It’s back to school time; but for families and schools across the country, this school year is looking very different from previous years. Many families are wondering how schools are prepared to bring students back into the classroom and prevent the spread of COVID-19.
At Sugar Mill Montessori, we understand the concerns of our parents and families during this unprecedented time. We’re committed to providing a safe return to school for all of our students and staff. Here are the steps we are taking to maintain a safe and healthy learning environment!
Daily School Procedures
Since reopening in May, Sugar Mill Montessori has adopted several safety measures in our school community and daily operations.
All adults are required to wear face coverings. School entry is limited to students and staff only. This will help us limit the amount of contact between students and adults.
Upon entry, every individual is required to a health and temperature screening. Those who exhibit symptoms of illness or fever will not be allowed in the school. We encourage parents to keep their children home if they are not feeling well.
Every student will have their own individual supply bag of pencils, crayons, and paint brushes. Students will not share supplies, and all shared classroom materials, such as Montessori work, will be sanitized between use. Students are also provided individually packaged snacks.
We have created designated workspaces to maintain social distancing. We have also created songs about social distancing to help with this process and show children they can still have fun together even though they cannot come in close contact with their peers. When working one-on-one with students, our staff will do all they can to maintain as much distance as possible.
Our students and staff are practicing frequent handwashing. We’ve come up with new ways to make hand washing fun for our students, including songs about handwashing we can all sing along to. We’re constantly reminding students on how to thoroughly wash their hands with plenty of soap and warm water.
Students will wash their hands before and after eating, playing, and touching common items and surfaces, such as toys and books. Our staff is frequently disinfecting all high-touch items and surfaces, including desks, tables, door handles, toilets, sinks, and light switches.
Child Care & COVID-19
Sugar Mill Montessori has adopted new infection control measures in our daily operations. These measures will help us prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the learning environment and help our staff make informed child care decisions in the classroom.
All of our staff members have completed the following child care and COVID-19 training courses by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension:
- Special Considerations for Infection Control During COVID-19
- High-Quality Emergency Child Care During COVID-19
We have remained in close contact with the Fort Bend County Health Department since the start of the pandemic in March. We continue to stay up to date on their guidelines, as well as the guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Partners with Fort Bend Independent School District
Sugar Mill Montessori has partnered with the Fort Bend Independent School District. Our partnership with FBISD ensures that our staff and facility adheres to safety measures set by the district. It also ensures that our staff has received the necessary training to keep our students safe during this time. For at least the first four weeks of school, FBISD has decided to go online. At Sugar Mill Montessori, our Innovators program will be online. Students can attend these virtual classes with their own tablet, laptop, and headphones.
How You Can Prepare Your Child for Back to School
This school year, we will be integrating many Montessori principles in our back to school safety measures. Parents can also incorporate these principles at home to practice safety and help children better understand what is happening in our community.
Self-control, for example, is part of the Montessori approach and is something we teach our students to promote unity, build trust, and develop healthy independence and student relations.
Teaching students the importance of self-control and social distancing, for example, will be ongoing in our classrooms. Parents can also teach self-control and social distancing at home.
Families can also continue practicing thorough hand washing and cleaning at home. Making this part of your child’s daily routine will carry out into the classroom and foster their independence and participation.
A Safe & Healthy 2020-2021 School Year
Despite how different this school year may be, Sugar Mill Montessori is looking forward to seeing all of our students and helping to create a healthy and safe learning environment. We encourage parents and families to reach out to us with any concerns or questions about going back to school.