Creative Minds Montessori 2020 - 2021 Reopening Plan
"Formed in the spirit of dynamic growth, social justice and intellectual pursuits."
Creative Minds Montessori School is a nonprofit corporation for the purpose of offering Montessori education for children with an emphasis on meeting the individual and communal developmental needs of each child.
Creative Minds Montessori School uses educational methods formulated by Maria Montessori in the early 1900s. It is a child-centered approach that accepts the special characteristics of... the developing child and emphasizes the child’s potential to learn through experience.
The learning activities in Montessori programs are child-initiated and appropriate for the child’s level. Materials are selected to isolate specific learning tasks. They are self-teaching and self-correcting. Teachers encourage discovery and understanding through manipulation of materials. Mutual respect for the child and of children for each other are important aspects of the Montessori philosophy. The Montessori philosophy expects the child to become a good worker and encourages this through independent activity.
Creative Minds Montessori follows the internationally recognized, innovative model of elementary learning established by Maria Montessori for the cosmic education of the future adults of planet Earth.
We are a thriving, vibrantly diverse community that provides an atmosphere of acceptance, respect and trust so that creativity and a sense of civic responsibility flourish.
We want our school, and our students as its ambassadors, to demonstrate how our cultures, our technological ingenuity and innovation can improve lives and community without causing harm to the environment.
At every child's core is a profound desire to learn about the world they live in. Our mission is to:
* Foster the development of the whole child, to meet the personal, social, academic and creative needs of the individual.
* Inspire each child's personal best and foster creativity.
* Instill a sense of wonder and an expectation of stewardship for our planet.
* Promote healthy respect, a desire for excellence and the development of each student's inner vocation, so he/she may go into the world with confidence, knowledge, independence, a sense of responsibility and enthusiasm for life.
2021 - 2022
In evaluating our operating model, Creative Minds Montessori considered input from school board members, teaching staff, families and students. CMMS has decided to adopt a full in-house plan for the 2021/2022 school year but is prepared to modify plans as necessary. Ultimately, the importance of CMMS student and staff safety, well-being, and social-emotional learning is at the forefront.
COMMUNICATION/FAMILY AND COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT
Regular and frequent communication between schools, families, and the wider community has always been an essential element of effective family and community engagement. With all the uncertainty surrounding COVID’s spread and its impact on local communities, communication and family engagement will be more important than ever this year. When families, schools, and communities work together and keep each other informed, students are more successful, and everyone benefits.
As plans for reopening schools are being developed, schools should work together with families to foster trust and instill confidence. Building these strong relationships takes regular, frequent, and transparent two-way communications. These communications should be clear and consistent, and families should be encouraged to engage in the process.
In evaluating our operating model, Creative Minds Montessori considered input from school board members, teaching staff, families and students. CMMS will use the CMMS group text, and a private Facebook page to communicate with parents or legal guardians of students, and staff. Our website, www.auburncmms.org, will be used to communicate with members of the community. Weekly lessons and daily reminders at CMMS will ensure all students, staff and families are taught or trained how to follow new COVID-19 protocols safely and correctly, including but not limited to hand hygiene, proper face covering wearing, social distancing, and respiratory hygiene. CMMS will encourage all students, faculty, staff, and visitors through verbal and written communication (signage) to adhere to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and DOH guidance regarding the use of personal protective equipment (PPE), specifically acceptable face coverings.
CMMS will Comply with all New York State and federal family engagement requirements during the COVID-19 pandemic such as:
-Providing families with clear and ongoing communication about what to expect, during and prior to reopening. This includes, but is not limited to, guidance on the school protocols related to health and safety guidelines.
-Making communications available in relevant languages of families in the community, as well as accessible to those with visual and/or hearing impairments.
-Continuing to engage with families and students as the reopening moves forward to ensure they are informed and have the ability to provide feedback.
-Providing training opportunities for families on access to school platforms.
-Creating full, equal and equitable partnerships. View families as full partners in education. Recognize that families bring valuable knowledge to the table and involve them in advance planning and decision-making.
-Empowering families to work with educators, public officials, and community partners to remove systemic, structural, and organizational barriers that perpetuate inequities and injustice.
