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COVID-19 Safety Protocols and Resources

Travel Protocol for Families

What is the protocol for traveling families?

At this point, Colorado has not issued any travel advisories, though Routt County has drafted travel recommendations. We will follow  local, state, and federal recommendations regarding travel and quarantine. In general, please avoid unnecessary travel. If your child has traveled outside the state, we ask that you notify the School, and please know that you may be required to keep your child home for 14 days and/or get tested before returning to school. If anyone in your child’s household has traveled outside the state and has tested positive for COVID-19, you may also be asked to keep your child at home for 14 days or get tested. In any scenario where a student must stay home to quarantine, they will participate in our distance learning.

Frequently Asked Questions for Reopening - August 2020

What will reopening MVMCS look like?

Will starting school in August look the same as it has in previous years?  No. Our reopening is focused on putting the student experience first in a way that is safe for all, and we will continue to provide the positive and caring education that fulfills the MVMCS Mission.

Here is our current thinking about the educational model and academic schedule, which adheres to state regulations as currently drafted:

  • 1/2 day 3 hour work cycle in the classroom
  • Smaller class sizes/less students in the building
  • No lunch or recess
  • Masks (buffs and bandanas not acceptable) & Social Distancing required
  • Cohorts of students remaining in classrooms during the day
  • Outdoor learning spaces set up for cohort groups to use while weather permits
  • Asynchronous at-home instruction (mixture of online and sent home work) to supplement learning that happens at school
  • Home sets of Montessori materials for families to check out
  • Remote learning options so that students may participate in class meetings and lessons from home

Families can help children anticipate the changes by talking at home and asking your child about what they are excited or nervous about. Find a mask that fits your child and that they feel comfortable in. Practice social distancing in public places and help them to understand what appropriate spacing looks like.

 

Why did we choose the Half-Day Hybrid Option?

The half day in-person option best keeps our community safe. Classrooms will be at 50% capacity, which aligns with the current state and county regulations for indoor spaces. This will allow for the most effective social distancing in the classroom and maintain small cohorts of no more than 10-12 students (possibly less), which will in turn reduce the chances of community spread. The school will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected between the morning and afternoon cohorts. The half day in-person model also limits general movement and transitions throughout the building, and eliminates many higher risk aspects of the school day: bathroom use, lunch, and recess (which would be challenging to keep in cohort). The other advantage to this model is that it allows us to maintain high levels of Montessori education happening in our classrooms.

How will the morning and afternoon cohorts be formed?

Staff will work collaboratively with the Director of Teaching and Learning, considering the following information: class size, siblings, geographic location, and student IEP, ALP and Read Plan needs to come up with our cohorts. If your child’s assigned cohort doesn’t work, please let us know and we’ll attempt to come up with a solution.

Are there other options if I don’t feel safe sending my child to school?

While we look forward to welcoming students back to the classroom, we understand that some families may not feel comfortable sending their child back to school in person. If that is the case, we are offering several at-home learning options that can be used for a semester or the entire year.

For more information on the full remote learning options, please review the options as well as a recording of an informational session by accessing this Google Folder. If you have any questions about the Remote Learning Options, please reach out to Darcy Walters: darcy@mvmcs.org. Please fill out your choice of Remote Learning program by completing this form. We ask that families sign up for Remote Learning by Monday, August 3 so we can plan accordingly.

Will families be able to switch from remote learning to half day in-person, or from half day in-person to remote?

We will provide multiple checkpoints throughout the year where families can transition from one model to another. A lot of preparation is required to meet the needs in each model; therefore, we need ample time to schedule these transitions.

What are you doing to prepare for a safe campus reopening?

  • Providing personal protection equipment (PPE) for all employees
  • Requiring all students, faculty, and staff to wear masks while inside the building
  • Infrared no-touch thermometers for fever detection
  • Increased hand sanitizer stations in classrooms and throughout the building
  • Increased handwashing stations
  • Installed touchless water filling stations
  • Designated walking paths through hallways and intentionally placed work spaces to promote social distancing
  • Revamping outdoor learning environments to increase opportunities to work outside
  • Reducing classroom transitions and staggering times to keep fewer students moving through hallways at the same time
  • Ramping up disinfecting procedures, frequency and detail, based on the best available scientific guidanceSpecial protocols for bathroom usage
  • Limiting adults in the building to faculty and staff, at least to start, based on the regulations
  • Reorganizing some spaces so we can maximize classroom options
  • Protocols for daily temperature checks and health screening before students enter the building
  • Early orders of PPE to ensure a robust supply chain
  • Safe and achievable ways for faculty and staff to supervise health and hygiene protocols

Will the school offer childcare support for families that are unable to have their children at home for the half day of Remote Learning?

