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Thacher Montessori 2021/22 Re-Envisioned Scroll down to learn more.

Welcome One and All

This is the 50th year that Thacher Montessori has opened doors to receive students and families into our community. As we step into the future of Thacher, I am pleased to present Thacher Re-Envisioned. Taking things we learned and adapted last year through the Re-Entry Plan and drawing from events from previous years, we have fashioned a combination of virtual and in-person offerings that we are confident will meet the needs of working families with busy schedules and offer opportunities for us to come together to strengthen our community bonds in person.

This document is provided to give you guidelines of what to expect this year, particularly in light of the ever-changing COVID-19 information. It provides the protocols to be followed to keep our community safe. If you have any questions, reach out to any of our administrative team.

Thank you in advance for your participation and cooperation in making this a successful year for us all, especially for the children.

Deba Dunn, Head of School

Start Dates

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

  • Toddler: All Toddler students begin
  • Children's House: Returning students only begin
  • Lower Elementary: Returning students only begin
  • Upper Elementary & Adolescent Program: All students begin

Thursday, September 9, 2021

Children's House & Lower Elementary new students begin.

Before & After Care

Before Care (BSC): Before care is not offered at this time.

After Care (ASC): Afterschool care begins on Monday, September 13, and is offered until 4:45 pm for pre-registered families. Students are required to bring a healthy, nut-free snack from home to eat during ASC hours.

  • Toddler and Children's House ASC is currently full and not accepting drop-ins.
  • Drop-ins at the Elementary and AP levels are still available. Call the front desk to register. (617-361-2522 ext. 10)

2021-22 Community Events

To maintain the health and safety of our students and staff, many of our community events will continue to be held virtually this year. Strict protocols will be in place for any in-person gatherings. We will provide specific details and requirements prior to each scheduled event.

Virtual Events:

  • Parent Orientation (Toddler - AP)
  • Welcome from Administration
  • Parent Coffees
  • Parent Education Evenings
  • LE Family Project Night Prep
  • Parent/Guide Conferences

In-Person Events:

  • New Student Visiting Day
  • Back to School Picnic
  • Next Level Open House
  • UE Presentation Evening
  • LE Family Project Night
  • Science Fair

Message from Nurse Carolynn Moore, BSN, RN

Thacher is planning to meet all requirements and, at times, will go above and beyond an abundance of caution to protect students and staff.

Visitor Protocol

To maintain our staff and students' health and safety and protect the educational integrity of the Montessori experience, no visitors are allowed in the school.

Arrivals & Dismissal

ARRIVALS PROCEDURE

All parents and children (other than Toddler children) should arrive wearing masks. All children must be removed from their car seats and escorted to the curb (or gate) by their parents. Thacher greeters will meet children at designated entrances.

Toddler families should pull up to the Toddler playground gate. Parents should remove their child(ren) from the car and walk them to the gate where their guide will greet them.

Children's House students enter through the main door. Lower Elementary students enter through the library entrance. UE and AP enter through the double doors near the art room.

Early morning drop-off: There will be no early morning care until further notice. Students must arrive during their cohort time frame.

Late arrivals: Parents who arrive late (after cohort time spot) must park and wait until current cohort is finished. (If greeters are gone, please walk to the door and ring the doorbell.)

DISMISSAL

Students will be dismissed at the same door as arrivals. Dismissal will be staggered by cohort. Guides will walk the children to the edge of the sidewalk, and parents will be responsible for helping their children into their own car seats. If a parent misses their pickup time slot, they must park, call the front desk, and wait for instructions. The blue benches are used by the children while waiting for dismissal. Please do not leave your car and sit on the benches.

Siblings and Carpool Families

Children’s House (CH) students may not enter the building before 8:20 am; therefore, any child (Lower El thru AP) who rides with a Children’s House student needs to arrive at the specific Children’s House class arrival time (8:20 am for CHC, 8:25 am for CHB, 8:30 am for CHA). These older students will not be marked tardy.

During dismissal times, younger students will be dismissed at the oldest siblings' dismissal time except for students with a Toddler sibling who will be dismissed at the Toddler's 3:30 pm dismissal time.

ASC Dismissal

Students will be dismissed from the front benches. Guides will walk children to the edge of the sidewalk, and parents will be responsible for helping their children into their own car seats. The blue benches are used by the children while waiting for dismissal. Please do not leave your car and sit on the benches.

Lunch & Recess

Recess: Children will be required to wear face masks during recess. Only one cohort will be allowed on each playground at any one given time.

Lunch & Snacks: All students must bring their own nut-free snacks, lunch, and drinks. Disposable cups will not be available. Students should also bring a labeled water bottle. Students must remain six feet apart while eating and drinking.

Enrichment (Art, Music, PE/Wellness, Foreign Languages)

Elementary through Adolescent students will receive weekly lessons from Thacher's enrichment instructors. Enrichment instruction (Art, Music, Foreign Languages, and PE/Wellness) will be held in each cohort's classroom on a schedule TBD.

Never help a child with a task at which he feels he can succeed.