-Building collaborative, trusting relationships. Recognize that all high-impact family engagement strategies are grounded in trust and respect.
-Creating a welcoming atmosphere in school buildings and in all school communications.
-Establishing reliable systems for two-way, personal and ongoing communication with families.
-Considering monthly parent-teacher conferences throughout the 2021–22 school year to support and engage families and gain their perspectives on their children’s experiences during this time.
-Sharing information frequently with families about how their children are doing via the Remind app, text messages, or phone calls.
-Engaging students in conversations about how they want teachers and families to support their learning.
-Notifying the school community of any changed policies, need to cancel classes, or other changes or restrictions via the CMMS group text, posts to webpage, private Facebook page and phone calls.
-Ensuring these baseline requirements related to communication are the overarching principles applied to other communication plans referenced in this document.
CMMS will designate the Head of School and the Business Administrator to serve as a COVID-19 Health and Safety Compliance Liaisons. This designated person will be responsible for engaging with students, parents, faculty, staff, and administrators to answer questions or concerns about health and safety requirements regarding COVID-19 concerns. All school staff and families should know and have the contact information for the designees.
HEALTH AND SAFETY
The health and safety of the children and adults in our schools is paramount. Health and safety considerations must always come first in every decision made and every action taken by our schools.
Whether instruction is provided in person, remotely, or through some hybrid of the two, CMMS has an important role to play in educating and communicating with their school community about the everyday preventive actions they can take to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Prevention is accomplished by following the recommendations of health authorities in the following areas:
• Health Checks
• Healthy Hygiene Practices
• Social Distancing
• Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and Face Coverings
• Cleaning and Disinfection
Reporting Illnesses and Health Checks
Staying at Home
CMMS will instruct all students and staff to inform the school if they are sick with COVID-19 related symptoms, particularly if they had a known contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19 and have also had contact with the school population. They must stay home when they are sick, especially if they have COVID-19 symptoms such as fever and cough. During a pandemic, it is permissible to ask Staff if they are experiencing symptoms of the pandemic virus (such as fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, or sore throat.) CMMS must maintain all information about Staff or student illness as a confidential medical record.
CMMS will educate staff and families about when to stay home.
CMMS will instruct staff and students (or their parents and guardians) to perform a self-assessment prior to leaving for school to identify fever and other possible COVID-19 symptoms. (a sample is provided at the end of this section).
CMMS will communicate this expectation and provide parents with reminders about the symptoms consistent with COVID-19 that require keeping their students at home.
CMMS GENERAL ILLNESS POLICY
CMMS has established the following school-wide sick protocols, including an addendum for the signs and symptoms of COVID-19, and temperature thresholds that require students or staff to stay home.
**As in any school, children are likely to come into contact with germs associated with
contagious illnesses such as the common cold, flu, etc. We will do our best to
prevent the spread of contagious illness by keeping things sanitized and preventing sick
children from coming into contact with the other children. Children who are visibly ill, running a temperature of 100 degrees Fahrenheit by mouth or 99 degrees Fahrenheit under the arm,
coughing consistently or uncontrollably, vomiting, have a rash, pink or red eyes with or
without discharge, green/yellow nasal discharge or are experiencing diarrhea cannot be allowed at school.
Children may NOT attend CMMS in person with the following conditions:
• Fever of 100 degrees Fahrenheit by mouth or 99 degrees Fahrenheit under the arm
• Rash without a doctor’s note stating that it is not contagious and the child may attend school
• Diarrhea defined as runny, loose stools
• Strep Throat
• Chicken Pox
• Lethargy/overly tired and unable to work
• Ear pain
• Persistent or “barky” cough
• Runny nose that cannot be contained by the child (child cannot wipe his/her nose and/or mucous is not contained to the child – making contact with equipment or other children).
• Any illness that keeps your child from fully participating in our normal school day.
• Just because an illness does not require antibiotics doesn’t mean they are not contagious. Viruses (like colds) spread quickly and cause a variety of issues that keep your child from doing their best. Please keep them home until they are feeling better!
