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We continue to take extensive precautions to protect our children and staff against Covid-19.
At the outset of the Covid-19 pandemic, we put in place an extensive plan to protect our children and staff, the elements of which were informed by guidance from the Centers for Disease Control, the LA County Department of Public Health and the LA County Department of Social Services. Some of these measures were required by law. Most were not required. Still, they are things we felt strongly would enhance hygiene and safety. Though our plans have evolved as the pandemic persisted, most of the modifications, protocols and specialized equipment remain in effect. This is because only a very few of the children attending our school are old enough for vaccination while the vast majority are not. Some of these measures are listed below. All are enumerated in our Parent Handbook, made available upon enrollment.
Upon arrival, all children's footwear will be sanitized by simply stepping on a disinfecting mat we have acquired that is designed to prevent bacteria or virus from entering the school on the soles of shoes.
Each child will be assigned his or her own table and work materials (so there is no sharing of pencils, scissors and other implements).
Napping will be organized to ensure six-feet of distance.
To the degree possible, teachers will only interact with one group of children each week.
The children in each group will not mix with any other children or adults (other than their own dedicated teachers) at any time between their morning arrival and afternoon departure. This includes time spent on the playground, which will be similarly restricted by group.
The children in each group will use the same toilet and sink all day. We had additional sinks installed in several classrooms at the beginning of the pandemic in order to facilitate more frequent hand washing.
Children wash their hands thoroughly at every activity transition (ie, arrival, transition to playground, transition back into classroom, before eating, etc.)
Masks (provided by parents) are required for children. Staff will endeavor to help keep them in place throughout the day.
The playground is partitioned such that each classroom is assigned its own area and play equipment. We have added portable fencing to delineate these separate areas.
After each use, Montessori classroom materials will be disinfected before being made available to another child.
All Montessori "food jobs," have been removed from our curriculum until further notice.
Snack shelves will be removed for the duration of the public health emergency.
Where we typically advocate against disposable utensils and napkins, during the public health emergency we are requiring their use (if and when we need to provide a child with them).
We have purchased medical-grade Hepa filtration devices for every classroom. We will also open windows whenever possible in order to increase air circulation.
We have added a full-time, dedicated janitor to our staff (where previously the position was part-time). Custodial services including disinfecting of bathrooms, classrooms and supplies will occur throughout the day rather than after school as is usually the case. When children are on the playground, our caretaker will disinfect their classroom thoroughly.
We constructed a fifth bathroom located on our upper playground in order to minimize the number of children using each bathroom.
Restrooms are disinfected after each use.
Teachers and staff will be provided and required to wear protective aprons and face masks. Their break facilities have been modified to permit physical distancing of at least six feet.
Teachers will be provided with hand sanitizer that they can carry in their apron pocket for repeated applications during the day.
Any child who misses school due to illness of any kind will not be permitted to return to school until he or she has been symptom-free for at least 48 hours.
Parent-teacher conferences are conducted outdoors or virtually on Zoom if preferred by the parent.
Adult entry into our facility is still limited and requires a face mask.
Tours of our facility to prospective parents will not include entry into the classroom buildings. Tour guests will be invited to observe through exterior windows.