Covid-19 Safety Plan

It is the school’s first and foremost priority to maintain and protect the health and safety of students, staff, families, and communities through the careful and constant implementation of the strategies and protocol outlined in this safety plan.

Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 Protocol & Policy

Non-Essential Visitor Restrictions

Non-Essential Visitors

  • All non-essential visitors are restricted from entering the premises.
  • Suspension of all in-house presentations, professional development, outside training and student field trips.
  • Suspension of all school-hosted events
  • All deliveries will take place at the front entrance of the building.

Non-Essential Parent Visitation

  • In-classroom observations, birthday celebrations and non-essential visitation is suspended.
  • Emergency & essential parent visitation will be required to follow all staff and essential visitor protocol accordingly
  • As per NJ State Office of Child and Family Services and the NJ Department of Health guidelines mandates: “parents/guardians are not permitted in the childcare or day camp facility when students are in the facility.

Essential Visitor Protocol

Essential Visitor Check In

  • All essential visitors, including essential vendors and contracted substitute staff will be required to check in at the rear door.
  • Provided Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), including a face covering that must be worn at all times.

Essential Visitor Health Screening

  • All essential visitors will undergo the COVID health screening with symptom and temperature check, and acknowledgment of COVID-19 symptoms and confirmed case contact.
    Essential Visitor Tracking
  • All essential visitors will be authorized to access only essential/required areas of the facility accordingly to allow tracking and minimize contact as much as possible.

Staff Arrival & Tracking Protocol

Staff Arrival

  • All staff adhere to the following protocol upon arrival:
  1. Temperature check
  2. Undergo screening questionnaire for health & symptoms of COVID-19
  3. Put on clean and sanitized PPE: face coverings need to be worn at all times.
  4. Immediately wash hands in designated classroom area/Sanitize hands
  5. Complete classroom entry/opening checklist

Student Drop-Off Protocol

Student Drop-Off:

  • Monarch Montessori staff will escort students from rear door drop-off to classrooms.
  • One authorized adult may pick-up at a time maintaining a minimum of 6 feet of space while waiting turns by waiting at the posted social distance marker.
  • Authorized adults dropping off must wear face coverings at all times.

Student, Staff and Visitor Health Screenings Upon Arrival

Health Screening Upon Arrival

  • All students, staff and essential visitors will undergo a contactless temperature check by the administrator upon arrival.
  1. Temperature check via contactless thermometer.

Students, staff and visitors will not be allowed to enter the facility with temperatures exceeding 100.4 degrees and more (as per CDC guidelines)

  1. Physical signs of illness, including Symptoms of COVID-19
  2. Do you (student, staff or visitor) have a fever of 100.4 degrees or higher?
  3. Has the student been administered any fever reducing medication?
  4. Do you have a cough or shortness of breath that began within the past 14 days?
  5. In the past 14 days have you had a positive result from a COVID-19 saliva or nose test?
  6. In the past 14 days have you been in close contact (within 6 feet for at least 10 minutes) with anyone who either tested positive for COVID-19 or developed symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough or shortness of breath)?

Anyone who answers yes to the above screening questions will not be admitted to enter the facility/attend school following the COVID-19 exclusion plan below.

Student Pick-Up Protocol

Student Pick-Up:

  • Student pick-up will occur at the rear door of the facility.
  • Students will be dismissed in the order of authorized adults in line for pick-up.
  • One authorized adult may pick-up at a time maintaining a minimum of 6 feet of space while waiting turns by waiting at the posted social distance marker.
  • Authorized adults picking up must wear face coverings at all times.

 

Social Distancing Strategies for Staff & Visitors 

Staff & Visitor Social Distancing

  • All staff and visitors must maintain a distance of at least 6 feet
  • This includes within the classroom when possible (excluding emergency situations)

In-Person Staff Meetings

  • As weather allows, in-person staff meetings will be held outdoors to allow for social distancing.
  • In the event of inclement weather, staff meetings will be held via Zoom or in-person small groups within the gross motor room.

School Common Areas Capacity

  • School common areas including the staff lounge, front desk, first and second floor offices and hallways capacity is limited to allow for maximum social distancing.
  • All shared spaces will be cleaned and sanitized between uses.

Monitor & Plan for Staff Absenteeism

  • Recruit, hire, train and onboard Monarch Montessori substitute staff

Staff & Student Ratios

  • All NJ Department of Health mandated student to educator ratios will be followed accordingly, with a maximum of two educators per classroom.

Social Distancing Strategies for Students

Maximum Classroom Capacity

  • Classrooms and common areas have a maximum student capacity of 10.

Maintaining Independent Classroom Cohorts

  • Students will remain in static group cohorts throughout the entire day at Monarch Montessori.