Children must be symptom free for at least 24 HOURS before returning to school or have a doctor’s note stating the child is not contagious and should be allowed in school. There is not a reduction in tuition for sick children as we will still be required to be prepared to provide the necessary staffing/teachers regardless of attendance.
COVID-19 is a newly identified disease caused by the virus, SARS-CoV-2. Scientists are still learning about how it spreads, how it impacts children, and what role children may play in its spread. Limited data about COVID-19 in children suggest that children are less likely to get COVID-19 than adults, and if they do contract COVID-19, they generally have less serious illness than adults. While uncommon, deaths and rare illness such as multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) may still occur.
People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of reported symptoms – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to SARS-CoV-2. Symptoms can include:
-Fever or chills
-Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
-Muscle or body aches
-New loss of taste or smell
-Congestion or runny nose
-Nausea or vomiting
-Seasonal “Allergy-like” symptoms
This list does not include all possible symptoms and children and youth with SARS-CoV-2 infection may experience any, all, or none of these symptoms.
Look for emergency warning signs for COVID-19. If someone is showing any of these signs, seek emergency medical care immediately:
-Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
-Inability to wake or stay awake
-Bluish lips or face
*Education Law § 906, which provides [w]whenever…a student in the public schools shows symptoms of any communicable or infectious disease reportable under the public health law that imposes a significant risk of infection of others in the school, he or she shall be excluded from the school and sent home immediately, in a safe and proper conveyance. The director of school health services shall immediately notify a local public health agency of any disease reportable under the public health law 7. The director of school health services, or other health professionals acting upon direction or referral of such director, may make such evaluations of teachers and any other school employees, school buildings and premises as, in their discretion, they may deem necessary to protect the health of the students and staff.
Students suspected of having COVID-19, awaiting transport home by the parent/guardian, must be isolated in a room or area separate from others, with a supervising adult present utilizing appropriate PPE. The CMMS Main Office will be used as an isolation room if necessary. Multiple students suspected of COVID-19 may be in this isolation room if they can be separated by at least 6 feet.
The CDC and NYSDOH recommend:
• Closing off areas used by a sick person and not using these areas until after cleaning and disinfection has occurred
• Opening outside doors and windows to increase air circulation in the area.
• Waiting at least 24 hours before cleaning and disinfection. If waiting 24 hours is not feasible, wait as long as possible
• Clean and disinfect all areas used by the person suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19, such as offices, classrooms, bathrooms, lockers, and common areas.
§ Once the area has been appropriately cleaned and disinfected it can be reopened for use.
§ Individuals without close or proximate contact with the person suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19 can return to the area and resume school activities immediately after cleaning and disinfection.
If a separate room is not available, keep at least a 6-foot distance between ill students and other persons. If they cannot be isolated in a separate room from others, it is recommended that a facemask (cloth or surgical mask) be provided to the student if the ill person can tolerate wearing it and does not have difficulty breathing, to prevent the possible transmission of the virus to others while waiting for transportation home.
It is recommended that:
• Students should be escorted from isolation area to the parent/guardian;
• The parent or guardian be instructed to call their health care provider, or if they do not have a health care provider, to follow up with a local clinic or urgent care center;
• Symptomatic students or staff members follow CDC’s Stay Home When You Are Sick guidance unless otherwise directed by a healthcare provider or the local department of health. If the student or staff member has emergency warning signs such as trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion, inability to arouse, bluish lips or face, call 911 and notify the operator that the person may have COVID-19;
• School staff be aware of the symptoms of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) associated with COVID-19 which is a serious condition associated with COVID-19 in children and youth. Schools should notify the parent/guardian if their child shows any of the following symptoms and recommend the child be referred for immediate follow up with a healthcare provider:
-feeling extra tired
• Schools must call for emergency transport (911) following district policies, for any student showing any of these emergency warning signs of MIS-C or other concerning signs:
-pain or pressure in the chest that does not go away
- inability to wake or stay awake
-bluish lips or face o severe abdominal pain
• If a student or staff member reports having tested positive for COVID-19, school administrators or his/her designee should notify the local health department to determine what steps are needed for the school community.
