COVID-19 Response

Reopening Information and Guidelines for

Canandaigua Montessori School 2020-2021

This document was created to aid our school community to safely and effectively navigate the new processes set forth by Canandaigua Montessori School in coordination with guidelines from New York State Department of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and New York State Education Department.  This document should help answer many of your questions about reopening but the contents may need to be adjusted based on the ongoing guidance that we receive from the New York State Department of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the New York State Education Department.

Communication of reopening plans and safety instructions will be made available to staff, parents, and essential visitors via email and our website. Along with verbal reminders, there will be signage throughout the facility to encourage healthy practices (wear a mask, stay 6 ft apart, wash hands, and respiratory hygiene). We will also use social media to encourage these healthy practices starting at home including instructions for handwashing, respiratory hygiene, how to properly put on and take off a mask, and how to discard a mask.  The children are not required to wear face masks but may do so if they wish.

We will continue to communicate any changes or reminders to families via email and our website.

Our top priority is to provide a safe and healthy environment for our entire school community to engage, grow and learn in!

Health and Safety Practices

Before entering the school, employees, volunteers, parents, children, and essential visitors must complete a health screening questionnaire daily.  In addition, each employee, volunteer, parent, child, and essential visitor must sign and submit this form (OCFS-6040) to the program one time. Employees, volunteers, parents, children, and essential visitors must answer all questions and take their temperature daily to confirm a body temperature lower than 100.0 degrees Fahrenheit. Each morning you will receive 2 emails with links to the Daily Health Screening questionnaires. If you do not have access to email, you can obtain these links from our school website (www.canandaiguamontessori.com).  One questionnaire is for you to complete on the child’s health and the second is to be completed by the person dropping the child off at school: regarding their own health. If you answer “yes” to any of the questions, you may not enter the school. After completing the Daily Health Screenings, they should be submitted to the school electronically.  If you do not have access to wifi, please call the school directly with your results.

If you forget to take your temperature, but answer “no” to all the questions on the questionnaire, a CMS staff member may take your temperature for you on site. The parent/guardian must call us upon arrival, so we can meet them before entering the building.  The staff member taking the temperature will use a contactless thermometer and be wearing gloves, face mask and face shield.  

All parents/guardians, staff, volunteers, and essential visitors must wear a face mask that covers their mouth and nose. Acceptable face coverings include but are not limited to homemade sewn, quick cut, bandanas, or surgical masks.  Masks will be available for all employees, volunteers, parents, children and essential visitors if needed.  Please call before entering building if mask needs to be provided by CMS.

Face coverings should not be placed on: 

• Children younger than 2 years old 

 • Anyone who has trouble breathing or is unconscious

 • Anyone who is incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the cloth face covering without assistance

Parents/guardians, staff, students, volunteers, essential visitors and visitors are asked to use hand sanitizer or wash hands upon entering school. 

There will be face masks, hand sanitizer and hand washing areas (with soap, warm water and disposable paper towels) available throughout the school to parents/guardians, staff, students, volunteers, essential visitors and visitors.  These supplies will be bought in bulk and checked daily to ensure that there is always an ample supply on hand.

Daily health checks and ongoing observation of signs of illness will be done by staff throughout the day.  If a child becomes ill during the school day, they will be removed from the group and sent home to follow up with their healthcare provider.

Any visitors, guests, contractors or vendors will not be allowed to enter the building without answering a health questionnaire and having their temperature taken. There will be signage on the door stating this policy. They will also be required to wear a face mask.  To reduce the amount of people in the building, when it is possible, deliveries will be made outside of the building.  Non-essential visitors will be kept to a minimum. A contact log will be kept in order to log visitors and their contact information.

Cleaning logs will be kept daily to ensure cleaning and disinfecting of common areas, frequently touched surfaces, equipment, bathrooms, floors and toys.  We will adhere to hygiene, cleaning and disinfection requirements from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Department of Health (DOH). The logs will be maintained on site and will document date, time, and scope of cleaning and disinfection. We will utilize the Cleaning and Disinfecting Log (OCFS-6041) provided by the Office of Children and Family Services.

A site safety monitor (Tracey Knopf) will ensure that continued compliance occurs with all aspects of this plan.

Classrooms:

Group size is limited to 15 children.  These groups will remain stable.

“Stable” means that the same children are in the same group each day and will not intermingle with children in the other groups.

The children are not required to wear masks.

The staff are required to wear face masks. They will be given areas for mask breaks and lunch (in designated staff break rooms).

Parents are asked to not enter the classroom. Please drop off your child at the doorway and do not to linger in the building.