Preparing the Classroom Environment: Aiding Independence

  • Montessori classrooms are set up to encourage independent work and student concentration, allowing for social distancing prior to COVID-19.
  • The environment is set up to further prioritize and encourage activities that maximize social distancing.

Nap Cot Placement

  • Classrooms have strategically placed nap cot markers to indicate maximum and mandated spacing between napping students.

Student/Staff Contact Protocol & Policy

Washing, Feeding or Holding Students Protocol

  • It is important to comfort crying, sad, and/or anxious infants and toddlers, and they often need to be held. To the extent possible, when washing, feeding, or holding very young children: staff will protect themselves by wearing masks at all times.
  • Staff will immediately wash their hands, neck, and anywhere touched by a child’s secretions.
  • Contaminated clothes will be placed in a plastic bag to be sent home for parents/caregivers to clean and sanitize.
  • Students are required to have at least 3 changes of clothes labelled with their first and last name on hand at school at all times.

Diapering Protocol & Policy

  • When diapering a child staff will implement the following steps, following posted DOH/CDC diapering protocol:
  1. Prepare the diapering area, making sure all necessary supplies are available.
  2. Wash hands – both the staff and students’ hands
  3. Put on provided gloves
  4. Change the child’s diaper (under 12-months, on the diaper changing pad, above 12-months, while the child is standing up).
  5. Dispose of soiled diapers, wipes and supplies
  6. Wash child’s hands
  7. Clean up diapering station
  8. Wash staff’s hands
  • After diapering, staff will wash their hands (even if wearing gloves) and disinfect the diapering area with a fragrance-free bleach that is EPA-registered as a sanitizing or disinfecting solution.

Personal Protection Equipment Policy

Acquiring & Providing PPE at No Cost to Staff & Visitors

  • Staff & visitors will be supplied with clean, disinfected face coverings daily
  • Hand sanitizer are supplied throughout key spaces within the school facility

Use of  PPE

  • All individuals ages 2 years and older are strongly encouraged to wear a face covering at all times, however it is not mandated.
  • Face coverings must be clean and replaced daily
  • Staff will be required to wash their hands before and after removing PPE

Cleaning & Disinfection

Products & Tracking

Cleaning & Disinfection Products

  • Each classroom is fully equipped with a week’s supply of cleaning products that follow EPA and CDC regulations to disinfect materials and surfaces.
  • Classroom staff are required to complete daily cleaning supply inventory checks and stocking prior to the start of each school day.
  • The administration completes weekly cleaning supply inventory checks and stocking in shared spaces and restocks through delivery service ordering weekly.

Frequency & Record-Keeping

  • The facility will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected nightly using a professional cleaning service.
  • The hallways, shared spaces, doorknobs, etc. will be cleaned and sanitized three times a day – after drop-off at 9:00 am, after mid-day pick up and at the end of the day.
  • Cleaning/disinfection will be maintained in each classroom by classroom teachers.
  • Staff thoroughly trained before August 3rd and September 8th reopening; ongoing training, feedback and enforcement throughout the school year.

Facility & Classroom Protocol

Classroom Cleaning & Disinfection Procedures During the School Day

  • Classroom staff are trained on carefully observing for cleaning and disinfection opportunities between children and materials, while kindly redirecting children to follow the boundaries of the classroom.
  • Classroom staff are required to clean and disinfect shared surfaces and used items throughout the school day.

Classroom Materials

  • Students are instructed to place used materials on a cleaning and disinfection shelf
  • Classroom staff clean and disinfect each material placed on this shelf prior to returning it to its designated spot on the available classroom shelves.
  • Students are directed to only select materials from available classroom shelves, the materials on the cleaning and disinfection shelf are unavailable.
  • Work mats are used once and go into a basket to be cleaned and sanitized overnight in the washer/dryer. An excess of work mats is made available.
  • Classroom staff are trained on carefully observing for cleaning and disinfection opportunities between children and materials, while kindly redirecting children to follow the boundaries of the classroom.
  • Non-essential items that cannot be easily cleaned and sanitized are removed from the classroom, including soft items like pillows, and cloths.
  • Essential items to Montessori learning (like small clothes for cleaning, practical life, etc..) that are not able to be cleaned with cleaning solutions, will be cleaned and sanitized daily utilizing commercial washer and dryer.
  • Practical life items involving food prep are not available in the classroom at this time.

Nap Materials

  • Students who nap at school are assigned individual, exclusive napping cots
  • Napping cots are cleaned and sanitized daily before and after use
  • Student nap bedding is kept separate in student cubbies and sent home on a daily basis to be cleaned and sanitized. Nap bedding is not shared.