Return to School after Illness
Schools must follow CDC guidance for allowing a student or staff member to return to school after exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19. All staff and students must have a negative COVID-19 test before returning to school; without exception.
If a person is diagnosed by a healthcare provider (physician, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant) with a negative COVID-19 test, they can return to school:
• Once there is no fever, without the use of fever reducing medicines, and they have felt well for 24 hours;
• If they have been diagnosed with another condition and has a healthcare provider written note stating they are clear to return to school.
If a person is diagnosed with COVID-19 by a healthcare provider based on a test or their symptoms or does not get a COVID-19 test but has had symptoms, they should not be at school and should stay at home until:
• It has been at least ten days since the individual first had symptoms;
• It has been at least three days since the individual has had a fever (without using fever reducing medicine); and
• It has been at least three days since the individual’s symptoms improved, including cough and shortness of breath.
Accumulating evidence supports ending isolation and precautions for persons with COVID-19 using a symptom-based strategy. Specifically, researchers have reported that people with mild to moderate COVID-19 remain infectious no longer than 10 days after their symptoms began, and those with more severe illness or those who are severely immunocompromised remain infectious no longer than 20 days after their symptoms began. Therefore, CDC has updated the recommendations for discontinuing home isolation as follows:
Persons with COVID-19 who have symptoms and were directed to care for themselves at home may discontinue isolation under the following conditions:
· At least 10 days* have passed since symptom onset and
· At least 24 hours have passed since resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and
· Other symptoms have improved.
*A limited number of persons with severe illness may produce replication-competent virus beyond 10 days, that may warrant extending duration of isolation for up to 20 days after symptom onset. Consider consultation with infection control experts.
Persons infected with SARS-CoV-2 who never develop COVID-19 symptoms may discontinue isolation and other precautions 10 days after the date of their first positive RT-PCR test for SARS-CoV-2 RNA.
If another child in your child’s classroom shows symptoms of Sars-CoV-2 all exposed Staff and children will stay at home until:
-the suspect child has been found to not have Sars-CoV-2, and
-the classroom has been thoroughly cleaned and disinfected
If another child in your child’s classroom has tested positive for Sars-CoV-2:
- Close contact: someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person (laboratory-confirmed) for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period (for example, three individual 5-minute exposures for a total of 15 minutes) will need to quarantine until they meet criteria for discontinuing home isolation through Cayuga County Health Dept. In the indoor classroom setting, the close contact definition excludes students who were within 3 to 6 feet of an infected student (laboratory-confirmed) if both the infected student and the exposed student(s) correctly and consistently wore well-fitting masks the entire time. This exception does not apply to teachers, staff, or other adults in the indoor classroom setting. Fully vaccinated students, teachers, and staff with no COVID-19 symptoms do not need to quarantine at home following an exposure to someone with COVID-19 but should get tested 3-5 days after exposure.
***Daily Home Screening Form for Students
Parents: Please complete this short check each morning and report your child’s information to Creative Minds Montessori upon arrival to school.
SECTION 1: Symptoms
If your child has any of the following symptoms, that indicates a possible illness that may decrease the student’s ability to learn and also put them at risk for spreading illness to others. Please check your child for these symptoms:
_____Temperature 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher when taken by mouth
_____New uncontrolled cough that causes difficulty breathing (for students with chronic allergic/asthmatic cough, a change in their cough from baseline)
_____Diarrhea, vomiting, or abdominal pain
_____New onset of severe headache, especially with a fever
SECTION 2: Close Contact/Potential Exposure
_____Had close contact (within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes) with a person with confirmed COVID-19
_____Traveled to or lived in an area where the local, Tribal, territorial, or state health department is reporting large numbers of COVID-19 cases as described in the Community Mitigation Framework
_____Live in areas of high community transmission while the school remains open
Students with any of the symptoms in Section 1 should follow their school’s current illness management policy to minimize transmission to others, to optimize learning opportunities, and to allow for these symptoms to resolve (at least 24 hours without fever reducing medications or in accordance with existing school illness policy).
Students who develop any of the symptoms in Section 1 while at school should be placed in an isolation area separate from staff and other students:
-School staff (e.g., workers, teacher aides, school health staff) who interact with a student who becomes ill while at school should use Standard and Transmission-Based Precautions when caring for sick people.
