MCDS has released our Pandemic Health/Safety Plan for the reopening of school for the 2020-2021 school year.
Mask Update: We have received the following message from the Department of Human Services, the agency that licenses our summer camp program:
“This guidance covers policies and procedures providers should implement during the COVID-19 pandemic. Children 2 years old and older are required to wear a face covering as described in the Order of the Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Health Order for Universal Face Coverings, unless you fit one of the exceptions included in Section 3 of the Order. If a child is outdoors and able to consistently maintain a social distance of at least 6 feet from individuals who are not a part of their household, they do not need to wear a mask. If a parent, guardian, or responsible person has been unable to place a face covering safely on the child’s face, they should not do so. If a child 2 years old or older is unable to remove a face covering without assistance, the child is not required to wear one. The Department of Health recognizes that getting younger children to be comfortable wearing face coverings and to keep them on may create some difficulties. Under these circumstances, parents, guardians, licensed child care providers in community-based and school settings or responsible persons may consider prioritizing the wearing of face coverings to times when it is difficult for the child to maintain a social distance of at least 6 feet from others who are not a part of their household (e.g., during carpool drop off or pick up, or when standing in line at school). Ensuring proper face covering size and fit and providing children with frequent reminders and education on the importance and proper wearing of cloth face coverings may help address these issues.”
It was our hope at MCDS that we would not need to implement mask wearing for our students. We understand that this is not an ideal situation and are committed to doing everything that we can to ensure the safety and well-being of our students and staff. We also recognize that mask-wearing is a process for all of us, children especially. It may be difficult for some students to wear a mask at all. Just as we do in all things, it is our intention to support every child where he/she is in his/her process. Children would only be asked to wear their masks during indoor job time. Masks would be off and in cubbies during snacks, outdoor play, lunch, and nap periods. We recognize that this process will not be perfect and that even partial success will potentially minimize risks. We want to assure you that we are committed to providing the same fun and engaging experience that your child has grown accustomed to. We are asking that you please send a labeled, child-sized mask for your child when he/she returns to camp. If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to email us at the school (email@example.com) or call during our business hours 8:00-5:00 Monday-Friday (610-777-3080).
In response to COVID-19, Montessori Country Day School has updated our Health & Illness Policies as well as some of our daily operational procedures. Updates can be found under the “Summer Camp Forms” tab.
Please note: Families will need to have both a current emergency contact form and an acknowledgement of receipt of updated policies form on file with us before their child’s first day at camp. Both of these forms are available for download under the “Summer Camp Forms” as well as by request from our office.
For the last few weeks, the MCDS Board of Directors and I have been working on a plan and procedures for when we would be allowed to reopen. On Friday, May 22nd, Governor Wolf held a press conference announcing that summer camps and child care centers would be able to reopen for the summer.
MCDS will be opening our summer camp program as scheduled on Monday June 22, 2020. Our school remains committed to maintaining a safe and healthy environment for students and staff. In response to COVID-19, some of our common practices will be changed in order to try to minimize risk to our families. It is our goal to provide a fun and engaging program that is minimally disruptive to our students while still taking protective measures. Specific plans and policies will be distributed to the entire school community as soon as they have been finalized.
We are also pleased to share that we are offering Montessori-at-Home SUMMER EDITION for any families who prefer to keep their children home this summer but are looking for a program that they can implement from home. Packets will align with the summer camp themes and include a weekly at-home curriculum and daily video sessions with a staff member. A list of camp themes can be found on the summer camp forms on this website! More details about Montessori-at-Home SUMMER EDITION will also be sent out once the program is finalized.
Thank you for your continued patience as we prepare to reopen as safely as possible!
The last two days have been a bit of a whirlwind, both in the community and here at MCDS. Yesterday afternoon, Governor Wolf made a decision to close all Pennsylvania schools from Monday, March 16th through Friday March 27th in an effort to slow the transmission of COVID-19. As a result, MCDS will be closed for the next two weeks and all extra activities including C.O.P.E., the skating party, and Grandparents’ Days will be rescheduled.
It is always our goal to provide engaging, child-centered, learning experiences for the children who attend our school. Although we are unable to be in our classrooms for the next few weeks, our goal has not changed. In an effort to support you as parents at home, and to continue our educational experiences for your children, the teachers and staff at MCDS will be developing a “Montessori at Home” curriculum that you will be able to implement with your children during the time that our doors are closed. We believe that just because the building is closed, the learning doesn’t have to stop.
These are unprecedented times for many of us as individuals and for our school as well. It is our hope to be back in our classrooms as soon as possible, but in the meantime our teachers and staff will do all that we can to continue to provide your children with engaging, child-centered learning opportunities. There will be more information to follow during the coming week. As always, thank you all for your ongoing support of our program. The Learning Continues!
Michelle Machuzick, Director