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Manhattan Preschool | About Montclare Children’s School
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Reopening Fall 2020

MONTCLARE REOPENING, September 10, 2020

 

This summer, we had a wonderful webinar for new and returning 2’s families with two of our Montclare Parents, one of our 2’s teachers, Director, Cathy Makropoulos, and Associate Director, Sasha Wilson, and members of our leadership team. While we hosted webinars in June for our 2’s, 3’s, and 4’s families to inform everyone of our plans for reopening, we felt that we wanted to go more in-depth into how we will be managing the separation/phase-in process for our youngest students.

 

We are prepared for September 10, 2020 and looking forward to reopening our doors! Yes, things may look a bit different, and we will be following DOH and NY State regulations and requirements to a T! However, we are prepared for various contingencies and will continue to plan and update our families over the summer.

 

 

Our current roll-out schedule for this summer:

 

July

    • Bi-weekly letters from Cathy

 

August (end of month):

    • Welcome Packets and Class List Information
    • Remote Parent-Teacher meeting
    • Parent workshop on social-emotional adjustment “Back-to-School” with Dr. Vivian Mougious, PhD

 

September:

    • Parent Information Sessions and Updates
    • Remote Family/Child Home Visit with Teacher
    • Begin phase-in
    • Curriculum Night – Virtual
    • Exmissions Meeting Independent Schools – Virtual
    • New Parent Breakfast – Virtual

 

Safety

Montclare is ensuring thoroughly planned protocols to create a safe space for our students to learn and our faculty and staff to work.

 

Health Screening & Temperature Checks

Montclare is ensuring thoroughly planned protocols to create a safe space for our students to learn and our faculty and staff to work.

 

Those who come to the door will be asked a few simple health questions such as:  

      • Have you experienced a loss of your sense of taste or smell?  
      • Have you had a fever in the past 24 hours?  
      • Have you had flu-like symptoms in the last 14 days?  
      • Do you have a headache?  
      • Have you taken (or has your child been given) medication in the past 24 hours? Parents must disclose if Ibuprofen or Acetaminophen has been administered in the last 24 hours for any reason.  
      • Have you had any interaction with anyone known to be COVID-19 positive in the last 14 days? For healthcare professionals, have you interacted with anyone known to be COVID-19 positive within the last 14 days when you were NOT wearing the appropriate personal protective gear?  
      • Is there anyone in your home showing any signs of illness or who have the following symptoms: fever at or greater than 100.4 degrees (F), cough, or shortness of breath/difficulty breathing?  

 

A member of our staff will also visually inspect for signs of illness such as shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, fatigue, flushed-cheeks, rash, runny nose, etc. Finally, a member of our staff will take your child’s temperature with a touchless thermometer. Anyone with a fever will be asked to return home for 72 hours. Temperature checks for all staff and children will be repeated during lunchtime and at the end of each day.

 

Drop-off and Pick-up

Members of our staff will greet families outside our front entrance and/or in our lobby/front entrance. After the Health and Temperature Screening described above, children will be escorted to their classrooms. Currently, we are requesting that parents say goodbye to their children in the lobby or at the main entrance to minimize the spread of “germs.” If possible, we ask that parents identify a consistent guardian or authorized person/caregiver for drop-off and pick-up. 

 

Limited Visitors and Social Distancing

For the duration of the current health crisis, we must limit visitors to our school. Only teachers/school staff will be permitted in classrooms. All pre-approved visitors must successfully clear the aforementioned Health and Temperature Screenings before entering the school. Vendors and deliveries will not be allowed past the school front lobby.

 

Social Distancing Protocols:  This fall, our specialists will be visiting the classrooms to avoid having students traveling in the hallways unnecessarily and sharing common spaces. Each classroom will have its designated stalls in the bathrooms and its own changing tables or mats.  All schoolwide, staff, and parent meetings, conferences, workshops, and social “gatherings” will be held virtually.

 

Masks

Teachers and school staff will wear washable cloth face coverings/masks during Health and Temperature Screenings and during close contact care routines. Teachers, school administrators, staff including any non-faculty will also wear masks in the building.

 

Unless mandated by the state of New York, local, or other licensing authority, we will not require that children wear masks while at school.

 

Enhanced Cleaning and Sanitizing Protocols

Prior to school reopening and nightly cleaning will be completed using EPA approved disinfecting products.

 

Teachers and school staff will be cleaning and sanitizing throughout the day, paying particular attention to high-touch areas. Soft toys, sensory bins, and sand play will be removed for the time being, and we ask that children leave toys at home. Classroom toys will be carefully sanitized at the end of each day.

 

Only one group of children will be permitted to use the playground at a time and equipment will be sanitized between each group.

 

FAQ

 

 

Will students be attending Montclare on a staggered schedule?
Montclare will not be adopting a staggered schedule. We have sufficient classroom space for children to maintain safe social distancing protocols while adhering to their daily planned school schedule.

 

What will you do to ensure your school and staff are safe before you reopen?

We will be performing pre-opening procedures to include a deep cleaning and disinfecting as well as a full inspection of the premises for any maintenance needs. As stated above, our janitorial providers will continue cleaning procedures that include disinfecting with EPA approved products.

 

Our staff will be trained on the latest health and safety procedures to reflect the most recent guidance from the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics, as well as from local, state, and federal authorities. These procedures will include enhanced cleaning throughout the day, guidance on social distancing strategies with children, and tools for protecting themselves and the children in their care from the spreading of pathogens.

 

Staff will adhere to the same health screening and temperature checks as the children in attendance.

  

If there are cases of COVID-19 at the school after you reopen, what will you do?
In the event that there is a case of COVID-19 within our school, we will notify local health officials and follow their guidance. The school will notify families of any cases as well (as always, we will respect confidentiality and will not identify infected individuals), and share the guidance given by local health officials.

 

Montclare is prepared to close when necessary to limit the risk of exposure to COVID-19. The duration of the closure will be at the guidance of local health officials.

  

Will class size ratios be impacted as you reopen? 

We will follow the state ratio guidelines as well as the CDC childcare guidelines for health, safety, and class sizes.

  

What will separation/phase-in look like this fall? 

Our separation and school attachment process will look different this year with individual school visits for our 2s, followed by a visit of 2 children at a time, then small/half groups, and finally full groups. Teachers will be reaching out at the end of the summer before school begins to get to know their new students virtually.

Of course, as always, we will be working with each individual family to ensure that the start of school goes smoothly! As the class lists go out and New York City reopens, once class-lists go out in late August we encourage families to set up play-dates while socially distancing with their classmates so the children (and parents) can get to know one another. It’s always helpful for children to see a familiar face when they come to school.

 

We will also be having a webinar with Montclare parent and renowned child psychologist, Vivan Mougios, in late August to support our families and help them prepare for a smooth transition back to school.

 

Distance Learning; What if I decide to attend Montclare virtually until I feel safe to send them to school?

Montclare is prepared to welcome your child virtually until that time you are comfortable sending them to school. Here is a brief outline of what you can expect to see should you choose this option:

 

  • Children will be assigned to the appropriate classroom
  • Families will receive a welcome packet and an invitation to the parent/teacher meeting and remote home visit as well as be added to StoryPark
  • A remote learning packet will be sent or picked up
  • Teachers will create a schedule with the parents specifying the times of day their children will be invited to participate synchronously-Teachers will work with parents to modify and personalize this time
  • Asynchrony information will be delivered through Stroypark or email if StoryPark is still being developed
  • Families are invited to begin on-site education when they are comfortable

 

Working together it’s going to be a safe and wonderful year of learning and connecting at Montclare!