-Students who are sick should go home or to a healthcare facility depending on how severe their symptoms are, and follow CDC guidance for caring for oneself and others who are sick.
-Students identified at school who develop any of the symptoms in Section 1 AND answer YES to any of the questions in Section 2 should be placed in an isolation area separate from staff and other students (e.g., a nurse’s office) and then sent home or to a healthcare facility if symptoms indicate a need for further evaluation:
-If a school needs to call an ambulance or bring a student to the hospital, they should first alert the healthcare staff that the student may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19.
-After the student is placed in an isolation area, school staff who work in the isolation area should follow CDC’s Considerations for Cleaning and Disinfecting your Building or Facility.
The staff of CMMS will not be allowed to administer ANY medication (non-prescription or prescription) without the written request of a parent for over-the -counter medications or a doctor for prescription medications. Please make every attempt to administer medication at home.
Medication Guidelines at School:
*Original prescription or manufacturer’s label with the name and strength of the medicine
*Name of child on container is correct (first and last names)
*Current date on prescription/expiration label covers period when medicine given
*Name/phone number of licensed health care professional who ordered medicine iso n the container or on file
*Copy of Child Health Record is on file
*Instructions are clear for dose, route, and time to give medicine
*Instructions are clear for storage
*Child has had a previous trial dose (NO FIRST DOSES AT SCHOOL)
*Is this a controlled substance? If yes, special storage and log may be needed.
*All medications, prescription or non-prescription, will be kept in a cabinet or school refrigerator, not backpack or cubby.
POISON CONTROL POLICY:
Children are naturally curious and are unaware about what substances may be harmful to
their health. Adult caregivers are responsible for safeguarding children from harmful items
including medications, plants, chemicals, animal waste and personal items such as purses,
The Poison Control Center phone number will be posted on the door. Poison emergencies or requests for poison information will be made by contacting the Poison Control Center Hotline at 1-800-222-1222 first – unless the person who has been poisoned is unconscious, not breathing, having trouble breathing or is having convulsions. If any of these conditions are present, CALL 9-1-1 FIRST.
Hygiene Practices, Social Distancing, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and Face Coverings
Health Assessments: a copy of your child’s current health visit is required for each student, prior to enrolling in school.
Cleaning and Disinfection
Creative Minds Montessori will be using the cleaning service, Vine and Earth Janitorial located at 8201 Rte. 34, Weedsport, NY, for all cleaning and disinfecting of our school. They are trained to use cleaners/disinfectants in a safe and effective manner and to clean up potentially infectious materials and body fluid spills – blood, vomit, feces and urine.
Cleaning/Disinfecting will take place prior to in person lessons.
To ensure efficacy, all areas will first be cleaned to reduce soil and remove germs. Dirt and other materials on surfaces can reduce the effectiveness of disinfectants. All areas will then be thoroughly disinfected.
Creative Minds Montessori Staff, in conjunction with, Vine and Earth Janitorial, will:
-Clean visibly dirty surfaces with an EPA approved cleaner prior to disinfection with an EPA approved disinfectant. Once an area is cleaned, whether it be a high-risk area or additional spaces if there was a confirmed COVID-19 case, it must be disinfected. EPA approved disinfectants, when applied according to the manufacturer’s label, are effective for use against COVID-19.
-Will frequently clean/disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects such as: railings, doorways, tables, chairs, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, toilets, faucets and sinks
-Wear gloves appropriate for the chemicals being used for
routine cleaning and disinfecting.
-Follow the directions on the disinfectant label for additional PPE needs.
-Clean or launder soft and porous materials like seating in an office, area rugs, and carpets. --Launder items according to the manufacturer’s instructions, using the warmest temperature setting possible and dry items completely.
-Follow the instructions on the label for all cleaning and disinfection products for concentration, dilution, application method, contact time and any other special considerations when applying.
-Follow the instructions on the label to ensure safe and effective use of the product. Many product labels recommend keeping the surface wet for a specific amount of time. The label will also list precautions such as wearing gloves and making sure you have good ventilation during use of the product.