The MVMCS Parent Committee will reach out to families to support cooperative childcare needs. Families that are in the same cohort, and/or the same geographical location, may work with the parent committee to establish parent-run cohort childcare support. More information is forthcoming.

Why are buffs and bandanas not considered acceptable face coverings?

MVMCS conducted a small summer readiness program for a small group of students in June. What we learned from that experience is that students wearing buffs and bandanas are not able to consistently wear them properly. They do not stay in place, causing constant adjustment by the wearer. We also found that students may use buffs and bandanas to pull over their faces and other distracting behaviors. 

We ask that families please select properly fitting masks for their children, and begin practicing mask wearing for prolonged periods of time if they are not already. This will benefit everyone during the transition to the classroom in August.

What happens if a student gets sick or develops COVID-19 symptoms?

If a student exhibits symptoms of COVID 19 or develops a fever above 100.4, that student stays home until released from isolation (usually 10 days after symptom onset, 24+ hours fever-free and improving symptoms). The class/cohort will stay home for a 14-day quarantine. Public health recommends testing of close contacts (-7 days after exposure or earlier if contact develops symptoms.). Cost and logistics of testing is the responsibility of the individual, parent or caregiver.

If a student tests positive for COVID 19, that student stays home until released from isolation (usually 10 days after symptom onset, 24+ hours fever-free and improving symptoms). The class/cohort will stay home for a 14-day quarantine.

*Please see our “Parent Playbook” for more information on our illness response.

Are there required regulations for reopening?

Yes, the school will follow local and state regulations. Routt County has yet to provide specific guidance to schools, and the state just recently developed a draft of a reopening framework and toolkit for schools, and they should finalize it soon.

How will we know that everyone will do their part to keep our community safe?

We will ask all families to complete an MVMCS Community Health Agreement checklist, where all stakeholders will agree to the safest, healthiest, and best practices to protect individuals from getting infected and to do our best to control community spread.

 

 

Letter to MVMCS Parents - July 28, 2020

July 28, 2020: LETTER TO MVMCS PARENTS

Dear MVMCS Families,

I hope you are enjoying your summer and finding ways to stay active with your families. I am writing to update you on the work that is underway as we prepare to safely reopen the campus to students on August 24. We continue to prioritize welcoming students back to school, as long as it is safe to do so. We are moving forward with the half day cohort model, which will provide the opportunity for all children to engage in in-person learning with peers five days a week, while also allowing the appropriate safety and distancing measures to be in place. We are still working on the daily schedule and cohort groupings, and we will release it to families as soon as it is finalized. Please keep in mind that any plan will require flexibility. 

We are also offering three options of Remote Learning programming for families that do not wish to send their child to in-person learning. Please review the options as well as a recording of an informational session by accessing this Google Folder. We ask that families sign up for Remote Learning by Monday, August 3 so we can plan accordingly. If you have any questions about the Remote Learning Options, please reach out to Darcy Walters: darcy@mvmcs.org. Please fill out your choice of Remote Learning program by completing this form.

MVMCS has also invested heavily in the health and safety of our students. We are increasing our cleaning and disinfecting supplies, providing additional handwashing stations, and providing PPE for faculty. In addition, we are creating high quality outdoor learning spaces that can be accessed by classroom cohorts. 

As we approach August, I have received questions regarding summer and fall travel plans. At this point, Colorado has not issued any travel advisories, though Routt County is in the process of drafting travel recommendations. We will follow any local, state, and federal recommendations regarding travel and quarantine. In general, please avoid unnecessary travel. If your child has traveled outside the state, we ask that you notify the School, and you may be required to keep your child home for 14 days. Please remember that it will take effort from every individual to keep our entire community safe. 

Please refer to the Back to School Parent Playbook and the questions below for more information. The school will be communicating more details about the logistics of the re-opening plan in the next 2 weeks.

In gratitude,

Michael

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