Student Items Brought from Home

  • Students are not allowed to bring non-essential (toys, books, etc.) items from home unless otherwise noted.
  • Non-essential items brought into the school will be stored in a plastic bag in the first-floor office and sent home. Parents will be reminded of item restrictions via email.

Adhering to Montessori Values

As we are a Montessori school, we have placed additional boundaries within the classroom to ensure children stay healthy while maintaining their freedom and independence. Children are social beings whose emotional and spiritual development is at a critical stage in their life. While our foremost priority is safety and well-being, we focus on how to balance maintaining a clean and sanitized environment without creating unnecessary fear or anxiety surrounding COVID-19 infection. Students are encouraged to openly discuss their feelings and staff maintain honesty and age-appropriate dialogue with children surrounding the pandemic. Please see the section below outlining staff and student dialogue and guidance.

While we prioritize children, staff and community members’ health and safety, we are clear that we cannot fully mitigate the risk of exposure to COVID-19. Additionally, we will balance the emotional/social needs and development of children with COVID-19 social distancing protocol.

Healthy Hygiene

Hand Washing

Student Hand Washing Protocol

  • Students are taught proper hand washing techniques upon enrollment or start
  • Students are directed to thoroughly wash their hands immediately upon arrival, frequently throughout the Montessori work cycle, upon entry and exit of a classroom/area, before and after eating, toileting or diaper changing.
  • Students and staff have free access to hand washing at all times

Staff Hand Washing Protocol

  • Staff are trained proper hand washing techniques
  • Staff are required to thoroughly wash their hands immediately upon arrival, frequently throughout the Montessori work cycle, upon entry and exit of a classroom/area, before and after eating, toileting or diaper changing, before and after cleaning and disinfection.
  • Students and staff have free access to hand washing stations with soap, running warm water, and disposable paper towels; alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing 60% or more alcohol for areas where handwashing is not available/practical.
  • Staff are responsible for upholding hand washing hygiene of student within their care

Hand Sanitizer

  • Alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing 60% or more alcohol is available throughout locations within the facility
  • Hand sanitizer is used when hand washing is unavailable – after touching a doorknob, elevator button, etc.

Hygiene Guidelines

Staff Hygiene

  • Staff are required to follow all hand washing procedures and maintain healthy physical hygiene outside of school

Healthy Hygiene Signage

  • CDC and DOH signage are posted throughout the school facility including healthy practices for hand washing, diapering, stopping the spread of COVID-19 and more.

State & City Health & Immunization Records

  • All staff and students are required to submit the state mandated health forms (from a licensed physician) prior to attendance
  • All students are required to submit immunization records (from a licensed physician) indicating up-to-date vaccinations prior to attendance

COVID-19 Screening

Mandatory Health Screening

  • All students, staff, visitors, and members of the Monarch Montessori community must stay home when they are sick
  • All students, staff and visitors are required to undergo daily health screening for temperature checks and physical signs of illness prior to school entry.
  • Individuals screening staff, students and visitors are trained in accordance with CDC, NJ DOH and OSHA guidelines.

COVID-19 Quarantine Plan

Communication & Actions

The school requires all stakeholders – parents, guardians, household members, staff, administrators, and more – to communicate positive COVID-19 test results, potential exposure to confirmed individuals with COVID-19 infection or exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms. Upon alert, the school will take action according to the outlined scenarios below.

COVID-19 Positive Test or Symptoms Plan

In the event that a parent/guardian (or cohabitating family member) of an enrolled student must be isolated because they have tested positive for or exhibit symptoms COVID-19:

  • The parent/guardian will be advised that they cannot enter the site for any reason, including picking up their child; an alternative, non-habitating authorized adult must pick-up.
  • The student of the parent/guardian infected must not return to school for the duration of the quarantine.
  • Immediately notify state and local health authorities for additional guidance and direction.
  • Communicate via text message and email to families alerting of possible exposure, allowing for early pick-up from the program, maintaining confidentiality.
  • Review contact tracing records, alert all students, families and staff of possible exposure to COVID-19
  • Close impacted classrooms/programs exposed to COVID-19 infection for the duration of CDC recommended quarantine (currently, 14 days), or until a critical mass students and staff of exposed group test negative after the CDC median incubation period (5 days).
  • Deep, detailed clean and sanitize the impacted classrooms and program spaces of potential exposed children. Deep clean and sanitize the entire facility.
  • Continue to monitor the situation, communicating accordingly with stakeholders
  • Require negative COVID-19 testing for positive COVID-19 carrier in order to return.

