July 2, 2020
Dear SMS Families,
We want to thank you all for completing our Soft Reopening Survey. The information you shared about your desire to enroll in the summer and reenroll in the fall was immensely helpful in establishing a plan to reopen. Given the information we received from our families and our staff, we have determined a plan to re-open the school July 20, 2020. Our plan involves opening one Toddler classroom, three Primary classrooms, and two reduced-sized Elementary classrooms. I will be contacting families who expressed interest in June/July start dates about re-enrollment. This process may take me a few days to complete.
Below is a detailed list of steps we will be taking to ensure the safety of our children and our staff:
1. Smaller Class Sizes • Primary and Toddler classrooms will have 10 or fewer children per group. • Elementary classrooms may have up to 12 children. • For the month of July, children who are in the same program and from the same families will be in the same classroom. • Children may not visit other classrooms or mingle with other children. Consider each classroom a quarantining home—a place for students to be together without outside exposure. • Classrooms may not mix on the playground. We will create a schedule for each classrooms to have its own time on the playground.
2. Stafﬁng • Prior to return to work, teachers will be asked to take the COVID-19 antibody test. This will help us to determine level of initial exposure of the staff to the virus. • Prior to each work day, teachers must report on symptoms and have their temperature checked. • In order to limit exposure, teachers may not travel from classroom to classroom. • Each teacher(s) must stay with their students throughout the day, including to supervise lunch. • A dedicated staff member will give breaks to classroom teacher. This staff member will supervise the children outdoors while the Guide takes a break. • All staff will wear masks throughout the day. • In addition to frequent hand washing, staff will have access to hand sanitizer to use in between lessons with children. • Based on responses to the survey, we will not be able to safely offer aftercare during the month of July. Once we have our day program up and running, we will re-evaluate aftercare for August.
Cleaning • Materials may be limited/restricted in class to better keep up with cleaning. For example, we put away food preparation materials in the practical life area. • Classroom materials will be disinfected throughout the day, especially those materials with high usage. • Materials that come into contact with bodily ﬂuids will be removed for disinfecting. • A designated staff member will be on-site throughout the day and will disinfect high use surfaces while the children are on the playground. • This staff member will also disinfect handholds and the slide after each class has used the playground. • The classroom will be disinfected thoroughly at the end of every day by the teacher in their rooms. These cleanings include materials, tables, chairs, handles, doorknobs, faucets, etc. • Finally, several parents noted concerns about the virus spreading through the ventilation system. We do not have a central air system; each classroom has it’s own air conditioning unit.
Nap • Children who nap should bring a clean sheet and blanket on Monday in an extra-large ziplock bag. • Each child will have their own assigned mat. • Mats will be socially distanced. • Each day, the assigned mat, sheet and blankets will be stored in the child’s own ziplock bag. • At the end of the week, sheets and blankets will be sent home for cleaning and mats will be sanitized.
Drop Off / Pick Up • Parents MUST remain in the car during drop off. Parents will not be allowed inside the building or closer than six feet to the teachers. • Parents and children must wear masks at drop off and pick up. • Three designated staff will assist during drop off. These staff will take each child’s temperature. • Staff will escort children to each classroom’s entrance. • For half day pick up, the lobby doors will be locked. Please knock and a staff will walk your child out through the front lobby. • For full day pick up, parents should follow the same routes as they did for drop off. Staff will escort children to the car. Parents must get out of their car, receive their children, and buckle them in before pulling away.
Health Inspections & Policies
Masks • Fabric face masks must be worn at drop off and pick up. Some parents expressed concern about their children’s resistance to masks. This resistance may be because some styles of
masks tug on children’s ears. Parents may want to consider purchasing masks that can be tied behind head / neck (click here to see an example). • Staff will be required to wear masks when with the children (or around each other). • Children in the Toddler classrooms will not be asked to wear masks during school. Their masks will be removed and placed in side pocket of lunch box until the end of the day. • Children in the Primary classrooms will be encouraged to keep their mask on while inside to the best of their ability during school. • Children will be allowed to remove their masks when working, eating snack or playing outside. Hand Washing • Children will wash their hands upon arrival to school. • Children and staff will wash their hands every 30-45 minutes throughout the day. • Children will also be prompted to wash hands before eating, after being outside, after using the toilet and anytime their hands are in their mouths.
Physical Distancing • Each classroom will practice physical distancing to the best of their ability. Tables will be assigned per child and placed 6 feet apart. Children will gather their work from the shelf and return to their assigned table to work. • Our goal is to maximize outdoor time as much as possible. Teachers will invite children to have circle time outside, eat snack outside, and rotate working in the garden. • In addition: While San Diego County is under Shelter in Place, we expect families to be physically distancing too. Beyond attending work and visiting the grocery store, families should stay home in order to continue their care at our school.
Snacks • Children must bring in their own lunches, snacks, and water bottles (clearly labeled with their names). In addition, we ask parents to supply cutlery (spoon and fork) each day in the lunch bag. • Snacks should be in a separate snack container in the lunch box, labeled “snack”, so the child knows what to pick out at snack time (and doesn’t eat too much). • We will also not be able to offer the Ki’s lunch service this summer. Sunscreen • Parents must apply sunscreen in the morning, prior to arrival at school. • If parents would like sunscreen re-applied after lunch, they must send ‘face stick’ style sunscreen that is clearly labeled with their child’s name.
COVID Policy • Children do not need to be tested or the virus to return to school. • Children who are exposed to the virus through a family member must be quarantined for 72 hours minimum and will need a physicians letter to return to school
• Children who fall ill with COVID symptoms must be quarantined and may not return to school until cleared by a physician. • Classrooms with a conﬁrmed case of COVID-19 must be quarantined for a period of up to 14 days
On behalf of the administration and the teachers of Scripps Montessori School, we would like to welcome you to visit our school. We look forward to getting to know each family and guiding your child toward reaching his/her potential as well as developing a lifelong love of learning.
This is accomplished by allowing the children to explore through freedom and self-discipline. The children of SMS will develop at their own time, not a preconceived idea of the same. With this freedom, the love of learning goes hand in hand.