~ M. Montessori

Online Learning

We are pleased to be face-to-face (f2f) again this fall, and we hope that this Thacher Re-Envisioned plan is informative and answers many of your questions. However, we closely monitor the current COVID-19 healthcare climate, the ever-changing Mass Department of Public Health (MDPH), and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines. If Thacher must move from f2f to fully online, we are prepared to do so immediately. Synchronous and asynchronous learning platforms are available in CH through AP. Our classrooms are equipped with video equipment for the guides to record and post many group lessons in Google Classroom. Keep scrolling down to learn more online learning highlights. Please note, the daily routine and specifics of online learning schedules are subject to change as situations unfold. We will keep you informed.

Tech Requirements & Expectations (Children's House through Adolescent Program)

  • Students will need a computer with video and audio capabilities and reliable internet (please contact Andrea Barsomian-Dietrich if your child does not have access to a computer at home).
  • A Printer and headphones are recommended but not required.
  • All levels (except the Toddler Program) will have daily full-class morning Zoom meetings. Schedules are TBD and will mirror in-class schedules whenever possible.
  • Students are required to have camera and voice turned on during all Zoom sessions.
  • Zoom attendance will be recorded in Transparent Classroom. See "What to Expect" below for individual level guidelines.
  • All students will be assigned to a Google Classroom and given a Google email address (name@student.thacherschool.org). Parents of younger students should help their child(ren) check Google Classroom for assignments and Calendar.
  • All work will be assigned by guides, and submitted by students, through Google Classroom. This includes written work, videos, or pictures.

Characteristics of an Online Montessori Program

Toddler

In the event that the Toddler program needs to be closed due to COVID, there will be NO ONLINE teaching.

Children's House

Synchronous Zoom Schedule

  • Daily all-class Zoom at 9:00
  • Three-year olds - Monday & Wednesday
  • Four-year-olds - Tuesday & Thursday
  • Five & six-year-olds - Monday, Wednesday, & Friday early afternoon

Additional Zooms

  • Additional individual and small-group sessions will be scheduled when appropriate
  • Office-hours: Monday - Thursday (by appointment)
  • Weekly one-hour open forum for parents

Expectations

  • Third-years should upload a photo of their work twice a week to Google Classroom. First and second-years should upload once a week.
  • Attendance is expected for third-years/Kindergarten. Attendance is strongly encouraged for first and second years but to be discussed with parents on an individual basis.
  • Hours and work will be determined on an individual basis by guides and parents.

Lower Elementary

Synchronous Zoom Schedule

  • Daily all-class morning meeting
  • Academic & Enrichment Sessions - Two to three daily that include the following
  • Spelling Program - (level specific)
  • Reading Groups - (level specific)
  • Writing Workshop - (3rd years)
  • Enrichment Classes (Art, Mandarin, Spanish, Music, PE)

Additional Zooms

  • Social Meet-ups: Twice a week at lunch and once in the afternoon
  • Student Check-in: Tuesday & Thursday (by appointment)
  • Parent Office-hours: Monday & Wednesday (by appointment)
  • Bi-Weekly one-hour open forum for parents

Expectations

  • Attendance: Daily morning meetings and all synchronous lessons are mandatory; social Zooms are optional
  • Students are expected to spend sixty to ninety minutes per day working independently.
  • Reading requirement: Thirty minutes per day or 2 1/2 hour weekly average. If children are not reading independently, they can be read to.
  • All assignments will have due dates and must be submitted through Google Classroom.

Upper Elementary

Synchronous Zoom Schedule

  • Daily all-class, fifteen minute morning meeting
  • Academic & Enrichment Sessions - Two to three daily (maximum three hours)
  • Schedule will be the same as face-to-face learning - lessons at 9:00, 10:00 and 11:00am. Schedule will be posted on the classroom calendar at the end of the previous week.
  • Scheduled recess breaks and social time
  • Enrichment Classes (Art, Mandarin, Spanish, Music, PE)

Additional Zooms

  • Guides will schedule weekly individual and group parent meetings.

Expectations

  • Students are expected to spend a minimum of one to two hours each day working independently on assignments or follow-up work.
  • Parents should periodically check their child's Google Classroom, email, and classroom calendar.
  • Check-ins with students at least once a week.

Adolescent Program

Synchronous Zoom Schedule

  • Daily All-class meetings
  • English & Social Studies: Five to six Zooms weekly
  • Math: Two classes and one tutorial weekly
  • Science: Two classes per week
  • Weekly Enrichment Classes (Art, Mandarin, Spanish, Music, PE)

Additional Zooms

  • Optional Math Review sessions
  • Student Office-hours: By appointment
  • Parent Office-hours: Fifteen-minutes (by appointment)

Expectations

  • Students are expected to spend one to two hours per day on homework. This includes at least thirty minutes per day working on math lessons and/or watching Khan academy videos for additional explanations.
  • Math goals to be determined each week and students are expected to complete three to five lessons. Corresponding tests will be assigned every other week.
  • Check-ins: Weekly math goals and biweekly science progress

The Spirit of Montessori in the Home

Parent Perspectives from 2020-21

Thacher parents at all levels shared their online experiences and insights in the videos below.

Thank you for choosing Thacher Montessori School.

Deba Dunn, Head of School (deba@thacherschool.org)

Michelle Seyller, Assistant Head of School (mseyller@thacherschool.org)