-Keep all disinfectants out of the reach of children.
While students and adults return to their school buildings for in-person instruction, it will be vitally important that the physical spaces they occupy are configured and maintained in a way that provides the maximum possible protection from spreading the coronavirus.
CMMS will be using separate classrooms for Primary and Elementary to maximize social distancing between students, achieving 6 feet per person, at all times. There are 2 CDC recommended air purification units in each classroom and windows and doors will be opened to bring in fresh air daily.
Signs and Messages
CMMS will display signs and messages related to stopping the spread of COVID-19 and will be accessible for all students and in languages appropriate for the school population.
-Two separate, one stall bathrooms will be available for student use.
-Protocols for bathroom use will be implemented to minimize contact with surfaces, optimize ventilation and fresh air intake, while considering health and safety requirements.
-Trashcans and paper towel rolls will be placed by the bathroom door to allow students and staff to use in order to prevent from touching the handle with their hands.
-There will not be any allowed storage of personal items within the bathroom (including staff bathrooms).
Each bathroom will be cleaned immediately after use and will comply with CDC/EPA guidance for cleaning and disinfecting of schools during COVID-19Guidance
CMMS will comply with CDC/EPA guidance for cleaning and disinfecting of schools during COVID-19 and will maximize the use of disposable towels. Signs will be posted in highly visible locations providing instruction related to properly washing hands and disposal of paper products.
CMMS will conduct standard operations and procedures to the best of their abilities without deviating from current requirements. Fire Drills and Lockdown Drills are required by Education Law and regulation and the Fire Code and they must be conducted without exceptions. Fire Code Section 404 requires that schools maintain Fire Safety, Evacuation, and Lockdown Plans and these plans include how lockdown and evacuation drills are conducted. regarding the requirements for Safety Drills.
Class Groups and Teams (Stable Groups)
There will be two stable groups:
Primary children (3-5yrs)
Elementary children (6-12yrs)
Each stable group will be limited to 12 children
Students, families, and staff will be educated on the value of stable groups ensuring they understand that other health and safety guidelines remain important to minimize the risk of infection. Restrictions will be placed the mixing of stable groups.
Foot Traffic, Hallways, and Shared Areas
CMMS will limit face-to-face encounters by designating foot-traffic patterns — such as one-way hallways and staircases — and by designating entrance-only and exit-only doors. Floor stickers will be applied to illustrate foot-traffic expectations.
Staff will keep traffic moving in stairways and halls as necessary.
Outside Time and Playgrounds
There will be daily outside time at CMMS.
-Two 30-minute recess times
-Outdoor lunch as nature allows
-Outdoor science lessons and experiments as nature allows
**We will go outdoors, weather permitting, every day. Be sure your child is prepared!
Other Individuals Entering the School Building
There will be limited/restricted parental, nonessential volunteers or any other visitors while children are at school. Visitors will not be permitted into school facilities at this time, unless required by law, or otherwise required by a student’s individualized educational plan.
8:15am - Primary children will arrive to school with their Daily Home Screening Forms.
While waiting, all children will remain on sidewalk, wearing masks, 6-8 ft apart.
Child will have their temperature taken
Child will sanitize their hands and proceed to their cubby
Child will enter their classroom
8:30am Lessons begin
11:30 Lessons end
Child will put shoes and outerwear on and go out for recess
Children will stop to sanitize their hands prior to leaving
½ day Children will be dismissed at noon
12:00 Full day Children will wash hands and go to lunch
12:30 Children will wash hands and return to classrooms for afternoon lessons and specials
3:00 Lessons end
Child will put shoes and outerwear on and go out for recess
Children will stop to sanitize their hands prior to leaving
Full Day Children will be dismissed at 3:15
Social-Emotional Learning and Mental Health
Communities and schools are facing unprecedented challenges as they respond to the compounded difficulties of a global pandemic, an economic recession, and civic unrest in response to structural racism. To meet these challenges, individuals must start with the inner work of healing their own hearts and minds, finding the capacity within themselves to
support healing for students, families, peers, and communities. While district and school personnel cannot solve every problem, collectively they are a powerful force in improving the well-being of themselves and those around them.