This year, we will be staggering our drop off and pick up times to allow for less traffic and social distancing. If you are in Mrs. Knopf’s room, school begins at 8:45am and ends at 11:45am. If you are in Mrs. Wadsworth’s room, school begins at 9:00am and ends at 3:00pm.  At dismissal time, we are asking parents to park on the side of the building where our playground is located.  At dismissal, we will bring the children out to the sidewalk and dismiss from there.  If your child will be staying for our aftercare program, dismissal is until 4:00pm.  Parents may park in the front of the building. These children will be dismissed from the side door of the playroom.   

Social distancing of 6 feet will be practiced for students when feasible.

Proper hand washing and respiratory hygiene will be taught to students and practiced. Alcohol based hand sanitizer containing 60% or more alcohol will also be available where handwashing is not available/practical.

Children and staff will wash hands:

  • Upon arrival in classroom
  • Between all program activities
  • After using restroom or helping a student with toileting
  • Before and after eating 
  • After being outside/playing in playroom
  • Before leaving the last activity of the day

Daily health checks and ongoing observation for signs of illness will be done by staff throughout the day.  If a child becomes ill during the school day, they will be removed from the group and sent home to follow up with their healthcare provider.

Children will bring their own school supplies. School has designated storage area for each child. 

No toys from home (except for show and tell items on their designated day that will not be touched by other individuals). 

We are asking that parents provide a morning snack for their child each day. If your child stays a full day, please provide a morning snack, a lunch and an afternoon snack. 

While eating, students will be in designated area spaced six feet apart. 

We will continue to do show and tell but show items will not be handled by others.

Students may bring in rest items- small blanket, small pillow and small stuffed animal that need to fit in a bag in/on their cubbie.  A draw string bag would be preferable.

Daily cleaning and disinfecting of equipment and toys will occur using products identified by EPA as effective against COVID-19.

High touch areas (e.g. doorknobs, common areas, bathroom) will be cleaned frequently throughout the day.

Cleaning logs will be kept in each classroom and completed by classroom teacher.

Outside equipment will be cleaned between the stable groups of children.

Screening and Illness Processes– 

If a child shows symptoms of COVID-19, they should stay home and follow up with their healthcare provider before returning to school.

If a child becomes ill during the school day, they will be removed from the group and sent home immediately to follow up with their healthcare provider before returning to school.

In the event that a parent/guardian of a child must be isolated because they have tested positive for, or exhibited symptoms of COVID-19, the parent/guardian must not enter the school for any reason, including picking up their child.

  • If a parent/guardian –who is a member of the same household as the child –is exhibiting signs of COVID-19 or has been tested and is positive for the virus, the parent will need to utilize an emergency contact authorized by them to come pick up the child. As a “close contact,” the child must not return to school for the duration of the quarantine.
  •   If a parent/guardian–who is a member of the same household as the child –is being quarantined as a precautionary measure, without symptoms or a positive test, staff should walk out and retrieve the child (during drop off) and walk out and deliver the child (at pick up) to the parent at the boundary of, or outside, the premises. As a “contact of a contact” the child may return to the school during the duration of the quarantine.
  • If a child or any of their household members become symptomatic for COVID-19 and/or tests positive, the child must quarantine and may not return or attend the school until after quarantine is complete.

If there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the school the protocol will be as follows:

-Contact state and local health department-follow guidance and recommendations from them. 

-Contact individuals that may have come into close contact with this person (maintaining confidentiality of person).  Close contact means any individual within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes. We would contact you via email and phone calls. We will follow guidance from local health department on next steps for these individuals. 

-Close off affected areas. Open outside doors. We will wait 24 hours to clean and disinfect common areas and all areas that were affected.  We will clean areas first with soap and water and then disinfect with bleach and water solution(1/3 cup of bleach to gallon of water). Areas will reopen after these steps are complete and following Department of Health guidance.

-Person that tested positive would need to follow the local health departments guidelines before returning to school. 

Staff:

Staff are required to read and understand the Department of Health “Reopening New York Child Care and Day Camp Programs Guidelines” and the “Interim Guidance for Child Care and Day Camp Programs During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency” and attend a training on these guidelines.

Staff will take their temperature and answer the Daily Health Screening questionnaire before entering site. 

Staff must limit the sharing of objects and discourage touching of shared surfaces; or, when in contact with shared objects or frequently touched areas, wear gloves; or, sanitize or wash hands before and after contact.  

Staff will be provided with education on:

  • signs of COVID-19 to perform health checks throughout the day
  • hand and respiratory hygiene
  • proper way to wear mask, take on/off mask, clean and properly dispose of mask 
  • taking temperature of person using contactless thermometer and proper ppe
  • cleaning and disinfecting of all areas of the school including classroom, common areas, bathrooms, kitchen and how to document using OCFS 6041

Staff will help educate and encourage children on proper hand washing and respiratory hygiene.  

If staff becomes ill, they will immediately be removed from class and will follow up with their health practitioner before returning to school.

