-entry Task Force met earlier this week to review our policies and procedures in light of increasing virus spread in our community.
As a follow up to those discussions, we have amended our “Forward Together” handbook to incorporate clarifications of existing policies and identify special points of emphasis for our community. These additions are outlined on page 13. Please ensure you reference the most current edition of the handbook, dated August 19, moving forward.
Unless otherwise specified, all previous policies, remain in effect, with particular attention to the following:
- Masks. Masks must be worn indoors by all adults and students ages 3 and up. Masks must fit properly. Masks may be worn outdoors during large gatherings.
- Vaccines. It is the expectation that all eligible staff and students will be vaccinated against COVID-19. The Board and the Re-entry Task Force will continue to monitor recommendations by the CDC, American Academy of Pediatrics and other public health authorities.
- Testing. As successfully implemented in 2020-21, MMS will continue the practice of requesting randomized testing of our student population when Kanawha County is designed as “orange” or “red” by the WVDHHR.
- All school testing. To get the year off to a safe start, we strongly encourage all students to be tested before their first day of school. Testing will be available for all students on Friday, August 20, from 10:00 a.m. to 12 noon at our Staunton Avenue campus. Saliva tests will be administered by Fruth Pharmacy, with results expected in two days. Children should not eat or drink anything for 30 minutes prior to the test. A separate, valid email address is required for each person tested. At home kits will be available during this event for parents who are unable to bring their children during this time slot. If you are not able to attend on Friday, please check the WVDHHR website for other testing options. Results of all tests should be promptly emailed to Jennifer Carriger: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Field trips. Overnight and day trips will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Proof of vaccination or a negative test result may be required prior to participation. Parents should anticipate that plans may be modified on short notice in response to the changing health environment. Parents should direct questions to their child’s classroom teacher(s).
- Screening questions and illness: Parents shall screen their children for symptoms associated with COVID-19 each morning (see page 7 of handbook). Students who have had close contact with someone with a suspected case of COVID-19 should be kept home. If a child presents illness at school for any reason, parents will be notified and shall pick up their student immediately.
- Ice Cream Social. Our traditional back to school celebration, featuring Ellen’s Homemade Ice Cream, will move forward as planned on Thursday, August 26, 6:00-7:30 p.m., at our Staunton campus. Masks may be worn for this outdoor event and we remind our community of social distancing guidelines. Let’s start the year off smart!
We remain grateful for your support, cooperation and understanding as our school community navigates a changing health landscape.
Please understand that our policies may be adjusted to reflect latest developments with respect to the pandemic, government directives, new recommendations from the CDC and other authorities, and our own experience administering these policies and procedures.
Our community’s health and safety is of the utmost importance. The Board of Directors and the MMS Leadership Team are working together to provide learning continuity for your child, and to provide a strong and safe community for your entire family. We thank you in advance!