Creative Minds Montessori will:
Provide a period of time for students to acclimate back to school.
Focus on the whole child and use this period to reestablish routines and relationships.
Strengthen communication efforts with all families and at the same time provide additional supports for students who are struggling or at risk.
Communicate the importance of SEL as a foundational and necessary aspect of a highly functioning school community.
Consider staff in addressing SEL and mental health support by designing opportunities for adults to connect, heal, and cultivate their own SEL competence.
Work with school and district-based mental health staff, psychologists, counselors, social workers, and school nurses to lead these efforts.
Ensure access to mental health and trauma support for adults.
Consult the available resources on SEL, for example, the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) publication, Leveraging the Power of SEL as You Prepare to Reopen and Renew your School Community.
Deepen your understanding of mental health, well-being, trauma-responsive and restorative
practices, and SEL through professional learning, and work collaboratively with staff, students,
and families to strengthen partnerships and plan for implementation.
Staff will develop or adopt a screening tool that, administered with parental consent and student assent, can assist the district or school with identifying the needs of returning students.
Schools are responsible for developing a mechanism to collect and report daily teacher/student engagement or attendance, regardless of instructional setting.
CMMS will actively monitor staff and student absenteeism and track the reasons for their absences to identify any trends that would suggest spread of illness such as COVID-19. A communication system will be created for staff and families for reporting of symptoms, and for families to notify the school of known or presumed cases consistent with applicable privacy and confidentiality laws and CMMS will assign each stable group teacher as the daily point of contact for attendance purposes.
Since the guidelines for these programs will need to be updated to reflect the potential for additional COVID-19 related disruptions, CMMS will document participation of both teachers and students. Flexibility should be considered when monitoring attendance in a remote model due to parent schedules, availability of technology or other barriers may preclude students from connecting with teachers at a certain time.
An allegation of educational neglect may be warranted when a custodial parent or guardian fails to ensure a child’s prompt and regular attendance in school or keeps the child out of school for impermissible reasons resulting in an adverse effect on the child’s educational progress, or imminent danger of such an adverse effect. Educational neglect should not be considered where the parent/guardian has kept their child home because they believe it is unsafe for their child to attend school in person during the pandemic, and the child is participating in remote learning opportunities.
CMMS will reach out to their local departments of Social Services (DSS) with any questions or concerns related to child welfare.
Teaching and Learning
All students should feel safe, engaged, and excited about learning, whether in person, remote, or through a hybrid model. Relationships are at the heart of teaching and learning. Students want to return to their routines and a sense of normalcy, so all efforts should acknowledge the importance of setting a positive routine and welcoming environment that supports students during this unpredictable time. During the upcoming school year, it is of the utmost importance that individual student needs and equity are put at the center of all learning experiences. Flexibility is essential when planning for the fall, and schools should be prepared to shift between in-person, remote learning, and a hybrid model in a way that is least disruptive to students.
Based on CDC guidelines, guidance and suggestions from the New York State Department of Education, and our parents, Creative Minds Montessori proposes to institute a traditional Montessori model of education that provides for strong, individual, interactive, curriculum. Materials and manipulatives will be provided for student use in conjunction with each lesson. This means…our teachers can get back to what they love – teaching their students, in a safe manner.
We are well aware of the challenges parents and care givers faced when schools were abruptly shut down in March. While every effort will be made by CMMS to ensure a continuity of education during the 2021-2022 school year, there needs to be collaboration, respect, honesty and sacrifices from all involved. We are confident that we can continue the Montessori learning experience, complete with comprehensive instruction from our Montessori-trained faculty and staff, for students...but we need your help.
Please understand this pandemic is not over and we may need a plan B. Should it ever become unsafe for our students and staff to meet in-person, in-school sessions may be briefly suspended and transition to an online format. We will do everything in our power to safely remain open and we ask that you do the same at home.
These past two years have been nothing short of challenging and perplexing. We understand there is much information out there, some contradictory, leading to much anxiety. This proposed model has been prepared in accordance with CDC, NYSDOH and NYSED guidelines in order to ensure safety of our students so that they experience fewer interruptions to their learning.