The school will refer to DOH’s “Interim Guidance for Public and Private Employees Returning to Work Following COVID-19 Infection or Exposure” regarding protocols and policies for staff seeking to return to work after a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 or after the staff member had close or proximate contact with a person with COVID-19.

We understand this is a difficult and uncertain time for everyone.  Below are some resources and information to assist our families and staff in dealing with stress and mental health during this health pandemic.

https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/education-awareness/shareable-resources-on-coping-with-covid-19.shtml

https://www.childtrends.org/publications/resources-for-supporting-childrens-emotional-well-being-during-the-covid-19-pandemic

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/managing-stress-anxiety.html

https://www.childrensinstitute.net/about-us/covid19-resources-for-families

We have greatly missed our children and families these last few months. While the world has turned upside down and left many of us feeling unsure,  please know that as Maria Montessori said “ Now, what really makes a teacher is love for the human child; for it is love that transforms the social duty of the educator into the higher consciousness of a mission.” 

Reopening Plan to nys education dept.

Canandaigua Montessori Schools Reopening Plans-

Through discussions with our local health department, Office of Children and Family Services, our Board of Trustees, the staff, and parents at Canandaigua Montessori School we have decided to reopen with full in person learning.  We are a small school with a capacity of 40 students over 3 classrooms. The majority of our students are 5 years and under.

Health and Safety-

Communication of reopening plans and safety instructions will be made available to staff, parents, and essential visitors via email and our website. Along with verbal reminders, there will be signage throughout the facility to encourage healthy practices (wear a mask, stay 6 ft apart, wash hands, and respiratory hygiene). We will also use social media to encourage these healthy practices starting at home including instructions for properly taking on and off a mask, discarding a mask, handwashing and respiratory hygiene.

-The school will have no more than 15 students in a static group. 

-Before entering the school, employees, volunteers, parents, children and essential visitors must complete a health screening questionnaire daily.  In addition, each employee, volunteer, parent, child and essential visitor must sign and submit this form to the program one time. Employees, volunteers, parents, children and essential visitors must answer all questions and take their temperature daily to confirm a body temperature lower than 100.0 degrees Fahrenheit.  If they answer any questions on the questionnaire “yes” they may not enter the school. If they forget to take their temperature, but answer “no” to all the questions on the questionnaire, we may take their temperature for them on site.  The person taking the temperature would use a contactless thermometer and be wearing gloves, face mask and face shield.  

-There will be face masks, hand sanitizer and hand washing areas available throughout the school to parents/guardians, staff, students, volunteers, essential visitors and visitors.  These supplies will be bought in bulk and checked daily to ensure that there is always an ample supply on hand.

-Daily health checks and ongoing observation of signs of illness will be done by staff.  If a child becomes ill during the school day, they will be removed from the group and sent home to follow up with their healthcare provider.

-Any visitors, guests, contractors or vendors will not be allowed to enter the building without answering health questionnaire and having temperature checked. There will be signage on door stating such policy. They will also be required to have appropriate ppe.  To reduce amount of people in building, when it is possible, deliveries will be made outside building.  

-All employees, adult visitors and students over 6 years of age will wear face coverings in school (please be advised at this time we only have students ages 18 months to 6 years of age).

-Cleaning logs will be kept daily to ensure cleaning and disinfecting of common areas, frequently touched areas, equipment, bathrooms, floors and toys. The products used to disinfect will be a bleach and water solution.

-If there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the school the protocol will be as follows:

-Contact state and local health department-follow guidance and recommendations from them 

-Contact individuals that may have come into close contact with this person (maintain confidentiality of person).  We would contact them via email and phone calls. We will follow guidance from local health department on next steps for these individuals. 

-Person that tested positive would need to follow the local health departments guidelines before returning to school. 

-Close off affected areas. Open outside doors. We will wait 24 hours to clean and disinfect common areas and all areas that were affected.  We will clean areas first with soap and water and then disinfect with bleach and water solution(1/3 cup of bleach to gallon of water). 

 Facilities-Structures will remain unchanged due to low enrollment and sufficient square footage for social distancing.  Traffic patterns will change to assist in distancing during drop off and pick up time.

Child Nutrition-

-No meals are provided by school.

-All snacks and lunches are provided by parents.

-Hand washing before and after meals is mandatory-each child called up individually -2 sinks for 15 kids

-Students will social distance (six feet apart) while consuming meals

-No sharing of food or beverages will be allowed

-We will wash and sanitize tables before and after use 

Transportation-

All transportation is provided by parents/guardians

Attendance-

Taken on a daily basis by classroom teacher (using the Child Care Attendance sheet)

Teaching and Learning-

-In the event that we had to close, we would engage in remote learning as we did last year

-We will provide accessibility to all students for learning 

-Families can contact teachers through email or phone when questions about instruction or guidance is required.

NYS Department of Health Safety plan