COVID - 19

If the past year has taught us anything, it’s that things in life can be unpredictable. Last spring, we experienced an unprecedented state-wide school closure, causing GMS to swich to distance learning. When distance learning began, it grew from everyone’s best thinking in the moment. This meant that the goal was survival and maintenance of the students’ skills.

 

Looking ahead to the possibility of another school closure, it’s time to build a new plan that will focus on the growth and development of the students’ skills and abilities, honoring their whole selves. Although we plan to convert to distance learning only if absolutely necessary, it is our responsibility to prepare for this possibility.  

Please note that this is a fluid situation. Policies may change as the start of the school year approaches and updated guidelines are issued by the CDC and the state. 

Will GMS open in September?

Yes, as state and local mandates allow, GMS will open with all programs and in-person classes with the appropriate precautions as outlined by the CDC guidelines allow. GMS will not have alternate, staggered, or split days or partial distance learning.

Is there a plan if schools are required to close?

Yes. If schools are required to close and we are unable to make up the days within the school year or by extending the school year, GMS will initiate distance learning program for our Elementary programs that focuses on the growth and development of each student while continuing the Montessori curriculum and methodology. Key elements of the distance learning program include:

  • Live, online instruction using extended Zoom sessions.

  • Lessons will match up with the students’ current course of study in the classroom

  • One- on-One Zoom conferences with the teacher.

  • Video lessons for repeated viewing.

  • Weekly student work/ activity plans.

  • Virtual field trips.

  • Materials packets prepared by the teachers for home use.

  • Regular conferencing with parents to provide information and support.
     

In the event that we are required to return to Phase ll, we will explore the possibility of remaining in session as per Virginia Department of Social Services guidelines.

Will GMS be offering their full program?

Yes. All programs will consist of in-person instruction and operate on a five-day, full time basis with student enrollment determined by safe distancing guidelines. GMS has no plans to offer split schedules, staggered days or hybrid in-class/virtual learning programs.

What safety protocal will GMS be taking?

GMS will institute a comprehensive COVID Mitigation plan that includes the following:

  • Limited number of students in each designated classroom space.

  • Classroom spaces and procedures designed to facilitate safe social distancing while allowing students to interact safely.

  • Temperature monitoring and illness screening prior to entering school.

  • Developmentally appropriate use of face coverings by students and consistent use of face coverings by teachers.

  • Emphasis on frequent, proper handwashing by staff and students throughout the school day.

  • Instruction in how to cover coughs and sneezes.

  • Intensified cleaning and sanitation practices used by staff throughout the school day.

  • Thoughtfully presented lessons to help students manage stress and build community during the COVID pandemic.

  • New procedures for each classroom that minimize the spread of illness, including snack, use of restroom and playground, and classroom materials.

  • Expanded use of outdoor spaces as extensions of the classrooms.

Will students be required to wear a mask?

This is a topic that we are examining closely. We appreciate that the developmental needs of our students vary and will keep those in mind as we explore this issue.

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Gloucester Montessori School
8381 George Washington Memorial Highway

P.O. Box 1510
Gloucester, VA  23061
Call 804-699-3020
E-Mail: info@gloucestermontessori.com

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Gloucester Montessori School is a non-profit 501(c)(3) educational institution that does not discriminate in violation of the law on the basis of race, religion or cultural background.  All contents ©2016 Gloucester Montessori School.

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