COVID-19 Quarantine as Precaution (asymptomatic/potential exposure) Plan

In the event that a parent/guardian (or cohabitating family member) of an enrolled student must be isolated as a precautionary measure without symptoms or a positive test for, COVID-19:

  • Exposed student must complete a COVID-19 test, with negative results
  • If a household member or student develops symptoms or tests positive, the child must quarantine and may not return or attend school until the quarantine is complete
  • Students may attend school (following all health screenings, and safety protocol) once negative test results have been submitted to the school administration.
  • Staff will walk out to pick-up and drop-off to the authorized adult at the boundary outside the premises at an assigned/arranged time.
  • Immediately notify state and local health authorities for additional guidance and direction.
  • Communicate via text message and email to families alerting of possible exposure, allowing for early pick-up from the program, maintaining confidentiality.
  • Review contact tracing records, alert all students, families and staff of exposure to an asymptomatic individual exposed to COVID-19
  • Deep, detailed clean and sanitize the impacted classrooms and program spaces of potential exposed children. Deep clean and sanitize the entire facility.
  • Implement intermittent health checks throughout the day, monitoring student and staff temperature and COVID-19 symptoms
  • Continue to monitor the situation, communicating accordingly with stakeholders

The school will follow the guidance of local health authorities to prioritize the public health and safety of our community.

School Illness Policy

Strict adherence to the school illness policy is in place. Students will be isolated in the first-floor office, awaiting immediate (within 30-minutes) pick-up by an authorized adult. Illness symptoms require an immediate pick-up from school and stay home for at least 72 hours (3 full days) once symptoms have subsided. This includes, but not limited to:

  • Temperature of 100.4 degrees or higher
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Unexplained rash

Preparation, Implementation & Compliance

Onboarding

Family Preparation

COVID-19 Onboarding

  • All families have access to this COVID-19 Safety Plan as it continues to evolve, responding to updated guidelines, best practices as the pandemic progresses
  • Families will receive ongoing updates and reminder communications via email.

Implementation

Weekly Staff Meetings & Check-Ins

  • Staff will meet weekly to share best practices, updates to safety plan and feedback
  • Administration will continually monitor state and local guidelines.
  • Administration will continually leverage an existing network of partners, consultants and Montessori schools across the globe to stay up to date as the pandemic evolves.

Compliance & Accountability

Staff & Family Accountability

Discipline Policy & Consequences

  • Monarch Montessori will communicate and implement strict, zero tolerance discipline policy enforcing adherence to this outlined safety plan.
  • Families or staff found to be out of compliance with this COVID-19 Safety Plan, school code of conduct or attendance/work agreements will be terminated – enrollment or employment

Classroom Observations

  • Administration will conduct random classroom observations and checks for COVID-19 protocol adherence

Record Keeping Audits

  • Administration will conduct random and weekly record-keeping audits to ensure compliance

School & Montessori Values

Transparent & Frequent Communication

Communication Expectations
Monarch Montessori is in partnership with families and educators to deliver a safe, healthy and supportive environment for students. This partnership is dependent upon all stakeholders to communicate openly, honestly and frequently with each other. Families and staff are expected to communicate illnesses, potential exposure risks

Community members are also expected to adhere to the school Code of Conduct and values when communicating, prioritizing kindness, peace, empathy and generosity of spirit through anti-bias and antiracism.

Classroom Considerations & Guidance

Freedom Within Limits

  • As an authentic Montessori program, educators will communicate clearly within the classroom, describing classroom limits, including the COVID-19 Safety Plan protocol.
  • Activities are designed to show children new COVID-19 safety protocol with explanations on why and how.
  • Grace and courtesy lessons are redesigned to incorporate COVID-19 safety protocol
  • Children are encouraged to act freely within the boundaries of the classroom; guides redirect and remind children as needed
  • Classrooms will continue to approach redirection, compliance and limit enforcement through our Montessori approach

Preparing the Environment

  • The classroom is prepared purposefully, incorporating built in control of error and visual guides for children to abide by community rules and limits
  • Classroom environments are purposefully designed to aid and encourage a child’s independence, naturally maximizing social distancing

Addressing COVID-19 in the Classroom

  • Classroom guides will honestly address COVID-19 within the environment and school day will provide explanations, leveraging a child’s natural empathy and compassion, on the reason of new COVID-19 safety protocols in the classroom
  • Classroom language and approach will be shared with parents ahead of time to prepare children to return to school
  • Additional details to be determined, discussed and shared

Normalization

  • Considerations for classroom normalization and new COVID-19 boundary setting
  • Maintaining Montessori values – freedom within COVID-19 limits, grace and courtesy

https://www.state.nj.us/health/cd/topics/covid2019_schools.shtml