Creative Minds Montessori Curriculum
The core curriculum of CMMS includes the Montessori Method, Lessons in Living and Global
Peace. Together, they weave through all the many varied programs and activities that help
children experience and relate to self, society and the universe as a whole. This is the
intrinsic fabric of CMMS. The Creative Minds Montessori Rising Kindergarten and Elementary programs balance the child's developing imagination and powers of abstraction with concrete hands-on materials.
For over a century, the approach pioneered by Maria Montessori, Italian physician and
educator, has consistently fostered self -confidence, self-esteem and genuine joy of learning
in our young people. In addition, Montessori students develop such important capabilities as
a love of order, and appreciation of silence and the ability to make choices.
In Montessori education, it is the process, not the product that is key to learning. From startup
to completion, the student experiences a sequence and chronology of thought, movement
and consequence that can be transferred to all areas of life. The Montessori Method provides
the groundwork for individual self-awareness and self-appreciation.
Our children freely explore new areas of interest by experiencing a variety of attractive
materials. They work at their own pace during the Montessori work time within the following
In this fully integrated curriculum, the student practices reading and writing skills through research in geography, history and science. Spelling, grammar, punctuation, word study and reference skills are introduced upon mastering basic reading and writing.
The student still uses manipulative materials to master abstract mathematical operations, but now progresses to working with fractions, decimals and geometry. When the child realizes that mental processes are faster than manipulating materials, the materials soon are discarded.
Fully integrated to reflect the interconnection of life, the human relations curriculum includes geography, history, science, anthropology, geology, music, art and other related subjects. Multi-cultural studies and other related topics for understanding our universe are activities found in this area of the Montessori environment. Many language concepts are taught and/or reinforced through the cultural arts activities. This aids in the development of reading while learning interesting information about the world around them.
The aural-oral approach to teaching foreign language is taught at the elementary level with the gradual introduction of the written word. The programs' units contain conversation patterns, vocabulary categories, pronunciation practice, basic structure, songs and cultural insights.
The activities offer opportunities for the child to develop practical life skills as well as
increasing his/her level of concentration, coordination, independence and sense of order.
These skills are developed indirectly while performing the practical life activities such as
sewing, bread making etc. These activities are enjoyed by the very young child as they imitate adult-like activities that the child observes those important adults in their life performing.
Lessons in Living/Character Education
Positive self-esteem and self-confidence are basic factors in helping children discover their
own innate qualities as global citizens. In Lessons in Living, children will experience direct
activities that identify values and truths that are essential in character development. This
program incorporates many values such as: truth, right action, peace, love and
non-violence. These values encompass a developmental vision of human potential. The
pursuit of truth will lead to right action; right action promotes peace; peace enables one to
love; and love expands into non-violence.
Celebrations of Life
A “Celebration of Life” is the method of recognizing the birthdays of individual students. Once each month families and/or students will have the opportunities to share pictures and tell stories about each year of the child's life. This helps children to become consciously aware of their own self development and demonstrates the concept of time. Celebration of Life forms are sent home during the first week of school.
We will learn about and celebrate various holidays and cultural celebrations from around the
world to assist children in developing an awareness of cultural differences and a respect for
them as well. Our goal is not to promote any religion, culture or holidays, but rather to offer
students the opportunity to learn about other people from around the world and their traditions so we can better understand people and accept their differences from our own; and celebrate as a part of our educational cultural curriculum.
Athletics and Extracurricular Activities
Due to our unique program, our students will focus on activities, fitness, exercises, and sports that are teacher led. These activities focus on lifetime fitness, utilizing alternative environments, land-based activities, and individual sports/activities such as mindfulness, meditation, Pilates, yoga, individual sports, strength development, target activities, backyard games, dance (creative/modern dance, aerobic dance, traditional dance), power walking, orienteering, geocaching, outdoor education, hiking/reading trail signs, hoop games, track and field, singles racket games, etc.
Freedom of expression through the use or creative materials and musical instruments is
promoted within these areas. Students will study various artists and musicians, forms of art and music, the use of many art tools and materials, and are encouraged to be independently creative. We will include individualized projects that can connect and reinforce in-person classroom learning.