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Thacher Montessori Fall 2020 Re-entry Plan Scroll down to learn more.

We are looking forward to welcome our students back to campus.

Please refresh this link periodically. The information in this document will be updated automatically as changes occur.

Start Dates

All Toddler, Children's House, and Lower Elementary students start on Wednesday, September 9, 2020.

All Upper Elementary and Adolescent students start on Monday, September 14, 2020.

Before & After Care

After extensive discussion, and in consultation with Health Care Professionals, there will be no Before and Afterschool Care in the short term at Thacher. We realize these are essential offerings that our families depend on and do not make this decision lightly. Given these uncertain times, our primary focus is the health and well-being of our community, and we feel that this is the safest option for all. Please note that this decision will be re-evaluated after the December break. Should the health climate at that time deem it safe, we will resume Before and Afterschool Care in January 2021.

Health & Safety Protocols

Preparations

  • Signage: We will be posting visible signage throughout the campus to remind students, parents, and staff of safety protocols.
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): Thacher has secured related supplies including masks, gloves, disinfecting wipes, face shields, and other supplies.
  • Outdoor Classroom: Canopies and tents will be erected to maximize outdoor learning.
  • Restructured workspaces: Furniture will be arranged to maintain social distancing mandates. Sofas and area rugs will be removed and students will use vinyl instead of cotton work rugs.

Social Distancing & Hygiene

  • Social Distancing Requirements: Consistent with CDC guidelines, when inside, individuals will maintain a minimum of three feet while wearing masks.
  • Masks: All children but Toddlers are required to wear face masks. (Each child should learn to put on their masks properly.) Thacher will have emergency supply masks, but we recommend having a clean spare mask. Masks may only be removed when eating or drinking (while maintaining 6-feet physical distancing); during scheduled mask breaks (ideally outdoors or where windows are open and social distancing is possible).
  • Hand-washing/Hand Sanitizing Guidelines: Upon arrival, before eating, before and after mask breaks, after using the restroom, after recess, and before dismissal.
  • Water Fountains: Closed (students should bring a labeled, full water bottle every day that can be refilled in the classroom).
  • Cubbies: Labeled and spaced appropriately to conform with social distancing guidelines.
  • Visitors: Parents, observers, and visitors will not be allowed in the building until further notice. (This does not apply to on-site service providers.)
  • Sanitizing: All high-touch areas such as materials, door handles, and restrooms will be regularly sanitized.
  • Cohorts/Assigned Seating: Students organized in groups/classrooms and other cohorts help mitigate transmission. The six Thacher cohorts are: (1) Toddler Program (2) CHB (3) CHC (4) LE level (5) UE level (6) Adolescent Program. Seating will be assigned whenever feasible to assist contact tracing.
  • Outdoor Space: Classes will be outside whenever possible, in small cohorts.
  • Health Care: Our nurse will wear a face shield, goggles, mask, gown, and gloves when in close contact with a potentially sick child. Thacher will also have a designated COVID-19 isolated space, separate from the Nurse's office, where students will wait until they can be picked up by a family member.
  • Temperature: Parents are responsible for taking their child's temperature each morning.
  • Elevator: Off-limits (unless medically necessary)

Message from Nurse Carolynn Moore, BSN, RN

A safe return to the in-person school environment will require a culture of health and safety every step of the way. Thacher is planning to meet all requirements and, at times, will go above and beyond an abundance of caution to protect students and staff.

What to expect during an on-campus day.

Arrival & Dismissal

ARRIVAL

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. As mandated by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) parents will not be allowed to enter the building.

Toddler families should pull up to the Toddler playground gate. Parents should remove their child from the car and walk them to the gate where they will be greeted by their guides.

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 during September. Students must arrive during their cohort timeframe.

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. There will be no after school care during September. 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 and call the front desk and wait for instructions.

Lunch & Recess

Recess: Children will be socially distant 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, Spanish)

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

Before & After Care

Please note there will be no before or after care during September. Plans to resume before and after school care are to be determined.

We shall walk together on this path of life, for all things are part of the universe and are connected with each other to form one whole unity.

~ M. Montessori

What to expect during Online Learning.

We hope that this re-entry plan is informative and answers many of your questions; however, we continue to work on the daily routine and specifics of online learning. Scheduling specifics are subject to change. We will keep you informed.

Our goal is to be back face-to-face (f2f) this fall, but if the State mandates otherwise, we'll be ready to teach remotely. If you have elected the fully online learning option, or if State guidelines, health, or family circumstances keep our students at home, Thacher is prepared to immediately move from f2f to fully online. Our classrooms will be equipped with video equipment in order for the guides to record and post many group lessons in Google Classroom. Keep scrolling down to learn more online learning highlights.

Tech Requirements & Expectations (for all levels)

  • Students will need a computer with video and audio capabilities and reliable internet. Printer and headphones are recommended but not required.
  • All levels 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 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 Program

Synchronous Zoom Schedule

  • Daily all-class Zoom at 8:00
  • Lunch Zooms twice a week (Tuesday & Thursdays)

Additional Zooms

  • Individual Zoom session with child as needed or as agreed upon with adult
  • Afternoon office office hours - Tuesdays and Thursdays (by appointment)
  • Weekly one-hour weekly open forum for parents

Expectations

  • Upload pictures of child working from home with Practical Life and Language activities
  • Attendance is encouraged, but ultimately left up to the preference of the adult. Parents should take under consideration the amount of screen time and the child's routine.
  • Independent student work will vary with activities. We suggest a daily work cycle of 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
  • Posting pictures as comments to posts and assignments is encouraged, but not required.
  • Adult will be required to access suggested activities and assignments via Google Classroom.

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, 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

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, 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

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)

We can't wait to welcome you back!